The Triad has gained a new source for political news and public policy commentary, as the John Locke Foundation announced the launch of its new Triad Web site, including its new blog, Piedmont Publius.

The site, which went live on Wednesday, was unveiled just weeks before the John Locke Foundation hosts one of the nation’s leading bloggers at a statewide conference in Greensboro. Scott Johnson of the nationally respected Power Line blog will deliver the keynote speech at Carolina Freedomnet 2006, scheduled Oct. 7 at the Sheraton Greensboro at the Koury Convention Center.

The new Triad site and the Piedmont Publius blog offer access to news updates and political commentary. People in Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, and surrounding Triad communities can offer their own thoughts through the interactive blog comments feature.

“The Triad continues to play a major role in North Carolina’s political and economic life,” said John Hood, president of the Locke Foundation. “We are delighted to be able to offer people in the region a new source of information and analysis. We hope Piedmont Publius will spur principled, spirited debate about the Triad’s future.”

The blogger for Piedmont Publius is Sam Hieb, a Carolina Journal contributing editor who has had his own Greensboro blog,Sam’s Notes, for several years. Piedmont Publius joins the Locke Foundation’s other successful blogs: The Locker Room, a staff-written forum examining a range of issues; The Meck Deck, a blog devoted to issues facing the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region; and Squall Lines, which focuses on Wilmington and southeastern North Carolina.

Bloggers from across the state will converge in Greensboro next month for Carolina FreedomNet 2006. Johnson’s keynote speech, “The 61st Minute: Inside the Eye of Hurricane Dan,” will focus on the role blogs played in exposing a flawed CBS News report involving falsified National Guard documents targeting President Bush.

Panel discussions will also cover the role blogs play in politics and political discourse. “Blogging is perhaps the most revolutionary thing that’s happened in the dissemination of news since the advent of radio and television,” said Jon Ham, JLF vice president for communications.

Carolina FreedomNet 2006 is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 7. Contact the John Locke Foundation at 919-828-3876 or log on to the John Locke events page for more information.

The John Locke Foundation is no stranger to the Triad. The foundation publishes a special regional edition of Carolina Journal, the monthly JLF newspaper. The weekly syndicated newsmagazine, Carolina Journal Radio, is broadcast on WSJS-AM each Saturday afternoon. In 2006, the John Locke Foundation has sponsored Headliner luncheons in the Triad with Weekly Standard editor William Kristol and Wall Street Journal writer Steve Moore.