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Murfree’s plan: A harebrained idea

By   /   June 4, 2011  /   Comments

Dougherty County School Superintendent Dr. Joshua Murfree wants to expand the minds of students and open their eyes to new experiences. That’s an admirable goal, but here’s his big idea of how to do that: He wants to take the entire school system– all the students, all the teachers, plus chaperones– on a field trip to Atlanta to tour the Georgia Dome, The World of Coca-Cola, and Centennial Olympic Park.

There are so many things wrong with this harebrained plan, it’s hard to know which to talk about first. How about the cost? The school system doesn’t have two extra pennies to rub together right now. Can you imagine how much it would cost to bus 20,000 people to Atlanta? Dr. Murfree says he’ll get donations to pay for the trip, but he hasn’t said who he thinks will pony up the hundreds of thousands of dollars that clearly would be needed.

And think of the liability issues. Assuming the Georgia Dome and Coke museum could even handle a group so large, how can you safely corral 16,000 kids traipsing through downtown Atlanta. You’d be asking for trouble.

And why those locations? The Georgia Dome is a nice sports arena and Centennial Park is a beautiful park, but will our students’ lives be incomplete if they don’t see them in person?

We’re all for pushing our students to succeed, exposing them to people, places, and ideas that aren’t normally a part of their lives. We want our school leaders to think big and aim high, but if this is the best they can come up with, our students are in bigger trouble than we thought.


Hooray for our

new Walmart


On land that used to be the site of a crime-ridden, dilapidated trailer park, Walmart’s newest store now stands.

It’s been years in the planning, and now Albany’s east side has a new state-of-the-art retail center where groceries, clothing, electronics, and hardware can be bought at what Walmart says are the “lowest prices, guaranteed.”

On opening day, nearly every space in the new store’s parking lot was filled, and people enthusiastically filled their carts with merchandise.

It is said that where Walmart goes, small businesses decline. But stores across the way from Walmart saw a brisk business too, and more stores are on the way.

We expect to see even more small businesses grow up in this area, with Walmart serving as an anchor that brings shoppers to this part of town.

Not only will the new store save money for shoppers with low prices, but for folks who had to drive to the Lee County Walmart from points east, the new store saves lots of gas.

And at nearly four dollars a gallon, that’s a very welcome additional savings.

Having a Walmart in east Albany will also cut down a bit on the congestion on Ledo Road, as fewer shoppers have to go to the Lee County location.

We are happy to see the new Walmart open for business, and we expect the store to be an asset for Albany’s eastside.


Be an organ donor


I hope you were able to see our recent Healthcare Today program, about the importance of becoming an organ donor.

One amazing fact shared was one donor can impact up to 60 recipients. Many donations will be life saving, but all will be life changing events, for those on waiting lists around the country.

We featured one woman from South Georgia, Sheila McLendon, who because of liver transplant from a donor, was able to raise her two children, and continue a normal life with her family.

If you would like to see the program, you can find it on our website, at WALB.com/healthcaretoday. It covers many common misconceptions and positive benefits of becoming a donor.

You can also go to the website donatelifegeorgia.org and get answers to all questions you may have. We encourage you to serious consider becoming an organ donor.

Jim Wilcox1Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.

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About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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