Cullman Times about Cullman Tourism Bureau being needed:

Beginning this month, Cullman will have a new Tourism Bureau to manage the marketing and tourism for Cullman County. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Garland Gudger, is intended to bring all the government entities together to work cooperatively in selling Cullman County to tourists. It’s an admirable goal, and we hope it lives up to its promise.

This board is needed. Currently, there are multiple entities involved in tourism and their efforts sometimes overlap and don’t have a cohesive look or feel. This new board will bring them all together, with each having equal representation so no one entity has more say than another.

To begin with, the board members will manage the bureau, but eventually — with hotel tax dollars going to fund it — there will be a director and perhaps other staff support. The Tourism Bureau will be housed at the Chamber, but will not be a part of the Chamber.

Normally, we would question the creation of another layer of government; however, we agree with Sen. Gudger that the bureau and its governing body are needed. Rather than add a layer, they create connections between all the existing players in Cullman’s tourism industry.

Cullman County has a lot going for it: location, Smith Lake, a picturesque downtown, history, great parks throughout the county, a well-run airport, retail shops and restaurants, events and attractions such as the Ave Maria Grotto and Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

We see this new Tourism Bureau as a way to bring them all together and introduce visitors to the Cullman County we love.

Johnson City (Tennessee) Press on taking steps to keep biting mosquitoes at bay

Recent rain has left more than puddles and swollen creeks. Heavy showers have also created ideal breeding habitats for mosquitoes.

And while most Americans consider mosquitoes to be nothing more than a nuisance, they do pose a real public health threat that can prove deadly for some.

The Environmental Protection Agency says mosquito-borne diseases affect millions of people worldwide each year. Some species of mosquitoes can transmit diseases such as dengue fever and malaria to humans, as well as a variety of diseases to wildlife and domestic animals.

You can take steps to control the mosquito population on your property by eliminating breeding habitats for the insects. That means getting rid of any standing water around the home, including water in potted plant dishes, garbage cans, old tires and wading pools.

It’s important to remember mosquitoes can breed in any puddle that lasts more than four days.

In fact, as little as a thimble full of water can serve as a nursery for baby mosquitoes. That’s why homeowners should keep drains, ditches and culverts clear of weeds and trash.

Doing so reduces the breeding opportunities for these pesky visitors.

The number of reported cases of West Nile virus, which is one of the diseases transmitted through mosquito bites, has declined in recent years, thanks in part to the efforts of Johnson City and other local governments to step up the use of chemical and biological pesticides to control the mosquito population.

Residents should always close their windows and turn off window unit air conditioners when spraying is taking place.

It’s also important to prevent children from playing near or behind truck-mounted applicators when they are in use.

And remember: Most cities don’t spray for mosquitoes until after sundown.

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