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Yarbrough: If heaven is out of the question, any day in Athens will do

I have said it before but it bears repeating: If I don't qualify for heaven (a distinct possibility), my preferred alternates are: (a.) Athens, Georgia, on a crisp fall Saturday afternoon; (b.) Athens, Georgia, on a warm spring day or (c.) Athens, Georgia, on any day. As you no doubt know, Athens is home to my alma mater, the University of Georgia, the oldest state-chartered university in all the land.

June 17, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Williams: Who owns you?

Darcy Olsen, president of the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute, and Richard Garr, president of Neuralstem, a biotech company, wrote "Right to Try experimental drugs" in USA Today (5/28/2014). They pointed out that "this year, more than 5,000 Americans will lose their battle with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease." Up until recently, there was no medicine on the market that significantly improved the lives of ALS patients. But now there is one in clinical trials that holds considerable promise, but it has not been granted Food and Drug Administration approval. The average amount of time it ...

June 14, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


Father’s Day for father figures

One of the issues facing you if you're a baby boomer is something that pills and exercise won't help. If your parents are still alive, they're still 18-plus years older than you.

June 14, 2014 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


Dive deep to find the gift of connection

"Driven to Distraction" is no longer just a title to a book that covers ADHD, but it is also a phrase that describes how many of us feel in our day-to-day lives. The opportunities and choices are enormous and they can easily overwhelm our capacity to make order out of our everyday world.

June 12, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Only BO knows what made Bergdahl so important

On Tuesday, June 3, I wrote: "Obama is a man on the ropes. He is coming more unhinged. Only a person with deep-seated emotional instability makes the public displays he does. Only a person teetering on the brink of emotional collapse continues to make fallacious statements and then attempts to downplay them by claiming even greater lies." (See: No More Tinkles Down Leg of Chris Matthews)

June 12, 2014 | Mychal Massie | Columnists


What’s that lawmaker saying?

As with many other fields of endeavor, being a legislator requires getting to know some slang. Herewith is a brief primer of some Georgia General Assembly terms and phrases.

June 10, 2014 | Doug Holt | Columnists


The changing faces of war

I am into my summer routine, which means I drive to a weekend house, and as I do so, I listen to a book on tape. For the moment, it's Laura Hillenbrand's riveting "Unbroken," the story of Louis Zamperini's ordeal during World War II. He was a bombardier, and after his plane went down in the Pacific, he spent 47 days on a decaying raft, fighting off sharks with his fists, and then survived three years of inhumane imprisonment by the Japanese. His and the lives of other POWs were saved by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima ...

June 10, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


A salute to a man who achieved his dream

Before the start of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, Billy Payne, the organization's CEO, reminded everyone that while much of the attention during the games would be focused on the high-profile athletes, not to forget that all 10,000 athletes from the 107 countries represented were and would forever be Olympians - a title very few people in the world would ever attain.

June 10, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Petty annoyances

Most who read my columns think that I'm only annoyed by politicians, growing government and Americans who have little respect or love for liberty and our Constitution. There are other things that annoy me.

June 07, 2014 | Walter Williams | Columnists


15 minutes of fame with no O.J.

I read someplace that everyone at one time or another has his or her 15 minutes of fame. I don't know if that is true or not but I did have a moment in the national spotlight once and of all the good things that I have ever done which could have brought that famous 15 minutes into my life, I earned mine for just having fun.

June 07, 2014 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


One plan doesn't fit all

I read with fascination the opinion piece written by Randy Vinson Sunday titled "What Legacy?'. It correctly points out the pride we all feel about the area we call the Square in Covington.

June 05, 2014 | Philip Johnson | Columnists


Remembering D-Day

This year marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, and the long-awaited opening of a western front.

June 05, 2014 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Sea Island company defends proposed development

I wrote recently about the concerns of environmental groups over a proposal by the owners of Sea Island to develop 7.2 acres on the south end of the island. They say that the land is too fragile for the proposed development.

June 03, 2014 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Talking himself into a corner

Like a pitcher who has lost his fastball, Barack Obama has lost "the speech." The speech has always been central to the president and his presidency. He established his credentials with the one he delivered to the 2004 Democratic National Convention while still a state senator. He followed that with many others - Berlin, Cairo, Philadelphia on race, etc. - each one greeted with bobby soxer delirium, which Obama fully expected. In 2004, just before he spoke to the convention, he told his friend Marty Nesbitt that the excitement about him was yet to peak. "My speech is pretty good," he allowed.

June 03, 2014 | Richard Cohen | Columnists


Catholic school days remembered

With graduation just a few days behind us, it brought my own days in school to mind.

May 31, 2014 | T. Pat Cavanaugh | Columnists


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Archive By Section - Columnists


Local parks provide an abundance of history

Ten years ago as my family and I were making a list of pros and cons for moving to Georgia, we placed Georgia's abundance of state parks right up under the Atlanta Braves on the pro side. We've enjoyed so much about these protected spaces of green goodness and historic wonder since we've lived here. There's nothing quite as frugal and fabulous as a trip to a Georgia State Park, friends. One of our favorites is just a hop, skip and a jump from Covington and is rife with history and fun.

February 08, 2012 | Beth McAfee-Hallman | Columnists


Transition Challenges

Transitional phases are never easy. Whether it's remodeling a kitchen, rearranging the furniture or cleaning out a closet, the transitional phase is always a bit messy. This past month, we had our children's bathroom remodeled. We put it off for as long as we could. The shower has leaked for years, so our two children have been using our master bathroom for showers. The water in the sink only ran out in a trickle, barely enough for brushing teeth, and always cold. When the toilet quit working in December, that was it. We had to press forward with ...

February 06, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Tips to planning an affordable Super Bowl party

Just because the economy is bad doesn't mean your social life has to be.

February 05, 2012 | Beth McAfee-Hallman | Columnists


4-H, FFA hit the ring in free show Saturday

The finest examples of beef cattle, hogs and breeding ewes in Newton County go head to head on Saturday, Feb. 11, as 4-H'ers and FFA members compete at the Newton Classic Livestock Show.

February 05, 2012 | Terri Kimble | Columnists


Violating Religious Freedom

The very essences of the principles devoted to the founding of our country were steeped in the preservation of religious freedom. Our founding fathers fled their homes in Europe and England to find a land where they were free to worship God as they believed and pursue their lives as they wished in happiness and peace. They died to gain their freedom of religion.

February 03, 2012 | William Perugino Columnist | Columnists


Hollywood wasn’t his home

"I'm not James Taylor," laughs Mansfield's singer/songwriter Johnny Roquemore, known more for his humorous, bluegrass-inspired compositions than the smooth ballads delivered by tweed-clad Taylor. Growing up in DeKalb County, Roquemore picked up an electric guitar at 14 and with a neighborhood band made some "big noise," he recalled. "All I ever wanted was an amp taller than me." In college, he played frat parties in another band, but at the same time, he got hooked on acting and enjoyed a memorable run in the Atlanta theater scene, including a lead in an Alliance Theater production.

February 03, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Classic games bring good old-fashioned fun

Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned fun? I'm here to tell you, friends. Nothing happened. Good, old-fashioned fun is waiting for you and your family right outside your back door. Not only can you have hours of fun together, but you can do it for free while getting (dare I say it?) exercise, too! Like some cosmic added bonus, you'll all get to unplug from screen time - cell phones, television, computers, eReaders, iWhatevers. You can have a blast together no matter how old your kids are or how un-athletic you may be. Goodness knows, I'm as uncoordinated as ...

February 01, 2012 | Beth McAfee-Hallman | Columnists


Straight from the heart

Whew! That was close! I almost became a Baptist the other day. Not just any Baptist, but a (gulp!) Southern Baptist.

February 01, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Nothing like retail therapy

On the rainy weekend a few weeks ago I indulged in some retail therapy - shopping. A rainy weekend with nothing to do seemed the perfect occasion to shop. I don't know many women who dislike shopping, especially if they can score a bargain.

February 01, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


Sweating in South Carolina

The sweat somehow made the moment more real. There we were, standing on the stage at the Hilton Hotel in Downtown Columbia, S.C., on Saturday night with my dad, Newt Gingrich, celebrating his primary victory. It was the sweat rolling down the faces and dripping off the noses of the television cameramen, photographers, audience members and even those on stage celebrating that transformed the almost surreal scene into reality.

January 29, 2012 | Jackie Gingrich Cushman | Columnists


Could scientists discover life in S.C. primary?

In case you missed this, a scientist, Leonid Ksanfomaliti, at the Space Research Institute of Russia's Academy of Science, announced he analyzed photographs from a 1982 probe of Venus and thinks they may reveal life on the planet.

January 29, 2012 | By Ric Latarski | Columnists


Bring on the end of time

Unless you've been under a rock for the past couple of years, you know about predictions from some quarters that the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012. That date marks the end of a 5,125-year cycle as calculated by the now dead Mayan culture that once inhabited parts of southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. While the Mayans themselves marked the end of one of their time cycles with celebration, many interpretations of Mayan hieroglyphics say the planet will be destroyed in violent earthquakes and other cataclysmic events next December. Once relegated to the fringes ...

January 27, 2012 | Barbara Morgan | Columnists


Politics, journalists and the birthday girl

State Sen. Tommie Williams (R-Lyons), one of our two unelected lieutenant governors - Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) is the other - sent out a puff piece taking much credit for authoring a bill to require local school boards to consider a teacher's "effectiveness," not seniority, when getting rid of teachers. People both inside and outside state government tell me that Williams has solved a problem that doesn't exist. Many school boards are already doing this. Seniority is a big issue in the Northeast, where there are teachers' unions. We have none in Georgia. I wish Williams and/or Rogers would share ...

January 25, 2012 | Dick Yarbrough | Columnists


Try geocaching for some extra scratch

Recently, my Littles and I were foraging through some woods out in the wilds of Newton County in search of a geocache. Doesn't that already sound like something wonderful? Just say it with me one time…. "geo-cassshhhhh." See? Doesn't that word just reek of adventure and good times? If you don't know the first thing about geocaching, that's OK. I'm here to tell you a thing or two and why I think it's one of the most awesome activities a family can do together. Geocaching is like treasure hunting made even more fabulous because ...

January 25, 2012 | Beth McAfee-Hallman | Columnists


Teaching vs. the Internet

I don't know what the state curriculum requires now, but when I taught, the Language Arts curriculum required students to write a term paper or research paper in the 10th and 11th grades. It was difficult enough then, but it must be impossible now with the blessing and the curse of the Internet.

January 22, 2012 | Paula Travis | Columnists


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