Heritage Flight Team

A P-51 Mustang flies above an F-16CM Fighting Falcon during a Heritage Flight performance at an air show in New York. The team will be in Rome Labor Day weekend for the Wings Over North Georgia Air Show.

The Wings Over North Georgia air show at Russell Regional Airport Labor Day weekend will be the only stop in Georgia for the Viper and Heritage Flight teams during the entire 2019 season.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon, called the “Viper” by many of its pilots, is a fourth-generation single-seat fighter capable of switching from an air-to-ground weapon to air-to-air role at the touch of a button.

The aircraft can reach speeds in excess of twice the speed of sound. Major John “Rain” Waters from Peachtree City is the Viper Demo Team commander and pilot.

Following the plane’s performance, it will be joined by a P-51D Mustang for the U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight, showcasing the most modern aerial technology with one of its most reliable old aircraft. The P-51 was first used during World War Two.

The flight program illustrates the two aircraft in close formation.The P-51 aircraft often served as an escort for heavy bombers during missions over Axis territories and was critical to turning the tide of the war effort in favor of the Allied Forces.

Opening ceremonies will kick-off each day at 12:30 p.m. followed by the first flying performances at 1 pm.

Opi is back, with friends

It’s been a number of years since Dennis Nolan closed his Opi’s Restaurant on Georgia 53 at Georgia 140 in Shannon. New restaurant operator Phillip Quarles has just renamed the business Opi & Friends Place.

Quarles said that when Nolan shut down Opi’s that he sold the business but retained ownership of the building. Two restaurateurs have tried to make a go of it in the intervening years and now Quarles is running the restaurant. He was partnered with the owner of the Charbucks food truck who is no longer involved in the shop, so Quarles opted to change the name.

“It wasn’t a problem to change,” Quarles said. Dennis sold the business but didn’t sell the name Opi’s and nobody had ever registered the names. A lot of people came in and said they really missed Opi’s.”

Quarles opted to go with Opi & Friends Place. It is a family oriented restaurant that will feature entertainment from time to time. Quarles does plan to seek an alcohol license, just beer and wine, from the county but said that will probably take another month or so.

The menu includes steaks and rib-eyes, but Buffalo wings are the big thing. Jumbo wings, ten different flavors. Quarles said the restaurant offers an amazing Philly beer cheese which was always a favorite at the original Opi’s. The restaurant will also feature a number of specialty half-pound burgers.

Opi & Friends Place is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and closed on Sunday. Quarles said that once he gets the alcohol license the hours are likely to expand, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights.

Peace Officers Memorial set for May 17

Rome’s annual Peace Officers Memorial Service has been scheduled for Friday, May 17 at 11 a.m. on the lawn of the Joint Law Enforcement Center on Fifth Avenue.

The event pays tribute to each of the law enforcement professionals who have given their life over the years, a list that numbers 20 officers.

Family members of many of those officers will be present for the ceremony which includes a multi-agency honor guard, firing squad and bag pipers.

Associate Editor and business columnist Doug Walker is always looking for news and tips about area businesses. To contact Doug, email him at DWalker@RN-T.com or call 706-290-5272.