Hurricane Earl is whirling furiously in the mid-Atlantic - and everyone wonders if the east coast is vulnerable.
Forecasters say it could graze the coastline anywhere from Florida to New England, with North Carolina being the most likely place for a landfall. But if history is any guide, Georgia is safe from potential harm.
Why? Georgia's curved coastline makes it harder to attract a direct hit, and our state has fewer miles of coast than neighboring Florida or South Carolina, both of which have endured their share of Atlantic hurricanes.
Imagine a school where kids study 17 subjects and parents get a comprehensive report card every week.
We actually had such an institution right here in Augusta - where its hardworking pupils were also graded on conduct, punctuality and orderliness.
How do I know? I had the pleasure yesterday of interviewing a nice fellow from Hephzibah. He dropped by to show me an ancient pine chest recovered decades ago from an Augusta attic.
By the time archeologists announced last week they had located the remains of the Civil War's largest prison camp, most nearby residents already knew something special had been found.
Weeks earlier, federal authorities abruptly cordoned off the site within Magnolia Springs State Park and erected more than a mile of steel fence topped with barbed wire. Armed guards patrolled night and day and motion-sensors were programmed to activate hidden cameras.
Our Sunday package on water quality generated a lot of interest among our readers, and lots of questions, too.
For me, it was a learning experience and an opportunity to be a scientist - at least for the day.
Our objective seemed simple: on Aug. 12, after weeks of planning, we fanned out in groups, armed with sterile sample bags, to collect water from creeks, lakes, ditches-even the Savannah River.
In all, we hit more than 50 places.
It's always easy to get real-time air pollution advisories for Atlanta.
Georgia's Environmental Protection Division has monitors in place, and an Atlanta link you can go to anytime you want to see the air quality forecast.
Augusta is different, though.
Some newspaper stories seem to live forever. We reporters like that.
I was reminded of the far-reaching longevity of our product the other day while talking to Janie Peel, a local realtor we profiled in a 2006 feature about her unusual hobby: collecting outhouses.
The original story (link is HERE) was picked up by no fewer than 150 newspapers around the country - and others across Canada and Europe.
This is probably the only week of the year when golf and gators go together.
Just yesterday, Georgia's Wildlife Resources Division opened up the application period for hunters hoping to win one of the state's coveted alligator tags.
By coincidence, it's also the same week Augusta National Golf Club sends out applications for practice round tickets to the 2011 Masters Tournament.
Both organizations use a "random selection" method to determine who gets the goods.
Did you know there are dinosaurs in our river?
Wayne Murrah and his two young daughters actually caught one over the weekend while fishing near New Savannah Bluff Lock & Dam.
The odd-looking creature attacked a piece of bait larger than its own head - and put up quite a fight.
"I was fishing with a bream fish head, when I got a savage hit on my pole," Murrah wrote in an email with a photo of his catch. "When I got it close, I thought it was an eel, but when I got it ashore I didn't have a clue what it was."
I get lots of emails (which I appreciate, by the way) from hunting and fishing folks out there with questions they trust our newspaper to answer.
A recent one called into question the impact of prescribed burning on turkeys, whose nesting season coincides with the best times to burn.
I've often wondered the same thing myself - so I will attempt to offer some answers below.
The writer, a veteran hunter and outdoorsman, was upset about such practices at Fort Gordon, but also wondered how burning affects turkeys everywhere.
If you and your favorite flyrod have been waiting for an opportunity to wade the Savannah River shoals, you might get your chance this weekend.
Water levels have fallen steadily, and stone outcrops visible from the Waterworks Pumping Station and Canal Headgates are finally accessible.
The cold-water habitat is home to an unusual combination of bass: redeye, smallmouth or largemouth, or various crosses among them.
You might also encounter sunfish, gar, yellow perch, an occasional carp - and even a few eels this time of year.