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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
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September 19, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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September 19, 2018
 

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S ptember 19, 2018 ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN by Don Daniel How much does tourism bring to Monroe County? Acouple of weeks ago, keeping my fingers in the tourism pie, I attended the 2018 Georgia Gov- ernor s Tourism Conference sponsored by the Georgia Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau. You know the one I wrote about where the two gubernatorial candidates spoke and Stacey Abrams was the apparent favorite. I enjoy attending tourism confabs -- learning, shar- ing ideas, catching up with friends and hearing what is going on all over the state from CVB people, tourist attractions and tourist-related businesses. Tourism is big business all over Georgia as evidenced by the economic impact on communities just like Forsyth, luliette, Bolingbroke, Culloden, Smarr, High Falls and even up here in Blount. Several I talked with, when talking about Forsyth, were jealous their CVBs didn't have the opportunities we have, specifically the number of hotels/motels, 1-75 traffic and proximity to Atlanta and Macon. For Forsyth, the tourism economic impact is best measured by how much the city collects in hotel/mo- tel tax from the 13 motels and one campground. For example, one month's (lune) gross rent from them was $1.1 million with $24,976 going directly into the city's coffer and $16,650 going to the Forsyth Convention and Visitors Bureau to attract tourists to "Historic Down- town Forsyth", pulling them offofI-75. This just might interest you: Number one was Holi- day Inn Express, where bed warmers spent $229,582. Coming in at No. 2 was LaQuinta Inn and Suites with $160,810 in gross bed stays. Hampton Inn was next with $111,294, Days Inn and Comfort Inn racked up $103,651 each and Comfort Suites, $102,054. This oughta convince all Monroe Countians that we have tremendous tourism po- tential utilizing hotels/motels and capitalizing on what we have. It should be a total com- munity effort. A portion of the CVB tax money went to erecting "way- fare signage" so that fourists coming to downtown Forsyth would know how to get to the golf course, wash---oops--- splash pad, skate park and city park/golf course. The attrac- tive signs just might help some Forsythians rediscover what sometimes they ignore or have forgotten how to get to. The FCVB's web page emphasizes the historic, din- ing, shopping, outdoor activities including the two state parks about 10 miles from our historic courthouse square, Indian Springs and High Falls. (Here's something I didn't know: Indian Springs State Park is the nation's oldest state park and this past Satur- day had a ribbon cutting, opening a fantastic conference center.) THE MONROE County Deputy who talked the teen- age girl out of jumping off the Rumble Road bridge into 1-75 traffic was Kirk Seckinger and Butch Smith was the first with the answer to The Question. Butch gets a certificate for a dozen Dunkin Donuts, Dairy Queen Blizzard, Whistle Stop fried green tomato appetizer, slice of Shoney's strawberry pie, Jonah's cookie, Forsyth Main Street t-shirt, sandwich, drink and chips from The Pickled Okra. Here's the question for this weelc The name of the play beginning at The Rose Theater this Friday night is? First correct answer after 12 noon on Thursday gets the certificate. GET READY for a lot of unattributed comments in next week's On The Outside Looking In from the Forsyth city councilmen and the Monroe County com- missioners. Both are meeting this week, council this Monday and commissioners on Tuesday. THIS WAS emailed to me so I am sharing it with you: "OFF! And similar mosquito repellents don't really repel---they hide you! The spray blocks the mosquito's so they don't realize you are there". Makes you wonder who had enough time on their hands or at work to discover such. HERE ARE a few county commissioner approved taxpayer paid checks: City of Forsyth, $21,252.16 for energy (utilities); Jarod Lovett (former county commissioner), $347.62 to replace paycheck; $53,219.89 to Macon Water Author- ity for water; Commissioner Chairman Greg Tapley, $880.75 for Renaissance Hotel Ohio and Callaway Gardens reservations; Pyles Plumbing and Utility, $100,664.88 for District Two and Three water improve- ments; United States Treasury, $7,162.9, second quarter penalties; Walthall Oil Company, $18,720.78 inventory gasoline; $13,307.53 purchasing credit card charges; Georgia Department of Corrections, $3,291.67 lawn maintenance September 2018; United "States Postal Service, $5,000, inventory-prepaid postage; BB&T credit card, $5,470.38; and finally, Carter and Sloope, $100,664.88, Tharpe Road and Rivermist water im- provements. At the last commission meeting, the commissioners voted to borrow $2.5 million in what is referred to as a "TAN", tax anticipation note. They needed to borrow the money until we start paying our taxes when our "we owe the county" tax bills start coming pretty soon. Don Daniel founded the Reporter in 1972. Email him at mediadr@bellsouth.net to answer The Question or make a comment. Don't forget to listen to The Reporter On The Radio on Majic 100 on Sunday mornings at 7 and watch Don, Will and Richard---on Forsyth Cable's community access channel. RL i3orter GUEST COLUMN by Chasity Newton Page 5A I of you have been wondering why I have been fighting for justice for my daughter Demi Collier for two long years after she passed. I had to wait for the Statute of Limitations to expire. On Sept. 9, 2016, 911 was called to my daughter's apartment in Macon. She was having an asthma attack. Yes, she had all of her medications. The fire department was the first on scene, they sat in the parking lot and waited on the ambulance. The main paramedic walked into the apart- ment and said, "oh what a beat tiful apartment", according to the boy- friend. They gave Demi six epi-pens. They DID NOT trach her, nor did they get her a drug called Mag- nesium (both of these procedures would have opened up her airway immediately. They stayed on scene for 23 minutes. They took Demi to the first hospital, they worked on her and pronounced her dead while we were en route to the hospital. Seven minutes after pronouncing her deceased, a nurse walked in Demi's room and noticed that her heartbeat was back and she was breathing on her own. Then they transported her to another hospital (if you are brain dead, it is impossible to breathe on your own). The doctor at the second hospital refused my request for a cat scan and MRI, saying Demi wasn't stable enough. Instead, he was deter- mining the "time of death". Seriously, she was stable enough to do tests so he was just going to call the time of death? We were never asked about doing an autopsy, because they were basically harassing us about her or- gans. Demi's blood work came back, and there was no poison, no drugs nor alcohol in her system. As her mom, I knew there wouldn't be any of that in her system. But such tests are standard procedure. For two years now, I have gone to numerous attorneys. All of the The late Demi Collier with her two children before her death. Her mother says she received poor medi- cal care. medical experts agreed Demi had awful, negligent care that night. But in the State of Georgia, it has to be Gross Negligence (which means they caused her death) to win a law- suit. Several people failed my child that night. I was told that the main paramedic was fired. The paramed- ics lied in their paperwork. They said she was dead on arrival. If she was dead on arrival, why did she go to two hospitals? Now on to the boy- friend, he tried to sue me for Demi's computer. An expert was able to see that he deleted several text messages off of Demi's phone that da)n I was told by attorneys that I had to be nice to him in case we went to court. Her boyfriend went to a college party the day after she died (it was already planned). The boyfriend has gone to several bars and parties and discussed the death of my daughter in detail. In one of the text messag that she sent to the boyfriend, she ' asked if he had sprayed something in the apartment because it had made her sick. I know a lot of you think I'm a strong person. But you have no idea the hurt, anger, and frustration that has weighed on me for two years now. The laws protect the criminals, not the victims. I can't mention any companies, hospitals, or names. But I can say this: I have always been a big supporter of fire fighters, EMS, etc. I have shared several videos of these people saving lives, but some people don't do their jobs. If you don't think this can happen to your child or loved ones, think again. If your child is in a car wreck, asthma attack, shot, suicide, drug overdose, etc these people have the right to do whatever they want. In the eyes of God, I have forgiven these people. You can't let anger control you, You have to have a kind heart to move on in life. I didn't get to go into a court- room and look these people in the face, but I hope this message reaches each and every one of them. I hope this post saves lives and changes the way some of the first responders do their jobs. Please run to every emergency call as if it was your fam- ily member. Thank you for all the support of my friends and family. We love you, Demi. You were a wonderful mom, daughter, sister, granddaugh- ter, friend, and most importantly, a Christian. Chasity Newton of Forsyth lost her daughter to an asthma attack two years ago. i I SERVING YOU MONROE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS Greg Tapley Larry Evans Eddie Rowland John Ambrose Chairman District 1 District 2 District 3 478-256-9277 394-0451 808-9354 960-0764 George Emami District 4 706-207-0383 FORSYTH i: COUNCIL CITY Eric Wilson John HowardChris Hewett Mayor Post I Post 2 478-461-0889 706-819-2890 478-960-1017 I Melvin Lawrence Greg Goolsby Julius Stroud Post 3 Post 4 Post 5 478-993-7841404-402-I 134 706-819-0797 Mike Dodd Post 6 478-994-6203 I Austin (not long in) City Limits Monroe County's congressman Austin Scott (R-Ashburn) held his last Town Hall with his constituents in Forsyth (at right) on Aug. 20, 2014. Scott did attend a chamber of commerce event this spring but did not take questions from constituents and therefore cannot be considered a town hall meeting. If you want an opportunity to let Scott know what you want him to do in Congress, call his Washington office at (202) 225-6531 and let him know. e When Brian Kemp became secretary of state on Jan. 8, 2010, Terry h's survey of the Monroe-Bibb County line was on his desk. The law says it's his job to do something with it. He announced on Aug. 23, 2011 that he was rejecting the Scarborough survey. Unfortunately, the law gives him no such option. So on March 10, 2014, the Supreme Court ordered him to set the line. That was four years ago. The Reporter is devoting this space each week to counting the number of days Kemp has been on the job, and yet not done his job. If you want Kemp to do the job which he's sought three times before he gets a promotion to governor, call his office at (404) 656-2817 and let them know.