Hart County Stories

Sorry for the delay in getting this posted, but here’s everyone’s ideas, so far.

Gabriella Baetti

Here are my story ideas for Hart County:

1. Cateechee Golf Club Grounds crew/Superintendant
Buck Workman
-I am hoping to make this my main story and audio slideshow… I will be meeting Mr. Workman very early on Saturday morning when the grounds crew goes out to do their daily routine. I am hoping to extend the coverage not only to that morning, but also to other parts of the day because maintenance for a golf course as large as Cateechee is 24/7.

2. Dressing Dreams- prom dress store where customers will be coming in to prepare for the Sweethart Pageant
Denise Merk

3. Mikenificent Cutz- barber shop on square
Michael Thornton

4. Hart County Community Theater- Fairytale Courtroom production is this weekend.

Wes Blankenship

My first choice for the weekend project is still the question of why the Hart County High School gym is in disrepair, when the sport has traditionally been a source of pride for the community. I spoke with Coach Eddie McCurley yesterday. I think he would be a good voice for the story, since he was there during the school’s most successful years. McCurley said could get me in touch with a friend of his (who still lives in Hartwell) that played for the guys’ team in 1963, which was the gym’s first year. He also let me know that I could have access to interview some of the current players. I will be in touch with the current players and a few other former players next week leading up to the workshop. This give me a chance to see if any of them are involved in off the court activities that could make for good stories if the gymnasium story falls through. Please let me know if you think there is a better way I could cover this. Thanks.

Lindsay Boyle

So far I’m working on two ideas. 

I’m communicating via email with the head baseball coach, Matt Hastings about either doing a story on the baseball team and their first game, or just shooting the first game for fun maybe. The game is on Friday the 24th at 5:55 p.m., and I am going up to meet with Coach Hastings on Monday morning, either before or after their practice (they are out of school next week apparently). I talked to Kristy about shooting at the UGA game tonight and she said I could just go, no press pass required, but I gave her my email and hopefully she’s going to let the person who is shooting for them know that I’ll be there and maybe I can get some tips from whoever it is.

My second story idea is Wakefield Farms, which is located outside of town but in Hart County (I think, it could be in the city limits but its not super near the town). I have spoken with the owner, Dick Phillips and he seems excited to talk to me about it. He seems like a very nice man and should be really good to work with. I’m planning to meet with him at the farm before I meet with the baseball coach on Monday morning.

That’s all I’ve got right now. I had one other idea, I asked Mr. Rider at the Sun if there was a prominent architect in the town because there are so many really beautiful homes up there, but he said he isn’t aware of one, so I’m down to the two. I don’t really have a specific direction with either story, I’m hoping to find some things when I go back up there on Monday. 
Katie Coon

February 24-26, 2012 & March 2-4, 2012 – Fairy Tale Courtroom presented by The Hart County Community Theatre and directed by Darcy Lamanna Kelly.  Friday and Saturday shows are at 8:00pm and Sunday matinees are at 2:30pm. This would be great to follow around the lead or the director about performing in a community theatre and what the theatre does for the community since it is such a small community. I could be taking pics all day friday and saturday.

Theres this couple that lives on the lake that owns a vacation rental. “Roy and I are both Registered Nurses, parents to seven children, six of which live in PA where we are originally from. We moved here in 1995 to live on the lake. We purchased this property, in 1998, not only for a vacation rental, but to have to retire to a smaller house, which we did in 2007 even though we did not retire. I am now working on it. The duplexes are side by side and we live in one side to which Roy added an addition. Our duplex cottage is situated on a secluded acre lake lot with a wooded walk to the lake. The rental cottage includes a large eat-in kitchen, living room with french doors leading to a deck and a screened-in porch. It has two bedrooms, each with a queen size bed, bureau and nightstand. There are two baths, one in the larger rear bedroom and one in the hall outside the smaller front bedroom. The lving room has a queen sized sleeper sofa.  The cottage sleeps 6+. The kitchen is fully equipped with: microwave, toaster, coffee maker, electric can opener, dishwasher, refrigerator, stove, washer and dryer, dishes, utensils, pots & pans, etc. Central air/heat and ceiling fans in each room, TV with cable hookup and DVD player. Wireless internet available. Included is the ability to tie up to our boat dock. Plenty of parking available and room for the boat trailer, too. The public Cleveland boat ramp is 1/2 mile from the cottage and about 5 mins. by water from our dock. Downtown Hartwell, Georgia, begins 3 miles away. The hospital is approx. 3 1/2 miles. Fine dining restaurants to most fast food chains are available in and around Hartwell. We have a super Walmart, a super Ingles food market, Belk’s department store and many specialty stores. A visit to historical Depot Street and the main square in Hartwell is a must!!” – this would be a great story to do a story of the life of a small business owner in hart county that are “retired.”

I am having problems coming up with a 3rd story, do you have any suggestions?

Kristy Densmore

I went to Hart with Cody today and met with Dick Philips from Wakefield Farms. I think I’m going to profile his farm manager who works there everyday, lives on the farm, and attends the Methodist church on Sundays. Any thoughts on this idea? Is anyone else doing it that you know of? I looked on the blog and didn’t see any ideas posted, which I thought we were supposed to do, but maybe I heard wrong?

Maura Friedman

The intersection of art and community
Profile on Diane Geiger, co-owner of Hang It Up Gallery. Primary medium is geometric acrylics. Diane’s gallery provides a space to showcase Hartwell artists and she sits on the board of the Art Center, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting art in Hartwell. Diane does a lot of pieces for silent auction, especially for the battered women’s shelter, and has works hanging in the Hartwell Library.

Old farms, new tricks
A look at remaining Hartwell family farms and what they’re doing to compete with agribusiness. In my experience, it’s been transitioning to organic practices and marketing their produce and meat as local or organic
1.     Will Hamner
a.     Organic beef in Lavonia
2.     Wakefield Farm
a.     Organic produce in Hartwell
                                                                                                     i.     Haven’t answered yet

Hopefully these will both get fleshed out in the next few days, I’ve been having a hard time getting people on the phone. Obviously I wouldn’t be covering the Lavonia farm, but it served as a starting point to formulate my idea. Obviously transportation is a big factor too. The farm would be great pictures but I don’t know how many I could feasibly do being that they’re a ways out of town and I’ll need someone to tote me around. Everything for the art story (I’m not sure about the women’s shelter, still scoping that out) however is right around the newspaper. 

Let me know what you think of all of these. 

Kaitlyn Frizzell

1. Pam Renore – She is licensed by the Coca Cola Company to make paintings; she makes them within her home. She also does John Deere paintings. 

2. Sam’s Path Petting Zoo – I love animals and kids. The two combined would be a fun experience. They have a website that I can easily contact them whether by phone or email (even Facebook). I would hope to focus on the owners, Jeff and Jodi Grey and their daily routine, dawn to dusk. I’m hoping Saturdays are busy days for them with kids being out of school.

3. Construction by the Downtown Church – I don’t have an contacts for this story idea yet; it actually just came to mind. I think it would be interesting to see the opinions of the pastor or a member of the church and all the construction of the the new City Hall right beside their church; if it interferes with any meetings, groups, practices, etc. 

Lane Johnson

Here are some contacts and story ideas I came up with when in Hart County last week.

1) I spoke for a long time with a woman, Pam (I’ve lost her last name, but I have her number in my phone) for a long time last Thursday. She said she’d be very happy to have me come profile her and possibly her sister on Saturday. Both are artists and expect to be working on several projects that weekend. Pam lives in a funky loft space which she also uses as her studio just behind “downtown” Hartwell, Ga.

2) Also downtown, Kathy Bryant, said she’d be happy to have someone come shoot in Hang it Up Gallery & Study. I was thinking that would be more of a side story if I had to take a break from one of my main stories.

3) I have not followed up on this one yet, but Pam gave me the contact information for Clem’s son who is apparently very involved in the bluegrass scene in Hartwell, Ga. That could be an interesting story if I could somehow tie it into the music that happens on Saturday nights.

4) Finally, Salley McInerney’s show, Busy as a Beaver, will be on display at the Art Center while we’re in town, but the opening was yesterday I believe. There’s a possibility that I could do a story on her and the artwork she put into the show. All of it is made from beaver sticks from the lake.
Christina Klug

So far one story option is to cover the inflatables business that rents the bouncy castles. They have a party at the YMCA at 2 on Saturday and they are really excited for me to come!

Alan Liow

I have two concrete ideas at the moment, and am working on a third. In no particular order:

1. I noticed that Lake Hartwell is looking quite low, and I have begun correspondence with Tanya Grant, the PR director at the Dam/Visitor Center about how this will affect Hartwell and the county. I’m hoping to be able to focus specifically on one aspect of the community, looking into houseboats (I know that they’re illegal, but I’m looking into contacts right now as we speak) and other ideas such as:

2. How the current situation of Lake Hartwell is affecting fishing. I found this site a little while ago: http://www.havefunfishing.com/fishingreports/sr_lake_hartwell_fishing_report.htm and I’m contacting Ken Sturdivant in the hopes that I’ll be able to discuss and document his fishing experiences on the lake that weekend.

3. There is a Hartwell Tango group who happen to do Argentine Tango, a beautiful dance that is one of the lesser known ballroom dances. Today they are having a lesson/dance at Hotshots at Hartwell, 382 North Forest Avenue. I saw their event on the Hartwell Sun calendar and will be contacting Roy or Carolyn to see if they will be available next weekend.

Allison Love

I visited Hart County last Saturday and was planning on doing a story about the Methodist church, but unfortunately that story has already fallen though as the minister just told me he will be out of town that weekend. I’ve now decided to focus on Sacred Heart Catholic Church and I think there are a lot of opportunities there. The church has a lot going on the weekend we’ll be in town. Sunday, Feb. 26, is the first day of Lent, so there will be preparations going on throughout the weekend beginning on Friday. The church also has a large Hispanic ministry and really caters to that community (the reverend is Hispanic himself). I think focusing on the Hispanic community within the church would be a very interesting story, but I’d love some feedback on whether you think it would be better to focus on that community as a whole or to possibly profile the reverend and his relationship with his church. I’ve made several phone calls and plan on visiting the church this Sunday to confirm everything. Please let me know what you think. I’m really looking forward to the workshop!

Sarah Osbourne

1. There is an artist named Sally Mcinerney and she makes unique works of art out of things she finds from along the lake shore. Mostly tactile things, like fishing lures, old license plates, etc, rather than just trash. She also has an exhibit that just came out that will be at the art center this weekend and it is art work made out of sticks she found chewed by beavers. I thought it was an interesting combination of the lake and an individual that uses trash around it or discarded sticks to make artwork. However, she could only work with me on Friday. I could always cover her show Saturday, but it is unfortunate because I wouldn’t have as much to do Saturday and Sunday.

2. Something I thought was really interesting when I went up there were how many businesses were family owned, sometimes for 2-3 generations. I talked specifically with multiple family members of Baile’s Cobb clothing shop and Gray’s Printing, and they would be willing to work with me. I would want the story to focus on what it is like to have a business in the family for so long, what it is like to work with your family members, and more. I am worried that this may be difficult to make into a cohesive multimedia, however, so I would have to brainstorm a way to make it all mesh together. Also, I would like to find a third business, but I really don’t think that would be difficult, especially since I think the gas station downtown that is full service is also owned by someone related to someone at Baile’s Cobb. Let me know what you think because I thought this was an interesting dynamic of downtown Hartwell when I visited, but I am having issues fleshing out how I could best tell the story.

3. Also, Gray’s printing is just a basic printing shop downtown, but I also found out that the younger son owns Sam’s Path petting zoo. They have about 90 animals he said and almost all are exotic. I thought this was kind of interesting because of the unique combination of running a printing shop, but they are also very passionate about all of their exotic animals. This was also a business handed down to one of the Gray sons, the older Gray works at the printing shop often, but doesn’t do as much work because he had 2 heart attacks and a stroke he said.

Kimberly Parks

Here are the contacts I’ve made so far for the workshop.

1.  Wakefield Farms- The farm is primarily used for commercial cows and received an Environmental Stewardship Award in 2002 for their conservation efforts.  The farmland was originally used for row cropping that was heavily used and the family converted it to pastures for cattle.   UGA has also used the farm for testing soil and water quality.

2.  Salley M. McInerney- She’s an artist in Hart who goes out on the lake in a canoe and finds “junk” at the bottom and uses it in her art.  She also uses other unique findings in her pieces.  She has a show “Busy as a Beaver” with artwork she created from beaver’s sticks they sharpened for their dams.  The show is in The Art Center in downtown and runs through March 16.

3.  Kathy Bryan- She’s an artist and is co-owner of Hang It Up Gallery in downtown.  She has a workshop room in the back of gallery where she does woodwork.

I’m aware that another classmate has shown interest in following Ms. McInerney.  I’m really interested in doing something art related, so I’ve been in touch with the owners of Hang It Up Gallery to get their advice on other unique artists in the area.  They gave me the name of a woman, Mary Dilworth who taught art for 40 years and still does privately sometimes.  She has her own studio on her property on the lake.  She was described as “a little eccentric” and very talented.  She’s told the ladies at the gallery that should would love to have to me, but I’m still waiting on contact info from them so I can talk with her and confirm.

Cody Schmelter

I’m going to peruse a lead we got the first time we went up to Hart County. John Milner works at Hartwell Drugs and was a really easy interview. We didn’t ask a question and he talked for 10 minutes. Anyway, back to the story.

The CVS that was built downtown is located where a historic theatre was. On top of that, there are at least two “mom and pop” drug stores still in business downtown as well. I’m going after the “town people vs. lake people” angle and seeing how the owners of these other drug store feel about a national chain opening in their territory. I’m curious on how the CVS has affected business for the locally owned stores, how can they stay open/are customers loyal/etc. I feel a hyper localized story like this will be relatable on a national scale with the likes of Walmarts constantly opening up. When I head up there today I am going to get better contact info for the stores and hopefully establish a relationship with Mr. Milner, to open up access for the story.

Stephen Terry

I have two, I would say, big ideas that either one could work as an audio slideshow. It just depends the access I get on one of them. So…

The first one is doing a story on the Whitworth Parole Revocation Center in Hartwell. I have been in contact with Warden Frankie Teasley and he seems excited to have someone come and feature what their doing. He said that their biggest issue is cellphones. Inmates are not allowed to have them, but for some reason they keep getting them. Also, he said that this “prison” if you will is ran like a boot camp which means a lot of manual labor and what not. I am still waiting to hear back from the state department to make sure I have approval to go inside and take photos, so that is the only hinderace of this story.

My second big story is looking at the $250 million industry of farming chickens in Hartwell. I have the number to the county extension office to talk to Charles Rice about who would be the top chicken farmer, but I have no other names. Mark Hynds told me they ran a story in October about Tommy Stanton who is the farmer they featured, and they are running a story in next week’s paper on Rose Acres who owns a large egg farm in the county. I think this one could be a great visual story, I just need to find a farmer.

These are the two big stories I am looking at doing. I also am keeping my eyes out for any small events happening around that weekend.

Devin Webb

Then and Now project:
I’m going to work in conjunction with the Hartwell Historical Society and take pictures of historical buildings to show what they look like now as opposed to how they looked when the city was first established. I will get audio recording from someone at the Historical Society to narrate the significance of the buildings to Hartwell’s history. My story won’t focus on a person but instead history of the town.

Backup story: Hart County Community Theatre
Just in case my first story idea doesn’t pan out, the Theatre’s first performance of the year is the same weekend we will be there. They perform “A Fairy Tale Courtroom” Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon. If I do this story, I would document all the pre-performance anxiety, drama and preparation, and also what it means to be a theatre in a small community.


One Response to Hart County Stories

  1. Kristy Densmore says:

    For my main story, I’m following Scott Flemming, the farm manager at Wakefield Farms. I spent an hour with Dick Philips this past week and toured the farm. The farm manager has an interesting and complex role on the farm. Mr. Philips also supplies housing to him and his family on the farm property. I plan to focus on Scott’s workday, his interactions with his family after work, and when he and his family go to church on Sunday morning. I think Scott seems to sum up what Wakefield Farms is all about.

    I’m also waiting to hear back from the County Sheriff. I tried to go there last week, and Sheriff Cleveland was not available. I left my contact information, and I have also emailed him with my ideas.

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