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Articles by Section - Columnists


Yarbrough: Hide the silverware! The legislature is coming!

To Arms! To Arms! The Legislature is coming, the Legislature is coming!

January 15, 2017 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Crawford: Keep your elected officials accountable

When Donald Trump was campaigning for president, he pledged he would "drain the swamp" in Washington and put an end to all the influence peddling ...

January 15, 2017 | Tom Crawford | Columnists


Marshall’s Music Minute: New album release by Johnny Roquemore, The Apostles of Bluegrass playing at

Welcome back to the Minute! And thanks so much for all the feedback on the last column. That Joshua Jacobson is something else, and his ...

January 12, 2017 | Marshall McCart | Columnists


Marshall’s Music Minute: New album release from Joshua Jacobson; several good shows on tap

Greetings, music lovers, welcome back to another installment of the Music Minute. There is a lot to cover today, so let's get right to ...

January 02, 2017 | Marshall McCart | Columnists


Fazio: Farewell to ‘The News’

A community newspaper really is a great thing. It's the pulse of a town; it is a measure of growth and change; it's ...

January 02, 2017 | Bryan Fazio | Columnists


Yarbrough: Resolutely determined to manage 2017 expectations

The only thing more useless than socks on a pig are New Year's resolutions. Our intentions are applaudable but our follow-through usually leaves a ...

January 02, 2017 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Marshall’s Music Minute: Big night of music for New Year's Eve

Howdy, folks! We took last week off for the Christmas holiday but we're sure glad to be back with you times two this week ...

December 30, 2016 | Marshall McCart | Columnists


Crawford: Some good news for the holiday season

There have been some interesting political stories to tell this year, but two of the most interesting happened last week in Georgia's neighboring states ...

December 23, 2016 | Tom Crawford | Columnists


Yarbrough: Dedicated to the believers this Christmas

This column has become a Christmas tradition and I share with you once again this year. It is dedicated to all who believe.

December 23, 2016 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Irwin: Secret Santa

When I was around 12 years old, it occurred to me that the season we call Christmas has, within it, several glitter-coated mini-seasons. Because of ...

December 23, 2016 | Andy Irwin | Columnists


Have you ever thought … As a community what do we do for the homeless?

The only shelter in Newton, or adjoining counties, the Garden of Gethsemane Shelter can be part of the solution for dealing with homelessness in our ...

December 19, 2016 | B. Wiley Stephens | Columnists


Marshall Music Minute: "O Come Y'all to Covington" and other big shows

Welcome back to the Music Minute as we wind down the year. There are some really good shows lined up this week and it's ...

December 19, 2016 | Marshall McCart | Columnists


Talkin’ Southern, Part 2

In the very first installment of this column some months back, I wrote about the key differences between a fellow, fella and a feller; made ...

December 19, 2016 | Marshall McCart | Columnists


Yarbrough: Hoping Santa Claus has something special for schoolteachers this Christmas

Dear Santa Claus:

December 19, 2016 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Crawford: It’s a very merry Christmas for the Speaker

It isn't quite Christmas Day, but Rep. David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), the speaker of the Georgia House, has already received probably the best gift ...

December 19, 2016 | Tom Crawford | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Latarski: Distracted idiot

It's one of those things so positively stupid it makes you think it might not be a bad idea.

April 07, 2012 | Ric Latarski Columnist | Columnists


Rasmussen: And they wonder why voters are angry

As Mitt Romney assumes the role of presumptive Republican nominee, polls suggest a competitive general election matchup between the former Massachusetts governor and President Obama. Typically, both candidates poll in the mid-40s, while 10 to 12 percent remain uncommitted to either side.

Among these uncommitted voters, Rasmussen Reports polling shows that just 22 percent approve of the way the president is handling his job. Seventy-two percent (72 percent) disapprove. As for intensity, just 2 percent strongly approve, and 40 percent strongly disapprove.

April 07, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


McCoy: Strangers who have saved my life

I'd like to think I'm in complete control of my life, but I'm wise enough to know that it would just be a fancy-pants illusion - a convenient myth to help me survive another night without screaming into my pillow in a major case of self-pity. I know I'm not in charge of my life. If those people are right, and it really "takes a village," then I'm just another hapless village idiot, relying on strangers and their beautiful gifts of kindness to help me through the day. In fact, I probably owe my life to ...

April 07, 2012 | David McCoy | Columnists


Morgan: A look back on Ballard's career

The best advice longtime local attorney Don Ballard ever got came from an unusual source, and he's never veered from it. It became his personal, professional and political mantra that he follows to this day. Back in 1952, Ballard set up his law practice in partnership with the late Col. C. C. King in downtown Covington. Col. King was the father of beloved local historian, Charles C. "Charlie" King Jr., now 97.

Not long afterwards, Ballard won a seat in the state House of Representatives, in a district that included Newton, Rockdale, Morgan, Jasper and Putnam Counties. "I had ...

April 05, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Perugino: What is the energy plan of this administration?

Recently the Obama Administration effectively outlawed coal as a fuel source and it underscores the importance of Congress severely curbing the authority of regulatory agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new rule to regulate CO2 emissions from power plants, which would effectively ban new coal power plants, as its emissions standards are too low to be met by conventional coal-fired facilities.

Once again the Obama administration has usurped the power of Congress, denied the Constitution and used dictatorial powers to issue self serving regulations through his Federal agencies. Our freedom is being chiseled away on a daily and ...

April 05, 2012 | Willliam Perugino | Columnists


Legislature doesn’t always do what it says

Do you really think if the state takes control away from local school boards to establish charter schools as the upcoming constitutional amendment proposes, they will do it better? If so, you are smoking rope. Once our legislators get control of the process, there is no guarantee that they will do what they say.

As evidence, look at how the Legislature has gone back on its word regarding special fees that were to be collected and spent for such things as environmental cleanup, drivers' education and other purposes.

April 03, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Legislature doesn’t always do what it says

Do you really think if the state takes control away from local school boards to establish charter schools as the upcoming constitutional amendment proposes, they will do it better? If so, you are smoking rope. Once our legislators get control of the process, there is no guarantee that they will do what they say.

As evidence, look at how the Legislature has gone back on its word regarding special fees that were to be collected and spent for such things as environmental cleanup, drivers' education and other purposes.

April 03, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Men do more around the house now

I have been musing lately about the different responsibilities that men assume or assist with in the running of a household. There is a large gap between men of my husband's age and men of my daughters' ages.

My husband assumes responsibility for mowing the lawn, at least the middle of the lawn or what can be reached by a riding lawn mower. But most other yard chores belong to me. I prune, weed and water. He does, however, maintain a vegetable garden and is justifiably proud of its produce. My husband is in charge of the car and ...

April 03, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


That's a wrap: Session is out for the year

Last week saw the conclusion of the 2012 legislative session. The House finished voting on most of the remaining Senate bills, and then worked through the many situations where differing versions of bills had passed in the House versus the Senate. These are resolved by either agreeing with the other chamber's version of the bill, or by standing firm and appointing legislators to what is called a "conference committee." The conference committees try to reach a compromise version of a bill, which must then be approved by both chambers. However such differences are resolved, the final few days of ...

March 31, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Exploring the deep blue

James Cameron - filmmaker and Hollywood superstar - just took a trip to the bottom of the ocean.

March 31, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


America through foreign eyes

I've been in Europe for going on three weeks now, and I'm ready to come home. I miss my family, my bed, my friends and my guitars. I miss big steaks, cold sodas, twisted Southern English and rock and roll. I even miss our stupid American electoral circus, the lame tabloid-like coverage of our party-hardy political parties and the inert populace that thinks "insightful news analysis" is a reporter droning on about which politician said which "bad word" in which public forum. I miss all of this - warts and all - and I want it back. Europe is lovely ...

March 31, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Whatever happens next, the health care law is doomed

Media coverage now implies that the U.S. Supreme Court will determine the fate of President Obama's health care law. But nothing the court decides will keep the law alive for more than a brief period of time.

There are three ways the health care law could meet its end. The first, obviously, is the Supreme Court could declare some or all of it unconstitutional in June.

March 31, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Negative campaigning

It seems the Republican presidential primary is wending to a close with the stars aligning behind the ultimate candidacy of Mitt Romney to take on President Obama in the general election. Don't you think it's time for a nice, deep breath? All together, now: Inhale the pure, fresh air of these cool mornings and exhale all the polluted air filled for these many months with bitterness, rancor, ugliness, pettiness and deadly dares more befitting a prison yard brawl than a contest leading to the door of the White House.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, a veteran of presidential campaigning ...

March 29, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


Latarski: All the pollen isn't such a bad thing

Spring is now officially upon us, although the weather we have had lately makes it feel like spring came and went around 2:47 a.m. Tuesday morning, and we headed straight into summer.

Normally we accept this with good grace because we know that our Northern friends are still digging out of snow, but that has not been the case this year.

March 24, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


McCoy: Breaking the sound barrier

How many of you grew up reading about a superhero who had amazing powers and who flew around town fighting crime while looking snazzy in a form-fitting costume? Come on; you know you read about Superman or Wonder Woman or other comic book heroes, and you wanted to be just like them. You wanted superpowers, and if you had any fashion sense, you wanted a snazzy cape with your initials on the back. Maybe you haven't given up hope. Maybe you still want superpowers, even if you're willing to compromise on the costume. I know which superpower I ...

March 24, 2012 | Staff Report | Columnists


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