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Ask the Times: Friday school start aims to fix schedule issues
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If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following questions were submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

Why is school starting on a Friday?

Both Hall and Gainesville school systems are starting on a Friday this school year.

Hall Superintendent Will Schofield said that allows staff to fix any scheduling issues that arise on the first day before school starts back for the second day after the weekend.

“This is particularly true at the high school level where large numbers of unexpected students show up the first day of school without schedules,” he added.

The schedule also is simply the result of a lot of finagling to get the right number of days planned out with various holidays, makeup days and furlough days.

“It is a result as to the number of days scheduled for school , the over-all calendar planning and ending the school year on a Friday,” Gainesville Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said.

On Black Jack Road there is a sign for Cherokee Bluff Hall County Parks and Rec, green space. At one time there was information online about the planned development, which was set to include baseball fields, fishing access to a pond or lake, equestrian trails, nature walk, etc. Whatever happened to this space? Is it still in the plans but due to the economy moved out on the calendar?

There is no timeline at this point for development of Cherokee Bluffs due to current budget limitations, according to Hall County Parks and Leisure Director Mike Little. Discussions will likely begin again in 2013. Planned amenities for this 101-acre park include walking trails, possible equestrian trails, disc golf, an amphitheater, fishing pond, pavilions and green space.

Funding has been identified in impact fees and special purpose local option sales tax VI. While funding has been set aside, the Hall County Board of Commissioners will evaluate the operational cost before committing to groundbreaking, according to Hall County spokeswoman Nikki Young.

Who writes the headlines in the newspaper?

Though many assume reporters write the headlines that appear above their stories, that is not the case.

Each night, The Times’ copy desk designs the pages of the paper, arranging stories, art and writing the headlines. The copy desk includes three full-time copy editors, a night editor and a presentation editor. The editors rotate who designs which pages each night and write the headlines for whichever pages they are responsible for.

Reporters do sometimes suggest headlines, but they are usually modified and often changed to fit the given space or just improve on the suggestion.

In fact, the reporters usually do not see the headlines on the story any sooner than any other reader because they have gone home for the day while copy editors work until press time to finish the day’s pages.

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