Georgia State University seems to have everything going for it: the second-largest enrollment of any state college, a campus that is revitalizing downtown Atlanta with all the new buildings going up, and a sterling reputation as one of the University System's four research institutions (a status it shares with UGA, Georgia Tech and the Medical College of Georgia).
Even with all the academic acclaim, one thing Georgia State never had was that staple of southern college life: a football team.
The federal court ruling that set a three-year clock ticking on water withdrawals from Lake Lanier won't just affect Metro Atlanta and North Georgia - its impact will be felt in every corner of the state.
Even with the most optimistic outcome where a settlement is worked out between Georgia, Alabama, and Florida over the use of Lanier, the amount of water available to Metro Atlanta governments will likely be reduced to a level that cannot support the current trends of development and growth. What then?
Everybody loves charter schools. Republicans and Democrats alike say that charter schools are a great idea that can solve all the problems of our public education system.
"We're looking for innovation, we're looking for creativity," said Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue as he signed a bill that lets school systems apply for charter status. "This legislation will allow innovative local systems to apply the same techniques that charter schools have used to generate academic success."
Georgia's recession has put state government in the same position as a penny-pinching old geezer, the kind who searches under the sofa cushions for lost dimes and quarters or cashes in that jar of pennies he's been hoarding.
The state's search for loose change has intensified in recent weeks because the end of the fiscal year is approaching and Gov. Sonny Perdue is constitutionally required to make sure that the books balance on June 30.
The State Transportation Board has elected yet another commissioner for that troubled agency: state Rep. Vance Smith (R-Pine Mountain), a person who has some expertise in highway construction because his family-owned business did a lot of road grading back in Harris County.
Smith will be the fourth person in two years to serve as DOT commissioner, which typically budgets more than $2 billion a year to build our highways. If you think the continuing turnover in the top job is an indication of turmoil at DOT, you're right.
The rains finally came this year, even if not on a biblical scale, and environmental officials in state government now proclaim that Georgia's historic drought has officially "ended."
"Our water supplies are flush," observed Carol Couch, director of the state's Environmental Protection Division, as she discussed the factors that justified her decision that the devastating dry period was over.
The nomination of the first Hispanic to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, federal appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor, has spawned an ugly political brawl among some Republicans.
Georgia's own Newt Gingrich was one of the more notable mud-flingers, although he was not alone among his colleagues. In a Twitter message he transmitted last week, Gingrich called Sotomayor a "Latina woman racist" who should withdraw her name from nomination.
As he worked his way through dozens of bill signings last week, Gov. Sonny Perdue put his signature on SB 27, a measure that designates April as Confederate Heritage/History Month and sets the stage for the upcoming observance of the Civil War sesquicentennial.
Congressman Nathan Deal stepped up in front of several hundred supporters Friday morning in Gainesville to declare that he too will run for governor next year, a decision that probably closes out the field of candidates in the Republican primary.
There don't appear to be any other major GOP prospects on the horizon, which raises this interesting point of discussion: it seems as if the strongest two candidates in the Republican Party stable will not be running in this campaign.