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Race to the Top is opportunity for Georgia schools

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce was heartened to see our state's significant achievements in education reform recognized earlier this year with a strong finish in the initial round of Race to the Top (RT3) grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education. We believe RT3 represents an excellent opportunity to build on Georgia's success, and we commend the state on its submission of a second-round application.

June 07, 2010 | By George Israel Guest columnist | Opinion


Sheriff succession law is obsolete

Many in Liberty County were surprised last week when Liberty County Probate Court Judge Nancy Aspinwall appointed Polly Martin to succeed her late husband, J. Don Martin, as sheriff of Liberty County. The public outcry generally questioned whether Martin's wife was the most qualified person to manage and lead Liberty County's law enforcement.

June 07, 2010 | Staff Report | Opinion


Hey, Mexico, we didn't ask you about our laws

Would somebody tell that guy that runs Mexico to buy a map?

June 07, 2010 | By Dick Yarbrough Columnist | Opinion


Health-care reform will get old for retirees

There are 78 million baby boomers and a very large number of them have retirement on their minds. If the past is a guide, more than 80 percent of them will retire before they become eligible for Medicare (at age 65). Although about one-third of U.S. workers have a promise of post-retirement health care from an employer, almost none of these promises are funded and, as is the case of the automobile companies, are likely to be broken in whole or in part.

June 02, 2010 | By Dr. John C. Goodman | Opinion


Report: Most Georgia children miss summer learning programs

When schools close for the summer, safe and enriching learning environments are out of reach and replaced by boredom, lost opportunities and risk for too many children. New analysis of data from the America After 3PM study measures the extent of this problem, concluding that just 21 percent of Georgia's schoolchildren (an estimated 350,878 kids) participate in summer learning programs – safe, structured programs that provide a variety of activities designed to encourage learning and development in the summer months.

June 01, 2010 | Special to the Courier | Opinion


Liberty loses trusted sheriff

Former Hinesville City Councilman Alonzo Walden once said he decided who got his vote for sheriff based on trust.

May 31, 2010 | Staff Report | Opinion


Advocates prove arts are good for business

Up until the final days of the 2010 legislative session, Georgia was about to become the only state in the union without an arts council. The Georgia House had dropped all funding for the arts and it wasn't until the State Senate, under the leadership of Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Hill (R-Reidsville), stepped in and restored $860,000 for the Georgia Council for the Arts. That money will allow the state agency to qualify for federal and state matching arts grants.

May 31, 2010 | By Dick Yarbrough Columnist | Opinion


It hurts too much to county the days

While I was in Iowa for my most recent visit, people said things like, "He's been gone quite a while. He'll be back anytime now, right?" or "Your husband should be getting home soon, isn't he?"

May 31, 2010 | By Joselynn McKenna Columnist | Opinion


New way to be heard

At town hall meetings, events in my district and even trips to the grocery store, it's clear that main street America is frustrated with an out of touch Washington. The people who come up to me aren't angry as much as they are worried about the future of our country.

May 26, 2010 | By U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston Special to the Courier | Opinion


New laws will make driving in Georgia safer

Sign seen outside local church:

May 26, 2010 | By State Sen. Buddy Carter Special to the Courier | Opinion


Hinesight covers gulf oil disaster

May 24, 2010 | Staff Report | Opinion


Our 'clean water' legacy

This past week a number of residents from Bryan County and Richmond Hill attended a workshop sponsored by three organizations dedicated to the preservation of our state's natural environment and specifically the preservation of our state waters.

May 24, 2010 | By Roy Hubbard Columnist | Opinion


Georgia is home to education wasteland

Kathy Cox has resigned as state school superintendent to take a new job in Washington. I have no way of knowing who will win the post this fall, but I do know that what public education lacks more than dollars is a strong and effective advocate. No one - not Cox, not the State Board of Education, not the Georgia School Board Association, not the Georgia Association of Educators and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, not the Georgia School Superintendents Association, not the charter school groups, not the city and county school boards, not the governor, not the General Assembly ...

May 24, 2010 | By Dick Yarbrough Columnist | Opinion


Memorial Day 2010

I know everyone has seen the VFW or American Legion Auxiliary ladies selling the Memorial Day poppies at various locations.

May 20, 2010 | By B.J. Clark Guest columnist | Opinion


Project Lifesaver program

In light of the recent tragedy with local Alzheimer's patient Elvin Mosley, the Bryan County Project Lifesaver Program is now in the forefront. The program is a rapid response public safety program that helps protect and locate persons who are prone to wander. Designed to track and rescue those with cognitive conditions who tend to wander, this service answers a critical need for protecting people at risk of wandering, including those with Alzheimer's, autism, Down syndrome, dementia and other disorders.

May 20, 2010 | By Wendy Sims Guest columnist | Opinion


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Articles by Section - Opinion


Strong candidate not running for president

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.

April 23, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough Columnist | Opinion


How can we trust the BoE?

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 ...

April 23, 2015 | Staff Report | Opinion


Beloved legacy of Don Light

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.

April 22, 2015 | By Ronda Rich Columnist | Opinion


When a man finds his destiny

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.

April 21, 2015 | By Ronda Rich Columnist | Opinion


Legislator gives view of 2015 session

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.

April 20, 2015 | By State Sen. Ben Watson Special to the Courier | Opinion


Celebration is education disguised as fun

On Wednesday, Liberty County residents will join millions of people around the world in celebrating the Earth on Earth Day.

April 20, 2015 | By Sara Swida Columnist | Opinion


Pipeline would be trouble for coast

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.

April 17, 2015 | By Roy Hubbard Guest columnist | Opinion


Step forward: Lessons from 2015 session

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.

April 16, 2015 | By Taifa Smith Butler Guest columnist | Opinion


Good people still do good things

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.)

April 16, 2015 | By Dick Yarbrough Columnist | Opinion


Hits and misses of legislative session

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.

April 15, 2015 | By Kelly McCutchen Guest columnist | Opinion


Rumors: Faster than speed of death

Carrie called the other day, and I grabbed the phone just as I was coming in from the garage. I dropped my purse at the foot of the stairs and sat down on a step to talk. No conversation with Carrie is ever short. Even her voicemails run three to four minutes.

April 14, 2015 | By Ronda Rich Columnist | Opinion


Keep storm drains clear

I would love a good, old-fashioned rain - or, as we used to call it, gully washer - this week.

April 14, 2015 | By Sara Swida Columnist | Opinion


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