The death of actor Robin Williams last week by suicide reminds us that even those who make us laugh and have lives of wealth and riches can suffer from the darkness of depression.
There was some criticism after his death about the amount of detail that was given by authorities. That kind of discussion has become more and more common in journalistic circles whenever there is a high-profile suicide.
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At the third of a series of budget workshops, the Auburn mayor and city council were finally presented a balanced budget for FY2015.
City administrator Ron Griffith presented the balanced budget for council review.
“Adjustments were made late yesterday,” said Griffith, addressing the proposal as “plan C.”
The proposed general fund budget calls for a 1.7 percent decrease from last year, with a budget of $2.8 million. As a sign of the current economic times, Griffith said the budget is close to one million dollars less than the operating budget set in 2008.
The water revenue budget is proposed at $1.7 million, with estimated expenses totaling $1.5 million.
The Barrow County Board of Commissioners will host a meeting Thursday, Aug. 21, to discuss the FY 2015 budget.
The county’s recommended budget is now available on the county’s website at
www.barrowga.org, at the Winder Library at 189 Bellview Street and at the county clerk’s office at 30 N. Broad Street in Winder.
Thursday’s meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the historic courthouse.
Barrow County BOC members were presented the proposed budget during an Aug. 12 meeting. The $66 million budget includes a $36 million general fund budget, which is a four percent increase from 2014. The budget also includes $8.7 million in special revenue expenditures and approximately $19 million in capital projects.
Barrow County Sheriff’s officials executed a search warrant at 301 Oak Ridge in Auburn which ended up netting a massive quantity of opium, worth more than $2 million.
Deputies seized more than 5,500 grams of opium, which was packaged in more than 200 individual packets. The street value of the opium is approximately $2.2 million, sheriff’s office officials said.
The search warrant was the product of a “controlled delivery,” where sheriff’s officials were notified by the Department of Homeland Security of a suspicious package being shipped from a province in Laos to the address in Auburn.
The U. S. Customs and Border Protected scanned the package during transit in Chicago, Illinois and detected the presence of the package’s illegal contents. Customs then notified the Department of Homeland Security, who in turn notified the Sheriff’s Office.
BCSO officials obtained a search warrant and worked with the U.S. Postal
Service to deliver the package to the Auburn address.
The resident, De Yang, a 38-year-old female, accepted the package and its contents. The Sheriff’s office then executed the search warrant and located the package inside, which had already been opened by Yang.
Yang is charged with possession of opium, possession of opium with intent to distribute, and trafficking in opium.
Two state races coming up on Georgia’s ballot could crack the door open to the state losing its Republican majority and becoming much more Blue.
Two “legacy” candidates running as Democrats are on November’s ballot and either one could eke out an upset victory, a situation that would be the first crack in the Republican foundation.
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Two old employment separation settlement agreements were apparently at the heart of several questions by a citizen and his lawyer at a recent Auburn City Council meeting.
Lawrence Wade asked the council if it had received any racial or sexual discrimination cases that involved former city police chief Paul Nadeau.
Mayor Linda Blechinger told Wade that he could make comments, but that the council would not answer questions.
Wade also had attorney Warren Sams with him and the Barrow County NAACP also had representatives present. Sams told the council he had not yet received some records about the issue that he had previously asked for. The issue apparently refers to an October 2013 employment separation settlement agreement between the city and former employee Katria Johnson. The city, through its insurance company, paid Johnson $15,000 and Johnson released the city from any pending or future claims, including an EEOC claim and any other federal or state civil rights claims.
In January this year, the city also signed an employment separation settlement agreement with Nadeau in which the former chief also agreed to not pursue any future claims against the city, including any civil rights claims.
Results of the 2013-2014 high school End of Course Tests (EOCT), released last week by the Georgia Department of Education, indicates a mixture of successes and challenges for the Barrow County School System.
When combining the pass rate for both winter and spring EOCT administrations, Barrow County students outperformed the state in both biology and United States history. In economics and American literature, Barrow students were roughly equal to the state pass rate.
Conversely, the results in both sections of mathematics, ninth grade literature and physical science suggest improvement is needed going forward. These areas will be given special attention as the system seeks to improve for the 2014-2015 school year and Barrow leaders continue to work on improving instruction and learning outcomes in these areas, school leaders state.
For the full story, see the Aug. 13 issue of the Barrow Journal.