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Final days of 40 days at the Capitol

Day 39 (Tuesday, April 27): Today, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that the last two days of the session are here. The bad news is that there is still a tremendous amount of work left to be done as is evidenced by the 53 bills we have on the calendar today. And while the sheer number of bills is intimidating, of even more concern is the importance of the bills involved. While the more glamorous bills such as ethics, transportation and property tax reform have been discussed and debated in the media and different ...

May 05, 2010 | By State Sen. Buddy Carter Special to the Courier | Opinion


General Assembly is done

It is official, the 2010 legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly adjourned Sine Die and came to an end midnight on Thursday, April 29. After spending months devoting our time and commitment in Atlanta under the Gold Dome. After being in session for 40 legislative days spread out over four months, continual committee meetings, agreements and disagreements, the members which represent people from all over our state came together and finished the work of the people. The two days of session this week the members worked into the late hours passing legislation. Key pieces of legislation were passed this ...

May 05, 2010 | By State Rep. Ron Stephens Special to the Courier | Opinion


Candidates get equal treatment

There are seven offices up for grabs in Bryan County. Four are on the board of education, three on the county commission.

May 05, 2010 | Staff Report | Opinion


$17.9B budget passes as session adjourns

The 2010 session of the Georgia General Assembly came to an end late last Thursday night, several hours after lawmakers finalized a $17.9 billion state budget for fiscal year 2011. Having started Jan. 11, this was the longest legislative session on record since the 1880s.

May 05, 2010 | By State Rep. Al Williams Special to the Courier | Opinion


Animals gruops, stop arguing to attract funds

Animal-rescue groups from Liberty County and surrounding areas, while working for a very noble cause, are slowly tearing down their own credibility. The infighting among these groups is hurting their reputations and, possibly, turning off potential donors.

May 05, 2010 | Staff Report | Opinion


New transportation funding will set off scramble

The Georgia Legislature has finally approved a funding mechanism for transportation. Next comes the jockeying for placement on project lists among advocates, agencies and authorities for the various modes. Just because there's finally an opportunity for transportation funding, however, doesn't mean throwing good money after bad. Taxpayers must be vigilant and demand sound solutions and bang for their buck – or their 1 percent sales tax, to be precise.

May 05, 2010 | By Benita Dodd Guest columnist | Opinion


Hinesight, debut

May 03, 2010 | Staff Report | Opinion


Random misses, near hits?

Some recent thoughts, in no particular order. No particular order at all.

May 03, 2010 | By Jeff Whitten Columnist | Opinion


Afraid of the truth?

Well, there you go! I spend time and take up valuable space in this paper telling people that offshore oil well drilling has a sterling reputation of success where oil spills are a concern and bingo! We now have the first serious oil rig spill in the history of the industry. I hope and pray the flow is stopped before the slick reaches the fragile eco-systems of the Chaudeleurs Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

May 03, 2010 | By Roy Hubbard Columnist | Opinion


Not a good time to drill, baby, drill

Just a few weeks ago, most seemed glad to hear that President Barack Obama planned to open up areas off the Atlantic - and Georgia - coast to offshore drilling for oil. But there should be some second thoughts and careful assessment in the wake of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which is getting worse by the day.

May 03, 2010 | Staff Report | Opinion


Buzz around governor's race

Now that the legislative session is (drum roll, please) history, it is time to turn our sights to the governor's race.

May 03, 2010 | By Dick Yarbrough Columnist | Opinion


Area coastal conservation

In 2001 saltwater fishermen in Richmond Hill formed a chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association or CCA. The objective of the CCA is to conserve, promote and enhance the present and future availability of these coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public. CCA is a national organization with chapters in 17 coastal states. From the very beginning Richmond Hill has had a very strong chapter. Today there are 150 local members. Four of these members represent the state CCA board: Mike Odom, Fraser Bowen, Coley Bryant and Jimmy Roberts. Mike Odom represents Richmond Hill and Georgia ...

April 30, 2010 | By Angus McLeod Guest columnist | Opinion


Kudos to qualifying candidates

Last week was Georgia Cities Week - a Georgia Municipal Association creation that is aimed at informing the public on the importance of cities. Nearly 100 municipalities in the state participate in the event in one form or another, including Hinesville, Midway, Flemington and others.

April 29, 2010 | Staff Report | Opinion


The high cost of putting people in jail

 Each day across Georgia, the state Department of Corrections prepares enough meals to feed the population of the city of Marietta. Breakfast and lunch are served to nearly 60,000 adult prisoners. Paying for 31 state prisons annually costs taxpayers $1 billion, including the cost to manage 150,000 parolees.

April 28, 2010 | By Mike Klein Guest columnist | Opinion


Think trees when you turn on faucet

When we think of forests, majestic trees, precious wildlife and clean, fresh air might come to mind. We probably don't think about the water we drink.

April 28, 2010 | By John Rosenow Guest columnist | Opinion


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Articles by Section - Opinion


Friendships are gifts that do keep on giving

Maybe it's the fact that I have more days in the rearview mirror than I have ahead of me, but at this special time of year I am more aware than ever of the gift of friendships. Friendships are always the correct size, the right color and don't require a set of instructions on how to operate them. They are truly the gift that keeps on giving.

December 18, 2014 | By Dick Yarbrough Columnist | Opinion


Keep cronyism out of state school choice

Georgia has one of the more popular K-12 tuition tax-credit programs in America, which is funded by the private contributions of approximately 18,000 individual taxpayers and 200 corporate taxpayers, who receive a state income-tax credit for their contributions.

December 17, 2014 | By Jim Kelly and Ben Scafidi Guest columnists | Opinion


Officials protested in wrong way

Editor, It was so pathetic to see my elected officials sprawled on the sidewalk in front of the historic courthouse in the photo published in Sunday's Courier.

December 17, 2014 | Staff Report | Opinion


Put a local business on environment's nice list

I know we are all rushing around right now for the holidays with parties, shopping, tree lightings, shopping, church, etc., etc., etc.

December 16, 2014 | By Sara Swida Columnist | Opinion


History can be better than fiction

Several weeks ago, I wrote about moonshine runner turned stock-car champion, Lloyd Seay, who was murdered in a dispute over sugar purchased to make illegal whiskey.

December 16, 2014 | By Ronda Rich Columnist | Opinion


Government plans to control kids' destiny

Editor, Common Core has curriculum mandates plus tests. The reason that this educational system is designed this way is so that special-interest groups can mine data from Common Core. Common Core is, in reality, a system of data classification. The tests enable our children's data be turned over to private organizations. No one oversees these companies nor does anyone - especially the government - know how this information will be used. Actually, this information will be accessible to the federal government. Now, Big Brother will be watching our children's progress throughout his or her school years.

December 11, 2014 | Staff Report | Opinion


Commissioners: State pushing charter schools

You may recall that I vigorously opposed passage of a constitutional amendment in 2012 creating the State Charter School Commission that would allow an alternative method for authorizing charter schools in Georgia. You may recall, also, that the amendment passed handily. So much for my vigor.

December 11, 2014 | By Dick Yarbrough Columnist | Opinion


School choice crucial to middle class

In a recent speech at the National Press Club, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY, explained that improving economic opportunities for middle-class Americans is the key issue on which Democrats and Republicans should be focusing leading up to the 2016 presidential election and beyond.

December 10, 2014 | By Jim Kelly Guest columnist | Opinion


Whatever it takes get vets their benefits

Editor, Stop the presses and call Walter Cronkite - these stats just in:

December 10, 2014 | Staff Report | Opinion


Parents' wisdom valuable

There are few who cannot say truthfully that they miss their parents after death has laid claim to those loved ones. The parents who taught us, scolded us and, at times, annoyed us are never forgotten, never put away on a shelf to be remembered no more.

December 09, 2014 | By Ronda Rich Columnist | Opinion


Santa helps ensure good behavior

This "Santa Claus is coming soon, so you better be good" thing is working out great for me so far.

December 09, 2014 | By Hollie Moore Barnidge | Opinion


Protect yourself from holiday crime

'Tis the holiday season, and Christmas is rushing across the calendar like a runaway freight train. It is a time when families and cherished friends gather around the hearth to drink in all the good cheer. It's a time of peace on Earth and good will toward men. And yet, Christmas has a sinister side - one we often exile to the extreme depths of our consciousness. I'm referring, of course, to home break-ins, thefts and frauds.

December 08, 2014 | By Terry Doyle Columnist | Opinion


Another record year for Rivers Alive

It has been another record year for Liberty County's annual Rivers Alive events, held annually in October and into November.

December 08, 2014 | By Sara Swida Columnist | Opinion


Lawmaker's orientation is over

Orientation for freshman-elect members of the 114th Congress took place in Washington, D.C., from Nov. 12-19. This is the second of two reports detailing events of that orientation.

December 04, 2014 | By U.S. Rep.-elect Buddy Carter Special to the Courier | Opinion


SPLOST failure not a free pass for tax hikes; cut spending instead

Editor, Referring to the headline in the Sunday Courier, let me, too, say that my concerns are aroused by the proposed millage-rate increases.

December 04, 2014 | Staff Report | Opinion


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