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ATLANTA — The Valdosta Daily Times won top honors and more than 30 awards in the Georgia Press Association Better Newspaper Contest.

Here is what Dr. Kathleen Toomey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health, said this week, "We have to have transparency — we're continuing to work to improve all of our reporting systems. That is what is going to give us the ability to respond adequately." 

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Narrow restriction of local information about confirmed cases of COVID-19 begs the question: What is the appropriate balance between protecting an individual’s identity and the public’s right to information during a public health crisis?

Sen. Brian Strickland, the governor’s floor leader, sponsored a bill that calls for the General Assembly to be subject to the state’s open government laws. 

ATLANTA — A bill that would broaden the number of cases in which criminal records can be sealed may open a larger conversation about expungement in the state, lawmakers said.

Join the Valdosta Daily Times newsroom each Tuesday at 10 a.m. for Budget Live, a livestream of our news planning meetings. Share news tips. Ask questions. Make suggestions. Interact with reporters in real time. Learn how news coverage is planned and executed. Budget Live is part of our Lift…

The Secretary of State’s office needs to be completely open and transparent about everything that went wrong with the state’s new paper ballot machines during the Tuesday trial run. The state must also be just as open and transparent about what is being done to fix the snafus. 

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VALDOSTA — “Sunshine Laws: A Guide to Open Government in Georgia,” known as the state as "Red Book" has been updated, revised and the sixth edition is now available to the public. 

VALDOSTA — So you think your local government has been illegally meeting in secret or withholding public records. What do you do?

VALDOSTA — Every local government is required to designate a public records custodian and make that person's contact information readily available to the public. 

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