What’s making news around the South.
Health care? You wanna see health care? … While town hallers continued to snarl at their congresspersons over health care, citizens in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn., took defibrillators into their own hands.
Jennifer Trombly fetched the defibrillator she hauls around in her car for her son’s arrhythmia when she saw a crowd gathered around an elderly man lying temporarily dead outside the Sweetbay Supermarket in St. Petersburg. “She jump-started his heart with that,” Fire Rescue Lt. Joel Granata told the St. Petersburg Times.
In Memphis, firefighter Kenneth Richmond was the zapee. He was still gripping the pen he used to sign out his daughter for an orthodontist appointment when he fell to the floor with a heart attack at Bon Lin Middle School. Coincidentally, cardiac nurse Dawn Graves also was in the principal’s office to pick up her son. “I just heard him hit the floor,” she told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. She began performing CPR while assistant principal Jeremy Yow dug out the defibrillator the school received last year. “It was like angels watching over my husband,” Sabrina Richmond said.
Tea-shirts: The tax protest T-shirts Ashleigh Kenny had screened up for the Lowndes County Tea Party on the Fourth of July are bringing the Hahira, Ga., resident fame and, possibly, fortune. All it took was a slam from Arianna Huffington on Bill Maher’s HBO show and support from “Fox and Friends.” U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga) took the heat from Huffington for posting a photo of him with the Valdosta State University English major, who was wearing the slogan “R.I.P. The U.S. Constitution.” How could he? the Huffington Post founder asked on Maher’s show. Kingston said he was just trying to “help inspire a young activist” who had approached him. Since then, Kenny has become a darling of conservative bloggers and gotten e-mails of support from soldiers in Iraq. Before her computer crashed from the overload, according to the Valdosta Times, she had gotten 1,300 orders for the T-shirts.
Wake me when he graduates: The school year got off to an embarrassingly bad start for a mother in Batesville, Ark. According to Arkansas Online, a sheriff’s deputy found a suspected crack pipe and pills after noticing her asleep behind the wheel of her car outside Southside School. She was charged with DUI and drug possession.
Between “Rocky Top” and a hard place: Owners of the rousing bluegrass standard and University of Tennessee fight song have sued A&E network over the use of a 12-second video clip featuring the song in a true-crime TV documentary. According to Tennessean.com, the folks who hold the rights to “Rocky Top” contend producers did not have permission to use the song in an episode of “City Confidential” about an attempted contract killing in Knoxville in 1994.
Squeal like a pig: Over protests from fishermen, the U.S. Forest Service has decided to allow limited boating on the upper Chattooga River in South Carolina, made infamous by James Dickey’s novel “Deliverance.” According to The State, canoes, kayaks and rafts wil be allowed on the river only when the river is at high flow, possibly only about six days a year. Boating on that 21-mile stretch of the Chattooga had been banned since 1976.
Another Wal-Mart, another fight: Oscar-winning actor Robert Duvall was among residents protesting plans for a Wal-Mart store in Orange County, Va., near the Civil War Wilderness Battlefield, where Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant faced off against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee for the first time. But in economic hard times, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch, many residents supported the plan, and the county board of supervisors voted 4-1 to allow the construction.
Rapper news: Albany, Ga., officials have collided with local teens over efforts to stop a concert at the Albany Civic Center by Atlanta rapper Gucci Mane. City Commissioner Bob Langstaff sought to have Gucci Mane’s concert canceled because of what Langstaff called the rapper’s “lewd” lyrics. According to Albany Herald.com, articles and blogs about Albany’s “cold shoulder” toward the rapper have appeared in XXL, Hiphopblog.com and allhiphop.com. The controversy has also been aired on Atlanta hip-hop radio stations and on BET. Law enforcement officials raised the ire of Albany rap fans when they suddenly issued a warning about gang activity at Albany State University and four high schools. The concert’s promoters and about 50 fans staged a rally in support of the concert at the civic center.
In other hip-hop news: After being sentenced to probation and community service for beating up ex-girlfriend Rihanna, singer Chris Brown will now be in the hands of Richmond, Va., Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood, who will oversee Brown’s community labors. “We welcome Chris Brown back to Richmond, and we assure everyone involved that the command of the court will be followed,” Norwood told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
What will happen to the beans n’ franks? Parents of students in Richmond County, Ga., schools can now go online and help plan school lunches for their kids. AugustaChronicle.com reports that Nutri-Cafe allows parents to see the calories and other nutritional information about the schools’ lunch offerings. The program is similar to ones recently started in Marietta and Gwinnett County.
Dew droplets: Mississippi plans to erect a monument near Philadelphia, Miss., to slain civil-rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner on Sept. 1 … Two young Lake City, Tenn., women are accused of offering sex to a 77-year-old man in exchange for his pain pills … Authorities in Augusta, Ga., are offering $3,500 in cash and gift certificates in the killing and dismemberment of an alligator.