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Case of misappropriated Masters badges intended for Richmond County students may go unsolved

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If the answer to how a batch of 2011 Masters Tournament badges donated to Richmond County students ended up in the hands of scalpers was ever a concern for school officials, it’s not a pressing mystery anymore.

School officials are no longer investigating how badges intended for students went to scalpers, and they are still unable to provide any details about the issue.

“The school system will not continue with anything further unless they get additional information from the National,” said schools spokesman Louis Svehla.

Augusta National Golf Club spokesman Steve Ethun also said the club will not comment about the issue at all.

Since the badges were scalped in April, the school system has not been able to say how many badges were involved, which schools they were supposed to go to or which individuals they were given to.

Svehla said Tuesday the Augusta National does not donate badges to schools on an annual basis, but that representatives offered to give a few badges this year to deserving students.

Lucy C. Laney High School Principal Tonia Mason said her school received badges but that none of Laney’s tickets were used inappropriately.

Mason chaperoned two Laney students on one of the tournament days after she received an offer from the school system.

“I know what I did, and I know what my students did,” Mason said. “But sometimes other people will do bad things for money.”

Mason said her badges were nonrefundable and good for that day only.

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Reverie
54
Points
Reverie 08/19/11 - 05:49 am
0
0
Was there a crime? How many

Was there a crime? How many badges were involved? Who got the badges? Tickets can be tracked. How much potential money is involved if they were scalped? Does someone know the answers but doesn't want to come forward because it involves school system employees they are protecting? Every student who is on a school golf team in our town should get a ticket. Why can't we take care of our students and motivate and inspire them?

Craig Spinks
817
Points
Craig Spinks 08/19/11 - 06:12 am
0
0
Motivation and Inspiration:

Motivation and Inspiration: Like love, some things there're too little of.

fatboyhog
1944
Points
fatboyhog 08/19/11 - 06:31 am
0
0
Theft by conversion. My, my,

Theft by conversion. My, my, what we are teaching our students.

DawgnSC69
271
Points
DawgnSC69 08/19/11 - 07:13 am
0
0
Since it's not being

Since it's not being investigated, the only reason NOT to investigate is to protect high level school system administrators. They're all a tight knit group brought in by the illustrious Charles Larke that will never snitch on one another. You can bet your house if it was a teacher or student, the issue would've been resolved by now. I promise.

There's a established regime in the RCBOE that's NEVER going away and will only get worst over time.

DawgnSC69
271
Points
DawgnSC69 08/19/11 - 07:15 am
0
0
My advice to parents and

My advice to parents and teachers. GET OUT OF THE RICHMOND COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEM. Do whatever you have to do. Just get out! NOW!

Riverman1
83830
Points
Riverman1 08/19/11 - 07:30 am
0
0
Reverie makes the point that

Reverie makes the point that badges can be traced. It would be interesting to track some of them if that's the case. Richmond County Commissioners and a few other county officials are also given badges to represent the county. I wonder if any of those are ever....uh diverted?

Iwannakno
1533
Points
Iwannakno 08/19/11 - 08:17 am
0
0
Politics as usual...follow
Unpublished

Politics as usual...follow the money trail. Someone connected is involved hence the "we are no longer investigating". I urge ARC taxpayers to flood the next board meeting and demand an answer.

belle
305
Points
belle 08/19/11 - 08:10 am
0
0
Reverie, the ugly truth is,
Unpublished

Reverie, the ugly truth is, if every student on a golf team in Augusta got a ticket, more kids would take up golf just so they could get the tickets and scalp them. Plus, you open up a pandora's box with that kind of generosity. Shouldn't all old handicapped golfers get tickets too out of respect for them and their love of the game? Then there are all retired caddies and greenskeepers...they certainly earned it. Or the people that have made thousands upon thousands of those amazing sandwiches over the years..........regretfully, when you extend a gift from your hands, there are many hands ready to receive it.

raul
4865
Points
raul 08/19/11 - 08:25 am
0
0
The related story states the

The related story states the badges were given to the school board. I can't see why they could not be tracked from that point. If nothing else, corrective action should be taken for having no system of accountability in place. Sounds like they are at a dead end because they want to be at a dead end. Could be a case for A.C.A.V.E. or Austin Rhodes on the radio to keep pushing. Something stinks.

allhans
23641
Points
allhans 08/19/11 - 09:27 am
0
0
I am so proud of our

I am so proud of our county...Secrecy seems to be the necessary ingredient. I suppose in this era of missing money, missing badges, etc I could go on and on, it is every man for himself.
The taxpayers might ask that they turn some lights on, it is dark and shady around here.

DawgnSC69
271
Points
DawgnSC69 08/19/11 - 10:14 am
0
0
Austin? You have a great tool

Austin? You have a great tool to use to put pressure on the RCBOE to resolve this. All of the strings aren't being pulled and you're the man that can do it hopefully.

Little Lamb
45949
Points
Little Lamb 08/19/11 - 10:55 am
0
0
To Dawgn and other posters

To Dawgn and other posters above: There is nothing to investigate. The Augusta National Golf Club gave these badges to the school system. Sure, the club gave them with certain conditions that they hoped the school system would abide by, but they gave them nevertheless. Once you have given something away, it no longer belongs to you. If the gift recipient trashes your gift or uses it in a nefarious way, you (the donor) have no say in the matter.

I hope the Augusta National Golf Club never gives one thing to the Richmond County school system ever again.

follower
59
Points
follower 08/19/11 - 11:15 am
0
0
LL, you are correct in both

LL, you are correct in both of your points. The tickets were given without written conditions, but as they were a gift, conditions are implied.

My guess is RCBOE won't have the chance to abuse the National's generosity in the future.

raul
4865
Points
raul 08/19/11 - 11:15 am
0
0
@LL. Not sure I understand

@LL. Not sure I understand your point. The National certainly isn't asking for an inquiry into this matter. However, the tickets were donated with the intent of the students being able to use the tickets with the end result that those tickets end up in the hands of scalpers. The public wants to know how and why that happened. That the RCSS cannot even track what happened to the tickets shows poor accountability on their part which should be addressed. If the ANGC contributes tickets to the RCSS in the future, it should be with the caveat that accountability procedures are in effect. Their intent was students who otherwise would never be able to experience the golf tournament be able to attend was a noble one. Why deprive the students when the adults were the ones who came up short on this matter?

Little Lamb
45949
Points
Little Lamb 08/19/11 - 11:24 am
0
0
Tracey McManus wrote: School

Tracey McManus wrote:

School officials are no longer investigating how badges intended for students went to scalpers, and they are still unable to provide any details about the issue.

Raul wrote

Why deprive the students when the adults were the ones who came up short on this matter?

You cannot say that it was adults or students based on the article.

Austin Rhodes
2862
Points
Austin Rhodes 08/19/11 - 11:55 am
0
0
I covered this in detail

I covered this in detail MONTHS ago. Had all the details as they were known at the time. The only "new" information, if you can call it that, is that it is not being pushed farther.

AR

Austin Rhodes
2862
Points
Austin Rhodes 08/19/11 - 12:08 pm
0
0
Actually...what I reported

Actually...what I reported seems to contradict with what the Laney lady says...and what I reported was pulled from these pages by Sean Moores...way back in April.

Austin Rhodes
2862
Points
Austin Rhodes 08/19/11 - 12:23 pm
0
0
I have edited the below

I have edited the below comments, to hopefully not trigger the same hook they received when they were first posted here BACK IN APRIL:

According to my sources there were 16 "one day, one entrance" tickets given to the system for them to distribute to "worthy, needy" students. Three tickets that went to _____ High School students found their way coming back into the the course AFTER their one time, legitimate use. The adult in charge of the three claims the kids took off their badges and "threw them away" when they left the course. Ostensibly, someone fished them out of the trash can and sold them. The folks who raised the most fuss were the poor rubes who dropped 400 bucks on the tickets, only to see them confiscated as they were turned around at the entrance gate.

By the way, if you believe the story about the trash can, I can probably get you a heckofa deal on an outright purchase of Raes Creek.

allhans
23641
Points
allhans 08/19/11 - 12:43 pm
0
0
Scalpers is the key word.

Scalpers is the key word. You can't ignore the main event and go with the little stuff.

Cadence
219
Points
Cadence 08/19/11 - 12:55 pm
0
0
I have never known a soul who

I have never known a soul who went to the course then tossed their ticket in the trash.

raul
4865
Points
raul 08/19/11 - 12:58 pm
0
0
Thanks Austin, that is more

Thanks Austin, that is more detail than I knew. The only written information I had was the initial article (linked to today's article) and the one published today. Yea, real believable story about the trash can.

Riverman1
83830
Points
Riverman1 08/19/11 - 02:00 pm
0
0
Okay, the tickets were a

Okay, the tickets were a gift, but they were given to the school system which is a government entity. You can no more misuse those tickets than you can sell the lunchroom food out the back door.

The reason no one wants to make an issue of this is Commission tickets and others would be examined, too. Commissioners and some other officials are given tickets to attend the tournament as representatives of the people and government of Richmond Cty, not to do with them as they please. Same situation and no one is going to touch it.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 08/19/11 - 04:43 pm
0
0
I was under the impression

I was under the impression that very few of tickets made it into the hands of the students. Logically, if the RCBOE had possession of the tickets, they already know who used them or had an opportunity to scalp them. And they would definitely not see a need to pursue the matter of accountability to the public. The National, I am sure, will not make the same generous gift again. If true, how shameful.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 08/19/11 - 04:45 pm
0
0
Austin, I loved your write up

Austin, I loved your write up in the MS (with the exception of the B.D. story).

tomcasey
-2
Points
tomcasey 08/19/11 - 06:26 pm
0
0
The Mayor and his Gang of Six

The Mayor and his Gang of Six and associates, the ARC Marshalls Office, the RC BoE and the Steve Kendrick Department of Missing Assets, Augusta don't you think it is time to get rid of this level of comedy by voting them out of office.

What is the local government doing for the people of Augusta Richmond county, services are being cut back, necessary employees are being furloughed, Harrisburg is falling in on itself and all their cries for help are ignored by the Mayor and his Gang of Six, somehow someone managed to build 22 houses for 8 million dollars on Pine Street, somehow or someone managed to cut off the insurance benefits to retired firefighters as well as other city county workers not once but numerous times over an eight month period, a baseball park that everybody says would be great but everyone knows it can't be afforded and shouldn't be paid for with taxpayer money is continually pushed by the Mayor and his Gang of Six, raises given out to the few the proud and the chosen but what about everyone else and so on...

When will Augusta get a government by and for the people?

SlapShot2
0
Points
SlapShot2 08/20/11 - 05:08 am
0
0
Other than Little Lamb

Other than Little Lamb comments these are comical remarks. Everything is Deke's fault, "gang of six" so I guess Corey is in the gang now and Matt is out? We dont need Austin or ACAVE, whatever that is, looking into this because we got Alvin Mason. He is like a blessing from the heavens and he can get to the bottom of this major crisis. Oh wait, he just suggested more raises. geeze nobody can save us now. The Augusta National does so much good for the entire community and they dont need this type of stuff so just dont give the BOE anymore tickets. We need Fred to do something stupid again to fill up space around here because this isnt really newsworthy.

Riverman1
83830
Points
Riverman1 08/20/11 - 08:46 am
0
0
Like I said, no one is going

Like I said, no one is going to do anything about the diverted badges because it would open Pandora's Box about their own badges. Badges are given to the Commissioners and other public officials because they are representatives of the county. They are not personally given to them for others to use. Once a public official is given a badge because of his official capacity it's no different than those given to the school officials.

wondersnevercease
9218
Points
wondersnevercease 08/20/11 - 09:26 am
0
0
It is not a legal matter but
Unpublished

It is not a legal matter but a moral one........so therefore not important....right?

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 08/20/11 - 02:30 pm
0
0
I don't believe the 'trash

I don't believe the 'trash can' theory at all.
One thing is for sure....there's a lot of 'misappropriation of funds' going on in this city.

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