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Saving Lives and Costs in Hancock County: Governor Deal’s Proposal to Improve Rural Health Care in Georgia

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By Senator David Lucas, Georgia Senate District 26

Hancock County, which is in my Georgia State Senate District 26, shut its hospital down fourteen years ago, in 2001, the first in a wave of rural hospital closures in Georgia. Unfortunately, Hancock County is still paying $644,000 annually in debt service for the former privilege, now a continuing burden, of having had access to that long-closed hospital.

Today, Hancock County’s county seat, Sparta, lies about 63 miles away from the regional medical center in Macon. Although there is some emergency treatment in Hancock County, opportunities for more complex diagnosis and care are lacking there.

Constituents of mine in Hancock County are at risk of dying unnecessarily from lack of access to state-of-the-art health care. A possible case in point involved a nine-year-old boy who flipped a golf cart in Hancock County, but died within about 45 minutes, … Continue Reading

Banning the Criminal Background Box in Bibb: Tillman’s Proposal Passes Macon-Bibb Commission by a 6-3 Vote

February 22, 2015 Edition 2, Opinion No Comments
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By Alan Wood of Georgia Watchdog

One piece of news from Macon-Bibb this past week may prove to have a lasting impact on many people looking for employment.  It will not magically solve the high unemployment rate in Macon-Bibb County, but it might help level the playing field for a good percentage of job seekers.  Macon-Bibb commissioners voted 6 to 3 in favor of the “Ban the Box” proposal last Tuesday, February 17, 2015.  The box this refers to is the one found on employment applications asking about criminal records.  It’s important to note that this would only apply to applicants applying for governmental jobs in Macon-Bibb, and not for private sector employment, or for state or federal jobs.

For people looking for employment who do not have a squeaky-clean record, finding gainful employment can be a daunting task.  I personally know someone in this boat.  Although he asked to remain anonymous, he did consent to including his story for this article.

He said that he had applied to hundreds of jobs both in the private and public sector.  He got to the final step in the hiring process … Continue Reading

Why Did Maher Do Macon? Looking Back on Maher’s Macon Performance, and Why He Really Came

Craig Hicks' Facebook Post Quoting Bill Maher in 2012

By Dave Oedel

On February 10, 2015, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, executed three fine, promising Muslim Americans, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, and Yusor’s husband, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, in a Chapel Hill, North Carolina apartment complex. It was partly over a parking dispute, but probably also because of Hicks’ anti-Muslim, anti-religion rage.

Three days before the North Carolina massacre, Bill Maher made a surprising appearance 400 miles away in Macon, Georgia, before about 1,500 people at Macon’s City Auditorium. Attending Maher’s Macon show were people from all over the southeast, including some from the Chapel Hill area, because Maher scheduled only two southeastern performances this year. One, on February 8, 2015, in a fancy, big Orlando theater, was predictable. More eye-opening was Maher’s choice of a tired Macon venue on February 7. … Continue Reading

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