Editor's note: State Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, currently is in Iraq as a U.S. Air Force Reserve chaplain. He began his service there earlier this month. He is reporting weekly on the activities at his location. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
October 10, 2008|
By Doug Collins
For The Times
No one was injured when a Lanier Career Academy student lost control of his red pickup truck on Interstate 985 and crashed through Stratos Import Auto Repair in Oakwood Monday afternoon.
The owner of the auto repair shop, Chris Stratos, said he was working on a vehicle when he heard a "horrific explosion" at about noon Monday. A red pickup had driven through the wall of the Wallis Road auto repair shop, damaging at least three vehicles that were in for repairs before coming to a halt.
For most folks, getting to work means hopping in the car and crossing your fingers in hopes you have enough gas to get there. But for those who are disabled and use wheelchairs, just boarding a bus to go to work can take as long as five minutes.
Ask anyone on Atlanta Highway if Latinos are leaving Hall County, and there will not be one moment of hesitation in between the question and its affirmation.
Staples of the local Latino community - day laborers, managers of grocery stores and rental properties, owners of travel companies and retail shops - all say it is obvious that there are fewer Latinos in Hall County today than there were six months ago.
Local health care providers say there is marginal evidence that fewer Hispanic patients are seeking care in Hall County.
At the Hall County Health Department, the total number of patient visits hasn't changed much. Dave Palmer, spokesman for District 2 Public Health in Gainesville, said there were 8,887 total visits in fiscal year 2007, compared to about 8,630 in 2008.
Used car lots are a dominant feature along Atlanta Highway. Many of them carry the Hispanic surname of their owners. In Spanish, the signs advertise easy credit and quick financing with or without an established credit record.