Published 12:00 am Friday, June 15, 2007

Thomasville police have taken a pretty good mauling for the decision to kill a wayward bear, but Chief Ronald Bratton said it would be a different story if the bear had harmed someone before officers acted.
“If we had ignored the bear and it had mauled somebody, what do you think your course of questioning might be for me today?” Bratton asked in an article published last week in the Thomasville Times. “You’d be asking, ‘Now that you didn’t do your job and protect the citizens of Thomasville, what are you going to do in your new career?’ ”
When the bear appeared to be lingering around residential areas of Thomasville, Bratton said he contacted Wildlife Commission officers, hoping they would be able to tranquilize and trap the animal. When the commission declined to tranquilize the bear and advised him to leave it alone, Bratton said he tried to find a private company to tranquilize the bear but learned that wasn’t possible, either. In something of a bureaucratic Catch-22, he said he was told that only state wildlife officers are allowed to tranquilize bears.
“We made the decision to go with the public safety factor and make sure we didn’t have anyone injured,” he said. “I’ve always got to err on the side of protecting the citizens of Thomasville.”
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Who said it? “It seems like to me, three years ago, I was three months behind on my fire bill and living in a doublewide with (brother) Kerry, and his kids jumping over the couch back and forth, and I would have to lock myself in the room just to get some peace and quiet. Those days don’t seem like that far or that long ago.” (Answer below)
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Me-too day: From a Scripps-Howard editorial on Father’s Day:
“Let’s be frank. Father’s Day is kind of a me-too observance. It follows Mother’s Day by five weeks, and comes on the third Sunday in June, when there’s a lot of other stuff going on. President Calvin Coolidge declared Father’s Day a national observance in 1924 ó 10 years after President Woodrow Wilson had done the same for Mother’s Day. And, by the measure everybody understands ó money ó Mother’s Day is way ahead. The estimated spending on Mother’s Day this year was $15.7 billion; for Father’s Day, it will be $9.9 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. The average person this year spent $139 on Mother’s Day; for Father’s Day, it will be $98. That’s up $10 from last year, but then Mother’s Day is up $17.
“Aside from the usual cards and dining out, Mother’s Day gifts run heavily to jewelry, flowers and clothes, while Father’s Day gifts lean more to consumer electronics, sporting goods and power tools.”
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Who said it: The quote is from NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr., who ended weeks of suspense by announcing he’ll suit up next season for Hendrick Motorsports.