The lucky four were former Georgia Bar Association president attorney Robert Ingram and his son Ryan; Chief Sheriff's Deputy Lynda Coker, and sheriff's spokeswoman Nancy Bodiford.
Coker said the elevator had opened on the fifth floor and then went up to the sixth. The doors started to open on that floor, but stopped after opening just a couple of inches. She said she pushed the "Help" button, and then a woman answered asking for her address. When Coker wasn't sure of the new courthouse's address, the help woman asked "What state are you in?" Turns out the help desk is in Texas.
Coker says she also pushed the button marked "Alarm," which started a ringing sound.
"I'm pushing the alarm button because I want people in the building to know there was a problem in this elevator. The help woman kept saying, 'There's an alarm going off.' And I said, 'I know there is! I'm pushing the button!' She asked me to please stop pushing the alarm, but I said I was going to push it until we got help," Coker said, chuckling in hindsight.
Turner Construction, the general contractor on the $63 million building, did have an elevator technician on site and he was able to free the four after about 15 minutes, Coker and Bodiford said. They were headed up to check out the courtroom of Nancy's husband, Superior Court Judge James Bodiford.
In the end, everyone was fine, Bodiford said. And Coker said it was better that county employees got stuck, rather than a private citizen.
"And it taught us a good deal about the help system," Coker said. Still, she took the stairs down to exit the building.
"Six flights down is a lot easier than six flights up," Coker said.
ALTHOUGH ALL 10 Superior Court judges were originally to have camelback, three-seat couches in their chambers, Chief Judge Robert Flournoy and Court Administrator Tom Charron told AT last week that Judge Adele Grubbs had told them in no uncertain terms that she didn't want taxpayers to think she was sleeping on the job.
Pursuant to the judge's order, her couch has been removed.
NEW northeast Cobb Commissioner JoAnn Birrell told AT on Monday she will be bringing her own assistant with her when she is sworn in on Jan. 3 — Inger Eberhart. The eloquent Eberhart is a member of the board of advisors for the Dustin Inman Society, the immigration reform group headed by east Cobb’s D.A. King, and has penned several letters to the editor and testified before the state Legislature on that topic.
“I’ve worked with her throughout my campaign, as she’s done my newsletters and helped support me a lot. I also got to know her through Cobb Republican Women,” Birrell said. “She’s very sharp, has a great work ethic and I think she’ll do a great job.”
Eberhart will succeed current commission assistants Pam Mabry and Shannon Woody, who worked part-time for interim northeast Cobb Commissioner Thea Powell and first worked for the county attorney’s office before becoming then-Chairman Sam Olens’ assistants.
Birrell said both Mabry and Woody came highly recommended, but she wanted one person full-time that she knew well.
“With me being new, I want someone there all the time who will be consistent,” Birrell said.
But Mabry and Woody’s dismissal may also have something to do with their close relationship with Powell, as was evidenced by the tears Powell shed while speaking of them during her final commission meeting Thursday.
Mabry and Woody will be moved back to the county attorney’s office to replace departing assistant Shirley Morrison, who accepted early retirement in March but stayed on until the end of the year.
THE SWEARING-IN ceremony for Commissioner Helen Goreham as she starts her third term representing northwest Cobb on the county Board of Commissioners will be at 11 a.m. Dec. 28 in the Board of Commissioners Meeting Room at 100 Cherokee St., in Marietta.
In light of Gov.-Elect Nathan Deal’s plan to celebrate his inaugural with a day of service, Attorney General-elect Sam Olens will volunteer at MUST Ministries from 9 p.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 8. To volunteer, call (678) 386-8197.
THE HOLIDAY SEASON is a time of joy for most people, but it’s been anything but that for east Cobb architect and former Cobb commission candidate Stephen Moon and his family.
Moon’s wife, Victoria, has been in a coma since falling on Nov. 22 and severely fracturing her skull. She had just had a routine exam and blood draw at her physician’s office when, feeling nauseous and possibly having a touch of flu or a virus, she stood up to go to the restroom. Feeling faint, she grabbed a door and then toppled backward, hitting her head on the floor and fracturing it from the temple down almost to her jaw.
Doctors did neurosurgery immediately upon her arrival at WellStar Kennestone, and more neurosurgery the next day to deal with internal bleeding and swelling, Moon told AT.
A former journalist, Mrs. Moon had spent the past eight years as a “stay at home mom” for the couple’s three children: Max, 7, Sam, 4 and Rosie, 2. She was the primary therapist for the couple’s daughter, a special needs child, Moon said.
“Several times in the last 3-4 days she has responded to commands to move her arm, squeeze fingers, and even yesterday, she moved her left foot back and forth in the bed to commands,” Moon wrote Monday on his CaringBridge Web site, (www.caringbridge.org/visit/victoriamoon/journal/) which has gotten more than 10,000 hits thus far. “Based on the severity of her injury and surgeries, we want to avoid seeing a plateau in her improvement. It is important that there be incremental improvement each day, and that is our biggest hope and prayer.”
His goal is that she shows sufficient signs of waking up that she can be moved to the Sheperd Center in Atlanta for rehabilitation.
In the meantime, alumni from his Leadership Cobb Class of 2008, including county spokesman Robert Quigley, decorated the Moons’ house for the holidays and put up a Christmas tree. And a friend of the Moons, Janice Potter, has set up a web site (www.hhmin.org/make_donation.php) listing ways of helping the family.
Moon came in third in last summer’s GOP Primary race for the commission seat formerly held by Tim Lee. He told AT that both of his opponents in that race, winner JoAnn Birrell and Earl Stine, have reached out to help since the accident.
“I think (Victoria) was just so busy taking care of everybody else that she wore herself out,” he said. “It’s a real blessing to have so many friends and so much support from people, but my kids need their Mommy back. We’re just hoping and praying that she’s going to be alright.”