About half of Macon-Bibb’s SPLOST money already spent | Politics | Macon.com

Nearly three years after Macon-Bibb County voters endorsed a $190 million special purpose local option sales tax, about half of the money has been spent on a long list of approved projects, commissioners learned Tuesday afternoon.

But the most visible results are yet to come, SPLOST project manager Clay Murphey said at a nonvoting commission work session.

“Some of the big money, frankly, has been in stuff that you can’t see,” Murphey said. The SPLOST list included millions for repaying existing debt and work on stormwater projects. Other plans are moving along, he said.

via About half of Macon-Bibb’s SPLOST money already spent | Politics | Macon.com.

Ga. Supreme Court accepts JQC decision about Monroe County probate judge | Local & State | Macon.com

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it approved the decision of the Judicial Qualifications Commission to accept the retirement of Monroe County Probate Judge Karen Pitman.

Pitman, 50, sent a letter to Gov. Nathan Deal’s office last week announcing her decision to retire, which Deal accepted in a later dated Thursday, according to documents posted on the JQC’s website.

The JQC was investigating Pitman for allegations “of irregularities in the process of Uniform Traffic Citations” in Probate Court.

The investigation ended when Pitman announced her retirement, set for Dec. 15.

However, Pitman told The Telegraph last week that she changed her mind about retiring and was going to start the process of reversing that decision.

via Ga. Supreme Court accepts JQC decision about Monroe County probate judge | Local & State | Macon.com.

Byron holds millage rate steady | Politics | Macon.com

The City Council has voted to hold Byron’s 2014 millage rate steady at 9 mills.

Councilman Mike Chumbley, chairman of the council’s Budget and Finance Committee, said council members voted unanimously. This marks the sixth year the rate has been at 9 mills, meaning no tax increase from the millage rate.

However, Chumbley said some residents could still see higher or lower tax bills based on any difference in the value of their property from last year as determined by Peach County officials.

via Byron holds millage rate steady | Politics | Macon.com.

Georgia could delay impact of teacher evaluation system | www.myajc.com

Georgia teachers who receive poor scores on their job evaluations this year may be forgiven under a proposal the state Department of Education plans to make to the federal government.

The state was set to roll out a high-stakes teacher evaluation system this year that bases half of teachers’ job ratings on students’ academic growth, as measured in some grades and subjects through standardized tests. The new system influences decisions about hiring, firing, certification and — for some — pay. It’s tied to a $400 million federal grant called Race to the Top and to Georgia’s request for freedom from some requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

But State School Superintendent John Barge told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he plans to ask federal permission to delay the consequences of the new system. Teachers would still be evaluated under it, as required by state law. But the results would not be used for what the Georgia Department of Education called “high-stakes decisions.”

via Georgia could delay impact of teacher evaluation system | www.myajc.com.

Paulding County airport agreement riles opponents | www.myajc.com

Paulding County’s board of commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday to give the county airport authority guaranteed revenue for ten years and an additional 163 acres, to the chagrin of those who oppose the county efforts to bring in commercial flights.

Critics say the vote amounts to a power grab and an effort to sidestep opponents’ efforts to stop the rural airport’s commercialization. They say that cementing nearly $3 million of funding for the airport over ten years prevents future commissioners from being able to withhold that funding.

County and airport backers say the deal clarifies roles and puts the onus on the airport to keep a budget and become more self-sufficient.

via Paulding County airport agreement riles opponents | www.myajc.com.

When “identical” doesn’t mean identical – 11Alive poll changes demographic assumptions

11Alive has released a new poll this morning in a story that is sloppy at best, deceptive at worst.

ATLANTA — A new exclusive scientific poll shows the race for Georgia’s governor is statistically tied. The poll was commissioned by 11Alive and conducted by Survey USA.

Over the past three weeks, since an identical poll was conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of 11Alive, incumbent Republican Nathan Deal has watched a 9-point lead evaporate.

Forty-five percent of registered likely voters plan to vote for Jason Carter, 44% for Nathan Deal. The margin of error is +/- 4.2%, so they are statistically tied.

The part I want to discuss is where 11Alive says the polls were “identical.” That simply isn’t true.

I’ve discussed at length the importance of weighting, and specifically the assumption about what percentage of voters will be African-American. I’m predicting 30%, which is about what most pollsters in Georgia are assuming, while national pollsters have been using values around 25-26%.

Today’s 11Alive poll assumes that African-Americans will constitute 29% of the November electorate, while their earlier “identical” poll assumed 26% turnout.

This change is an important methodological change and means the two polls are not identical. We will follow up with more analysis, but at the moment, I’d say this change probably represents about 2 points of the change in the head-to-head races.

Here’s some evidence of how much of the change is attributable to changes in 11Alive’s turnout model. In the “identical” poll three weeks ago, the partisan split of voters was 40% Republican to 38% Democratic. Now, with the demographic manipulation, it has reversed to 37% Republican to 40% Democratic.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 10, 2014

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.

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.

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.

Hope for America

Cry Out America will hold a prayer event at the Georgia State Capitol on Thursday, September 11, 2014 from 11 AM to 1 PM inside the Capitol near the South Steps.

Voter Fraud Allegations against Democratic organization

At least six county voter registration offices have reported suspected voter registration fraud linked to The New Georgia Project, according to WSB-TV. (more…)

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for September 10, 2014

Chimney1

Chimney is an adult male Collie mix who is available for adoption from All About Animals Rescue in Macon, GA.

Chimney2Chim

Martin1

Martin is a 2-yeard old, 35-pound Basset Hound and Shepherd mix, described as “a happy little man.” He seems to enjoy everyone he meets. He is curious of cats but doesn’t seem to bother them on walks and has done well with other dogs he has met. He is learning to walk well on a leash, house and crate trained. Martin is available for adoption from One Love Animal Rescue, Inc in Savannah, GA.

Athena2

Athena is a beautiful and strong female Boxer mix. She has a great face and a personality to match. Athena plays well with the other dogs at the kennel. Because she is very strong she needs to know from the start that you are in charge.

She loves her walks and does great on her leash as long as she knows that she is being taken for the walk not her taking you for a walk. She would make an amazing addition to an active family willing to give her the daily exercise she needs. If you are looking for a running or hiking companion Athena is the dog for you.

Athena is available for adoption from Homeward Bound Pet Rescue Inc. of Gilmer County in Ellijay, Ga.

Athena1

BREAKING SCANDAL: VIDEO from WSB – TV – Group Led By Nunn Ally & Donor Under “Fraud Investigation”

Your Washington Desk

From David Perdue U.S. Senate 

Group Led By Nunn Ally & Donor Under “Fraud Investigation”

Response from Megan Whittemore –  spokesperson for David Perdue U.S. Senate

“The serious allegations of illegal activities and potential fraud from liberal voter registration groups are outrageous and should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law. As outlined in Michelle Nunn’s well-documented campaign plan, since Democrats cannot win on the issues they are aggressively trying to expand the electorate by any means necessary. The fact that an organization led by a well-known Nunn supporter would attempt to illegally register voters is unacceptable and reminiscent of the Obama-political machine’s ACORN scandal. There is nothing more fundamental to our democratic process than maintaining the integrity of our elections and any attempt to tamper with them is deplorable.”

Watch The WSB – TV story -

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland: House Passes Water Bill to Protect GA Farmers

Your Washington – GA 3 – Desk

From Congressman Lynn Westmoreland 

House Passes Water Bill to Protect GA Farmers

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act. The bill restricts the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers efforts to expand federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act with respect to ‘waters of the United States’, as well as requiring them to engage in a federal consultation with the states and local governments.

“This bill is another example of Congress having to prevent the EPA from overstepping its bounds and regulating outside its authority,” stated Westmoreland.  (more…)