Around Georgia: State’s coyote hunt begins

Contest that offers chances in drawings for kills contradicts bounty policy

The Wildlife Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is hosting its second annual coyote killing contest, reports. Participants in the Coyote Challenge who kill the animal, deemed a nuisance species, earn up to 10 entries in each of three separate prize drawings through August, the paper reports. The contest began March 1. The prize is a lifetime hunting license (or the equivalent of $750 of credit for hunting and fishing licenses or a prize of similar value). The contest contradicts the DNR's own deer management plan, which states the department will "oppose coyote bounty programs because there is no documented scientific evidence indicating that bounty programs temporarily or permanently reduce coyote abundance," the newspaper reports.

House candidate says southwest Georgia needs advocate

Herschel Smith, an Americus native, retired Navy officer and retired airline pilot, announced this week that he'll be running to fill the state House seat being vacated by state Rep. Bill McGowan, D-Americus. "The needs of Southwest Georgia have been subordinated to the Atlanta metropolitan area too long, and we need an aggressive and effective representative to present our concerns," Smith said in a report in The Americus Times-Recorder. Smith spent 25 years in the U.S. Navy and an additional 21 years as a pilot for Southwest Airlines. McGowan, who has announced he is not seeking re-election, represents House District 138, which includes Chattahoochee, Marion, Schley and Sumter counties.

Washington Post columnist: “Hypocrisy has taken fight in Georgia”

A headline for an opinion piece in The Washington Post this week by columnist Karen Tumulty declares that "hypocrisy has taken flight in Georgia." It, of course, refers to the well-publicized threat by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to kill a tax break on jet fuel that would have benefited Delta Air Lines over its decision to cut ties with the National Rifle Association. She labels what Delta did as a business decision, similar to one it made last year in pulling its sponsorship of New York City's Public Theater over the "graphic staging" of a production of "Julius Caesar" featuring a President Donald Trump look-alike in the role of the assassinated ruler of Rome. "There is a reasonable argument to be had over whether that kind of tax break is smart economic development on the state's part or corporate welfare. But Cagle's threat makes it clear that what's really going on here is political retribution, not economic policy," Tumulty writes. "In Georgia, it would seem, a business's First Amendment rights stop at the Second Amendment."

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