As reported 25 years ago in the pages of The Columbia News and The Martinez-Evans Times, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 1980:
Crossing guards approved
The Columbia County Board of Commissioners has approved a plan for the funding of 75 percent of the cost of school crossing guards, with the remainder of the cost being supplied by the Board of Education.
The services are an afterthought, not included in the budget approved by the Board of Commissioners for the fiscal year of 1980-81. As a result, the layoffs of six county employees will cover the $13,800 expense.
County Superintendent of Schools John Pierce Blanchard said the guards are necessary to protect the school children. He says he is "worried about Hereford Farm, Cox, and Gibbs Roads ... there's going to be a lot of traffic there."
Pigeons are man's hobby
At first glance, a passer-by wouldn't notice anything unusual about the flock of pigeons circling over the Martinez home of Bissell Vann, 27. But if the curiosity held the observer's gaze a bit longer, he may see the aerial acrobats flip over and begin a series of tight rolls.
Vann is the only Martinez owner of a flock of Birmingham Roller Pigeons. The Birmingham Roller craze began in England. Americans soon caught on, importing birds and starting organizations like the National Birmingham Roller Club across the nation.
Vann's hobby began when he was in seventh grade at a school in Jackson. He responded to an advertisement for the birds in the Farmer's Market Bulletin.
"I asked my daddy if I could write the man, and he said, 'Why not?'"
After receiving his first pair of pigeons, Vann began breeding the birds. He had to give up his first flock when he was in school for business administration at Augusta State, but resumed the hobby two years ago.
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