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Articles by Section - Columnists


Growing jobs, investing in the community and trading squirrel pelts

Dear Editor,

March 29, 2015 | Ronnie Johnston | Columnists


If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out

The headline to this story is an adage taught by journalism schools throughout the country. News is supposed to be based on facts and reported without bias. But alas, reporters are human and have biases, acknowledged or not. If they are blatant and obvious, then we can dismiss them out of hand, (example: Chris Matthews saying, "I felt this thrill going up my leg," when listening to a speech given by then-presidential candidate Barack Obama).

March 29, 2015 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


President Spock?

The death of Leonard Nimoy saddened millions of Trekkies around the world (including me). But it wasn't just Trekkies who mourned. In the past month, it has become clear that Mr. Spock - the character Nimoy brought to life - had become a cultural icon extending far beyond the Trek universe.

March 29, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Thankful for a new generation of committed Methodist ministers

I spent last week helping to assess a group of people for a job I couldn't do if my life depended on it. Actually, what they were seeking is not a job; it is a calling. And my life here and in the hereafter depends on how well they do it.

March 22, 2015 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Baptists and Bootleggers:

It's apparent to anyone willing to look that a wide gap has grown between a Washington/Wall Street political class and the nation they want to rule. Less clear to many is the reason why.

March 22, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


‘A great week for the children’

It was a great week for the children of Georgia. Not only did my bill to protect teenage girls from having their phone number put on a pornographic website ("Kelsey's Law") pass unanimously, but a Cyber Bullying measure by my fellow Newton delegate Rep. Pam Dickerson also passed. Overall, there were many bills to protect children including the "Hidden Predator Act" which lengthens the amount of time a victim may bring a sexual abuse perpetrator to civil court. This bill moves Georgia from the fourth worst in the nation to where most states are now. There was also a ...

March 22, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


Our thoughts: Election smearing

There has begun a stirring of potential political candidates for the 2016 election, we know this because already there is already a sense of mud being mixed in order to smear folks.

March 22, 2015 | Staff Report | Columnists


Letter from the Mayor

Dear City of Covington Residents,

March 21, 2015 | | Columnists


Crossover day marks progress

I am honored to announce that my first bill, known as "Kelsey's Law," passed the House by a unanimous vote. Originally sponsored by my fellow Newton County delegation member, Representative Pam Dickerson, it will protect teenage girls from a form of cyber bullying. This occurred to brave Kelsey Upton, a resident of Oxford, who courageously helped fellow innocent teens by fighting this malicious injustice. Representative Dickerson also authored another anti-cyber bullying bill that I heartily support. It should be voted on during Crossover Day.

March 15, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


A proud Irishman, a proud day

Tuesday is St. Patrick's Day, a day celebrated throughout the land with parades and merriment and music. In Conyers there is a parade and the world's shortest run. The parade begins at 4:30 the run at 5 p.m.

March 15, 2015 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


A letter from Mayor Johnston

Dear City of Covington Residents,

March 15, 2015 | Ronnie Johnston | Columnists


Facing the cost of the world’s most powerful military

Two-thirds of all federal spending is consumed by just three program areas: Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid and National Defense. Because these programs consume most of the budget and are responsible for most of the annual spending increases, there is simply no way to regain control of federal spending without addressing these programs.

March 01, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


The cancer of multiculturalism

President Barack Obama surprised many at the National Prayer Breakfast when he lectured us, "Lest we get on our high horse and think this (barbarity) is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ." Obama went on to explain, "In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often (were) justified in the name of Christ." In Obama's mind, Western outrage at Islamic barbarism should be tempered by the remembrance of what Christians did a thousand years ago in the name of Christ. Plus ...

March 01, 2015 | Walter Williams | Columnists


TRUTH matters

A New York Times article this past Tuesday titled, "Teenage Girl Leaves for ISIS, and Others Follow," by Kimiko[1] de Freytas-Tamura, struck close to home for me. The three young women who left London to enlist in ISIS in Syria were 16, 15 and 15.

March 01, 2015 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Belton: AP history test ‘lengthy, partisan, leftist’

A disturbing turn of events has occurred with the new Advanced Placement History Test. The AP has been around since 1956, offering high school students the opportunity to gain college credit by taking a very difficult class and passing a very difficult test. Unfortunately, the College Board (the same folks who write the SAT) has suddenly created a biased and left-leaning test.

March 01, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Perugino: Supreme Court deciding on president’s use of power

With justices questioning his aggressive assertion of federal power on both health care and immigration laws, President Obama faces the prospect of two major setbacks at the U.S. Supreme Court in the middle of his re-election campaign.

April 26, 2012 | William Perugino Columnist | Columnists


Travis: Students’ strange, funny answers to questions

I wrote one column about unexpected and funny answers students sometimes write on tests. But unexpected and funny answers from students can come in other forms. When you get a funny answer to a question and the whole class is paying attention, you don't want to laugh and hurt a student's feelings, but sometimes the comment is so startling that you just can't help but laugh.

Calling on a student to read a passage or a sentence in a grammar exercise can be tricky. Some students don't like to read aloud and some can't do ...

April 24, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Yarbrough: Giving Gov. Deal good marks

Dear Governor, I know you have been waiting to hear how I think you are handling things these days, but I wanted to give you time to get the legislators out of town and to be sure all the silverware is accounted for. Plus, I have been busy trying to help your pal, Leroy Gingrich, understand he has blown his chances of becoming President of the United States and that he might want to go back to Washington and moonlight as the Pillsbury Doughboy.

I like your low-key style and the way you are willing to work with both parties ...

April 24, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Blakeslee: Starting the hunt

Glad to see you back again this week. Have you had a chance to gather your tools for your hunt? Did you get a chance to explore Ancestry.com? Did you go visit the Newton County Library's Heritage Room? The Library has genealogy volunteers just about everyday in the Heritage Room to help you. How about that steno book and loose leaf notebook?

April 21, 2012 | Ellen Blakeslee Columnist | Columnists


McCoy: Strolling on the toll walk

I hate toll roads. It's probably because I was born in Miami, and I remember my parents feeding the toll booths with nickels that I could have used to far better ends.

April 21, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


Carter: Doing your due diligence

In a recent Wisconsin speech, GOP Presidential candidate Rick Santorum stirred supporters with a tale of assault on American democracy and tradition. "I was just reading something last night, from the State of California…I think it's seven or eight of the California system of universities don't even teach an American history course. It's not even available to be taught," he said. "Just to tell you how bad it's gotten in this country, where we're trying to disconnect the American people from the roots of who we are, so they have an understanding of what ...

April 21, 2012 | Maurice Carter Columnist | Columnists


Morgan: Hats off to entrepreneurs

Call up the office of County Clerk Jackie Smith, and if she's not there to answer, you'll hear her cheery voicemail declaring, "It's a beautiful day in Newton County!"

Indeed, it is a beautiful day in Newton County since the announcement yesterday of a $1 billion investment by Baxter International in a plant at Stanton Springs that will employ 1,000 to 1,500 workers to make blood-related products. Newton County Chamber of Commerce President Hunter Hall calls the project a "game-changer" for this neck of the woods. Commission Chair Kathy Morgan takes sentimental pride in the ...

April 19, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Perugino: It’s still the spending

I know I've already used this famous slogan of Bill Clinton from his last presidential campaign a number of times, but holy cow Batman, we are drowning in endless preaching on increasing revenue (secret word for taxes) and totally ignoring spending.

The Buffett Rule - what a masterful misdirection play used to avert attention from the gargantuan spending and to invoke class warfare. Under the Buffett Rule, businesses and families earning $1 million will pay a minimum 30 percent effective tax rate. The president says those Americans aren't paying enough, and as proof he points to billionaire Warren Buffett ...

April 19, 2012 | William Perugino | Columnists


Travis: A special thank you

Recently my youngest granddaughter had surgery at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. It was my first experience with a children's hospital, and it was an eye-opener. The staff and facility could not be more welcoming and child friendly.

The nurses wear brightly colored T-shirts to appear less threatening. The rooms have chairs which can be made into beds for parents, and mothers are allowed to sleep in the hospital beds with their children, even in pediatric intensive care.

April 17, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Yarbrough: Shepherd Center rebuilds lives and uplifts spirits

Those of you who regularly check this space know this, but to the newcomers out there: I am a whiner.

Like Goldilocks, I whine when the porridge is too hot. I whine when the porridge is too cold. But unlike Goldilocks, I whine even when the glop is just right.

April 17, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Cushman: In life, conflicts are sometimes necessary

Driving my children to and from various events earlier this week, we had a discussion about what makes a good story. They are both working on writing a book (as am I - we'll see who finishes first).

Stories, I explained, are interesting because they have conflict. There are most often two forces that push against each other. In classic stories, it's good versus evil. Really interesting stories have subplots, which reflect conflicts within conflicts.

April 14, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Gahwiler: Students’ apathy towards learning

What's become of our society? Our youth? Our parenting? Children used to dream of being able to go to middle school instead of working in factories, let alone high school. Why has the parenting become so laissez-faire that our teens no longer wish to learn and become educated? Why has the "education" system lowered its standards simply to accommodate for the lacking of our generation? Why is our society sacrificing education and knowledge for the sake of schooling?

Our dropout rates are decreasing, but each teenage generation as a whole seems to care less about education than the previous ...

April 14, 2012 | Robert Gahwiler | Columnists


Carter: Changing the blame game

The 1970s were described famously by novelist Tom Wolfe as the "Me Decade" in a 1976 article in New York Magazine.

If I were asked to pin a label on the period we live in today, I would call this the "Who? Me!?" decade.

April 14, 2012 | Maurice Carter | Columnists


Obama and Romney at the starting gate

Any doubt that Mitt Romney would win the Republican presidential nomination vanished when Rick Santorum left the race. It also marked the end of Romney's time as the defining figure in the overall contest for the White House.

April 14, 2012 | By Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Waiting for the perfect robot

On a warm day, back in the dark ages when Richard Milhous Nixon was the Emperor of DC and double-knit polyester was the darling of the fashion industry, I was scouring my school's library for something good to read. I had already polished off Thomas Edison's biography, every "Three Investigators" detective story I could find, and a piece about the father of the telegraph: Samuel F.B. Morse. And then I found it - a big, hardcover book on robots. Robots!

April 14, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


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