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March 29, 2012 Issue

Gallery hosts JCHS art show
Cancer prevention study needs volunteers
Bartow citizen questions radio purchase

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Gallery hosts JCHS art show

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

Using their mind’s eye, 21 students from Jefferson County High School have formed images of their own that they are ready to share with the world.

“The Art of Imagination,” is the sixth annual art exhibit to be held at The Fire House Gallery featuring artwork of advance placement (AP) art students from the high school. The exhibit will be held from March 28 through April 7, with the opening reception on Friday, March 30, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.


This year features more artists than ever before.

“There are more kids participating in this show than any other show in the past,” Curatorial Fellow Philip Muller said. “Casey (Sullivan) was here last year, and she said she thinks this is one of the best ones she has ever seen.”

JCHS AP art teacher Linda Merritt said she began teaching the AP art class six years ago at the high school, when the Fire House Gallery approached her about showing some of her students’ work.

“We needed a venue to display the artwork as part of the requirements from the College Board for it to be an AP class,” Merritt explained. “Now we have been doing it for six years straight.”

This year, the show will also feature artwork by non-AP students, who may not have been able to be in the class for one or both semesters.

“I do have some that were able to be in the class in the fall block, but not the spring block,” Merritt said. “And I have a couple of others who have really great talent and I thought this would be an excellent opportunity for them. I am trying to grow the program with students earlier in their high school career and this is one way to do that.”

Merritt and Muller were both able to see the excitement from students as they took the art exhibit a bit further, by following through from start to finish. On Monday, students were able to hang the artwork that they created and matted.

“Most of the class came in on Monday and spaced out the artwork and leveled it,” Muller said. “They did everything this year to really present their work.”

Merritt said since the class began to prepare weeks ago, the excitement has been building.

“They really enjoyed helping to hang their work,” she said. “This gives them some experience in what goes on behind the scenes. It is the business behind art.”

Whether drawings, watercolors, paintings or pastels, the students chose what they wanted to create and be seen.

“This is absolutely fabulous for our students,” Merritt cheered. “A lot of times no one outside of school sees it. This brings the community into what the kids are doing. We have some very, very talented students and this opens doors for them. They get to see what kinds of careers come out of the arts.”

“A show like this gives the students an opportunity to put their artwork into a professional setting,” Muller added. “This is something their peers, other teachers and the community will be seeing. I think it will serve as an incentive to push them to do more work and better work than they might have done if no one else would see it. We like people to see the younger talent in Jefferson County.”

While some of the students have been under Merritt’s wing for a while, others are new.

“I am really excited for their work and excited to see how they grow over the next few years,” she said.

Through the support of the gallery and the Kiwanis Club, Merritt said she has had the privilege of displaying local youths’ talent.

“The high school is really appreciative of the Kiwanis Club and the gallery in all that they do to promote arts in the community,” she commented. “Without their support, the artwork would not be seen.”

The students’ artwork is for sale.

“They are very good prices,” Muller said. “And the kids actually get the money for what they sell.”

Students participating are Elika Benarao, Reshma Benny, Tyranee Carlyle, Ashley Clements, Jessica Clements, David Daniels, Mark Eldridge, Jakevious Gibbons, Kantrenia Lockhart, Caitlen DeVore, Matthew Good, Zanquesha Lodge, Kaci Manders, Elizabeth Padgett, Levi Sammons, Beatriz Sanchez, Harmony Pastor-Price, Iesha Landry, Victoria Baldowski, Caleb Weeks and Jasmine Kelly.

Cancer prevention study needs volunteers

By Bonnie K. Sargent

The American Cancer Society is partnering with Doctors Hospital of Augusta, Georgia Health Sciences Cancer Center and University Hospital in a new research study called the Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3).

The CPS-3 will help researchers better understand the genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that cause or prevent cancer, which could ultimately save lives.


“This study will give our children and our grandchildren tools to stay healthy and avoid a cancer diagnosis,” said Andi Van Airsdale, community manager with the American Cancer Society.

The study is open to anyone between the ages of 30 and 65 years old who has never been diagnosed with cancer, not including basal or squamous cell skin cancer, and who is willing to make a long-term commitment to the study, which involves completing follow-up surveys at home for the next 20-30 years.

Initial enrollment in the study requires two steps. First, visit www.cps3augusta.com to schedule an appointment. A confirmation e-mail will be sent with instructions to go online and complete the first and more comprehensive survey. This survey will ask questions regarding medication use, family history of cancer, lifestyle and other behaviors. This survey must be completed prior to the appointment time.

“Research can also be done from this work. The questionnaire is very specific,” said Van Airsdale.

At the appointment, participants will be asked to sign an informed consent form, complete a brief survey and provide a waist circumference measurement and a small blood sample, similar to a doctor’s visit. The appointment should last approximately 30 minutes.

Following enrollment, participants will periodically receive mailed surveys at home every few years to update their information. They will also receive annual study newsletters with updates on research taking place in the Cancer Prevention Studies.

All personal information and any individual results of blood analyses that may be performed will be kept strictly confidential by American Cancer Society research staff. There is no cost to participate in the study.

Van Airsdale said this is the first time a 20-year study will track not only who gets cancer, but will also have a baseline blood test from when they were cancer-free for comparison.

“This is a huge study, involving over 300,000 people,” she said. “It is ground-breaking and has never been done before.”

Enrollment will be at University Hospital on April 17 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the University Room in the Education Wing on the third floor. Doctors Hospital of Augusta will hold enrollment on April 18 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Classroom 2, located in the south tower of the main hospital. Enrollment will be held at Georgia Health Sciences Cancer Center on April 19 from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in room AN1305.

For more information visit www.cancer.org/cps3 email cps3@cancer.org or call toll-free 1-888-604-5888.

Those who are not eligible to enroll in the study can help by becoming advocates for CPS-3 and encouraging those close to them to take part in this potentially life-saving study.

“We are 100 percent committed to getting people to participate,” said Van Airsdale. “We are excited about creating more birthdays.”

Bartow citizen questions radio purchase

By Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

A Bartow citizen raised several points regarding the city’s possible purchase of new radios for the city’s police and fire departments during a regular council meeting Monday night.

The citizen, Keith Scarboro, is also a volunteer fire fighter with the Bartow Fire Department.


Scarboro said that after Sept. 11, 2001, the federal government wanted public safety agencies to be able to talk with each other via emergency communications.

Project 25, or P25, is a system that allows this.

One of Scarboro’s concerns, he said, is the grant the county has applied for to assist in paying for the radios for the various fire departments throughout the county requires the system to be compliant with P25.

He said there is an exception. If the applying agency already has a system in place, the requirement for P25 compatibility may be waived.

“The county’s building a new system,” he said.

“The people who were at the bottom, the fire chiefs, were lied to,” he said. “Someone’s getting a fat wad of cash in their pocket.”

In an interview Tuesday, March 27, with Robert Chalker, the 911 advisory committee’s chairman, he said it was his understanding this particular grant did not require the system to be P25 compliant.

“I haven’t read the requirements of the grant,” he said. “We haven’t been rejected yet; and, they’re rejecting every Friday.”

Chalker said he thought if the county’s application did not meet the grant requirements, a rejection would have been made by now.

The application was submitted about six months ago, he said.

Chalker said he thought there might be some confusion about Motorola’s bid because Paul Bryan, the former Jefferson County Administrator, had been working with Motorola in an attempt to get a grant to help the county have broadband internet service.

Chalker said a Motorola representative has said in a public meeting that they have been working on this for three years.

“She meant the towers and trying to address getting broadband,” Chalker said.

Chalker said neither Motorola nor Kenwood, the other vendor that bid on the public safety radio system, was asked to include a P25 component.

Chalker said that the Motorola system the county is buying was originally developed with businesses in mind.

“But, then they saw it could be used for public safety so they started selling it for public safety,” he said.

“I looked at the bids. I don’t care what the Motorola rep said or the Kenwood rep said. I read every page of the bids. I considered the price, the maintenance agreement and the ability to make one phone call if something broke that Motorola offered. Those are the reasons I voted for Motorola. I would do it again today for the same three reasons,” Chalker said.

Hubert Jordan, Bartow’s mayor, said it is a question of cost.

He said Tuesday he had spoken earlier that day with Jefferson County Administrator Adam Mestres about this issue.

“He told me it wasn’t what we thought,” Jordan said, adding he was told without the radios that have been approved by the county commissioners, the city would not be able to communicate with other fire and police departments in the county. “I also talked with (city administrator) Don Rhodes in Louisville; and, he said the same thing,” that Bartow would not be able to communicate with other agencies in the county without the same radio system.

“Also, he said that most small places, like us, 17,000 people in Jefferson County, couldn’t afford a true P25 radio system. They’re a very expensive thing for an actual P25,” he said. “The only thing I’m worried about is overspending our budget. It’s a lot of money for a town with a budget of $142,000.”

Mestres provided a copy of information from Anne Floyd with the CSRA Regional Development Commission that was used to determine if Jefferson County was eligible for the 2011 AFG Regional Grant.

“A regional project is one in which multiple organizations serving more than one local jurisdiction benefit directly from the activities implemented with the grant funds,” the document states.

Mestres said Tuesday the system the county is purchasing, MOTOTRBO, is a digital two-way communications system that allows for multiple jurisdictions to be able to communicate with one another on the same system.

“We will still be able to communicate with any other agency through an analog channel; and, the system allows us to do that,” Mestres said.

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