Tag Archives: Valdosta Daily Times

SOGALO14 Farm Tours in the VDT

Most of the front page of the Valdosta Daily Times Saturday was about the South Georgia Growing Local 2014 Farm Tours.

Stuart Taylor wrote on the front page of the VDT 25 January 2014, Growing Local Farm Tour gets under way,

While past South Georgia Growing Local conferences have had self-guided farm tours, this year’s conference offered a guided tour through four local farms, starting off Friday morning at Raisin’ Cane.

“We teach people about agriculture,” said Jessica Bolesta, who Continue reading

Gypsy the circus elephant, Lowndes County, GA 1902

My father told me about the circus elephant that escaped in Valdosta and ran as far north as Cat Creek, a few miles from where we live, going on 111 years ago. My great-aunt Evalyn told us more; she was 17 when it happened and about 97 when she told us where she was then living in Texas. It seems she got it mostly right, although it’s not clear exactly what the right story is.

Lowndes County Historical Society and Museum, undated, Gypsy the Elephant,

The story of Gypsy the elephant is one of Valdosta’s most bizarre and notable stories. In 1902 Gypsy, a large Asian elephant who belonged to the Harris-Nickle-Plate circus, killed her trainer, broke free, and went on a rampage in Valdosta before eventually being brought down north of town by the chief or police. At the time, the incident was so peculiar that people in surrounding towns accused the citizens of Valdosta of fabricating the entire story for publicity.

Our old family neighbor Albert Pendleton (from when we all lived on Varnedoe Street in Valdosta; way before my time), added: Continue reading

VDT on Farmers

Gretchen noted this VDT Editorial for 12 July 2010: What We Think: Thankful for our farmers:
Here in South Georgia, we are blessed with an abundance of farmer’s markets, both large and small, that enable us all to have access to fresh fruits and vegetables at low prices. Families, restaurants and schools all benefit from the local farms and markets year round, not just during the summer months.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are healthy, inexpensive, and an essential part of any diet. Take advantage of nature’s bounty that surrounds us and visit the markets. Take your family to one of the peach sheds and spend an afternoon picking your own and enjoying fresh ice cream.

Be thankful that the farmers are still willing to work hard on the land and be thankful you live in an area that encourages farmers and supports agriculture.

Here’s one of those farmers’ markets, in Hahira.


Jail Deaths Studied

The VDT studied jail deaths back in 2006:
Recent reports of the death of an inmate in the Lowndes County Jail have a number of citizens questioning the causes and numbers of deaths that have occurred at the jail in the last several years.
They found that the number of deaths per inmate population per year in Lowndes County was similar to those for Fulton County and DeKalb County. However, there’s a lot more context that the VDT did not include.

Perhaps for reasons of space, the VDT did not include a list of inmate deaths. Here is George Rhynes’ attempt at compiling a complete list of jail deaths in Lowndes County, 1994-2009.

More generally, beyond comparisons with Atlanta counties, how do Lowndes County inmate populations compare with those elsewhere? That’s a longer story for another post.

Solomon’s Culvert

The VDT editorializes about the recent case in which a county resident put in his own culvert and got charged the county’s expenses:
The county should have responded to the resident’s call. It is not always easy dealing with the public, but the public is the county government’s boss. County employees should remember that and return residents’ calls, answer residents’ questions, and treat residents with a level of respect. Many county officials and employees practice such common courtesies. Others do not.

Perhaps this tale didn’t so much need an Aesop as it did a Solomon. Perhaps the judge should have split the difference by fining the resident for half of the fine and charged the other half to the county employee who did not return the resident’s call.

If that started happening, perhaps a few things would change.

Valdosta Cutting Back

On the same day a VDT editorial said “NO!” to any negative talk about the local economy, the VDT published this:
Published March 05, 2009 12:40 am –

Valdosta deals with economic downturn
Hiring freeze, possible furloughs part of the plan
By Matt Flumerfelt
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — The city of Valdosta recently announced it is taking measures to compensate for declining revenues. Among the steps considered at the city’s recent annual planning retreat to adjust to the revenue shortfall is a hiring freeze on new positions and possibly furloughing some city employees.

“The city of Valdosta is experiencing the same effects from the economic downturn that all other governments and businesses are experiencing,” said Valdosta City Manager Larry Hanson. “The unemployment rate in Valdosta and Lowndes County has nearly doubled over the last 18 months. That means revenues such as sales tax have decreased.”

There’s more, all well worth reading.

That the city was retrenching was no secret to anyone who attended the mayor’s state of the city address, but apparently the degree has increased since then.

VDT Goes Ted Stevens

stevens21.jpg Tired of hearing people say newspapers are dying, the Valdosta Daily Times channels former Alaska Senator Ted “Series of Tubes” Stevens’ favorite response:
My answer to all of the above is an emphatic “NO!”
The other talk the VDT is saying no to is about foreclosures and job loss. It’s curious about the foreclosures, since it was a little more than a year ago that the VDT published “Lowndes area not immune from home foreclosures” by Billy Bruce, in which he used counts of foreclosure ads from the VDT as data. That was a big change from the previous VDT tune of this area being immune to the financial problems plagueing the rest of the country.

Ah, but Billy Bruce doesn’t work there anymore! And the VDT is back to its old tune. The verse this time is that Lowndes county is not as bad as metro Atlanta counties in foreclosures. Yes, that’s true, and we’re all glad of that. Yet foreclosure rates are up here, too. And above 7% unemployment is not as bad as Atlanta, either, but isn’t normal.

This is a curious excuse: Continue reading