2019 Superstar of Service

Rome News-Tribune Associate Editor Doug Walker holds up a Clock Tower trophy after being named as one of the 2019 Superstars of Service. From left, Nicolas Diaz, Lynn Ray and Kristi Kent surprised Doug this week with the award.

The Tax Allocation District on the former Kmart property is an interesting topic — and one with a lot of unsubstantiated information floating around. A few months ago we’d gotten hold of a list that had prospective tenants in the property. This list included some well known names — including Kohl’s, Old Navy, Fazoli’s, Texas Roadhouse and Chipotle. It also included other businesses such as Discount Tire and Five Below (a discount store specializing in products priced $5 or less).

Is that what is going on that lot? We’re not sure, and the developers may not be 100% sure on those either — it’s unsubstantiated. Some are still in the process of negotiating and others may be a done deal. Which ones are which? Your guess is as good as ours.

The question has also come up of whether or not that’s a good use of the TAD. Revitalizing that property is going to benefit us all as a community. Turner McCall Boulevard is one of the main ways people get into Rome and having thriving businesses along those thoroughfares is much, much better than what’s there now.

But let’s not forget there are other areas in dire need of assistance. Martha Berry Boulevard (U.S. 27) and North Broad Street (Ga. 53) also bring a lot of traffic in to Rome. First impressions matter, but building thriving communities within our city matters even more.

2020 election just got more exciting — officially that is

The 2020 election is going to get even more interesting since Judge Bryant Durham has officially said he’s not running for his position as Superior Court judge again. Who and how soon people start coming out for that position will be interesting. It’s been well known that he didn’t intend to run for a while, but until recently he wouldn’t say anything official on the subject.

At least one person who already holds a similar position has been openly talking about running within the legal community and others have hinted at it. We’ll see what happens.

The past two judicial races have been hotly contested — three ran for Judge Larry Salmon’s seat in 2008 and two ran for Judge Tami Colston’s seat in 2018. In fact, Judge Jack Niedrach — who won the election for Salmon’s seat — will become the new chief judge. We’re certainly thankful for the experience and gravitas he will bring to that position.

Speaking of the 2020 election, and rumors involved, there have been several more names floating about for those who may run for Sheriff Tim Burkhalter’s position. Three people have officially come out publicly saying they’ll qualify to run for the post — Tom Caldwell, Ronnie Kilgo and Dave Roberson. The last count of rumored candidates (including these three) was somewhere around seven. We’ll see what happens when qualifying time comes around.

Newsroom notes

Working in any newsroom you’re going to hear some crazy stuff. You’ll hear things that seem plausible which turn out to be false and you’ll run into things that sound absolutely off the charts odd that turn out to be true.

Getting a story together for publication is sometimes a pain. We work really hard to stay away from publishing rumors or innuendo — even when we’ve got some evidence to back them up.

On a side note, we’d like to congratulate our own Associate Editor Doug Walker on being honored by the Georgia’s Rome Office of Tourism as a Superstar of Service.

“The goal of this program is to recognize individuals in all areas of service who consistently create a perfectly positive experience for locals and visitors,” says Lisa Smith, Tourism Executive Director.

We think Doug fits that description perfectly.

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Lastly, happy Mother’s Day to those who have raised and continue to raise Rome and Floyd County’s children. Those children will become the next generation of our community’s leaders. Thank you for your love, care and attention. A mother’s love is one of the strongest forces in the world. We hope you feel appreciated today and every day.