Editorial Roundup: Georgia

Dalton Daily Citizen. July 30, 2022.

Editorial: Keep an eye on students and buses when school starts

Some Georgia schools have already started the 2022-2023 school year, which begs the age-old question: Where has summer gone?

We hope we have answers.

political cartoon

Local students have yet to return to classrooms. Whitfield County Schools opened Friday, while Dalton Public Schools opened Tuesday, August 9. Murray County schools open on a 160-day calendar, starting Tuesday, September 6th.

With about 1.6 million children returning to school in Georgia over the next few weeks, it’s important to keep an eye on students whether they walk or bike to school, take the bus or drive themselves. According to AAA, “Children are especially vulnerable in the afternoon after school. Over the past decade, nearly one-third of pedestrian deaths among children have occurred between 3 and 6 pm”

AAA offers these tips to keep kids safe this school year, which can be applied to everyday driving:

• slow down. There’s a reason the speed limit has been lowered in school zones. Pedestrians struck by a vehicle travelling at 25 mph were nearly two-thirds less likely to die than pedestrians struck by a vehicle travelling at just 10 mph. The difference between 25 mph and 35 mph can save lives.

• Eliminate distractions. Children often accidentally cross the road and may suddenly appear between two parked cars. Studies have shown that just taking your eyes off the road for two seconds doubles the chance of a crash.

• Reverse responsibly. Every car has blind spots. Check sidewalks, driveways, and around vehicles for children before slowly reversing. Teach your child not to play in, under or around vehicles – even parked vehicles.

• Talk to your child.Car crashes are one of the leading causes of teen death in the United States, with more than a quarter of fatal crashes involving teen drivers occurring between 3 and 7 p.m. after school hours

• Come to a complete stop. Research shows that more than one-third of drivers pass a stop sign in a school district or community. Always come to a complete stop and double check sidewalks and crosswalks for children before continuing.

• Watch out for bicycles. Children who ride bicycles are often inexperienced, unstable and unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and your bicycle. If your child bikes to school, ask them to wear a suitable bike helmet on every ride.

“Countless children could have been prevented from injury and death if parents and other drivers followed these simple rules when driving in and around school zones,” said Garrett Townsend, director of public affairs for Georgia at AAA-The Auto Club Group. “We have a responsibility to help all drivers become more aware of the risks of driving around schools.”

Valdosta Daily Times. July 29, 2022.

Editorial: Prison transparency critical

Prisoners have fundamental rights

Prisoners have civil rights.

Georgia prisons are under the microscope and it’s time.

This week, a Senate hearing into allegations of corruption, abuse and misconduct at the federal prison in Atlanta officially begins.

But the problem goes far beyond a federal prison in Atlanta.

Statewide, the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating state prisons in Georgia.

Since the beginning of 2020, Georgia prisons have reported more than 40 suspected or confirmed homicides.

Investigation is investigating whether 35 Georgia Department of Corrections facilities in Georgia provide reasonable protection from physical harm by other inmates and guards, acceptable conditions, and protection of LGBTQ inmates from sexual abuse by other inmates and staff .

When the investigation was launched, the DOJ faced the same frustration Georgia people and the media have faced for years that the state’s prison system is kept under wraps.

The state Department of Corrections must be completely transparent and then accountable.

Documents related to prison policies, training materials, staffing, personnel discipline, prisoner complaints, incident reports, and internal investigation materials should be available to the public.

Incarceration in Georgia should not be the death penalty.

Homicide, suicide and other suspicious unsupervised deaths have been a source of great concern for quite some time.

By investigating violence among prisoners and the lack of reasonable protection for prisoners, federal investigators were right on target. Much prison violence is linked to gang activity. Georgia has more than 45,000 inmates, 73% of which are violent crimes. Doctors say 21 percent of prisoners have a mental health diagnosis. These are very real and very dangerous situations that must be addressed.

Deaths and injuries, and complaints about horrific and unsanitary conditions were far more serious than prisoner complaints. The U.S. Department of Justice is taking all this seriously, and so should the nation’s leaders. The Georgia legislature and governor must be more willing to hold the correctional system accountable.

Reducing inmate deaths, violence, addressing mental health needs and increasing transparency are absolute imperatives for the embattled correctional system.

When prison officials block requests for information from the press and the public, especially when prisoners die in prison, it only breeds more suspicion and distrust.

The lack of transparency has fueled concerns about poor conditions and the credibility of complaints.

People – and prisons – have nothing to hide, just don’t hide.

Brunswick News. August 3, 2022.

Editorial: Figures show the film industry’s impact on Georgia

Last month, the world got its first look at the long-awaited sequel to Black Panther, one of the most famous films of the past few years. The trailer for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” aired at San Diego Comic-Con, one of the biggest entertainment events in the world.

While the moment is a big deal for movie and comic book fans, it’s also a big deal for Brunswick. Parts of the film were filmed at Mary Rose Waterfront Park last October and November. The Golden Islands will once again provide the backdrop for a major film production.

It’s also an example of how Georgia has become one of the most popular destinations for film and TV production. Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday that the film industry will spend $4.4 billion in Georgia for the 2022 fiscal year, which ends June 30. That set a new record and surpassed the $4 billion the film industry spent in the state the previous year.

The rise of Georgia’s film industry can be traced back to a tax credit passed by the General Assembly 14 years ago to encourage film and TV productions to choose the Peach State over other, more expensive locations.

This tax credit is arguably one of the most favorable economic policies ever approved by state legislatures. Not only has it brought in billions of dollars from select productions in the state, but it has also brought in thousands of jobs as the company builds studios across the state, according to the Capitol Beat News Service.

In the 14 years since the tax credit was passed, King Island’s work has had a fair share. In 2010, mutants came to Jekyll Island to film X-Men: First Class. In 2013, Will Ferrell brought Ron Burgundy’s antics to St. Simons Island for The Announcer 2: The Legend Continues. Downtown Brunswick becomes Igbo, Florida, 1920s Ben Affleck’s “Live by Night,” which was released in 2015. In the past few years alone, Netflix TV shows, a major Marvel movie and a new adaptation of The Color Purple have brought to our region, among other productions.

We hope the studio continues to bring their work to the island. Greene County has a lot to offer the film industry, and thanks to the hard work of many, filmmakers and producers are starting to see this. Whether in theaters or on TV at home, Golden Island is the perfect backdrop.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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