Not-so-peachy weather

Winter weather delays weekend events at the Mill


Fayette County Board of Education /

A screenshot of the Fayette County Board of Education’s webpage alerts parents and students to the changes in scheduled activities for Jan. 6. The potential of an upcoming snow storm throughout the southeastern U.S., forced the cancellation or postponement of many events at Starr’s Mill, including the annual Miss Starr’s Mill Scholarship Pageant.

Ximena Bejarano, Staff Writer

As the probability of snowfall potentially threatens students traveling back and forth on the roads, several anticipated events at Starr’s Mill have been rescheduled for next week.

The affected events include a wrestling tournament and All-State band and orchestra auditions, both scheduled for Saturday at Starr’s Mill.  The unanticipated winter weather, however, has had the most significant impact on the annual Miss Starr’s Mill Scholarship Pageant, which had been set to take place in the Willie Duke Auditorium this Friday and Saturday. “The county office has canceled all extracurriculars starting today as a result of the weather,” head organizer of the pageant Emily Willis said.

The Fayette County Board of Education has announced the rescheduling of events through various platforms. On Thursday evening, FCBOE informed students and parents of the cancellation of after school events through its emergency notification system. Notifications consisted of phone calls and emails via Infinite Campus. Starr’s Mill administrative also posted information regarding the changes of events on its website and Twitter account.

“Based on the current forecasting we’ve been seeing, it is likely that dangerous road conditions will continue throughout the weekend,” said Principal Allen Leonard. “We needed to postpone all of the events this weekend for the safety of the students and parents.”

In an effort to avoid a repeat of 2014’s mishaps, FCBOE did not hesitate to have every school release their students two hours earlier than usual on Friday. While elementary schools released their students at 12:25 p.m. and middle schools at 1:10 p.m., Starr’s Mill and the other high schools in Fayette County released their students at 1:45 p.m.. The school day hours were adjusted in order to ensure that all students and employees could safely arrive home before any potential hazardous weather might affect the roads.

“If you remember three years ago, we didn’t release early, and the snow came in a lot earlier than we expected,” said Leonard. “Thankfully, we got all of our students home, although there were several school systems that didn’t. Because of this past experience, the county wanted to be safe than sorry, so they decided to go ahead and release the students early.”

And it looks like Fayette County made a good call. Nick Maddock, a meteorologist and risk communicator for Weathernews based in Norman, Okla., provided The Prowler with a detailed weather briefing in anticipation of the weekend’s weather. “The latest weather models are showing the snow starting to fall Friday evening as early as 6 p.m. and lasting into Saturday afternoon.  The two major weather models that are used for guidance are showing as much as six inches (Global Forecast System model) falling in Fayetteville or as little as an one inch (North American Mesoscale model). I believe the total snow accumulation will be in the two- to four-inch range,” Maddock wrote in his statement.  “This is the reason that the National Weather Service in Peachtree City has issued a Winter Storm Warning for the northern [half] of Georgia. Travel is strongly discouraged after the snow starts falling and roads will remain slick and hazardous for most of the weekend.  Along with the snow, temperatures are expected to drop into the teens both Saturday night and Sunday night which is 15-20 degrees below normal.”

Although facing the extreme weather is inevitable, it is solely temporary. Fortunately, the events previously mentioned have been rescheduled to as early as next week. The wrestling tournament will be hosted at Starr’s Mill on Monday at 4 p.m., whereas All-State Orchestra and Band auditions have been postponed to Jan. 14. Miss Starr’s Mill is set to take place Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m.