The blog.

30
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 30, 2017

PlutoCPR

Pluto is a male American Bulldog and Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA. He’s 4 months old and expected to grow up to be about 50-70 pounds.

He is full of puppy antics and energy, enjoying playing with all the dogs in his foster home. He is learning basic manners and potty training.

Haley

Haley is a year-old female Pug mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

I love to run up the agility equipment and then back down feeling the wind in my fur. I really have fun with the kids that come to visit and get along with other dogs. I’d love to have a family of my own with a kid and/or a dog where I could play everyday! I love to play, do well on a leash, and love everyone I meet! I can’t wait to meet you!!

Nellie2

Nellie 2 is a three-year old female Black-and-Tan Coonhound mix who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Nellie is a petite hound girl that will quickly steal your heart. She walks great on leash, gets along well with other dogs, and would be a great addition to any family with children. Nellie is currently heartworm positive and is receiving treatment for it.

30
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 30, 2017

On November 30, 1782, British and American signed a preliminary treaty in Paris to end the American Revolution, which included withdrawal of British troops and recognition of American independence.

On November 30, 1819, the SS Savannah returned to Savannah, GA from its trip as the first steamship to cross the Atlantic.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Marietta is considering regulating short-term rentals like AirBnB.

Marietta officials are talking about cracking down on some users of short-term rental websites like AirBnB who they say are overstaying their welcome in the city.

“When you go on AirBnB today and look at Marietta places, there’s a couch in Marietta. $15 a night,” said Councilman Stuart Fleming at a meeting of the city’s Judicial and Legislative Committee Wednesday night. “I’m not making it up. How do you get that person?”

A bill that would prevent local governments from regulating or prohibiting short-term or vacation rentals offered by services like AirBnB was filed earlier this year by state Rep. Matt Dollar, R-east Cobb. The bill didn’t receive a vote, but because the Georgia Legislature works in two-year cycles, the bill is still on the books and could get a vote after the Legislature convenes in January.

The city has received complaints about noise, increased trash and traffic from these rental properties, and they may also be taking money from the city by not charging guests hotel taxes.

One option being considered by city staff would be to implement an ordinance similar to one being considered by Knoxville, Tennessee, that would require those who wish to operate short-term rentals to get a license from the city.

Governor Nathan Deal could be required to testify in the case against citizen-journalist Nydia Tisdale.

A motion to quash a subpoena served to Gov. Nathan Deal by the defense team for citizen journalist and Roswell resident Nydia Tisdale was denied by Senior Superior Court Judge Martha Christian mid-trial Wednesday night.

Deal was served the subpoena by Tisdale’s defense on Monday; service was accepted by Deal’s executive legal assistant Rhonda Barnes.

Northeastern Judicial Circuit Senior Assistant District Attorney Conley Greer filed a motion to quash the subpoena on Wednesday morning on behalf of Deal.

Greer said a “definite, definite” time would need to be set for Deal to attend the trial.

Christian decided to uphold the subpoena despite her hesitancy over the governor having such late notice.

Deal was one among many other state officials to be served subpoenas by the defense.

Robin Martinelli, an investigator and process server working with Tisdale’s defense team, said that officials who were served subpoenas either personally or through their counsel include state Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods, state Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler and former Attorney General Sam Olens.

She said an attempt was also made to serve U.S. Senator David Perdue, R-Ga., and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, but that the two are currently in Washington, D.C.

State Rep. Sam Watson (R-Moultrie) will speak at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College’s fall commencement on December 14th.

ABAC President David Bridges and ABAC Alumni Association President Niki Vanderslice will present the George P. Donaldson Award and the ABAC Alumni Association Award to the top associate degree graduate and the top bachelor’s degree graduate participating in the ceremony.

Watson, a 1999 ABAC graduate, represents House District 172 in the General Assembly. He is also a Colquitt County farmer who is the managing partner of Chill C Farms and the Moultrie Melon Company.

Watson was the recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award presented by the ABAC Alumni Association in recognition of alumni who have distinguished themselves through professional achievement, community service and service to ABAC.

Selected as the Freshman Legislator of the Year by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce in 2014, Watson is the Rural Caucus chair in the House and serves on the House Agriculture Committee. He is also the vice chair on the Appropriations Economic Development Subcommittee, vice chair on Transportation, vice chair on Natural Resources, vice chair on Special Rules, and secretary on the Retirement and Ways and Means Committee.

Floyd County Commissioners are working on bringing pay levels for correctional officers on par with police officers and sheriff’s deputies.

Larry O. Morten, a former bookkeeper for the Glynn County Clerk of Superior Court has been indicted.

A former Glynn County court bookkeeper was indicted Wednesday on 70 counts of theft in the taking of more than $76,000 from the courts, most of the money coming from child-support funds.

A Glynn County grand jury returned the indictment against Larry O. Morten who was discharged from his job Jan. 23, 2015, about two months after Chief Deputy Clerk of Superior Court Darren Jones discovered money missing from various court accounts.

Morten was hired in August 2008 as an accounting technician, and he was fired for “misappropriation of funds,” Glynn County said.

The indictment accuses Morten of taking $76,008.75 from October 2008 until November 2014.

That amount comes nowhere near the last estimate of $673,000 that is missing from the court. The indictment does not address that gap.

Most of the money was taken from the Superior Court’s Child Support Receiver account.

The challenge to Linda Pritchett’s candidacy in the SD 39 runoff election was rejected.

The Secretary of State’s Office on Wednesday evening responded to a request from a Senate District 39 voter who asked Secretary of State Brian Kemp to challenge Pritchett’s qualifications, alleging she had lied on her declaration of candidacy.

In a letter to Erin Glynn, the Fulton County attorney who made the request, the general counsel for the Secretary of State’s Office, Ryan Germany, said Pritchett pleaded guilty in 2006 to a misdemeanor offense of larceny in Fairfax County General Court in Virginia.

Glynn in her letter to the Secretary of State’s Office pointed to an internet background check service that alleged Pritchett had pleaded guilty to felony larceny charges. Pritchett told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this week that she has never pleaded guilty to a felony.

Fred Swann, running as a Democrat for the 8th Congressional District, spoke to the Tifton Gazette.

“Rural infrastructure is a thing that nobody wants to work on, but it is the bedrock of economic development for these areas,” said Swann. “If we don’t get this right and get it right soon, then some of these communities are getting ready to evaporate.

“We are going to have to work on a big investment in rural infrastructure. It’s a “have-to” because these places are dying. Through no fault of their own—they are fighting with every thing they have got to do well with what they have, but they just need some help to create that foundation that they can grow.”

Swann lists several areas of infrastructure development he’d like to focus on: roads, water and power and broadband internet access.

“That digital divide is enough,” said Swann. “Even if they didn’t have other issues like smart grid electrification or not enough access to major roads, etc. That one thing would be enough to push them apart where they’re no longer able to compete. And that divide continues to grow as our technology continue to evolve and advance.

“I just don’t know that we can continue to trust people who will hijack people’s healthcare for their own political reasons,” said Swann. “Personally, I’m fighting for Medicare for all as a solution.”

Swann and Jimmy McInnis are currently running for the Democrat nomination.

Incumbent Austin Scott and Danny Ellyson are expected to run for the Republican nomination.

 

29
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 29, 2017

Celeste

Celeste is a senior female Beagle and Catahoula Leopard Dog mix who is available for adoption from Mostly Mutts in Kennesaw, GA. Celeste is an active and sweet 8-year old, 40-pound dog.

William

William is an adult male Beagle & Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Orphan Annie Rescue in Atlanta, GA. William is a year old and weighs about 30 pounds.

I am a sweet boy who will do best in a quieter home with older children. I love to cuddle and give kisses.

Maximus

Maximus is a male Beagle and Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Clayton County Humane Society in Jonesboro, GA.

29
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 29, 2017

Georgia ratified the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution on November 29, 1794, which reads,

The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.

On November 29, 1947, the United Nations passed a resolution to partition Palestine and allow the creation of a Jewish state of Israel.

On November 29, 1963, President Lyndon Johnson appointed the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, referred to as the Warren Commission. Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr. of Georgia was appointed to the Commission.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

My favorite kind of election story: Austell City Council Ward 1 heads to a runoff election after the only two candidates tied at the polls in November.

The Nov. 7 contest saw Ikaika Anderson and Marlin Lamar each earn 76 votes, though election night results had shown Lamar as the winner, 76-74. The next day, Cobb Elections officials announced that two provisional ballots had both gone Anderson’s way, putting the race into overtime and requiring a runoff.

“All in all, the campaign, the race and everything had been a great learning experience, so I was pretty happy, and then to find out there was an actual tie, was very exciting,” Anderson said. He is the son of Councilwoman Kirsten Anderson, whom he and Lamar are seeking to succeed after she did not seek re-election.

Lamar, 63, who works as an engineering superintendent at Hilton Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, said the tie has pushed him to campaign harder in recent weeks.

“I’ve been pounding the pavement and knocking on doors, kissing babies — everything,” he said. “My mantra for this runoff is every vote counts. Literally.”

Out of 989 registered voters in the ward, 152 cast ballots in the Nov. 7 contest, resulting in a turnout of 15.4 percent.

Both candidates say they expect next week’s turnout to go higher due to their efforts to talk to voters.

 Early voting is still open in Valdosta’s city council runoff election between Eric Howard and Angela Penn.

As of Tuesday, 49 people had participated in early voting. Anyone living in District 4 interested in voting early is encouraged to vote this week at the elections office, 2808 N. Oak St.

The runoff election date is set for Dec. 5. Voting will be held at Precinct 2 at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3501 Bemiss Road, and Precinct 3 at Northside Baptist Church, 200 E. Park Ave.

After the election Nov. 7, Howard failed to hit the needed 50 percent plus one vote to win the race for Valdosta District 4. The race to determine his opponent was too close to call on Election Day with Penn beating Kevin Bussey by a single vote.

Thomasville also has early voting open ahead of next week’s runoff election.

The number of voters casting early ballots Monday is about three times the number who voted on the first day of early voting for the November general election.

About 150 members of the city electorate voted Monday.

At stake in the Tuesday, Dec. 5, runoff is the Thomasville City Council at-large seat.

Don Sims, incumbent at-large council member, is challenged by Todd Mobley in the runoff next week. Sims and Mobley were the top two-vote-getters in a three-way race on Nov. 7.

Rockmart is holding a runoff election for Board of Education District 6.

So far, 41 people had participated since early voting started Monday morning. That includes nine voters who cast their ballots today.

Voters are going to the polls to decide between interim school board member Judy Wiggins, running to retain her seat, and candidate and local business owner Chris Culver. Wiggins took 229 votes in the district, or 42 percent of the overall, and Culver took 210 votes, or 38 percent of the total.

U.S. Representative Karen Handel (R-Roswell) endorsed Matt Judy in the runoff election for City Council Post 6.

Judy and fellow candidate Karen Parrish are running for the seat held by Nancy Diamond, who did not seek re-election to another four-year term.

Handel said she and her husband, Steve, are “proud to endorse” Judy, a Roswell native.

“Matt is well respected throughout our community, and we trust him to do what is in the best interest of our historic city and its citizens,” she said in a prepared statement provided by Judy’s campaign. “We urge you to join us in voting for Matt Judy.”

Early voting in Roswell’s special election runoffs, which includes the office of mayor and the Post 3 seat, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 27 through Friday, Dec. 1. Lee Jenkins and Lori Henry are running in the runoff to become the city’s next mayor while the Post 3 seat is a battle between Mike Nyden and Sean Groer.

Smyrna voters will decide a runoff election between Travis Lindley and Maryline Blackburn for City Council Ward 3.

Lindley, a 42-year-old Smyrna native who attended Campbell High School, said his ties to the city gave him a leg up in the Nov. 7 election. Now he’s hoping to use some of that momentum to get voters back out to the polls next week.

“We’ve just been trying to reach voters, knocking on doors and meeting as many people as possible,” said Lindley, who has run into former classmates he hasn’t seen in decades while canvassing.

Blackburn, an Alaska native who moved to the area three decades ago, is receiving support of her own ahead of Tuesday’s runoff. Though city elections are nonpartisan, Blackburn got the nod from some of Cobb’s Democrats at a recent meeting held in Smyrna.

Michael Owens, Cobb’s Democratic Committee chairman, encouraged those in attendance to vote for Blackburn, calling her “a strong Democrat” and saying “there’s no question what side of the ballot we need to be on this.”

But Lindley, who identifies as conservative, said he takes issue with Blackburn “waving the political flag” ahead of their municipal runoff.

“When you look at Washington, I think most can agree it’s not working — in large part because of partisan politics,” he said. “Maybe the same could be said at the state level. Why in the world would we want to inject partisan politics into the one level of government that actually works and the one that’s closest to the people?”

Politics is also intruding into…. politics …. in Floyd County.

Floyd County Republican Party ads endorsing candidates in the nonpartisan Rome City Commission race weren’t meant to signal a politicization of city government, the GOP chair said Tuesday.

“I don’t foresee a trend of partisanship. This may be an isolated incident,” Andy Garner said. “The point was to let the public know of her affiliation.”

Commissioner Wendy Davis was the target of the party’s ads that ran in the Rome News-Tribune and aired on WRGA before the Nov. 7 election.

The lengthy text called her “extremely partisan” and noted that she’s a member of the Democratic National Committee and a political consultant “for progressive candidates throughout the state and country.” It also asked residents to join the FCGOP in voting for Mayor Jamie Doss, Commissioner Sue Lee and new candidate Randy Quick.

Right whales, the official state marine mammal of Georgia, are returning to their coastal calving waters.

“We are very concerned about the future of North Atlantic right whales,” said Barb Zoodsma, right whale biologist for NOAA Fisheries. “We lost 16 right whales in U.S. and Canadian waters this year. This is troubling for a population of about 450, particularly because we estimate that only about 105 of those are breeding females who are producing fewer calves.”

The bus-sized whales return to the waters of the Southeast around December every year after spending the summer feeding on plankton off New England and Canada. Some of the dead whales discovered over the summer showed signs of entanglement in fishing gear, an increasingly common hazard, and others showed blunt trauma like that of a ship strike. Some could not be examined.

Along with the “unusual mortality event” as NOAA termed it, right whales have had a streak of bad birthing years, said Clay George of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. In a good year they’ll add more than 20 calves to the population. And as recently as 2009 their population appeared to be on the upswing, with a record 39 calves born that year. But it’s been a baby bust ever since. Last season only three calves were born in the Southeast. Another two spotted farther north brought the total to a still disappointing five.

“Whales have to produce a lot more calves to recover,” George said.

Betsy DeVos, U.S. Secretary of Education under President Trump, visited Georgia State University.

Georgia college students could soon be able to apply for federal student financial aid through an app on their phone. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says the existing system needs a reboot. DeVos made the announcement at a conference of student aid professionals in Orlando.

“We’re in the process of moving toward updating the whole FAFSA experience and making it 21st century relevant,” DeVos said.

[Tuesday] afternoon, she was in Atlanta for a roundtable discussion with students from Georgia State University. She wanted to learn more about GSU students’ experience with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.

Almost all of the GSU students who met with DeVos at the roundtable said they would have loved to have a mobile app to help them apply for federal aid.

Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash presented a $1.7 billion budget proposal for 2018.

Nash and Chief Finance Officer Maria Woods presented the nearly $1.7 billion budget proposal to county commissioners and department heads Tuesday morning. One of the key items in the proposal is 66 police positions.

More than half of them, 36 to be exact, will be for the new precinct that will be built next year at Bay Creek Park. Another 30 positions will be police officers that the department will have the discretion to place where it chooses.

“The police chief and his senior staff will decide how they’re going to allocate those positions,” Nash said. “I would think they’re going to be spread geographically among the precincts, but I can’t say that for sure. It’s really up to them to decide how they’re going to assign them, but remember it’s going to be a while before they’ll actually be acting as a police officer.”

The proposed budget is about 8 percent larger than the budget that was adopted in January for this year. Compensation and benefits are up about 2.8 percent, but 2018 will also be the first year in which raises that went into effect this month will be in place for a full year.

A 4 percent pay for performance, and one-time longevity pay are included in the proposed budget as well.

Nash also said she put aside about $500,000 in the proposed budget to address homelessness in Gwinnett County.

The Gwinnett County Commission approved agreements with the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency for equipment and training.

The Robinsons from Peachtree Corners donated pet oxygen masks to the Gwinnett County Fire Department.

Davis and Jennifer Robinson have donated 42 pet oxygen masks to the fire department. Each set is worth $64.29 and comes with three different sizes of masks for large, medium and small dogs, as well as cats, officials said.

“We just can’t say enough about the generosity of the Robinson’s, to place the needs of our department and our community’s furriest friends before their own,” Battalion Chief Brian Wolfe said. “They are truly a special couple.”

Fire department officials said the Robinsons discovered there was a need for pet oxygen masks when they saw a story about someone donating a single set in the past. The couple are pet owners themselves, with two Lab mix rescues living with them.

Grantville residents voted against term extensions for local elected officials.

Seats held by Mayor Doug Jewell and Council members Ruby Hines and Willie Kee will be up for election in 2018, but their terms would have been extended for one year to 2019 if residents voted to amend the charter to change election dates.

City Attorney Mark Mitchell said most other state and federal elections are held in even-numbered years, but when municipality elections are held in the same year, qualifying dates became very confusing.

“Based on my review of state law, it does not prohibit having a municipal election in an even year, but if you’re going to have municipal elections in even years, then there are different schedules that you have to follow,” Mitchell said. “I have to make a call to the Secretary of State’s office, but it appears, when municipal elections are held in even-number years, rather than qualifying being in August, when it typically take places, it would have to be in March. So, this will require candidates to qualify much sooner than they otherwise would have to if elections were held in odd number years.”

Democratic candidates have announced 2018 campaigns in two State House seats currently held by Republicans.

Josh McLaurin will seek to replace retiring Republican state Rep. Wendell Willard in the Sandy Springs panhandle’s House District 51, and Matthew Wilson is challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Meagan Hanson in House District 80, a Brookhaven-centered district that includes Sandy Springs’ High Point area.

District 51
In the District 51 race, McLaurin joins another previously announced candidate, Republican Alex Kaufman.

House District 51 includes Sandy Springs’ panhandle area and parts of Johns Creek and Roswell.

District 80
In District 80, Wilson enters the race as a first-time candidate, but with a background in volunteering in recent races where the district has switched back and forth between Republicans and Democrats.

[District 80 State Rep. Meagan] Hanson, a Brookhaven resident, said she is standing by her record. She is a member of the House Transportation Committee and the committee that oversees MARTA. She also co-sponsored the DeKalb County special local option sales tax, featuring a referendum to freeze property taxes, that was overwhelmingly approved by DeKalb voters Nov. 7.

Wilson said he volunteered for former state Rep. Taylor Bennett in 2015 when he defeated former Brookhaven mayor J. Max Davis in a special election for the House District 80 seat. He volunteered again for Bennett last year when Hanson pulled out a slim victory.

House District 80 is considered by some to be a swing district. Mike Jacobs was elected to the seat in 2004 as a Democrat, narrowly defeating J. Max Davis, but switched to the Republican Party in 2007 and was easily re-elected in 2008 and 2010. Bennett won the seat in a special election after Jacobs left to take a judgeship, and Hanson ousted him in the following 2016 election.

“There’s no denying the district was drawn to be a Republican district,” Wilson acknowledged. But he said Hillary Clinton won the district by 12 points and Hanson only narrowly defeated Bennett by fewer than 250 votes.

Nancy Mace, a University of Georgia graduate won a Republican Primary Runoff in a special election for South Carolina State House this week.

Conservative business woman and top vote getter in the GOP Special Election for House District 99 made the following statement:

“I’m truly honored with tonight’s win. I want to thank those who ran in this primary – particularly Shawn Pinkston for his support. The vision I shared with voters, whether it’s getting ahead of our infrastructure needs, improving roads, being a fiscal conservative, recognizing tax dollars are sacred will continue to be my message as we move forward to the General Election in January. I will continue to meet with families and small business owners and listen about the issues that are important to them.”

Nancy is a businesswoman and mother of two. She holds an MA in mass communication from the University of Georgia.

From the Post and Courier:

Mace is the first woman to graduate from The Citadel’s Corps of Cadets.

Mace’s victory puts her in a Jan. 16 battle with Democrat Cindy Boatwright that will determine who fills the seat formerly held by Rep. Jim Merrill, who resigned before pleading guilty in the South Carolina Statehouse probe.

28
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 28, 2017

Buddy PupCatCo

Buddy is an adult male Golden Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Pup & Cat Co. in Winder, GA.

Buddy, what a beautiful boy! He is handsome young gentleman with good housemanners and good nature. He gets along with everybody, except that is, with cats. His people unfortunately had to relinquish him and Buddy is very anxious and nervous and upset right now, as one can imagine. He is looking for a new family that will love and pamper him and give him new confidence once again in life.

RomeoPupCatCo

Romeo is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Pup & Cat Co. in Winder, GA.

Romeo is so sweet and kind loving everybody and everything. He is approximately 2- 3 years old and weighs approxmately 50 pounds. Romeo is housebroken and crate trained and rides well in a car and pretty good on a leash. He is typical lab, full of energy, but settles and just wants to hang out with the family and a family is exactly what he is looking for.

RoxieDoxie

Roxie is a female Dachshund mix who is available for adoption from Pup & Cat Co. in Winder, GA.

Did you ever want to get a little snuggle bunny for a companion, well look no further. We have just the one for you. Roxie is a female Dachshund mix, approximately 2 years old and weighs 12#. And she is oh so so sweet and cuddly. She’s had kind of a rough beginning and now on her way to a better life and she needs a family to complete that.

28
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 28, 2017

On November 28, 1777, Congress appointed John Adams as commissioner to France, replacing Silas Deane.

The Grand Ole Opry began live radio broadcasts from Nashville, Tennessee on November 28, 1925.

The Tawana Brawley case began on November 28, 1987; the greatest lasting impact would be the rise to celebrity of community activist the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal yesterday announced that Georgia will invest $35 million for the expansion of the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center in Augusta.

The second facility will serve as an incubator hub for technology startups as well as a training space for the state’s cybersecurity initiatives and workforce development programs.

“Earlier this year, I announced $58 million for the creation of a world-class cybersecurity center in Augusta,” said Deal. “Given Georgia’s growing status as a technology and innovation hub, this additional investment will further cement our reputation as the ‘Silicon Valley of the South.’ When complete, the center will house a cyber range, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s new cybercrime unit and an incubator for startup cybersecurity companies.

“The protection of Georgia’s citizens, businesses and institutions within the digital realm remains a paramount concern, and the demand for cybersecurity talent continues to exceed supply. This facility will encourage world-class collaboration between industry leaders, startup companies, academic institutions and government in the field of cybersecurity, and provide space for private sector entities to leverage the center’s strategic resources.

“Cybersecurity technology is changing at a disruptive speed and today, that rate of change is likely the slowest it will be in our lifetime. This visionary approach to cybersecurity underscores our commitment to encouraging innovation and developing a deep talent pool ready to establish Georgia as the safest state in the nation for today’s leaders in technology.”

Construction of the 165,000-square-foot facility will begin immediately. Upon completion, the space will allow technology companies to establish fellowships, internships and co-op program opportunities for students and employees. It will also serve as a training facility for information security professionals employed by state and local governments.

The Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) is overseeing construction and operation of the cybersecurity center facilities. GTA partners include the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, the Georgia National Guard, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the City of Augusta, the University System of Georgia, the Technical College System of Georgia, local school systems and private corporations.

The first phase of the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center is scheduled to open on July 10, 2018, and the second building is planned for completion in December 2018.

Governor Deal will speak at Wednesday’s dedication of Memorial Park Funeral Home Braselton.

Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle and local legislators will speak at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Eggs & Issues breakfast on December 14th at the Gainesville Civic Center.

Beginning at 7:30 a.m., local residents will get the opportunity to ask questions of Cagle and six other state legislators: Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville; Sen. John Wilkinson, R-Toccoa; Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville; Rep. Matt Dubnik, R-Gainesville; Rep. Emory Dunahoo Jr., R-Gillsville; and Rep. Timothy Barr, R-Lawrenceville.

“The Greater Hall Chamber always has 100 percent participation from the Hall County delegation at this event,” said chamber President Kit Dunlap. “Our legislators remain interested in hearing what the citizens of this community have to say, and the attendees want to hear what the legislators have to say.”

Dunlap said the slate of issues on the breakfast’s agenda include transportation, water, taxes, jobs, education, health care and workforce development.

Dickey Farms in Musella has planted strawberries in addition to their famous peaches.

Dickey Farms, which has been growing peaches in Middle Georgia for more than 120 years, will have a new fruit available next spring.

More than 22,000 strawberry plants have been planted on about 1 1/2 acres at the Musella farm, said Robert “Lee” Dickey IV.

“We expect strawberries to begin ripening in late March, early April depending on the weather,” he said. “Strawberries will be available for U-pick and will be available pre-picked in our market. … We planted three varieties with Camerosa being the largest.”

Robert Dickey, Lee’s father, said the strawberries were planted this summer beside the peach packing house.

Robert Dickey also represents the 140th State House District.

The Port of Savannah took delivery of four new neo-Panamax container cranes this week.

Four Neo-Panamax cranes sailed into the Port of Savannah last week with a 50- by 100-foot American flag across the side.

“To see these massive new cranes arrive flying the stars and stripes makes us proud to be part of an operation that provides jobs and opportunity for so many,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch.

Once commissioned, the new cranes will bring Savannah’s fleet to 30. Six additional cranes will arrive in 2020. When all are commissioned, the upgrade will allow the nation’s largest single container facility to move nearly 1,300 containers per hour.

“These new cranes will prepare us for the next wave of growth for Georgia and the nation,” [Chief Operating Officer Ed] McCarthy said. “Today’s 15 percent increase in our crane fleet will help GPA stay ahead of the growth curve. Nearly two-thirds of the ships serving the Port of Savannah are Neo-Panamax vessels, and we expect the shipping lines to continue their shift toward larger vessels.”

The Muscogee County School Board approved a new “zero tolerance” policy for racial slurs.

Muscogee County School Board members engaged in 50 more minutes of debate during their monthly meeting Monday night before approving a “zero tolerance” policy against racial slurs.

The nine-member board’s vote was 7-1-1. Laurie McRae of District 5 voted no. Cathy Williams of District 7 abstained. Voting yes were chairwoman Pat Hugley Green of District 1, vice chairwoman and county-wide representative Kia Chambers, John Thomas of District 2, Vanessa Jackson of District 3, Naomi Buckner of District 4, Mark Cantrell of District 6 and Frank Myers of District 8.

District 2 representative John Thomas made the proposal in the wake of the Muscogee County School District announcing Sept. 29 that the Reese Road Leadership Academy teacher who admitted to using the N-word on Sept. 1 had been suspended for two days without pay, reassigned to an undisclosed non-classroom position, issued a letter of reprimand that was placed in her personnel file, and required her to attend “cultural competency” training.

MCSD has said its investigation found that the teacher used “a racial slur in an attempt to explain to a group of elementary school students that this same word should not be tolerated.”

Do you see the irony in that last sentence?

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is hosting an event in Dalton on Wednesday.

Kemp, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor in 2018, will be at the Dalton Distillery, 109 E. Morris St., from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Kemp also called on the legislature to pass a “clean” adoption bill without religious liberty language.

Republican Brian Kemp waded into a prickly political battle on Monday when he called on lawmakers to pass a measure to modernize Georgia’s adoption laws without a controversial “religious liberty” provision and pledged to quickly sign it into law if elected governor.

That’s likely a moot point, since Gov. Nathan Deal and House Speaker David Ralston have said that a “clean” version of the adoption measure is a top priority for next year’s session.

But it could put the secretary of state at odds with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, a rival candidate for governor who led the Senate in a feud with the House over the provision.

“Efforts are already underway in the State House to update outdated laws that create red tape and frustration,” [Kemp] said. “As governor, I will refuse to play politics on this incredibly important and timely issue. Instead, I will urge lawmakers to pass a clean version of Rep. Bert Reeves’ bill and I will sign it immediately.”

Eligibility for the Hope Career Grant will be expanded to training programs for the construction industry.

“There is a shortage of highly skilled workers to fill vacancies in construction, manufacturing and health care,” said Tim Evans, vice president of economic development at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. “Expanding (the Career Grant) to include construction trades can prepare people for a rewarding career and meet the talent needs for the construction industry.”

Funded by the Georgia lottery, the Career Grant currently provides free tuition to students working toward a certificate or diploma in 12 fields: certified engineer assistant, commercial truck driving, computer programming, computer technology, diesel equipment technology, early childhood care and education, health science, industrial maintenance, movie production set design, practical nursing, precision manufacturing, and welding and joining technology.

Funded by the Georgia lottery, the Career Grant currently provides free tuition to students working toward a certificate or diploma in 12 fields: certified engineer assistant, commercial truck driving, computer programming, computer technology, diesel equipment technology, early childhood care and education, health science, industrial maintenance, movie production set design, practical nursing, precision manufacturing, and welding and joining technology.

Albany Commission Ward 2 runoff election early voting is slow so far.

Staff in the Elections Office said a handful of voters showed up to vote for the top two candidates vying for the Ward II commission seat.

Staff mailed off 90 absentee ballots last Wednesday which is 60 more than voted in the general election.

“We want them to get them back as soon as possible especially those individuals who aren’t able to come out to the polls. We think this is a good tool for them to cast their ballot as well,” said Dougherty County Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson.

State Senate District 39 runoff candidate Linda Pritchett is the subject of a qualification challenge.

Linda Pritchett is one of two Democrats vying for the seat vacated by former Sen. Vincent Fort’s unsuccessful run for Atlanta mayor. Pritchett, a paralegal, faces off against Nikema Williams, who works for Planned Parenthood, for the long district that stretches from Buckhead to South Fulton.

Erin Glynn, an East Point attorney, sent a letter to Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office on Sunday challenging Pritchett’s candidacy, saying the candidate did not include information about a 2006 guilty plea to felony larceny in her declaration of candidacy.

Pritchett said the accusation Glynn made was false and she said she never plead guilty to a larceny charge.

The House Rural Economic Development Council is wrapping up its meeting schedule and preparing a report back to the legislature.

The group, co-chaired by Republican Reps. Terry England of Auburn and Jay Powell of Camilla, is slated to focus on jobs during a two-day session in Warm Springs this week. They’ll meet Dec. 13 in Milledgeville to approve a report with recommendations for action during the 2018 General Assembly.

“There will be a number of different bills, because there are so many different things that affect our communities regarding their ability to attract prospective employers,” [State Rep. Eddie] Lumsden said.

Lumsden said it became clear there are differences between rural South Georgia counties and those in the north, such as Chattooga County. In most of North Georgia, people are no more than 30 or 40 minutes away from a medical facility, while those in the south could have to drive for hours.

“It takes about 42,000 people to support a hospital, and many counties in rural South Georgia have only about 6,000 or 7,000,” he said.

“The state can help identify the issues and provide some resources and encouragement — but there are some problems the Legislature can’t solve,” he said. “There has to be a strong desire on the part of local communities to do what needs to be done.”

The Georgia Senate Study Committee on Homelessness met yesterday in the Capitol and is preparing recommendations for the coming legislative session.

The study committee released nine recommendations that it says will improve access to mental and behavioral health services, and in turn keep people off the streets.

“There’s (potential for) quite a few pieces of legislation revolving around mental health and substance abuse — and I think that’s a direct correlation with homelessness,” said state Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, the chairwoman of the committee.

“It is a very complicated issue, but just because it’s complicated, you shouldn’t push it aside, because eventually it’s going to bubble up,” Unterman said.

Unterman said though it can be difficult to get additional money for new or existing programs, she believes the study group has helped elevate the issue.

“A lot of time this issue is considered a dirty part of society,” she said. “No one wants to think about either living in the streets, living in extended stay, all the kids in schools that don’t have a home to go home (to) at night. … Even if I can’t solve the issue, I can bring the issue to the forefront.”

The Georgia Senate Study Committee to Georgians’ Barriers to Access to Healthcare is recommending expanding the scope of practice for some Advanced Practice Registered Nurses to help address provider shortages in rural areas.

A Senate study committee Monday recommended the state allow advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) broader medical authority if they work in rural, underserved counties.

Under current state law, nurse practitioners and other advanced nurses in Georgia can prescribe medications only under a collaborative agreement with a physician.

The study committee’s recommendations would allow these nurses to prescribe independently, as well as order MRIs and CT scans independently, in rural counties.

Among the panel’s other recommendations is an expansion of a tax incentive program to allow physician assistants and APRNs to serve as preceptors and receive a tax credit for such service. The recommendations also included expansion of the Centering Pregnancy program and of telemedicine.

Unterman, who’s also chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said Monday before the unanimous committee vote, “This is a very, very complicated issue.’’

“There will be legislation coming out of this committee,” she said.

Ashley Blackmon, an APRN, said the proposal, if enacted into law by the Georgia General Assembly, would help recruit these nurses to practice in rural communities. “It will get folks out there,’’ she said.

 

27
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 27, 2017

Hoss Dawson

Hoss is a 68-pound male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Dawson County Humane Society in Dawsonville, GA.

Spot Dawson

Spot is a 65-pound male Bluetick Hound who is available for adoption from the Dawson County Humane Society in Dawsonville, GA.

Monopoly

Monopoly is a male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Dawson County Humane Society in Dawsonville, GA.

27
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 27, 2016

On November 27, 1864, Sherman ordered the courthouse in Sandersville, Georgia burned.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Kathy Schrader and State Senator Renee Unterman (R-Buford) are hosting a forum on mental health issues and strategies for families coping during the holidays.

Unterman and Schrader, who joined forces earlier this year to address opioid addiction, will co-host A Family Forum on Having a Healthy Holiday Season During Struggles in Lawrenceville Monday. The forum will begin with networking at 6 p.m. at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive. The program is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.

“Holidays can be stressful times for families, especially when someone you love is suffering from mental health issues and/or substance abuse struggles,” Schrader said in a statement. “We have had many forums on what to look for to find out if your loved one is struggling, but we have not equipped our community with practical steps, strategies and advice on what to do next.

“It is time for us to bring together experts that can offer resources, advice and encouragement for your loved ones and yourself.”

The event is the latest public education event Shrader and Unterman have been involved with. They co-hosted a summit on opioid addiction earlier this year, as well as a press conference over the summer to address that same topic. Unterman also participated in a Georgia Bureau of Investigation forum in Lawrenceville earlier this month to address mental health issues.

Runoff elections begin in some municipalities, as early voting begins.

Democrats Jaha Howard and Jen Jordan meet in a December 5th runoff election for State Senate District 6.

Jordan and Howard were the top vote-getters in Nov. 7’s eight-person contest for the District 6 state Senate seat vacated by former Sen. Hunter Hill, R-Smyrna. Jordan topped the results with 5,868 votes, about 24.4 percent, while Howard received 5,408 votes, about 22.5 percent.

Though Howard and Jordan topped the field, with the winner flipping the once Republican-held seat, GOP voters may play an important part in next week’s contest, as the five GOP candidates received 51 percent of the total votes across the district while the three Democrats received 49 percent.

The district includes residents of Smyrna, Cumberland, Vinings and parts of Buckhead and Sandy Springs. Those who do not take part in advance voting, which runs Monday through Friday, will have one final chance to cast ballots on Dec. 5’s election day.

In Peachtree Corners Post 4, incumbent Council Member Jeanne Aulbach faces Joe Sawyer in the December 5th runoff.

Johns Creek Post 3 has a runoff election between John Bradberry and Vicki Horton.

Fulton County will open 18 sites for early voting for eligible residents from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 27 through Friday, Dec. 1. Please note there will be no Saturday voting this time around.

Roswell voters will choose a new Mayor and two council members in their runoff election.

The race to succeed outgoing long-time mayor Jere Wood is a battle between Lee Jenkins and Lori Henry. Matt Judy and Karen Parrish are facing off to win the Post 6 seat on the City Council while Mike Nyden and Sean Groer are vying for the Post 3 seat.

Marietta City Council Ward 1 has a runoff election between Cheryl Richardson and Jay Davis.

Albany Commission Ward 2 has a runoff election between incumbent Bobby Coleman and Matt Fuller.

Republican John LaHood announced he will run for the House District 175 seat being vacated by State Rep. Amy Carter (R-Valdosta).

This comes after Rep. Amy Carter announced her resignation Nov. 15 to work for the state’s technical college system. A special election will be held to fill her position. The special election date has yet to be determined and must be set by the governor.

LaHood said that the government needs a business approach to deal with issues facing South Georgia. He said South Georgia sometimes feels voiceless where government is concerned.

State resources first go to Atlanta and then trickle down south. For example, LaHood said there are five hospital systems that make up more than 65 percent of the net hospital revenue in the state. Those five hospitals are all around Atlanta.

This means these five hospitals have the biggest representation when it comes to decision making processes.

“So, our rural hospitals need to be protected. They need a voice,” LaHood said. “We’ve had some rural hospital closures recently, and we need to take measure to protect our rural hospitals.”

Former State Rep. Nikki Randall has joined Navicent Health as Director of Community Outreach and Civic Engagement.

Democrat Otha Thornton spoke to the Savannah Morning News about his campaign for State School Superintendent.

State Rep. Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee) is planning to introduce a cellphone ban for drivers.

Texting while driving was banned in 2010, but the Armuchee Republican — who serves on the House Distracted Driving Study Committee — said the compromise bill failed to stem the rise of accidents with injuries or fatalities.

“The texting law is really ineffective,” Lumsden said Wednesday. “The penalties aren’t stringent enough and there are many loopholes.”

The study committee, chaired by Rep. John Carson, R-Marietta, has been meeting since August and is expected to sign off on a proposed bill before the group disbands Dec. 1. Lumsden said they’ve drawn from the model used by the military and U.S. Department of Defense to simplify the issue.

“Basically, you cannot touch your phone while driving,” he said. “You can still use it if you have hands-free capabilities, and you can use apps such as GPS if you set them up before you start. You just can’t touch the phone.”

Columbus City Council heard a proposal for the city’s first solar farm.

Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-LaGrange) introduced legislation to change repayment plans for future student loans.

Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash will present the proposed 2018 county budget on Tuesday.

Nash recently sat down with the Daily Post and discussed some of the items that can be expected in her budget proposal. She is scheduled to present the proposed budget to her fellow commissioners at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Board of Commissioners Conference Room at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, 75 Langley Drive in Lawrenceville.

“As you would expect, I don’t think you’ll be surprised by any of the emphasis areas,” Nash said. “Public safety certainly is one focus point of what’s going to be in the proposed budget that’s going to be presented (on Tuesday), and also going back and looking at some of the areas that took some of the severest cuts during the downturn that we’ve not been able to restore previously.”

When the recession hit around the 2008 to 2009 time frame, Gwinnett’s economy in turn took a hit. That forced county officials to have to cut a range of things, from positions in county government to grass mowing on county-owned rights-of-way.

Nash said the bounce back in the tax digest has given county officials an opportunity to review the services they provide to residents.

“We didn’t automatically add things back because revenues were coming back,” she said. “We used this as a chance to look at what are the most critical things for us to focus on.”

While there has been a look at restoring services and positions that were cut during the recession, county leaders are also looking at adding new positions to address growth and new demands for services.

The trial run of new voting machines in Conyers municipal elections is being heralded as a success.

Georgia’s elected officials are considering replacing the state’s electronic voting system with one that leaves a paper trail, a project that could cost well over $100 million to buy new machines for the state’s 5.4 million registered voters.

“The preliminary indication we’ve gotten from voters is that they’ve liked it,” [Georgia Elections Director Chris] Harvey said of the voting system tested in Conyers. “It’s very similar to what they’re already using. It does produce a paper form, but voters in Georgia are used to interacting with a touch screen.”

In the Conyers test, 97 percent of voters surveyed said they were satisfied with the system, Rockdale County Elections Supervisor Cynthia Welch said. More than 1,000 people voted in municipal elections at two precincts. The pilot project was paid for by Georgia’s current voting system vendor, Election Systems & Software, which provided its ExpressVote touch screens and DS200 tabulation machines.

“Voters were very familiar with touch screens,” Welch said. “The key is going to be to make sure that voters understand the ExpressVote only marks the ballot. It then needs to be inserted into the tabulator to count the ballot.”

Because votes were counted at one tabulation machine rather than at each touch screen terminal, results were reported more quickly on election night. Rockdale counted all its ballots by about 8 p.m., about one hour after polls closed, which is roughly 15 to 25 minutes faster than normal, Welch said.

The Georgia General Assembly may consider tweaks to state tax code to force Amazon to collect sales tax from somethird-party sellers.

Legislation has already passed the Georgia House that would increase sales tax collections on online sales in the state if it becomes law, but it still must be passed by the Senate and approved by the governor. And Rep. Jay Powell, R-Camilla, said he is working on additional legislation that could force Amazon to collect taxes on behalf of its third-party sellers, instead of leaving it to those sellers to collect themselves.

“If we can pass legislation requiring (Amazon) to pay, we want to do that,” said Powell, chair of the House Ways and Means committee. “They claim it’s a bookkeeping nightmare, but that’s not true.”

Who is required to charge sales tax for online sales comes down to one concept: physical presence. A 1992 Supreme Court ruling said if a company had a physical presence in a state, like a store or a warehouse, it had to charge consumers the sales taxes levied by that state. If not, there was no requirement.

But for businesses that send their goods to Amazon to ship, having their inventory stored in a state — even for a day — could be enough to require them to collect and pay sales tax there.

Citizen journalist Nydia Tisdale faces trial this week on charges stemming from a campaign rally in 2016.

Tisdale, of Roswell, was arrested Aug. 23, 2014, after she allegedly refused to stop shooting video of a political rally at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm and leave the property when requested.

She was removed from the Republican Party rally by then-Dawson County Sheriff’s Capt. Tony Wooten, and held in the Burt’s barn until two other officers arrived to take her to jail.

Tisdale alleges she was unlawfully arrested and assaulted by Wooten, who was cleared of any wrongdoing after an internal investigation by the sheriff’s office.

In August 2015, Tisdale filed notice that a lawsuit against the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office and Board of Commissioners was looming unless a settlement could be reached in the case.

Tisdale was then indicted on one misdemeanor charge of trespassing, one misdemeanor charge of obstruction of officer and a felony charge of obstruction of officer in November 2015, and pleaded not guilty to all counts in March 2016.

22
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 22, 2017

Buddah

Buddah is a young male brindle-coated puppy who is available for adoption from Polk County Animal Control in Cedartown, GA. He looks to me like some kind of a low-rider breed.

Josie is a female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Polk County Animal Control in Cedartown, GA.

Doodle

Doodle is a young female Beagle & Mountain Cur  mix puppy who is available for adoption from Cedartown Animal Rescue, Education & Sterilization in Cedartown, GA

22
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 22, 2017

On November 21, 1620 (November 11 under the calendar used then), the first governing document of the English colony at Plymouth, Massachusetts, the Mayflower Compact, was signed by most of the male passengers of the Mayflower.

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.

The Georgia Trustees outlawed rum in the colony on November 21, 1733 after James Oglethorpe wrote them that it was responsible for sickness and death in Georgia. Two-hundred eighty-three years later, Richland Rum is being distilled with Georgia-grown sugar cane in Richland, Georgia.

North Carolina ratified the Constitution on November 21, 1789, becoming the twelfth state to do so.

President George Washington declared November 26, 1789 the first “public day of thanksgiving and prayer.”

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Go. Washington

On November 21, 1860 Governor Joseph Brown called a Secession Convention following the election of Abraham Lincoln as President.

The only major battle on Sherman’s March to the Sea occurred at Griswoldsville on November 22, 1864; on the same day, federal troops marched into Milledgeville.

Milledgeville-Old-Governor-Mansion-3

On November 23, 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman himself entered Milledgeville, where used the Governor’s Mansion as his headquarters. Sherman’s forces left the capitol city on November 24th.

On November 25, 1864, Sherman’s 14th and 20th Corps moved toward Sandersville while the 17th Corps fought briefly against a mix of Kentucky Militia, Georgia Military Institute cadets, and Georgia convicts.

On November 25, 1867, Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel filed a patent for dynamite. On November 25, 1895, Nobel wrote his will, leaving the equivalent of roughly $186 million (2008 dollars) to endow the Nobel prizes.

November 21, 1922 was the first day of Rebecca Latimer Fulton’s service in the United States Senate from Georgia as the first woman to serve in that chamber.

On November 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Fourth Thursday in November as the modern Thanksgiving celebration.

[I]t was not until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to fall on the last Thursday of November, that the modern holiday was celebrated nationally.

With a few deviations, Lincoln’s precedent was followed annually by every subsequent president–until 1939. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt departed from tradition by declaring November 23, the next to last Thursday that year, as Thanksgiving Day. Considerable controversy surrounded this deviation, and some Americans refused to honor Roosevelt’s declaration. For the next two years, Roosevelt repeated the unpopular proclamation, but on November 26, 1941, he admitted his mistake and signed a bill into law officially making the fourth Thursday in November the national holiday of Thanksgiving Day.

President John F. Kennedy became the fourth President of the United States to be assassinated in office on November 22, 1963. The next day, Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald, who had been arrested for shooting Kennedy. President John F. Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on November 25, 1963.

On November 22, 1988, the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber was first unveiled publicly at Palmdale, California.

Construction on the Georgia Dome began on November 24, 1989.

On November 24, 1992, Republican Paul D. Coverdell defeated Democratic incumbent Wyche Fowler in the runoff election for United States Senate.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

U.S. Senator David Perdue writes an outstanding editorial about the federal tax code from his perspective as a former Fortune 500 CEO.

In business, it all comes down to your return on investment (ROI). Decisions are made based on what is best for the company’s bottom line. Unfortunately, America’s current tax code is telling companies they will get a better ROI by investing their resources in another country.

First, within the United States, we don’t have a level playing field across all industries. I led two Fortune 500 companies. One of them, Dollar General, today pays an effective tax rate of 37 percent. The other, Reebok, pays an effective rate of 19 percent. This is not because of loopholes exploited by these businesses. It is an amalgamation of 100 years of Washington toying with the tax code to incentivize certain industries without ever revisiting whether these incentives actually accomplished their intended goal, or were still relevant.

By design, the United States tax code dictates how business decisions are made. Because of Congress’s failure to continually update the code to keep up with the changes in the global economy, American consumers, companies and workers are being significantly disadvantaged.

The United States is on the cusp of an economic turnaround. Consumer confidence is at a 16-year high and manufacturer optimism is at a 20-year high. There is an expectation being priced into the bond and stock markets that something will happen on tax this year, and it’s imperative that Congress act accordingly. Changing the tax code by Christmas is the single greatest thing we can do to ignite economic growth next year.

This sense of urgency is sorely missing in Congress. In the real world, you have to get things done as fast — or faster — than your competitors. As a former Fortune 500 CEO, I competed with other major companies like Nike and Walmart. In the business world, you don’t think about things theoretically, you act instinctively.

Countries around the world have already lowered their corporate rates. Now the United States is playing catch up and we cannot wait any longer to deliver results. We need to change the tax code to grow the economy, put people back to work, increase wages, and over the long-term, help reduce the national debt. Otherwise we will continue to be outpaced by our competitors and American workers will pay the ultimate price.

Vice President Mike Pence tweeted his agreement with Perdue’s statement.

Mike Pence David Perdue

The Georgia Republican Party is $750k in debt, according to recent filings.

The Georgia Republican party reports that it faces about $700,000 in debt, much of it from mounting legal bills linked to a racial discrimination lawsuit that was recently settled after three years of litigation.

The state party’s federal financial disclosure, filed late Monday, shows in stark details the financial toll of the lawsuit.

That lawsuit targeted former GOP chair John Padgett, who didn’t seek another term as the state party’s leader this summer.

[New GAGOP Chairman John] Watson inherited a party mired in tough financial straits.

The new chairman has also stepped up fundraising efforts and has slashed expenses since winning the post in a heated June election. The party has raised about $760,000 from June 5 to Nov. 20, including about $300,000 in pledges from a recent annual fundraiser featuring Ben Carson. It has about $235,000 cash on hand.

In contrast, the party’s raised about $380,000 during the same time period in 2015.

Having been involved in Georgia Republican Politics for more than 25 years, I can say I feel good about the GAGOP’s current posture. While the settlement of the lawsuit will lead to a short-term blemish on the balance sheet, it dramatically reduces the risk of a potentially larger debt and ongoing legal costs. The fact that GAGOP fundraising is so strong in the most recent quarter is probably due in large part to donors feeling reassured about the party’s finances by the Chairman’s quick moves to settle the lawsuit and cut monthly expenses. This is cause for Georgia Republicans to cheer.

In lieu of pardoning turkeys, Governor Nathan Deal announced four appointments two days before Thanksgiving.

Brian Robinson, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Deal was appointed to the Board of Governors of the George L. Smith II World Congress Center Authority.

Three former lawyers for Governor Deal or Governor Perdue, W. Ryan Teague, David R. Werner, and W. Thomas Worthy, were appointed to the Judicial Nominating Commission.

Sandy Springs City Council adopted an ordinance that restricts the retail sale of puppies.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the council approved an ordinance which bans the sale of dogs and cats obtained from large-scale commercial breeders — commonly knowns as “puppy mills” — by pet stores.

The ordinance allows pet stores to host pet adoptions with the animals obtained from an animal care facility, such as a shelter, or animal rescue organization. The ordinance was first introduced at a city work session on Nov. 7 by assistant city clerk Kelly Bogner and city attorney Dan Lee.

“By limiting pet stores to adoptions only, we reduce the opportunity for unethical, large-scale breeders — those operating puppy mills — to profit on the inhumane treatment of animals,” Lee said. “In addition, the ordinance promotes animal adoption, helping those animals in our shelters find loving homes.”

The ordinance does not include any language that would prevent someone from purchasing a dog or cat directly from a private breeder.

In a letter of support of the ordinance, the Humane Society of the United States wrote that it has worked with more than 240 localities to enact similar ordinances. Sandy Springs is the sixth city in Georgia to adopt this type of ordinance, joining cities like Canton and Holly Springs.

from an earlier story by the Reporter Newspapers:

“The rationale is, take away the profits, you get rid of those puppy mills” where animals are raised in “terrible conditions,” said Councilmember Gabriel Sterling.

“I think this is a good idea,” Mayor Rusty Paul said of the proposed ordinance.

“I strongly support this ordinance,” said Councilmember Ken Dishman, adding that “this particular issue hits close to home” because his daughter supports the concept and they recently adopted a dog.

The Libertarian Party of Georgia has filed a lawsuit seeking to have Georgia’s ballot access laws lifted.

No third-party candidate in Georgia has ever collected enough signatures to appear on the ballot for the U.S. House since the state passed an election qualifying law in 1943.

That law requires at least 5 percent of registered voters to sign a petition — that’s about 19,000 signatures needed to field a third-party candidate in any of Georgia’s 14 congressional districts. Meanwhile, candidates nominated by the Republican and Democratic parties automatically appear on the ballot.

“Georgia’s elections for U.S. representative(s) are among the most uncompetitive in the nation,” according to the lawsuit. “In the three election cycles from 2012 through 2016, Georgia has had 15 unopposed races for U.S. representative — more than any other state in the nation.”