Michael Boylan: A new beginning

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I would start writing this column from the beginning, but I wouldn’t really know where to start. Being born in Salem, Mass.? Living in Swampscott? My life on Swan St. in Beverly? Being king of my elementary school for three years? There are plenty of stories about growing up in Massachusetts, but I think it is far more relevant to discuss my life in the South, which started when I was 17, because over the years, a lot of people from all over the country have moved to the Fayette County. Things are different down here, even though they probably get more similar to the rest of the country every day.

Cal Beverly: Part 2: Populist proposal for school budget woes

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This week, I’m printing the second part of a Fayette County resident’s prescriptions for cutting the school system’s budget.

Cal Beverly: A populist proposal for our school budget woes

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The purpose of this column is to facilitate a detailed — but anonymous — critique of the Fayette County School System’s leadership.

Michael Boylan: On the road with ‘The Movers’

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Colin had just turned two when the Imagination Movers came to Fayetteville. The year was 2007 and everything was hunky dory. At least, as far as I can remember. The Imagination Movers were performing at the Villages Amphitheater on a Saturday evening in May and, as sponsors of the show, The Citizen had some tickets. We decided to invite some friends and their kids to take in the concert with us, even though we had only seen one short video from “The Movers” on the Disney Channel a couple of times.

Ben Nelms: You are the cure for Congressional treason

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“Just victims of the in-house drive-by. They say jump, you say how high?” Aside from some of their seemingly anarchist lyrics, of which I don’t approve, that line from “Rage Against the Machine” is as close as any I can find to fit the current day and generations-long condition of the American experience existing between “We the people” and the Congressional/Administrative branches and the “financial element” whose will politicians dutifully obey (c.f., Lincoln, Roosevelt, Jefferson, Jackson, Garfield and Wilson).

Cal Beverly: Reality time for local officials — Part 2

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It's time for all of us to brace ourselves for some hard facts.

When you tell employees layoffs are inevitable, there is no joy for anybody.

Cal Beverly: It’s reality time for local governments

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Dear local government officials and public employees, I feel your pain.

The local economy has gone rotten, and tax revenues are far below what you’d ever thought you would experience.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: It takes all of us ...

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As promised, this is my annual thank-you column — a small thing for the humongous amount of help offered by our local churches in sending their news throughout the year.

Michael Boylan: Old year, new year

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I am writing this column before the end of 2008 and I am feeling pensive, reflecting on a year that gave me a lot of good things, while taking away some others.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: The good Samaritan motorists

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I usually do a column at the beginning of each year thanking our columnists and contributors who have helped make the Citizen’s religion pages informative and helpful. I will do that next week because I have another mission this week — thanking two considerate people who helped a frightened and upset senior citizen (me) out of what could have been a dangerous situation last month.

Michael Boylan: Crack reporter grills jolly old elf; Santa gets the big laugh

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Several years back, old Kris Kringle gave me an exclusive interview. It was one of many highlights of my career and he was a perfect gentleman — charming, funny, thought-provoking and every bit the legend I expected.

John Munford: A case of mistaken identity

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If you only read the first sentence of a news story, you can walk away with the wrong impression.

Take our recent story about a jewelry store owner who allegedly pulled a gun on two phone contractors who came into his Peachtree City business. The story began thusly:

Michael Boylan: My son’s first meaningful Christmas

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Christmas is extra special at our house this year.

Not because it is “Baby’s First Christmas,” because our baby could give a toot. It will be nice to have Christmas where Nora is not in utero (especially for my wife, Sabine, who can actually add some fun to her egg nog this year) and Sabine’s folks are coming down to mark the occasion, but, honestly, Nora can’t tell the difference between Christmas and Talk Like a Pirate Day, so why get all excited about Baby’s First Christmas? It was Baby’s First Thanksgiving, too. How did she celebrate? Strained bananas. Not exactly what the pilgrims battled the deadly ocean and harsh winters for, lo those many years ago. We have a present or two ready to go under the tree for her, but when we were looking for ways to tighten the belts and trim the excess of the holidays, the budget for presents for Nora was the first item on the list to go.

Ben Nelms: Why 20,000 troops in U.S. could be our disaster

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Putting 20,000 troops on American soil for purposes of domestic (emergency) response would have been extraordinary to the point of unbelievable prior to 9/11. Those were the words of homeland defense assistant defense secretary Paul McHale in November.

Michael Boylan: The worst (and best) Christmas song

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Ask any of my fellow colleagues, past or present, and they will tell you that it just isn’t Christmas until Mike starts blasting “The Christmas Shoes,” several times a day, regardless of how many people cry, beg and plead for him to stop.

Michael Boylan: The impatient father

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Last week I published my first column in a long time. Apparently, I was a little rusty because I made a faux pas. When discussing my infant daughter, Nora, I stated that she tended to look like Peter Boyle from the back. Although the line was greeted with much laughter, I was urged to write something a little nicer about her.

Michael Boylan: Talking to myself

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Last year I wrote a book that dealt a little with time travel (Time Killer - available now at Lulu.com) and one of the things that happens in the book is that the present version of the hero meets up with the past version of himself. This also happened recently on the great new television show (based on a BBC show of the same name) “Life on Mars.” The same type of thing happens in all sorts of programs involving time travel, from “Back to the Future,” to “Quantum Leap” and beyond. It’s pretty trippy stuff, because one often has to wonder what would happen if you, meaning the you of today, met up with the you of some time in your past. What kind of advice would you impart on yourself and how would your life be different afterwards?

Cal Beverly: Leadership in PTC: Garbage in, garbage out

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Notes on the UNplanned nanny city:

Here they come again, those nameless, faceless bureaucrats out of the bowels of Peachtree City who are determined — even after past rebukes — that you will get a single trash pickup service forced onto you, and it will be the one the city picks.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: Saying good-bye … but not really

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It is Oct. 31, 2008, and here we are at the end of the road … the last page of the final chapter … the final "Finding Your Folks" genealogy column. I'm giving you the date because one of the biggest problems with our website when it changed back in 2005 was that there were no dates on the "blog" type stories. The old website, which can only be accessed through a special link, featured a date with each story, making it easer to reference them. However, you can estimate the dates by going back a week for each one. They were published each Friday on the Web.

Ben Nelms: The politics of death

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If you have a weak stomach or get offended easily, please don’t read any further.

A premature baby lies alone on a table in a hospital utility room, dying. His heart is beating, his lungs are supplying the air he needs to breathe. Autonomic and central nervous systems are functioning. His arms and legs are moving in the air that is so different from the warm, liquid world of amniotic fluid that has until moments ago defined his world for the past 23 weeks.

Michael Boylan: Bad horror movies

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Every year around this time I write about my favorite horror movies and each year the list is basically the same. I always recommend “Halloween,” the original, not Rob Zombie’s dreadful and unnecessary remake, and I think Peter Jackson’s “Dead Alive” is a lot of fun - if you don’t mind being completely assaulted by massive amounts of goo and gore - but I want to talk about what horror movies you should avoid.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: Winding things down

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I messed up last week when I said that was the next to last column. Actually, this one is. I also promised you an explanation. I have already received a couple of concerned but kind-hearted phone calls and several emails and I will be happy to explain why we are discontinuing the columns.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: Seeking Crawfords in the Line Creek area

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I was delighted to hear from an old high school classmate this week. Neal Cobb of Rabun Gap who attended Russell High with me back in the 1950s, is looking for his Crawford family who lived in the Line Creek area back in the 1800s.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: A little more Brandenburg

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I was a little disappointed in myself last week when I couldn't find any more information on Lewis Brandenburg to share with you, although there was quite a bit of Brandenburg family history.

Cal Beverly: An email exchange: What should be the limits of local free speech?

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Some of the bloggers/commenters on this site might find the following email exchange to be of interest, especially "sniffles5" and "Evil Elvis."

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: The Brandenburgs of Meriwether County

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One of the families mentioned in conjunction with the recent Kempson reunion at Mt. Carmel Methodist Church in Meriwether County was the Brandenburg family. Two sons of Lewis and Ann Hatton Brandenburg married daughters of Peter and Mary Ursula Long Kempson, thereby making their children descendants of Harmon Kempson and members of the reunion family.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: The Caldwells of Meriwether County

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Since we're already here and this family was part of last week's Kempson reunion at Mt. Carmel UMC, I thought I'd just give a little light research on them since we haven't done them before. Next week, we'll discuss the Brandenburgs, another family recognized at the reunion and one which we haven't done before. The other two reunion families, Kempsons and Grays, were covered in previous column series.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: The rise and fall of Campbell County, Part 2

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Last week we ran part one of Anne Westbrook Green's excellent story of old Campbell county and its merger into Fulton in 1932. Some of Anne's information came from an old newspaper article, possibly from The Atlanta Journal or The Atlanta Constitution, date unknown, written by Winifred Lee Moore entitled "Memories of Old Campbellton," referring to the first county seat which was replaced by Fairburn in 1870. Anne continues with information from the article, with a warning that she can't vouch for the accuracy of statements made therein, saying …

Cal Beverly: Checks, but no balances

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School system produces some paid checks, but no actual accounting

A few bloggers seem to miss the point of my earlier column: I received NO invoices detailing attorneys’ fees in my open records request.

Judy Fowler Kilgore: Finding Your Folks: The rise and fall of Campbell County, Part 1

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Several times over the years I have mentioned that part of Fayette and Coweta's adjacent neighbor county to the north, Fulton County, was once known as Campbell County. In doing the genealogy columns, I always refer to this area as Campbell, since the name wasn't changed until 1932. Our study of families usually involves those who were in Georgia in the late 1700s and those who settled our immediate area and were here from the beginning, or in the early 1800s.

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