Get Adobe Flash player


Social Security Reveals the Most Popular Baby Names in Georgia for 2010

(ATLANTA, GA)-The Social Security Administration  announced the most popular baby names in Georgia for 2010.  Isabella and William topped the list.

The top five boys and girls names for 2010 in Georgia were:

Boys: Girls:

1)  William                              1) Isabella

2)  Jacob                                 2) Emma

3)  Jayden                               3) Madison

4)  Joshua                               4) Abigail

5)  Elijah                                 5) Olivia

Last week the federal government’s top official for baby names, Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, announced Isabella and Jacob were the most popular baby names in the U.S.  How does Georgia compare to the rest of the country?  Check out Social Security’s website -- -- to see the top baby names for 2010.

New Zealand by motorcycle –South 2 -

Final in a three part travelouge

Click here for part II in this series

By Joan Barnes

The howling winds and driving rain of the early morning hours had changed to showers as we carried our bulging bags to the bike. We were relieved to see it had survived the storm and was still standing upright.

As we rode around Queenstown Bay, rain started falling in sunlight and a rainbow formed over the Bay. We continued riding in the rain up through the mountains. We were constantly chasing a patch of blue sky that was always just ahead of us.

While we were stopped at a cafe the sky cleared and we had our New Zealand sun back. A man who was admiring the bike saw us stripping off our rain gear. He said, “You might have a wee bit of weather ahead.” We ignored his warning and rode down the road basking in the brilliant sun - for five minutes.   Dark ominous clouds raced down the mountains toward us.   We barely got off the bike and into our rain gear before the downpour started. Strong winds battered us. On the bike, the rain drops became ice needles driving into our faces. My helmet chin strap beat against my face viciously. The bike was blown across the road into the oncoming traffic lane or toward roadside ditches in spite of all Ely’s attempts to control it. The winds actually blew a large window out of one of the Wellington car ferries that day and the churning waves filled it with water. Fortunately all the passengers were rescued.

At right, a perfect New Zealand, especially as seen from a touring motorcycle.

Nelson mayor vents to press after heated public meeting


In the aftermath of the Nelson Council meeting Monday, May 2, where some residents pointedly expressed their dissatisfaction with Nelson Mayor David Leister, the mayor sought an interview with the Progress.

In his conversation with this newspaper, Leister began with an explanation of why he entered two controversial topics onto the May council meeting agenda. Those topics were out-sourcing of Nelson garbage pick up and out-sourcing of Nelson police protection.

"I wanted to get the people involved," Leister said. "I want them to start stepping up and being Nelson instead of being told what Nelson is. I want Nelson to define it."

He said he would like to change the perception of present political unrest at Nelson as being a mayor versus council struggle. "On my part, it hasn't been about who I like or don't like," he said. "It's about what the state constitution reads, what the charter reads and what the ethics code reads. Do we understand it, and are we following the letter of the law?"

"Part of the fun of serving on the city council has been taking shots at the mayor," Leister said, "and I've been told that by sitting council members, former council members, and people of this region. Nelson has been at odds with itself for a long period of time. That isn't new to Nelson politics. I'm just a little more vocal than prior mayors."

Nelson runner making tracks around the country

Drina Haviland, desert trucking in the High Sierra 50-mile race around 2005 in Bishop, California.



Drina Haviland of Nelson won a first place showing at the Southern Indiana Classic half marathon held Sunday, April 10, at Evansville, Indiana. At the finish, Haviland took first in her class (females 60 to 64), completing her run over the humid 13.1 mile course in two hours and 41 minutes.

Haviland traveled to Evansville prepared to run a full marathon (26.2 miles), but that longer race was cancelled due to heat and humidity.

"When we got there, the heat index was so high the fire department along with the race officials decided to cancel the marathon and move all the marathoners into the half marathon. That only helped me, 'cause I trained to run a marathon," Haviland said.

"The next finisher in my age group was about six minutes behind me," she said. Haviland turns 63 this spring.

"I started running when I was 49," she said. "I started from scratch at 49 and ran 26.2 miles (a marathon) one year later. I can still remember my first marathon. It was a great feeling to finish it."

She was already a serious walker, steady strolling 45 minutes daily, when she graduated to running. As she began training for a marathon, Haviland plotted her training runs on a calendar: long runs interspersed with short ones.

"Your body has to get used to being on your feet and running the pavement for hours," she explained.

Long-distance running is all about pacing and energy management, Haviland said. She strives to conserve energy at the start of a race to stay strong to the finish. "I want to be jogging or running throughout the race," she said, so she monitors speed and heart rate with her mind on the long haul.

"I jog for two to five minutes, then walk briskly one or two minutes," Haviland said. "The run/walk allows the older runner to extend your run energy and rest your heart in the walking phase."

"I run with a heart rate monitor," she said. "I run with that data on my wristwatch hand. It actually has a GPS, too. It's a pretty sophisticated piece of equipment, but it looks like a watch." Keeping her heart rate under 150 near the beginning of a race conserves body energy, Haviland said. "It's gonna be coming up as you go," she said. "If I see it go real high, I just stop right there and walk and let it go down."

That gets her to the finish line, she indicated. "At the end, it doesn't matter," Haviland said. Then, she can turn up her speed for a sprint to the tape.

In the Indiana race, a young woman tried to move beyond Haviland as they neared race’s end. “'My,' I said. 'I am not gonna let her pass me at the finish,'” Haviland remembers thinking. “So I guess I can be competitive.

Continued on 2B  My heart rate was 170 and then went higher. I beat her,” Haviland laughed. “That was fun. I bet she was in her late 20s. She was a young girl.”

To keep hydrated through all of the pavement pounding, Haviland relies on a CamelBak hydrator––basically a water bottle inside a backpack. Clamping a pinch valve between her teeth feeds a sip of water through a plastic tube. Most races provide hydration stations with cups of water or electrolyte liquids along the race route, Haviland said, but she prefers her own system.

"I don't have to stop and wait in line to grab a cup," she explained.

The Indiana race was over paved roads, through farmland and residential neighborhoods. It was hilly and hot, Haviland said. "It was so hot, and I drank probably 45 ounces of water," she said. My pack holds 60 ounces, and I drank most of it sipping."

"I also carry electrolyte capsules, which are fancy salt pills," Haviland said. "I take so many per hour, depending on how hot it is, because your electrolytes can get thrown off, and then there are problems."

Asked about hitting a pain threshold in the middle of a high-endurance run, Haviland said, "I wouldn't call running painful at all. Your muscles get fatigued," she allowed. "But I can run through that, because I've trained."

"It'll come around," she said. "Sometimes you need nutrition. They [race organizers] will have oranges and bananas, and I'll eat Gel. It's a nutrition supplement for runners. You just tear off the top of that and squeeze some in, and the fatigue feeling goes away. It's kind of sugary. You only have so many calories in your body. It helps to feed your body some nutrition, anything with calories.

"I'd rather have real food," Haviland said. "I'd really like to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That's one of my favorites. But it's really difficult to run with a sandwich. It gets all mushed."

To stay ready for a long run, Haviland keeps to a training schedule, running with her husband from Nelson to Ball Ground on a frequent basis.

"There are a lot of runners in Nelson, which, I think, is phenomenal for a small town," Haviland said. "Some run with baby jogging strollers. There's a couple guys that run with their dogs."

In addition to her road training, Haviland participates in a weekly water aerobics class, another for yoga, and does yoga exercises at home.

"I started running when I was 49, and I ran my first marathon for my 50th birthday," Haviland said. "You can start running at middle age, and, if you train properly, you can stay physically fit in your 50s and 60s and hopefully 70s. I plan on running when I'm 80."

For others at middle age toying with taking to the track, Haviland said you can start out slow. "Start walking," she suggested. "Instead of watching TV, go for an hour walk. Change your thinking, change your life."

"I have two adult children, two sons," Haviland said. "I can outrun both of them," she laughed.

Since becoming a runner, Haviland has run in some 50-mile races that take most of day to complete. By comparison, her half marathon win at Evansville was a sprint but a symbolic return to the field.

"The best part of winning that was, 11 months before, I had a brain tumor removed and an aneurism repaired––eight hours of surgery," Haviland explained. "Then, to be able to come back, I had to start my training all over again. After I was released from my doctor's care, I had to start from scratch to build up mileage."

She began running again six weeks after brain surgery. "I lay there thinking I want to get out of here and start doing something," Haviland remembers. "I was more inspired than ever to run. So now I'm gonna run a marathon or farther every month this year."

She turns 63 June 8. When interviewed, Haviland was looking forward to a run at Nashville, Tennessee.

"The Nashville Country Music Marathon," Haviland said. "I can hardly wait. There's a country-western band every mile for 26 miles, and they even have a dancing area beside each band. I might have to bring an extra Gel pack, so I can dance some at mile 22 or something," Haviland smiled.

This runner is back.

Revised county water bills in the mail after wrong balances sent out

Many county water customers were shocked when they opened their most recent bill, which showed in some cases double the amount owed in a normal month.

According to Pickens County Water & Sewer Director Larry Coleman, there was an issue with the billing program that pulled balances from 2008, with total amounts due reflecting a previous month’s balance and a current month’s balance.

“So they had double the cost in many cases,” Coleman said. “Some had a smaller balance, but many had more.”

Coleman said their office received calls or walk-ins from 700 to 800 customers on the very first day statements were received.

The director said he has been in touch with programmers, but they are still uncertain about the cause of the mishap.

“We can’t find out what caused it,” he said. “We’re working on it.”

Coleman said each month the office manually checks the first few bills to ensure they are accurate, but this month, “something happened with the program after those first ones we checked.”

Coleman noted that bills were also sent to customers who have left the county water system since 2008, and others who have entered since that time received no bill at all.

“But we’ve got a call fire system, which we can send out calls to everyone,” he said. “We told them to disregard this bill and that a new one would be on the way. We’ve have apologized to everyone, and most of them are being understanding.”

Coleman said by using this rapid call alert system, they department has been able to contact 95 percent of county water customers.

The department, Coleman said, has reprinted all 2,500 bills and has manually checked each statement to be sure they are correct.

“We are on our way to send them to the post office right now,” Coleman said mid Friday afternoon, May 6.

Because of the mess up, due dates will be extended this month, but Coleman was unsure about new cutoff dates.

“I’m going to sit down with the commissioner and talk about that,” he said. “But we’ve got everything straightened out.”

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / staff writer