19 February 2018

Monday Morning Quick Bites



Welcome back to The Chronicles. Grab a plate & dig in. 

  • Per multiple sources, the Newton Co. Dysfunction DEFCON level (NCDDL) is being taken down to LEVEL 2 - "FAST PACE" this week. It all apparently starts with tomorrow evening's BOC meeting. You should totally attend. 7PM. Historic Courthouse. And what is Level 2 with the NCDDL, you may ask: high probability of hijinks & shenanigans; elected officials going full-on moron; lack of basic commons sense; think of the best decision the BOC could possibly make w/ something & then imagine the diametric opposite
    • Hey, if anything, it's just good, cheap entertainment. 
  • Word on the Street: City of Covington considering taking back City Pond & creating their own Recreation Department? Now that would be interesting! It would also probably be a good thing. Many have said for years that it would also probably be a good thing for the city to start to expand its municipal boundaries. And as this publication has been saying for years - the time has come for a new municipality in Newton Co. Basically every bit of HD 112 that isn't Covington, Oxford, Porterdale, Mansfield or Newborn. 
    • Problem solved in re Newton Dysfunction. 
  • The Chronicles has enjoyed following Drew Parker's tour w/ Luke Combs via Facebook & Twitter. Look for a Q & A w/ the hometown boy done good here in the space very soon. 
  • And speaking of music, TPC fave The Bitteroots returning to the COV. Saturday night at The Listening Room @ IBP. 
Okay for now. Thx for reading & we'll see you soon. 

15 February 2018

Share Your Feelings with the Group - TPC Commenting Enabled

est 2010

Well, folks - I wasn't lying. For the first time in about five years (I had forgotten that I did allow them for a short time back in the day), you - the glorious readership of The Chronicles - can post your thoughts, questions, comments & concerns here at TPC. And we'd like to hear from you. We'd like to hear from you because we're truly interested in what you have to say. Your pleasure is our pleasure & we aim to please!

Next week! The unveiling of the NEW LOGO!!!

Good times...

As always, thanks so much for reading. Happy Trails. 

- MB McCart 

14 February 2018

The History of Valentine's Day


The origins of Valentine's, like almost all holidays, has its roots in old-world pagan celebrations.

Lupercalia, on the Ides of February (15th) was a fertility celebration of the Roman pagans in which they would sacrifice a goat to please the gods in order to continue to have bountiful crops and also virulent personal fertility. There was also a thing involving the goat's bloody hide & slapping women on the butt with it. Later, there would be a blind drawing where men & women were coupled up for the upcoming year. Sometimes this would lead to marriage; sometimes it would not. A lot of sex was involved. They would also sometimes kill dogs.

Those crazy Romans, though... 

So after Christianity became a thing - not unlike Saturnalia with Christmas, or the celebration of Eastra that would later become Easter - the ruling church power elite co-opted the hedonistic pagan celebration and turned into a celebration of Valentine, or Valentinus, or maybe another person, who was possibly a saint. Later, naturally, the church outlawed the previous, original pagan celebration. 

As the years went on, especially in the Middle Ages, the holiday became more of a romantic thing although - again, not unlike Christmas - it didn't really become the big & sometimes expensive celebration similar to what we see now until merchants, peddlers & various purveyors of various things started to hype it up for an opportunity to increase sales volume.

I'm starting to think that some of you reading this may think I'm sounding somewhat cynical in this piece. You're probably right, though I do rather enjoy the holiday. I always enjoy giving my bride a gift or two & doing my time-honored tradition of cooking up a big, fancy semi-gourmet meal on the night of Valentine's. And yes - my wife is a lucky woman! But certainly I'm  a lucky man. 

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Alright for now. Until next time. 

11 February 2018

TPC - A Moment From Us

The Piedmont Chronicles 
- est 2010 - 

 ~ M.B. McCart ~
Editor-in-Chief, Troubleshooter & Public Advocate


A Moment From Us 

Hello, Georgia Piedmont! And welcome back to The Chronicles, the Alcovy/Yellow/South River Basin's premier online newspaper.

A few notes & new developments to tell you about this fine Southern evening.

Changes Ahead for TPC 

If all goes as planned, you will see, for the first time ever, local advertising complementing the Google Ads you've always seen here in this space within the next week or two. 

I'd toyed with the idea of possibly setting up a GoFundMe or, more likely, a Patreon site, and I may still end up doing one of those as I have been incurring expenditures for ORRs, transportation & time utilized as a Citizen-Journalist vs. time spent with one of my multiple income-producing projects (my Google Ads revenue basically works out to maybe about 50 cents an hour in pay - so while it's certainly a labor of love, TPC won't be paying the bills anytime soon).

However, the more I analyzed it, the more I felt like I would just be putting out my palms for alms, rather than doing the good ole fashioned American thing & working for it.

So I've reached out to a few local businesses for advertising opportunities & I've honestly been pleasantly surprised with the feedback. Naturally there are many businesses that would want nothing to do with your humble semi-professional ant hill kicker, but there are some out there that do. 

This site does, as a few folks know, generate some pretty impressive web traffic, so that's one selling point, but I think the biggest thing going is this - the model I've come up with is unlike anything that anybody's doing with local advertising. I believe it will be the most effective & cost-conscious form of marketing available in our market.

Also in the works - a new logo for this publication, and...

I'm toying with the idea of enabling the comment function of this page. I've never allowed comments on TPC, because I didn't want asinine & ignorant banter mucking up the works but I may rethink that. The data clearly shows that enabling commenting drives up web traffic. And hell, since we're selling out & all, why not?

So...exciting, yes? Slide me an email or call HQ (see above) if you would like more information. 

What's the Buzz? 

What a week we've had, friends, and per the street word, it's only going to get better as we move forward. In fact, for the first time in a long time, that o'er boy that stay down the way has been in contact w/ your quasi-esteemed Editor with some choice, juicy tidbits. 

If you could maybe say that the Newton County Dysfunction Junction Defcon Level hit a 3 last week - we might see it taken down to "FAST PACE," AKA, level 2, here in the next week or so. Believe it or not, I think this current board has the opportunity to outstrip the previous edition in terms of foolishness & shenanigans, as Keith Ellis smiles somewhere out in eastern Newton Co.; however, unlike the last crew, I truly believe that this BOC, no matter how ludicrous things get, will still be able to tend to The People's business somewhat effectively. I sure hope so; failure is not an option...

Lots of moving parts, as always, just know that we're on it! 

Odds & Ends 

  • Hoop Dawgs - McGarity & Co. have to let Fox go at the end of the year, right? But, what happens if we win the SEC Tourney? It is the 10-year anniversary of the "Tornado Dawgs." 
  • The C-town Music Scene - It's not quite what it once was perhaps. I'm still profoundly sad that The Speakeasy is no longer in existence. And I know a few folks are a bit disappointed that City Pharmacy ended up scrapping their plans for live music. But we still have a good number of top-notch venues: The Pub, 5 O'Clock, Mystic, Lahrceny, Amici & a several more. And naturally the talent level around our neck of the woods is still superb. 
  • So our old friends AB & SH3 played another round of Cowboys & Indians this past week. I think the ole Cherokee Scotsman was out of line on this one, and I'll just leave it at that. With that said, I've been texting and emailing back & forth with him some today on a couple of issues facing the home county. While we will always disagree on some issues - and I'm still not impressed one bit with him trying to throw some shade on the Councilman - it's always, for me, all about that Glorious Lady that is Newton County. Ego, feelings...none of that matters to me. If I can find common ground to facilitate positive change for our beloved home county, I will do it. Every time. 
Look for multiple posts in the next few days, good friends, and we hope that everyone has a great week.

Very Kindly Yours,


07 February 2018

Justice Carries the Day; McKelvey & Rhodes Stay on NCRC

Three hour "Kangaroo Court" ends with no action taken against McKelvey & Rhodes amidst a "cop out" by Newton BOC 


[State of GA] 
[Newton Co.] 

(Covington, GA * 7 February 2018) -

A "quasi-judicial proceeding," as described by presiding officer Ronnie Cowan, 5th District Commissioner, was scheduled to occur yesterday at 3PM - it ended up starting a few minutes after 4PM - as an "appeal hearing" for the purported removal of Josh McKelvey & Steven Rhodes from the Newton County Recreation Commission (NCRC) by Newton Co. Board of Commissioners (BOC) Chairman Marcello Banes. 

Let me be clear: this thing came off as an absolute joke. Though it was considered to be basically a judicial process, hearsay was, multiple times, allowed as admissible  testimony. Originally this was described by the county, as previously mentioned, as a "quasi-judicial" process; later, when things started going south for the county, it was stated that this "was not a judicial proceeding." 

Got it?

It seemed, as described by many in attendance, as a "kangaroo court," and really more of a circus sideshow, and it was painfully obvious to most in attendance that the Newton Co. BOC was just making it all up as they went. It was kind of embarrassing to watch. To that point, several Newton Co. Citizens are now openly wondering if there is any decision moving forward other than doing away with our current million dollar attorney. It has become apparent to some (and possibly supported by reading the Covington News article from last night) that Megan Martin is in some ways basically running the county "Tommy Craig style, " at least as it relates to many issues including the spectacle we all witnessed yesterday. If so, then what are we paying the County Manager for? Why would we even need a full-time Board Chairman if that's the case?  

When originally planned, the county - who has seemingly been so paralyzed by fear of a lawsuit from the former Rec Department Director even though it is possible as if there is nothing to be worried about (over 600 pages received from ORRs  seems to support this)...and to think: the BOC voted to approve an appox. $400,000 settlement - perhaps thought that this would be rubber stamp for the Chairman's purported removal.

Things totally changed Monday night at the Covington City Council meeting. When the Council voted to provide support & legal counsel for its representative, Josh McKelvey, on the NCRC, things were completely different. While the regular Covington attorney is Frank Turner Jr., he was on injured reserve, so back-up attorney Bob Stansfield entered the fray on the city's behalf.

My quote on Facebook yesterday sums up the performance of Robert H. Stansfield, Esq.: 

"Watching Robert (Bob) H Stansfield today was like watching a lion mauling an antelope on the Discovery channel."

#BulldogBob readying his defense of Covington's interests

After 3 hours, including 40 minutes of executive session, the Newton BOC decided to...do nothing. They said they were taking no action on McKelvey or Rhodes, but they would be looking at ways to change things to ensure something like this didn't happen again. Namely, possibly eventually dissolving the NCRC.

While it's disappointing how the county decided to "cop out," ultimately the important thing was this - Justice carried the day; two good men, one black & one white, were able to continue to serve their community; and the County's egregious violations were not allowed to stand. This was a win for the home county, and anybody who isn't racist, misguided or misinformed, or engaged in playing politics - totally gets and understands this. 

Just another day in our lives as the world turns in home county, folks...

I will close with what Josh McKelvey posted on his political page last night: 

"I want to take a moment to thank everyone for the calls, texts, emails, and prayers that were sent in support of myself and Mr. Steve Rhodes in our fight to remain on the Newton County Recreation Commission.
"I also want to thank everyone, especially my Wife, that donated 4 hours of their time to attend my "appeal" and show their support. It reminded me of the old NCLA days, when good people of Newton County from diverse political backgrounds came together to make a statement. I believe that was the most beautiful part about tonight.

I think that show of support from the public, the Covington City Council (Thank you Mayor Johnston, Susie Keck, Mike Whatley, Hawnethia Williams, Kenneth Morgan, and Anthony Henderson), and of course, the defense put up by City Attorneys Frank Turner and Bob Stansfield helped our case tremendously. I look forward to continued service on the Newton County Recreation Commission as the City of Covington's appointee.
I want to close with this:
I never wanted to bring about any distractions to the City, County, or our Citizens, but I felt that I needed to make a stand on this issue. I would like all of my supporters to know that Josh and the City of Covington didn't go looking for a fight, but we stood our ground when the time came. The Newton BOC isn't our enemy. They are our partners in helping Covington and Newton County continue to attract economic development and improve the quality of life for everyone here. As is with any large organization or business partnership, internal squabbles happen. Successful organizations settle those squabbles and move forward for the good of everyone involved. Please keep this in mind, as the City of Covington and Newton County look to move beyond this situation and find success by working together to move our community forward." 

He's a good man...

Thanks for reading. We'll talk with you soon.


06 February 2018

Covington Council Meets: Hospitality Drinks & Brownbagging Passes; City to Provide Legal Support for NCRC Flap

The Piedmont Chronicles 
est 2010 

[State of GA]
[Newton Co.]

(Covington, GA * 2/6/18) -

The City of Covington held its regularly scheduled meeting last night - February 5th - at Covington City Hall. The meeting was presided over by the Hon. Mayor Ronnie Johnston with five council members present & approx. two dozen Citizens, City employees & City public safety members in attendance along with the City Manager and back-up City Attorney, Bob Stansfield. 

The two big stories with this meeting were the 1st readings of three different hospitality drinks & brownbagging ordinances, and then a late addition to the agenda - whether or not the city would provide legal support and counsel for its representative to the Newton Co. Rec. Commission, Josh McKelvey.

Two of the three ordinances passed 3 to 2 with members Keck, McKelvey & Whatley voting for & members Williams & Henderson voting against.

On the third ordinance, the one dealing with art shops, Councilman Henderson changed his vote so the final tally on that one was 4 to 1.

As to the motion to provide support and legal counsel for Josh McKelvey as he deals with, in our estimation, a witch hunt and now a kangaroo court, the Council actually voted 4 to 0 to pass this measure with Henderson, Keck, Whatley & Williams voting for, McKelvey absent after he recused himself & left the Council chambers. 

On a final note, the meeting was run swiftly & efficiently, lasting barely over an hour. To us - this is how the people's business should be tended to. This writer told the Mayor after the meeting - "maybe you can give the Newton BOC a tutorial on how to run a public meeting."

That's all for now. We'll see you down the road.

- MB McCart 

04 February 2018

Hometown Country Artist Drew Parker Plays the Ryman in the Music City

The Piedmont Chronicles 
- est 2010 - 

Newton native and recording & touring Country artist Drew Parker played the Ryman Theater - the original Grand Ole Opry - this past weekend in Nashville, TN as an opening artist for Country Superstar Luke Combs

Parker, as TPC Editor MB McCart has written about in the past upon the release of his killer 2016 track - "Slow Down, Small Town," is a great guy who also happens to be a superb singer & songwriter whose career is really starting to blossom. 

This is what McCart, who's opened for or played the same bill with Parker a few times over the years with his group, Sweet Harmony , wrote on a Facebook post about Parker's show the other day: 

 I remember the first time I saw you sing was at Lovejoy UMC...maybe 2006 or 7? What a journey you’ve been on & here’s to the road ahead! Maybe we can get in a Piedmont Chronicles phone interview soon. Good on ya’ man & Congrats!
Keep an eye out for that interview soon.

Hometown boy does good! Well done, Mr. Parker. Well done. 

Thanks for reading. Until next time. 

02 February 2018

Newton Co. Dysfunction: Turn it Up to 11



Apropos of the ongoing Rec Commission situation, Newton BOC Chairman Marcello Banes has officially informed both Josh McKelvey & Steven Rhoades that they have both been removed from the Board of Directors of the Recreation Commission "for cause." 

Previously Councilman McKelvey had sent a letter in response to the Chairman's previous letter that stated that the Chairman did not have authority to do so, and that any oversights regarding the procedures of terminating a civil servant were incidental & unintentional.

I spoke with Marcello last week and he seemed to have a running theme - there needed to be a corrective measure since proper procedures were not followed, accidental or otherwise. So...from what we can see, the esteemed BOC Chairman wants to do the exact same thing he's accusing the Councilman of. 

In Banes' letter (or most likely that of his attorney) case law from the 19th century was referenced. A couple of other inapplicable cases were also brought up, in our estimation.

Per the OCGA & the charter of the Recreation Commission, the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners does NOT have any legal authority to remove members of the board. Furthermore, the charter clearly states that the City of Covington will "furnish" their representative. The legal definition of that word makes it abundantly that the Newton Co. BOC has no authority or mandate here.

What it appears the Chairman has done is precisely what he's accused Messrs. McKelvey and Rhodes of.

And per our information, Newton Co. will be notified of pending litigation, possibly as early as today, for this egregious overreach and violation of Georgia law. So, possibly add another lawsuit to the docket.

As the world turns in Newton Co., GA, USA.