15 June 2019

BLU MAXX Live Tonight at Five O'Clock - Jeff Hay Tribute Show

The Boys Will Be Hitting the Stage at 9:30 TONIGHT!!! -- SAT. JUNE 15th -- at Five O'Clock Sports Bar & Grill

Legendary local band, Blu Maxx, has wowed audiences again & again throughout four decades with their high-energy, kick-ass Rock 'n' Roll music. Tonight will be a first for the band, the first time playing a show since original member Jeff Hay passed away after his courageous battle against cancer. Tonight's show is a tribute for Jeff & his memory. 

Blu Maxx back in the day

From fellow original member & Blu Maxx Drummer, John Riley: 

Jeff had a wealth of friends. Always full of energy and doing for others. He not only had a heart for music, he had a heart for people. That’s what made people love him so much. We miss his laugh and his funny antics but his spirit will always stay with us and alive and well in Blu Maxx. 

The lineup for tonight's show: 

Jeff Autry - Guitar 
Tommy Forgay - Keys
John Riley - Drums
Paul Arredondo - Bass
Ruud Cooty - Vocals

Jeff Hay Tribute Show

This promises to be a helluva night, friends. BLU MAXX live at Five O'Clock Sports Bar & Grill. Saturday June 15th. 9:30PM.
Don't Miss it! 

Visit The 5 on Facebook!
7189 Turner Lake Rd

13 June 2019

[Ellis Millsaps] - Son of a Preacher Man: Ch V; Pt II

Son of a Preacher Man: A Rock And Roll Cowboy Grows Up Southern Baptist

Chapter V, The Lake of Fire and Brimstone, Part Two

As I’ve said. I'd attended scores of revival services before the summer of ‘57, revivals whose raison de etre was to rack up enlistees for God's army. The major recruitment tool was to make sure the potential soldiers knew they would certainly die and go to hell if they didn't enlist. It said so right there in God's word. (I'm not so sure about that, having read the whole thing from start to finish twice. The only reference I recall from the New Testament, aside from the wacky Book of Revelations, is the parable of Lazarus and the rich man, the main thrust of which is what comes around goes around.)  I'd heard many an altar call, took pride in my father's successes, but none of that applied to me. It applied to sinners and I thought I'd been a pretty good boy up to that point.

John Ayers was a handsome man. He  looked a lot like Fess Parker, my hero Davy Crockett. I had a little yellow 45 of “The Ballad of Davy Crockett.” I have no idea now what was on the B side.) The Reverend Ayers would later get exposed, like Jimmy Swaggart and many others, as a philanderer.

He was handsome, and I heard later from my father that he had a crooked right index finger from a football mishap so that when he pointed at you he might have intended to point at someone else.

Maybe it was the crooked finger or maybe the Davy Crockett resemblance, but the first night of the revival he was pointing at me, a six-year-old, telling me that if I didn't come down to the front of the church, confess my sins and publicly accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I was doomed eternally to a lake of fire and brimstone, which he described in lurid detail.

That was what he said-- come down here and fess up-- but I well knew it meant come down front, get down on your knees and we'll take turns praying over you until we let you up and then maybe the shouting starts, followed by being hugged and kissed by a series of snuff dipping old women.. The lake on fire and brimstone was a long way off but this other hell was right here and now.

So I wasn't going down there for that, but the next night he told a story about a kid he knew-- and I was to learn over the years that a lot of preachers seemed to have known this kid-- who told him he wasn't ready to accept Jesus that night. He had lots of time for that. On the way home this young man died in a car wreck, and Preacher Ayers could only hope that somehow he had found Jesus on his walk to the car.

They gave the Invitational, probably “Why Not Tonight?”, and I trembled with fear. Both hells were imminent. It was pick your poison.

For a year I lived in fear of satanic torture. I didn't think about it most of the time, but I did look both ways when crossing the street and every time I heard an Invitational I quivered, and when I lay me down to sleep I knew that if I died before I woke it was curtain number two.

Fear haunted my church-going until the following summer when my parents and I went to a revival service at the Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta. The evangelist was someone Daddy particularly admired, and he must have been good because he scared me so much my mother finally noticed.  I'm sure that before that time it hadn't occurred to my family that at age seven I had reached the” age of conviction,” ( I never told them about the year I’d spent in fear of hell) but when my mother and I got in the car she asked me if I'd ever felt the need to answer the altar call. I said yes and started crying. She prayed and asked me if I accepted Jesus as my savior and I got saved right then in the backseat of a 56 Dodge.

When my father finished up his preacher talk with the other preachers he came out to drive us home and my mother gave him the joyous news. I don't remember what he said but I'm sure he was pleased, his pleasure possibly tempered by his unawareness that I was old enough to need saving.

I remember that he stopped on the way back to Holly Springs and bought me a Coca-Cola, the six-and a-half ounce returnable bottle kind, and I remember vividly how refreshing it was.

I felt supremely happy, not happy that I was going to heaven but relieved that I wasn't going to hell.

Damn, I'd beaten both hells!

From what I’d heard of heaven it was preferable only to the alternative. It would be boring-- no cowboys or saloons-- but I wouldn't have to be burned alive for eternity.

It's like the old joke where the preacher asks the congregation who wants to go to heaven. Everyone raises their hand except old Mr. Jones.

When the service is over the preacher takes Mr. Jones aside and asks,” Brother Jones, don't you want to go to heaven when you die?”

Mr. Jones looks relieved.” Oh, when I die, yes pastor. I thought you were getting up a load to go right now.”

This is my oldest sister Joyce about to be baptized by my father. She appears to be about ten, eleven. That would make this sometime during WWII. Beside her is my cousin Madeline and an unknown male waiting to take the plunge. On the far shore my sister Clara observes.

12 June 2019

[MB McCart] - More Concerns About the Sheriff's Spending (But Then I Repeat Myself)

This publication has recently found that for a six month period, from July 1 - December 31, 2018, that the county spent $128,931 on a multitude of repairs from Precision Auto (Covington, GA), with almost all invoices coming from either the Sheriff's Office & Jail Operations, despite the fact that Newton Co. has a vehicle repair shop that takes care of most of the county's vehicles.

Further research shows that approx $300,000 was spent at Precision Auto for fiscal year (FY)  2018 with almost all of those invoices being paid by the Sheriff's Office or Jail Operations. Again, the county has an automotive shop. 

Newton Co. Sheriff Ezell Brown
More recently, in the month of April 2019, it appears the county spent $24,684 with Precision Auto so based on the information on hand, it's looking as if the county will end up spending as much for FY 2019 as they did the previous year.

All of this begs the following question - why is not the Newton Co. Auto Shop handling most of this work? As one Newton political watcher mentioned - "If only the labor was saved it would amount to thousands of dollars each year."


By the way, the Sheriff paid approx $24,000 to William Thomas (Tommy) Craig in April of 2019 so it's looking like Craig will be making at least a few hundred thousand dollars this year, compliments of the Newton Co. taxpayers, once again.

Image result for william tommy craig covington ga
Wm Thomas "Tommy" Craig, Esq.

MB McCart

11 June 2019

[Perrin Lovett] - The Timing Was Off...

It may be that I’ve recovered from my fit of tobacco shop over-righteousness. Rumor has it that a hatchet has been buried and I’m back where I belong. The bad elements, if any, can usually be avoided; it’s all a matter of timing. And, as with smoke, so it is with politics.

The timing was just off in Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis, his cabinet, and his entire elephantine party in Tallahassee are about what one would expect of any band of Republicans these days. Not even with the unanimous assistance of the (equally what one would expect) Florida Democratic party could they get right a simple matter of temporal patience.

The Sunshine State has another new and very special law. House Bill 741 (2019) took instantaneous effect upon DeSantis’s signing. It revises and expands certain language concerning Florida Statute § 1000.05, et seq., regarding Florida’s K-20 government education scheme. (Nevermind, the lumping together of all levels of “education,” from kindergarten to graduate school…).

Advised that the first feature picture helps with social madness promos, I include this cutesy snapshot which I believe shows DeSantis and Ashley Moody enjoying lunch. Pic by Perrin.

Legislation like this is gaining in popularity with the States, being in the mold of this year’s federal H.R. 183. Florida’s new ordinance is designed to silence certain speech. It might best be summed up as The FL Anti-Anti-Semitism Act (in “Education”). Or, it could be summed up as The Unconstitutional, Ordinarily Illegal, Sellout of State Sovereignty Act (in “Education”).

A sampling of the prohibitive language:

Examples of anti-Semitism include: … Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective, especially, but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.

- H. 741 (2019) at (a)(2)(emphasis mine).

The very assertion and sentiment that such legal admonition is necessary are patently ridiculous. Maybe, lacking actual examples of concern, they decided to manufacture one via the law itself, by giving the appearance of a conspiracy to control the government by:

Drafting a law that in no way benefits Floridians or Americans and in fact infringes upon their rights, a law that presents a prima facie case that the entire government is beholden to a particular people and/or nation;

Devising a law that violates: the Federal First Amendment, through the Fourteenth (doubly, against the Establishment/Exercise Clauses and the protection of Freedom of Speech), and the Florida Constitution, Article I, §§ Three and Four (possibly Six, maybe more);

Having the State House pass it 114-0 (April 11, 2019);

Having the Senate pass it 40-0 (April 29, 2019); and,

Having DeSantis sign it (May 29th) about the time of his field trip cabinet meeting, convened illegally in a foreign nation while bowing and groveling before that foreign nation and pledging his State’s allegiance to the same foreign nation.

Controlling a government?? Gimme a break!

Capture from the Twitter account of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Jerusalem).

The crazy thing here, is that all this kneeling down was probably done sua sponte. Jerusalem  Post editor: “Huh? Who’s here to do what, now? Really! That’s just embarrassing. Someone elected this fool?

And, for what? The law will not survive a court challenge (one has already been filed). Even as state after state pass law after law like this, they are quickly struck down. Texas is the latest example. A federal judge enjoined enforcement of a similar Texas measure designed to stifle public discourse, writing, “This the First Amendment does not allow.”

Why the rush, nation-wide, to abridge the freedoms of American citizens for the alleged benefit of foreigners? And, why is it always, always for the benefit of the one party? No state passes laws to discourage anti-Messianism. I know of no prohibition against Europhobia. And, those might be of benefit to Americans.

At least the current crop of idiocy is geared towards employees of state institutions. For now. A fear stirs that these are but outliers of future general felony statutes. That was the pattern in other jurisdictions which lacked the protections of the magic parchment.

But, again, what really bothers me is the poor timing of the signing, pomp, and ceremony. If DeSantis could have just held off a single week, he could have performed his act of supplication on Saturday, June 8th. Given the letter of this law, would it have not been more fitting to enact it, from Israel, on the 52nd anniversary of the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty? Given all the circumstances, the nature of this law, and the name and fate of that good ship, there could not have been a greater or more entertaining irony.

As a cogent aside, one wonders if mentioning AGTR-5 in a Florida K-20 setting, now violates the law. One wonders if, illegal laws aside, any Florida students have ever heard of the Liberty, period. As with the new crop of unjust laws, that maritime episode, and the continuing cover-up, was and is primarily an American problem, with no need to blame any outside party. But, hey, facts, right?

Floridians, kindly remember this during that next exciting election. Strongly consider joining the 500,000 other Sunshine families who homeschool their children. All other Americans, watch your Republicrats carefully.

Post-Script Note: Any opinions herein, including but not limited to, the text, numbering, and passage record of any statutes or bills, the existence of certain Constitutional provisions, state and federal, the travel itinerary of a governor, the Tweets of said governor, the existence of any foreign nation, the quoted words of a federal judge, and an account of an unprovoked attack on a Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea in 1967, are purely the opinions of Perrin B. Lovett, who has very powerful opinions, which may appear fact-like in nature. However, any picture or commentary depicting dining politicians, despite marine mammalian appearance, is pure, hard fact. And, if you’re interested, one more opinion about the Liberty, which is pure opinion and NOT an investigative report entered into the Congressional Record, Vol. 150, No. 130, (Oct. 11, 2004).

10 June 2019

[Bess Tuggle] - Memoirs of Surviving Children: Sunday Supper

Growing up, Sunday suppers at my grandmother’s was mandatory.  She’d cook all day long and supper was always awesome.

I think that was her way of getting rid of us.  Well, most of us.  She was just stuck with me.

Our parents dropped us off on Friday night.  Between my mom and my aunt, Ma had to put up with five grandchildren.  Parents went on their merry way to enjoy the weekend, and Ma had to put up with an unruly brood.  

Sunday supper was special, though.  We all gathered around the table together.  It was wonderful bonding time.  Family time.

We all pretty much had assigned seating.  Ma sat at one end of the table, Pa at the other.  My mom always sat to the right of my grandmother, and my youngest cousin sat to my mother’s right.  

Oh, that was a mistake.

Ma and Pa had a Cookoo clock in the dining room.  He chimed the half-our and full hour.

It became a family joke.  Every time the Cookoo would chime, my mother would dip her fingers in to a bowl of whatever vegetables were on the table.  Peas, corn, beans.. what ever was available.  Then she’d drip some kind of liquid over my cousin’s head and tell her the Cookoo peed on her!  


And I gotta love it. 

09 June 2019

[Nature Watching With The Alibug] - On the Road Edition: The Altamaha

By: Alisa Johnson Brown, Nature Correspondent 

~ Special to The Chronicles ~ 

When I get home from a trip, I get so caught up in birds at home, that I fail to share more of the trip! But these are Black-bellied Whistling Ducks. When I first became aware of these ducks, I asked, "do they really whistle"??.. The answer is yes! There were rather large flocks of them in the Altamaha WMA! On this day, they blended in nicely with that hot, ochre-colored mud and the same colored muddy water. They are typically found year round in Florida, but only along the E Coast of Georgia and about halfway up the coast of South Carolina!

"Quack, Quack!"

Darien, GA is OLD!! It was established as a port on the Altamaha River by Scottish Highlanders in 1736! There are numerous things to see and do in and around Darien. (and a number of REALLY good places to EAT!! 😁) Ft. King George is one of the oldest places...There's a story about me and an alligator my friends will never let me forget that happened at Ft. King George. 😆 One of my favorite places is Two-way Fish Camp and Mudcat Charlie's restaurant, which are in the same place. The restaurant is 'decent'...not as good as in previous years,...but definitely not bad. And when it's hot on that dock, the restaurant is a good place to get an ice-cold sweet tea....or something just a tad stronger!! The fun thing is wandering around on the huge dock where fishermen, private and chartered, have come back in to clean their catch! It's fun to see what they came up with, but the real fun is watching what ELSE comes!! The minute the water from the cleaning hose starts hitting the river, the gators are alerted. Because that sound means DINNER! This time two BIG gators started heading toward the place the fish heads and entrails would fall. And then, there was another little surprise I have never seen! A little Snowy Egret has obviously discovered 'lunch' too!! 😯

Now Non-Smoking During Lunch Hours!

* Local advertisers do not necessarily support or endorse opinions of TPC or its Ed, MB McCart*

I saw some interesting birds at the Altamaha WMA this past weekend. I have only personally seen this bird in Arizona! And even though they can be found occasionally in the Carolinas, and along the Gulf Coast, I don't think they are that common in Georgia! It's a very LONG-legged bird!! 

~Black-necked Stilt~

Alisa Brown 

Multi-generational Newtonian & former WGFS radio host, Ms. Alisa loves the outdoors, birds, the arts, fine dining & great music. She's also got a thing for pirates... An absolutely wonderful woman, we're so glad to have her beautiful nature pics here at TPC. 

06 June 2019

Steve Horton's Press Release Announcing His Candidacy for Mayor of Covington

*the following is a press release provided to TPC from Steve Horton who has officially declared his campaign for Mayor of Covington. I plan on interviewing Mr. Horton soon so be on the look out for a future piece. As always, thanks for reading. - MB McCart, Ed. 


I would like to take this opportunity to announce publicly my intentions to run for the office of Mayor for the City of Covington in the upcoming November 5th, 2019 election.  

Former Covington City Manager, Steve Horton
I am a life-long resident of Newton County and I have lived in Covington for more than forty-five (45) years. My wife Mary and I have one son and daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren who also live in Covington.  Regarding my education, I have a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree from Mercer University and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from Troy State University.

Though I will not discuss, in great detail, my overarching political thoughts or platform at this time, I would like to point out to the citizens and voters who may not know me and remind those who do that I am no stranger to government operations at the City of Covington.   I fully retired from employment with the City of Covington after nearly thirty-six (36) years of service. Some of the positions that I held, while working there, include, but are not limited to: City Manager, Deputy City Manager, Public Works Director, Safety Risk Manager, and Police Chief.  There are many things that occurred while I was at the City of Covington that I am proud of, too many in fact to list here. However, a number achievements that I was, to some extent, involved in while employed at the City are worthy of mentioning. While serving as City Manager, Covington became a City of Ethics.  While serving as Public Works Director, I along with other City and County personnel worked together whereby the City of Covington obtained the “Signature Communities” designation along with joint partner Newton County. In 2003, the city was named a “City of Excellence”. In 2005, the City of Covington received an award for planning monies as a result of being named a recipient of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s “Livable Centers Initiative Program”.  Additionally, while serving as City Manager, Covington was named one of only three (3) cities in the entire country to have four (4) departments as nationally accredited agencies. This occurred when the E911 and Public Works operations, in addition to the Police and Fire Departments, also became accredited. In 2007, Covington was named a top 20 finalist in the prestigious and national “All America Cities Award Program”. Through joint efforts put forth by me and other “Leadership Collaborative” members, Covington and various other local governments within Newton County now operate on the same budget cycle which allows for better joint venture opportunities and joint financial planning efforts.   While serving as Police Chief, the Covington Police Department provided daily assistance with security for the 1996 Olympics that was held in Atlanta and was in charge of providing security for that portion of the Olympic Torch Run that came through Covington and the associated downtown festival. Between 2005 and 2009 I had direct oversight of the Covington Airport expansion activities where the runway was extended from 4,200’ to 5,500’. The Airport expansion efforts also included multiple land acquisitions that would later become necessary in the relocation of the Airport Terminal Building to its present day location. In 2012, I was named Local Government Administrator of the Year by the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center and one of Newton County’s Shining Lights.

More than all these things, I am most proud of the relationships that I was able to develop over the years with the citizens, business people, and employees here in the City of Covington.  Each one of you is more than just another face to me. While serving you, I always did my absolute best to ensure that you were treated compassionately and fairly.  If you elect me as your Mayor you can expect the same from me in the future.

Even though there were many proud moments and good times, while I was with the City, there were challenges too.  In December 2007, while serving as City Manager, the nation including the City of Covington experienced the start of what was obviously one of the worst economic recessions that has taken place in the last one hundred years.  With the help of others at the City of Covington, utility and tax rates were kept as low as possible. Though we did evaluate and hold off on filling some non-critical positions whenever associated employees resigned or retired, we never exposed employees to layoffs or reduced work weeks as did numerous other public and private sector employers during the same time period.  

Today and looking ahead, some people are concerned that tough economic times may, yet again, lay ahead for the City of Covington.  If true, some difficult decision making may be required. Certainly and in all cases, government leaders can and should do more to manage and/or scrutinize how we expend government resources.  “Buying what you need and needing what you buy” are good foundations to work from. Additionally, we should do more work on improving how Covington partners with other governments, quasi-governmental entities, and private businesses to maximize taxpayer and/or ratepayer monies and resources.  Though a lot has been done, more work can and should be done, along with our community partners, to define and strengthen our local economic development efforts and bring more and better job opportunities to our community.

I look forward to meeting and talking with many people as this campaign progresses.


Steve Horton