Saturday, June 18, 2005

Stories from around America

Here's another round of hidden-in-plain-sight stories from America's smaller papers, starting with a story out of Alabama in the Eufaula Tribune, about a proud military family. The reporter is Susan Walworth.
With family scattered all over the world, reunions are rare with the Diggs family. In fact, the last time they all got to be together was in 1996.

The reason the Diggses have difficulty getting together is because much of their family is too busy serving their country.

Lonnie and Willie Frank Diggs, who live just outside the Eufaula City Limits, have six children-one girl, Jertha, who lives next door to her parents-and five boys, all of whom are serving or have served in the military.


...Willie Frank received some comfort last December when two of her sons had a rare reunion in Iraq. In a base camp of thousands, Charles, who is an executive officer, was making preparations to send troops to Baghdad. Unknown to him, his brother, Willie, preparing for his second tour of duty in Baghdad, was in the same camp. A soldier who had contact with both men had noticed the mutual last name. After questioning one Diggs about the other, he discovered they were brothers. A lieutenant colonel set up a place the brothers could meet and saw to it that Willie's stay at the camp was extended before his next mission so he could see his brother. Once the brothers got together, they called their mother on Charles' cell phone....
From Georgia, Stephanie Schupska of the Cordele Dispatch reports:
CORDELE — When Georgia’s governor hops on a helicopter on his way to Crisp County, it’s an unusual day. It’s even more unusual when he clears his calendar to make room for a business expansion.

Only this is no ordinary expansion. With it’s new addition, Norbord’s Cordele location will be the largest oriented strand board (OSB) mill in the world.

“That’s how huge this is,” Gov. Sonny Perdue said. “... we’re not just focused on going and getting something out of town. We’re taking care of our existing companies.” ...
From a Massachusetts online paper, a story by Ed Symkus, about a small, family-run audio book business aimed at kids:
Lawrence Kelley is a busy man up in Portland, Maine. He works with a company that rents cubicles and offices to businesses by the hour, month and year; he's a partner in the Irish pub Brian Boru; and he's involved with an eBay consignment shop where people bring items in for the company to sell. He's in the middle of putting a band together in which he'll sing Frank Sinatra standards, and he's still brushing himself off after an unsuccessful run for city council.

But most of his time is taken up in keeping kids entertained. Kelley is the president of Eye in the Ear, a children's audio label that was started 20 years ago by his parents, Frances and Allan Kelley. The company creates, packages and sells cassette tapes and compact discs that are aimed at an audience between the ages of 3 and 12. A series of titles have been released under "Stories to Stir the Imagination," "Living Adventures from American History" and "Living Adventures from the Bible." All were written by Kelley's father, all were performed - in a plethora of voices - by his mother...

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