Halloween safety tips for parents

Halloween is a fun time for kids and even adults, but children face special risks on that day that parents that parents should keep in mind. The American Academy of Pediatrics has released a list of recommendations for a safer holiday for the little ones. The highlights are summarized here.

Trick-or-treaters by the fireplace
Trick-or-treaters take a quick break to pose for some pictures. Photo by Cyndi Cheek.
  1. Bright and reflective costume colors are the best. Costumes should also give kids freedom of movement, particularly around their legs and be short enough to prevent snagging and tripping.
  2. Halloween often involves candles and other sources of open flame, be sure to use flame retardant material and follow the advice above on keeping costumes short to avoid accidental contact with fire.
  3. Masks often block eyesight, so favor makeup instead. Be sure to test the makeup on a small patch of skin in advance to make sure there are no allergies.
  4. Don’t use long, sharp or pointed props with your kids costumes. Children like to swing things around and the longer something is, the more it can reach and the sharper it is, the more damage it can do. A long and dangerous prop (even glass) could easily hurt the child or others in the event of an accidental fall.
  5. Be sure children have some form of identification and know how to dial 9-1-1 in case of separation or getting lost.
Wonder Woman and Steve
Wonder Woman and Steve from Minecraft demonstrate the use of short costumes and bright reflective colors. The mask on Steve might not be the best idea due to the limitation on vision. The sword, although it is long, is foam and will not cause injury in the event of a fall.  Photo by Doug Deal.
  1. Consider dispensing candy in a place away from trip hazards. Children will be wearing masks and have draping clothing and forcing them to go up stairs could result in falls. Also, tight squeezes between bushes can catch on loose clothing and also trip a child. Also, make sure their is a clear path through decorations and light the way with glow sticks or spotlights so children can see where they are going.
  2. Keep wet leaves and other debris off sidewalks and pathways.
  3. A parent or other trusted adult should accompany all young children at all times.
  4. Get some small flashlights for everyone in your party, including escorts. These will come in handy in case anyone is lost or a pathway is too dark to walk through carefully. Also, the light can be used to alert passing cars to your presence, especially by pointing the light toward the ground and away from the drivers eyes.
  5. For older children going alone or in a group of friends, set a schedule and agree to an acceptable route.
  6. Only knock on doors with a porch light on that are clearly welcoming trick-or-treaters.
  7. A little bit of reflective tape can go a long way on costumes and treat bags.
  8. Carry cell phones for emergencies.
  9. Use the sidewalk whenever possible, but in the many neighborhoods without sidewalks walk on the side of the street facing oncoming traffic and stick to well lit areas or use a flashlight.\
  10. Do not cut across yards and down alleyways. There can be unseen hazards in the dark and especially isolated places like alleyways.
  11. Don’t assume drivers see you, give them a wide berth and avoid cars as much as possible.
  12. Tampering is rare and the fear is overblown, but still examine all treats before the children start eating them.

Tommy’s serves freshly made donuts, breakfast sandwiches and lunch

Tommy's Donuts
Chocolate and glazed with sprinkles are just two of the types of freshly made donuts available at Tommy’s. Photo by Doug Deal.

I have not been a big fan of doughnuts or “donuts” as some places call them. Not because the idea of a sweet fried pastry doesn’t appeal to me, but because the mass produced options are often so bad. Krispy Kreme, for example, seems more like a puffed up ball of sugar similar to cotton candy rather than actual food. Dunkin Donuts seem to be mostly stale, but more like food at least.

Tommy's Outside
Exterior view of Tommy’s. Photo by Doug Deal.

If you are looking to get away from the big chains and try some freshly made doughnuts from a locally owned business, I highly recommend Tommy’s at 5580 Thomaston Rd #20 in South Bibb County off the Mercer University exit of I-475.

My family have made it a tradition to stop their while we wait for my son’s guitar lesson at the Greenwood School of Music to complete. Last Saturday morning, he specifically asked for us to get him a chocolate doughnut from Tommy’s and despite the relative closeness of Chik-fil-a and others, it was worth the extra drive.

Tommy's More Donuts
Boston Creme Pie doughnuts, how could you go wrong? Photo by Doug Deal.

For the kids, we got the aforementioned chocolate, but for our daughter, she wanted the red velvet cake. Both were bigger than they could eat, fresh, moist and delicious. Previously, I have had their Boston cream pie doughnut (probably my favorite type of doughnut in the world) and an apple fitter, but this time, I decided on a chicken, egg and cheese on a french toast bagel, while my wife got a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit.

People will spend money at McDonalds or some other breakfast place and settle for mediocre meals, but if you want to support a local business and have an excellent meal prepared by people who care, give Tommy’s a try.

Tommy's Inside
Interior view of Tommy’s. Photo by Doug Deal.

They are also open for lunch and have various $5.99 lunch specials daily as well as hamburgers and other standard lunch fair. For those who want to take home dinner, they also have a selection of cold family sized takeaway meals at a reasonable price.

Their hours are 6:30 AM – 5:30 PM Monday through Friday and 6:30 AM – Noon on Saturday. Their menu is available online and they also have a Facebook page. Catering is also available.

Tommy's Menu
Tommy’s menu board. Be sure to also try their cold food takeaway items, like the pimento cheese dip. Photo by Doug Deal.

Halloween ComicFest coming October 29, 2016 to area comic stores

Do you celebrate Halloween? Do you read comic books? Even more importantly, do you like free stuff? If you answered yes to any of these, then you should trick or treat yourself to Halloween ComicFest!

Wonder Woman and Steve
Wonder Woman and Steve from Minecraft are both characters that are popular with kids and adults. Photo by Doug Deal.

Halloween ComicFest will be held on October 29 at participating comic shops all across America, with 2016 marking its 5th anniversary. Much like Free Comic Book Day, which takes place in May each year, Halloween ComicFest is a great time to make your way down to your local comic shop, join in the celebration, and score some free comics! The difference is that the comics are Halloween themed and each store usually holds Halloween themed events, such as costume contests, to aid in the festivities. The Middle Georgia area is lucky enough to have three great locations to choose from.

Heroes and Villains at 117 Russell Parkway, Suite F in Warner Robins will have a storewide sale with discounts up to 50% off, three separate costume contests (kids, teens, and adults) complete with store credit prizes for first place and honorable mention, door prizes, and free comics for the kids. See their Facebook page for complete details or set yourself a reminder with their event page.

Vigilantes Comics & Café, located at 1291 S Houston Lake Rd, Suite J in Warner Robins, will celebrate from 11:00 am until 8:00 pm. Everyone who attends will receive free comics and candy on a first come, first served basis. Vigilantes will start the day with a mini sale. There will be several events for kids, such as carnival games, a coloring contest, and a costume contest. For gamers, there will be a Halloween edition Heroclix tournament and a Spooky Magic the Gathering tournament. Visit their Facebook page for more information. They also have an event page with a full schedule of events.

Comics Plus at 4007 Northside Drive in Macon will also be participating in the event, but could not be reached for event details.

You can find out more about Halloween ComicFest at their Facebook page or visit their official website where you can locate other participating retailers.

St. Joseph’s School: Mission Moments in the Classroom

Macon Community News invites local schools to submit updates to better inform the residents of Macon and Middle Georgia about the good things happening in education. These updates are from St. Joseph’s Catholic School.

St. Josephs Thank You
Credit – St. Joseph’s Catholic School

St. Joseph’s Catholic School Mission Statement:

St. Joseph’s Catholic School, a parish community guided by the Gospel values and Catholic tradition, is dedicated to educating, nurturing, and encouraging, the minds, body, and spirit of every child, creating lifelong learners and stewards of the Faith.

Each week our teachers submit Mission Moments in the Classroom. These are moments, actions, or statements from students in the class that directly reflect our mission statement. We love seeing our mission statement in action in the daily lives and education of our students. Below are some recent Mission Moments from our classrooms.

  • “Can I put this extra money I have in our class mission jar?”
  • Sixth grade is planning opportunities to serve our school community through, Student Council, the House System, and Missions Committee.
  • The students have warmly welcomed new friends and have helped each other in the classroom.
  • “I let my brother hit first when playing baseball just like Abraham from the story.”
  • “Today I prayed with a student who was concerned about a sick relative. His parents were so thankful for this.”
  • We acknowledge genuine acts of kindness in the classroom each time they occur.”
  • The students are actively adding prayers to the classroom prayer wall.

If your school or organization would like to publish an update, announcement or bulletin, please use our submission page. The submission should be ready for publication, but may be edited by us for style or formatting. We may be in touch after your submission for verification, to request photos or get more information.

Which Wich has a lot of options for lunch

I am not normally a sandwich person and am usually dissatisfied with the standard Subway style sandwiches you get from most places. Even worse are the cold cuts on sliced bread places which basically charge you for something you could easily make at home. Also, since food is something I enjoy, there is just something unsatisfying to me about wasting a meal eating a mere sandwich.

Which Wich - Macon
Which Wich is located across the street from the Emergency Departent of the Medical Center and shares a building with Dunkin Donuts. Photo by Doug Deal.

Sometimes, though, a good sandwich can hit the spot, especially for lunch and especially when in a hurry. Once place to consider is Which Wich. It’s a chain, which is not usually the type of restaurant we cover, but there is a such a large gap in the options for local quick service sandwich places in Macon, that we’ve made an exception.

Across from the Medical Center and next to Dunkin Donuts, the restaurant offer a large selection of sandwiches (over 40) and several options for bread, toppings, meats and cheese. For those who like sandwiches served on bread but want to cut back a little, they have a “skinny” options which is a regular roll with the middle scooped out. This removes a bit of the calories and carbs from the sandwich, but still gives the sensation of eating a real sandwich.

Which Wich Menu
Which Wich has a large menu of sandwich divided up into 10 categories. Each category has its own bag from which you record your selections. Photo by Doug Deal.

The sandwich sizes start with a 7-inch and include a 10.5-inch and a 14-inch. The 7-inch is a fairly large portions, so most people will find that acceptable and the 14-inch is perfect for sharing. For those who want no bread at all, they will also serve the sandwich in a bowl as a salad or inside a lettuce wrap. If you choose a bread, you also have the option of having it toasted as a “hotwich” or not as a “coldwich”.

Cheese options include the usual like cheddar, Swiss, American and provolone, and also include mozzarella, blue, pepper jack and Parmesan. Different sandwich allows for differing amounts of cheese and most sandwiches allow you to double the cheese for a $1.00 or the meat for $2.00 on a 7-inch.

Which Wich Counter
You sandwich is prepared while you wait by the specifications you marked on your bag when you placed your order. No need to stand around and repeat your request to three different people. Photo by Doug Deal.

There are also a number of dressings available, starting with your basic mayos like regular and spicy, and mustards like deli, yellow and Dijon. But there are also several more exotic options like Balsamic vinaigrette, Buffalo, ranch and pesto. Toppings can be chosen from lettuce, spinach, tomato, pickles, onions, mushrooms, avocado, sliced egg and many more. Pretty much anything you might want on a sandwich is available.

When confronted with so many options, it is easy to get a bit mixed up and leave something out, which is where one of their innovations comes in. If you don’t order online, which is highly recommended, you select what type of your sandwich you want from 10 different categories. After selecting the appropriate numbered bag, you mark your selections in pencil and the crew uses that as their guide in preparing your sandwich. If you leave something off, the cashier will ask you about it and fill it in at the register. This greatly reduces errors and in the few times I have been there, I have not been on the receiving end of a mistake.

Which Wich - The Wicked
The Wicked is a meat lovers dream, having pepperoni, ham, roast beef, bacon and turkey. It also comes with three kinds of cheese of your choice. This is the 7-inch and is big enough for almost anyone’s lunch. Photo by Doug Deal.

The restaurant is on the small side, like most sandwich places, but if you hit the off peak times, there is rarely an issue with finding a table. Generally, I have gotten mine to go and you are usually in an out before too long.

My current favorite sandwich is The Wicked, which is a meat lover’s dream with turkey, roast beef, bacon, pepperoni and ham. It is also served with your choice of three kinds of cheese. The 7-inch was more than enough for lunch and comes in at $7 plus tax for the sandwich only and $10 for the sandwich with chips and drink. It’s a bit more pricey than Subway, but not too much more and the quality AND quantity make it worth the extra money.

There is only one location in Macon, 860 Forsyth St. Ste. 102, Macon, GA 31210, but another is listed as coming soon at Mercer University.