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Photo by Howard Reed

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County regulates commercial activity

County officials have taken additional steps to regulate temporary commercial activities, such as food sales, carnivals, festivals and events hosted by charities.

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County holidays set for FY 2012

County commissioners have approved 15 holidays for fiscal year 2012.

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Employee cuts revealed

A list of positions affected by budget cuts was released by Newton County late Thursday afternoon.

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County to lay off nine employees

COVINGTON -- The county will lay off nine employees due to budget cuts, according to Chairman Kathy Morgan.

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Budget, millage to be approved Tuesday

A public hearing will take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday regarding the proposed budget and millage rate for fiscal year 2012.

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Program to teach locals zoning basics

Residents who need a quick introduction to zoning and planning processes and regulations have a chance to get one for free.

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County OKs anonymous complaints

County officials have taken steps to protect residents who make anonymous complaints.

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County attorney fees down

COVINGTON -- Costs for legal services provided by County Attorney Tommy Craig's office total $205,326 for the first five months of 2011, some $300,000 less than they were for the same time period last year.

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'05 SPLOST will exceed projections

COVINGTON -- The final numbers aren't in yet, but it's clear SPLOST 2005 will exceed revenue projections, Chairman Kathy Morgan announced Tuesday night.

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'05 SPLOST will exceed projections

COVINGTON — The final numbers aren't in yet, but it's clear SPLOST 2005 will exceed revenue projections, Chairman Kathy Morgan announced Tuesday night.

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No tax increase for county residents

County commissioners reached a unanimous consensus to keep the millage rate at 10.91 during a work session Monday evening.

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No tax increase for county residents

Commissioners reached a unanimous consensus Monday night to keep the millage rate at 10.91. The board gave favor to a compromised budget presented by Chairman Kathy Morgan, in lieu of adopting the rollback rate or proposals by Commissioners Tim Fleming and Nancy Schulz. Keep checking www.newtoncitizen.com for updates.

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No consensus on budget; Commissioners will miss July 1 deadline

COVINGTON -- Commissioners have yet to reach a consensus on the fiscal year 2012 budget following a two-and-a-half-hour work session Thursday night.

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New tax digest numbers change rollback rate

COVINGTON -- County officials have reduced the projected rollback millage rate based on new information regarding the tax digest.

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County nixes purchase of rail line

COVINGTON -- The Newton County Board of Commissioners reached a decision Tuesday night not to pursue the purchase of the unused Norfolk Southern rail line in Newton County.

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Newton BOC mulls tax hike to avoid layoffs

COVINGTON -- Chairman Kathy Morgan is recommending commissioners adopt a millage increase of at least 1.2 mills in order to keep county services at the current level and avoid laying off more than 50 employees.

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BOC considers fees to boost revenue

COVINGTON -- Commissioners are still trying to find ways to increase revenues so the county can continue to operate and provide services desired by residents despite a bleak upcoming fiscal year.

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Heads make requests for new budget

COVINGTON -- The population is rising, costs are increasing and several bills under consideration by the state legislature may shift even more responsibilities to local governments, yet county revenue projections continue to slide. In other words, Newton County is faced with providing more services to more people with less money.

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County faces more budget trouble

Newton County commissioners had to make tough decisions last year to make up a budget shortfall, and it looks like their job won't be any easier this year.

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U.S. Census numbers: County may appeal '10 population

COVINGTON — Newton County officials are reviewing data released by the U.S. Census Bureau to determine if an appeal is warranted.

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Board to look at hazards of empty homes

Commissioners will examine changes to existing ordinances this year, including imposing architectural requirements for new homes and addressing hazardous houses sitting empty.

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BOC discusses Snr. Services change

Commissioners discussed once again making Newton County Senior Services a county department in order to save money. The discussion came at the strategic planning work session held at Burge Plantation Saturday.

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Newton Co. officials discuss declining tax revenue at retreat

COVINGTON -- The tough times aren't over for Newton County.Commissioners are bracing for more revenue loss as they begin this year's budget process. Discussions at the annual Strategic Planing Work Session held at Burge Plantation over the weekend focused on county finances.

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Newton County facing more budget woes

The tough times aren't over for Newton County.Commissioners are bracing for more revenue loss as they begin this year's budget process. Discussions at the annual Strategic Planing Work Session held at Burge Plantation over the weekend focused on county finances.

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Bridgestone won't get tax refund

COVINGTON -- Newton County will not refund more than $100,000 in taxes to Bridgestone Sports USA.

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Bridgestone won't get tax refund

COVINGTON — Newton County will not refund more than $100,000 in taxes to Bridgestone Sports USA.

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KCNB still working despite cuts

COVINGTON -- Keep Covington-Newton Beautiful is continuing to provide puppet shows educating children about taking care of the environment and other programs, despite drastic funding and staffing cuts.

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BOC signs five-year deal for lawn care

COVINGTON -- County commissioners recently locked in lawn maintenance costs for five years by renewing a contract with the current provider, Durden's Lawn Maintenance.

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Newton public works to be evaluated

Commissioners approved Tuesday night a $31,541.14 contract with Moreland Altobelli Associates Inc. to evaluate the county's Public Works Department.

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BOC calls for SPLOST referendum

County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday night calling for a SPLOST referendum on March 15.All five of the county's municipalities have approved an intergovernmental agreement with the county. If approved by voters, SPLOST 2011 is expected to generate $57.6 million over six years, with collections beginning July 1, the day after the current SPLOST sunsets.

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County wins long battle over landfill

COVINGTON -- Newton County is victorious in a legal dispute that has been dragging on for 13 years.

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Officials hold closed vote in meeting

COVINGTON -- The Covington City Council, Board of Commissioners and Industrial Development Authority held a closed meeting Monday afternoon at City Hall for the stated purpose of discussing land acquisition.

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Farm groups behind ag center proposal

COVINGTON -- The Board of Commissioners remains divided over the proposed list of projects to be funded on the 2011 SPLOST. One of the most contentious projects for the two commissioners who do not support the list is a $1.1 million agricultural center.

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Finance dept. awarded for excellence

COVINGTON -- The Newton County Finance Department has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the fifth consecutive year.

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Facility to get more parking

Ever since the Newton County Administration Building opened in 2007, residents have complained about the lack of accessible handicap parking.

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Manhole covers go missing

COVINGTON -- Newton County is being hit hard by a series of unusual thefts that are creating a safety hazard for unsuspecting residents.

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County commits $100,000 more to trail

COVINGTON -- County commissioners committed an additional $100,000 to the Library to Eastside Trail project Tuesday night, contingent on receipt of more grant money.

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Watch out for something worse than potholes in road

Newton County is being hit hard by a series of unusual thefts that are creating a safety hazard for unsuspecting citizens. According to Deputy Director of Newton County Emergency/Risk Management Jody Nolan manhole covers and storm grates are being prised up and stolen from roadways at an alarming rate. And the problem doesn't stop there. The openings that are left exposed when the covers are taken is large enough for an automobile tire to go into, or worse, an unsuspecting person could fall into one. Authorities ask that if citizens see suspicious activity to call 911 immediately or call 678-625-5007 to leave an anonymous tip or go to www.newtonsheriffga.org and click on "anonymous tips." For full story, see Thursday's Newton Citizen.

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Cities make final SPLOST presentation

COVINGTON — The Board of Commissioners met with municipal mayors Friday afternoon to further discuss their requests for SPLOST 2011.

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Cities make final SPLOST presentation

COVINGTON -- The Board of Commissioners met with municipal mayors Friday afternoon to further discuss their requests for SPLOST 2011.

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BOC spars over SPLOST

Tempers flared at the Newton County Board of Commissioners SPLOST work session Thursday night as questions emerged over whether three commissioners had brokered a deal, and possibly held illegal meetings, prior to the discussion. For the full story, see Saturday's Citizen.

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Walkers, bikers may see benefit from grants

COVINGTON -- The Newton County Board of Commissioners approved Tuesday night requests to apply for two grants that could benefit walkers and cyclists.

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Residents speak out on animal licensing

COVINGTON — About 20 residents attended the Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday night in a show of opposition for a proposal to require licensing of dogs and cats.

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Residents speak out on animal licensing

About 20 residents attended the Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday night in a show of opposition for a proposal to require licensing of dogs and cats.

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Officials continue to hear SPLOST requests

County commissioners have a lot of work ahead of them as they set about deciding which projects should be on the 2011 SPLOST ballot, and little time to do it.

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Jail project continues to move ahead

The transformation of the historic jail on Stallings Street into a history museum continues to creep along. Another hurdle was cleared recently, as county commissioners approved a $269,400 bid from Beatty Construction Company of Austell to do structural improvements and exterior work on the building.

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BOC tables SPLOST consultant proposal

County commissioners have tabled a request by Chairman Kathy Morgan to hire a transportation consultant at a cost of up to $111,000 to prioritize road projects to be included on the 2011 SPLOST and to help Newton County prepare for changes in transportation funding due to recent action on the state level.

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County mulls licensing of pets

County commissioners are mulling over an ordinance that would require the licensing of dogs and cats. Under consideration is an ordinance that would require owners of all dogs and cats that are 6 months or older to apply for a licensing tag and supply proof that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies. Licensing would create a central record of all vaccinated dogs and cats in Newton County and would help facilitate the return of lost dogs and cats. The fee for spayed or neutered animals would be $10, and $25 for animals that are unaltered. See Wednesday's Newton Citizen for more information.

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