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Pumpkins growing weary

Can it be? Is it September already? One of my favorite tunes, "September Song," was written by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson for a Broadway musical in 1938 called "Knickerbocker Holiday. The lyrics could apply today to the current political season in Georgia - "For it's a long, long time from May to December, but the days grow short when you reach September."

September 02, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Try realism in the Middle East

America rarely does time capsules anymore, but the ones it does should include videos from February 2011 of American TV reporters exulting in the triumph of the Arab Spring. "This is the sound of a people rising," ABC's Terry Moran told us from Cairo. For Egyptians, it was a day "when a people rose and made themselves a new country, a new world, a new life."

September 02, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Blacks must confront reality

Though racial discrimination exists, it is nowhere near the barrier it once was. The relevant question is: How much of what we see today can be explained by racial discrimination? This is an important question because if we conclude that racial discrimination is the major cause of black problems when it isn't, then effective solutions will be elusive forever. To begin to get a handle on the answer, let's pull up a few historical facts about black Americans.

August 30, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Time to call a spade a spade

As the character Cecily said to Miss Fairfax in a play written by Oscar Wilde entitled "The Importance of being Earnest": "When I see a spade I call it a spade."

August 30, 2014 | Mychal massie | Columnists


In 1970, we had a riot; Ferguson looks like war

The news from Ferguson, Missouri, has brought back unpleasant memories from the long-ago riots in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It was the summer of 1970, and I was a young teenager close enough to the action to be appropriately frightened.

August 28, 2014 | Staff Report | Columnists


The Value of Work and Labor Day

My first paying job was cleaning the bathrooms at the First Baptist Church of Carrollton, Georgia, where I was a member. I was 14, the minimum age for "children" to work. This was neither glamorous nor exciting work, but useful and needed work. On Sundays I often over heard the "little old ladies" of the church commenting on the cleanliness of the bathroom. I remember my subsequent feeling of pride. While not a glamorous work, my actions were helpful and appreciated by those who used the facilities. For providing this useful service I earned minimum wage in 1981, ($3.35 ...

August 28, 2014 | Staff Report | Columnists


Family’s tragedy: text less, live more

It is a potential killer whose numbers rival the deadly Ebola virus and it doesn't get near the attention it should. Unlike the dreaded illness currently ravaging West Africa this is one with a quick cure.

August 26, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


The new face of evil

As Hannah Arendt foresaw, we are once again up against the question of evil. An American photojournalist, James Foley, was presented to the camera and methodically decapitated. The instrument was not the ax reserved for royalty or the whooshing blade prompted by that reformer Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, but an ordinary looking knife. Death would be neither swift nor painless. This, somewhere in the bleached desert, was pure evil.

August 26, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Decision Pending on Newton’s Government Structure

The structure of county government is once again on the agenda of the Board of Commissioners (BOC), which has scheduled a work session for Aug. 26, 2014. As readers may recall, this has been a topic of discussion for several months and the BOC has met with experts from both the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) and the regional planning agency. Representatives of both clearly have indicated that the current "hybrid" system of having both a full time Commission needs to be changed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of county government.

August 23, 2014 | Larry McSwain | Columnists


50 years in newspaper industry

The other day I found myself thinking on how long I have been a part of the newspaper industry - it turns out that this will be my 50th year, with one year of my life working with mentally challenged adults and two working with people going into their final sunset, through Hospice.

August 23, 2014 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


Tuition pays for this

According to College Board, average tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year totaled $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for in-state residents at public colleges and $22,203 for out-of-state residents. Many schools, such as Columbia University and George Washington University, charge yearly tuition and fees close to $50,000. Faced with the increasing costs of higher education, parents and taxpayers might like to know what they're getting for their money.

August 21, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Political stereotyping

While we might like to think that voters research the issues, review the candidates, and then vote for the candidate that best reflects their views, the reality, based on political science research, is much different. A

August 21, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Good learning starts at home

I have four granddaughters ranging from first grade to fourth grade. Stair steps. Last weekend, the first grader, my youngest, read to me a book about Red Riding Hood. When she got to the part of the story where the wolf was in grandmother's bed, she stopped to show me the picture. I asked her if Red Riding Hood knew it was the wolf and not her grandmother.

December 14, 2011 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Bionic hips and Deal’s slips

Dear Valued Reader:

December 14, 2011 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


What will we find on Mars?

Curiosity is up and gone.

December 11, 2011 | Ric Latarski | Columnists


Coupon mania

The other day, I met a nice older couple who had about 200 coupons in their possession, and they were using a good portion of them at the checkout counter. I paid for my few purchases, and when I finished, they were still presenting coupons. I was really impressed with their organizational skills and moxie! They had "couponing" down to a fine art, and this made me wonder: What would happen if coupons were used in all walks of life?

December 11, 2011 | David McCoy | Columnists


Letter to my 16-year-old self

Last month, I wrote a column providing a midterm life update based on a question by David Brooks.

December 11, 2011 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


‘It’s the spending, stupid!’

Bill Clinton successfully used the phrase "It's the economy, Stupid!" in his campaign for the presidency in 1992. Today, with the burgeoning deficit and economic disaster facing all Americans, the clarion call should be "It's the spending, Stupid!" It's not a case of insufficient tax revenue. We are over taxed, over regulated and drowning in mandatory entitlements. The task of finding fiscal responsibility to salvage our country from disaster begins at home on the local, county and state level. If we do not secure fiscal conservancy, less government intrusion and reduced spending on the local level, we ...

December 09, 2011 | William Perugino | Columnists


A holiday wish from the Chairman

One of the joys of my position as chairman is getting to attend and participate in community events that bring out the best in Newton County. Meeting the people who volunteer their time, money and energy to make this county a wonderful place warms my heart, especially at Christmas.

December 09, 2011 | Kathy Morgan | Columnists


Morgan: Searching for Perfection

When we were much younger, girls might have thought perfection resided in the right bottle of shampoo that promised just the right shine or swing of their long supple hair. Or the right make of hair product, in the case of a guy intent on the most stand-up crew cut. The just right shade of bubblegum pink lipstick might have cemented the impression we sought as the perfect teenage girl with just the look to win an appreciative glance from the football player two years ahead of us in school. Or in the case of a guy, the teasing look ...

December 08, 2011 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Covington airport

We believe that the future development and growth of the Covington airport is essential to economic recovery of both Covington and Newton County.

December 08, 2011 | Staff Report | Columnists


The evolution of television

My older daughter has hosted my family for Thanksgiving for the last several years, an arrangement which I greatly appreciate. I get to see my children, grandchildren, my sister and her son, and while I contribute, I don't have to cook the whole meal. This year, when we arrived, my husband discovered my son-in-law had recently bought one of those huge TVs that hang on the wall. My husband settled on the sofa in front of that large TV and stayed there the whole time we were at my daughter's house except for the time he was at ...

December 07, 2011 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Who in the world cares?

In case you have been vacationing on the moon, you may have missed the news that the student-athletes from the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South, came up a wee bit short in attaining the football championship of the Southeastern Conference. That honor went to the young men of Louisiana State University who, having observed them in post-game interviews, are destined to become either, you know, great orators or, you know, quantum physicists.

December 07, 2011 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Decorating and the kitschy kitchen

Every morning in December, I enjoy a laugh as I look out my front window and see our eight-foot-tall inflatable Santa flattened on the ground. It's just so funny to see the jolly old man face-planted in the dirt, quite realistically reflecting the way I feel at the end of every December day - totally, utterly deflated.

December 07, 2011 | Kari Apted | Columnists


Legislative Breakfast

Over the years, a group of local men have met every Friday to pray and read the Bible; from one of those meetings, the annual legislative breakfast was born.

December 04, 2011 | Staff Report | Columnists


I’m the wrong guy for the right lane

I wish I had a cup of coffee for every time someone has advised me to drive in the right-hand lane on the interstate. Actually, that would be too many coffee cups to wash, so I'll settle for a few pounds of coffee beans, and I'll brew it myself. The fact is, I've heard this comment over and over: "Stay right! It's safer!" I'm sure there are safety advantages to consider, and - as my wife reminded me - traffic laws often require you to drive in the right-hand lane. So, I'm not about to offer ...

December 04, 2011 | David McCoy | Columnists


Helping society's Hagars

I heard a modern version of the Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael story this week. You may remember Abraham, who turned Hagar and Ishmael out into the desert, with bread and a skin of water. (The Abraham of Ishmael and Issac.) Both of which were soon exhausted.

December 04, 2011 | Patrick Durusau | Columnists


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