Back in June, we commended the Lowndes County Board of Education for its decision to not go out of town to conduct annual planning sessions, often known as “retreats.” 

VALDOSTA — Georgia’s Open Records Act allows the public access to almost all documents held by local government. 

VALDOSTA— Public colleges and universities are open to the public. 

VALDOSTA — The Georgia First Amendment Foundation’s Red Book, otherwise known as “Georgia’s Sunshine Laws: A Citizen’s Guide to Open Government,” contains the laws verbatim, reprinted from the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, regarding Georgia’s Open Records Act and Georgia’s Open Meetings Act. 

  • By Terry Richards and Tom Lynn terry.richards@gaflnews.com, tom.lynn@gaflnews.com

VALDOSTA — Legal notices — the backbone of classified ads section in newspapers for generations — carry special importance for local governments.

VALDOSTA — “Meeting” may seem like an obvious word, it can be broken down further under the Georgia’s Open and Public Meetings Law.

VALDOSTA — Georgia's open government legislation begins with these words: “The strong public policy of this state is in favor of open government; that open government is essential to a free, open and democratic society.”

VALDOSTA — The Open Records Act serves as a way to encourage public access to information and confidence in the government through openness to the public.

  • By Daniel DeMersseman daniel.demersseman@gaflnews.com

LAKE PARK — The Lake Park Board of Zoning Appeals violated the state's sunshine laws Monday evening, according to City Clerk Tabatha Fowler.

  • By Daniel DeMersseman daniel.demersseman@gaflnews.com

LAKE PARK, Ga. — The Lake Park City Council will vote on an ordinance to clarify its open records policy at its next meeting.

editor's pick featured
  • By Jill Nolin jill.nolin@gaflnews.com

KENNESAW – Sharon J. Hill says she wasn’t necessarily opposed to the deal Cobb County officials struck with the Atlanta Braves to lure the team away from Atlanta. 

  • By Charles Oliver charlesoliver@daltoncitizen.com​

DALTON, Ga. — Members of the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners say they don't think their annual work session held April 30 at the meeting of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia in Savannah was inappropriate.

editor's pick watchdog

VALDOSTA — A Valdosta State University professor is disputing the amount of money the university has quoted him for satisfying recent open records requests.

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  • By John Stephen john.stephen@gaflnews.com

VALDOSTA — A superior court judge declined to make an immediate ruling Thursday after hearing opposing arguments on whether a gag order in the Tara Grinstead murder case should remain in place or be overturned.

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  • By Jason A. Smith jason.smith@gaflnews.com

VALDOSTA — Members of the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County, along with county government officials and staff, completed an open records and open meetings training session Tuesday.

breaking editor's pick top story

VALDOSTA — Chief Executive Officer Ray Snead is leaving South Georgia Medical Center.

  • By KATE BRUMBACK Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — A lawsuit says a central Georgia court is illegally jailing people and then making it impossible to challenge their convictions by denying them access to their public court records.

  • By Hyde Post

Two years ago, the Georgia First Amendment Foundation honored the state’s Judicial Qualifications Commission for an opinion that strongly discouraged judges from keeping the public out of courtrooms.

  • By Jim Zachary jim.zachary@gaflnews.com  

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. — When he was told charges against him would be dropped, a north Georgia journalist who was jailed after making an open records request thought his legal battles with a local judge might be over.

breaking editor's pick watchdog enterprise featured popular top story
  • By Jim Zachary jim.zachary@gaflnews.com

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. — Mark Thomason was arrested, handcuffed, put in the back of a police cruiser, booked, had his mugshot taken, was strip searched, made to pee in a cup in front of male witnesses, made to shower with other inmates and spent 24 hours in a jail cell.

editor's pick
  • By Jennifer Dandron  jennifer.dandron@gaflnews.com

VALDOSTA, Ga. — Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police members underwent open government training Tuesday. 

  • By Jennifer Dandron  jennifer.dandron@gaflnews.com

VALDOSTA – Valdosta City Councilman Robert Yost, District 6, brought a list of concerns regarding the Hospital Authority of Valdosta Lowndes County before the mayor and city council at the regular city meeting Thursday night. 

Georgia law says, “The General Assembly finds and declares that the strong public policy of this state is in favor of open government.”

We are pleased the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County has admitted to repeated violations of the Georgia Open Meetings Act and is vowing to comply with the law moving forward. 

breaking featured
  • By Jennifer Dandron jennifer.dandron@gaflnews.com

VALDOSTA — The Hospital Authority of Valdosta-Lowndes County agreed to a series of state reprimands Wednesday morning for violations of the Georgia Open Meetings Act.

  • By Jennifer Dandron  jennifer.dandron@gaflnews.com 

VALDOSTA – Valdosta City Councilman Robert Yost, District 6, said he plans on bringing an ordinance to city council demanding the resignation of city appointed members of the Valdosta Lowndes County Hospital Authority within the next month. 

We agree with the Attorney General’s moderate approach to handling violations of the Georgia Open Meetings Act by the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County. 

  • By Jennifer Dandron  jennifer.dandron@gaflnews.com 

VALDOSTA — The State Attorney General’s Office has ordered the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County to pay a $500 civil penalty to the State of Georgia and to participate in an open government training session with the Attorney General’s Office. 

  • By Jennifer Dandron  jennifer.dandron@gaflnews.com 

VALDOSTA — Councilman Robert Yost, District 6, has called for the resignation of every member of the Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County appointed by the city of Valdosta. 

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  • By Jennifer Dandron  jennifer.dandron@gaflnews.com 

VALDOSTA — The Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County said this week it continues to look for ways to repurpose Smith-Northview Hospital after a group of physicians categorically rejected the idea to turn it into a Women and Children’s Center of Excellence. 

  • Staff Reports

VALDOSTA — The Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County has denied any illegal discussions during executive sessions, but said it will clean up its public meeting notices and meeting agendas. 

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