The Georgia General Assembly began last week at a fast pace, since Monday was what we call crossover day. Crossover day is the 30th day of our 40-day annual legislative session. More importantly, it is the last day that you can move a bill out of one chamber of the legislature and still have the opportunity to try and move it in the other chamber. In the House, we considered 64 bills and resolutions during the week, with 52 of those being on crossover day itself. I'll cover the three, by far, most interesting measures.
Vladimir Nabokov considered Anton Chekhov's "The Lady with the Dog" one of the best short stories ever written. For what it's worth, I agree. The plot is a simple one. A womanizing banker from Moscow seduces a young woman at the Black Sea resort of Yalta -- and then, calamitously, falls in love. The dalliance becomes an obsession for them both. They remain married to others but imprisoned by their passion for one another. The banker's name is Dmitri. He was hardly the last Russian to lose his wits in Crimea.
I love taking 4-H and Youth Leadership Institute youths on trips, because inevitably someone will comment that they're more mature and better dressed than the adult groups around them.
Business in the Georgia House intensified last week. We considered 77 bills and resolutions on the House floor in a number of lengthy sessions, while at the same time producing several dozen bills per day from numerous committee meetings. We've now reached the final quarter of the session, and the pressure is on to get everything done. None of the measures we saw during the week was really high profile, but several were interesting.
The shooting and subsequent death of Jordan Davis (read a black teen) by Michael Dunn (read an evil white racist) is being used by race-mongering marplots to stoke the fires under the caldron that teems with "white people are out to kill blacks."
Susan Rice ought to stay off "Meet the Press."
Every species has a past, present and a future. Those three words have been uttered since ancient times.
The House began shifting gears toward more floor work last week as the intensity of the session ratcheted up. We voted on 33 bills and resolutions.I'm going to focus on four that were rather out of the ordinary.
This Friday night, make it a family movie night with Newton County 4-H.
Last week the House voted on 11 bills and resolutions in our weather-abbreviated floor time. Several items are worthy of note.
If I were a wealthy woman, I would be writing this while sitting in the sun in Brazil, not in Newton County, Ga. However, here I am, sitting in my home, hoping my laptop doesn't stop working.
Officials said a man set himself on fire at the Kroger on U.S. Highway 278 Tuesday afternoon.
Newton County 4-H hosted the district project achievement event for 309 Cloverleaf 4-H members and more than 500 additional guests last Saturday at Newton High.
Newton County citizens recently learned of the unexpected action of the Board of Commissioners (BOC) to appoint an "assistant county manager," which in fact is the new "county manager in waiting" who will replace John Middleton upon his retirement sometime this year. Mr. Tom Garrett, the person selected, may be a good candidate for this job, but the process and timing of his appointment raises serious questions about the genuine commitment of our current commissioners to effectively manage our county.
The defenestration of Woody Allen started on Feb. 2 with a column in The New York Times by Nicholas Kristof. He began by saying all the right things -- that allegations against Allen of sexually molesting the 7-year-old daughter of his one-time companion Mia Farrow had never been proved and that Allen "should be presumed innocent." Then Kristof threw Allen out the window.
In search of some Halloween fun? Here's a roundup of events in Covington and Newton County:
Sunday is Oct. 31, a time for family fun for young and old. As evening approaches, streets and byways will be filled with witches and goblins, mad hatters and fairy princesses.
We ran a story on Page 1 Sunday about the county budget, personnel cuts and lower morale.
The Newton County School System continues to surpass Georgia's average graduation rate, with 84.2 percent of county seniors graduating in 2010, compared to 80.8 percent of seniors statewide, according to information released on Tuesday. Newton County has also continued to post yearly increases in its graduation rate for all students.
Piedmont Academy's Fellowship of Christian Athletes attended "Tribulation Trail" in Stockbridge on Oct. 15. The dramatic, biblical presentation began in 1992 and is sponsored by several community churches in the area. The group walked through tiki-lantern lit paths through the woods to experience journeys based on the Bible's book of Revelations.
Ms. Gwendolyn Rena Boswell died Oct. 21. The daughter of Hattie Boswell and Comer "Pat" Howard, she was born in 1969 in Covington. Ms. Boswell attended Newton County schools and graduated in 1987. She was a valued employee for over 15 years at Smurfit-Stone, formerly Mead Containers. She had a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, accepting him as her Lord and Savior. Ms. Boswell was a devoted daughter, auntie and sister. She always wore a smile and was full of joy. She was family-oriented and always willing to lend a helping hand.
A line of thunderstorms is moving through Newton and Rockdale counties at this hour.
A tornado watch is in effect until 1 p.m., meaning there is a chance for some storms to produce tornadoes.
Newton County has a long and proud agricultural history, but much of that tradition has been lost in recent years to suburban development.
• Romeo Anthony Brown, 21, 5178 Hartsook Drive, Covington, Oct. 18. Simple battery, loitering or prowling, street gang terrorism and prevention statute code.
Over the years many of our readers have listened to National Public Radio, mostly for the commentaries and classical music and jazz it provides its listeners.
The R.L. Cousins class of 1965 celebrated their 45th reunion with activities from Sept. 17-19.
• Jackie Dodd, DUI, 12 months probation, serve 5 days, $1,000 fine; open container, $200 fine.
Come visit the Newton County Animal Shelter at 210 Lower River Road, open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. They would love for you to see what great animals they have for adoption. Telephone (770) 786-9514.
Newton County Commissioners will soon be reviewing the idea of requiring pet owners to pay for licenses for their animals.
A proposal presented by Chairman Kathy Morgan could generate $1 million for the county. Pet owners would pay at least $10 each for their animals ($25 for those not spayed or neutered), and Morgan estimates that there are 100,000 taxable pets.
Some of our friends in Newton County are organizing opposition to a possible purchase of an unused railroad line for conversion into a hiking and biking trail.
They're putting up signs around the county that say: "Priorities First, No Rails to Trails," and are asking others to call their county commissioner and voice their concerns.