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