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News Bites

To Babbit, city sponsorship plan isn't the Pitts

Although a proposal to sell the naming rights to city properties like Hartsfield International Airport and Piedmont Park isn't dead, it sure isn't feeling well. Oh, well, maybe City Council President (and mayoral candidate) Robb Pitts can dump some of the blame on friend and supporter Joel Babbit.
During the Olympics, Babbit brokered the $40 million deal that made Visa the official credit card of Atlanta. When he and Pitts talked this summer about corporate sponsorship of the airport and other facilities, they both thought it would be a sure hit.
Pitts proposed the airport idea a couple of months ago, but it was quickly panned
Yet for all the setbacks, Babbit — a marketing and advertising guru long involved in city politics — still is optimistic: "For the amount of money this city could derive annually by selling the name to Piedmont Park, it could afford to put a policeman on every corner in Buckhead," Babbit says.
"It's definitely going to happen," he adds. "These things are like the dominos in bowl games and stadiums. As soon as one does it, everybody is in on it. At some point, some city will sell the name of an airport or major park, and as soon as they do that every city in the country will follow suit." -- Michael Wall
State probe into alleged corpse-fondling
A lawsuit first reported by CL last April ("Near necrophilia alleged at local funeral home") has spurred the state Funeral Service Board to look into allegations of corpse fondling at H.M. Patterson & Son's Spring Hill funeral home on Spring Street.
Chris Riggall, a spokesman for Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox, says the allegations in the lawsuit against H.M. Patterson & Son are the first he's seen.
"Disrespect for the dead is not something we often hear about," Riggall says. The state Funeral Service Board is overseen by the Secretary of State's office.
-- Stephanie Ramage





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