• THE DECATUR TRIBUNE offices will be closed Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 24, 25. and Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 31, Jan. 1, for the Christmas and New Year’s observances. Our absolute deadline for all copy for the Wednesday edition both of those weeks will be Friday, Dec. 21 and Friday, Dec. 28th. Each week’s print edition of the Decatur Tribune will hit the newsstands and be mailed out on Wednesday as usual, so the holiday observances will not delay printing and mailing.
• CHECK THE BOX — I received a message from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) wanting to remind me and our readers to check for hazardous material (hazmat) in our packages before shipping gifts to friends and neighbors. “Sending packages can get tricky, especially if hazmat is hiding in one of your packages,” stated the message. “Certain items such as batteries and common household items may seem harmless, but they can be toxic, corrosive, and even explosive if handled inappropriately. That’s why it’s important for you to always Check the Box and make sure your package is safe to send. “Before you offer hazmat for shipment, you—the shipper—are responsible for properly classifying and packaging your material with the correct hazard communications (e.g., marks, labels, and shipping documentation).” I never thought I would live in a time when we have to always be vigilant in where we go, what we buy and what we give (and how) at Christmastime.
• GOOD FRIEND Steve Bean has retired from the Macon County Clerk’s office after 28 years of service to the community. Steve has dedicated much of his life to serving the public and he leaves office, in my eyes, with a tremendous record. I know that ending his years in office with the controversy over the sheriff’s race results has bothered him a lot but I have not heard anyone question his integrity or blame him for the result that is still being challenged. Anyone who really knows Steve also knows that he is as fair-minded a person as they will ever meet. I’m proud to call Steve Bean my friend and wish him nothing but the very best in his retirement — because he gave his best to the people of Macon County. As I’ve mentioned before in this column, during all the years that I’ve covered the news in Decatur and Macon County, before Josh Tanner was elected Macon County Clerk last month, I’ve only worked with two clerks in that office: William Tangney and Steve Bean — and Bill was in office before I became editor of this newspaper. That’s an impressive run for two men stretching back to the 1960s. Josh Tanner has some big shoes to fill and I’m sure he will carry on the tradition of great service.
• I DON’T know if Kara Demirjian Huss is going to remain in the mayoral race as a write-in candidate, or through some other means, as I’m writing this column. We may learn more after we go to press and I will let you know on the Decatur Tribune website at www.decaturtribune.com . I do know that the race for mayor and the three seats for city council are not on the minds of very many people during this holiday period. Don’t expect to see the campaigns really take off until we get into the new year. After all, starting the first week in January, candidates will have almost three months to get their name and positions out to the public — and that’s plenty of time.
• WHILE some attention has been paid to the mayoral and city council races, the attention focused on school board and other public bodies that will be electing, or re-electing, candidates has been virtually non-existent.
• I WAS at Krekel’s on North Oakland the other night and was astounded by all of the Christmas lights! They really have the Christmas light spirit going on at that place — inside and out!
Have a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy 2019!