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Audit shows Georgia Department of Agriculture failed to use E-Verify

A recent audit found that Georgia’s Department of Agriculture failed to use a federal database to determine whether new employees were eligible to work there, a requirement since 2007 under a state law targeting illegal immigration.

When auditors reviewed a sample of the department’s hiring documents for the year ending in June 2012, they realized the agency was not immediately using the E-Verify database to confirm the eligibility of new hires.
Source: Savannah Morning News/Saturday

House majority shows it cares more about ideology than people

"In politics, as in most things, it’s not about the guts of an issue -- what’s good or bad about it -- but how the guts look. Seasoned viewers of politics know making law is akin to making sausage. Not a pretty sight. But just as the new year dawned, House Republicans brought out the meat grinders, stuffer machines and casings for all to see. The House GOP majority allowed itself to get caught up in yet another example that reinforces the impression that it cares more about ideology than real people in need.

"As House Republicans were debating which part of the humble pie they would eat in the fiscal cliff debate, there was another bill, $60 billion in disaster relief for 11 states and the District of Columbia hit by Hurricane Sandy, needing approval -- a vote that did not happen."
Source: Macon Telegraph


Details of counterfeiting ring exposed in Atlanta case
Until federal agents arrested him in an Atlanta suburb in November, Heath Kellogg was what people in his criminal circle called “the printer” — a man suspected of pumping more than $1.1 million in fake $50 bills into the Southern economy.
Source: New York Times

Inaugural Southeastern Bigfoot Conference to take place in Dahlonega later this month
Officially called the "Midnight Walker's Southeastern Bigfoot Conference," the event takes place January 12-13 and will feature panel discussions, recorded bigfoot conversations and encounters, and a host of other presentations.
Source: AccessNorthGa.com

Atlanta Falcons to host Seattle Seahawks for game January 13
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle


 Senate District 11 election to be held Tuesday
District 11 encompasses Grady, Decatur, Seminole, Miller, Colquitt and Early counties and portions of Thomas and Mitchell counties.
Source: Thomasville Times-Enterprise

 Sen. Isakson named to Senate Finance Committee
The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance will play a key role in the upcoming critical debate on cutting spending and reducing our nation’s debt.
Source: Dalton Daily Citizen

U.S. Justice Department rejects bill to move Augusta elections
The bill to move elections from November to July was rejected as a veiled effort to dilute the minority voting strength in the city.
Source: Augusta Chronicle/Saturday

Funeral held for former Ga. state Sen. Hugh Gillis
Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and former Gov. Sonny Perdue were among those who gathered Friday to remember Sen. Hugh M. Gillis, the country's longest serving state legislator.
Source: Macon Telegraph/Saturday

Political Notes, Savannah: Larry Peterson: It's been a great ride
"This is my last column as a full-time Savannah Morning News reporter. My last regular day at the Parkway Parthenon — as I call our home since 2004 — was Friday."
Source: Savannah Morning News/Sunday

Gov. Deal at mid-term: Mostly passing grades
However, the continuing fiscal crisis will continue to test Gov. Deal over the next two years.
Source: Savannah Morning News/Sunday

City Ink, Augusta: Politics off to roaring start in 2013
"After simmering down for the holidays, politics was back on the front burner in Augusta."
Source: Augusta Chronicle/Sunday

General Assembly: Ethics could take spotlight
Sen. Josh McKoon has been advocating a $100 limit on what lobbyists can spend on lawmakers. McKoon also wants a consistent stream of revenue tied to the state budget to fund an ethics commission with enforcement power.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer/Sunday

Lawmakers in Middle Georgia keep their eyes on federal and state dollars
In this session, state lawmakers will try to shore up health care, the state’s business environment and its military bases.
Source: Macon Telegraph/Sunday

Political Notebook, Gwinnett: Woodall introduces FairTax bill in new session
"Once again, the FairTax legislation has been introduced in Congress. U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall dropped the bill, popular among his 7th District constitutents, on the first day of the 113th Congress on Thursday, following a campaign promise on the first day of his second term."
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post/weekend

Rep. Lee Hawkins returns to legislature to fill Collins' former House seat
Source: Gainesville Times/weekend

Walter Jones: Analysis: Rookie politicians have much to learn
"For the newly elected officials who thought winning a heated campaign was the hard part, some veteran politicians and operatives have a little advice."
Source: Savannah Morning News

Sen. Chambliss warns President Obama that tough negotiations are ahead on spending cuts, entitlements
“My message to you, Mr. President, is you’d better strap on your chin strap very tight because this junkyard dog is going to address spending cuts and entitlement reform in the debt-ceiling debate,” said Chambliss, “and that’s going to be a line in the sand for us Republicans and conservatives.”
Source: Georgia Times-Union

Kyle Wingfield: Isakson: Revenue’s been dealt with, on to spending
"The fiscal cliff is dead. Long live the fiscal cliff! If you were unsatisfied with the deal struck last week or just miss the D.C. drama, fear not. We’ll be back at the abyss soon."
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Political Insider: A north-south split surfaces among Republicans in Congress
"To understand the depth of the Republican dilemma that continues to brew in Washington, you only needed to listen to two voices last week. One belonged to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The primal scream he aimed at his fellow Republicans in the 112th Congress, who on their final day refused to take up a $60 billion relief bill for Hurricane Sandy victims, rumbled across the right-left spectrum of cable TV news."
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution


 Renovation of Carrollton Kroger to triple store's size
Phase one of the three-phase renovation is nearing its end.
Source: Carrollton Times-Georgian

 ZF Windpower could benefit from wind tax credit extension
The tax credit, only valid on wind turbines after they’ve been erected, was set to expire Dec. 31, along with a wide gamut of other tax measures.
Source: Gainesville Times

 TDK Components named GM's top supplier for 2012
TDK Components of Peachtree City provides multilayered chip capacitors for the automotive, computer and consumer electronic industries.
Source: Fayette Citizen News

Projects in Dublin expected to bring 400 jobs
Two automobile suppliers are expanding in the area.
Source: Macon Telegraph/Sunday

New Athens Caterpillar plant credited for drawing new businesses
Watkinsville Mayor Charles Ivie said Industrial Finishing Specialists of Sanford, N.C., will open a satellite location in the town.
Source: Macon Telegraph/Sunday

Huge South Bibb construction project on track to be completed this year
The new Tractor Supply Co. distribution center is on track.
Source: Macon Telegraph/Sunday

Higher corn prices impact stores, chicken farms
Source: AccessNorthGa.com/AP

2013: Several major milestones planned for Plant Vogtle
One milestone is the arrival of the first mammoth steel reactor vessel, which weighs 300 tons.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Home Depot sued by Orchard Supply
Orchard Supply Hardware is suing Home Depot, claiming the retail giant has made exclusive deals with certain hardware suppliers to compete with Amazon.com and other competitors.
Source: Fast Company

Report shows law firm partnership no longer path to lifetime employment
Some law firms are letting partners who don't boost the firm's bottom line enough go.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

200 orders placed for Gulfstream's G650
The purchase will mean an additional 100 jobs for the Wisconsin plant.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Destiny Fitness opens in former video store in Albany
Destiny is owned by Douglas-based Gerald Pryor, the founder of Video Warehouse who owns a variety of operations, including mattress stores, bowling alleys and movie theaters.
Source: Albany Herald


 State Superintendent Barge promotes new teacher evaluation methods
State Superintendent John Barge said his goals for 2013 include furthering the implementation of a new teacher evaluation system as well as maintaining student safety.
Source: Cartersville Daily Tribune News

 Civil Rights icon to visit Bainbridge College
Earnest G. Green, one of the “Little Rock Nine,” will present “Lessons From Little Rock” on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 12:15 p.m., at the Kirbo Regional Center Auditorium on the campus of Bainbridge College.
Source: Bainbridge Post-Searchlight

 Walton County BOE considers furlough days
Source: Walton Tribune

Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School opens
Source: Augusta Chronicle/Saturday

Georgia Regents University is taking shape
The final vote will take place Tuesday to create Georgia Regents University; Georgia Health Sciences University President Ricardo Azziz will be president of the new university.
Source: Augusta Chronicle/Sunday

Search for Muscogee County superintendent stalled
An analysis of the process which leads to the idea that the search has stalled.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer/Sunday

Clarke County high schools may move away from 'block schedule'
Under a proposed new schedule, the high school day will be divided up into five 70-minute periods per day, as opposed to the four 90-minute classroom sessions under the block schedule.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald/Sunday

Louise Radloff marks 40 years on Gwinnett County's BOE
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post/weekend

Gov. Deal appoints former State Sen. Hooks to Board of Regents
Former State Sen. George Hooks of Americus will serve on the board which oversees the 35 colleges in the University System of Georgia.
Source: Albany Herald/Sunday

Covered signs to face students at NGCSU, Gainesville State College on Monday
It's expected that the merged colleges will reopen Tuesday under the name University of North Georgia.
Source: Gainesville Times

SCAD one of the schools of design reaching into Asia
The Savannah College of Art and Design opened a campus in September 2010 in Sham Shui Po, a district of Hong Kong.
Source: New York Times

More support gained for revising education funding
The Georgia Chamber of Commerce recently threw its backing behind student-based funding.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Marietta City Schools look ahead to another tough budget cycle
The board will meet for the first time in 2013 on Tuesday.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal


 Smithgall Woodland Garden to break ground this spring
Source: Gainesville Times

More solar panels added to Chatham County's growing inventory
Consolidated Utilities added 416 solar panels on its property.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Wildlife regulators seek comment on state hunting rules
Eight public sessions will be held across the state on hunting regulations for 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Laurens County plans to expand landfills
Nearly 45 years of capacity will result from the expansion of one landfill, while 11 years of capacity will be added to the other without expanding the footprint of the existing landfills.
Source: Macon Telegraph

75 trees donated in Floyd County 'chipper' event
Source: Rome News-Tribune


St. Joseph's/Candler hospital restricting visitors due to flu outbreak
Source: Savannah Morning News/Saturday

Walton Rehabilitation Health System to be sold for $33 million
Because Walton will retain many assets, including its affordable housing projects, the money will help the Augusta nonprofit continue to serve those with disabilities.
Source: Augusta Chronicle/Saturday

Columbus gyms prepare for New Year's surge
Memberships begin to increase around the end of December but drastically jump in January.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer/Saturday

Gwinnett Medical Center invests $1.7 million in new CT scanner
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle


 Tifton City Council discusses "Turfgrass Festival"
The proposed festival would be held May 4 in place of the Love Affair Fine Arts Festival.
Source: Tifton Gazette

 Arts in Black Festival to be held April 5-7 in Tifton
Source: Tifton Gazette

 Hogansville City Council to vote today on 'election conduct'
The council will decide whether to use the newly formed Troup County Elections Board or longtime elections superintendent Donald Boyd.
Source: LaGrange Daily News

 McDonough City Council to allow filming in downtown
Tyler Perry Studios has gotten permission to film scenes of an upcoming Christmas movie in downtown McDonough.
Source: Henry Daily Herald

 Obituary: C. Earle Snell of Snellville
C. Earle Snell, 81, took great pride in helping Snellville during its early years of growth.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 Train derails near Bainbridge
Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin said that about half the cars in a 50-car train left the track Sunday at approximately 10 p.m.; no one was hurt.
Source: Bainbridge Post-Searchlight

 Thomaston still a certified "City of Ethics"
Source: Thomaston Times

Tybee Island finances under scrutiny
Accusations are flying between some Tybee Island council members and staff over accounting.
Source: Savannah Morning News/Saturday

City of Savannah considers rewriting liquor laws
At issue is where the line is on offering a glass of wine during a manicure or drink at an after-hours party in a retail establishment.
Source: Savannah Morning News/Saturday

Georgia EPD to hold hearing on Guyton wastewater plant
The permit would allow the new plant to spray up to 250,000 gallons of treated wastewater per day on a site in the Ogeechee River basin, on Riverside Drive in Guyton.
Source: Savannah Morning News/Saturday

A consideration: What's next along Athens' Broad Street gap?
There's been an explosion of growth along Broad Street near Alps Road.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald/Saturday

Oconee County sheriff boycotts gun dealer over banning automatic guns to public
Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry has decided not to buy weapons for his department from a company that won’t sell self-loading and semi-automatic weapons to the public — a move that has been met with significant support, he said Friday.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald/Saturday

Lawsuit to suspend Clayton County Sheriff Hill has been filed
Source: WAGA-TV

Loganville woman hiding with children shoots intruder
The woman saw a suspicious man outside her window Friday and hid in the attic with her two children; when the intruder broached the attic, she shot him five times; he survived and was arrested.
Source: WSB-TV

Two Warner Robins child care centers closed permanently by state
The emergency order was issued because a state investigation concluded children at the two facilities were in imminent danger. The state found violations related to rules of transportation, criminal background checks on employees, supervision of children and missing or incomplete files.
Source: Macon Telegraph/Saturday

Donations to Salvation Army's red kettles drop in Macon
There was a $15,000 drop over last year's donations.
Source: Macon Telegraph/Saturday

Macon's interstate welcome sign waits for permanent home
The granite "Macon 1823" sign was installed to welcome Olympic tourists in 1996 and was taken down more than two years ago.
Source: Macon Telegraph/Saturday

Homicides down in Chatham County, but concern over crime grows
The Criminal Investigations Division is pointing to two significant accomplishments in the past year: one being the decrease in overall homicides and the second being the number of those cases it solved.
Source: Savannah Morning News/Sunday

City Talk, Savannah: Expecting a good plan for the old Plant Riverside
"There’s talk of a boutique hotel anchoring the redevelopment of the 3.79-acre site. I’ve heard of possible interest from a small chain of unique hotels that really would bring something different to town. In any case, the sale is good news."
Source: Savannah Morning News/Sunday

MCG Foundation to buy Augusta bus depot
Source: Augusta Chronicle/Sunday

Savannah museum offers space for historic Macon locomotive
The engine has been on display in Macon's Central City Park since 1956.
Source: Macon Telegraph/Sunday

Murder rate in Gwinnett County up in 2012 for first time in five years
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post/weekend

Temporary library in Dougherty County doing well
Dougherty County's Central Library branch will be renovated.
Source: Albany Herald/weekend

Dawson leaders at odds in political/business feud
Charges leveled by the two groups range from theft to abuse of power to sexual misconduct. Caught in the middle are citizens not quite certain which charges — and which officials — to believe.
Source: Albany Herald/weekend

Son of Gainesville couple cracks 350-year old Rhode Island mystery
Lucas Mason-Brown was part of a team that recently cracked a mysterious 350-year old code in a book at Brown University.
Source: Gainesville Times/weekend

Elevated pedestrian bridge to be considered by Augusta Commission
The bridge would connect the new convention center to its parking garage.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

AIDS quilt to be displayed in Athens in February
The AIDS Memorial Quilt is coming to Athens for the first time in more than a decade.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

City of Temple wants to demolish Sewell Manufacturingl plant
A new government building is to be built on the property.
Source: Carrollton Times-Georgian

Friends of St. Simons' commissioner question how he died
Friends of commissioner Tom Sublett say his death doesn't make sense. Those who knew Sublett describe the 52-year-old, fair-haired commissioner as even-tempered, a jokester and eager to listen — which makes his death all the more puzzling.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Floyd County auction nets nearly $60,000 in December
The county auctioned 92 abandoned tracts; the money collected was nowhere near the amount of back taxes owed on the properties.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

State review finds no problems at Floyd County Board of Assessors office
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Huge crowd attends Cobb County gun show
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Buford student dies after playing basketball game
Jeremy Nelson, a 12-year old seventh grader, collapsed Saturday night during a Gwinnett Basketball League all-star game and died later at the Gwinnett Medical Center from what friends and family assume was a heart-related issue.
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

Winter sports symposium set for Saturday in Albany
Dan Jansen, an Olympic gold medal speed skater, will attend the event as a guest speaker; the symposium is offered free to coaches and physical education teachers in the Southwest Georgia region.
Source: Albany Herald

City of Brunswick could qualify for increased job tax credits
Source: Brunswick News


 Families cope with suicide
"As Tamara Hardesty explained in a story that ran this weekend in The Valdosta Daily Times, suicide is a complicated grief."
Source: Valdosta Daily Times

 Dwain Walden: If you're looking for a special day to celebrate
"During the first week of January, many people are busy marking up their calendars for upcoming events. And it’s generally about the second week before most of us have gotten comfortable with writing the correct dates when we make out a check. That transition is not rocket science but apparently it does require enough skills that we could work in a firecracker plant."
Source: Moultrie Observer

Mark Murphy: Loved for the right reasons
"Bill Lester was in love with Liz — so in love with her that he asked her to marry him. But Bill Lester was in love with everybody."
Source: Savannah Morning News/Saturday

Homeless authority: Mend it, don't end it
"Good intentions aren’t enough. If the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless wants to exist — and it should — then it must clean up its act."
Source: Savannah Morning News/Saturday

Cartoon: Adam Zyglis: Fat living longer...
Source: Savannah Morning News/Saturday

• Tom Toles: Diminishing means of support
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer/Saturday

• Mark Streeter: Debt
Source: Savannah Morning News/Sunday

• Adam Zyglis: Taxes, debt, leadership
Source: Savannah Morning News

• Mike Lester: Banning high capacity, high occupancy
Source: Rome News-Tribune

• Mike Luckovich: Tails you lose
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Time now to eradicate hate
"Americans know full well the depth of venom in the souls of radical Muslims. But here’s a new low."
Source: Augusta Chronicle/Saturday

Dink NeSmith: Hard-driving scholar ready to make a difference
"Every morning — Monday through Friday — I saw him coming, sauntering up East Orange Street. As our children clambered out of the car, I watched his gait — slow and easy, always stepping inside the elementary school just before the bell rang."
Source: Athens Banner-Herald/Saturday

Eddie dePeterse: A new year, and maybe some new insights
"And it was winter. And I was looking for the season’s pentimento, for the painting hidden beneath the surface painting. Cleaning autumn’s leaf-catch from the gutters of my roof, I spied a glittering stone in the wet, brown leaves. A tiny meteorite perhaps? And in the fallow field where I walked with my dog Chance during the warm spell before Christmas, yellow butterflies surprised the ragged stalks of the harvested and harrowed cotton plants. Butter in a terra cotta bowl. A pinch of stardust. What’s cooking hereabouts?"
Source: Athens Banner-Herald/Saturday

Political Notebook, Macon: Counting to three
"New Bibb County Commissioner Gary Bechtel, a longtime member of the Bibb County school board, noted Wednesday that the county commissioners work well together because it’s a smaller group."
Source: Macon Telegraph/Saturday

Tom Barton: Heart-breaking scandal
"I've got no inside information on the ongoing scandal at the Chatham County Coroner’s Office."
Source: Savannah Morning News/Sunday

County expenses: A better watchdog
"New information about financial irregularities inside the Chatham County Coroner’s Office confirm what the public already knows: County officials got caught with their pants down."
Source: Savannah Morning News/Sunday

Geveryl Robinson: A fairy tale about America
"I’ve always loved fairy tales, mainly because they have happy endings. No matter how bleak things may be in the story, things turn out well at the end. I guess that’s why fairy tales are normally so far-fetched that they couldn’t possibly be true (at least that’s the general consensus)."
Source: Savannah Morning News/Sunday

Kicking the can
"Dear future generations: On behalf of the generations running this country at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, we apologize profoundly and from the bottom of our hearts for what our “leaders” have done to you."
Source: Augusta Chronicle/Sunday

Children are falling through digital cracks
"Five years ago, the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services could compile electronic records of child abuse reports only within each of its regional offices around the state. In 2008, the state spent $50 million to install a new statewide tracking and data-sharing system for DFACS."
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer/Sunday

Dusty Nix: Not all the canaries are in the coal mines
"Two unrelated items popped up on the laptop screen last week. No, that's wrong. They're not unrelated at all. The first was a report in the Brunswick News that a young humpback whale had been spotted off the Georgia coast. Humpbacks, an endangered species, are not indigenous to this region, but a Department of Natural Resources biologist was quoted in the paper as saying one or two show up every year."
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer/Sunday

Darrell Huckaby: Looking forward to barbecue, catfish and football ... among other things
"2013. Wow! It’s really here, isn’t it? We are six days in. We’ll be knee deep before you know it. The number 13 is not supposed to be fortuitous, but surely an entire year can’t be unlucky, can it?"
Source: Athens Banner-Herald/Sunday

Ed Grisamore: The avenue where Elvis hangs out
"Once upon a time, people asked for directions to Minton Lawn & Garden Center. Mack Minton and his son Reeves would tell them the store was on Pio Nono Avenue, a quarter-mile south of Rocky Creek Road. Now they just tell them to look for Elvis."
Source: Macon Telegraph/Sunday

Charles Richardson: Hiscox an impact player
"In starting a new tradition, Maj. Gen. Robert McMahon was named our first Middle Georgian of the Year. What the general did at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center is nothing short of phenomenal, and, after all, the base brings more than $4 billion to the midstate. But I would like you to know about another person, among many, who were finalists."
Source: Macon Telegraph/Sunday

David Oedel: Mind over muscle on the world stage
"Here were our 2012 U.S. national financial priorities on the world stage: Muscle (defense and war operations): $683 billion. Talk (State Department diplomacy and related programs): $53 billion. Strategically preventing war (U.S. Institute of Peace, or “USIP”): $0.04 billion."
Source: Macon Telegraph/Sunday

Back from the cliff -- but no way to run a country
"We have the feeling that, fiscally speaking, 2013 will be like “Groundhog Day,” the movie. We’ll just keep living brinkmanship over and over. The late-night congressional voting that averted the notorious fiscal cliff kept us from lurching over the side, but we are by no means on safe ground."
Source: Marietta Daily Journal/Sunday

Carlton Fletcher: Calculated votes kick off 2016 campaign
"For people who think the United States’ flawed two-party system of electing its president will remain intact through the 2016 election — and for those who thought the 2012 campaign was wa-a-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-y too long — a sobering note."
Source: Albany Herald/weekend

Political tug-of-war not the answer to debt issue
"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, say they are serious about tackling the national debt. And at $16 trillion and rising, they should be. They and their parties are to blame for the financial mess the country is in today."
Source: Brunswick News/weekend

Ed Schrader: Brenau's move into Mountains Center carries heavy responsibility
"In mid-December, some Brenau trustees, administrators, employees and faculty members joined with city officials, business leaders and other guests for an informal coffee klatch commemorating the beginning of the university’s long-term lease arrangement with the city."
Source: Gainesville Times/weekend

A deficit of trust
"With the new session of Congress begun and Georgia legislators preparing to bang their gavel a week from Monday, it’s a good time to examine what we expect from our elected employees."
Source: Gainesville Times/weekend

Mitch Clarke: A weeklong trip to Orlando really took a toll
"I spent most of last week living in a hotel room in Orlando, Fla., and because not much happens in hotel rooms, my friends and I drove around the area a lot. We drove down to Universal Studios to have a nice dinner at Emeril’s restaurant the first night we were in town."
Source: Gainesville Times/weekend

Political qualifying -- who will seek vacant Coweta House seat?
"After getting past the long, intense presidential election in November, the year 2013 was supposed to be an off year for elections. Sometimes things change in the world of local politics. When local House District 71 Rep.-elect Robert Stokely decided to accept an appointment to become a Coweta County magistrate judge instead of taking his seat in the Georgia General Assembly in January, a special election was called to fill the vacant House seat."
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

Ross Douthat: A populism worthy of the name
"Given all this recent history, then, it was very interesting to read this post-New Year’s post by Erick Erickson making the case for what he describes as a “new agenda” for conservatives. Erickson is the model of a populist political-media entrepreneur."
Source: New York Times

Adam Van Brimmer: Experience brings new appreciation for hunting
"Hunting is an activity for the hard, the quiet and the patient. Hence this country boy had never climbed a tree stand, sighted in on a buck or donned camo. All despite growing up where the opening day of hunting season was an excused absence from school."
Source: Savannah Morning News

Double-decker decision: Let the process work
"Last Thursday's meeting of the city’s Tourism Advisory Committee was an excellent example of why such a committee exists — to help the community reach informed decisions on controversial issues related to tourism."
Source: Savannah Morning News

Eddie Lou: Is the resume dead?
"Resumes may not be dead yet, but they are absolutely evolving — and not just moving from printed paper to digital copies."
Source: Savannah Morning News

Our way to prosperity
"Did you hear what he said? Did the nation hear what he said? Lost in the fiscal cliff panic and the New Year’s hangovers and bowl games and family get-togethers last week was a truly remarkable statement that reveals where this president is not only likely to go terribly wrong, but is sure to take the country with him if he continues to get his way."
Source: Augusta Chronicle

State can't choose views
"Most folks know by now that this is an ardently pro-life page. We believe fetuses never grow into anything else other than little human beings, and that all innocent souls have an inviolable right to life."
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Ray McGovern: Obama needs Hagel at Defense
"Absent from the discussion about whether former Sen. Chuck Hagel would make a good secretary of defense is any focus on lessons learned from personal factors like combat in war, as well as loyalty to the president."
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Walter Jones: An important lesson for new lawmakers
"For the newly elected officials who thought winning a heated campaign was the hard part, some veteran politicians and operatives have a little advice. It may be of interest to voters concerned about public corruption as well."
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Ed Grisamore: Carey has many gifts to share
"Connie Carey is a woman of many talents. I don’t know how many hats she has in her closet, but she sure wears a bunch of them."
Source: Macon Telegraph

Don McKee: Concealed weapons everywhere could trigger some problems
"Folks in Cobb County are getting armed in record numbers after the mid-December massacre of 26 people including 20 children at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., by a lone gunman."
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

Melvyn Fein: Campus liberty under siege by liberal academia
"As an educator, I am naturally concerned with maintaining the highest academic standards we can. It is, therefore, with some disquiet that I have observed the creeping attacks on liberty on campus. Instead of an honest marketplace of ideas, we have witnessed the rise of political proselytization."
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

Just an impression
"A week from Monday the General Assembly goes back into session, a time when Georgians have learned to bury their silver and hide their virgin daughters lest the lord of the manor take them away. This year may be different, although wariness and vigilance remain in order."
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Residents must not give in to fear, doubt
"Schools and school systems across the Peach State and the rest of the nation are checking and rechecking security measures. That's perfectly understandable following the shocking massacre in December at Newtown, Conn."
Source: Brunswick News