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Opinion articles for Screven County and surrounding areas.

My word needs your help to become the newest member of Webster’s dictionary

Some of you have it.
Some of you are filled to the max with it.
Some of you want it.
And some of you are under the impression that you do not know anybody with it, but if you were to ask, your boss might actually point a finger back at you.
From time to time, I create, improv, develop, formulate and just flat out make up words that really should be part of our vernacular.
So what word do I want to become a staple in people’s everyday language? Slackatudity.

Month now has gone by since killing of bin Laden

Wednesday, June 1, probably came and went for a majority of you without a mere thought of what had occurred, but it will be fine if you think about the event today.
The U.S. Navy SEALs’ fatal shooting of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden on May 1 sent global shock waves. The orchestrator of the dastardly 9-11 attacks on our country’s people and values was dead and ceremoniously given a speedy burial at sea.
Now it has been one solid month.
So has anything changed on our native soil since the removal of the al-Qaida leader?

Past certainly can be our future

Twenty-five years before our county of Screven got its first talking device known as Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone the newspaper you have in your hands began publication. The Sylvania Telephone’s first issue was in 1879.
That was 132 years ago. For those families with a strong local lineage, the Telephone was your parents, grandparents and great grandparents’ newspaper.
One hundred thirty-two years is a long time.

How the stand selling ‘Boiled Penuts’ got its start in South

The red man came to the mountains of Southern Appalachia, historians say, because game was abundant there.
The white man came because the region had fertile soil, beautiful scenery, plenty of water and good boiled peanuts.
I made up the boiled peanuts part, but I bet it’s true. Somebody in the South discovered the art of boiling peanuts just a century or so after Hernando de Soto discovered water in the Mississippi River.

Animal shelter as a slaughterhouse with no food for the dogs is absolutely false

The Internet may stand as the most powerful source of information ever. With a simple click of a button, in mere nanoseconds, people in Germany can know as much about the ongoings in Sylvania as the people living in our Southern community.
But with undeniable power comes with it undeniable opportunities for the evolution of misinformation.
Just such a case of misinformation has been spewed forth about Sylvania, Screven County and our residents via the Internet and as one elected official said, “We may just have to ride out the storm.”

Grads, life’s a series of finding solutions

With the thousands seated in the stands and hundreds lining the fence, family and friends watched as James Lee Young Jr. became the final Class of 2011 recipient of his Screven County High School diploma Friday night.
Then Young and his fellow 194 graduates zestfully slung their collective red and white mortarboard caps into the night sky in celebration of their fulfilled accomplishments.

Don’t forget that AMIkids still needs our assistance

Thanks, but don’t ease up now.
By the time a folder with accolodate after accolade about AMIkids’ work in Screven County was sent on its way to the Capitol in Atlanta for Gov. Nathan Deal to read, nearly 500 letters and 700 signatures were included in the request.
To those who put forth the effort to type a letter, handwrite a letter, or rather pen your autograph in support of AMIkids, we applaud you, but the work is far from done – actually, it really has not even begun.

Hog potion sure to turn hefty profit

My friend doesn’t have mad-cow disease, but he’s got cows and a bad case of the mad. His ill mood is caused by another four-hoofed species. Call it feral hog fever.
For 46 years, Larry Walker has earned a reputation as one of Georgia’s most capable attorneys. His batting average before juries would make Chipper Jones envious. But when he closes his law books at the end of the day, he’s a farmer.
His south-of-Perry (SoHo, South Houston County) spread is a showplace, most of the time. But that’s not good enough for Larry.

Agenda changes, but the focus remains the same

The family cat sat on the window seal completely mesmerized. She just watched one squirrel after another run, climb, scamper, frolic – lots of frolicking – from tree to ground back to tree.
Then I walked the family dog. He too was enamored with the fluffy-tailed creatures – so much, mind you, he seemed to forget why he needed to go outside so badly.

Bad news of Zeta-Jones’ bipolar may be good news for others

It’s good, I guess, that disease is no respecter of fame. An illness stalks alone and seemingly unnoticed until it attacks a famous person — and then everybody is aware of it for a while.
It happened with Ronald Reagan and Alzheimer’s; it happened with Michael J. Fox and Parkinson’s; it happened with Patrick Swayze and cancer and Barbara Walters and heart disease.

With long days done, General Assembly concludes legislative session

Sine Die!
It is now official, the Georgia General Assembly has completed the 2011 legislative session. The session began on Jan. 10 with a icy snow storm that blanketed much of our state, including the State Capitol; however, that did not deter the members of the legislature from doing our job and serving on your behalf. Forty legislative session days later, the adjournment of the 2011 session ended at around 11:40 p.m. on April 14. 

Addressing key pieces of legislation after break to enjoy livestock festival

The first full week in April, also known as Master’s Week throughout most of Georgia, is the traditional spring break period for K-12 schools in our state.  For similar reasons, the General Assembly also took a brief break this week.  This break gave state legislators, a chance to review the status of legislation and prepare for the last three days of the current legislative session.  

Advice to Dr. Oz: Don’t let a few bad health tips discourage you

You’ll excuse me if I’m a bit distracted today, but I just had an appointment with Dr. Oz, and he wanted to talk and talk and talk.
You know Dr. Oz, don’t you? He’s that tall, lean doctor with dark hair who talks really fast, as though he’s not sure about all this health stuff he’s pushing. He’s a good-looking guy, though, and women love his bedside manner, although he’s never been at any of their bedsides except on television.

Uncle keeps his word on special land

Imagine your uncle died and left you a fortune. How long would it take for $10 million to burn a hole in your pocket? But before the spending spree starts, read the fine print. There’s a you-can’t-ever-spend-it string attached to the gift.
That’s exactly what Uncle Jake Moody did in 1952. And it’s the same way his inheritance came. Jake Moody was a rich man, but you wouldn’t have known it. Jake found happiness living in a log cabin in the middle of 3,500 acres hugging the Altamaha River north of Baxley.

House passes several important resolutions

As you may remember, last week marked the 30th legislative day or “Crossover Day,” when all House bills must have passed through the House in order to allow enough time for them to undergo the Senate committee process. Likewise, the House spent most of this week discussing Senate bills in committee. We did, however, pass several important resolutions, which express the opinion of the House body.

Horse racing in Georgia is a winning proposition

The nightmare has lasted long enough. Now it’s time to dream - big - about spurring Georgia’s economy and adding jobs.
Georgia is perfectly located on the Eastern seaboard for horse racing. Now, here’s a dream that could become reality and spawn thousands of jobs, providing millions in new tax revenue. To make that work, we’d have to legalize pari-mutuel wagering.

Senators thanks for nothing ... no seriously ‘Thank You’

Elected by the people, legislators have the obligation to make laws on behalf of its citizens.
While this statement is very true, strangely I have to commend our state senators in Atlanta for not doing anything not just once -- but twice.
Weeks ago Georgia’s Speaker of the House David Ralston said that lawmakers this time around were going to slow down its decision-making – to paraphrase, not make laws just to make laws.
Maybe that sensible logic cropped up on the senate side too.


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