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Editorial Roundup: Georgia

By The Associated Press
Posted 7:10AM on Wednesday 30th June 2021 ( 4 weeks ago )

Dalton Daily Citizen-News. June 28, 2021.

Editorial: Be safe, use common sense with fireworks this Fourth of July

Each Fourth of July, fireworks elicit plenty of “oohs” and “ahhs” as we look skyward for the brightly colored and loud displays of our patriotic pride.

While fireworks are as ingrained in our Independence Day celebrations as backyard cookouts and time spent on the lake, they can potentially be a dangerous damper on your joyous festivities. When misused, fireworks can cause serious, gruesome injuries, death and costly fires.

In 2019, there were a reported 12 non-occupational, fireworks-related deaths, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Seven deaths were attributed to misusing fireworks, two deaths were due to fireworks malfunctioning (late ignition) and three incidents were associated with “unknown circumstances.”

The commission found that fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,000 injuries treated in hospital emergency departments during 2019, while an estimated 7,300 fireworks-related injuries (or 73% of the total estimated fireworks-related injuries in 2019) were treated in hospital emergency departments between June 21 and July 21.

Children comprised a significant amount of those injuries and emergency room visits. Children under 15 accounted for 36% of the estimated fireworks-related injuries, while people under 20 made up nearly half of the estimated fireworks-related injuries that required emergency department visits.

That’s why national, state and local officials are urging people to be extremely careful when using fireworks.

“Independence Day is a time of celebration and rejoicing in the founding of our country,” said John F. King, Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire commissioner. “While it is a great time to get together with friends and family, it can also be dangerous if certain safety tips are not followed to avoid fires and severe injuries commonly associated with fireworks.”

King’s office provided these fireworks safety tips:

• Always read the labels and follow the directions for each specific type of firework.

• Light fireworks outdoors and at a safe distance away from other people and fire hazards.

• Never re-ignite malfunctioning fireworks.

• Do not give fireworks to small children.

• Ensure that an adult supervises all firework activities.

• If injuries and damages occur, call 911.

• Have a garden hose or bucket of water nearby.

• If you do not feel safe lighting your own fireworks, feel free to attend a public fireworks display.

After muted celebrations for Independence Day in 2020 due to COVID-19, let’s all have a safe and happy Fourth of July weekend. If fireworks are part of your celebratory plans, please use common sense and stay as safe as possible.

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Valdosta Daily Times. June 29, 2021.

Editorial: Mosquitoes: Precaution best cure

A mosquito pool in Lowndes County has tested positive for EEE, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health’s South Health District.

We want to remind all South Georgians to take precautions to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses.

Mosquitoes are not only in backyards but just as likely hovering around doorways and near kitchen sinks and bath tubs.

Mosquitoes are like people during summertime.

They are seeking cooler places to be.

They hover around standing water.

They seek shade.

They are more likely to be abundant in the early morning and evening hours.

Their bites are often described as pesky, but they can be deadly. Mosquitoes transmit not only Eastern Equine Encephalitis but West Nile Virus, too.

Traditionally, each summer, health officials report area animals that have contracted EEE.

People should still take precautions, according to Health District South.

Lowering the mosquito population reduces the chances of a person becoming infected by such viruses.

– Use insect repellent containing DEET, picardin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing.

– Wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits.

– Have secure, intact screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.

– Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels, wading pools and other containers. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.

– Be sure to use repellent and wear protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider indoor activities during these times due to peak mosquito biting hours.

“Taking the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites is the best defense we have against mosquito-borne illnesses,” said Kenneth Lowery, district epidemiologist. “While we do see mosquito-borne illnesses in our district every year, that does not mean that we should become complacent about taking precautions.”

For more information on mosquito borne illnesses visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at www.cdc.gov.

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Brunswick News. June 26, 2021.

Editorial: Closed-door discussions do a disservice to all

Glynn County voters and taxpayers may never know what school board members really think about the proposed performing arts center. According to a story in The News on Thursday, many of the discussions and debates over the center occurred behind closed doors, in executive sessions, leading up to Wednesday’s 4-3 vote giving a greenlight to the project.

First, our heartfelt thanks to the four who voted to move this project forward. The taxpayers of this county approved the performing arts center in 2015 when they passed E-SPLOST. Wednesday’s vote should finally get the project off the ground, a project that will benefit students attending College of Coastal Georgia as well as the community itself.

Eaddy Sams, John Madala and Mike Hulsey, voting against the agreement, vocalized several concerns about the deal involving the University System of Georgia, the college and school board. Madala said he found some of the wording in the agreement objectionable. Sams said she favored the center when running for election to the school board in 2015 and even urged voters at the time to support it, but she feels the agreement passed this week falls short of expectations. Hulsey said what is proposed is less than what was originally sought.

Opinions uttered by the three naturally create an air of suspicion — suspicion that the open session Wednesday is not the first or only time they expressed doubts.

State law allows elected officials to shut the public out of discussions when the topics are personnel, land acquisition or pending legal action. None of the concerns cited by opponents tend to fit any of those categories. To anyone’s knowledge outside the school board, no legal action was pending. Land for the center will be the college campus and the subject of personnel has not come up. So why so many executive sessions on this issue?

It leaves personal thoughts, opinions, likes and dislikes, as the subject matter. None of that qualifies for a lawful executive session.

This is not to say the school board violated state law. The counter to suspicions is the integrity of the members, men and women who want to serve the public. It would go against what’s known about the seven board members to think they deliberately violated the law and the public trust.

Accidents do happen, however.

On behalf of voters and the taxpayers of Glynn County, we’re reminding all elected officials to be aware of the law and of what’s being discussed behind closed doors at all times.

As an elected representative, when you speak, you speak for all of us, and it’s only right — as well as the law — that we know what “we’re” saying.

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