March 05, 2013
I spend the majority of my week working at my desk in the middle of a newsroom, where editors, reporters, producers and staff dedicate countless hours to gathering and publishing each day’s news. So, it’s no surprise that this has brought me face-to-face with some of the worst news you can imagine — abused animals, dying children, countries at war.
However, being among the first to hear about breaking news is not always a bad thing, and the news isn’t always hard to hear.
Perhaps one of the best things I’ve heard recently is that the Redneck Games, based in East Dublin, Ga., have been cancelled this year. I think I heard the state of Georgia's residents breathe a collective sigh of relief.
Here’s the complete story, courtesy of The Associated Press.
EAST DUBLIN, Ga. — Organizers of the Redneck Games, a Georgia festival that includes competitions such as toilet seat horseshoes and mud pit belly flops, say this summer's event is being canceled.
The local Lions Club voted not to hold this year's event because of the economy, lower attendance and sponsors backing out, East Dublin City Administrator Larry Drew said.
"It's been good for us, but the last few years it's been going down," Drew, who is also the Lions Club treasurer, told the Courier Herald of Dublin. "We decided to take a break and see what happens next year."
The Redneck Games, which began in 1996 as a response to Atlanta hosting the Summer Olympics, has drawn visitors from as far away as Europe, Asia and Australia.
The site of the games, Buckeye Park, is under scrutiny from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. Agency officials said the nearby creek and the Oconee River could be contaminated by bacteria draining from a restroom installed at the park, the Telegraph of Macon reported.
The city signed a consent order with the agency last month, agreeing to conduct regular fecal coliform testing in the area and to pay a $10,000 fine for a series of environmental violations related to management of the park over the last five years.
Drew said the decision to cancel the Redneck Games after 17 years was unrelated to any contamination concerns. City officials also dispute the state agency's interpretation of the situation.
"We responded to everything (the EPD) ever gave us, but we didn't agree with what they wanted us to do," Drew said.
City officials think the high bacteria levels were caused by some kind of animal rather than the restroom, Drew told the Telegraph. He said the restroom isn't heavily used and isn't open during the Redneck Games, when portable toilets are used instead.
The event was a fundraiser for the local Lions Club. Club members will revisit hosting the games in 2014 if organizers get enough responses, Drew said.
"If we get a lot of calls, we'll probably start it back next year," he said. "It's just according to if people are interested."
Honey Boo Boo is not
going to be happy about this. Linsay Cheney is the editor of Connect Statesboro. Get in touch with her at email@example.com.