The Covington News office is conveniently located for its local government reporters within easy walking distance of city hall, the Historic Courthouse and the county administration building. Today Gabe Khouli holds down that beat, but before Gabe, there was Rachel Oswald, trudging those well-worn paths and developing far more friends and admirers of her work than enemies. She was back in town this week for a visit with some of those friends.
The word tax is a three-letter word that might as well be a four-letter word these days.
Cook, author and TV personality Nathalie Dupree is long gone from these parts, having been carted away to endlessly charming Charleston by husband Jack Bass, chronicler of Southern history. Still, she retains devoted fans and many friends here since she ran "Nathalie's at Mt. Pleasant Village" and lived in Social Circle.
Little is left to the imagination these days. The ever deeper probing of scientists is removing any mystery from life and banishing the unknown and heretofore unknowable.
There are things - plenty of things - I just don't get.
Take a life, any life, even your own. Write down all the known facts and documentation of that life, much but not all of it taken from public record: birth, parents, hometown, siblings, education, college transcripts, career, titles, marriage, children, divorce, volunteer positions, achievements, military service, address, church membership, diaries, daybooks and perhaps old letters retained by the sender or recipient.
An imaginative sort who spies a bright red fire truck parked outside a church might think one of two things: Either the congregants are burning up with the Holy Spirit and keep a fire truck on hand to cool things down once in a while, or the truck is a warning the fires of hell are close unless they toe the line.
"What hath night to do with sleep?" wrote John Milton in
We are constantly admonished to live in the moment and decried if we appear to be living in the past. The past is behind us and cannot be changed. The future lies ahead, unpredictable and out of our control.
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There are many heroes walking among us. Sometimes we know them, but many times we don't. And even if we know their names, we may not realize why they are heroes and how our community is better because of them.
Public education in Georgia is always perceived to be a case of one step forward, two steps back. Or two steps forward and one step back.
Michelle Obama has legions of slavish fans and followers and for many good reasons. As First lady, she's crafted a campaign to reduce and fight childhood obesity that's affecting remarkable progress.
The little gray cat that usually sits in my lap when I write is missing. My muse is taking her morning nap elsewhere, it would seem. Balancing her on my lap poses an additional challenge to the discipline of writing regularly, but because cats are mercurial with their affections, I suffer her demands willingly. At hand are a well-thumbed dictionary and a thesaurus, despite author Stephen King's insistence that a thesaurus is never the place ...
Well, we've gone and done it again. Our state has turned up on a list that we'd rather not be on. As reported on CBS Morning News this week, researchers surveyed 10 million Twitter messages for words like "sad" or "happy" and ranked each state on scales of happiness or sadness. Sad to say, Georgia is deemed the fifth most unhappy state, behind Louisiana, Mississippi, Maryland and Delaware. The happiest states are, in order, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Utah and Vermont.
Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest coast of the United States and Canada had a long tradition known as potlatch. Hosts would invite other tribal members and family to a grand celebration that marked milestones such as births and marriages. Typical activities included singing, dancing and eating, not unlike festive occasions we celebrate in our own lives.
She's single and lives in a small town where, she said, "Everybody knows everybody." She won't do the bar scene, and there aren't many other options for meeting single men where she lives. What she'd like is a serious long-term relationship and she doesn't rule out marriage. So what's a woman to do?
Whenever there's talk about improving accountability in government, the call goes out for increased transparency: Nothing should be hidden, all records should be easily accessible, the processes should be crystal clear, roles and responsibilities of government officials should be easy to define, any motives or personal agendas should be discernible and avoided, and the chain of command clearly visible.
Many if not most political observers these days fall into one of two camps: either cynics who by definition believe all people - meaning elected officials - are motivated by selfishness, or skeptics, those who by instinct doubt or question or disagree with generally accepted conclusions, per the American Heritage Dictionary. They distrust government at all levels, as polls regularly show. Voters' lack of trust in elected officials was cited as one reason last summer's ...
This year of 2013 has, for me, gotten off to a start worthy of a year that ends in 13. Not that I'm superstitious or anything. Here's how it began.
I really wish they'd have told me something I don't already know. That was my response this week to a new poll by the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire. In it, Congress gets a lower approval rating than root canals, cockroaches, head lice and colonoscopies. It could hardly get much worse than that. Those results follow on the heels of a December Gallup poll that found members of Congress beat out just one profession - ...
Once merry-making New Year's bells stop ringing and Times Square clears out, people of Scottish descent make plans to celebrate the Jan. 25th birthday of their esteemed poet Robert Burns at formal dinners with a carefully prescribed format. The evening calls for good Scotch whiskey, poetry readings and a detailed menu to include something called haggis, among other things. By definition, haggis is "a mixture of the minced heart, lungs and liver of a sheep ...
It is a fledgling tradition, but traditions start somewhere. It is becoming a ritual for us to settle in on successive nights and work our way through a library of Christmas movies. There's "White Christmas" with mellifluous Bing Crosby, antic Danny Kay and sumptuous but stiff Rosemary Clooney who transform a failing New England inn and the fortunes of its owner, a retired general under whom characters played by Crosby and Kay served in World War II.
You either love it or hate it: Christmas music played every day around the clock starting sometime in October, it seems. The best time to go full-time holiday music, in my opinion, comes right after Thanksgiving, but all-the-time Christmas fare drives some people batty, and not just the Scrooges among us.
Christmas came early - this week, in fact - for the now former Georgia Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock. After a string of embarrassing missteps in a seemingly gilded political career, Rogers got to resign his senate post - only one month after winning re-election - and glide into a newly created executive-level job at Georgia Public Broadcasting. "I am honored by this incredible opportunity," he gushed. Disgraced politicians just never seem to ...