The 2013 Legislative Session has officially started. I was honored to be sworn in as your 9th State House District Representative on Monday morning.
My family and I have been lucky enough to escape the terrible flu that is going around (knock on wood). Sure, we've had a few sniffles, but nothing that some tissues and a movie night at home couldn't fix.
For the most part, we have escaped the long waits in the waiting room at the doctor's office.
I can honestly say that 2012 was an exciting year for my family.
We have been humbled by the tremendous support we received as I was elected to fill the state house seat being vacated by Amos Amerson.
Dear Cameron Charles Yarbrough:
Over the years it has been a tradition at the first of the year to impart some words of wisdom in this space to your father, uncle and cousins, who double as my grandsons.
Back during the month of September, my wife and I were riding our motorcycle to Florida through your town.
I had stoped for gas at a local station but all I had was a $100 bill, which they could not make change for.
I know I am "preaching to the choir" when I say December has been a busy month for my family. Christmas gatherings, community programs and events, finding the perfect gifts for loved ones - our calendar has certainly been full.
There won't be much of a break between the holidays and the 2013 legislative session for me, but I don't mind. I am humbled by your support in this year's election, and consider it an honor to represent Senate District 51. I'm looking forward to being your voice at the Gold Dome, and I'm excited to ...
I own 49 CDs of holiday music. For you young people, a CD is what music was recorded on prior to iTunes and MP3s.
I know I have that many because every holiday season I have to remove 49 CDs from my CD player that holds 300 discs. I put in the holiday music and let her rip for the season.
I was hoping that for once the Mayans would be right about something and that the world would have ended on Dec. 21 as they had said it would.
That would have taken care of the fiscal cliff and all the politicians that caused it. A little fire and brimstone would serve them right.
As I write this, 'tis a few days before Christmas and all is not well.
As you read it, the "right jolly old elf" will have taken his reindeer out of sight, but beneath the rooftop, what will have changed?
After six terms, 12 years, and more than 600 weeks of newspaper columns, it's time to pass the mantle as your state representative to a new generation of leaders.
State Rep.-elect Kevin Tanner takes over with the start of the new Legislative Session in January.
This column was a favorite of my friend, Otis Brumby Jr., publisher of the Marietta Daily Journal and Neighbor Newspapers, who passed away earlier this year. It is dedicated to his memory.
I wish I could have been there. In Bethlehem.
During my 12 years in the General Assembly, we have always been in some form of a recession. While economists say the recession ended in 2009, you can't tell it from our housing market and unemployment records. This has created ongoing challenges in funding education at all levels.
Budget cuts have affected higher education much more than K-12 (two of the House Committees I serve on).
I called Hall of Fame football coach Vince Dooley this week to get his perspective on UGA's heart-breaking loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game.
There are few people more qualified to comment than Vince Dooley. Let's start with the fact that he won 201 football games, six SEC championships and a national title during an illustrious career that stretched from 1964 to 1988.
When I wrote a column about the Old Courthouse's decorations, including new lights around the square, one of the main purposes was to also tell about the hidden treasure inside that building.
Obviously, my memory trail of the Historic Courthouse-Woman's Club relationships became so winding that it had to stop before it led to the Historical and Genealogical Society office.
If you haven't been in downtown Dawsonville within the last week, you haven't seen the Historic Old Courthouse in its Christmas finery. When you do, be sure to notice the new (old-fashioned) lights around it.
Members of the GFWC-Dawson County Woman's Club spent hours getting decorations ready and the Dawson County Public Works Department put them up.
Last week, Winter Storm Leon brought snow and ice to many parts of our great state. Leon's impact on the metro Atlanta area was particularly harsh.
Columbia University's John McWhorter lectures on English linguistics and he, along with other linguists, are excited people these days. That is good because I would hate to think of them being bored.
My fellow Georgians, in order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is a requirement that I submit to you annually a State of the Column message. This I do today. (Yea! Clap! Clap! Clap!)
Since I can't get out and about too much these days and since the weather has been too cold to be out and about much anyway, I decided to share some email chatter that might make you smile.
Every January, legislators from across the state convene at the Georgia State Capitol to set the course for Georgia's future. Because 2014 is the second half of a legislative biennial term, bills that did not pass in 2013 are still eligible for consideration in addition to the new bills introduced this year - which means legislators have a significant pile of work (literally, when you think about the stacks of printed bills on our desks...) ahead of us.
The purpose of this letter to the editor is to request the residents of Dawson County to assist me in contacting our local and state officials to work toward improving the unsafe intersection of Hwy. 53 and Hugh Stowers Road.
Gov. Nathan Deal gave his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Jan. 15. The annual event takes place in the House of Representatives and is attended by members of the House, Senate, State Supreme Court Justices, State Court of Appeal Judges and the State's Constitutional Officers.
I read a news report this week that says while we are living longer in the U.S., people in other countries are living even longer. Bummer.
Before 2013 faded out, my intentions were to congratulate a number of local people receiving honors. And though it is late, and I'll probably overlook some important ones, I'll still tip my hat to these.
I hope each of you had a safe and wonderful Christmas and that your New Year is off to a good start. My family was blessed this past year in so many ways, and we had a wonderful holiday season. Stacie and I have a tradition of taking the girls to the mountains for New Year's, and we had a great time again this year. The girls were extremely excited to be there to see their first snow of the season.