• The new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market will open Wednesday following a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony at 7:30 a.m. The new store is located at 349 Brampton Ave. and will be open 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
• Wayne Murphy was chosen recently to the Young Alumni Advisory Board for the College of Business Administration at Georgia Southern University. The Board works to guide recent graduates by fostering and sustaining a culture of investment in the College of Business Administration.
Murphy is a banker for Queensborough National Bank and Trust at its Savannah branch, located at 216 W. U.S. Highway 80. He is a Savannah native and a 2004 graduate of Georgia Southern, with a Bachelor of Business Administration in business management.
"We are proud of Wayne and fully support his involvement with Georgia Southern University," said Mike English, QNBT's senior vice president of the Coastal Market.
Growing up as a chubby kid certainly creates limitations both mentally and physically.
Some are bullied and made to feel inferior to other kids who are fortunate enough not to have to battle obesity. Maybe they are chubby, maybe they are not as athletic or maybe they come from a troubled home environment. Regardless, it is difficult to truly understand the challenges of these circumstances of childhood unless you have actually lived it.
James "Bubba" Revell understands the challenge of growing up as a chubby kid. Obesity is something he has struggled with all his life. The older he gets and the more accomplished he becomes, the less his weight issues affect him. In fact, in many instances, it has had the opposite effect.
Most of us know Bubba as the owner of the Country Store located at the intersection of Brannen Drive and Cypress Lake Road. Erk Russell, one of the store's most famous patrons, often explained the location is at "the crossroads of the world." Erk would say that, sooner or later, everyone in Bulloch County would stop in to this popular spot. If you don't believe him, just hang out at the round table in the corner of the store for a little while.
Bubba started working at the Country Store in 1994 when Jack and Connie Edenfield owned it. When Jim Warren purchased the store in 2000, he promoted Bubba to manager. In 2007, Bubba purchased the Country Store and the adjoining Country Store Flooring business.
The ownership of the store includes some of the community's most accomplished and colorful business leaders. It was originally founded by the late Lewis Moore and Joe Edenfield in the '80s. Then Jack and Connie Edenfield, Kim and Randy Parker and Jim Warren. Kim and Randy added the flooring business.
Probably the one addition that has set the store apart was added at the insistence of a longtime customer, the late Charles Tucker.
"Charles convinced the Edenfields to put a table in store so folks would have a place to meet," Revell said. "They eventually gave in, and Charles came three times a day until his death."
Erk lived just down the street and visited often, especially in his retirement. In fact, on busy days at the store, Revell said Erk would answer the phone and take orders.
Thanks to having a great management team and dedicated staf, which includes Kail Tescar, flooring center manager and Bubba's longtime girlfriend Pam Martin as his store manager, he has found time to pursue a childhood dream.
"I always have been fascinated with law enforcement and dreamed of one day being a deputy sheriff,' Revell said. "As I was approaching my 40th birthday, Pam encouraged me to pursue this dream. With her encouragement, I entered the Police Academy with the blessing of Sheriff Lynn Anderson and completed it. When I walked across that stage, I knew I was doing this not only for myself but for every child in our community who has been told they could not achieve a goal or a dream.
"I had attended the Citizens Police Academy, taught by the Statesboro Police Department, and loved it," Revell said. "I had a lot of friends at the Sheriff's Department and had been volunteering often with them. The sheriff allowed me to go through jail training taught locally. Without a reserve officer position available and without me being a certified police officer, I was limited by what I could do."
After he graduated, Sheriff Anderson made Revell the department's first reserve officer. In addition, the sheriff established a community relations division and assigned Sgt. Jimmy Billings to lead the division.
Sgt. Billings is also the deputy overseeing the D.A.R.E. anti-drug abuse program countywide. Last week, Revell completed the D.A.R.E. certification and will assist teaching those classes.
The Police Academy was a three-month commitment and D.A.R.E. school was another two-week commitment that Revell paid for and received no compensation from the Sheriff's Department for completing.
Also, Revell helped the department found the Bulloch County Sheriff's Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, so he can help raise critical funds to support the community policing efforts.
"You can't fix everything, but you can change the world one child at a time," Revell said. "We must do everything we can to help every child become a great citizen of our community."
Expect to see great things from Bubba. His smile is contagious and his sheer size makes him hard to say no to! I applaud Sheriff Anderson and his team for identifying this wonderful opportunity not only for Bubba but for our entire community.
Next time you're in the Country Store, buy an extra pack of crackers to salute Bubba and help them continue to fund the great work he is doing.
Please email DeWayne at firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call at (912) 489-9499.