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.
In Sunday's paper, reporter Amber Pittman wrote an excellent but very scary story detailing activities some of our teens and adolescents are involved in right now in our community.
The piece called "Deadly Games" explained what chocking, sexting and cyber-bullying mean to our young children.
As we have stated in the past, we are fortunate to have a well run library here in Newton County. We are fortunate, also, to have a very talented executive to run that library.
We recognize the fact that the library, like the other agencies in our county, has had to tighten its belt to meet budget deficits. One of the cost-cutting measures proposed by Greg Heid, the director of the Newton County Library, was to close on Saturday.
The YMCA, which was founded in England in 1844 by a group of evangelicals who wanted to assist the families and children suffering because of the sprawl created by the Industrial Revolution, started in this country in 1851. Since then the Y has grown into an organization that assists families from babies to grandparents.
Newton County is fortunate to have an active Y, which is located on Newton Drive in Covington. Our local Y provides programs for kids that include swimming, gymnastics, flag football, soccer and basketball.
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.