Rene Victor Bidez was destined for photography

By Brian Wellmeier

Growing up in DeKalb County, Rene Victor Bidez was always the smallest kid in school. Most of the other children were into sports, but he liked to draw. He went on to enroll at Georgia Tech as an architecture major, then quickly realized that wasn’t what he wanted, so he left school and enlisted in the military in 1972.

Bidez wanted to be a draftsman, but after the U.S. Navy conducted a series of aptitude tests on Bidez, they sent him to Orlando to learn photography. He said that when the Navy put an old Speed Graphic (more…)

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“In the heavens above” – Meteora, Greece

Dr. Watson E. Mills, seen here at Meteora, writes: “The Greek Orthodox Monasteries at Meteora contain works of art that are breath-taking in their own right. But they are to be found in monasteries built high above the valley. Getting up to the top of these stone pillars requires a good bit of time and expense as well as a considerable amount of walking. In my view, the experience is worth all of this many times over.”

 

High in the plains of central Greece, about 5 hours by train from Athens, once stood 24 Byzantine monasteries, each perched atop (more…)

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Fayette County crime, arrests down in 2020

By Brian Wellmeier

According to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, the number of Part 1 offenses committed in 2020 had declined by about 12 percent from previous year, though the number of thefts of personal property in the county had increased by around 23 percent.

Despite the economic distress inflicted on communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, incidents of robberies reported were down by 25 percent, while burglaries and aggravated assaults had also decreased by about 50 percent. Personal property stolen from vehicles remained about the same last year.

With less crime reported in the county, there were also less arrests (more…)

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Art of Landscaping remains a local staple in the Fayette County community

By Brian Wellmeier

Fayette County business owner Robbi Martin has witnessed her landscaping company sprout and bloom like the seedlings once sowed by her father, who started the company as the county’s very first plant nursery about 50 years ago when her and her brother were children.

The family moved to Fayette County from DeKalb County in 1971. Taught the art of gardening at a young age, Martin remembers when her father instruct her and her brother Tim to divide monkey grasses as children, cutting it up and then planting them in pots.

Years later, Martin went off to school (more…)

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Three Greek islands in one day

Dr. Watson E. Mills, pictured here on the Island of Hydra, has traveled to 174 of the 193 member-countries of the United Nations during his more than140 overseas trips. Having completed three around-the-world journeys, he is a member of the Circumnavigator’s Club.

 

Athens, like most large European cities, is clogged with traffic and pollution. The traffic police are able to do little as the intersections and pedestrian crossings are snarled with more cars and foot traffic than the roadways and sidewalks were designed to accommodate. At any hour, the sidewalks look like Manhattan on a workday at lunch hour! (more…)

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Murder convict faces wait for a new trial

By JOHN THOMPSON

Holly Harvey will have to wait three more weeks
to see if she will get a new trial in her 2005
murder conviction.

Harvey was one of two teenage girls who killed
Harvey’s grandparents in 2004 and splashed
Fayetteville across the pages of newspapers
across the state.

In a Griffin courtroom on Dec. 29, Harvey was
back in town to ask for a trial in the case.
Harvey and Sandy Ketchum both took plea
deals in the case, but Harvey is now claiming
she should get a trial because of her attorney’s
inadequate representation.

In a written (more…)

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Fayette County native MacDonough’s road to the U.S. Army
MacDonough

Fayette County native MacDonough’s road to the U.S. Army

By Brian Wellmeier

Fayette County local Peter MacDonough rose from his bed around 9am, skipped breakfast and went for his Monday morning run: about a two-mile stretch from Chick-fil-A and then on down the road to the square in downtown Fayetteville.

Vehicles blared their horns in passing, and sometimes he heard familiar voices he recognized from the past shouting things like, “Peter, you’re home!” or “Hey, welcome home!”

He joined the U.S. Army this year, and this is his first visit to Fayette County since boot camp. There were two specific events in life that led MacDonough down the road (more…)

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ESTATE SALE

ESTATE SALE January 8 & 9 9 am – 4 pm 100 Lucky Leaf Place Fayetteville, GA Antiques, 2013 Ford Focus, tractors, guns, ammo, jewelry, thousands of tools, collectibles, &…

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The powerful story behind the Gaddy’s Christmas lights show

By Brian Wellmeier

Mike Gaddy was pacing in his driveway, his phone to his ear and discussing matters of traffic management on Sandy Creak Road with Major Brian Eubanks, when a truck hauling a 10-foot Toys for Tots trailer pulled in, backing up the garage, where two bicycles and about a dozen 30-gallon leaf bags full of toys. On a good night, the Gaddy’s might collect 6000 toy donations.

While Gaddy and two former U.S. Marines loaded the bags into the truck, Gwen Gaddy came outside with a camera. She likes to photograph everything they’d setup that year, she said, (more…)

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Doctors at Piedmont Fayette urge more vigilance against the virus

By JOHN THOMPSON

In a letter released last week, doctors at
Piedmont Fayette Hospital urged citizens to
keep up the fight against COVID-19.

“The last nine months have been hard on
everyone. We saw the incredible sacrifices you
made at the beginning of the pandemic to help
flatten the curve, and we have been grateful to
see the community rally during this pandemic.

We see you wearing your masks at the stores
and businesses in our community and sending
your children to school with masks and an
awareness to be safe. We ask you to consistently follow the 3 W’s (more…)

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