(May 18, 1992)
It turned out that powerful state representatives created an education slush fund, used to dole out money to lucky schools within districts of those with some political capital to spend and from who had favor to curry. Gov. Zell Miller’s veto of a “mysterious” $479,479 appropriation in the state budget brought the money out into the light.
“Obviously those of us who aren’t on the Appropriations (Committee) weren’t aware of it,” state Rep. Ron Fennel, D-Brunswick, told the News. “This points to the need for reforms in the budget process.”
State Rep. Willou Smith, R-Sea Island, said she never knew of the fund either.
“The rank-and-file of us legislators have no way of knowing about a lot of things that are put into the budget — particularly 30 minutes before we are to approve it,” Smith said. “When dealing with the tremendous volume of the budget there needs to be a process where everyone is involved (because) right now we are not given enough of an opportunity to review it.”
An estimated $2.3 million went out of the fund to pet projects over the course of six years.
(May 17, 1967)
America’s teenage boys and girls, when asked who was tops to them in the movies, went, somewhat unsurprisingly, to Michael Caine, who was nominated for best actor in the 1966 Academy Awards for his performance in “Alfie.” According to the feature by Nancy Gilbert of Gilbert Youth Research, Caine took 15.9 percent of the teen vote. Richard Burton, perhaps more surprisingly after his turn in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” took second place with 9.4 percent.
According to the piece, “Michael Caine’s acting in ‘Alfie’ won him the approbation Arny Lehmann, 17, of Erie, Mich., who called the foreign star ‘the best of the new breed of English actors.’ In voting for Caine, 18-year-old Joan Feutz of Tacoma, Wash., said that in the above-mindedness of the picture, ‘he played the part the best way possible. You felt hate and love for him at the same time.’
“Richard Burton ‘performed superbly’ in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ and so got the vote of Peggy Manitaras, 16, of Englewood, Colo. But Carol Bush, 16, of Louisville, Ky., thought nobody could possibly top her idol, Elvis Presley. ‘He is,’ she said, ‘a great actor.’”
(May 14-18, 1942)
A civilian volunteer aircraft warning system went active across the coast, with about six stations on duty 24 hours a day, “and all airplanes passing these stations, no matter what type they may be or in what direction they are headed, are reported to a nearby filter center.”
Further, “The most important factor in air defense is speed. This is applied to the three phases of the work — obtaining information, evaluating it and acting upon it.”
Meanwhile, the News’ editors observed:
• “Oh, for the good old days — when all the news wasn’t bad!”
• “Add similes: As bored as the average man attending a board meeting.”
• “Milady’s nightgowns to be shortened, announces government official, and henceforth will be manufactured sans lace and other frills. More grief for the ladies!”
• “The automobile did have its advantage over the parlor as a place for courting. In the automobile there wasn’t any chance of somebody coming in unexpectedly.”
• “Because of the war, cosmetics for women may disappear. It certainly is going to be an awful shock for a girl to sit down at her dressing table and discover that she has run out of eyebrows.”
(May 15-17, 1917)
Folks who like to drink or play a hand of poker — or, gasp, both at the same time — were now under the watchful eye of the Glynn County grand jury.
“It seems that the new grand jury is going to make one of those slow but sure ‘drags’ and will catch a large number of those who have been violating the laws of the state, especially the bone-dry violators,” according to the report. “A grand juror said to a News representative yesterday: ‘I think the present prohibition law is a great mistake, but it is the law and should be enforced.’ He also spoke of the enforcement of the vagrancy law and quite a number who have been loafing all their lives will either have to work or be indicted. Gambling, too, is coming in for a share of the attention of the grand jury.”