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Beauty and Business
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When covering the arrival of Baxter International this week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote a headline saying the global medical manufacturer would locate in Metro Atlanta.

Frankly, we don't appreciate being lumped in with the counties that are in fact a part of Metro Atlanta.

Newton County has the ability to be the lead county between Atlanta and Augusta and a prime location for more industry, but it also has the planning in place to maintain its rural nature and beauty.

Because of some wise people, we have the 2050 Plan, which plots out the future of our county, a future we believe in and support.

Another part of our future planning was the creation of Stanton Springs, a jointly-owned four-county industrial park at the intersection of Morgan, Newton and Walton counties. Jasper county also has ownership.

Currently, 70 percent of our residents have to commute to another county to find work, which leads people to the assumption that we are just a bedroom community of Atlanta.

We don't believe that most people who live here and care about this county accept that notion.

We feel that Baxter choosing to locate here, and bringing with it the promise of major employment and higher pay, will help attract similar industries and allow more people to make a high-quality living in Newton County. When that happens, we hope the myth that Newton County is a part of Metro Atlanta will be debunked for good.

We believe Newton County is poised to be the major business leader of the Interstate 20 East corridor sooner rather than later.