Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
June 12, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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June 12, 2019

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"Declare among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; & EDITORIALS publish, and conceal not." - Jeremiah 50:2 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 winner:. Editorial Page excellence A~I~. 2019, 2OIII winner:. Best Headline Writing 2OI9 w Best Community Service 2OI9 wimNm Best Layout and Design " 2OI9 winner:. Best Serious Column - Don Daniel ON THE PORCH by Will Davis urveys show that bad news travels much faster than good. One oft-quoted survey reported that when people a bad experience with a business, they tell, on average, seven people about it. But when they have a good experience as a customer, they tell only one person, on average. That comports with my observations, and with what I've learned about human nature. I guess we like to complain. Another truth about human nature is that people gener- ally get what they expect. Maybe you've heard about the new guy in town getting a haircut from barber Lee Smith. "So what kind of town is For- syth?" he asked Lee. "Well" replied Lee, "what was your old town like?" "Oh it was great" said the new guy. "People were so friendly and helpful and I really enjoyed it there. I hated to leave but needed to get closer to family:' "Well I've got good news" said Lee, "you'll discover that Forsyth is just like that. A very welcoming place. You'll love it here." The next day another newcomer visited Lee for a hair- cut. He was also curious about his new town. "What's Forsyth like?" he asked. "Well" said Lee, "first, tell me about the town where you used to live" "Oh it was awful," replied the newcomer. "If you hadn't lived there 40 years, they didn't accept you. They'd talk about you and gossip about you. It was a terrible place to live" "I hate to break it to you" replied Lee, "but you'll find this town is about the same" Yep, Lee understands that people generally find what they're looking for. So here's the question: what do people expect when they visit Monroe County Hospital? Starting this week and in the weeks to follow, you're go- ing to find testimonies from your friends and neighbors telling the experiences they've had at Monroe County Hospital. If you're like me, you're going to be over- whelmed and maybe even pleasantly surprised by their stories. We asked the Reporter's Facebook family a few weeks ago to share some of their stories from Our Hometown Hospital. We were immediately flooded with messages and phone calls and emails, all with great stories to tell about how the hospital helped them. Several said point blank that the hospital saved their lives. This week's kick-offtestimony, found on page 3A, tells the story of little 6-year-old Trinity Marshall. She lives in Jackson, but when she was attacked by a pit bull, her mom took her to Monroe County Hospital because she had heard good things about it. She was impressed by how quickly the nurses and staff patched up and took care of little Trinity. But she was most impressed on their sub- sequent visits as Trinity had to follow up with a series of rabies shots. She was always seen quickly when it was time for her shots, and they worked hard to make Trinity, who was terrified of shots, comfortable. When it was time for her last shot, the nurses discovered it was Trinity's birth- day and bought her gifts and a cake. "They treated her like a queen!" said Tr'mity's mom. Now that's hometown hospital service. There will be more great stories to come. People don't always share good experiences they have at local business- es. But they will now. If you've got one to tell, email me at or call 994-2358. By the time we're done telling these stories, I think Mon- roe County Hospital will be in good shape for a long time to come. th~ Monroe County www. is published every week by The Monroe County Reporter Inc. Will Davis, President. Robert M. Williams Jr Vice President Cheryl S. Williams, Secretary-Treasurer Will Davis ~ Publisher/Editor -- umas ~ News Editor Carolyn Martel ~ Advertising Manager Trellis Grant Business Manager Diane Glidewell Community Editor Amy Haisten Creative Director Official Organ of Monroe County and the City of Forsyth 50 N. Jackson St PC) Box 795 Forsyth, GA 31029 Periodicals Postage Paid at Forsyth, GA 31029 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: THE MONROE COUNTY REPORTER - 478-994-2358 SUBSCRIPTION RATE: In County:. $40 Out of County: $48 Single Copy: $1 Deadlines noon on Friday prior to issue. Comments fi~ured on opinion pages a re the creaUon of the writers, the do not necessadly reflect the opinions of'l~e Reporter management. Publication No. USPS g97-840 PEACH STATE POLITICS by Kyle Wingfield e e e SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - You might say Doug Ducey, Arizona's ice cream salesman-turned- governor, is into scoops. No longer serving up the tasty kind at the chain he once led as CEO, Cold Stone Creamery, he now scoops other governors as an early adopter of innovative policies. Earlier this spring he signed the nation's first law in which a state recognizes occupational licenses granted in other states. For Arizona, which is experiencing the fourth-fastest rate of population growth in the nation, it's a matter of making sure all the new- comers put their skills to use quickly. 'Arizona and California have a lot in common: We're both full of Califor- nians" the second-term governor has quipped. "Those Californians didn't lose their skills when they crossed the state border into Ari- zona" Listening to Ducey expound on the policy at the Heritage Founda- tions annual Resource Bank conference in this Phoenix suburb, I found myself wondering why our own fast-growing state shouldn't follow suit. The Census Bureau estimates Georgia added 106,420 new residents in 2018, seventh-best in the nation and close behind Arizona's 122,770. Once again, Georgia is on pace to add a million new residents in just 10 years; the 2010s would be our fourth straight decade wffh ,l. It's not enough say our existing compa- nies, or those that will be recruited here, will create enough jobs for everyone. Nor should we count on training all the newcomers. Many new Georgians came trail- ing spouses who'd found work or been transferred. Like the erstwhile Cali- fornians in Arizona, they may already have the training they need to find a job or, better yet, start their own business. They just lack the credential. Unfortunately, Georgia makes it much harder to obtain one than many other states. In its most recent ranking of states' TAKING A LIKENS TO YOU by Dale Likens [hinldng of the article I was about to write, I sat at my com- puter when I recalled Psalm 30:5. I especially enjoy the end of this verse where we are reminded, "weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morn- ing." How beautiful and comforting those words are! How meaningful and appropriate they are to the article I am about to writel The doctor had left our house late that evening. "Gene will not make it through the night,' he said to my mother as he gently held her hand. "Please un- derstand there is nothing more I can do" "There is no need to give Gene any more medicine other than what he has been taking these past few years, Sylvia. He will have a peaceful death; I assure you." He hung his head sadly as he walked to the kitchen door. My older sister, Shirley, led him to the door. He paused for a moment and hugged my sister. "Take care of your mother, Shirley. She'll need you more than ever tonight7 Tears rolled down my sister's cheeks. "I promise I will be with her to the end, Doctor. Thank you" she said as her head dropped lower and the tears fell harder. "There's no need for you to stay up" my mother softly spoke to me as I gave her a big hug. "Your sister and I will let you know if any- thing happens during the night." I looked to my mother as she fought back her tears. "Go ahead, Dale. It may be a long night. We'll let you know" She kissed me on ,A my forehead L, 'eAT and turned to Gene as he lay quietly in his bed. I climbed the stairs to my bedroom and crawled sadly into my bed. I said a soft prayer for my mother and my brother Gene. ' M1 these years, I said to God Almighty, Gene had bravely fought muscular dystrophy and now his life is ending. I love you, Gene]" And then I lay in bed thinking of my won- derful brother. I thought of the times I, or one of my brothers or sisters, had pushed him in his wheel- chair to our tiny bridge where he could watch us swim or fish below. I remembered the time my brother Jim hit a foul ball playing a game of softball in our back field. The ball pounded off Gene's chest. He said nothing. I recalled the Christmas he sat near the Christmas tree and opened his only gift, a set of pencils and paints. Mom had smiled as Gene's eyes lit up. "Now I can draw and paint all occupational licensing regimes in November 2017, the Institute for Justice found Geor- gia had the 14th-most burdensome licensing laws - "requiring, on average, $185 in fees, 464 days of education and experience, and about two exams" Our only saving grace is we require licenses for a relatively small number of jobs: only 41 of 102 commonly licensed low-income oc- cupations. (The median nationally is 59.) Consider II's calcula- tion that it could take a Georgian nearly a year to become a barber, almost eight months to become a makeup artist, or some manicurist. No one wants to get a bad hair'cut, but has anyone ever heard of a crisis of poorly trained barbers in Ohio, New Jersey or any of the other states that have lost residents - includ- ing, perhaps, barbers - to Georgia? Just last month in Savannah, a federal judge held that city's licensing requirement for paid tour guides violated the workers' constitutional right to talk for a living. Savannah had required aspiring guides to pass a lengthy exam on local history, even if they sim- ply wanted to tell ghost stories to paying custom- i those pictures that flash over and over in my mind!" he said excitedly. I could not sleep, i just lay there in my bed thinking of Gene. Then I heard my sister's voice at the bottom of the steps. "Dale!" She began to cry harder. "Gene just passed away!" I threw the covers from my body and sat at the foot of the bed. I looked out the dark window as I pulled my pants over my legs. I whispered a soft prayer for my brother Gene. At that moment a spark fell from the chim- ney outside and stopped right in front of the win- dow. The spark grew very large and then suddenly shot up to heaven. "Some- day I'll see you again, Gene!" I said as the spark sped quickly upward. "Please listen while Mom explains what hap- pened to Gene before he passed away." Shirley said to me when I met her at the bottom of the stairs. Tears flowed steadily down her cheeks. I walked to Mom as she sat beside Gene's bed. She reached out and dasped my left hand with her right hand as her other hand held tightly to Gene's cold, thin hand. "I sat here praying" Morn began. "Suddenly he sat up in bed, like he never had in years! His eyes opened wide and his face was all aglow! 'Look at the foot of my bed. Mom! Look at that beauti- ful white bird sitting at the foot of my bed, Mom! Do you see the beautiful, white bird?' He asked so ers. (The city repealed the law in 2015, but plaintiffs represented by IJ contin- ued to pursue the case to establish a constitu- tional ruling.) Similar rulings have been issued in Charleston, S.C and Washington, D.C. Those who already have their licenses are the biggest proponents of keeping the requirements in place, the better to limit their competition. But again, these licenses disproportionately affect low-income jobs - mean- ing they tend to harm most those trying to start their careers and/or rise out of poverty. The first rungs on the career lad- der should be the easiest There is reason to hope here. Gov. Brian Kemp's Georgians First Commis- sion has identified occu- pational licensing as one of the areas it will tackle in its effort to make Georgia the top state for small business. Commis- sioners are tasked with proposing policies by the summer of 2020. Scooping up Arizona's sweet deal for newcomers would be a great place to start. The president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Kyle Wingfield's column runs in papers around the state of Georgia. excitedly. 'It's the most beautiful, white bird I have ever seen! Do you see it, Mom?' "I didn't see the white bird Gene saw" Mom told me as tears of joy swept down her cheeks. But I said I didl Then Gene sat back in his bed and smiled the prettiest smile I ever saw in my whole life. 'Oh, Mom that's the most beautiful, .white bird I have ever seen!' He said once more. 'I must go now, MomI The beautiful, white bird is calling mel I must go now!' And then he closed his eyes and went to heaven!" Mom began to weep more now she smiled at Gene's cold, stiffbody. Shirley hugged Morn from behind and bent over and kissed her on the side of her cheek. "He's safe in God's hands now," she whispered softly into Mom's ear. My brother, Gene, told me often that he wanted to live to be 25 years of age. Gene was 24 when he died. The dock beside his bed chimed 1 o'clock in the morning when he passed away. Yes, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning!" God bless. * The above story is true. The entire story of our life on Anghn' Road is record- ed in both of my novels titled, "Our Mansion on Anglin' Road" and Wounded, White Dove!" by Arthur Dale Likens.' Dale Likens is an author who lives in Monroe County.