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Jeff Whitten: This just in...
editor's notes

In the spirit of April Fools Day:

Dollar General to build new store in middle of Highway 144 and Belfast Keller roundabout

The new round-shaped “Micro DG” will have four aisles, all of which will be blocked by half-opened boxes of foam rubber shoes and shrink-wrapped foam cups of instant noodles. The stores will feature a new concept “drive around window,” in which motorists too busy to get out of their car can swing around on one loop to select items, circle around again to pay for them and then make one more lap to pick them up.

In an unrelated story, the company announced plans to make store aisles wider in its traditional stores so employees can stack more boxes of camouflage underwear, day-glo t-shirts, cake mix and canned sausages in them.

Bryan County Schools to make masks, and clothing, optional for 2021-22 school year:

 School officials say they’re listening to critics of the district’s mandate that all students and staff wear masks this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are leaning toward making them optional next school year, a source close to school leadership said.

But they’re not planning on stopping there, that source said.

“They’ve decided to embrace cultural diversity and personal freedom in the purest sense, and that means respecting the concerns of all our stakeholders, including those who like to experience their teaching and learning naked,” he said.

The new policy, which is still being formulated, is expected to spell out in school-board language when, where and how students, staff and parents can opt not to wear clothing.

While the source said there’s no exact number at hand in terms of students and staff who consider themselves nudists, school officials believe that doesn’t matter.

“Even if it was just one kid or one teacher or one principal who felt clothes violated his basic human fundamental right to be himself, or herself, then it’s our job as a school system to create an atmosphere where that kid or teacher or principal feels at home and can make or give out A pluses,” the source said.

Still, coming up with a policy that takes into account the wishes of 10,000 students, their family members and 1,400 employees isn’t as easy as it looks, the source said.

“There are practical matters to take into account,” the source said. “After all, if your senior chooses to attend graduation nude, where will his or her tassel go? We’re working on that one now.”

Bryan County Commissioners buy flying submarine:

 Calling it a way to provide residents with better services, the Bryan County Board of Commissioners announced the county now has its own flying submarine, which it will keep docked at the Fisherman’s Co-op.

The submarine will be used to take commissioners and select guests on fact-finding missions to places such as Atlanta, Grey’s Reef, the Aegean Sea and the middle of the Atlantic, according to a press release. Flying submarines were first used in the 1960s television show, “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea,” but haven’t been seen much since.

That’s about to change, county officials say. “This thing will go to a depth of 800 feet and fly as high as a bird in the sky,” said one such official, who asked not to be named despite the official press release.

He did, however, note that the county was hoping to get the $55.1 million in TSPLOST funding it spent on the flying sub back through a combination of DNR grants and some federal funding. “We’ll be the only county in Georgia with our own flying submarine.”

The county will sponsor a contest to name the flying submarine, which can also be used for insect control, aerial and undersea photography, scaring fish and impressing girlfriends, commissioners say.

In a related story, North Bryan residents have begun to circulate a petition to urge commissioners to buy a second flying sub and station it on the north end, perhaps in a retention or fishing pond somewhere around Clueckenheimer’s Corner.

“We never get anything up here on this end,” one resident said.

Pembroke moved, nobody tells anybody:

In a surprising development, Pembroke officials learned during a groundbreaking last week the city is actually in South Carolina.

The revelation occurred when one of the participants in the event asked what part of Georgia he was in and was informed by some in the audience he was in “the Lowcountry.”

That is a term historically applied to coastal South Carolina, though in recent years as more transplants relocate to the area the term has begun to be used in references to coastal Georgia as well, to the consternation of South Carolina natives.

One Pembroke official said it was news to him the city had been moved northeast 80 or so miles, but you had to consider the source. “They were from Ohio or something,” he said.

Editor puts out perfect paper, pops:

After more than two decades of messing up the news, longtime Bryan County News editor Jeff Whitten put out a perfect paper recently. And that was that.

Whitten promptly popped like an over-inflated balloon, leaving behind just a whiff of cheap mustard in the BCN office.

“That’s what he said would happen if he ever got a perfect paper put out,” a co-worker said. “He’d pop. And after the bang, all you’d smell was a sort of mustardy odor.

He wasn’t right about much, but he was right about that, anyway.

We need to air this place out.”

Whitten was hired as editor in 2006 after years as a reporter and staff writer at local and state newspapers. His first order of business was to misspell his own name in the story he wrote announcing his hiring. Over the years, Whitten has made thousands of mistakes – particularly with names, which have always given him trouble for some reason.

“I like to think it’s because I have so many in my head,” he said, in 2010. “But I actually think it’s because everybody looks the same to me. You all look like oysters.”

As for the perfect paper, it was destroyed by a computer virus.

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