Officials hope for ‘09 change

Published 7:09 pm Tuesday, December 30, 2008

When the clock strikes midnight this New Year’s Eve, residents can officially say goodbye to 2008. But, there is some of 2008 that won’t disappear as quickly.

Things like an economy spiraling in wrong direction won’t go away, at least not overnight, and some local officials have that on the front of their minds this New Year’s Eve.

Though people like Troy City Council President Johnny Witherington and Brundidge Mayor Jimmy Ramage said they are hopeful for economic turnaround in 2009, they are preparing for challenges that may lie ahead.

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“I’m excited about the New Year and all the opportunity it holds for us,” Witherington said. “It’s going to be a challenge from a personal, professional or business perspective. We’ll have to be frugal and be good sources of what we have.”

Ramage said he is hoping for a positive change in the economy because the nation’s recession is starting to trickle to Pike County’s communities.

“Everybody’s got to work hard, and we hope the economy will start turning around because it’s pretty severe overall and now starting to affect some of our locals,” Ramage said.

But despite economic concerns, these two will join the rest of Pike County and the country tonight to kick in the New Year celebrations.

From spending a night out with friends, to staying at home, and even to saying a few prayers, New Year’s Eve celebrations are varied among local residents.

And making New Year’s resolutions varied just as much.

Niven Fowee, of Troy, who said she will bring in the year by celebrating with her friends, said she typically never makes resolutions on New Year’s Eve.

Instead, Fowee will make big changes during Lent, a time of fasting for some Christian religions before Easter.

Jewell Pitts, of Montgomery, who just plans to spend the evening at home, said she may join many nationwide in dieting in the New Year.

“I’ve not made any resolutions so far, but I need to lose a few pounds,” Pitts said.

And for Roosevelt Coleman, New Year’s celebrations always revolve around spending time in prayer.

“I’m just going to spend New Year’s at my church,” Coleman said.

And Coleman’s New Year’s resolution will be along the same lines.

“It’s just to keep my eyes on God,” Coleman said.

Some like Danielle Murphy, of Dothan, will kick off 2009 at work.

But whatever Pike County residents are doing, law enforcement officials ask residents to keep safety a priority.

Fire Chief Thomas Outlaw said fireworks pose a big fire threat on New Year’s, and they are illegal to use within the city limits.

And, Troy Police Spokesman Sgt. Benny Scarbrough said residents should be cautious when traveling and should always avoid drinking and driving.