Relay for Life is a stunning example of what the caring, compassionate and hard-working people who live in Dawson County can accomplish.
When I was named chair of the Senate Transportation Committee in January, it was becoming clear that there could be some struggles with producing a balanced FY 2014 budget for Georgia.
When the terrorist attacks occurred in Boston during the running of the Boston Marathon, memories came flooding back of our own dark days in Atlanta.
A friend and I met up in the massive Frankfurt airport's central lobby just by coincidence.
One of the most challenging tasks the Georgia General Assembly takes on each year is sorting through the state's finances.
Unlike legislation, the budget isn't something that can be carried over to the next biennial year.
Has it really been 43 years since the first "Earth Day?"
I remember it well; that's when I became an environmentalist.
It turns out that you can go home again. I recently established a chair in crisis communications leadership at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications at my beloved University of Georgia.
UGA President-elect Jere Morehead, along with Dink NeSmith, chairman of the Board of Regents came for the ceremony and both made my family and me feel warmly welcomed on campus. That is something we haven't felt at my alma mater for a long time.
They are the best University of Georgia athletic team you have likely never heard of.
They have won five national titles and go into next week's national championships one of the favorites to win it all again.
I stood on an oil rig miles off the coast of Africa as the final pipe joints were pulled from a just completed well. The mood was somber because we had not found oil. The following week I sat in an uncomfortable meeting where our corporate vice president declared my efforts had resulted in the driest well in years.
Back in my office overlooking the beautiful San Francisco hills I pondered what to do next with the project.
When the phone rang, I knew who was on the other end: Skeeter Skates, owner of Skeeter's Tree Stump Removal and Plow Repair in Greater Metropolitan Pooler. I can't tell you exactly why but the phone always sounds more urgent when Skeeter calls.
One thing about Skeeter Skates. He gets right to the point. Niceties aren't his style.
In January, the Georgia State Senate started the first term of the 152nd legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly with a challenging task list.
We were asked to find a way to fill a large anticipated Medicaid shortfall, evaluate the ethical behavior of elected officials, do more with less in the state budget, revamp the state's juvenile justice system, clarify points from 2012's tax code overhaul and find ways to expand access to higher education - among many, many other items on the agenda.
In my last column, I shared some observations about current happenings and promised some more. So here they are.
As Christians observed Holy Week leading to Easter, one of the emphases has been on service and sacrifice.
One of the best parts about serving in the Georgia State Senate is the ability to honor groups and individuals in the Senate chamber. I am proud to represent District 51 at the State Capitol, and I am even more proud of the efforts that keep our district one of the best places to work and raise a family in Georgia.
While the work we do in the Senate is great, it pales in comparison to the way each of you represents the pride and labors of our communities.
It is IRS time and I've been putting together information to take to the CPS who has figured Taylor taxes for decades (one thing I have not completely learned).
Surprisingly, I admit my gratitude that, even with a limited income, I usually must pay some extra dollars. That means that I have had money to live well enough and have something left.
The Sea Island Company wants to build a group of condominiums on what many people believe to be environmentally unsound ground. Why should you care?
The 2014 legislative session was one for the history books. Two winter ice storms interrupted legislative operations for several days at a time, and the introduction of unprecedented - and controversial - bills increased the time legislators needed to properly review the supporting research, documentation and the official bill itself.
Most young Georgians have never heard of Bo Callaway, a gentleman from Georgia.
I wish I had been there. In Jerusalem. With Jesus.
April is traditionally known for showers, blooming trees and shrubs and early flowers. We have had our share of those (including the pollen) and are enjoying the "popping out" beauty.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Georgia, as proclaimed by Gov. Nathan Deal. Child abuse is a subject I don't like to think about, let alone write about and you would probably just as soon not hear about. But it is there and we need to acknowledge it and demand some solutions.
Last week Sen. Steven Gooch and Rep. Kevin Tanner wrote about the end of the general session and the bills they had sponsored and that had been passed. Some good was done.
If you attended the annual meeting of the Dawson County Homeowners Civic Association, you don't need to read this column. However, not many of you were there.
Even by my impossibly high standards, this has been a good week. It began with a whack upside the head from a reader in south Georgia after I opined that those who want to change the way we teach our children in public schools ought to have their kids in public schools. I was referring to the efforts led by Sen. William Ligon, R-Brunswick, to overturn the Common Core curriculum in the recent legislative session.
The 2014 legislative session came to an end March 20, when the House and Senate completed the 40th and final legislative day.
On the last day of the 2013 legislative session, a bill that would have substantially protected and enforced the Second Amendment rights of all Georgians failed to receive final legislative approval in the late night hours. Supporters of that bill, including myself, were extremely disappointed in the outcome, but we committed ourselves to making sure a stronger Second Amendment protection bill was brought back in 2014.
My high school friend in Texas stood about 5'4," yet even the biggest football players gave him a wide berth when he walked down the hall.
Since the policy of the federal government seems to be to snoop on the conversations of private citizens, I thought it would be appropriate if we turned the tables on them. So, I authorized my columnist commandos to infiltrate the White House disguised as teleprompters and get the real scoop on the latest developments in Ukraine.
My husband and I have lived in Dawson County for the last eight years. We have found it to be a very pleasant experience. However, there is one thing that could make it even more pleasant, a dog park.
One of the greatest things about serving District 51 is the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of Georgians statewide.