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First session finishes with a flourish

The last day of my first session was thrilling and exhausting. I worked from 7 in the morning to midnight to get "Kelsey's Law" over the finish line. Only 13 minutes remained before the official "Sine Die" when all work must cease until next year. But I am incredibly grateful that my work, and the work of Newton Representatives Pam Dickerson and Doug Holt before me, finally came to fruition after four long years. More importantly, I am humbled to be just a small part of courageous Kelsey's fight to protect fellow teenage girls.

April 12, 2015 | Dave Belton | Columnists


Columnist no ‘Playtoe,’ but irked by lack of respect

Fortune Magazine has announced its list of the World's Greatest Leaders for 2015 and would you believe that I got snubbed again this year?

April 12, 2015 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Gay rights movement is totalitarian

The gay rights movement has tended to be a well-choreographed stage production over the last number of decades. Over time, behind the scenes, they pushed hard for gay characters in film and television. They pushed gay actors out of the closet and encouraged celebrations of diversity.

April 12, 2015 | Erick Erickson | Columnists


Technology will trump ‘Bootleggers’ mentality

In recent weeks, I've written about how the "Bootleggers and Baptists" dynamic corrupts regulatory politics. Bruce Yandle developed this concept decades ago. He observed that Prohibition became reality because Baptists wanted people to stop drinking while the ban on legal alcohol put money in the Bootlegger's pockets. The do-gooders succeeded only because the money-grubbers joined their effort.

April 12, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


Living through the times

It seems every day now some famous personality or former friend has passed away and at 68 it makes me think sometimes of my own mortality.

April 05, 2015 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


GE and America’s corporate bootleggers

I recently highlighted an important book that describes how politics really works. "Bootleggers and Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics," by Adam Smith and Bruce Yandle, showed that prohibition became reality because it appeared to satisfy both Baptists and Bootleggers.

April 05, 2015 | Scott Rasmussen | Columnists


The weekend that changed the world

Approximately 1,982 years ago, a man died. In fact, many men died that day. We know for sure of three men. Two were tied to crosses and crucified. One was nailed to the cross. Had that been the end of it, it would have just been like so many other Roman crucifixions. But, unbeknownst to most anyone at the time, the first Easter weekend would become the most important weekend in the history of the world.

April 05, 2015 | Erick Erickson | Columnists


Newton Co. legislators busy with successful legislation

It was a great week for Newton County! I am ecstatic to tell you that "Haleigh's Law," the medical cannabis oil bill, passed both the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor this week. Also my bill, "Kelsey's Law," passed unanimously in the Senate near midnight on the last night. I was also very excited that Newton County Representative Pam Dickerson's cyber-bullying law passed both the House and the Senate.

April 05, 2015 | Dave Belton | 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


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Around the well

As in most small cities, our downtown has experienced a sharp turnover in businesses in recent years. Retail businesses in small towns have faced competition from shopping centers with convenient parking and a greater variety of merchandise.

December 25, 2010 | Madeline Burgess Columnist | Columnists


Supe's Corner: Powerful teaching includes seven human touches

Thirteen years ago, before 8,000 teachers in Louisiana's capitol city, I watched in amazement as East Harlem public school teacher Kay Toliver held all in awe with a two-hour demonstration of effective teaching strategies combined with her commitment to the human touch in teaching. Two years ago, in Williamsburg, Va., I observed this same 30-year classroom veteran as she stressed her long-held belief that "powerful teaching includes the human touch."

December 25, 2010 | Dr. Gary Mathews NCSS Superintendent | Columnists


Faith, wishes and introspection

I'm amazed each Christmas at how the whole world comes to a halt of sorts. Virtually every educated, civilized person aware of the calendar and in possession of modern communication devices knows that on this day Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Moslems, agnostics and atheists all know Jesus, whose followers claim him to be the Son of God, Savior, the propitiation for the sins of the world.

December 24, 2010 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


Holy days, not just holidays

This time of year brings great joy as well as great stress. There is often too much to do, too much to eat, too much to drink, too little sleep and too much family. It's easy to get caught up in the holiday frenzy and forget the meaning and value behind the holidays, the holy days.

December 24, 2010 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


A Christmas to remember?

Now that you have finished shopping, wrapping, decorating, planning, cooking, packing, traveling, welcoming, there is one more thing.

December 24, 2010 | Patrick Durusau | Columnists


Kittens a welcome Yule distraction

"T'was the night before Christmas and all through the house

December 24, 2010 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


No Deal for government work

For weeks, I awaited a call that never came from Gov.-elect Nathan Deal informing me that I would be a member of his transition team.

December 22, 2010 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Yule finds us scattered

Christmas was simple when the children were young.

December 22, 2010 | Tharon Giddens | Columnists


A good man is hard to find

The executive director of the Flannery O'Connor-Andalusia Foundation visited the Floyd Street library last week. A guest of Newton County Friends of the Library, Craig Amason presented an interesting overview of ongoing preservation efforts at Andalusia, Connor's home just north of Milledgeville. More fascinating were his insightful comments regarding one of Georgia's truly amazing authors.

December 19, 2010 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


The wrong time for SPLOST

Fall's all but gone and winter's coming on and for Newton County it promises to be a hard one. There's not much letup in the drip, drip, drip of the Great Recession. And the political greed of local miscreants can only make it worse.

December 19, 2010 | Claude Sitton | Columnists


Christmas a time for belief

I believe in Christmas.

December 15, 2010 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Bundle up and wait out winter

I tried to check out the Geminid meteor shower before dawn on Tuesday.

December 15, 2010 | Tharon Giddens | Columnists


Chimney Park about community

It was the coldest night of the year. Even long johns and layers weren't enough to protect against the frigid temperatures, and when the wind blew, you couldn't help but pine for an electric blanket and the comforts of home. Failing that, there was always a place at the roaring bonfire where you could roast marshmallows for s'mores. The woods sparkled with thousands of lights and unique features: a line-up of hula hoops and bicycles outlined in chase lights, a grove of plum trees hung with shimmering globes, a small forest of white-painted saplings strung with all ...

December 12, 2010 | By Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Live life well to honor fallen

December elicits wide ranges of emotion from me: Fury, melancholy, joy, greed, thanksgiving and heart-rending, soul-wrenching, unspeakable sorrow. An ineffable expression springing from gratitude deep within me. A groaning too deep for words.

December 12, 2010 | Nat Harwell | Columnists


First Amendment responsibilities

I am a rabid supporter of the First Amendment. For 40 years in the broadcast news biz and half a dozen teaching, I have exercised that right and taught it with vigor. But this "right" of free speech carries with it some obligations.

December 10, 2010 | | Columnists


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