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Gutknecht: Learning my resolutions

At the beginning of 2018 I tasked each member of The Covington News’ editorial team with creating New Year’s Resolutions for the newspaper. These resolutions will not go the way of most of our gym memberships, I guarantee it.

One of my resolutions was to cover all of Newton County’s cities more comprehensively. Covington? We’ve got it covered. Everybody else? It’s a little bit of a different story and we’re aware of that.

We do our best to cover this large community with our limited resources and we are grateful for the support in getting our job done.

Monday afternoon, I had the privilege of learning more about one of Newton County’s cities that has most definitely been neglected in our coverage. Social Circle Mayor Hal Dally took me on a personalized tour around his town and showed me more than I could have even imagined.

Let me say one thing, Social Circle is a force to be reckoned with. Not only is the city two or three times the size I had pictured in my mind, it also has a lot going on and a lot to be proud of.

Mayor Dally took me to all of the major sites, including Stanton Springs, Social Circle Middle and High School and the Hard Labor Creek Reservoir. I felt bad having to cut the tour short to cover another meeting because I know we could have spent a few more hours in that town.

Now, to be completely honest, I didn’t know much about Social Circle going into this tour. I knew all of the main spots, like City Hall and the police station, but I couldn’t tell you a lot outside of that.

It takes a long time to learn a town and its quirks. The history lesson provided to me by Mayor Dally showed me a side of the city that can’t be learned overnight. He has a lifetime of knowledge that I am grateful for the opportunity to tap into.

As we ended our tour, I got to thinking about the rest of the cities in Newton County and the county itself. What am I missing? What are some of the go-to sites I need to see? I am going to do my best to find out, that’s for sure.

Jackie Gutknecht is the managing editor of The Covington News. She can be reached at or 770-728-14009. Twitter: @jackieg1991