• Drive safe through work zones

    By Ken King, P.E.
    District Engineer
    Salem District

        Each spring, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and other state DOTs recognize Work Zone Awareness Week to remind drivers of the importance of avoiding distractions and driving safely through work zones. We invite you to join VDOT in the annual observance of National Work Zone Awareness Week April 8-12. This week is a reminder that work zone safety is everyone’s responsibility.

  • Sunshine Week

    By Jim Zachary
    CNHI Deputy National Editor
    Editor, The Valdosta Daily Times

        For government to be of, by and for the people it must be out in front of the people.
        The theme for Sunshine Week 2019 is simply, “It’s your right to know.”
        The reason it’s your right to know is that it’s your government.
        From the courthouse, to the statehouse to the White House, it is your right to know what government is up to.

  • Faith, hope and pluck

    By James F. Burns
    Retired professor
    University of Florida

        The free exercise of religion is the rock upon which America was built.  But it was the free exercise of ambition which did the building.
        Ambition took tiny Burt Perrine—he stood 5’7”—from Indiana to Idaho in 1881.  A small man with big ideas, Burt invested his money in milk cows, selling fresh milk to copper mining communities.  His travels took him to the rim of the Snake River canyon.   

  • Born alive, but not necessarily protected

        Is it OK for a baby born as part of a failed abortion to be allowed to die, without being given life-saving measures? Apparently most Democratic US Senators believe so.
        Forty-four of this nation’s senators—all Democrats—voted Monday to block a bill that would have provided a chance for prison time for any doctors who didn’t attempt to save the life of an infant born alive during a failed abortion.

  • Leaving a stain

        Governor Ralph Northam’s job might have been saved.
        And it’s not because of any apology or commitment to championing racial equality over the rest of his term. No, it’s simple politics.
        When news broke of Northam’s blackface past, cries went out from both Democrats and Republicans for him to resign. Few believed he could weather the storm he was facing. Democrat potential presidential candidates called for him to leave office; so did former Virginia governors and other national figures.

  • He was in the photo before he wasn’t

        Embattled Virginia Governor Ralph Northam was in the photo before he wasn’t.
        At least that’s the story he’s sticking too.
    The photo in question was first published by Big League Politics. On a page dedicated to photos of Northam from his 1984 medical school yearbook, the now famous photo shows two people, one in a blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan outfit.

  • Protecting student journalism

        A legislative panel rejected a bill protecting student journalists from administrative censorship on a tie vote Monday. That was unfortunate.
        In a Capital News Service story by Saffeya Ahmed, House Bill 2382, sponsored by Del. Chris Hurst, D-Montgomery, would have protected free speech for student journalists in public elementary, middle and high schools, as well as public institutions of higher education.

  • Rush to judgment

        There seems to be obsession with some in the media to destroy anything or anyone associated with President Trump.
        And many times that means rushing to judgment on stories before all the facts are known.
        We saw that play out in the confirmation hearings of now US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as his accusers’ reports proved to be—at best—unsubstantiated and uncorroborated and at worst out-right lies.
        This week has seen more of the same.

  • Three empty chairs

        Gazing out an open sliding-glass door to my left, I can see only clear blue sky and greenish-gray river water.  The Suwanee River is well out of its banks, the flood waters lapping gently at the base of our house.  I don’t fear the flood invading the house, built on sturdy concrete stilts to offset that risk.  I’m ensconced in a comfortable chair, and the gentle breeze floating in the open door carries a sweet intoxicating fragrance that sets my mind to drifting.  The new year has arrived.   

  • Cold water survival – Are you prepared?

        Despite winter being upon us, hearty watersports lovers continue their pursuits on our lake.  But extra caution is required since getting immersed in the cold water, even for relatively short periods, can be life-threatening. As we write, SML’s surface water is 46 degrees (F) with some ice forming in coves on cold nights.