The blog.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for September 15, 2017


Kade is a young male Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from Praying For Paws Inc McDonough, GA.


Juice is a young male Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Butts County Animal Control Jackson, GA.


Ashton is a young male Plott Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Butts County Animal Control Jackson, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 15, 2017

James Oglethorpe arrived at Augusta on September 12, 1739, 277 years ago today.

The Second Continental Congress opened in Philadelphia on September 13, 1775; Georgia was represented by Archibald Bulloch, Lyman Hall,  John Houstoun, and John Zubly.

French troops arrived near Savannah to prepare for a siege against British forces there on September 12, 1779.

On September 13, 1788, the Confederation Congress voted to implement the Constitution and authorized states to elect Senators and Representatives and called the first Presidential election, with selection of presidential electors in the states to be held on January 7, 1789, and February 4, 1789 as the day electors would cast their ballots.

Francis Scott Key composed the lyrics to “The Star Spangled Banner” on September 14, 1814.

On September 15, 1831, Dr. Samuel Worcester and Dr. Elizur Butler – missionaries – were tried in a Lawrenceville courtroom for living as white people among the Cherokee and refusing to take an oath of loyalty to Georgia, convicted and sentenced to hard labor. Some historians refer to this case, which went to the United States Supreme Court on appeal, as the beginning of the events that led to the forced removal of the Cherokee people from Georgia on the “Trail of Tears.”

HMS Beagle, carrying Charles Darwin, arrived at the Gallapagos Islands on September 15, 1835.

On September 14, 1885, Georgia Governor Henry McDaniel signed legislation granting up to 200 acres in Fulton and DeKalb Counties to the federal government to be used in the constuction of Fort McPherson, which was named after Union Maj. Gen. James McPherson, who was killed in the Battle of Atlanta in 1864.

On September 14, 1901, President William McKinley died of an infection from gunshot wounds suffered eight days earlier.

On September 15, 1904, Wilbur Wright made the first in-flight turn in an airplane.

The first two women to enter the Georgia General Assembly, Viola Ross Napier of Bibb County and Atlanta Constitution reporter Bessie Kempton of Fulton County, were elected on September 13, 1922.

Early on the morning of September 15, 1963, a bomb exploded in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls.

On September 15, 1996, the Texas Rangers retired #34 in honor of the most dominant pitcher in professional baseball history, Nolan Ryan.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia Power reported outages of more than 950,000 customers. Their twitter profile says they serve 2.5 million customers. Math tells me they had nearly 40% of customers offline at the height of the outages. Because of the company’s statewide footprint, you can just think of that as being roughly 35-40% of Georgia without electric power in order to get a sense of the scale of the outages. The latest is that the company has restored service to 920,000 customers, with about 75,000 remaining offline.

Georgia Power also warned about post-hurricane scams.

In a news release Thursday, the company stated it wanted to make customers aware of potential scams during the statewide recovery from Hurricane Irma. The company offers the following tips to avoid scams and fraud.

• Georgia Power will not offer to expedite power restoration for an additional fee.

• Georgia Power will not refuse to reconnect service to customers impacted by Hurricane Irma due to a past due bill and demand payment prior to re-connection. The company will work with customers who are behind on payments or need to make payment arrangements through its usual customer service process.

Customers can check the status of outages, sign up for outage alerts and get safety tips at Customers can report and check the status of an outage 24 hours a day by contacting Georgia Power at 888-891-0938.

An Arkansas lineman working to restore electricity in Georgia was electrocuted earlier this week and is in serious condition.

Marshal Freeman is in serious condition after he was nearly electrocuted Wednesday night.

Freeman was working in the 200 block of West Society Avenue with Southern Electric Corporation, an electrical company out of Fullwood, Mississippi when the incident happened.

Ocilla Police said Freeman was working on the power lines when he was shocked.

Southern Electrical Corporation has been helping Georgia Power restore electricity to the area.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the injured employee,” said Lynn Lovett, the area manager for Georgia Power.

Lovett said safety is a top priority.

“Our jobs are dangerous and that’s why initially when the storm blew through on Monday we could not even start work because it wasn’t safe,” explained Lovett. “We don’t want to rush. We want to get customers back on, but we need to do it safely.”

The Irwin County coroner said Wednesday night that Freeman was alive, but he was taken to the Augusta Burn Unit for his injuries.

Governor Nathan Deal surveyed damage from Hurricane Irma yesterday and viewed coastal areas by helicopter.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 11, 2017

911 memorial 2

I was in my car that morning, on the way to my job when I heard on the radio of the first plane hitting. The announcers thought at first that it must be a small plane and likely an accident. Seventeen minutes later all doubt vanished as the second hit. Over the next hour, a third plane hit the Pentagon and a fourth went down in a field in Pennsylvania. We watched on television as the towers burned, then collapsed.

Shortly afterwards, the Family Room opened in a nearby tower to provide a place for loved ones to grieve out of the public eye.

The Family Room opened in April 2002 in space donated by Brookfield Office Properties, the owners of 1 Liberty Plaza, across Church Street from the trade center site. By presenting what was known as a medical examiner’s family identification card, victims’ relatives were admitted during regular workdays and at night, on weekends and on holidays.

On the 20th floor, behind a door marked “The Family Room,” relatives could settle into ample leather couches or stand at windows 15 and 20 feet wide. The room was intended for “quiet contemplation,” said a 2002 notice from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which created and maintained the space, just a few doors down from its own headquarters and those of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation.

When the Family Room at 1 Liberty Plaza was replaced this summer by a new private gathering space in the National September 11 Memorial Museum pavilion, the [New York] State Museum and the memorial museum painstakingly documented the older room, and the State Museum acquired what contents family members themselves did not choose to reclaim.

There are materials in the Family Room collection related to about 1,000 victims, Mr. Schaming said, or roughly one-third of all casualties that day. “It is the most singular collection of the faces of people who were killed on 9/11,” he said.

A monument on Long Island to victims of 9-11 will include the names of 582 people who later died of conditions related to the aftermath of the attacks.

A separate plaque will have the names of 582 police officers, firefighters, construction workers, cleanup volunteers and others who spent time in the rubble of the World Trade Center in the days or months after the attacks and, years later, died of a variety of causes that they, their families or their doctors suspected were linked to toxic ash and smoke at the site. There will be room to add more names.

“I think what the town of Hempstead is doing is nothing short of honorable,” said John Feal, a longtime advocate for 9/11 responders with health problems. “People who lost a loved one to illness suffer just like someone lost on that day. Hopefully this will offer some ease and comfort to them.”

In May, officials at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum announced plans to set aside a commemorative space at the World Trade Center to honor rescue and recovery workers.

New York’s police and fire departments also have memorials for personnel who have died of illnesses since Sept. 11. A 9/11 memorial in Staten Island recently added a plaque with the names of residents there who have died of illnesses.

Feal’s charitable organization also maintains a memorial wall to 9/11 responders in Nesconset, New York.

One day after Perry’s victory in the Battle of Lake Erie, American Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough led American forces in the Battle of Plattsburg at Lake Champlain, New York on September 11, 1813.

The Union Army began evacuating civilians from Atlanta via Lovejoy’s Station on September 11, 1864.

Georgia-born Ty Cobb took his last at-bat on September 11, 1928.

After a week-long Presidential campaign swing through ten states, former Governor Jimmy Carter returned to Plains on September 11, 1976.

On September 11, 1985, Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb’s career hit record, notching number 4,192 against the San Diego Padres.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal has declared an emergency for all of Georgia and the Georgia State Capitol is closed today and tomorrow.

For up-to-date information on hurricane Irma, visit the Georgia Emergency Management Agency website.

Georgia EMCs report more than 146,000 customers without power as of 10 AM today.

Approximately 146,000 customers are without power at the present time, up from 31,000 earlier today.

The numbers have increased as the weather continues to pound the state and produce tropical storm-force winds that are blowing trees and other debris on power lines. Winds, ranging from 40 to 60 mph, are wreaking havoc on the electric infrastructure and causing severe damage especially in south, southeast and southwest Georgia.

Anticipating significant property damage and outages as a result of the storm, EMCs have been in discussions with states east of a line from Texas to Wisconsin to make plans for crew movements. Likewise cooperatives are working with EMCs within Georgia and may be able to move crews from EMCs that are least impacted to ones that are most impacted.

EMC customers should contact their local EMC to report power outages.

Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state’s 41 EMCs, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp.  Collectively, the 42 customer-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to 4.4 million people, nearly half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area.

Georgia Power has 3400 workers positioned to respond to electrial outages due to hurricane Irma.

Georgia Power officials said Sunday night that they have 3,400 personnel positioned to respond to what are expected to be extensive power outages caused by Hurricane Irma, which will affect Georgia starting late [Sunday night].

Georgia Power officials said all of its resources have been held to respond to storm restoration in Irma’s wake.

“Once the storm leaves affected areas, the company must wait until conditions are safe for damage assessment teams to enter the field and begin the restoration process, followed by repair crews, which could take several days, if not weeks, depending on the amount of damage and safe access to the area,” Georgia Power officials said. “As weather conditions improve, restoration efforts will accelerate, but it could take an extended period of time for all customers to be restored.”

Georgia Power has asked for help from other utilities through a mutual assistance network, but officials said those resources have been assigned to harder-hit areas in Florida before Georgia.

Savannah Memorial Hospital evacuated 45 babies from their neonatal ICU.

In advance of Hurricane Irma 45 babies from Savannah Memorial Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit evacuated to several Georgia hospitals. Fifteen of the babies were transported via ambulance and helicopter to Navicent Health in Macon.

Dr. Mitch Rodriguez is the Medical Director of the NICU. He said, “Some of our patients that came were relatively stable, just completing their hospitalization. Some of them were relatively critical in the sense that they were either post-surgical and/or still on the ventilator or on a significant amount of support.”

Rene Gunner is in the Macon NICU with her daughter, Quinn, who was born at 26 weeks. Gunner said, “You don’t even want to be in this situation, but things have just kind of lined up for us, and so we’re incredibly grateful and thankful for all the blessings because I consider this a blessing, coming to Macon.”

Augusta University Medical Center also welcomed 12 newborns from Savannah.

Augusta University Medical Center is continuing to take in patients from the coastal areas, including 12 Neonatal patients from Savannah.

There were a couple steps nurses had to take before sending the babies off from Savannah.

“We had to make sure they were medically cleared to go, copied all of their charts, made sure their parents were aware, got consent from them to come up and made sure all the parents had accommodations once they got here,” said [Lauren] Brooks.

A few nurses from Savannah also made the trip to Augusta.

“We have different hurricane teams, I’m on team C which I’m here in Augusta I’m taking care of babies,” said Brooks.

Other infant patients were evacuated to Atlanta hospitals.

Facilities like Northside Hospital and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta have begun to take in infant patients from south Georgia.  Northside Hospital’s Atlanta and Forsyth campuses, for example, say they’ve opened their doors to 11 infants.

According to a spokesperson with the hospital, 11 babies from the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit at Memorial Health Hospital in Savannah arrived with their parents on Friday.

In all, the Georgia Department of Public Health facilitated moving a total of 59 infants on life support–from hospitals in the Savannah area to other hospitals in metro Atlanta and the rest of Georgia that are not expected to be impacted by hurricane-force winds.

Patrick O’Neal, M.D. is the Commissioner of Georgia DPH, and explained that the young infants, many of them premature, each had to travel inside a mobile ICU called an isolette to survive the hours-long evacuation.

“It will allow almost like a cocooning of the baby, so that it can be moved, very safely, maintaining all those requirements that the baby would have had in the original hospital,” Dr. O’Neal said.

Georgia DPH has activated its emergency operation center–part of GEMA’s state operations center–helping coordinate hospital evacuations across the state and making sure shelters for thousands of evacuees are staffed with doctors and nurses, and equipped with cots and necessary supplies.

Qualifying for Special Elections has been postponed for State House Districts 42 (Stacey Evans), 89 (Stacey Abrams), 117 (Regina Quick), 119 (Chuck Williams), and State Senate Districts 6 (Hunter Hill) and 39 (Vincent Fort).

Given the expected impact Hurricane Irma will have on the state of Georgia, the qualifying period for House Districts 42, 89, 117, 119 and Senate Districts 6 and 39 shall be postponed pursuant to Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 21-2-50.1).

The new qualifying period shall be Wednesday, September 13, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday, September 14, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Friday, September 15, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Secretary of State’s Office (2 MLK Jr. Drive SE, Suite 802 West Tower, Atlanta, GA 30334).

Additionally, voters are encouraged to take the following steps to ensure they are prepared for the upcoming elections as several county election offices are temporarily closing in preparation for Hurricane Irma.

“I want voters to be prepared for Election Day ahead of this storm,” said Secretary of State Brian Kemp. “My office is encouraging voters in affected counties to use these steps if they have any questions about their voter registration status.”

Six candidates qualified for a special election in Roswell City Council Post 3.

George Vail is running for the seat, which has been vacated by Donald Horton, who is running for the office of mayor.

Vail is one if six candidates who’ve qualified to serve out Horton’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2019. The other candidates running in the Nov. 7 special election are Hanny Alexander, Bassem Fakhoury, Sean A. Groer, Mike Nyden and Joe Piontek.

Former Governor Roy Barnes is among the lawyers filing a class action lawsuit against Equifax.

A team of lawyers, including former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, has filed a class-action lawsuit against Equifax over the massive data breach that has compromised the personal information of more than 140 million U.S. consumers.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta faults Equifax for “gargantuan failures to secure and safeguard consumers’ personally identifiable information … and for failing to provide timely, accurate and adequate notice” to consumers that such sensitive material had been stolen.

The Atlanta case calls Equifax reckless in its handling of consumers’ data, and also said the company failed to disclose why there was more than a month’s delay in making the breach public. It cites the sale of stock by three executives days after Equifax learned of the breach, but weeks before the company alerted consumers to the cyber theft.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for September 11, 2017


Buttercup is a young female Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from Clayton County Humane Society in Jonesboro, GA.

Buttercup was adopted as a young puppy and when the family decided they wanted to travel they returned her to our shelter. She is super sweet and always has a smile on her face. She loves everyone and gets along great with other small dogs.


Quinn is a male Dachshund mix puppy who is available for adoption from Clayton County Humane Society in Jonesboro, GA.

He will require lots of hands-on to help train him how to be a well adjusted dog. He loves to run and play and would do best in a home with a fenced in yard. Quinn weighs 10 pounds.


Dolly is a young female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Clayton County Humane Society in Jonesboro, GA.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for September 8, 2017

Our friends at Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah are evacuating 85 cats and dogs, including the following sweet Boxer mix puppies. Today would be a great day to donate online to them. They should have immediate access to your donation to allow them to pay for whatever it takes to get to safety.

Please click here to donate online to Coastal Pet Rescue.


Bridget is a seven-week old Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue from Savannah, GA.

King Gristle

King Gristle is a male seven-week old Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue from Savannah, GA.


Fuzzbert is a male seven-week old Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue from Savannah, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 8, 2017

The Continental Congress renamed their new nation the United States of America, from the previously used “United Colonies” on September 9, 1776.

An American fleet of nine ships under the command of Captain Oliver Hazard Perry routed a British fleet in the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813.

After the battle, Perry sent a famous dispatch to U.S. General William Henry Harrison that read, “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.” The Battle of Lake Erie forced the British to abandon Detroit, ensuring U.S. control over Lake Erie and the territorial northwest.

Years later, Pogo, Georgia’s Official State Possum, would paraphrase Perry’s dispatch.

Pogo Enemy

And eventually, Pogo’s statement that, “We have met the enemy and he is us” would become the official slogan of the Georgia Republican Party.

On September 7, 1864, General William T. Sherman sent a letter to his Confederate counterpart, General John Bell Hood, offering to transport civilians out of Atlanta for their safety.

The Georgia General Assembly appropriated $1 million for construction of a new State Capitol on September 8, 1883.

The Fulton County Courthouse was dedicated on September 8, 1914.

On September 9, 1933, WSB Radio in Atlanta was upgraded to broadcasting via 50,000 watt transmitter. The first broadcast included Will Rogers and a letter from President Roosevelt.

On September 9, 1939, an audience at the Fox Theater in Riverside, California watched a preview of Gone With the Wind.

The first actual computer bug was identified on September 9, 1947, when Grace Hopper removed a moth from an electrical relay in the Harvard Mark II computer. Hopper received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from Yale in 1934 and attained the rank of Rear Admiral, Lower Half in the United Stated Navy. USS Hopper (DDG-70) was named after her.

On September 9, 1954, Marvin Griffin won the Democratic Primary election over Melvin Thompson.

Elvis Presley first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on September 9, 1956.

The Professional Football Hall of Fame opened on September 7, 1963 in Canton, Ohio.

On September 8, 1966, viewers of the Star Trek debut first heard the monologue opening, “Space, the final frontier…”

On Sept. 8, one of the most enduring franchises in TV and movie history celebrates its 50th birthday. Star Trek debuted on NBC in 1966, developed by Roddenberry, a former Los Angeles cop who wanted to make a TV series which could sneak past the rampant escapism of most programs back then.

At a time when scripted TV rarely dealt directly with the turbulence of the times, Star Trek set its social messages against a space opera backdrop. Swashbuckling Captain Kirk ran the Enterprise, backed by cerebral first officer Mr. Spock and emotional Southern medical officer Dr. Leonard McCoy.

On the surface, the show’s plots dealt with exotic alien worlds in a future where space travel was commonplace. But Roddenberry and his writers slipped in subtle messages.

One classic story pointed out the absurdity of racism by depicting a war among members of an alien race, where one faction was colored black on the left side of their face and body and white on the right. The other faction had the colors reversed.

And as the end of state-sanctioned segregation rattled America, Roddenberry featured TV’s first interracial kiss: Aliens forced Captain Kirk to smooch his African American communications officer Lt. Uhura.

President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon on September 8, 1974 for“all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.”

Future Atlanta resident Curtis Mayfield saw his song, “Superfly” turn gold on September 7, 1972.

On September 7, 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed the Panama Canal Treaty, which promised to turn over control of the canal to Panama by 2000.

On September 10, 1991, Senate confirmation hearings began for Georgia-born Clarence Thomas, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush (41) to the United States Supreme Court.

Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit was released as a single on September 10, 1991.

Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin on September 7, 1998.

On September 10, 2002, the Atlanta Braves clinched an eleventh straight division title without playing, as a loss by the Philadelphia Phillies assured the Braves the title.

On Saturday, we wish a happy 75th birthday to former Congressman John Linder. Linder served in the State House from 1974-1980 and 1982-90. In 1990 he ran unsuccessfully for Congress against incumbent Democrat Ben Jones; in 1992, after redistricting, Linder was elected to Congress from the 7th District and served until his retirement after the 2010 election.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal yesterday declared a State of Emergency covering six Georgia counties, later expanding it to cover 30 counties.

Following a recommendation from Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) officials and local Emergency Management Agencies, Gov. Nathan Deal is expanding his emergency declaration to include 24 additional counties, with a total of 30 counties now included in a state of emergency. Deal also issued a mandatory evacuation order for all areas east of I-95, all of Chatham County and some areas west of I-95 that could be impacted by potential storm surge from Hurricane Irma. The executive order also authorized up to 5,000 Georgia National Guard members to be on state active duty to support Hurricane Irma response and recovery. The state of emergency prohibits price gouging for all goods and services related to the storm. Read the executive order here.

“The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Irma,” said Deal. “I encourage all Georgians in our coastal areas that could be impacted by this storm to evacuate the area as soon as possible. Beginning Saturday, a mandatory evacuation order will take effect for Chatham County, all areas east of I-95 and some areas west of I-95 that could be impacted by this catastrophic hurricane and storm surge. GEMA/HS continues leading our preparedness efforts as we coordinate with federal, state and local officials to safely evacuate the coastal areas, provide public shelter and minimize the disruption of traffic. Finally, I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in Hurricane Irma’s path.”

The 30 counties under a state of emergency are: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Clinch, Coffee, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Jenkins, Jeff Davis, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Pierce, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, Wayne and Ware Counties.

At 10 AM, Gov. Deal will hold a press conference to discuss storm preparations. You can watch the live stream here.

This weekend in Georgia, you may run into folks who are part of the evacuation. They will cause traffic delays, possible shortages, and jean shorts. Please treat them with the grace you would wish for if you were forced from your home.

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Lisa Branch has been nominated to a seat on the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

President Trump intends to nominate Judge Elizabeth L. “Lisa” Branch, of Atlanta, to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta. Branch has served as the 77th Judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals since September 4, 2012.

For the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, President Trump intends to nominate R. Stan Baker of St. Simons Island, Georgia, where he has served as magistrate judge for the same district since February 3, 2015.

“I applaud the president’s choices and look forward to working with these excellent judges as the confirmation process moves forward in the Senate,” said Senator Isakson.

“Once again President Trump has nominated two impressive Georgians to fill judicial vacancies in Georgia,” said Senator Perdue.

“I look forward to working through the Senate confirmation process with Lisa Branch on her nomination to a Georgia-based seat on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and Stan Baker on his nomination to be a judge in the Southern District of Georgia.”

The Senate Study Committee on Georgians’ Barriers to Access to Care will meet on Monday at 10 AM in Room 310 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building.

Georgia Ports are closing ahead of Hurricane Irma.

With some 40 ships scheduled to call on Garden City and Ocean terminals between Friday morning and Tuesday night, advance planning is critical, Witt said.

“Typically by this point, most ships are in storm avoidance mode, either delaying transit or changing routes,” he said, adding that ships under power are usually safer riding out a storm at sea.

At GPA’s Savannah terminals, truck gates will close at 6 p.m. Friday with operations ceasing around midnight and the last ship sailing on the high tide before dawn Saturday, according to GPA executive director Griff Lynch.

Gates at Colonel’s Island and Mayor’s Point terminals in Brunswick will close at 5 p.m. Friday.

“The safety of our employees and partners in the maritime community is our highest priority,” Lynch said, adding that operations will be restored as soon as it is safely possible.

“Our terminals in Savannah and Brunswick play a vital role in customer supply lines,” he said. “After the hurricane passes, we are committed to assessing any damage and getting our ports back up and running as quickly as possible.”

Rev. Jentezen Franklin of Gainesville’s Free Chapel talked about lobbying President Trump for DACA.

Franklin said he hopes the approximately 800,000 people involved in the program are not deported.

“I can tell you now that I believe … and the other ministers that are there, the black pastors and Hispanic pastors and those of us who pastor to multicultural churches,” Franklin said. “We were basically saying, ‘We’re in the trenches.’ I know these kids; they’ve been in my home. I know these kids; they’ve been in my children’s ministry, my youth ministry. I love these kids — these are great kids. We pleaded passionately with the president that we have got to find a pathway.”

He said that he believed Trump would sign a bill granting amnesty for DACA residents if Congress sent one to his desk. People covered by DACA are often called “Dreamers” — an acronym referencing the failed Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act first introduced in 2001.

Franklin’s discussions with Trump were reported by The Washington Post on Monday. He’s one of several pastors on Trump’s evangelical advisory council.

If the residents here illegally do end up getting deported, Franklin said he wouldn’t resign from Trump’s faith council.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Presence is everything,’ when he was asked, ‘Why are you going to the White House?’ He said presence is everything,” Franklin said. “(If I wasn’t on) that board, I wouldn’t have been able to look across the table there, the desk in the Oval Office, and have this very conversation that I’m having for you.”

Franklin said that if “you’re not at the table, you can’t argue the points.”

“If he chooses not to listen, he chooses not to listen, but you know, you don’t resign from a board — at least I don’t — every time somebody does something you don’t agree with,” Franklin said. “The president has done (several) things that I didn’t agree with, but I can’t influence that world if I’m not in it. I didn’t ask other pastors who served on President Obama’s board to resign — I wanted them there.”

Snellville Mayor Tom Witts has been indicted on 66 charges, of which 65 are felonies.

Valdosta and Lowndes County have adopted emergency ordinances to discourage “price gouging” during the evacuation.

The declaration states Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency activates both the emergency operations plan and ordinance 04-1265, which prohibits the overcharging for goods, materials, services and housing during an emergency, better known as “price gouging.”

While some prices could increase based on supply and demand, price gouging is when prices are raised above the legally allowed margin solely because of an emergency, according to officials.

Since the beginning of the week, Lowndes County has observed a shortage of gasoline, bottled water and other supplies while Florida residents make their way north to escape Hurricane Irma.

“With I-75 coming out of the middle of Florida, there is certainly going to be a lot of traffic coming up,” Lowndes County Commission Chairman Bill Slaughter said during a press conference Thursday. “It’s going to be extremely important to protect those evacuating (from price gouging). They’re going to be needing to buy gas and food.”

The City of Columbus is opening a 220-bed shelter for storm evacuees.

The mayor’s office confirmed that a 220-bed shelter will be opened at Frank D. Chester Recreation Center at 1441 Benning Drive to help house evacuees from Florida and the affected areas of the Georgia coast as Hurricane Irma approaches the mainland.

If the shelter fills up, another shelter could be opened at the Roy Martin Center in Russell County, said Candace Poole, 2-1-1 Manager at United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley.

Poole also said that people can find housing resources by dialing 211 or by texting “31902 IRMA” to the number 898211.

Evacuees have already booked nearly every hotel room in Georgia, including those in Columbus. Columbus State University will host more than 130 students from Armstrong State University after the university announced an emergency closure.

Campaigns and Elections

Cumming City Council Post 2 member Quincy Holton drew an opponent for his reelection to the seat he was first elected to in 1969.

Holton, the longest-serving member of the City Council, will face a challenger for the seat this year from local businessman Jason Evans. Holton said the city has changed a lot since he took office but that he wants to continue serving its residents.

“I’ve been in office quite a while, and when I went in we only had about a $15,000-a-year budget, and today we have about $29 million, almost $30 million for the budget,” Holton said. “Also, I’d like to keep the ad valorem tax off so we don’t have to pay it, and I like to work for the people; that’s what I’m in there for.”

Mayor H. Ford Gravitt, who was first elected to his seat in 1970, will face challenger Troy Brumbalow, a local businessman. Post 1 Councilman Chuck Welch, who took office in 2015 to fill the unexpired term of predecessor Rupert Sexton, will be challenged by Chad Crane, a project manager.

The election will be held on Nov. 7, and three weeks of advance voting will be held 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays between Oct. 16 and Nov. 3. All voting will take place at City Hall.

The candidate with the most votes in each race will be elected, and no run-off will be held if a candidate gets less than 50 percent of votes plus one vote, as is the case in Forsyth County and other municipalities.

Qualifying has been set for the following Special Elections:

HD 42 (formerly Stacey Evans)

HD 89 (formerly Stacey Abrams)

HD 117 (formerly Regina Quick)

HD 119 (formerly Chuck Williams)

SD 6 (formerly Hunter Hill)

SD 39 (formerly Vincent Fort)

Qualifying for the special election shall be held in the Elections Division of the Office of Secretary of State, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, 802 West Tower, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.

The dates and hours of qualifying will be Monday, September11, 2017 beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m.; Tuesday, September 12, 2017 beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m.; and Wednesday, September 13, 2017 beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 1:00 p.m. The qualifying fee shall be $400.00.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 is the last day to register to vote for all persons who are not registered to vote and who desire to vote in the special election. Advance in-person absentee voting will begin on Monday,October 16, 2017.

Steven Strickland announced he will run for State House District 119 in the Special Election, with his party affiliation to be chosen later.

A third Oconee County resident recently announced he will seek the State House of Representatives District 119 seat that was vacated when Chuck Williams resigned to become the director of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

Steven Strickland of Bishop said Wednesday he will wait until he qualifies to announce his party affiliation.

Republican candidates Tom Lord and Marcus Wiedower have already announced they intend to run in a special election in November. During the same election, a candidate will also fill the House District 117 seat vacated by Regina Quick, who was appointed as judge of the Western Judicial Circuit.

Republican Bryan Dobbs announced he will run in House District 19 against incumbent State Rep. Paulette Rakestraw. From the press release:

Dallas,​ ​Ga.​ ​–​ ​Bryan Dobbs, owner of local business Dobbs Defense and community advocate, formally announced his candidacy for Georgia House of Representatives District 19 on Sept. 8, 2017.

The people of District 19 deserve honest diligent representation. Bryan Dobbs wants to put Paulding first by improving the confidence and integrity of the office and give the people a strong voice.

This is Dobbs’ first run for public office. The government faces many challenges, to include tax reform, wasteful spending, second amendment rights and public safety.

The community of District 19 wants to see action. Bryan Dobbs humbly asks the people for an opportunity to serve them.

To find out more about the campaign, visit

Bruce McPherson, running against incumbents Democratic Congressman Sanford Bishop (Albany) campaigned in Cordele.

Pam Tucker kicked off her 2018 campaign for Chair of the Columbia County Commission.

Nearly 50 volunteers gathered for a campaign kickoff meeting and dinner in support of Pam Tucker, the longtime emergency services director in Columbia and Richmond counties, on Thursday night.

Tucker, who is running for the position of Columbia County Commission Chair, discussed and coordinated different duties ranging from installing and collecting yard signs to making phone calls and knocking on doors.

“Tonight kicks everything off, then we will start doing our big fundraiser in October,” Tucker said. “Then, after that, we’ve got fashion show fundraisers, and all kinds of ideas and wonderful things that we are going to be doing.”

Tucker said she plans to run on a platform promoting transparency and uniting the county through collaboration. Other than her “Tucker Time” supporter chant, Tucker said she embraces her slogan that she will “bring fresh air and sunshine back to Columbia County.”

To date, current county commissioner Doug Duncan and small business owner Mark Herbert have also submitted declarations of intent to run for the county commission seat currently held by Ron Cross. Cross has not announced whether or not he plans to seek re-election.

The primary election will take place May 22.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for September 6, 2017


Piccolo is a young female Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, GA.


Bear is a male Shepherd mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, GA.


Rebel is a male Hound mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 6, 2017

The Mayflower left Plymouth, England for a voyage to America on September 6, 1620.

President William McKinley was shot on September 6, 1901. He is buried in Canton, Ohio, not far from the Professional Football Hall of Fame.

Alonzo Herndon founded the Atlanta Life Insurance Company on September 6, 1905, one of Georgia’s great success stories.

The first supermarket, a Piggly Wiggly, opened on September 6, 1916 in Memphis, Tennessee.

On September 6, 1941, Margaret Mitchell christened the cruiser USS Atlanta – Atlanta would later sink after being hit by 50 shells and a torpedo during the Battle of Guadalcanal.

The Summerhill Race Riot broke out in Atlanta on September 6, 1966.

Former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter returned to the Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia, on September 6, 1976 to kick off the final phase of his presidential campaign.

On September 6, 2014, USS John Warner (SSN-785), a mighty Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine, was christened at Newport News Shipbuilding. Big John calls Naval Station Norfolk its homeport. USS John Warner was commissioned on August 1, 2015 at Norfolk Naval Station.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal issued yet another Writ of Election, scheduling a November 7, 2017 Special Election in State House District 42, to fill the vacancy caused by Stacey Evans, who resigned in order to run for Governor.

“Citizen Newt,” an authorized biography of the former U.S. House Speaker, was released last week.

An authorized biography spanning two decades from the 1970s to the 1990s, “Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative” explores how Newt Gingrich, a twice-failed nominee to Georgia’s sixth district of the House of Representatives, rose in influence in American politics, becoming one of the most significant conservative politicians.

When Newt Gingrich became a representative of Georgia’s sixth district in 1979 – the first Republican to ever be elected there – he came on a platform of cleaning up the corruption reeking the political world. In doing so, with concurrence with fellow outsider Reagan, Gingrich rose to popularity, winning the next nine congressional elections.

In the span of 20 years, Gingrich went from outsider to Minority Whip, to coauthoring the Contract with America in 1994, a promise to the nation among the Republican Party congressmen.

“Newt’s influence on American politics has not waned over the decades,” [author Craig] Shirley said.  “He was instrumental both as an adviser to Donald Trump in 2016 and continues to define the political landscape through his books, op-eds, videos and media appearances.  Very few have been as successful.”

Cherokee County School District Superintendent Brian Hightower sent a message that employees should refrain from sharing political views after a teacher was seen upbraiding students for wearing “Make America Great Again” t-shirts.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for September 5, 2017


Layla is a young female Whippet puppy who is available for adoption from Animal Ark in Columbus, GA.


Carmen is a young female Hound mix who is available for adoption from Animal Ark in Columbus, GA. Though Carmen had a rough life, she is said to be an angel of a dog.

Carmen is a very calm and gentle soul that adores getting pets from her humans. Carmen is a very smart cookie and LOVES food puzzles and anything to keep her little brain busy. An ideal home for Carmen would have a loving family, a cozy dog bed, and lots of Kong toys and food puzzles top play with. She is now all healed up and ready for a forever home! Carmen has been a volunteer favorite for our outings program. Carmen has been on both sleep-overs and doggy dates.

Here’s what the shelter volunteers have to say: “Carmen is very curious and fascinated by everything around her. She LOVES walks, belly rubs, and running. During her sleep-over she didn’t bark at all, never jumped on furniture, or got into any mischief. She is a very sweet girl.”


Watson is a young male American Bulldog puppy who is available for adoption from Animal Ark in Columbus, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 5, 2017

On September 5, 1774, the Continental Congress convened for the first time at Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia; delegates attended from all the colonies except Georgia.

The Heart of Atlanta Motel opened at 255 Courtland Street in downtown Atlanta on September 5, 1956. It included a three-story diving platform reached by spiral stairs and a pool large enough to hold a ski boat. African-Americans were not allowed at the Heart of Atlanta. [Photos © Georgia State University]

heart of atlanta

After passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned racial discrimination in interstate commerce, the Heart of Atlanta’s owner sued the federal government, asserting that the Act was an overly broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.

The resulting decision by the United States Supreme Court upheld the Act, finding that Congress was within its authority to ban racial discrimination in businesses affecting interstate commerce.

Atlanta Time Machine has a webpage with interesting images of the Motel.

On September 5, 1969, United States Army Lieutenant William Calley was charged with murder in connection with the deaths of 109 Vietnamese civilians at My Lai. An Army inquiry listed 30 people who knew of the event and charges were filed against 14; Calley was the only conviction. Later, President Nixon paroled Calley. From 1975 to 2005 or 2006, Calley lived and worked in Columbus, Georgia, before moving to Atlanta. In 2009, Calley apologized for the events at My Lai while speaking to a meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Columbus.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal issued a writ of election, scheduling a November 7, 2017 Special Election for House District 89, which was vacated by Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta), who is running for Governor in 2018. Gov. Deal previously issued writs of election for Special Elections on November 7, 2017 in House District 89 (formerly Stacey Abrams), House District 117 (formerly Regina Quick), and House District 119 (formerly Chuck Williams).

The Democratic/Media Outrage Machine continues to churn against State Rep. Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine).

A coalition that includes the ACLU’s Georgia chapter and the Georgia NAACP issued a statement Thursday calling Spencer’s comments “dangerous” and called on House Speaker David Ralston to remove him from the Game, Fish & Parks committee.

“If Rep. Spencer keeps refusing to retract and apologize for his remarks,” the coalition said in a statement, “Georgia lawmakers should demand his resignation from the Georgia General Assembly.”

Both Democratic candidates for governor – state Rep. Stacey Evans and former state Rep. Stacey Abrams – have condemned Spencer. Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said Spencer’s remarks were “worthy of censure.”

Some have also urged police involvement. Nita Chaudhary of UltraViolet, a women’s rights group, called on state law enforcement officials to investigate Spencer. And Vincent Fort, a former state senator who is running for Atlanta mayor, said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation should probe the comments.

“When I got a threat like that, I called the GBI,” he said. “That kind of threat warrants it.”

The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus asked the GBI to investigate.

State Sen. Lester Jackson, the caucus chairman, said state Rep. Jason Spencer’s “behavior cannot and will not be accepted or tolerated” and urged the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to probe “the threat of physical violence ” from the lawmaker.

A GBI spokeswoman said the agency had not yet opened an investigation.

Conyers voters will get a sneak peek at what could be a new voting system for Georgia.

Express Vote machines will get a trial run in the Conyers mayoral race this November.

“The pilot program in November addresses some concerns that have been raised about the state’s machines,” says Dr. William Boone, a political science professor at Clark Atlanta University.

Rockdale County Elections Director Cynthia Welch told CBS46, “If all goes well, the state will probably ask for legislation where we can test the system statewide.”

“Here, you’re getting a verifiable trail,” says Boone. “So it does address a part of the problem. It is certainly an improvement over what presently exists.”

So far, from what he’s seen, Dr. Boone says the Express Vote system is moving Georgia in the right direction.

CBS46 has also learned that in the next couple of weeks, Rockdale County will be doing voter education and demonstrating the system in senior centers and nursing homes.

From the AJC:

“Purchasing a new voting system is no small matter,” said Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, whose office is coordinating the pilot program with Rockdale County election officials. “This is a large investment for Georgia, but voting technology has progressed to the point where I feel comfortable inviting a vendor to demonstrate to Georgians a system that could last us for many years to come.”

Atlanta Public Schools intends to issue up to $100 million in Tax Anticipation Notes – borrowing against expected property tax income.

Pat St. Claire, spokesperson for APS, has sent this statement from Lisa Bracken, chief financial officer for the school system:

“[B]ecause of the assessment freeze and the time it took for the Fulton county assessors’ office to recalculate and resend new notices, we are more than two months behind our typical millage rate process. As September represents a low point in cash flows for most public school districts, this delay required that we seek a tax anticipation note in order to meet expenditure requirements until taxes are received. We anticipate borrowing no more than $100 million.”

We’re told that APS was in the same situation last year, and ended up borrowing $75 million, at a cost of $147,000 or so. Any money from the new loan would have to be paid back by Dec. 31, 2017.

Candidates for Gainesville City Council may be discussing the city’s at-large voting system during their campaigns.

the city charter [requires] that “one councilmember shall be a resident of each ward.” Yet when it comes to electing a candidate the charter states: “The mayor and councilmembers shall be elected by a majority vote of the voters of the entire city of Gainesville voting in the election.”

“The at-large voting system requires that every member of the City Council is accountable to every single citizen in Gainesville,” the statement emphasized. “Instead of posturing for what is best for ‘our district’ we work together for what is best for the city of Gainesville. We believe that the voters should have a voice in choosing all five candidates at the polls, not just one.”

Incumbent George Wangeman faces two challengers in the election Nov. 7. One is former downtown restaurateur Albert Reeves, who previously served a four-year term on the Clermont Town Council. The other is Maria del Rosario Palacios, a young Mexican mother who holds a prominent position with the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials.

Atlanta-based GALEO is a nonprofit group that advocates public policies beneficial to Latinos. GALEO members go into communities with large concentrations of Hispanics — such as parts of Gainesville — to register voters, and encourages them to participate in the process and seek public office.

Last year, GALEO filed a lawsuit against Gwinnett County to end at-large voting there.

GALEO also has had its share of run-ins with Gainesville city officials over the same issue, but has not taken the city to court over it.

The Voter Participation Center will begin a direct mail campaign to register new voters.

The Voter Participation Center, a non-partisan, nonprofit based out of Washington, D.C., announced this week that it will send thousands of voter registration applications to unregistered people of color, unmarried women and millennials in Georgia.

The group plans to send registration forms to 2.8 million potential voters in nine states this month, including 390,230 people in Georgia. The organization said 30.6 percent of voting age Georgia residents are not registered to vote.

More specifically, it said 40.1 percent of millennials, 33.1 percent of unmarried women and 31.2 percent of African-Americans are not registered to vote.

“Nationally, about 46 million people of color, unmarried women and millennials are not currently registered to vote,” Voter Participation Center President Page Gardner said in a statement. “In Georgia, 1.6 million of these historically under-represented citizens are unregistered.

The three demographic groups targeted by the Voter Participation Center are groups that are expected to see voter drop offs from the 2016 presidential election to next year’s election. The group said they makeup about two-thirds of the estimated 40 million voters who voted last year but are not expected to vote in 2018.

In Georgia, they said 790,000 millennials, unmarried women and people of color who voted in the presidential election are not expected to vote in either next year’s partisan primaries or the gubernatorial election.

Springfield Mayor Diamond Joe Quimby Barty Alderman was reelected without opposition.

No one qualified as a write-in candidate, so Springfield’s election Nov. 7 has been canceled.

After qualifying ended Aug. 25, two people were signed up for the mayor’s race in Rincon – incumbent Mayor Ken Lee and current council member Christi Ricker.

Incumbent council members Ann Daniel and Levi Scott Jr. will join newcomers Eric Brierton, Jerome Erwin, Kevin Exley and Patrick Kirkland in the competition for three council seats that currently are held by Daniel, Scott and Ricker.

In Guyton, incumbent alderman Michael Johnson will face Thomas Marshall Reiser for Post 4.

And Michael Gerwig, Joseph Lee and Quinton White will run for Post 3, which has been vacant since early 2016, when Ulysses Eaton moved from the area.

Dalton City Council is expected to adopt a property tax millage rate tonight.

The Dalton City Council is scheduled to set its 2017 tax rate when it meets tonight, and council members could authorize the Dalton Building Authority to issue $18.2 million in bonds for Dalton Public Schools.

The council has advertised that it will leave the city’s tax rate unchanged this year at 2.506 mills. But some council members say they are still considering rolling it back.

Because of the growth of the tax digest, the 2.506 mills rate would bring in more revenue, $8.76 million compared to $8.45 million last year, so it would be considered a tax increase under state law.

According to a city press release, a property owner with a homestead exemption with a fair market value of $150,000 would see its city tax payment rise approximately $9.80 if the rate is not rolled back, and a property with a fair market value of $350,000 without a homestead exemption would see its city tax increase approximately $24.50.

State Reps Allen Peake (R-Macon) and David Lucas (D-Macon) spoke the the Macon Telegraph about redistricting.

“My comments were more of sensing the frustration that most Americans seem to have that Congress is so polarizing; in particular, they can’t get anything done,” the Macon Republican said. “Some of that in my opinion is congressional districts being drawn to favor for Democrats or Republicans.

“You get those elected many times that are on the far right or far left, that may be so dogmatic in their political philosophies that they’ll never come to any consensus,” Peake said. “Seventy percent in America are left wondering why they can’t get anything done. I hear it at the grocery store, at the ballgames, at church, (that) people are mad and fed up and some of it is the result of the polarization of redistricting.”

Peake’s colleague on the opposite side of the political aisle, state Sen. David Lucas, D-Macon, says Georgia legislators are able at times to work together across political lines. But it was a different result when Democrats were accused of gerrymandering in the past.

The process of setting up new district boundaries after census data is reported should not be as difficult as it is. Republicans have taken the practice to a new level, Lucas said.

“We drew lines and went to court and it was thrown out and Republicans took control,” he said. “They did the same thing we did, and when they did it the courts went along with it. Republicans drew lines that had less than 35 percent blacks in it and made it conservative, which meant it was going to be Republican regardless.”

State Rep. Micah Gravley (R-Douglasville) and Senator John Albers (R-Roswell) were each named legislator of the year by the Georgia State Firefighters Association and the Georgia Association of Fire Chiefs.

Roswell will hold qualifying this week for a special election in City Council Post 3.

Ellen Diehl announced she will run for State House District 81, currently held by Democratic State Rep. Scott Holcomb. I’m assuming she’ll run as a Republican.

Republican Matt Reeves, announced endorsements in his campaign for State Senate District 48, being vacated by David Shafer, who is running for Lt. Governor.

Johns Creek City Councilman Jay Lin, Gwinnett Solicitor General Rosanna Szabo, and Duluth City Councilman Greg Whitlock have joined a growing list of elected leaders supporting Matt Reeves in his campaign for State Senate District 48. Also, Columbia Engineering, on Buford Highway in Duluth, hosted a fundraiser for Matt Reeves’ State Senate campaign last week, and over fifty local small businesspeople contributed at the event. Notable donors were Whitlock, Bill Russell, Norwood Davis, and former U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, who Matt worked for in college when he attended Mercer University in Macon and when Senator Chambliss was a Congressman in a competitive middle Georgia congressional district.  Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris and House Education Committee Chairman Brooks Coleman headlined the fundraising event. Reeves has additional fundraising events planned over the next few weeks in Johns Creek and Sugarloaf. Reeves held a fundraising event at Arena Tavern in Duluth in June.

Recently, Reeves spoke at the Fulton County Republican party breakfast in Johns Creek, and launched a campaign Facebook page, and website, Reeves is running on a platform of reducing the state income tax, keeping Georgia as a jobs leader through fiscal conservatism and prioritizing education and transportation, strengthening the family through making Georgia a leader in foster care and adoption, and re-creating Milton County in North Fulton.

Reeves previously announced the endorsement of Former Senator Dan Moody, Suwanee Mayor Jimmy Burnette, Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason, State Representative Scott Hilton, and County Commissioner Jace Brooks. Reeves is running for the seat left open in 2018 by virtue of State Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer’s run for Lieutenant Governor.