The New York Times editorial board this past Sunday called for the federal government to legalize marijuana in the United States.
There was an unfortunate incident in our community last week where a man for reasons unknown at this time was seen in a quiet community wielding a sword of some type, harassing passing cars and trash cans.
The Covington City Council voted this past week to add a code officer to its staff. The city currently has only one officer.
It's time for a change on the 2050 Plan - both to the document itself and officials' approach in presenting it to the public.
One of the cornerstones of pride in the Newton County community is that we have our own hospital; and throughout its existence the taxpayers have supported its development.
We realize that voting Tuesday, four full days away, is the farthest thing from your mind right now. But you need to make it first in your mind.
The first public hearing for the 2050 Plan was held Monday night, giving the public an opportunity to let themselves be heard.
Here's some of what we have heard from concerned citizens over the last two weeks:
There is one person in town that we doubt that anyone who knows him could ever question his passion for the things he believes in.
We are grateful that the long holiday weekend passed, and despite all the people and activities occurring with the Fourth of July festivities, there were no major reports of injuries associated with beverage consumption, firework exhibitions or rowdy behavior.
We are never happy to see groups come into our community, especially on holidays, to set up shop for a week or two and sell products that rob profits from our local merchants who pay taxes on a regular basis.
Our community is planning to celebrate the Fourth of July in a grand way today.
"Our founders got it right when they wrote in the Declaration of Independence that our rights come from nature and nature's God, not from government."
During the recent primary election, many of Newton County's voters didn't show up. They paid no concern to who would represent them and a minority of the county's voters bothered to head toward the polls.
The final year of CRCT scores for grades three-eight throughout the state were released this week. Did we score high or low? It seems like a little bit of both.
The city of Social Circle has some beautiful older buildings and homes that reflect our Southern heritage.
The city has been renovating one of these old homes, originally built in the 1840s, in order to establish a new city hall.
We got jolted out of our malaise as we received an announcement from Chris Smith, co-owner of Newton Electric Supply, telling us that he has thrown his hat into the ring for the position of Covington city councilman.
After a brief breather from the longest national election campaign ever, we were taken aback by Mr. Smith's early announcement. For sure it's been cold enough the last few days to be election time, but the old calendar says it's Easter week.
The citizens of Newton County never cease to amaze us.
We have done editorials in the past encouraging people and groups to do what they can do during these economic time to help their neighbors.
Until recently, driving through the quaint town of Porterdale was the equivalent of driving in the Grand Prix to some drivers.
It is fortunate no one has been killed.
This past week we carried a story on our front page that described how a step-father took a belt to his teenage daughter; this action was and is inexcusable.
We believe that a parent has a right to discipline his or her child in a manner that works for the family, but this does not include belts and sticks or any other form of discipline that can cause bodily injury to a child.
We support the county's effort to tighten its belt during this current fiscal crisis.
We appreciate the efforts of every manager and employee who has come up with cost-saving measures to help county employees keep their jobs or not have their earnings cut.
We are more than pleased to see that teacher Sara Vinson, of the Covington Montessori School, has taken the time to teach her students the value of not only learning about the great jobs that non-profits do in our community, but also about the added value of learning how to help support them.
Mrs. Vinson's class spent time talking with Tamara Richardson, who is the director of the Newton Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta.
Taxes and increased fines are highlights of last week's legislative talks in Congress as well as the Georgia General Assembly.
Tobacco users across the country will now have to offer a few more silver coins for every pack or carton they buy as federal lawmakers are increasing tobacco taxes to help fund children's healthcare initiatives across the country.
Sen. John Douglas promised last year that he would have legislation passed that would help protect school children from sexual predators.
He sponsored Senate Bill No. 14, which would prohibit anyone who is on a national or state sex offender registry from serving on local school boards.
Sadly Newton County's unemployment rate has jumped to 11.7 percent, up from 10.4 percent in December.
In January, the last report from the Georgia Department of Labor showed that 1,195 people had applied for unemployment benefits in the county.
The last two administrations under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush both recognized the need for volunteerism; they both created new volunteerism bureaucracies.
We have civic groups in this country like the Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions that have been the backbone of civic volunteerism in this country and around the world for at least 100 years.
The president made it clear in his speech Tuesday night that it was his intention in his proposed budget to end the tax breaks given to businesses and people who earn more than $250,000 a year for the contributions they make to charity.
The president, for some reason, thinks that the government can take that tax money and provide for the needs of groups like the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs or community food banks better. That thinking by the president is pure baloney.
The Democrats in congress, including the president, have been pushing with all of their might to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, which would amend the National Labor Act of 1935 - a law that helped establish the labor movement in this country.
Democrats are pushing this legislation because they owe their elections to the giant labor unions of this country.
Area homeowners received some good news this past week as they learned that the watering restrictions for Level IV drought areas have loosened a bit. Residents are now allowed to use drip irrigations systems and soaker hoses to water their shrubs, trees and flower beds for up to one hour, three days a week.
It will be nice to see the profusion of colors that should soon be popping back up in folks' yards.
This Friday, at 2 p.m. many community groups will come together for a farewell ceremony for the troops of Company B of the 1/121st Infantry of the Georgia National Guard's 48th Brigade.
The men and woman of the brigade, after a training stop in Mississippi, will be deploying to Afghanistan in May.