Up & Down Commerce Street – Feb. 20

Published 12:54 pm Monday, February 21, 2011

Mayor Dexter McLendon spoke with members of the Kiwanis Club on Tuesday, letting them in on the current news and happenings in The Camellia City. A few items up for bid (with apologies to Bob Barker):

– Butler County E-911 will move at some point in the future from its current location on S. Conecuh St. Plans are in place to locate it in the new police station at Baptist Hill, former home to the Butler County Board of Education. The 911 board of directors would then sell the current property, giving 911 a much-needed cash infusion.

– The Greenville YMCA is in need of a new roof, which will cost approximately $75,000, said the Mayor.

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– City officials have been particularly pleased with the recent Community Block Development Grants that allowed the city to tear down over 50 dilapidated homes and structures.

– The Mayor said the city plans on tearing down the old Petty’s Appliance building because the structure is in such bad shape. The underpass bridge will also receive a new coat of paint.

– The state plans to completely fund and construct a new Department of Human Resources building, which will locate immediately behind the current facility on Caldwell St. It will be a 70,000 square-foot building. A new assisted living facility is also planning locate around the Edge Movie Theatre and a developer wants to build 70 apartments in the same area. Initially, a 190-unit apartment complex was discussed, but the sour economy scared away potential investors and those same folks are just now becoming interested in Greenville again, said the Mayor.

– Wintzell’s Oyster House is very interested in Greenville, said the Mayor. Initially, the restaurant wanted to open where Russell Stover was located. That property, however, was sold for an O’Reilly’s Auto Parts.

– Hwashin and Hysco’s announcements of the addition of 140 new jobs between them was good news, said the Mayor, and he believes it’s just the start of even bigger things for those two companies and Hyundai Motor Manufacturing.

– City officials are in the very early planning stages of examining traffic concerns around the county’s courthouse and at the hilltop.

CBS reporter Lara Logan was sexually assaulted and beaten in Cairo. Nir Rosen, a freelance journalist tweeted on the Internet, “….at a moment when she is going to become a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger…” (Apparently, Rosen has long disagreed with Logan’s reporting). Rosen was a fellow at New York University, but resigned after the backlash. CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who’s also been the target of Rosen’s written barbs, verbally dismantled Rosen on Wednesday night in a televised interview.

In other news on the “what is this world coming to” front, a crazed man killed the 130-year-old trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn. He pumped Spike poison into the ground. He is Harvey Almorn Updyke Jr., 62, of Dadeville and was apparently so proud of his deed that he called the Paul Finebaum radio show in the fall to report what he had done.

In 1907, the decision was made to end the Iron Bowl. And it took over four decades before it was renewed again. Journalist Clay Travis might have a point, writing on Wednesday:

“So you want to really teach the dumbest Alabama and Auburn fans a lesson? Do what you do to children who can’t behave themselves: take away their favorite toy. Send them to bed without supper, teach them that discipline is real and it exists in this world. Teach those fans who are actually intelligent to self-police the idiots. Don’t play the Iron Bowl for a year. The only thing worse than losing the Iron Bowl? Not getting to play it at all.”

If a section of Auburn fans, and a section of Alabama fans, didn’t spend 365 days a year obsessed with what was going on at the other school, how much good could this state accomplish?

And wouldn’t college football be much more enjoyable?