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Mornings unPHILtered - Horse rescue and the 3/50 project
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    Wednesday's first guests on the “Mornings unPhiltered” show were Julie Barnes and Statesboro Herald reporter Holli Deal Bragg, who helped start the Heart of Dixie Equine Rescue group.
    Barnes told host Phil Boyum that a lot of individuals are doing local rescues so they decided to band together and form this new group. Equines include horses, donkeys, mules, etc. Bragg said she has rescued horses for years.
    Barnes, the group's president, had family land on which Heart of Dixie could start their rescue site. It is located in Brooklet in the Mud Road/Arcola area. With the economy being in such sad shape, horses are being abandoned or sold at auction for next to nothing, Barnes and Bragg said. Ttwo 18-year-old mares - Dollar and Skye - were the first local rescues, which the group took ownership of last month.
    They are expecting nine more horses this week, which are coming from Canada. Some of them were being used to harvest PMU (pregnant mare urine or premarin), which has been used in the production of birth control drugs (specifically women's estrogen). Others were used in the breeding business, but have been retired. There are also several foals, or young horses, which once born of the pregnant mares became an unwanted burden.
    In addition, many horses, which were previously slaughtered in the U.S. are being sent to Mexico where they are being slaughtered in the most inhumane fashion. Bragg said that slaughter might not be wrong, if done in a humane fashion. Simply sending them elsewhere to be massacred does not solve the problem, as horsemeat is very popular in many parts of the world.
    The Heart of Dixie Equine Rescue mission: to rescue, rehabilitate, and train horses that are being abused and place them in new homes; retire horses that are too old or sick to be placed in homes; educate the general population about equine issues; and introduce underprivileged children to the joy of being around horses.
    Heart of Dixie is really looking for adoptive or foster homes for these horses, as well as financial assistance and free labor in order to care for their rapidly growing stable. Bragg said they would greatly appreciate the donation of bales or rolls of hay from local farmers in order to help feed the horses.  
    For more information about Heart of Dixie Equine Rescue, contact Barnes at 764-2558 or Bragg at 865-2352. They may also go to or
    Host Boyum's next guests were Wendy Woodrum (GSU Small Business Development Center) and Debra Chester (Downtown Development Authority). They came on the show to talk about the 3/50 Project. Cinda Baxter posted a blog on her Web site about saving three individually owned local business. She suggested spending $50 a month at your three favorite local businesses in order to support your local businessmen and women.
    Fighting the “Mall Psychology” can be very hard, where all business are under one roof, and in some ways more readily available and convenient to shoppers. Between 80 and 90 percent of local jobs are involved in small businesses, and not the larger box stores. The 3/50 project is to get people to just consider where they spend their money, and not to get them to spend even more money.
    Woodrum said some two-thirds of the money spent at local retailers comes back to the community, whereas the same money spent at big chain stores goes elsewhere, and money spent on line is never even seen in the community.
    Chester and Woodrum said the purpose of the 3/50 plan is to keep local business open in Bulloch County, especially in the downtown area, and to empower merchants to help support the local economy. The financial benefits to local retailers would be phenomenal, and would cost local residents very little, if considered in the greater scheme of things.
    A meeting was held Tuesday night at the Averitt Center, during which time many local retailers were given materials about how they can promote the project.
    Woodrum and Chester said the time is perfect for residents to begin putting the 3/50 project into effect in order to keep what money they spend for Christmas shopping in Bulloch County, instead of heading to Chatham County and the two big malls with their chain retailers.
    For more information, people can go to To get information about the Downtown Development Authority, call 764-7227. The Small Business Development Center is located by the hospital in the Market District center, and can be reached at 478-7232 to schedule an appointment.
    “Mornings unPHILtered” airs live Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on and also simulcast on WWNS-AM 1240 on the radio. You also can listen anytime at on
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