An American original passed away last week, a man who was a household name for a generation raised in an era when outer space was brought closer to earth and anything seemed possible.
"Closed due to government shutdown." Those signs are seen outside many federal buildings, agencies and monuments today, the result of an impasse shining a bright light on the ongoing dysfunction in Washington.
The incessant political chatter over education policy - charters, Common Core, more money, less government intrusion - sometimes drowns out some of the success that is occurring in our local schools.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
We've all experienced this: You're heading down the highway and the car in front of or beside you is driving erratically, changing speeds, maybe drifting into the other lane.
Twelve years ago this Wednesday, we were suddenly and stunningly jolted from our naive notion that the world was a much safer place than we had led ourselves to believe.
Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer, in our case a cool, wet season. With clearer skies finally here, we can dodge the storms and enjoy delayed fireworks, cookouts, football games and time at the lake before fall arrives.
Fifty years ago this week, a seminal moment in history was off many Americans' radar.
At one time, the biggest competition between Georgia and Florida came each fall in Jacksonville over cocktails and a football game. Now when our two states clash, it nearly always involves water and courtrooms.
Students, welcome to your last day of summer.
You can understand if officials in Hall County's various cities are a little reluctant to enter into business deals with the county government.
In coming days, parents will be hitting the stores for shoes, notebooks and glue pens, chiseling dried gum off last year's backpacks and preparing for another school year.
So much for thinking the federal government was going to butt out of Georgia's election process. Just a few weeks after a Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act freed our state from one restriction, along comes another.
For a brief shining moment, there appeared a glimmer of hope that our courageous and wise leaders in Washington, D.C., would muster the will to patch up our cracked immigration system.
Freedom is the embodiment of all we hold dear as Americans, yet is something we all tend to define differently.
The holidays are traditionally a season of giving, where many with kind hearts buy for families in need, Angel Tree kids or Toys for Tots, feed the hungry or follow the sound of the summoning jingle of bells to drop a few bucks in the Salvation Army's red kettles. And as the calendar year wanes, those in the mood for goodwill and tax deductions pull out their checkbooks to make end-of-year donations.
Most Americans of Baby Boomer age and younger were exposed to marijuana at some point in early adulthood, whether they partook or not on their own. For many, it was a rite of passage encountered at a rock concert or someone's dark basement. For others, it was a substance and a crowd of users best avoided.
In the great American novel "To Kill A Mockingbird," attorney Atticus Finch is explaining to his daughter Scout how to deal with other people amid conflicts at school: "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view ... Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
When you think about it, it's somewhat odd to choose one particular day of the year to express thankfulness.
If there's a word that can sum up our national leadership these days, it is "lame" - a lame-duck session of Congress, a lame-duck president, all yielding results that are totally lame.
Hall County's business community took a well-earned opportunity last week to celebrate a full November cornucopia of blessings and pat itself on the back a bit.
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