2009-07-30 / The Office Cat

The Office Cat

Thanks Lou, for Tree City designation

If you've been in Downtown Washington during the past week, you couldn't help but notice that the sidewalks from Robert Toombs Avenue (Regions Bank) down Jefferson Street to Liberty Street are being torn out. City Administrator Mike Eskew says the work is a continuation of the project begun several years ago around The Square to replace the sidewalks with the "bricks" which we now have. The sidewalk at the rear of the bank is included and the area around the Mary Willis Library. The project includes the removal of the old bricks that have been around the library since many, many years before I was born, and that's a long, long time. The tree stump at the southwest corner of the library will be removed and that's where the project ends.

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Mike Hardy, electrical superintendent for the City of Washington, says there is no way we can have a canopy of lights on The Square. The light poles that are there now are too short and the trees are in the way. All the equipment and supplies used in the old canopy are all gone.

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Teachers will be back in school Monday, August 3. Students arrive on Friday, August 7.

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I had not seen Lou Singleton in a long, long, time, but early one morning last week when I was walking up Jefferson Street she was sitting with her little dog on her porch enjoying a cup of coffee. Sometime during the past two weeks, she and son John had made a trip to Valdosta to attend a celebration of a cousin's 90th birthday. . . . When I think of Lou, I think of all the work she (and others) did to get Washington-Wilkes named a Tree City USA. Since that first successful year, the town has not failed to receive this special designation.

Casie LeGette is in England where she attended a conference and delivered a paper at Cambridge University. She's now in Manchester researching 200-year-old records and correspondence and will continue on to London. After a distinguished record at the University of Georgia and receiving her bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature, Casie was actively recruited by six universities from around the country. She chose the University of Michigan and is in the fourth year of a five-year doctoral program.

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There is a pair of doves whose favorite place to sit and "coo" is up high on the Confederate soldier's hat on The Square. . . . The Downtown cat who makes its home atop the Simpson building on The Square is slowly making its way west. But now there are TWO cats -- one going east and one going west. What happens when they meet? Is the first cat going to have a companion, or is there going to be a terrific cat fight?. . . A family of red foxes makes its home behind the First Baptist Church, and checks out its territory behind the May house and in Green's Grove. One of the foxes arrived at the church in time for Sunday School Sunday morning, but quickly made its exit as soon as a car drove into the parking lot.

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Native Wilkes Countian Leon Bailey, who lives in Texas, received the 2008 Heroes for Children award from the Timber Creek Elementary School in Livingston, Texas. Leon will be 81 years old in October and for over 20 years has been a mentor for students who need a male role model or who are struggling with self-esteem or academic issues. Mr. Bailey and his wife are frequent visitors to Wilkes County.

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The staff of the North Wilkes Library in Tignall is thankful for Kirk Dodson who wrestled the heavy and very old desk of the late Dr. Sophia Bamford out of the meeting room, down the sidewalk, into the library.

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We all know we need rain badly. . . . Norris Ware has recorded only .4 of an inch in the past two (maybe three) weeks; and Sonny Johnson just. .75 inches.

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David Slaton in the Norman community north of Tignall is having fun with watching hummingbirds this year. He says he fills up two of the large size feeders every day and has at least eight to ten hummers feeding from them.

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About six weeks ago, I said that I was not going to write anything else about hummingbirds until next year. But the most comprehensive information about hummingbird habits that I have seen was given to me last week by Patricia Burton, and I have to pass it on. Patricia is from "Lower Alabama" and still gets her hometown paper, The Wilcox Progressive Era, in Camden, Ala. In a recent issue there was an article by Bob Sargent of The Hummer/ Bird Study Group, Inc. He writes about "The Most Common Question I am Asked." He says it starts earlier and earlier every summer. People call him saying, "Where are all my hummers?" I'm no authority on hummers, but because I write about them, I get calls every year, too. Mr. Sargent says that the Rubythroats come on shore along the Gulf of Mexico about the last week in February. The big rush northward will likely be noticed here in early March, then later in April and May. We'll see only a few birds at our feeders in May and June. New baby hummers will be out of the nest as early as mid-June. Then from the Fourth of July to mid-August the southbound flight begins with a daily stream until mid-September. Most hummers this time of year will be fat little butterballs covered in feathers. "This scenario," Sargent says, "plays itself out each year with dates ruling the action and not the weather as many folks preach. Mark it on your 2010 calendar for next year. Don't panic, they will come as they always have in the past." If you want to see the entire article, stop by The News-Reporter and I will give you a copy.

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The whole Holes family was out all day Saturday scraping and painting the front of Dr. Holes' dental office on West Robert Toombs Avenue. There was Bruce, Debbie, Craig, and Jenny working in 90+ degree weather -- and it looks great. . . . Early Tuesday morning, dental assistant Sabrina Bennett was out trimming the beautiful butterfly bush on the side of the building. I told her I didn't know that trimming shrubbery was in her job description, and her reply was, "Oh, we do a little bit of everything." Wouldn't it be great if all employees had that attitude?

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