Editorial summary: Georgia | Durham Herald Sun


Rome News-Tribune. July 31, 2021.

Editorial: Vaccination hesitation plus Delta takes us back to the days of the pandemic

It seemed like we were finally done with the pandemic, but the lack of interest in vaccinations continues to lead to an increase in the number of people infected with the more virulent delta strain of COVID-19, which unfortunately leads to more hospitalizations and deaths.

Through the ebb and flow of the pandemic, we have followed the movement fueled by the hope that COVID-19 has passed through this region and we may move on to better times.

Delta changed that, and if you don’t know why the Centers for Disease Control has, once again, changed their masking recommendations – you haven’t been paying attention.

For those of us who have paid attention to the numbers on a daily basis, hope is quickly fading again. For those who aren’t careful, or just listen to bogus news, they just want it all to go.

Until last week, the number of hospitalizations attributed to COVID-19 had remained quite low, but it is increasing again. There is no doubt what comes next.

We’ve said it before, and here it is again. It’s like the fable of water that heats up regularly: when things get progressively more dangerous, people do not perceive the threat. Well there we are.

It’s not a call to panic or even be afraid – it’s a call to do the right thing and get the shot.

Floyd Medical Center CEO Kurt Stuenkel this week pleaded for a group of teachers from schools in the city of Rome to look into the facts – 90% of doctors have been vaccinated. He said these doctors are the people who know and understand the science AND they chose to take the vaccine.

Georgia Department of Public Health director and pulmonologist Dr Gary Voccio said there was no doubt that the increase in hospitalizations and positive test results was due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant.

He said the spread has occurred almost exclusively among people who have not been vaccinated.

“It’s over 99 percent,” Voccio said this week.

Georgia’s rate of COVID cases has increased 204% in the past 14 days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the Delta variant accounts for 78% of new COVID-19 cases in Georgia, making vaccination more urgent than ever.

The Delta variant spreads more than twice as easily and the highest spread occurs in places with low vaccination rates.

Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to occur among the unvaccinated.

“Unfortunately, we can expect the number of COVIDs to continue to grow. People who are unvaccinated or who miss their second dose of vaccine are targets of infection, ”said Kathleen E. Toomey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. High immunization coverage will reduce the spread of the virus in your community and elsewhere – and help prevent the emergence of new variants. “

The really, really unfortunate thing about the pandemic as it is now is that there is a choice. There is a way to eradicate this thing, and fast. Sadly, there are so many who have no idea what they are talking about, confidently repeating lies online.

As a media company, we have been called the worst of the worst on social media for reporting the figures released by the state. Understand this, before going ahead with a story, we consulted with various medical professionals – but the facts don’t matter in a pseudo-politically opinion-driven place.

We will continue to report the coronavirus in a professional and factual manner.

Thanks for the reading.


Dalton Daily Citizen. August 3, 2021.

Editorial: Watch out for buses, kids as schools resume

With many schools in the area starting this month, this is a great time to remind us of the need to be extra vigilant while driving. Be on the lookout for students who might not always make the safest decisions and who might rush into traffic or cause other traffic problems.

Students from Whitfield County schools are the first locals to return to school on Friday, followed by students from Dalton Public Schools on Tuesday. Schools in the Murray County school system do not start again until the day after Labor Day – September 7 – due to extended school days throughout the year.

Being a safe and defensive driver is always desirable, but at this time of year such reminders are especially important as school buses hit the road and teens get behind the wheel to get to school.

With many schools returning to classes entirely in person this fall, there will be more traffic than usual on the roads in the morning and afternoon.

Most children who die in bus incidents are between 4 and 7 years old, according to a National Safety Council study.

They usually walk and are struck by the bus or by a motorist illegally passing a stopped bus.

Here are tips from the National Safety Council to help everyone stay safe on their commute to and from school:

• Do not block the crosswalk when you are stopped at a red light or waiting to turn, forcing pedestrians to bypass you; this could put them in the way of moving traffic.

• In a school zone when the turn signals are flashing, stop and yield to pedestrians crossing the crosswalk or intersection.

• Always stop for a school patroller or crossing guard holding a stop sign.

• Pay special attention to children in school areas, near playgrounds and parks, and in all residential areas.

• Do not honk or run your engine to scare off a pedestrian, even if you have right of way.

• Never pass a stopped pedestrian vehicle.

• Always use extreme caution to avoid hitting pedestrians wherever they are, regardless of who has the right of way.

• If you are driving behind a bus, allow for a greater tracking distance than if you are driving behind a car. This will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights start flashing. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a stopped school bus to load or unload children.

• Never pass a bus from behind – or in either direction if you are on an undivided road – if it is stopped to load or unload children.

• If the yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended, traffic should stop.

• The 10-foot area around a school bus is the most dangerous for children; stop far enough back to give them enough room to enter and exit the bus safely

• To be fowarding something; children are often unpredictable, and they tend to ignore dangers and take risks

All the good points. We encourage you to take these instructions to heart and be aware of the dangers that come with going back to school.

All of our students are precious and we must take every precaution to ensure their safety, including when they are in a school setting or getting on and off the bus.


Valdosta Daily Times. August 1, 2021.

Editorial: Executive sessions are slippery slopes

When the city council, county commission, board of education or any other government body holds a closed meeting, the person chairing that meeting must sign a notarized affidavit certifying that the meeting was held legally.

The notary must verify the signature in person at the time of signing.

The notarized statement is considered an oath that the meeting was closed for a legally permitted exception to the Georgia Open Meetings Act.

It is also an oath that the discussions held within the framework of this executive session have not deviated from the subject. The chairman swears under oath that the entire meeting was devoted to matters falling under the exceptions provided for by law and which have been identified as the specific reason for the in camera session.

The falsification of the affidavit has serious ramifications.

It is the strong public policy of the state of Georgia that local government must be open.

School boards, county commissions, city councils and other authorities, committees and commissions cannot withdraw into an executive session simply because a sensitive or controversial subject is being discussed.

Officials cannot intentionally hide the affairs of the people.

To do so is a crime.

If a government agency goes behind closed doors to discuss a personnel issue, those in the room should limit their discussions to the specific employee or employees with whom there is an issue. They cannot hear witnesses or receive evidence or testimony. They can only deliberate on a matter relating to a specific personnel matter. They cannot discuss policies or issues that impact all employees. When the presiding member signs this affidavit, he or she swears that the talks were isolated from the specific staff issue.

If a government body meets in executive session to discuss real estate, the talks should be limited to buying, selling or renting a particular property or building. Discussions on the proper use of a building or property are not permitted in an executive session. The general policy regarding the acquisition or disposal of property is not permitted.

The exception is only allowed to discuss the terms of a specific transaction. The affidavit is essentially the presiding officer who swears that the closed meeting was only about the purchase, sale or lease of a particular property.

The exception for actual or pending litigation is allowed for the purpose of discussing legal strategy after an elected or appointed body has been named in a lawsuit, filed a lawsuit, or received a letter of ‘intent indicating that legal action will be filed. Again, the affidavit that the presiding officer must sign is an oath that discussions were limited to the legal strategy of a specific lawsuit or the response to a letter of intent to sue. in justice.

Anyone who chairs or chairs an executive meeting should be very careful with every piece of paper they sign.



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