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A spirit that is not afraid


Ashlea Draa/Photo Editor

Cambridge Coffee Closes for Repairs

An integral part of the coffee-lovers community across Auburn suddenly closed June 29.Owners of Cambridge Coffee on College Street closed their doors, turned off the lights and hung a "renovation" sign.A former employee of Cambridge, who did not want his identity revealed, said the shop is not undergoing aesthetic renovations, but has shut its doors and is considering a different business avenue."There's talk about all kinds of new types of businesses coming into this spot," he said.

The State Press

Life-long Sentencing Unfair for Sex Offenders?

While we acknowledge the utility of a Web site that allows users to locate nearby sex offenders in their county, we question if this added public scrutiny is fair to those one-time offenders.The same is true for having to re-register as a sex offender after moving.By no means do we view sexual offenses as insignificant crimes -- quite the opposite, actually.However, the lifelong stigma of being labeled a sex offender is too severe if we're not 100 percent sure that person is worthy of carrying that label with them for the rest of their life.We discussed scenarios where an over-18 partner is convicted of sexual abuse after having sex with their boyfriend or girlfriend who is not of age.There could have been consent at the time, but if that person comes back with charges of rape, there's no way to disprove such accusations, and just like that, someone is forever labeled a sex offender.Is this fair?We believe that, rather than having set guidelines that apply to each situation, a case-by-case method of determining whether sexual abuse actually occurred would be more just than the current method.Obviously this process would be more time consuming and more costly. But again, when someone is dealing with the everlasting dishonor of being known as a sex offender, the "Ah, but we're going to have to do more work!" excuse loses the minute amount of worth it had in the first place.Maybe a change should be implemented that would eliminate the tainted status after so many years of a clean record.While there should be no leniency for repeat offenders, we think it's unfair to require the constant registration for a one-time sex offender after they have already served their time. One-time convicts of other crimes aren't forced to publicly introduce themselves as a criminal after serving their time. They're certainly not listed with name and address on the sheriff's Web site, either.Again, with revision to the system, lifting of the label could be something that is dependent on the severity of the crime, as well.Why is it that only sex offenders are persistently highlighted for their crimes?We don't believe in revision of the system simply for justice, but for safety as well.If the reason for providing citizens with the names and locations of local sex offenders is to heighten their awareness and to protect them, then why not alert them about the proximity of previous convicts of other crimes?

Ashlea Draa/Photo Editor

Sips and Strokes for Different Folks

A new business in Auburn is painting the perfect picture for a night out on the town.Sips N Strokes, located on University Drive, allows customers to get creative by participating in a painting lesson and going home with their completed work.As the name implies, customers are invited to bring in a beverage of their choice to enjoy while they paint.Brad Baggett, owner and manager of the Auburn branch of Sips N Strokes, said the painting classes are offered Monday through Saturday."Monday through Wed-nesday the classes are two hours long and cost $25 and from Thursday through Saturday, Sips N Strokes offers three hour classes for $35," Baggett said.The paintings offered during the three-hour classes are slightly more difficult.

The Auburn Plainsman

Charter Communications to Keep WSFA News 12 in Auburn

Charter Communications mistakenly included Auburn in their news release about removing the local channel WSFA news 12 from Chambers County and Lanett."WSFA - NBC will remain on our line-up in the City of Auburn and in Lee County, but not in Chambers County and Lanett," said John Miller, director of communications for Charter Communications.A press release was sent to newspapers and put up on the screen for Charter subscribers to view, Mark Wilder, WSFA director of operations, said."When Charter put out the information to its subscribers, they made a mistake in the wording and included the word Auburn within Chambers County as to the area it was going to be taken off," Wilder said.

Austin Nelson/Associate Photo Editor

Local Honey Helps Ease Allergies

Runny noses, watery eyes and embarrassingly loud sneezes could be a thing of the past for Auburn students with a sweet tooth.Local honey is becoming an increasingly popular way for people to prevent the symptoms of allergies."I have terrible allergies this time of year," said Ben Pryor, a senior in human resources.Though many college students use prescription medicines to treat allergy-related symptoms every spring and summer, people have been using honey for thousands of years as a natural cure for allergies."Honeybees are one of the oldest insects mankind has had interaction with," said Ben McGehee, local beekeeper and honey salesman.

The Auburn Plainsman

Auburn Community Gathers for Art Walk

Hula hooping, face painting, dough tossing, scavenger hunting - a mere glimpse of the array of activities and attractions at the 2009 SummerNight downtown art walk held Friday, June 19 on College Street and Magnolia Avenue.Started by the Auburn Arts Association, SummerNight features artists from Auburn and surrounding areas gathered downtown to display and sell paintings, pottery, quilts, jewelry and other artistic wares to students and families of the Auburn community."This is an opportunity for the entire community to support the arts," said Sarah Hand, art specialist and cultural director of the Auburn Parks and Recreation Department.

Ashlea Draa/Photo Editor

Cumberland Plastic Systems LLC and Donaldson Company Inc. Add Jobs to Auburn

Two Auburn manufacturers are planning to expand their production and employee base.Cumberland Plastic Systems LLC and Donaldson Company Inc. will be adding additional employees within the next two years.Alison Petersen, human resources representative for Cumberland, said Cumberland plans to hire at least 51 employees over the next two years.Jim Noreault, plant manager for Donaldson, said Donaldson Company plans to hire 25 employees starting in January 2010.Petersen said it is not an immediate physical expansion, but a production expansion where the company will buy new machines and hire more employees to work them."We are a new company, and we've been working hard the past few years to get business," Petersen said.