A sure sign of spring here in Covington and Newton County is the sweet smell of Vidalia onions.
There's no question we've had a successful run of economic development deals in Newton County over the past couple of years.
"Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
"I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles."
One of the highlights of every spring in Covington is to hear the sound of music on the square at noon every Thursday in May.
It was announced last week that Newton County's unemployment rate for March had dropped to 9.4 percent, the lowest it has been since the economic downturn started in 2008.
Andrea Smith, owner of Square Perk Cafe, had an idea, as many of us do from time to time. However, she did something different - she acted on it.
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
Unfortunately, in today's society, more attention is paid to the bad that our young people do than the good.
The folks who live in Mansfield received a real shock Friday as an unexpected smack from Mother Nature rolled through a portion of their small town. For more details, you can go to CovNews.com to see pictures and a video of the storm.
At its annual retreat, city officials talked about turning the American Legion Field located behind the YMCA into a place that could be used for entertainment and other social events that would benefit local citizens.
Last week, Dr. Gary Mathews, superintendent of schools for Newton County, reopened the search for a new principal for Alcovy High School.
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.
While we would much rather attend a welcome home event Friday, we at The Covington News have planned to bid local troops a fond farewell as they depart for training and then Afghanistan.
Do you ever wonder how bad things actually got in Rome to cause it to burn while Nero fiddled?