FEB 2 - FEB 15, 2012

VOL. 02 NO. 03

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Get creative - Crafty businesses and art classes now in downtown Griffin p. 3

Rep. presidential candidate roundup their views on taxes, health care & more p. 4

When to just let go releasing unhealthy relationships & belief systems p. 5

SRMC breaks ground on new ER expansion; 4H horse quiz bowl place 3rd in nation p. 6

P.O. BOX 2251, GRIFFIN GA 30224



Safehouse Coffee & Tea destroyed by fire; owners vow to rebuild
Even as they watched their shop in flames, Safehouse employees were planning their return. “We’ll be right back,” they promised while filming the fire for their video blog, www.dirtycup. com. “Not once have any of us felt anything but certain that we would be back and better than before,” said Orr. “Our coffee will taste better, we’ll serve our customers better and we’ll smile a whole lot more.” Two other businesses within the vicinity also sustained smoke and water damage in the incident. Safehouse founder Hunt Slade addressed the public later that night, giving thanks for the outpouring of support. “To all our friends and family that share in the loss of our beloved shop this evening to fire, thank you all so much for your support and encouragement. The worst site tonight was not the flames breaking through
CONT, FIRE, pg 6»

A Monday evening fire destroyed the building housing Safehouse Coffee & Tea, a beloved downtown Griffin business. On Tuesday Griffin-Fire Rescue Chief Tommy Jones confirmed that it was electrical fire. When the fire was first discovered, two employees, Jacob Orr and Stephen Dozier, as well as regular customers Christopher Blalock and Justin Liddell attempted to extinguish the blaze with water and fire extinguishers. A total of seven people eventually evacuated the building safely. Upon the arrival of GF-R personnel, heavy smoke was pouring from the roof of the structure. The mutual aid call also activated units of the Spalding County Fire Department. The fire was extinguished within a few hours, but GF-R personnel remained on scene throughout the night to guard against the relighting of hot spots.

Image credit: Robert Hayden

In-depth gas coverage; pricing explained
Staff Writer; sheila@the-grip.net

  At some point in time, virtually every motorist has complained of high gasoline prices. Many do not understand how gas stations can justify daily price fluctuations, with some locations actually increasing prices multiple times each day. However, according to industry experts, there are a number of variables that contribute to these fluctuations, with the vast majority being out of the control of local station owners. Aside from the world market and dollar valuation against foreign currencies, global supply and demand plays an important role in oil production. Over the past decade, developing nations,

particularly those in Asia and the Middle East, have caused a tremendous increase in demand for which production has not sufficiently increased. “For example, China, in 2011 purchased 547,000 barrels per day. In 2010, consumption was 426,000 barrels per day, for an increase of 121,000 additional barrels consumed every day,” said one consultant who spoke on condition of anonymity. With such an increase in demand, the market is more susceptible than ever to unrest in oil producing countries, which also greatly contributes to price fluctuations. In addition, other factors such as weather and seasonal challenges also frequently result in higher prices.

Credit card fees, taxes make for low profit margins on gasoline Local gas prices may increase if county is designated "nonattainment" district Limited American refinery capabilities increase oil prices

all this and more coverage on page 2

Image credit: Jolie Cook

Current national Current lowest average gas price: Griffin gas price: $3.46 $3.41
(Regular grade) (Regular grade @ Murphy USA )

Current highest Griffin gas price: $3.51
(Regular grade @ Phillips 66)

Current crude oil price: $96.36
per barrel

Jessica Gregory, Publisher jessica@the-grip.net www.the-grip.net
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Feb. 2 - Feb. 15, 2012

production is halted, prices increase accordingly, only to show a decrease when production resumes. Weather also has the potential to wreak havoc on gasoline prices, a scenario that was perhaps best demonstrated during Hurricane Katrina. The combination of offline Gulf of Mexico refineries combined with power losses and damage to pipelines led to a gasoline shortage throughout the Southeast. During such crises, the governor has the ability to intercede on behalf of consumers by implementing the so-called “price gouging” law. Shawn Conroy, a spokesman for the Georgia Consumer Protection Division, said this allows the governor to prohibit price increases on items deemed necessary to preserve, protect or sustain life, health or safety of persons or their property. “Basically, in a free market economy, businesses can set their prices where they want,” he said. “Unless a state of emergency is declared, the market will set prices.” In the event a state of emergency is declared, Conroy said the governor may specify services and products – including gasoline – for which price increases are only allowed if they accurately reflect an increase in the cost of new stock or its transport, along with the business establishment’s average markup percentage during the ten days prior to the declaration of a state of emergency. “This serves to protect consumers from businesses that might attempt to take advantage of an emergency situation,” Conroy said. “Aside from that, the market will set gasoline prices.” Ω

Station owners see low profit margins while consumers may see higher prices
Local gasoline retailers do « market, cont. not see high profit margins
Staff Writer; sheila@the-grip.net

Although consumers often feel as if they are being robbed at the gas pumps, market analysis indicates that retail sales outlets do not benefit from a high profit margin on the sale of gasoline. Because of shrinking profits, experts say major oil companies no longer own the majority of gas stations. “It’s a very cutthroat business, with 99 percent of the gasoline stations out there being independently owned,” said Rob Underwood, director of Congressional Relations for the Petroleum Marketers Association of America. “When the market is more competitive – when the oil market gets tight – these stores don’t make money. That’s why the major oil companies have exited the market. The money isn’t in the retail side; the money is in drilling for oil. In fact, credit card companies make more money off gasoline sales than we do.” Underwood said the cost is significant, with 2008 figures indicated gasoline retailers paid some $8 billion to bank and credit card companies in fees. In addition, federal, state and local taxes are prepaid by retailers, then directly passed on to consumers at

the pump. For example, if a station is charging $3.50 per gallon, that includes pre-taxes already paid, including 18.4 cents in federal charges, 19.6 cents to the state of Georgia and 9.1 cents going to local government, for a total of 47.1 cents per gallon. A second consultant said another aspect directly affecting Griffin gasoline prices is the influx of immigrants in the retail industry. “One of the biggest things about the price of gas in Griffin and other places is new immigrants. They bring their customs and business ethics into our culture, which is to make money, sell out and move on,” the consultant said. “The American business ethic is to make a profit, maintain that profit and keep your business running.” The business practice is often demonstrated in under pricing gasoline, even if it results in gasoline being sold for less than retail. “The gasoline is usually sold at a loss to get customers into their store for additional purchases, where things are higher priced,” the consultant said. “For some owners, it comes down to this – are you going to give your gas away at a loss or are you going to make a profit?” Ω

market prices affected by many factors
“During the winter months, prices go up because of the demand for heating oil,” the consultant said. “Most American refineries can only make one type of fuel at a time. For example, a refinery may produce heating oil for one week and then revert to diesel production for one week.” The weeks when diesel

Nonattainment designation would result in higher gasoline prices  
Staff Writer; sheila@the-grip.net

  With consumer dissatisfaction already running rampant, Spalding County residents may soon face further increases in gasoline prices if the United States Environmental Protection Agency is successful in its efforts to designate the county as a nonattainment district. According to Jac Capp, air protection branch chief of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, this action was not taken by the state, but rather by officials of the federal Environmental Protection Agency who claim Spalding County does not meet ambient air quality standards for ozone. Officials of the EPD on Oct. 25, 2011 recommended to the EPD that Cobb, Dekalb, Fulton and Henry counties should be designated as not meeting the 2008 ozone national ambient air quality standard, which would result in those counties being designated nonattainment districts. Furthermore, the EPD reported that all other counties in Georgia fuel at a time. For example, a refinery may produce heating oil for one week and then revert to diesel production for one week.” The weeks when diesel production is halted, prices increase accordingly, only to show a decrease when

should be designated as attainment. However, the EPA responded and indicated those four counties, along with 14 others – including Spalding County – should also be designated as nonattainment districts. Spalding County officials are strongly opposed to this designation, primarily on the basis that it would interfere with industrial development. The Board of Commissioners has approved a contract with Joe Tanner & Associates to attempt to have Spalding County removed from Georgia’s list of recommended cities. “There are two steps in the process. The first is that we want to get on the state’s list of counties to be recommended for exemption from the nonattainment list,” said County Manager William

Wilson. “Then, after that, if we make that list, we go into Phase 2, which is a much longer, more detailed process. The consultant will work with the state of Georgia to provide data of why Spalding County should be excluded.” The cost of this contract includes two payments – for Phase 1, Tanner & Associates will charge $15,000. Should Phase 1 prove successful, Phase 2 will entail a second payment of $20,000. If officials are unsuccessful in Phase 1, no further payment will be made. Officials say if Spalding is designated a nonattainment district, future residential development would also be hampered, and current residents would definitely experience a negative financial impact, including

Image credit: Jolie Cook
more stringent air quality requirements that would directly impact motorists. EPD Communications Director Kevin Chambers said the impact would be immediately felt at the gas pumps due to regulations that would require only low sulfur fuel be sold. “We require the low sulfur gasoline be sold in those nonattainment districts, because that helps us improve air quality. That’s been in effect for years,” he said. “And refineries will charge more for that low sulfur gasoline. That is a cost that is passed on to consumers at the pump.” The EPA has indicated it will announce its final decision regarding Georgia’s nonattainment districts by May 31. Ω

Limited U.S. refinery capabilities, weather affect price at the pump
Staff Writer; sheila@the-grip.net

Although there have been no recent incidences of gasoline shortages locally, the limited capability of United States oil refineries does contribute to price increases, particularly during the winter months. Rob Underwood, director of Congressional Relations for the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, said the current status of American refineries is extremely poor, and that current governmental regulations provide little hope of improvement. “A new U.S. oil refinery

has not been built in over 30 years, and dozens have been shuttered,” he said. “Cumbersome environmental regulations and permitting processes make refiner plans to expand production capacity more difficult than they should be.” According to another consultant, American refinery capabilities, or lack thereof, are particularly evident with seasonal price fluctuations. “During the winter months, prices go up because of the demand for heating oil,” the consultant said. “Most American refineries can only make one type of

production resumes. Weather also has the potential to wreak havoc on gasoline prices, a scenario that was perhaps best demonstrated during Hurricane Katrina. The combination of offline Gulf of Mexico refineries

combined with power losses and damage to pipelines led to a gasoline shortage throughout the Southeast. “We’re creatures of habit. People tend to fill up on the same day or at the same mileage, but during

Hurricane Katrina, people were hitting the pumps at the same time and everybody ran out of gas because there was none available,” the consultant said, adding that this resulted in a long-lasting and ongoing decrease in southern consumption. Ω


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Art scene on the rise - crafty businesses and art classes downtown
If you've been confused about all the mustaches that have been appearing here in The Grip, never fear. It's all explained here, in a conversation with 'stache studio coowner Melanie Toland.
Absolutely anyone will be successful. Our workshops are step-by-step and instructor-led, so you really can’t go wrong. I think and hope that people will be very surprised at what they’ll be able to do. And besides, if you feel your painting isn’t all that good, but you had a good time, then you’ve been successful in my opinion. I see you’re offering after-school programs for kids. Why do you think it’s important to introduce art into children’s lives?

Feb. 2 - Feb. 15, 2012


'stache studio
So...’stache studio is the newest business located in downtown Griffin. What is ‘stache?
“’stache” is something your publisher, Jessica Gregory, and I have been talking about for a few years now. When we were publishing Scoop, we had a huge space in the Old Coke building, a large portion of which was unused and I used to daydream about filling it with chairs and big tables suitable for arts and crafts and holding workshops in painting, collaging, bookbinding, sewing, etc. But Scoop kept us so busy, there just wasn’t any way that we could do it and do it well at that time. Jessica and I kept in touch after Scoop ceased publication and we both had a continued interested in opening a sips n’ strokes type business. After a few conversations to hash out how to share the idea, we came up with what you’ll come to know as ‘stache studio. We decided we’d take the social painting-type business model and embellish it by adding social workshops on all means of being creative, like mixed media, collaging, paper mache, encaustic, sewing, and more. Our aesthetic is sort of whimsical and retro-Modern, I guess, so you’ll see lots of bright colors, geometric patterns, humor, and whimsy. The name is as unique as the business itself. Where did you come up with it? I’m not sure I remember exactly. We find the whole mustache meme/trend really humorous, but it wasn’t until we came up with the name that I realized how prevalent it is. People are picking up

We climb high to remove your liability, one tree at a time.

Melanie Toland painting at 'stache studio
funny mustache-related novelties and giving them to me. I’m amazed at how much is out there. When Jessica and I were trying to come up with something iconic that could serve as our logo, we came across a mustache that we just loved. We know it doesn’t make much sense, but we love that. Not everything has to make sense. What can people expect to do and find at ‘stache? Well, first and foremost, we want people to not be intimidated by art. Sign up for a workshop or class and don’t worry about whether or not you think you’re the “creative” or “artistic” type. That’s really not the point here. The point is that making art is about the process at ‘stache; there’s something about putting down your iPhone for an hour or two and getting lost in paints, papers, tapes, fabrics, and glues that’s therapeutic. What types of classes will you be offering? As I said earlier (I think), we have the social painting classes that take place mostly in the evenings. These will be great for girls’ night out or something to do on a date. You just bring your favorite beverage (and small snack if you’d like) and we supply the rest: aprons, brushes, paint, canvas, and instruction. The other classes aren’t much different in that you can still come by yourself or with a date or group of friends, bring your favorite beverage and snacks and-for most of the classes-- we provide all the materials, instruction, and such. It’s still step-by-step and meant to be more fun than technique focused, but you will inadvertently learn some really cool techniques for making all sorts of things. You’ll take home your creation after any workshop/ class you take from us. I have to say something about open studio, as well. Someone who loves to create, but just doesn’t have the space at home will really appreciate having a table, chair and supply locker reserved just for them, not to mention a get-away that’s completely dedicated to creativity, eliminating the need to convert the kitchen table or spare bedroom from studio to traditional space over and over again. Open studio memberships are $35/month and can be purchased on our website (www.stachestudio.net). They’re limited to 30 members at any given time because we want to make sure we can accommodate all members appropriately. This might sound silly, but we envision these members as becoming a second family to us and to one another. We want members spending their lunch breaks, evenings, and Saturday afternoons here. Will your studio cater to the creative-minded or will anyone be able to successfully create a personalized masterpiece?

I know that school budget cuts are hitting both the performing arts and the visual arts programs pretty hard, but all children are artists (Picasso said that, right?) and to squash that so early in their lives seems horrid to me. Hallmark used to come to Augusta where I lived as a child with this bus or RV that was converted into a children’s art world. It was called Kaleidoscope. I don’t remember much of the detail, but I remember the feeling. It was sort of surreal and I’ve never forgotten it. I want all children to experience this at ‘stache. I should say, though, that we're not certified teachers, but can supply the encouragement, the tools, and some direction to children so that they are just given the opportunity to express themselves and play with art. ‘stache studio seems so innovative! What should we expect from you in the future? Who knows? Sometimes we feel like the possibilities are endless. We talk about holding a series of art parties accompanied by an acoustic guitarist. We’d like to coordinate an art advocacy group maybe. I personally want to produce some online video workshops for our website. We’ll have a gallery space up front that will be constantly evolving. I think that just about sums it all up! Ω 'stache studio is located at 116 S. Sixth Street in downtown Griffin. Register online for any class or workshop at www. stachestudio.net or call 770229-6599.

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Birds of a Feather
“Birds of a Feather is so many things,” says coowner Stacy Floyd Hallman. “We are basically split into three departments. The front of the store is our boutique with various artists and crafters, the high majority of which are all from Griffin. Everything in the front of our store is either handmade, handcrafted, vintage, repurposed, reused, or recycled. We love to describe it as a year-round indoor craft fair.” Items in the boutique range from vintage clothing, crotched animals, mason jar candles, jewelry, headbands, bows, custom furniture and more. The second department is

a consignment shop with home decor and clothing for all ages. The third department - an antique and vintage boutique - is a recent expansion into the retail space next door, even though Birds of a Feather just opened a little over two months ago. The expansion allowed owners Stacy and Sara Cornelison Marat (who call one another Rooster and Chicken) to offer art classes, which include sewing, sips-n-strokes style painting classes (bring your own refreshment and paint along with an instructor) in the morning and evenings, and children’s classes as well. Stacy dubbed Sara “Chicken” one day by accident: “When I answered Sara’s call one day, I meant to say ‘Hey Chick’ and it just came out with the slip of

the tongue as ‘Hey Chicken.’ She said, ‘Did you just call me Chicken?’ And I said ‘Hmm. I guess I did.’ And it stuck”. Stacy continued to call her Chicken, and finally Sara dubbed Stacy “Rooster.” Their nicknames are what led them to name the store, “Birds of a Feather.” “At the end of the day, Sara and I are best friends. We are moms. We run our business based on the values that are parents instilled in us. We charge prices that we would want to pay as moms. We understand the need for that artistic outlet and just want to be a place where moms aren’t afraid to bring their kids because its fun for them to be here too,” Hallman said. “I made a facebook post a while back that said, “There is something

simply amazing about surrounding yourself with art, creativity, and craftiness . . .” and that’s what you do when you visit Birds of a Feather. And best of all, when you purchase items from our store you are supporting your community, whether its mom’s making money from their clothes their children have outgrown so they can do that next round of shopping for the next size up or its the artist who is working to supplement their income. Tons of Griffin’s teachers are vendors here too. So its full of our own hometown here. And as a business owner, that feels great.” Ω Birds of a Feather is located at 135 S. Hill Street. Call Stacy or Sara at 678.603.2115 to become a vendor, teach a class or sign up for a class.


Feb. 2 - Feb. 15, 2012

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney supports maintaining the current personal income tax level for everyone, regardless of income level. He supports eliminating the death tax and eliminating taxes for taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of below $200,000 on interest, dividends, and capital gains. Romney also wants to lower the capital gains tax to 25 percent. Like Gingrich, Romney once supported the individual mandate and included it in his Massachusetts health care reform, which was modeled after President Obama’s health care overhaul. In this election, however, Romney supports letting the states choose its health care system and using the Health Savings Accounts to pay for premiums. He does support reforms, however, that will prevent individuals with preexisting conditions from being dropped from their current plans. Texas Congressman Ron Paul takes a strict constitutionalist approach with his issues. He is firm in looking at the constitution and a framework and only proposing policies and reforms strictly granted in the Constitution. He supports eliminating the income tax, death tax, abolishing the IRS, and repealing the capital gains tax. He also proposes eliminating the Social Security tax and allowing Americans to claim more tax credits and deductions. He supports allowing the purchase of health care across states and proposes tax credits for medical expenses and allow payroll workers with terminal illnesses to be exempt from the employee-portion of their payroll taxes. He also proposes to make every American eligible for the Health Savings Account.
*The information on each candidate was obtained through the candidates’ official campaign websites. More in-depth information can be found on these pages.

Roundup of republican candidates and their platforms
Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has used his experience as Speaker of the House as an advantage in this race. He has boasted his bipartisan bills and his record of having a balanced budget. He has a bold proposal to completely eliminate the capital gains tax and reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 12 percent. One of Gingrich’s biggest plans is in health care, where he pledges to move the health care system from paper-based to electronic in order to prevent fraud. While Gingrich supported the individual health care mandate in 1993 when the conservative Heritage Foundation presented it as an option, he claims not to support the mandate in this Republican primary and instead, believes there should be a choice to design private health care plans. He also wants those on Medicare and Medicaid to be able to opt into a Health Savings Account. Former Pennsylvania Congressman Rick Santorum proposes to simplify the tax code by cutting down to two rates, 10 percent and 28 percent. He wants to eliminate the death tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax for middle class workers. He also wants to triple the deduction for each child on a family’s taxes. Santorum wants a market-driven health care system with competition being the driving force of prices. Santorum wants individuals to be able to purchase health care across state lines, but doesn’t want health care to be subsidized or paid for by other individuals. Each candidate in this race claims their tax policies with spur growth and in turn creates jobs. Each candidate also believes marriage should be between a man and a woman (though Congressman Paul believes the issue should be left to the states) and the candidates defend a pro-life stance.


Flawed lists can steer students “GET A GRIP”: POLL OF THE WEEK Each week at www.the-grip.net a “Get A Grip” poll will be posted. The in the wrong direction results and any related content will be published in the consecutive
Media often publish lists – best dressed celebrities; top party schools, and bestselling books. A recent article distributed by Yahoo News detailed what the writer considered the Top 5 “useless” college degrees. Three of the majors on the list - agriculture, animal science and horticulture - are only as useless as your next meal. While it may be possible to pull the right set of data to produce the reported results, this list doesn’t tell the real story. As dean of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, I can say with certainty, this Top 5 list is dead wrong in our state. Agriculture not only shouldn’t be on the list of most useless majors, it is actually at or near the top of the heap of good opportunity. Even at the height of the current recession in 2009, fewer CAES students were still looking for jobs as they received their diplomas than those from other UGA colleges and schools. A UGA Career Center survey showed that less than six percent of CAES graduates said they were still seeking employment, compared to numbers as high as 31 percent in other UGA colleges. The median percentage of university students still seeking employment at graduation was 13.46 percent among the 12 colleges.

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Help Wanted A recent study from the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development showed that through 2016 there will be twice as many agricultural jobs available for college-educated workers in Georgia as students graduating from all Georgia colleges in agriculture-related programs to fill them. As chair of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Board on Agriculture, I can tell you this situation is not unique in Georgia. A study from Purdue University drew a similar picture of agriculture colleges across the nation. Another study from Georgetown University had the same findings. Many sources say with relative certainty that world population growth will demand food production double by 2050. How we meet that demand on the same limited acres for agricultural production will largely be answered in the classrooms, research facilities and Cooperative Extension programs at American landgrant universities. Keeping these vital programs moving at the necessary pace against the currents of dwindling budgets will

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Should the county vote to allow the city to annex the proposed airport?
continue to be a challenge. I am confident we, and our colleagues across the country, are up to the challenge. The most important variables in that equation are recruiting, educating and training a strong agricultural workforce to fuel the industry and attract more agribusiness to Georgia. We continue to draw the brightest minds from across the state, nation and world. We want to make sure those incoming students know about the opportunities available in agriculture. good pay Contrary to the claims in the Yahoo News list, our students entering the workforce find financial rewards in agriculture. At UGA, our graduates’ starting salaries, including bonuses, are second among all UGA colleges behind only the College of Business. The same can be found at numerous schools across the country. During this recession, agriculture proved to be more stable than most industries. That is generally the case because we produce the only goods consumed by 100 percent of the world’s population. People may become more careful about how they spend their food budget, but there will always be a need for an affordable food supply and jobs for those who produce it. Ω


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LIFESTYLE Do your research before believing pharmaceutical claims
When we go to a doctor with a health problem, often we assume that the help we get is based on medical research. As a society, we have put much trust in research, researchers, and the integrity of the process. These assumptions give us confidence that the treatment we receive is the best possible alternative for us. This is the essence of evidence-based medicine. All of our faith in the medical decision-making process, however, is predicated upon an assumption of integrity and honesty. There is mounting evidence that we should reconsider our assumptions. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on January 5 an interesting article from the British Medical Journal. That article states that annually) were published within 2.5 years of their completion. Why were the studies not published? The Chronicle reports, “The authors of the study at Yale University say that the failure to publish findings may reflect researchers who didn’t get the results that save for a corporate partner wanted to see.” This suggests not just bias, but perhaps researchers did not confirm what they were paid to prove, so results never saw the light of day. Congress passed the US Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act in 2007. It requires registrants of clinical trials to keep tabs on their reports. This act did improve some on timely publication of clinical trials, but Joseph Ross, assistant professor at Yale School of Medicine, says that his study highlights a long-standing problem in biomedical research that remains: information published on the effectiveness of treatments and drugs is not as comprehensive as it could or should be.

Feb. 2 - Feb. 15, 2012


MONDAY- FRIDAY 11-10 | SUNDAY 11 - 9



Have a question for Dr. Bob? Send it to IrisCity@aol.com.
researchers at Yale University recently found that less than half of 635 medical research studies funded through the National Institutes of Health (which gets $12 billion in federal funds

It is horrifying to think that medical research might be done, for example, by a drug company on their own product and not reported because it did not show that it was effective. This may have happened with the drug used to treat influenza,Tamiflu. Recently, an international team of researchers and medical experts sound that Tamiflu does not do what it’s prescribed to do and that the research used to back up the pharmaceutical companies claims about the is “severely incomplete.” Specifically this team found that Tamiflu does not stop complications from influenza, nor does it



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inhibit transmission of the virus. The manufacturer of this drug claims that it does both, while the evidence is that it does neither. Consider this if Tamiflu is prescribed for you this year if there’s a flu epidemic. The research behind this front line treatment may have been manufactured along with the drug. There is a caveat emptor (Buyer beware!) lesson here. Today’s health care consumer is far more savvy than those of the past, owing largely to the internet. So, research your options carefully. Read all you can find. Ask a doctor you trust for straight information. Talk to others who have your condition. Find those who have success in treating something and see what they are doing. Ω

Baseline exam a matter of life and breast Let go of the rope
My friend tells the story of a lady learning to water ski. She finally learned to pull up on the skis and was having a blast enjoying her new sport. What she failed to learn was what to do when she fell. She didn’t let go of the rope. The moment she fell, she held on. It would be a little later before the driver in the boat realized she was no longer up. She was dragged through the lake for yards and yards. She was beat up pretty badly, suffering injuries to her face from it scraping the bottom of the lake. She had not learned that letting go of the rope would save her from a lot of future pain. We often do the same in life. We hold onto unhealthy relationships. We hold onto wrong belief systems. We hold onto fears. We ride these things out until we are emotionally injured and scarred. We refuse to let go of the rope. And, we suffer as a result. One of the greatest revelations you will ever receive is to let go. You may need to cut emotional ties in a relationship. By cutting ties, you are not saying that person is not valuable. We are all of God which means we are all of great worth. But what you are doing is choosing to no longer emotionally invest in someone who is hindering your progress into all God has called you to be. Maybe, it’s a wrong belief system you need to cut loose. “I’m not good enough.” “My parents always struggled financially, so I guess I will


to.” “Nothing good ever happens to me.” One of my mentors always says, “It’s not that what they expect is the reality everyone lives, BUT that everyone lives the reality of what they expect.” Everyone lives the reality of what they expect. In other words, a lie believed as truth will affect you as though it’s true. You have to identify and let go of these bad belief systems. They will drag you along for as long as you hold onto them and impede you from an abundant life. And, once you let go of them, replace them with truths: I can do all things through Christ. I am the head and not the tail. He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. I am an over-comer. The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives inside of me. Are you holding on to a relationship that is bruising your spirit and soul? What belief systems in your life need to be replaced with truths? Let go of the rope!


I remember one of the worst days of my life. It was 10 p.m. on a school night and I was showering, singing “I’m Going To Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair” from South Pacific when it dawned on me that I hadn’t done a self-breast examination in long time. I was 38 years old, in the middle of a divorce, and I began the examination and I found... a lump. I ceased singing. I wasn’t sure if I did it correctly, but how hard could it be to do a self-examination? And that HAD to have been a lump. I got out of the shower, started to cry, saw my life flash before my eyes, and then, attempted to calm down. I called my friend from work who had survived breast cancer. “Its 11 at night,” I remember her fussing and then her silence, as she dealt with me, the Queen of all

Drama Queens. “You won’t know anything for awhile. CALM DOWN. Do you even know how to do a decent examination by yourself?” “No.”

She did examine my breasts and believed my breasts were healthy, but fussed at me for not doing a baseline mammogram. Somehow, I had missed it at 35. And at 36. And 37. The American Cancer Society, I learned, recommends that a woman obtain her first baseline mammogram between the ages of 35 to 40.

gives us – and I was crying the entire time, feeling ultimately stupid. I had never had a lump. I had just not understood how to do a breast examination correctly. I am now educated. And relieved. And grateful. If you read this and you have yet to get a mammogram and you are almost 40, it is time to make that call to get one. Start the new year off right by having a mammogram. The best method of self-detection is early detection. But almost as important as that first baseline mammogram is the understanding on how to do a self-examination each month. I do it religiously now. For more information about self-examinations, please visit the American Cancer Society’s website at www. cancer.org/or call 1-800-2272345. The baseline you do before 40 could be a matter of life and breast. Ω

“Have you had your baseline yet, sweetie?” “No. What baseline?” I thought a baseline was something out of a baseball game. “I’m calling my doctor in the morning. CALM DOWN. You don’t really know what you were doing, anyway, did you?” The answer was a whimpering no and she calmly said, “You are going to be fine. You are going to be just fine.” I soon learned more about breast cancer in that one hour conversation then I ever thought I could learn. Needless to say, I reported to her doctor within a few days and the doctor examined me and recommended I have my baseline testing done.

When my results came in, the doctor wanted to see me and the story itself is the highlight of this article. “Anne, honey,” said my doctor, a South Texan with a drawl, “Have you ever been taught how to do a breast exam correctly?” “No ma’am, “ I responded, terrified. “We are going to learn. Right now. Because you are fine.” And she taught me. It took three turns before I was able to understand that some things are just natural with the breasts that God

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Feb. 2 - Feb. 15, 2012

claimed wood and metal, but took no lives – not a single person was injured, and so we go on.” Soon after the fire broke out, word began to spread among the Safehouse community, with those who may have begun as customers, but soon became friends, working to organize fund-raising efforts to rebuild what was lost, and Slade said that is exactly what will happen. “We will rebuild. We will start over with all of the experience we have gained and all of the powerful heartfelt relationships we have grown, and we will be stronger for it.” As a testament to the relationships built, when the Safehouse family arrived to survey the damage the next morning, two former Safehouse interns, Dut Goodman and Daniel Thompson, who now run coffee roasting company in Atlanta, had set up a table in front of City Hall to serve coffee to the volunteers. Spirits were high as the crew entered the shop on Tuesday morning, though water was still leaking from the ceilings, was waist-high in the basement, and the roof was in the middle of the fourth floor. “It was really cold and different,” said Orr. “I’m used to Safehouse being a warm place where I invite people in to be comfortable. I can’t wait to see it that way again.” Safehouse will set up a temporary location on Monday, Feb. 6 in the former Corner Cafe & Deli location on the corner of Hill and Solomon and be open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m to 10 p.m. on Saturday. To donate to Safehouse, visit any United Bank branch or visit www.everribbon.com/ safehousecoffeeroasters. com. Ω

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the roof of the building or the smashed in windows; it was the distraught look on the faces of those that have come to know each other within its walls,” he said. He also spoke of the sense of community that developed within Safehouse. “Safehouse is not a building and it is not a person. Safehouse is a community of people who believe in something better for their lives and their town, so hug each other and be thankful that we can all see each other tomorrow. The fire

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SRMC breaks ground on emergency department expansion
Spalding Regional Medical Center on Wednesday hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion of the Emergency Department, which will increase the ED by 50%, adding 9,000 new square feet and providing upgrades to an existing 7,000 square feet. The Emergency Department at Spalding Regional saw close to 51,000 patients in 2011 from Spalding and the surrounding counties. John Quinn, CEO, addressing the audience of government representatives and other stakeholders representing Spalding, Pike, Lamar and Butts Counties stated, “The emergency department is the front door of our hospital. This will be first class all the way. It’s going to be exciting for Spalding Regional and for our community.” Ω

Griffin Center Point Church
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• At age 45, is on her third husband. • Has a charge account at every clothing store in town. • Takes riding lessons, yoga classes, and has a personal trainer. • Wears shoes that cost $400. • Her idea of taking care of the children, is a full-time babysitter.

Local horse quiz bowl team places third in nation Library offers DVD collection for check out
Instead of throwing away those old movies you never watch anymore, donate them to the library for the entire community to enjoy. The Griffin-Spalding County Library is accepting donations of new and gently-used DVDs to add to its movie collection. The library’s DVD collection is available for the public to check out, just like they would a book. Choose from an excellent selection of movies, and check them out free of charge for a 14-day period. For more information or questions, contact the Griffin-Spalding Library at 770-412-4770. Ω

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The Spalding County 4-H Horse Quiz Bowl Team just returned from Denver, CO where they competed in the Western National 4-H Roundup Competition. The primary objective of Horse Quiz Bowl contests is to provide an opportunity for youth enrolled in 4-H to demonstrate their knowledge of equine-related subject matter in a competitive setting where attitudes of friendliness and fairness prevail. The contest provides an education experience for both participants and spectators. This team placed third in the nation. Ashlyn Coffey was also honored as the fifth place overall individual and Ashton Shelnutt placed 10th overall individual. Team members included: Megan Reynolds, Kacie Veal, Ashlyn Coffey, Gerrilynn Glass, and Ashton Shelnutt. Donna Shelnutt coached the team.

School SPLOST crucial for tech upgrades, maintenance
On Tuesday, February 7, cost-containment committees that have been studying how to bridge the $3 million funding shortage for the 2012-13 school year will report their findings to the school board. Committees have been looking at various possibilities, including reducing personnel, middle school athletics, returning elementary gifted program to schools and centralized services, among other items. Six employees have already taken advantage of the voluntary retirement incentive agreement, effectively saving the system $700,000 for the 2012-13 school year. The large funding gap the system faces makes understanding the school SPLOST referendum on March 6 all the more crucial, say GSCS officials. “There’s a lot of confusion understanding the different pots of money,” said Anna Burns, Director of School & Community Services. Though the school system just received $50,000 for earning Georgia Title I Distinguished School District Award, that money has strings attached to it, said Burns. “That money must be used towards professional development and instructional materials.” The school SPLOST revenue, with a projected $25 million collection over its three-year period, would fund heavy maintenance of facilities and technology updates. The previous three school SPLOSTS have spanned five years, but in “light of the current economy, we are asking for just what we need in immediate facility and technology priorities,” write school officials in the overview. Seven schools, plus the enrichment center and administrative buildings would receive maintenance, including re-roofing, kitchen improvements, HVAC system improvements, upgraded fire alarms, and repaving of parking lots, among other projects. The school SPLOST would cover a system-wide technology upgrade valued at $3.6 million, that would support the system’s new “bring your own device policy.” Under this policy, students can bring their own smart phones or tablets to use for instructional purposes. The school system needs a new infrastructure to handle that type of volume. The technology upgrades would also transform each classroom into a 21st century classroom, allowing for more virtual instruction and reducing education costs in the long run. “Technology will come to a screeching halt if this school SPLOST is not passed,” said Burns. “The computers will not be replaced, since they are funded through the SPLOST program.” According to Burns, advancements in technology is one of the reasons the school has made strides in meeting AYP goals. “Our software Aleks is targeted to help students with disabilities, and they’re one of the groups that has closed the gap.” School system officials urge anyone with questions regarding the school SPLOST to call them at 770229-3710. “We’re trying to get the correct information out to as many people as possible,” said Burns. “We have been very successful with the last three SPLOSTS in doing what we said we’d do on time and within budget.” Ω

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Jordan Hill Elementary School receives 2011 Single Statewide Accountability System Gold Award
The Griffin-Spalding County School System’s Jordan Hill Elementary School has received the 2011 Single Statewide Accountability System Gold Award from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement for making greatest gains in student achievement. Jordan Hill Elementary is one of 14 elementary schools in the state of Georgia receiving the gold award. To receive a gold award, schools must: make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for 2 consecutive years; demonstrate that at least 30 percent of students exceed standards in all test areas as measured by state assessments; and place in the 97th percentile or higher statewide in greatest student achievement gains. “We are very proud of Jordan Hill Elementary,” Dr. Curtis Jones, Superintendent. “This award further shows that our schools and school system are leading the state in student achievement.” Jordan Hill Elementary School Principal Ellen Lee said, “We’ve been working long and hard for this award by focusing on student achievement. This is actually our 5th year making AYP. We are thrilled that the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement has recognized the good work we’re doing here. Our teachers and school community are to be commended!” Earlier this year, the Griffin-Spalding County School System was awarded the $50,000 Title I Distinguished Large School System of the Year for Georgia and the Griffin-Spalding Chamber of Commerce 2012 Good Corporate Citizen of the Year award. In addition, 17 of 18 school system schools made AYP. Ω

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Superintendent to meet with all faculties and staff about budget and school SPLOST
Superintendent Dr. Curtis Jones has scheduled meetings with faculties and staff of all schools from the end of January through February to present and discuss face to face the progress on meeting the funding challenges facing the school system for 20122013. Dr. Jones first addressed the projected funding gaps in the general fund budget in a series of four cluster meetings for school staffs this past fall. The upcoming series of meetings is planned to share the progress made by the cost containment committees and information on the upcoming school SPLOST to be voted on March 6 in Spalding County. The meetings have been arranged in coordination with school principals taking into consideration the school SPLOST presentations also scheduled at schools for PTOs and school councils. Anna Burns, Director of School & Community Services said, “We have a strong desire to make certain our employees have factual information on both the upcoming school SPLOST and the suggestions and options on cutting costs for 20122013 and beyond. “We know as the cost containment process moves along decision points during February, the information too will transition from cost containment options at first to recommendations near the end of the series of meetings. We intend to keep you as informed as possible no matter when your meeting is scheduled.” In addition to school meetings for employees, there will also be information meetings for central office and transportation staff. Ω

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PTA & Scholarship Education 6 p.m.

Open House 4 - 6 p.m.


Our PTA & Scholarship Education night is open to the public and will provide the opportunity to learn about The Dinoff School and the many scholarship opportunities available.

128 N. Fifth Street, Griffin | 678-603-1052 www.thedinoffschool.com