Drunk-driving citations by state troopers have jumped by well over a third in the last four years. But it may not be a matter of unemployed commuters trying to wash away their depression.
Citations issued by the Georgia State Patrol for drunken driving have increased 37 percent in the four years since the start of the recession….
Tickets for drivers without insurance increased 29 percent in the same period. Seat-belt and child-restraint infractions are also higher. However, speeding tickets are down by 25 percent.
Drivers’ behavior might not explain all of it. The tight state budget might.
“We’ve asked troopers to conserve fuel where they can, and they have been good about doing so,” said Gordy Wright, a spokesman for the State Patrol.
Troopers are parking their cars and conducting more stationary roadblocks. The change trimmed the average car’s gas bill to $410 per month in the fiscal year that ended in June.
A continuing state budget crisis also means you may have to pay for that walk in the woods. From the Associated Press:
The state Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division is considering charging admission for visitors to some popular natural areas….
A steering committee made up of people across the state interested in conservation and outdoor recreation, recommended the DNR offer individuals a three-day pass for $3 or a yearly pass for $19. Groups of up to 12 people could buy three-day passes for $10 or a yearly pass for $35.
The DNR board would have to vote on approving the fees.
Note to Nathan Deal: Bring galoshes and an extra sweater. The following paragraph from this morning’s weather report on ajc.com may provide a clue as to why Sonny Perdue held his inauguration ceremonies safely indoors, rather than on the state Capitol steps:
On Monday, forecasters are predicting a 50 percent of a rain-snow mix, with highs again around 40 degrees. Monday night, the chance of precipitation is 30 percent, with snow possible in the northern suburbs and a rain-snow mix to the south.
In Washington, families were the rule as new members of Congress took their oaths of office. And with kids being kids, some accidental damage resulted.
For instance, 6-year-old Jack Isakson, accompanying his grandfather, broke the U.S. Capitol’s cuteness meter. The family has agreed to pay for the wreckage.
The occasion was a re-enactment of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s recitation of his oath of office, administered by Vice President Joe Biden. Afterwards, young Jack sought a private audience with the vice president for some personal business:
Jack Isakson to Biden: Um, um, uh. Could you tell some of the construction workers to build a Lego shop here?
Biden: Oh, that’s a good idea, man.
Johnny Isakson; He’s in charge. He can do that.
Biden: I tell you what. We’ll work with Grandpa to see if we can get that done.
Jack Isakson: OK.
Biden: Seriously, that’s a great idea. I tell you, we need jobs, Jack. The kid’s thinking. He wants to build a Lego shop here. As a matter of fact, we’ll put that in the State of the Union.
The exchange was caught by C-SPAN. You can watch it at the 24-minute mark.
State Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, said he’ll use this year’s 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War to make another attempt to push an apology for slavery through the Legislature.
But Williams expressed some frustration in this interview with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM):
Everybody is sorry about it until they go public. Privately, [they say,] “Oh, it was so bad – it was bad.” But publicly, they just can’t say, “I’m sorry.” I don’t understand this.
The following is covered somewhere in the Book of Revelation as a sign of the Apocalypse. From the New York Times:
Looking to further expand his growing media presence, Glenn Beck, the conservative talk-show host, has hired a one-time chief executive of the left-leaning Huffington Post to lead his new Web site, The Blaze.
Betsy Morgan, who ran The Huffington Post for two years, ending in 2009, will become president of The Blaze, a four-month-old site intended to curate news articles and opinion pieces of special interest to Mr. Beck’s conservative audience.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider