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.
I just finished reading an article written by Valerie Tarico on Yahoo. The story was titled "Right-wing Christianity teaches bigotry: The ugly roots of Indiana's new anti-gay law."
Fortune Magazine has announced its list of the World's Greatest Leaders for 2015, and would you believe that I got snubbed again this year?
The Georgia General Assembly adjourned last week, and much was accomplished during a very busy session. The following are some of the bills that were agreed upon by both the House and Senate and have been sent to the governor for his approval.
With the 2015 General Assembly session ending last week, here's a list of the health-care winners and losers during the 40 days of the Legislature.
Before Thanksgiving, as I "juned" - a mountain word Mama used to mean "moved faster" - around the kitchen preparing for company, it occurred to me that I should invite Jerry.
Congress has developed a fondness for open letters when it comes to Iran. First came the warning shot signed by 47 Republican senators that touched off a storm of criticism. Not to be outdone, the House checked in with its own bipartisan and more diplomatically stated letter to the president, warning that its members must be satisfied with any agreement before they'll vote to reduce sanctions.
If you are a high-school senior hoping to attend the University of Georgia - the oldest state-chartered university in the nation, located in Athens, the Classic City of the South - you have probably heard by now whether you have been accepted.
Will the real Bryan County please stand up and be counted?
Georgia boasts no native sources of fossil fuel - coal, natural gas or oil - yet the energy industry fuels this state's economy just as surely as if it were the epicenter of operations.
Editor, Cancer is one of the most feared words of all.
Editor's note: The Opportunity School District legislation was approved by the House on Wednesday, but with some differences from the Senate version. So now a conference committee will have to work out the differences before it goes to the governor. Suggs wrote this as a blog before House passage. And her issues may have to be weighed by voters before it appears on ballots in November 2016 as a constitutional amendment.
The Opportunity School District (OSD) SB 133 and SR 287, which passed the Senate last week, would create a special state-run school district where the superintendent of the OSD is appointed by, and report directly to the governor. If passed in the House, Governor Deal, who has no training in education, will be making decisions based on what his appointed superintendent says. The governor will also be receiving recommendations from his appointed Education Reform Commission, which has no active teachers or parents, but is filled with legislators, charter-school advocates, and for-profit education consultants.
Two bills in the Georgia Legislature would allow thousands of Georgia parents the opportunity to choose better educational options for their children.
I spent last week helping assess a group of people for a job I couldn't do if my life depended on it.
What if you were told that 95 percent of Georgians are using a product that may not always be the best value for money?
A college education in Georgia just got less affordable. Tuition is rising again in the wake of cuts in state funds for the university system. The HOPE Scholarship covers far less than it used to, and many students do not receive it. A college degree is more important than ever, yet it may be priced out of reach for many students.
Georgia lawmakers left town earlier this month after producing a 2016 state spending plan that invests no more money overall for health care than last year. Georgia ranks near the bottom of all states for health-care investment, and the consequences include hundreds of thousands of uninsured Georgians and hospitals that struggle to stay afloat.
Editor, My daughter tried out for Bryan County High School's basketball team. After the tryouts, she learned she had made the team, although she had never played before. It was extremely nice for the coach to keep her on the team, even with her lack of experience making her one of the worst players on the team. She gave a lot of effort and worked really hard. I had to pay about $100-plus for her shoes and socks after she made the team.
Editor, When 1st Congressional District U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter spoke before Richmond Hill High School students on the issues surrounding Kinder Morgan's Palmetto Pipeline, he stated, "I suspect many of you drive, and gas is expensive. … Having a pipeline could help that. … So sometimes, we have to make tough decisions" (coastalcourier.com, April 17, reported by Jeff Whitten).
What time is it, boys and girls? It's time for Answer Man! Time to dip into the ol' mailbag and see what is on your mind and show you how little is on ours. While we can't guarantee total and complete accuracy in our answers, it is Answer Man's opinion that this won't matter because if you knew the answer, you probably wouldn't have asked the question in the first place.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Too many times, the day-to-day business of being mayor and governing the city prevents me from saying "thank you" to the city employees who make our city run smoothly. Contrary to what some may think, local government - not state or federal - usually has the greatest impact on the lives of its residents.