(Corrected) What we’re hearing: Rocket Wheeler lands with Doubledays (and what better spot for a veteran baseball manager). Interesting year ahead for the Rome City Commission. Lean, mean times at the Rome News.

(Corrected) What we’re hearing: Rocket Wheeler lands with Doubledays (and what better spot for a veteran baseball manager). Interesting year ahead for the Rome City Commission. Lean, mean times at the Rome News.

Two-time Rome Braves Manager Rocket Wheeler schools the men in blue at game last July. Photo by Mills Fitzner. For more, please click Gallery.

 

One of the most loved baseball figures in Northwest Georgia, Rocket Wheeler, has a new team to manage in 2019. He’s the new skipper of the Auburn, N.Y., DoubleDays, a Class A short season affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Look for the formal announcement soon.

“18 Wheeler’ managed Rome for his second stint in 2018, earning a spot in the South Atlantic League playoffs after winning the southern division’s first “half season” last year. Wheeler also was the Rome club’s first manager, earning an SAL championship in the inaugural season in 2003.

Wheeler, who’s given name is Ralph, begins his 43rd year in professional baseball in 2019. He spent 26 years with the Toronto organization, 16 with the Atlanta Braves’ organization before being released last year amid a major change-up in the minor league season and now his first year with the Nationals.

His successor at Rome has not been named.


Corrected: Interesting year ahead for the Rome City Commission: Last year wasn’t an easy one for the nine members of the Rome City Commission. The parking standoff. The teen curfew. The smoldering smoking ordinance. And some key decisions to be made about the fumbled economic development proposals for Rome and Floyd County.

Add to that: Six members of the commission are up for new terms in November. They are:

  • Ward one:  Bill Irmscher and Milton Slack and Sundai Stephenson.
  • Ward three: BIll Collins, Craig McDaniel and Evie McNiece

The first question will be who seeks new terms during qualifying this fall. The next question is how many challengers will step up (we hear a bunch including one confirmation).

The first thing to watch will be the initial meeting in January as the board votes to name a mayor from within its membership. Jamie Doss of Ward Two currently holds the post with Bill Collins serving as mayor pro tem.  That meeting is Jan. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.


A 10-page newspaper? Six years ago Tuesday, News Publishing Co. filed for bankruptcy protection. It eventually would be purchased by the parent company of the Marietta Daily Journal, which has made significant changes in the operations of the Rome News as well as its sister publications. Cutbacks have continued with key operations moved to Marietta (publisher-level decisions, copy editing, etc.) So what did subscribers and single-copy buyers get on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019? A 10-page newspaper with one page of sports (the section B cover), a few small ads on pages 2 and 3A, around a page of classifieds, TV and comics listings, and that’s about it. So what exactly has changed in those six years?

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