Probation, not prison for 1,000s?

A big change could be in store for Georgia’s criminal justice system: a shift by diverting non-violent offenders away from prison and instead toward drug rehabilitation and other supervision programs such as probation.

Some of the recommendations from the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform would also shift the cost burden of incarceration to local communities by raising the thresholds on what constitutes a felony theft or deposit account fraud charge.
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Feb. 6 deadline for registering to vote

Time is running out for those wishing to register to vote in the March 6 presidential preference primary.

The deadline to register for the election is Monday, Feb. 6. After that date, new voters will no longer be eligible to vote in the primary.

There will be plenty of chances to vote in advance of the March 6 election for those who have already made up their minds. In fact, Fayette County voters will have a chance to vote on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the county’s elections office on the second floor of the Stonewall government complex in downtown Fayetteville. Read More»

F’ville campaign reports: Candidates say they spent $32K

Some candidates’ disclosures seem to confuse expenses, donations

The final state-required campaign disclosure records for the 2011 Fayetteville municipal elections have been filed by the candidates. Read More»

Westmoreland says State of Union is ‘divided’

U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland in a file photo from 2011.

When it came to the Jan. 24 State of the Union address by President Barack Obama before a joint session of Congress there was little doubt about how Congressman Lynn Westmoreland viewed those remarks. Westmoreland in a series of statements released after the address said Obama showed a disconnect with reality and seems to thrive on chaos. As much as anything, Westmoreland maintained that the existing division in America is a result of Obama’s approach that polarizes the nation politically and economically. Read More»

State probing Tyrone church’s ‘no’ sign on election day

Flap resulted in Tyrone officials re-locating polls to library for future elections

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office is investigating a complaint about a political sign that greeted Tyrone voters in November’s municipal election. Read More»

Fayette legislators decry BoE’s district voting change

Representative Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City) in a file photo from March 2011.

State Rep. Ramsey: ‘Some fights are worth fighting’

The seismic shift in Fayette County school board politics — enacted last week by the Fayette County Board of Education — can’t be undone by the Georgia legislature, according to Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City.
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Fayette GOP opposes non-partisan races

A proposed bill that would allow non-partisan elections for candidates seeking county-level office is being opposed by the Fayette County Republican Party.

The bill would allow non-partisan elections for those seeking the countywide offices for sheriff, solicitor-general, district attorney, tax commissioner, clerk of superior court, coroner and county commissioner.

The non-partisan election would remove the current requirement for each candidate to claim a party when he or she qualifies for office. It also would eliminate the need for a primary election for countywide offices. Read More»

After being jilted by commission, Watts returns as GOP rep to election board

Marilyn Watts is once again a member of the Fayette County Board of Elections.

From 1998 through last year, Watts served on the three-member elections board as the appointee of the Fayette County Commission.

But in February 2011, the commission voted to replace Watts with political newcomer Addison Lester III. That vote was a split one, backed by Commissioners Lee Hearn, Robert Horgan and Herb Frady and opposed by Commissioners Allen McCarty and Steve Brown. Read More»

Fayette school officials lunch with legislators

Fayette school officials lunch with legislators

Members of the Fayette County Board of Education at a legislative luncheon on Jan. 6 spent time with state lawmakers. Among those joining the school board and central office staff were Rep. Virgil Fludd, Rep. Matt Ramsey, Rep. John Yates and Sen. Valencia Seay. Superintendent Jeff Bearden at the luncheon talked about full funding of the education formula, supporting the vision of public education and the need for local boards to maintain their authority. Photo/Ben Nelms.

In 3-2 vote, Tyrone Mayor Dial to replace Steele on ARC

Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial. File photo from November 2011.

The defeat of former Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele in November’s election insured that Fayette County’s cities would have a new representative sitting on the board of the Atlanta Regional Commission.

And with a split 3-2 vote Monday from Fayette’s five mayors, new Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial was elected to the position over Peachtree City Mayor Don Haddix.

Voting for Dial were Brooks Mayor Dan Langford Jr., Gary Laggis of Woolsey and Dial himself. Voting for Haddix were new Fayetteville mayor Greg Clifton and Haddix himself.
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