The parade has been slow, but steady.
In the case of Austin Scott, that's literally true. He's one of two candidates running for governor in Georgia who has dropped in to see me so far. His visit last week came during his 750-mile walk around the state.
A few weeks earlier, John Oxendine also stopped by. I was much more impressed with him than the last couple of times we'd talked; he's doing a better job of refining his message. That's probably because he's working to position himself furthest to the right among the Republican candidates.
While he (and others on the same page) will have to tackle some math that frankly doesn't work, he does at least see the need to greatly reform the state's tax code. And he's a big fan of user fees rather than general taxes, another plus.
For Scott, his best answer was, for a Republican, his most courageous: He does not support school vouchers. Anyone who does, in my book, is the worst kind of liberal because he or she is proposing creation of a second, parallel public education system while doing nothing to improve the current one.
Incidentally, Scott said one of the things he's been unable to avoid noticing on his roadside hike is that there are a lot of litterbugs traveling through our state, and the Department of Transporation really has cut back on roadside mowing.
I expect the other dozen or so other candidates will drop by at some point. After all; the election isn't until next year. I'll let you know if any of them have anything interesting to say.
I'm especially hoping to see Ray McBerry and Thurbert Baker.
Unfortunately, I told you so.
Just a few weeks ago, I reported the rumor that Husqvarna was planning to pack up its headquarters on Stevens Creek Road and move to Charlotte, N.C. This week they confirmed it.
Husqvarna Outdoor Products Inc. is relocating its North American headquarters, The Augusta Chronicle's Tim Rausch reports, as the result "of a global reorganization plan by the Swedish-based lawn and garden equipment maker." Our community will lose about 100 jobs - good ones, with good people in them - as a result.
Phil Wahl, the chairman-elect of the Metro Augusta Chamber of Commerce, called the relocation "surprising." I guess he doesn't read my column.
Then again, I first reported the erroneous rumor that Electrolux was the one relocating. Fortunately, they're staying in Martinez.
On a happier note, congratulations to Kyle Parker.
Parker didn't play high school football here. His family moved to our community from Jacksonville, and they now live in Martinez. Kyle's younger brother, Kendal, will be playing football this year for Lakeside High School.
Kyle, meanwhile, just got the nod this week as starting quarterback for the Clemson Tigers. I'm not sure this area has ever been able to claim to be the home of a starting Division I quarterback, so it seems like a pretty big deal to me.
Off to Lincolnton
Today's the day.
About 10 o'clock this morning, we'll load up all the donated books in our lobby - we'll probably need at least two vehicles - and haul them up to the Lincoln County Library, along with a couple of monetary donations.
The effort is a tremendous credit to our readers and to Columbia County residents, who responded generously to the call for donations to the little library whose funding was cut drastically by the state.
At last count, we were up to nearly 60 boxes of books. What the library can't use, they'll sell to raise money for other materials.
It's been a grand experience, and an absolute honor to be able to help make it happen. Thanks to everyone.
I'll list all the names of donors Sunday. It'll take a little while.
Barry L. Paschal is publisher of The Columbia County News-Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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