BREAKING: Early-morning house fire one of two tamed by Dawson County crews in the past 24 hours
One Dawson County man is safe due to the quick-thinking actions of a neighbor who noticed an early-morning fire at a nearby home Thursday.
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A few end-of-year comments
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As 2014 winds down, all sorts of groups and individuals tend to take a look at where they've been, are, and are heading. I am not tackling that big job; I'm just tying up some of my own dangling ends.

For example, my good friend Cecil Bennett's retirement from the county's board of education.

He has been lauded by those in authority and by ordinary citizens, and I join the latter in expressing gratitude to an ordinary citizen who has done some extra-ordinary things for his county, and not only for the school system.

After retiring from his regular job, Bennett became the public relations official for our newly established Walmart, and as such has been able to steer a number of big donations from that company to many worthwhile local projects. And for many years, the Bennett family has been my good neighbors.

In case you don't already receive the county's newsletter online, you should. You will not only know more about what is happening, you can also be more aware of the various awards and recognitions received by Dawson Countians. We do make a positive impact in our area!

On that note, congratulations to Economic Development Director Charlie Auvermann on his regional recognition.

While on the subject of government, I must comment on the fact that since the South became so solidly Republican, like Rodney Dangerfield, "we don't get much respect."

The Republicans take us for granted and the Democrats sort of "wrote us off."

Maybe that is a result of the bitter partisan divide so obvious on the national level. Or maybe we'll come to our senses and realize that as Georgians, as Americans, just as we usually do as Dawson Countians, we have much more in common than we have differences. There surely is a way to break stalemates.

Could we start with more sensible gun control? Think of it: Someone who was killed because of carrying a toy gun might legally go almost anywhere in Georgia with a real gun. Is that a right which we truly need? Is there a better way to prevent all the senseless violence?

Remember, the Dawson County history book, which the Historical and Genealogical Society was hoping to have published before Christmas? Well, obviously it isn't.

Actually, the material is completed, but the publishing company with whom the society group is working has had some real problems. It is a small, family-operated company and a death in the family caused, not only a significant delay, but some changes in the operation. They do, however, expect to be back on tract in 2015, and a new date for receiving the books will be forthcoming.

Also in 2015 we expect to see our racing hero, Chase Elliott, continue his winning ways. We stand ready to congratulate him on many other honors.

May 2015 bring each of the good things you need and even some that you just desire.

Helen Taylor's column appears periodically in the Dawson Community News.