It’s about time. That’s the general response to county actions to having someone review the operations of the Barrow County Animal Shelter.
There’s nothing that incites more emotion among many people than animals. Sometimes, that gets taken to the extreme. But most people recognize that we have some obligation to take care of animals that can’t defend themselves and to try and control the overall animal population for public safety reasons.
Yet, Barrow’s animal control shelter has been the focus of numerous complaints in recent years, with many people alleging mismanagement of the facility.
Hopefully, county leaders will get some real, independent answers from this internal review of the shelter’s operations and some changes will be made.
The recent teen rape trial in a small town in Ohio is a tragic reminder of two things. First, teen abuse of alcohol is the crux of so many problems. Both the girl victim and her abusers were using alcohol at the time the rape took place. She later had no memory of what happened, but was able to piece it together based on text messages and videos made during the night she was assaulted.
As is often the case, alcohol abuse fuels bad decisions with both adults and teens. Parents often worry, with good reason, about teens drinking and driving. But the danger goes beyond that as this rape case shows.
The second issue is that in today’s hyper-media world, nothing is a secret. Every phone has a video camera and teens are seemingly addicted to recording everything that happens in their insular world. The social media video and text convicted the two boys in Ohio just as much as any other testimony.
Teens often think they aren’t responsible for their actions, but the world today is different. At one time, cases like the one in Ohio would have been viewed by many as “just a bunch of drunk kids getting out of hand,” and dismissed. No more. The standards are higher than that now and instant social media is documenting those incidents in a new light.
There was the abused and the abusers. Lives have been ruined. But you have to wonder if any teen really understands what that means until they are either the rape victim, or the boy going to jail.
Sen. Frank Ginn is coming under fire from a group of South Jackson residents over a piece of legislation that they believe would weaken Regional Development Commissions.
The group is worried about giant Walton Group’s plans for land it owns in Jackson and Barrow counties. Currently, mega projects have to undergo regional review in an advisory capacity. SB 104 would weaken that role, the group claims.
It’s not clear how all of this will play out, but the issue merits watching because it would affect Barrow County, too.
Mike Buffington is co-publisher of the Barrow Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.