June 24, 2010 Issue


Davis says her husband was out of town during storm

Dear Editor:

This is in response to the person who shamed my husband in the Soapbox section of the paper on June 17.

We were out of town when the storm hit Avera. We were 170 miles away and did not know anything about it.



Rest assured that if he had been at home he would have been there ready to work and do whatever was possible for anyone in need. He would have done this not because he is a county commissioner, but because he is a member of this community and it is what he has always done.

I am sure there are many people in Avera and all over the county who can attest to the fact that he does his best to address any problem that is brought to him, not because he is up for re-election, but because that is what he promised to do.

So please remember before you try to shame someone in this manner to know the facts before you say angry things, and know, whoever you are that if you have a need or concern all you need to do is call him and he will do whatever he can to help you.


Rea Davis

Softball coach thanks parents

Dear Editor:

I want to thank all the parents for a great softball season.

We made it to the Sub-Region tournament playoffs! I really enjoyed coaching the girls Mite Softball team. If it were not for your participation and dedication to your children, we would not have made it to the playoffs and won a game to qualify. Thanks to you and the assistance of the other coaches we had a great season. I look forward to coaching again next year and will be moving up to fast pitch along with my daughter Samantha. Hope to see you all there as well! Again, thanks for all your sacrifices!


Coach Mike Patton

Declare your independence from drunk driving this July 4th

Dear Editor:

Along with all the fun of July 4 festivities there can be danger when we hit the road for those backyard barbeques or fireworks shows. Unfortunately our holiday crash stats show the travel season between July 4 and Labor Day can be one of the most dangerous times of year to get behind the wheel.

In Georgia, Operation Zero Tolerance (OZT) is enforced 24/7/365, but special enforcement periods are also used to target travel periods when impaired driving and summer holiday traffic volumes are historically the highest on Georgiaís roadways. During OZT campaigns, police using roadchecks and concentrated patrols enforce the Over the Limit, Under Arrest policy for a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08, the legal BAC limit in all 50 states.

This special OZT summer enforcement period starts June 18 and runs through the July 4 weekend. Thatís because history tells us Independence Day revelers donít always remembers to get a sober driver. Across the nation in 2008 during the Fourth of July travel period (6 p.m. Thursday, July 3 to 5:59 a.m. Monday, July 5), there were a total of 491 traffic fatalities. Out of that national holiday highway death toll, a whopping 43 percent involved a driver with a BAC of .08 or higher. Here in Georgia during the 2008 July 4th travel period, there were 1,905 crashes that resulted in 930 injuries and 21 fatalities. And more than one in four of those fatalities involved alcohol!

Commemorating our nationís independence should not include getting behind the wheel drunk. Itís just not worth the risk. If you donít want to turn a festive summer holiday into a tragedy, you must find a sober driver before you start celebrating .

Every 45 minutesÖ Thatís 32 times a dayÖ Someone in the United States dies in an alcohol-impaired driving crash. Nationally, 37,261 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2008. Out of that number, 11,773 people were killed in crashes involving at least one impaired driver or motorcycle rider with a BAC of .08 or higher.

The numbers show youíre 11 times more likely to die in a crash with a BAC of .08 or higher than if youíre in the same crash with no alcohol in your system at all. Yet millions of people nationwide are still arrested for DUI every year. Thatís another reason why all states uniformly enforce the .08 BAC limit.

Why .08? Because itís at the BAC level of .08 where the risk of a fatal crash increases tremendously. Itís at .08 where critical driving skills like braking, steering, lane changing, depth perception, judgment and response time are dramatically affected. These are the very skills needed to keep everyone safe on our roads.

Itís because of these statistics that GOHS is coordinating with more than 500 Georgia police departments, sheriffís offices and state patrol posts to run concentrated patrols and set up sobriety checkpoints on our roadways and interstates this summer holiday season. Safe drivers will go on their way, but impaired drivers will go to jail.

So while youíre enjoying the bright, flashing lights of Fourth of July fireworks, think about the bright flashing lights youíll see in your rear view mirror if youíre caught driving drunk. Drunk drivers wonít be able to go home after the July 4 fun. They go directly to jail.

If you do plan to indulge this Fourth of July, there are so many easy ways to make sure you and those around you get home safe. Arrange for a sober driver BEFORE you start drinking, store taxi cab company numbers in your cell phone or take mass transit. If youíre the designated driver, itís very simpleÖdonít drink! You can also help prevent tragedy by making sure you and your passengers are buckled up. Because the best defense against a drunk driver is always a fastened seatbelt.

So remember, declare your independence from drunk driving on July Fourth. Know your limits, be responsible and be prepared to call 9-1-1 if you see an impaired driver endangering other lives on the road.

Bob Dallas,
Georgia Governorís Office
of Highway Safety


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