Grist for the mill: Early voting, meth and guns, Lithonia politics

Greetings, kind readers. Here begins a new feature on The Yeast called “Grist for the mill,” which is a rundown of the what the local news media has for us each week. The plan is to do a round-up twice a week. I will look for the most interesting and newsworthy stories across the three-county area and deliver them to you with commentary. I am aware these newspapers have small staffs with people dedicated to the craft, so my hope is that whatever commentary I provide is received as constructive feedback and not intended to tear people down.

The start of in-person voting was highlighted by almost all of the local newspapers on Monday. Both the Rockdale Citizen and Newton Citizen shared the same story In-person early voting begins for the November General Election which offers basics information for readers – dates, time, locations and where to check one’s voter registration status. Angelapaperstack Mantle of the Newton County Board of Elections is the only person interviewed in the story and she says they expect a strong turnout for early voting this year.

The Covington News offered a newer story (posted Monday) Crowds form for early voting where they report voters lining up early to cast their ballots on the first day of early, in-person voting. They run a photo of … what else?  A line of voters in front of the county administration building.

On Common Ground played up early voting strong with Early voting draws massive crowds to polls and reported “close to 6,000 votes had been cast” in DeKalb County. It was actually closer to 5,800 – 5,794, according to the story. Whatever the number, that’s a lot for one day. Congressmen Hank Johnson and John Lewis along with local and state elected officials are reported participating in a march as part of get-out-the-vote efforts.

OCG also mentions there were no reported incidents Monday for early voting at the polling precincts. They were the only one of the local media outlets to bring this up. It’s an important point, I think. The national press has had stories out over the weekend on the possibilities of voter intimidation here , here and here . Incidents or any out of the ordinary preparedness measures would be a worthy question to ask in follow-up stories.

The Champion newspaper in DeKalb County led with another government turmoil story out of Lithonia, Lithonia City Council censures mayor, where the city council questions Mayor Deborah Jackson’s handling of a construction contract for renovation work to the city’s public works building.

The Rockdale Citizen had a crime story filed Monday on a RCSO arrest of a suspected drug dealer Alleged drug distributor arrested in Rockdale; drugs and guns seized. It’s one of those stories where a picture is worth a thousand words. Said photo displays an impressive collection of guns, ammo and confiscated drug-related items.

The Newton Citizen also had a crime story filed Sunday but not as impressive as collecting an armory of firearms and drugs. Slugged, Newton deputies make two arrests while looking for one person, the story tells of NCSO deputies arriving at a house looking for someone with an arrest warrant for failure to appear in court. The woman in question answered the door and was arrested. Deputies heard noises inside the house and found a man hiding under the bed who also had an arrest warrant out of Walton County.

Pet peeve: The Rockdale Citizen leads with Henry Frey winning a new truck for hitting a hole-in-one during the Kevin Millwood Celebrity Golf Tournament that occurred two weeks ago, Frey sinks hole-in-one, wins truck. It’s a two-sentence cutline and photo that is good for the photo carousel on the home page. However, I thought the news item was lacking. It would have been helpful to readers to also learn that the event benefited the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes. It took me 10 seconds to find that out on a search engine here. Also, it’s called a celebrity golf tournament, but no mention of any celebrities attending. Enquiring minds want to know.


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