Opinion

February 18, 2014

Charles Oliver: Firefighters, police on opposing sides

• Chula Vista, Calif., firefighter Jacob Gregoire was busy checking an overturned car for victims when a California Highway Patrol officer demanded he move a fire engine he said was blocking traffic. Firefighters intentionally block traffic to protect themselves and others at automobile wreck scenes, so Gregoire said he’d have to check with his captain before moving the truck. That, apparently, wasn’t the answer the state trooper was looking for. He handcuffed Gregoire and put him in the back seat of his patrol car. He didn’t release Gregoire until supervisors from both agencies met at the crash site to resolve the matter.

• The United States plummeted 13 places from last year to rank at just 46 in the Reporters Without Borders 2014 World Press Freedom Index. Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Luxembourg and Andorra top the index. The group blamed the Obama administration’s efforts to identify and punish whistleblowers for America’s declining press freedoms.

• The South Carolina Education Oversight Committee approved all of the new science standards proposed by the state school board. Well, all but one. Committee members refused to approve a proposed standard that says students should be taught that evolution occurs primarily through natural selection.

• New York City police detective Edwin Vargas has pleaded guilty to hiring hackers to steal the user names and passwords for the email accounts of at least 30 individuals, including at least 20 current or former police officers. He has also pleaded guilty to accessing a law enforcement databank to obtain information on at least two police officers.

• The federal government collected personal information on almost 5,000 people and distributed it to almost 30 different agencies. The information was on people who were the customers of two men who teach people to beat polygraph tests, sometimes called lie detector tests. Those tests are not scientific and are considered so unreliable that they generally can’t be used in court as evidence against those accused of a crime. So, of course, the federal government relies on them heavily in hiring people for many sensitive jobs. But many of the people it collected information on aren’t government employees. None have been charged with a crime, and many did not undergo any actual training on beating a polygraph, they just bought a book on the subject.

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Opinion
  • Move carefully, but soon

    No one intended for it to happen. No one had any bad motives.
    But during a period of 40 years or more, quite a few people didn’t do enough planning, didn’t have enough foresight to see what all of the development in Dalton would do.

    July 27, 2014

  • Local school systems must bear costs of federal immigration failure

    No word. No warning. Little help.
    That’s what Dalton Public Schools officials received from the federal government when it dropped 30 Central American students into local classrooms last school year.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014

  • Helping with Book Blast betters the community

    The school test results are in, and students in Whitfield and Murray counties mostly improved from a year ago, mirroring or exceeding average scores of their peers.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mark Millican: Guns are already everywhere

    Though it happened over 30 years ago, the image is still vivid.

    July 22, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Former officer works overtime improperly

    Stephen F. Hall has pleaded guilty to theft by deception and falsifying a government record.

    July 22, 2014

  • Dalton council should seek answers

    Judicial elections in this area are usually pretty staid. In fact, they are generally nonexistent, since most judges run unopposed.

    July 21, 2014

  • Letter: Something to think about

    It has been better than four months now since Malaysia Flight 370 went missing. During that time we have heard all kinds of speculation, conjecture and opinions as to what happened to it. The only certainties to emerge are that the Malaysians fumbled the ball early on and there are some understandably distressed loved ones left to deal with their losses.

    July 21, 2014