Stories have personal impact



In late January, a team of reporters and I did a piece on area unemployment -- the percentages were going up because more people were looking for work because there was a lot of talk about the recession's being over.

We shot a picture of 30-year-old Erin Ziegler standing in the Aiken One Stop Workforce Center.

She was trying to fill out some paperwork while balancing a baby carrier in her arm.

It was a year after her layoff from a construction company.

Well, I got a letter in the mail last week from her new boss, who had sought her out based on the article we did.

Keith Anderson is the site subcontracts manager for Shaw Constructors Inc., working on the construction of the two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle.

Ziegler is part of his team down in Waynesboro, Ga.

"Speaking candidly, we consider ourselves to have made a rare find," he wrote.

Thanks, Anderson, for the update and the kind words.

Sometimes we write about unpleasant experiences such as losing a job. It is nice to know there are happy endings for some of the people we interview for such unpleasant stories.

SYNOVUS GETTING CLOSE: Synovus is almost done with its charter consolidation, essentially turning 30 banks into one.

On Tuesday, the bank said it had consolidated 28 of its 30 bank charters operating in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina, under one Georgia charter.

It is still working on two bank charters in Tennessee and should have that incorporated by the end of the month.

Why do all of this?

Instead of 30 teams of people trying to meet banking regulations, it needs only one team and one filing.

Richard Anthony, Synovus Bank's chairman and CEO: "Our divisions will continue to operate under their own local brands. The consolidation of our charters only impacts our legal operating structure, allowing us to better manage capital and cash flow, simplify regulatory complexity, and minimize risk around banking practices."

ALLENDALE UNDER GEORGIA-PACIFIC: Georgia-Pacific completed the purchase of Grant Forest Products' oriented strand board facilities at Allendale and Clarendon, S.C., in addition to the facility at Englehart, Ontario, and the associated facility at Earlton, Ontario.

It is a $400 million buy.

The Atlanta-based company has been working on the details of the purchase since January.

Georgia-Pacific has seven facilities operating in South Carolina.

It plans to keep 300 people working at the Allendale plant making oriented strand board.

G-P has to finish the construction of the Clarendon plant.

One of the reasons it took six months to finish the sale to G-P was that Grant Forest Products had to get approval in bankruptcy courts.