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.
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.
I know we are all rushing around right now for the holidays with parties, shopping, tree lightings, shopping, church, etc., etc., etc.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Editor, Stop the presses and call Walter Cronkite - these stats just in:
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.
This "Santa Claus is coming soon, so you better be good" thing is working out great for me so far.
'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.
It has been another record year for Liberty County's annual Rivers Alive events, held annually in October and into November.
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.
Editor, Referring to the headline in the Sunday Courier, let me, too, say that my concerns are aroused by the proposed millage-rate increases.
This was written in a cave somewhere in greater Bora Bora. The column was floated across the ocean in an RC Cola bottle to this newspaper.
It is that time again!
In theory and by law, businesses in Liberty County are supposed to charge customers only 6 percent sales tax. That has been the case since April 1, when the county's Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax expired because a majority of voters chose not to renew it during the November election.
Fifteen months ago, a local reporter asked me if there was any interest within the General Assembly in taking on the medical marijuana issue for the 2014 legislative session, and I told him, emphatically, that there was none and that I did not foresee that issue coming up anytime soon in Georgia. Then, a week later, I met a little 4-year-old girl named Haleigh and her courageous mom and dad, and was I proved ever so wrong.
Editor, If you are a father seeking custody of your children in Hinesville, please read this carefully.
The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was called catastrophic by many. President Barack Obama declared, "This oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced." The National Resource Defense Council said two years later, "A people wronged and a region scarred remains."
My fellow Americans, it is with a heavy heart that I announce to you today that I will not be a candidate for president of the United States in 2016.
Editor, It is mindboggling to me to hear Liberty County Board of Education members and Liberty County School System administrators talk of the millions of dollars tossed about our school district's budget during school-board meetings, work sessions and public forums as if it's no big deal. According to information presented by the district, our revenues for the 2013-14 school year were $92,203,140, and our expenditures were $98,130,080 - meaning, our school board authorized $5,926,940 in overspending. However, the board continued to operate in the same manner for the first half of the 2014-15 ...
Many people have crossed the path of my life, but only one crossed it from three different directions. Don Light, one of Nashville's most admired powerbrokers and star-makers, was meant to be part of my life. I said this repeatedly because I encountered him through friends in country music, Southern gospel and NASCAR racing.
Sometimes a man, despite his best efforts, doesn't find his destiny. Try as he might, down through the earnest years of his life, he chases it and even can believe he has it, only to awaken one morning and discover he doesn't - that what he has is an illusion, a mirage that he tried to turn into reality.
The activity surrounding each legislative session is always a combination of fast action with periods of slow-moving, tedious meetings as legislation is researched, deliberated and reconciled before the actual vote. This session was no different, and each day was used to the fullest as we set our sights on tackling some tough issues for the betterment of our state. The following is a summary of some of the major accomplishments and most-significant legislation passed this session.
On Wednesday, Liberty County residents will join millions of people around the world in celebrating the Earth on Earth Day.
There will be a public hearing Tuesday in Richmond Hill held by the Georgia Department of Transportation in reference to the proposed pipeline Kinder Morgan wants to install along the entire coast of Georgia. It is important that Coastal Georgia residents attend.
Lawmakers passed a nearly $22 billion spending plan that includes about $900 million in new revenues, consumed for the most part by school-enrollment growth, increasing retirement benefit-plan expenses for state employees and about $288 million to reduce an austerity cut for public schools. The 2016 budget also increases the local school-district cost of insurance for bus drivers and other non-certified school workers by more than $100 million, so it remains to be seen how much of the $288 million is used for teacher raises and undoing recession-era cuts.
Sometimes we forget that there are a lot of good people on this Earth doing good things. I was reminded of that by my friend, Jack Cookston, who recently had some medical issues that required him to cart around an oxygen tank wherever he went. (Happily, his health has improved and the oxygen tank is history.)
As expected, transportation funding and the governor's proposal to address persistently failing public schools dominated Georgia's legislative session. The measures passed, yet several opportunities to address critical economic issues were missed.