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Yarbrough: Random thoughts on BRIDGE plan, guns in church

POSTED: April 5, 2008 5:00 a.m.

A recent column on HB 905, legislation proposed by Rep. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, that would establish a technical education track in Georgia high schools, got a huge response. Readers across the state expressed strong approval of his efforts. Several sent me copies of notes they had written him in support.

People inside the political process tell me the legislation, known as BRIDGE, can pass the House only if Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Hiram, one of the bill's sponsors, puts his political clout behind the effort. If approved by the House, I'm not sure what will happen in the Senate. Those two bodies don't seem to get along too well these days.

Plus, the education establishment will likely try to stomp the measure to death if it looks like it might pass. I'll see what I can find out and let you know. ...

Just when we thought the General Assembly might become relevant in our lives, Rep. Tim Bearden, R-Villa Rica, introduces a bill that would allow us to bring guns to church. Great. Just what we need: a bunch of heat-packing Bible-thumpers.

In case Dr. Gil Watson, the world's greatest preacher, is reading this, please know that I had absolutely nothing to do with the bill. Even though you don't refer to me by name, we both know you spend every Sunday preaching about my sins in front of the whole congregation. (Who else could you be talking about?)

But it's not worth my strapping on a six-shooter because God probably agrees with everything you say. Besides, I can't shoot a lick. You can check me out with the squirrels in the backyard. ...

Many of you have inquired about the status of Abby Smith, the little girl I asked you to pray for last fall. I went to see her the other day at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Abby continues to battle cancer and has to endure debilitating chemo treatments as she prepares for possible stem cell transplant surgery. But she is a fighter, and she still has the most beautiful blue eyes I've ever seen.

By the way, if you ever have the "pity-poor-me's," may I suggest you visit this outstanding facility and its sainted staff. You will be humbled by what you see and it will quickly put things in perspective. Keep praying for Abby and the other brave little heroes at Children's Healthcare. ...

The Governor's Office of Highway Safety asked me to remind you again of Georgia's "Move Over Law." The law was passed after years of Georgia law enforcement officers suffering death, injury or near misses due to careless drivers speeding by police at roadside traffic stops. Being a police officer is hard enough without us acting like unthoughtful idiots behind the wheel.

Remember when you see a traffic stop to move over a lane or slow down if you can't. A $500 fine for the first offense is a costly reminder, but well-deserved. ...

Gary Michael Hilton has pleaded guilty to the brutal murder of Meredith Emerson in the North Georgia mountains and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Good riddance. May his worst days be ahead of him.

I am disappointed, however, that you didn't get to see Hall and Dawson County District Attorney Lee Darragh in action. He is the pride of the Yarbrough clan. Married to my niece, Marlyn. A crackerjack prosecutor and a good man. He is a credit to his profession and to his family. ...

Finally, I have one reader who for years has been sending me mail addressed to "Dick Yardbird" - clever, eh what? - but won't sign his name. I would tell him he is wasting his time because unsigned letters like his go straight into the trash can unopened.

However, my golf pro is working on my shaky short game, and the motion of a pitch shot and the underhand garbage toss are very similar. If I can cut a few strokes off my game because of his letters, I will endeavor to find Mr. Anonymous and tell him he can call me anything he wants.

Dick Yarbrough is a North Georgia resident whose column appears Saturdays and on You can reach him at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; Web site, www. First published Feb. 9, 2008.


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