stadiumFormer Democratic national chairman Don Fowler is helping Charlotte, North Carolina, crank up its bid to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention.  Fowler, a South Carolinian who chaired the party from 1995 to 1997, served as CEO of the 1988 Democratic convention in Atlanta.  Charlotte is among more than three dozen cities, including Tampa and Dallas, that the DNC asked to consider applying to host the convention, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Chief corporate citizen Bank of America, coincidentally, is doing a couple of things that could make Democrats look kindly at Charlotte.  It’s promising to pay back its $45 billion government bailout within days, and, to take some of the heat off its credit card interests, the bank plans to reduce its statement of terms to a one-page “clarity commitment” for 40 million cardholders.

But North Carolina may not look so kindly toward Democrats by 2012.  Skyrocketing unemployment claims have added $1.4 billion to the state’s debt, and soldiers from Fort Bragg are expected to continue to carry a lot of the load  in Afghanistan.

Well, at least she didn’t have sex with her students: A Sumner County, Tennessee, schoolteacher has been charged with using sardine juice, condoms and lubricant to vandalize a mini-fridge, a teacher’s desk and three lockers — with assistance from a seventh-grade student.  The teacher allegedly was retaliating against another teacher who criticized her.  Deputies said the teacher admitted buying the items but denied using them in a criminal manner.

memphis-pyramid-arenaFirst, the Grizzlies, now this: Memphis’ landmark Pyramid arena, once home to the Memphis Grizzlies and University of Memphis basketball, could become a big-league bait-and-tackle shop and fish museum.  Bass Pro Shops officials are checking out the space that sports abandoned in 2004 for a possible retail center and conservation exhibit.

In case the it-was-all-water-damage ploy doesn’t work: Alabama’s insurance commissioner announced that  Allstate Corp. and Alfa Mutual plan to drop wind coverage on 14,000 homeowner policies in Alabama’s two coastal counties — Mobile and Baldwin –over the next 18 months, affecting 7 percent of the homeowners in those counties.

Swine running swine flu scam: The Virginia-Pilot warned its readers about a new scheme to get e-mail users to give up sensitive personal information The e-mails purport to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ask recipients to create a “personal H1N1 Vaccination Profile” for a state vaccination program on a CDC Web site.  The CDC in Atlanta says it has no such program.

Ivey_Xtra_Soft20050130Phoning it in: To the political staple town hall meeting, Alabama gubernatorial candidate Kay Ivey is adding “tele-town hall.”  The state treasurer running for the Republican nomination set up a statewide conference call on Wednesday and opened it  to anyone who wanted to participate.  Ivey recently picked up the endorsement of 2008 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Keeping Tiger in the tank: Palm Beach Post columnist Jose Lambiet entertained his readers with a mock Tiger Woods Christmas card circulating on the Web, as well as this supposed Chinese TV re-enactment of the car accident posted on YouTube:

Dew Droplets: Mattie Cummings, the mother of former Washington, D.C., mayor Marion Barry, died in Memphis … The gambling ship Palm Beach Princess didn’t sail Wednesday because the crew went on strike  to protest their captain’s firing … Two men have been charged in Broward County, Florida, with stealing one of the 200th anniversary bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, valued at $3,500 … Mobile County, Alabama, school officials canceled their annual Teacher of the Year banquet because they didn’t have the money.

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor

Ron Taylor was born and raised in Georgia and worked more than 40 years at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a reporter and editor and as an online producer for and AccessAtlanta. He served for a time as the newspaper's regional editor, overseeing coverage of the South. He is co-author, with Dr. Leonard Ray Teel, of Into the Newsroom:  An Introduction to Journalism and has conducted workshops in the Middle East on feature writing.