January 15, 2014

Charles Oliver: Upcoming charity breakfast no emergency

• Officials in Palo Alto, Calif., say they will look at changing the policy for the city’s text alert system. The Fire Department used the system to send out an alert about an upcoming charity breakfast. Several people complained, saying they thought the system was only going to be used for emergencies. Fire Department officials defended the message, saying the event included a helicopter landing at a local school and they didn’t want residents to see that and panic.

• French President Francois Hollande’s approval rating dipped to 15 percent in November, making him the least popular French president since polling began. But in recent weeks his approval rating has begun to climb, and it now stands at 26 percent. And while correlation does not mean causation, it is worth considering that his approval rating went up after some media outlets reported he’s been having an affair with actress Julie Gayet.

• Deric Lostutter uncovered and leaked video that was eventually used to find two teens guilty of raping a 16-year-old girl in Steubenville, Ohio. Several school officials have also been indicted for allegedly trying to cover up the rape. Law enforcement officials and prosecutors have thanked Lostutter for uncovering that evidence. No, just kidding. They’ve charged him with criminal hacking. He faces up to 10 years in prison. One of the rapists was recently freed from a juvenile detention facility after serving less than one year for his crime.

• An inspector general’s report found that Medicare, the federal program that provides health coverage for seniors, spent $172 million between 2006 and 2011 on, umm, “vacuum erection systems.” It also found that Medicare pays, on average, double what these devices would cost if purchased over the Internet.

• South Carolina Judge Michael Baxley has ruled that the state Corrections Department’s treatment of mentally ill prisoners is “systematically deficient and exposes seriously mentally ill inmates to substantial risk of serious harm.” He also called the lawsuit filed on behalf of 3,500 inmates one of the most disturbing cases he’d seen in 14 years on the bench. He found that inmates are punished excessively with solitary confinement for nonviolent behavior, that substandard care had contributed to the deaths of several inmates and that the state has known of problems for a decade and not acted to correct them.

Charles Oliver is a staff writer for The Daily Citizen.

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  • Mark Millican: The birds hushed their singing

    For the uninitiated, that line is from what many consider the greatest rock song of all time, “Stairway to Heaven,” by Led Zeppelin.

    April 15, 2014

  • Misty Watson: When blood sugar drops, anger rises

    It wouldn’t have taken 107 married couples and 21 days to figure out that being hungry makes people angry.

    April 15, 2014

  • Working for the man

    You may be one of the many Americans who will rush to file their income taxes today. But you may not yet have earned enough money to pay all of the taxes that will be imposed on you this year.

    April 15, 2014

  • Letter: The glib tongue, the fake smile

    A recent Daily Citizen column by Walter Williams will both awaken and frighten any thinking person who claims even a smidgen of knowledge about — or belief in —  either the Bible, world history or current events.

    April 15, 2014

  • College soccer team would bring local talent together

    Dreams of combining the best soccer players from all local high schools into one team finally could come true.

    April 13, 2014

  • Letter: Primaries feature many choices

    Many people are confused this year about the May 20 Election Day. Unfortunately, very few voters in Whitfield County actually go to the polls for a primary election. But this means any increase in participation can have a significant impact.

    April 12, 2014

  • Letter: Hooper for Murray chief magistrate

    Thanks to all the wonderful people and friends who backed me for District 1 Murray County Board of Education. You sure showed a lot of support. Sorry I had to step down due to my and my wife’s health. I am a lot better now.

    April 12, 2014

  • Judicial dispute could have been avoided

    Judicial elections in Whitfield and Murray counties tend to be low key. In fact, we can’t recall the last time an incumbent judge on the Conasauga Superior Court, which cover the two counties, has even faced a challenger.

    April 12, 2014

  • Citizen of the Week: Jonathan Rose

    Running for exercise is a popular hobby among many local residents, but at least one racing enthusiast plans to take his fun a step further today.

    April 11, 2014

  • Community champions make world a better place

    We sometimes think a good community is one with attractive buildings, well-kept homes and beautiful parks. But buildings, homes and parks, no matter how attractive, don’t make a community. People do.

    April 10, 2014

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