WHAT WE’RE HEARING
Why Facebook posts, not facts, mattered most in Rome last week: Word of an alleged crime outside of a Rome medical center quickly ballooned into a second report at another healthcare campus and a third report at a retail center and, soon afterward, a continuing dialogue on potential other cases. A report filed with Rome Police last Tuesday afternoon — two hours after it allegedly happened — finally was extinguished Thursday afternoon as RPD concluded there was no kidnap attempt outside that office. Or any other of the imaginary venues.
The RPD statement disqualifying the social media posts spread quickly, appeasing many who were curious yet suspect. Still others wouldn’t let go. Cover-ups. Scrubbed video. The city protecting big employers. The media covering for advertisers.
They refused to believe that police “found that there is no evidence of an attempted abduction.”
That’s troubling. Even more disturbing: Watching the story bloom over 24 to 36 hours with other “reported” cases added to the original post. Even people who work very hard to stay above the social media mess were asking questions.Troubling.
It is one thing to caution others; it is another to build that into something it wasn’t (serial abduction attempts). We have enough real issues to worry about, all of which need as much attention. As with much on social media, do your own research and question the law enforcement training of so-called “Facebook Detectives.”
It’s beginning to look a lot like . . .
We’re getting all the emails and texts about the breakout of Christmas displays and events weeks before Halloween. We’ve seen some of the lights and trees inside the hardware stores. And we’ve received Janet Byington’s first email about the Rome parade, complete with her being the customary first person to wish us “Merry Christmas” every year. Christmas is two months from today and yet it can’t get here fast enough for some.
But what really shows more of the arriving holiday spirit than a Claxton Fruit Cake? We spotted this display on the GMC Value Mart Facebook page while checking something else the other day. We bet they sell out before Thanksgiving, maybe even before Halloween.
Adding to the taste of the season: GMC also reports the Li’l Dutch Maid’s “Holiday” cookies are in stock as well. Among the fans is a well-known Coosa chef and her crew.
So who’s bringing the hot chocolate?
Congratulations to Scott Moody on his new duties, starting Jan. 1., as president of the Jacksonville State University National Alumni Association. It is a two-year term. Says Moody in a Facebook post: “I am humbled by the chance to serve in some small way the University that has meant so much to me.” Where was Scott on Saturday? The JSU game — again.
Props to Rome Police Lt. Josh Kerce: The genial, always personable law officer collected the most pledges to be “elected” grand marshal of the 2021 edition of Walk a Mile in Her Shoes domestic violence awareness event on Friday. We commend all those who “ran” not just for doing so but for taking a very public stance against partner violence in our community.
And congratulations to the women of Northwest Georgia: Those cliches about men and medical care are true. The latest indicator: How a much higher percentage of women than men in Northwest Georgia have stepped up to get one or all doses of COVID vaccine. The differences in each area county and the state are posted above. Thank you for setting the example.
PEAK & VALLEYS: The highs and lows of Northwest Georgia.
Peak to Jeanne Krueger, the exiting president and CEO of the Rome-Floyd Chamber. She really spent almost three years walking a very fine line as the chamber was gutted of critical economic development duties and almost the existing industries council as well. She had to rally the faithful, attempt to lure back those upset with the chamber break-up and balance the egos of city and county commissioners who thought they knew more about economic development than anyone else in town. Jeanne kept the peace, at least publicly. We thank her for maintaining the focus on local jobs and local issues.
Valley to all sides attempting to use the death of Colin Powell for their specific pro vax/no vax causes. Shame on both camps. In what was a first time for us, we heard from area residents upset that we noted the American hero had died from COVID complications even though he was fully vaccinated and was preparing for a booster. Our original story on his death, taken from CNN, did not note his cancer battle, which had compromised his immune system. The pro-vax zealots immediately pounced, alleging we were discouraging vaccinations. Y’all need a booster shot of your own — of logic.
Peak to those reusing existing places vs. sprawling to new locations: Best recent examples come from West Rome, from the U-Haul storage area going into the one-time Rome Cinemas to the former lube place on Shorter now home to Specs for Less. The nearby former car wash is being repurposed as well. These are the folks who should be getting some development “credits” or stimulus.
Peak to the Atlanta Braves: There’s no way this team should be in the World Series starting Tuesday. Critical injuries and righteous suspensions would have been enough to doom most teams. But determined teammates and the critical infusion of new talent — as well as Brian Snitker’s guidance — have this team four wins away from another title. That’s the lesson you want your student athletes to learn.
Valley to the Atlanta Braves: Whomever decided to select Travis Tritt as the person to sing the National Anthem prior to the start of the Saturday’s game six needs to be designed for assignment — immediately. Tritt has cashed in on the anti-vax crowd by refusing to play in any venue requiring proof of vaccination and other COVID-safety steps. So here he is before a capacity crowd, itself stretching virus protocols? And did anyone in the organization think about Jorge Soler, their slugger just back from COVID who now says he’ll get vaccinated when cleared to do so? Or what Freddie Freeman went through last year? Or the state’s healthcare community that has battled to save lives for the past 20 months? Tritt, a Georgia native, says he feels the health mandates discriminate. Travis, here’s a quarter, call someone who cares.