A grim realization — and saving our youth: This is supposed to be the time when we celebrate young lives — graduations, college acceptances, kids moving from elementary to middle or middle to high school. But there’s also growing concern as the GBI’s Child Fatality Review Unit reports 18 children have taken their own lives in our state so far this year, equal to this time in 2017. The majority of the suicides were committed by hanging, with firearms as the second most used method. Prevention of youth suicides will continue to be a priority of the Georgia Child Fatality Review Panel in partnership with Voices for Georgia’s Children, Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Georgia Department of Human Services’ Division of Family and Children Services. Those in need of crisis management, who exhibit signs of suicide or identify signs of suicide in others, can call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1-800-715-4225. All calls are free and confidential.
Any trend to advance voter turnout this year? There are some concerns that voter turnout has been low during the first nine days of advance vting for the May 22 primary. With luck, we’ll top 1,000 advance votes by the end of business today in Floyd County. That actually looks about normal for a primary. In the second week of advance voting in May 2016, all of 424 people voted early – and that was a larger local ballot than what we have this year. Then again, on Oct. 24 of that year, 1,148 people voted early — one day — in advance of the November presidential election. Our take: We expect a busier final week of advance voting, especially as the Rome City Center opens as a third site at 8 a.m. Monday. The local judicial race and the tightening gubernatorial races (both sides of the ballot) should do the trick. Voting
Rome — Georgia’s high school title town: Why not? After all, the state high school track and field finals are at Berry College this weekend. The state high school tennis championships will be won on the courts of the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College on Saturday. Later this month, the 4A and 6A high school baseball championships will be decided on the home field of the Rome Braves, State Mutual Stadium (4A on May 21; 6A on May 22). Keep that May 21 date handy as the Cartersville Purple Hurricanes are in the 4A final four (say that fast) starting Tuesday. You know that crowd will travel to State Mutual. Click Hometown Sports. Altogether, that’s a lot of heads-in-beds for the hospitality industry, supplementing all the graduation visitors.