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Southeastern News

1HomePageMap small se 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia

Specialty Paint and Body in Athens, GA, recently converted its painting system to waterborne paint techniques.

The use of waterborne paints lessens the release of volatile organic compounds that evaporate from liquids such as paint, paint thinner and gasoline.

Specialty Paint and Body already manages their environmental impact by composting shredded office paper, and recycling most plastic and metal car parts, paper and cardboard. It also reuses plastic sheeting to protect car parts during the repair process.


Georgia SB 360, also known as Caleb’s Law, named after a teen who died in a December car crash while texting and driving, has been signed by Governor Sonny Perdue. The law forbids texting while driving in the state of Georgia. The state now joins 27 others that have enacted similar bans. The Georgia law applies not just to writing a text message while driving, but also to the sending of it or the reading of “any text-based communication” on a “wireless telecommunications device.” Wireless telecommunications device means a cellular telephone, a text-messaging device, a personal digital assistant, or a stand alone computer. Starting July 1, drivers who are caught reading, writing or sending any kind of text message, including emails, could face a $150 fine and a point on their driver’s license.

No under-18 Calls While Driving

The Governor also signed a separate law, House Bill 23, that forbids anyone under 18 from using a cell phone while driving. Young drivers caught using a cell phone while behind the wheel may be fined $150, and if they become involved in an accident while on the phone, the fine doubles to $300.

Writes Randy: “I was born in Cleveland Ohio, and grew up in a small city called Wickliffe where four siblings, a nephew and I were raised by my single mother.  Since I can remember I’ve had a pencil in my hand, drawing. I couldn’t get enough of it and had a passion for cars.


Nothing can beat old American Muscle cars: Camaros, Cudas, Mustangs, etc. While looking for a way to implement both of my passions into one for a career, I found OTC. Here is where I developed these passions through the collision and repair and custom paint courses.

One day my class was told about a contest to design a picture for a tiger statue for the 2010 Year of The  Tiger Celebration. The Year of The Tiger public art project celebrates Cleveland’s Asian Town community. St. Clair Superior’s blossoming arts district and its thriving business community. The project is in commemoration of the Chinese Year of the Tiger which began with the new moon February 14, 2010.

I knew I wanted to do something noble, strong. A protector. The tiger statue was given to me where the first thing I started ground off the main under the jaw. The second thing was laying out my design. Third, start sculpting the armor out of a material called magic sculpt. This product gets rock hard and needs to be sanded. The wings have a metal frame that is welded together and actually sit over the tiger’s shoulders like a saddle and then I put magic sculpt over the frame. And fourth, I painted and cleared it and the finished product is what you see here.

During this creation I received help and encouragement from some people that I would like to thank, Mr. Downy, Mike Donahue, and Mr. Gold.

Leading automotive trade school Ohio Technical College is excited to announce The Rich Evans Academy; a three-month advanced collision repair and customizing program where students will learn fabrication, welding, water-borne painting and fiberglass molding, among other advanced skills.

Rich Evans, is an Autobody News columnist and owner of Huntington Beach Bodyworks in California, is a custom car builder, painter and TV personality who has appeared on such shows as “Monster Garage” and “Pimp My Ride.”

As part of the new partnership, he will work with OTC to develop a real-world curriculum based on decades of experience designing and building one-of-a-kind vehicles. Evans will also assist OTC in outfitting the Rich Evans Academy shop with the tools, training aids and equipment needed to facilitate the program.

“The new Rich Evans Academy is an advanced, concentrated course designed to give students employable skills that many of their peers will not have after graduation.  We are excited to partner with Rich, who shares his years of experience with our students as well as our instructors,” said Tom King, director of Enrollment, OTC.

On April 20th, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon while drilling in an oil well off the Gulf Coast of Louisiana left 17 workers injured and 11 missing and presumed dead. Since that day, oil has been spilling from a BP offshore drilling well in the Gulf of Mexico.

The leak is currently discharging 200,000 gallons of crude oil a day, according to the official estimate, and efforts to manage the spill with controlled burning, dispersal and plugging the leak were unsuccessful. It is estimated that more than 6 million gallons of crude oil have spewed into the Gulf so far.

This oil spill is on track to become the worst oil spill in history, surpassing the damage done by the Exxon Valdez tanker that spilled 11 million gallons of oil into the ecologically sensitive Prince William Sound in 1989. Unlike the Exxon Valdez tragedy, in which a tanker held a finite capacity of oil, BP’s rig is tapped into an underwater oil well and could pump more oil into the ocean indefinitely until the leak is plugged.

The oil reached the Louisiana shoreline May 14, posing a serious threat to fishermen’s livelihoods, marine habitats, beaches, wildlife and human health.

The slick has forced the shutdown of the gulf’s rich fishing grounds and could also spread to the busy shipping lanes at the mouth of the Mississippi River, tying up the cargo vessels that move millions of tons of fruit, rubber, grain, steel and other commodities and raw materials in and out of the nation’s interior.

On May 18,  the Federal Court of Appeals in Atlanta, GA, ordered State Farm Insurance to undergo mediation with Gunder’s in an effort to bring a satisfactory resolution to Gunder’s claim against State Farm for Tortious Interference and Slander. (Tortious interference of business occurs when false claims and accusations are made against a business or an individual’s reputation in order to drive business away.) The Appelant court order was  in response to Gunder’s Auto Center’s request for appeal of a Florida courts recent summary judgment.