What was Gov. Nathan Deal thinking? As he announced the shocking results of a CRCT cheating investigation into Atlanta Public Schools, he quietly released a brief statement saying the Dougherty County investigation was over. He claimed Dougherty County schools took significant steps to address testing issues, but he refused to explain what those steps were.
The governor’s decision left the impression that students in a smaller school system away from the big city media and political power in the state capital don’t matter as much to him as students in Atlanta.
Thankfully, the men in charge of the investigation talked some sense into Gov. Deal. Former State Attorney General Mike Bowers and former DeKalb District Attorney Bob Wilson told him they had “grave concerns” about what their preliminary investigation uncovered in Dougherty County. To his credit, the governor reversed course, and the investigation will go forward.
Dougherty County school officials still insist there was no cheating conspiracy here. Maybe they’re right. If the investigation had been stopped in the middle, there would always have been questions. Hopefully, in a few months we’ll know the truth.
Panthers, league’s blunders
dominate final SIFL game
Congratulations to the Albany Panthers. A couple of weeks ago, a big crowd cheered them on to the Southern Indoor Football League championship. The players and their fans proved to be the class of the league. Unfortunately, the league itself needs some work.
The championship game was briefly disrupted by a bizarre decision made by a man who wasn’t even there. At halftime, the officials took three points off the scoreboard for the Panthers. The team used an unusual maneuver, a dropkick, on extra points. They’d been counted as two points in previous games. But at halftime — over the phone — Supervisor of Officials Dan Blum said they should only be worth one point. Apparently, Commissioner Gary Tufford – also over the phone – disagreed with that decision. But the points were subtracted.
It doesn’t speak well of the league when the supervisor of officials and the league commissioner aren’t clear about the rules or how previous games have been played. It’s also kind of embarrassing that neither man even bothered to show up to their own league’s championship game.
Thankfully, the Panthers quickly put the controversy behind them and went on to crush the Louisiana Swashbucklers in the second half and win the championship. They made south Georgia proud. More than 7,000 fans showed Albany will support professional sports. Now, hopefully SIFL leaders will take steps to show they run a serious and successful league that’s worthy of our champion Panthers.
Pope’s right: Children
need swimming lessons
Summertime brings with it fun in the sun, time with family and friends, and cookouts … but sometimes, unfortunately, summertime brings tragedy. We’ve recently reported on several drownings in our area involving young children.
We’ve also reported on a program started by NFL football player and Americus, Ga., native Leonard Pope that will hopefully, prevent some of these summertime tragedies from happening.
Pope rescued 6-year old Bryan Ross after he slipped into the deep end of a pool during a cousin’s birthday party in Americus .As a result, Pope now wants to add swimming lessons to his C.H.A.M.P or Creating Hope and Making Progress Foundation and its annual programs.
The C.H.A.M.P. Foundation emphasizes the importance of family, leadership, education, fitness, and role models for children. Pope has used his rescue of Ross as a springboard to emphasize the importance of learning to swim.
Using Pope’s example, we would like to recommend that if you have a young child with access to ANY size pool, please find some way to provide swimming instruction. Look at local organizations in your community which provide swimming lessons, some at low or maybe even no cost!
We all love summer and all that it brings! We don’t want to report any more stories about a south Georgia child drowning because he or she didn’t know how to swim!
Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.