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Newton Poll for Feb. 9, 2014

The Newton Poll is a weekly compilation of reader comments on subjects of local interest. The Newton Citizen publishes as many comments as space allows. Comments, which may be edited for space or content, are published anonymously on Sunday. To submit a comment, call 770-483-7108, ext. 403, email: poll@newtoncitizen.com or complete the online form.

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“How can Keith Ellis and Tommy Craig ever explain how 70-plus days go by and ignore a $1.3 million lawsuit when it was exposed in the paper this weekend then they started the investigation after 70-plus days. What are they trying to cover up? And what are they hiding? That is not leadership in Newton County. And that is not being responsible. When is the next election? We need to remove them.”

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“On Sunday, Feb. 2, a group of us young adults attended the services at Eastridge Community Church with our children in softball gear. After church we ate at El Charros and headed for the ball fields at Turner Lake Park. We had been on two of the fields for about 10 minutes when a man cam running on the field and told us we had to leave. He was accompanied by a large group of adults and what seemed to be teenage girls. When we asked him why we had to leave, he told us the Recreation Department had reserved the fields for them for several years. When we asked why there were no “RESERVED” signs posted, he told us to “take it up with Newton County.” A couple who was walking told us we could use the field at a church across from the park or use the fields at one of the schools on Brown Brown Road. We used one of the school’s field and never had any more trouble. This is a very bad reflection on Newton County. These people’s vehicles all seems to have tags from other counties.”

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“Just read Ryan McKenzie’s piece on the Newton BOE priorities. Makes me sad to see Meadors go but he is unfortunately the minority voice of reason and the wrong color to get much done on that board. Sad.”

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“Were money problems in cheerleading at Newton High any part of the personal reasons the principal quit? Did any other employees quit the same week for personal reasons?”

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“I would like to say a BIG thank-you to those employees with the Newton County Roads Department for working through the night and all the following day in an effort to keep our roads open. Thank you again.”

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Does anyone care that Covington Police Officer Brian LaMacchio tasered a 13-year-old boy in the back on Christmas Day? 13 years old. He was with an 11-year-old. The United States Department of Justice should investigate.”

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“I sure am glad Mr. Meadors isn’t my child. Looking back over his term, his attendance record is embarrassing! I’d hate to have to write that many excuse notes! Does he have to turn in an excuse note every time he misses a school board meeting like I do when my kids are sick? He should! What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!”

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“I once had high hopes for Mr. Meadors. It seemed we finally had a voice who was willing to speak truth to power. The more I’ve seen, though, the more I’ve realized it’s just more of the same. Typical politician. Lets his own agenda take over. Whaddya expect?”

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“In the Jan. 19th edition of the Citizen, Mr. Dan Murphy, V.P. of Bridgestone Golf Inc., talked about ‘only 10 of 98 Baxter International families moved to Newton County.We have a research project underway to find out what turned them off, did they even look and other details so we can have an action plan ready.’ I’m surprised that the ‘action plan’ was not ready before Baxter broke ground. Baxter International’s headquarters is in Deerfield, Ill.They have approximately 48,000 employees located in eight states and 36 countries. Deerfield High School ranks number 5 in Illinois, 181 nationally, US News and World Reports 2013. The middle schools rank 42 and 55 out of the top 100 in the state and the elementary schools rank 46 and 52 out of the top 100. In 2011, Deerfield’s median property tax was an astronomical $10,000. For this money, it’s all about schools, schools, schools. However, Deerfield is not a utopia. Baxter employees may have a similar student body where they live and may be paying high taxes, too, so their expectations are great. What type of ‘action plan’ could take place to compete with this?”

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“The Old Man has been a little concerned lately. As I read the paper and watch the news, it seems the way people solve their problems is with a gun. Even if they get caught, there are always lawyers who will appeal their case for years. The federal government wants to have some kind of gun control law. That sounds good, but as soon as they might have something halfway decent, the lobbyists will tear it apart, and by the time it is rewritten it will be so watered down it will be worse than not having anything. Let’s take a look at the prohibition law. People still drank, many people got rich, new mobsters were made and many people were killed. It really didn’t change a thing. Then there is the war on drugs. It hasn’t stopped people from using drugs, but it has made a lot of people rich or dead. The war on smoking has helped, but that has been because local governments have taken it upon themselves to do something about it. The Washington politicians hate it when they have a piece of the action with the tobacco companies. Of course that is in a blind trust? And now gun control. I am not against it, providing it doesn’t cause a hardship for hunters; but unfortunately, I am afraid they will be the only ones who will be affected. In the meantime, it still will be possible to buy what you want out of the trunk of a car. In the meantime, 12- to 14-year-olds will get a gun from somewhere, and because they have never heard of ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ it seems the thing to do. How sad. Really can’t talk to Congress right now because they are too busy building up their war chest and trying to keep their high-paying jobs to worry about what the common folk think. And of course one congressman wants you to be able to carry a concealed weapon in church and another wants students in college to be able to carry guns on campus. How stupid. But whoever said all congressmen were intelligent?”

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“I get the way the caller feels from last week about griping about Newton schools, but when you have a lot of principals leave in the middle of the year like Newton High in October of 2010 and Alcovy High in November of 2012 and now Newton High again in January 2014 and you hear the last superintendent say money could not fully be accounted for, it really makes you wonder who is taking who for a ride. So I say it is America and free speech says yes — we pay for these schools and we will gripe about them.”

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“Covington is racially a powder keg. No wonder Baxter people won’t buy homes here. The Oxford judge case is another example of a great person fed up with this trashy town. Sad place to live.”

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“It’s sad that I have to go to a national prep website to get the score from the 02/04/2014 Newton-Morrow game and see no mention of it anywhere on either of our local papers’ websites as of 5:29 p.m. on 02/05/2014. Seems like there is some bias against Newton from the papers. I wonder why.”

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“DirecTV Cinema is airing the independent film ‘The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete.’ I see usually at least one movie a week (in theater); in general, I forget them as soon as I depart. This one stayed with me and I’d like to recommend it, especially, to the African-American community. Though it is rated ‘R’, I left the theater in a good place. The resourcefulness of this young guy is truly edifying to see.”

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“Hey! Why don’t you run a report on how the city of Covington has a freaking monopoly on our power! My power bill this month is nearly $400 because I’m forced to pay over $100 in PCA rental charges because Covington rents their power and charges it’s customers! I have no option to choose a company who charges less for power, so in this cold weather, I’m just screwed because there are no other options for who provides my electric! Stupid and insane to have a monopoly over my electric bill! I have two small children. Think I can afford a $400 freaking power bill because half of that is going to power rental fees? Think about your citizens who keep you all in business for once. Give us a freaking voice so we have more options! I can only choose between two cable providers because of this. Way to run a monopoly over your citizens, Covington! I would love nothing more than to sell and get … out of here so I get a choice on who I am paying for my necessities!”

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“I just finished reading the article on Judge Hathorn’s resignation, and can see no reason that he should ever have resigned over the comments he made to defendants. He should only have taken this step if there were other more derogatory comments made but were not printed or alluded to. Youth today have been given the belief that they don’t have to follow the rules society has set down. They seem to believe that they don’t need to listen and can do as they please. When made to face up to their actions and presented with a chance to avoid the repercussions of their misguided and evidently illegal actions, they ignore the directions that they need to listen to and heed. Now I don’t know why Court Clerk Finnie believes what she does about Judge Hathorn and his tactics of giving these the facts in plain and simple terms. Maybe she should have requested to be transferred to another court if she did not like the way he conducted himself. I did not see in the article that the judge directed any sort of offensive commentary or statements at her or other staff. However, her complaint and the judge’s resignation will contribute, no, it will enable these defendants to continue to ignore the rules of law if all a judge can do is say ‘please don’t do that again.’ In that case the county may as well put at-risk youth right into the court system and cease the pre-trial Diversion program and let them take their chances in a trial and prison. In a country where African Americans will refer to each other in public by the N word, it seems to me that the statements by Judge Hathorn were not derogatory and more than appropriate to get defendants’ attention.”

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“I have a complaint about the clerk of court in Covington — has she ever publicly announced her disgust with the high percentage of criminal behavior among black youth? Or does she just look around for things to be offended about? The remarks the judge made are nowhere near what I or any sane person would call inappropriate. What is inappropriate is a continual defense of a cultural segment of society that embraces, endorses and condones criminal behavior as a lifestyle. I have yet to hear the president or major black leaders speak out against those that participate and encourage, through pop culture, criminal behavior. The judge is sick of seeing lives wasted, and I am, too. I’m also tired of so many being victimized by criminals who are repeat offenders. … .”