The blog.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 16, 2016


Washington is a 2-3 year old Lab or Terrier mix male who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Washington is a super sweet two year old who loves everyone he meets and has the cutest ears imaginable. He loves to play and will bounce around happily when enticed. He will make the perfect companion for someone who loves tossing a ball in the backyard. He has a great sense of humor and will definitely keep you laughing. This happy boy can’t wait to be yours! Washington is neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, and ready to go home today. Come meet him at Lifeline’s DeKalb Animal Services or for more information email [email protected]

Washington knows the plight of being a black shelter dog first hand. He sits calmly in his kennel every day, hoping someone will take him to his forever home. He puts on his best smile, his happiest tail wag, and does all he can think of to look as cute as the pup next door. Yet, this sweet boy has been with us longer than any other current resident. Can you help him find a forever or foster home by Christmas?

Learn more about this precious pup here:


River is a 2-year old male Boxer or Bully breed who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

A face like’s River’s is hard not to love! This precious two year old is looking for his forever home at LifeLine’s DeKalb Animal Services. He is a pretty chill guy who loves treats, making new friends, and can get you to do pretty much anything with his sweet puppy-dog eyes. River’s adoption fee is only $25 this month.


Lacker is a five-year old male Shepherd mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Low-key boy Lacker is ready to find a comfy home where he can rest his paws. This four-year-old boy calm, gentle, and super sweet! He is a little shy at first, but warms up just after a few minutes of getting to know you. He loves treats and already knows how to sit. He gets along great with other dogs and will probably make a wonderful companion for your current pup. Meet Lacker at LifeLine’s DeKalb Animal Services.

He is the perfect mix of calm and cuddly.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 16, 2016

Georgia and American History

The British ship Mayflower landed at what is now Plymouth, Massachusetts on December 18, 1620.


Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley who founded Methodism, and one of the great hymn-writers, was born on December 18, 1707. Wesley accompanied James Oglethorpe to Georgia in 1736.

On December 16, 1773, the Sons of Liberty, led by Patriot Sam Adams, boarded three British ships in Boston harbor and threw tea worth $700,000 to $1 million in today’s money into the water in what came to be known as the Boston Tea Party.

Boston Tea Party

France formally recognized the United States as an independent nation on December 17, 1777.

The first national day of thanksgiving was observed on December 18, 1777 commemorating the American victory over the British at Saratoga the previous month.

Congress wrote, “It is therefore recommended to the Legislative or executive Powers of these UNITED STATES, to set apart THURSDAY, the eighteenth Day of December next, for solemn THANKSGIVING and PRAISE; That at one Time and with one Voice the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor”.

On December 18, 1834, Governor William Lumpkin signed legislation chartering the Georgia Methodists Conference Manual Labor School at Oxford, Georgia, which would later become Emory College in 1836 and Emory University in 1915.

Governor George Towns signed legislation on December 16, 1847 to build a State School for the Deaf and Dumb. The institution now known as the Georgia School for the Deaf was begun with a log cabin, $5000 from the legislature and four students and is still in operation in Cave Spring, Georgia.

General Ulysses S. Grant expelled all Jews from his military district, which covered parts of Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky on December 17, 1862. President Lincoln ordered Grant to rescind the order.

On December 16, 1897, Gov. William Atkinson signed legislation recognizing June 3, the birthday of Jefferson Davis, as a state holiday.

On December 18, 1865, U.S. Secretary of State William Seward issued a statement verifying the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which outlawed slavery in the United States.

The office of Superintendent of Public Education and Georgia Schools was created on December 18, 1866 when Gov. Charles Jenkins signed legislation passed by the General Assembly; on December 18, 1894, Gov. William Atkinson approved a resolution for a Constitutional Amendment to make the State School Commissioner elected statewide.

President William McKinley visited Savannah, Georgia on December 17, 1898. While there, McKinley attended church at Wesley Monumental Methodist Church and visited Georgia Agricultural and Medical College (now Savannah State University) and the Seventh Army.

On December 17, 1902, legislation changed Georgia’s state flag changed to include the coat of arms on the blue band.

Flag_of_the_State_of_Georgia_(1902-1906).svg copy

On December 16, 1944, a German counterattack in the Ardennes region of Belgium created a “bulge” in Allied lines with particularly difficult fighting near the town of Bastogne. During the Battle of the Bulge, 89,000 Americans were wounded and 19,000 killed in the bloodiest battle fought by the U.S. in World War II. National Geographic has an interesting article published for the 70th Anniversary of the Battle.

On December 17, 1944, Major General Henry C. Pratt ordered the end of the imprisonment of American citizens of Japanese descent in prison camps.

President Jimmy Carter announced on December 16, 1976, that he would name Andrew Young, then serving as Congressman from Georgia’s Fifth District, as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.

WTBS began broadcasting under new call letters on December 17, 1976 and uplinked its programming to satellite to become “America’s Super Station.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections


Republican Tim Echols was sworn in yesterday by Gov. Nathan Deal to a second term on the Georgia Public Service Commission.

Fifteen Republican state legislators represent districts won by Hillary Clinton last month.


SD 6 – Hunter Hill (R) – Cobb

SD 40 – Fran Millar (R) – Dekalb

SD 48 – David Shafer (R) – Gwinnett


HD 37 – Sam Teasley (R) – Marietta

HD 40 – Rich Golick (R) – Smyrna

HD 51 – Wendell Willard (R) Sandy Springs

HD 52 – Deborah Silcox (R) – Atlanta

HD 54 – Beth Beskin (R) – Atlanta

HD 79 – Tom Taylor (R) – Dunwoody

HD 80 –  Meagan Hanson (R) – Brookhaven

HD 105 – Joyce Chandler (R) – Lawrenceville

HD 106 – Brett Harrell (R) –  Lawrenceville

HD 107 – David Casas (R) – Lilburn

HD 108 – Clay Cox (R)- Lilburn

HD 111 – Brian Strickland (R) – McDonough

Former State Rep. Sally Harrell (D-DeKalb) will run for the Sixth Congressional District seat being vacated by Rep. Tom Price.

“During these politically uncertain times, we need a Congresswoman in Washington who understands the impact of government on people’s everyday lives,” said Harrell, who positioned herself as an advocate for mandatory school recess and expanded access to mental health services in office.

“Our families need access to affordable healthcare, quality public education, and clean air and water — all supported by a living wage. It’s time that our government works for the people.”

With several Republicans eyeing a run for the district, solidly-Republican turf that stretches from east Cobb to Brookhaven, Democrats hope to consolidate behind a single candidate in hopes of landing a spot in the runoff. But two other Democrats are already in the contest: Former state Sen. Ron Slotin, who vows to bring “progressive” ideals to the contest, and Josh McLaurin, an attorney and political newcomer.

She has the support of Democratic state Rep. Scott Holcomb, a DeKalb attorney who passed on the race earlier this month.

“I’ve known Sally a long time and she’s terrific,” he said. “She’s smart, reasonable and thoughtful. We need more of that in Congress.”

State Senator Judson Hill was endorsed by Newt Gingrich, who once held the Sixth Congressional seat Hill is seeking.

The most pressing issue the new Congress will face in January is beginning the process of repealing and replacing Obamacare. With healthcare premiums increasing at alarming rates, families need immediate relief.

America should be encouraged that Congressman Tom Price will be our new Secretary of Health and Human Services, but this also means voters in the 6th District will have an important choice to make about who to send to Washington as a principled conservative reformer.

I am eager to support my long-time friend, Senator Judson Hill. I’ve seen Judson work every day to pass common sense tax cuts and healthcare legislation that helps every Georgian. That’s the kind of proven conservative leadership Georgia needs. Judson will immediately get to work and bring his effective leadership to Washington representing the people of Georgia’s 6th District.

In the State House, Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams (Atlanta) says her party will continue to push for Medicaid expansion in Georgia this year.

Liberals plan to protest at the State Capitol on Monday where Georgia’s Presidential Electors will meet.

The organizers of the Dec. 19 protests are taking aim at the Electoral College voters who are charged with formally electing presidents during post-election meetings in statehouses. They argue that Hillary Clinton’s victory in the popular vote – she leads Trump by more than 2.8 million votes – should make the Democrat president.

“The electors have both the Constitutional right and the moral responsibility to stop Trump,” said Daniel Brezenoff, whose petition urging electors to dump Trump attracted more than 5 million signatures. “He lost the popular vote and he should lose on December 19 at the Electoral College.”

The Judicial Nominating Commission has released their short lists of nominees for vacancies on the Superior Courts for the Atlanta, Augusta, and Douglas Judicial Circuits.

Atlanta Judicial Circuit
Shukura Millender – Magistrate Judge, Fulton County
Richard S. Moultrie, Jr. – Deputy Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney, United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia
Paige Reese Whitaker – Deputy District Attorney, Fulton County District Attorney’s Office

Augusta Judicial Circuit
Pamela J. Doumar – Juvenile Court Judge, Augusta Judicial Circuit
Ashley Wright – District Attorney, Augusta Judicial Circuit

Douglas Judicial Circuit
Cynthia C. Adams – Judge Pro Tempore, Douglas County Juvenile Court; solo practitioner
Ryan R. Leonard – Chief Assistant District Attorney, Douglas Judicial Circuit
Peggy H. Walker – Judge, Juvenile Court of Douglas County

We noted yesterday an article about the link between opioid abuse and increasing numbers of neglected and abused children in Georgia. Today, The Wall Street Journal takes a deeper dive into the issue.

Widespread abuse of powerful opioids has pushed U.S. overdose death rates to all-time highs. It has also traumatized tens of thousands of children. The number of youngsters in foster care in many states has soared, overwhelming social workers and courts. Hospitals that once saw few opioid-addicted newborns are now treating dozens a year.

And many of the children who remain in the care of addicted parents are growing up in mayhem. They watch their mothers and fathers overdose and die on the bathroom floor. They live without electricity, food or heat when their parents can’t pay the bills. They stop going to school, and learn to steal and forage to meet their basic needs.

Social workers say the scale of the trouble exceeds anything they saw during the crack-cocaine or methamphetamine crises of previous decades. Heroin and other opioids are so addictive they can overwhelm even the strongest parental instinct to care for a child, doctors and social workers say.

In Ohio, opioids are the main cause of a 19% increase in the number of kids removed from parental custody and placed with relatives or foster homes since 2010, according to an association of Ohio’s county-level children’s services agencies. In Vermont, that number grew by 40% between 2013 and 2016, largely due to opioids, according to the state’s Department for Children and Families.

The Bibb County Board of Education has two new members, sworn in this week.

The Bibb County Board of Education welcomed two new faces and said goodbye to two outgoing members on Thursday night. Tom Hudson and Jason Downey attended their last meeting, after serving on the board for 12 years and four years, respectively.

Sundra Woodford and Bob Easter, the newest members, and Ella Carter, Thelma Dillard, Susan Sipe and Lester Miller were sworn in by Bibb County Probate Court Judge Sarah Harris.

“Four years ago, when a group of us came on the board, the school system in a lot of people’s eyes had been left for dead,” said Downey, who represented District 6. “I think over the past four years we’ve moved the needle, changed the expectation level. We’ve brought strong leadership back to Bibb County. We’ve improved graduation rates.”

The Gainesville Times says the 2017 General Assembly could be a continuation of issues from past sessions.

State Rep. Lee Hawkins, R-Gainesville, the dean of the delegation from Hall County now that Carl Rogers has retired from the state House, said repealing the ACA would have a significant impact on Georgia’s own budget.

Medicaid is a big item without having expanded it under the ACA, he said, with about 1.1 million children, and 1.8 million individuals overall, covered by it in the state.

Moreover, efforts to support growth in graduate medical training residencies, such as a new program being developed at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville, rely on federal health care reimbursements.

Hawkins said the top health care committee in the General Assembly would begin meeting before the legislative session formally kicks off Jan. 9.

For Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, R-Gainesville, making higher education more affordable and spurring economic development — not just through retention and recruitment of existing businesses, but through innovation, too) are critical to meet the demands of a growing population that now exceeds 10 million.

“We are not short of challenges,” Cagle said, but with those come more opportunities to “create more economic engines to fuel the chance for everyone to experience the American Dream.”

Casino gambling is among the issues likely to be recycled under the Gold Dome.

State representatives spoke with the LaGrange City Council on Tuesday regarding a variety of issues that would require collaboration on city and state levels, including an amendment expected to be voted on in 2017 regarding gaming casinos in Georgia.

“If it is like the measure that was introduced during the last session, the state is divided into five zones,” said Rep. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus. “Two casino licenses would issue for the metro Atlanta area, and then one apiece for these other regions. The discussion that I heard was the west Georgia license would likely wind up being in Columbus, but that is not required by the statute.”

If the measure is approved, casino companies would bid for the license to build a casino in a given region. The bidding would be expected to be competitive, but only one casino would be allowed in any given region. So, if a casino was built in Columbus, a casino would not be allowed to build in LaGrange, and if the city voted against a casino, it would have to find another location.

“If you want to see what casino gaming can do for a local economy, go to Wetumpka, Ala., and find out how many restaurants are no longer there,” said Rep. Randy Nix, R-LaGrange, who opposes the amendment. “Find out how many events that have entertainment are no longer there. It’s all going right in that one place.”

Overall, the LaGrange City Council held reservations regarding casino gaming in the area, and the city council does not have an official stance on casino gaming.

Replacing income taxes with sales taxes is unlikely any time soon due to changes in state collections.

When asked by a constituent about future income tax reductions in lieu of a higher sales tax, [State Rep. Terry] England said he would be reluctant to move too far in that direction at this time.

“When you look at our revenues following the economic recovery, sales tax has remained flat for about the last six years, which is concerning to me and others,” said England, who chairs the House appropriations committee.

“I hope that’s a result of people putting more money back into savings and paying down debt, but I suspect it’s also probably a shift over to more E-commerce.

“My inclination is for us to wait a little bit and see what’s going to happen with our sales tax revenues. Then if we do decide to do something, let’s be very cautious about it.”

DeKalb Medical System is under pressure and looking for a partner to help stabilize the hospitals.

In recent months, DeKalb Medical has suffered financial problems, job cuts and leadership changes.

Its CEO and chief operating officer submitted their resignations within the past month, and the system has laid off 60 employees. Another 80 jobs have been eliminated.

The financial difficulties, Iverson said, stem at least in part from a high number of uninsured patients. She noted that Georgia has not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, unlike most other states. Expanding the number of people with coverage increases hospitals’ chances for reimbursement.

“We were really hopeful for Medicaid expansion,’’ Iverson told GHN this week.

In addition, DeKalb Medical also experienced problems in its revenue cycle, which includes billing and collections, and claims denials, she said.

Economic factors have driven many Georgia hospitals to seek alliances or mergers to help withstand sweeping changes in health care payments.

Government and private insurers are increasingly emphasizing quality of care in reimbursements, instead of just paying for the quantity of services delivered. Medicare is paying bonuses and imposing penalties under the ACA based on quality-of-care measurements.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 15, 2016


Gizmo is a 2-year old adult male Cairn Terrier with some special needs, who is available for adoption from the Murray County Humane Society in Chatsworth, GA.


Beanie is a senior male Chihuahua who is available for adoption from the Murray County Humane Society in Chatsworth, GA.


Hunter is a 3-4 year old male Hound mix who is available for adoption from the Murray County Humane Society in Chatsworth, GA.

He is super sweet and energetic. Hunter is heartworm positive & will receive treament prior to being adopted.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 15, 2016

Georgia and American History

On December 15, 1791, Virginia ratified the Bill of Rights, giving the first ten Amendments a three-quarter majority required to become law.

On December 15, 1859, Georgia Governor Joseph Brown signed legislation outlawing public execution of criminals. The previous day he signed legislation prohibiting slave owners from freeing their slaves on the owner’s death.

President Jimmy Carter announced on December 15, 1978 that U.S. diplomatic recognition of the People’s Republic of China would begin on January 1, 1979.

The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee released a report on December 15, 1998 that recommended impeachment against President Bill Clinton and introduced H.Res. 611.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal took steps yesterday to make Naloxone, which is used to treat opioid overdoses, available over-the-counter in Georgia.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 14, 2016


Claus is a male Chihuahua puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of NWGA in Dalton, GA.


Joy is a female Chihuahua puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of NWGA in Dalton, GA.


Merry is a female Chihuahua puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of NWGA in Dalton, GA.


Noel is a female Chihuahua puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of NWGA in Dalton, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 14, 2016

President George Washington died at Mount Vernon on December 14, 1799. Here’s an article about the nation’s mourning for our first President.

The Congress, in session at the capital of Philadelphia when Washington’s death was announced, immediately adjourned. The House of Representatives assembled the next day and resolved to shroud the Speaker’s chair in black and have members wear black during the remainder of the session. On December 23, John Marshall speaking for the joint committee of both houses, presented five points that became the foundation for the United States’ first “state” funeral. Resolutions structured mourning events around public commemorations that fostered unity and a sense of national identity among grieving Americans.

President William McKinley addressed the Georgia General Assembly on December 14, 1898.

McKinley_at_Atlanta2 McKinley Atlanta SM

On December 14, 1939, a parade was held through downtown Atlanta with stars from Gone With the Wind and the Junior League held a ball that night. The next day, December 15, 1939, Gone With the Wind held its world premiere at Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Republican Chuck Payne led the field in the Senate District 54 Special Election yesterday.

Conda Lowery Goodson (R) 8.44% 419
Chuck Payne (R) 36.10% 1792
Debby Peppers 27.42% 1361
Shell Underwood (R) 10.80% 536
William Vinyard (R) 17.24% 856

Republican Payne and Democrat Debby Peppers will meet in a runoff election January 10, 2017, the day after the Georgia General Assembly convenes.

From Payne’s campaign manager, Justin Tomczak,

“Chuck Payne heads into the runoff in strong position v. a life-long Democrat, having bested her in all four counties in the District. Chuck has served his community for decades and supported conservative candidates at all levels. Meanwhile, his opponent was donating to Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter, and voting for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton for President. NW Georgia has little in common with those liberal politicians” said Payne’s political adviser Justin Tomczak.

“Chuck’s volunteered for every Republican candidate I’ve supported and so I volunteered to run his race” added Tomczak.

Democrat Debby Peppers spoke to the Times Free Press,

“We’re in a good position,” Peppers said. “We’ll just see what happens. I didn’t want to drag [the race] out over Christmas, but it is what it is. My base is pretty loyal and pretty proactive. And I expect them to come back out again.”

Peppers was the only candidate to run as an Independent in this election, with the four other candidates all registering as Republicans. During a candidate forum Nov. 30, when the four other candidates said they wanted to increase sales tax and decrease property taxes, Peppers criticized the plan. She argued that would disproportionately affect poor people.

She is also the only candidate who does not outright oppose abortion in most cases. She said banning the procedure in Georgia would lead to a challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court, costing taxpayers money.

This is in an area that is strongly conservative, where about 78 percent of voters supported Donald Trump in the presidential race last month.

Payne entered Tuesday’s race as the most deeply connected Republican. He has been a member of the local party since the early 1990s and twice served as its chairman. Most recently, he stepped down from the post to volunteer for the presidential campaign of Dr. Ben Carson.

Payne defeated Peppers in all four counties Tuesday. And with three other Republicans dropping out, he has a good shot of picking up extra support over the next month.

Houston County voters will go to the polls on March 21, 2017 to vote on a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 13, 2016

On December 13, 1636, the Massachusetts Bay Colony General Court organized three regiments of militia to guard against attacks by the Pequot Indians. That day is recognized as the birth of the National Guard.

Echols County, Georgia was created by the Georgia General Assembly on December 13, 1858.

Former Georgia Governor Ellis Arnall died on December 13, 1992. Arnall served in the State House, as Speaker, Attorney General, and in 1942 at the age of 35, was elected Governor.

Arnall also led the fight to outlaw the poll tax and the white primary, and is noted for making Georgia the first state to allow 18-year-olds to vote. He is further remembered for his role in obtaining a new state constitution for Georgia in 1945.

Al Gore conceded the presidential election to George W. Bush on December 13, 2000.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Voters in Northwest Georgia’s Senate District 54 go to the polls today to elect a new State Senator to succeed former Senator Charlie Bethel.

Polls for the special election are open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. as five candidates try to replace Charlie Bethel, a six-year veteran whom Gov. Nathan Deal appointed to the state’s court of appeals last month. The position covers Whitfield and Murray counties and parts of Pickens and Gordon counties.

In Georgia, the seat holder has to earn more than 50 percent of the vote to win. And with a crowded list of contenders today, there’s a chance the two most popular candidates will have to face each other in a runoff on Jan. 10, a day after the Senate session begins.

The candidates for the seat are:

* Conda Lowery Goodson, an active community volunteer

* Chuck Payne, a retired juvenile court probation officer

* Debby Peppers, an attorney and former county commissioner

* Shell Underwood, an insurance counselor and former teacher

* William Vinyard, a contractor

The race is nonpartisan, but four of the candidates signed up as Republicans. Peppers registered as an Independent candidate. She and Payne were the two most politically active candidates prior to this week’s race.

Payne, a member of the local Republican Party since 1991, was the group’s chairman from 1998-2005 and again from 2013-15. He stepped down the second time to volunteer for Ben Carson’s presidential campaign.

Peppers is the most liberal candidate in a staunchly conservative region. During a candidate forum, she was the only one who argued against cutting property taxes while boosting sales tax, telling the audience the maneuver would disproportionately tax the poor. She also said she would not support legislation banning abortion in Georgia, arguing it would lead to a costly lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The candidates appeared together in a public forum on Monday.

Goodson noted that people may be familiar with her from her previous run for Senate District 54, when she unsuccessfully challenged then-incumbent Charlie Bethel, R-Dalton, in the GOP primary earlier this year.

“I’ve been studying Georgia laws, and I’ve talked to tens of thousands of people. I’ve talked to hundreds of small business owners to find out what’s hurting them and what I can do to help them,” she said.

Payne said that although he was worked on numerous campaigns for others, this is the first time he has run for office.

“I’ve spent all of my adult life serving my country and my community, first in the Army and then for the Department of Juvenile Justice,” said Payne, who recently retired after 30 years with the department as a juvenile probation officer.
[Republican William] Vinyard said he is “a Christian, a conservative and a constitutionalist.”

“I’m a Marine Corps combat veteran. I’ve fought for my country, and I’ll fight for you,” he said.

Burrell Ellis is back at the helm of DeKalb County’s government after the Georgia Supreme Court overturned his convictions for official corruption.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 13, 2016


Cadaba is a pit bull terrier mix female who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Spend one minute with Cadaba and you are sure to fall in love. This happy, silly two year old is ready to brighten your life more and more every day. She gets along with other dogs and may not mind sharing her home with a canine companion. She is two years old and weighs about 45 pounds.


Wyclef is a 6-year old male Boxer mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Wyclef doesn’t want to spend another month in the shelter – help him find his forever or foster home for the holidays! He is a peppy guy who dreams of making all your wishes come true. He can’t wait to have a family to call his own. He gets along great with other dogs and is ready to go home today!


Agatha (female, right) and Einstein (male, right) are eight-year old best friends who are available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

What’s better than spending the holidays with an old friend or two? Agatha & Einstein would love to relax by the fireplace during your holiday festivities! This old couple is looking for a place to call home. Can you help them find their foster or forever?

This old couple is pretty much inseparable. They are the best of friends and do everything together. They love going out for slow walks and napping cuddled up on their orthopedic bed. Agatha moves a little slower than Einstein, but still gets around fine. They would absolutely love a home where they can stay together. They promise they won’t be much trouble. Meet Agatha and Einstein at LifeLine’s Dekalb Animal Services!


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 12, 2016


Trevor is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Macon Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.


Kenny is a young male Labrador Retriever & English Bulldog Mix who is available for adoption from Macon Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.


Angel is a female German Shepherd Dog who is available for adoption from Macon Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 12, 2016

Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the Constitution on December 12, 1787.

Guglielmo Marconi completed the first transatlantic radio transmission from Cornwall, England to Newfoundland on December 12, 1901.

Jimmy Carter announced he would run for President of the United States on December 12, 1974.

Dickey Betts, guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band, was born on December 12, 1943.

The United States Supreme Court released its decision in Bush v. Gore on December 12, 2000, stopping manual recounts of contested ballots in Florida.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

A Macon Telegraph headline sounds like the beginning of a country song: He says he made her breakfast, then she set his house on fire.

[Aaron] Whitfield said he made her something to eat. “She was tired and hungry,” he said. Then he told her he was going to clean his room.

“And she got mad,” he said, “because I asked her to leave.”

She refused, so Whitfield put her out. Then a brick sailed through a window at the back door.

“I heard glass break,” Whitfield said. “Then she said, ‘I’m gonna set this mother (expletive) on fire!’ And next thing I know, the back porch was on fire. … I don’t know how.”

“I mean, I just gave her breakfast,” he said. “I mean, why you want to do that?”

Governor Nathan Deal released a statement on the shootings in Americus, Georgia.

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26

On behalf of all Georgians, Sandra and I grieve with the family, friends and Americus Police Department over the loss of Nicholas Ryan Smarr, who was killed yesterday in the line of duty. We ask for God’s grace and sustenance for the family of Jody Smith, the Georgia Southwestern State University police officer who remains in critical condition. Our hearts are with Americus and Georgia Southwestern State University. On behalf of the state of Georgia, I pledge the full support of state resources to this heartbroken community as it begins to heal and as we work to ensure that justice is served.

Gov. Deal also presided over the swearing-in of three new Justices of the Supreme Court of Georgia.

“It’s a rare opportunity for a governor to swear in three new Georgia Supreme Court justices,” Deal said. “This is an historic day.”

All three will take their new jobs in January. The governor made a point of starting with Thompson’s successor, currently Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs. That means Boggs will have seniority—by a few minutes—over the other two: Court of Appeals Judge Nels Peterson and Solicitor General Britt Grant, in that order. The sequence of Wednesday’s ceremony will be important years from now, when it’s time for one of the three to take the lead as chief justice. And it will be a factor in much of what they do in the meantime, right down to the order in which they enter the courtroom and take their seats for oral arguments.

“Things have not always worked out as I’ve planned, but I trust they’ve always worked out as God has planned,” Boggs said. He quoted Proverbs 3: 5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”

Next up, Peterson quoted more Scripture. Micah 6:8. “What doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

Grant also promised to honor the rule of law with humility and fairness. And she set another goal: “clarity and coherence.” The governor has said he puts a high value on clear legal writing, and complimented all three of his choices on their skills in this area.

Former Augusta Mayor Bob Young is the latest Georgian to make a trip to New York to meet with Trump Transition Team officials.

Bob Young was at Trump tower [December 8, 2016] for a meeting with members of the President-Elect’s transition staff.

Young was also appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as the Regional Director of Housing and Urban Development in Atlanta.

Young also worked on the “Get Out The Vote” effort for the Trump campaign in Wisconsin.

Donald Trump’s election as President probably killed the Georgia effort to adopt a national popular vote scheme for Presidential elections.

Only a few months ago, the state Legislature had before it two bills that, on paper, were among the most popular of the 2016 session. Each measure, Republican-driven in both the House and Senate, would have pledged Georgia’s Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most popular votes.

Had that pledge been in effect six weeks ago, Georgia electors on Monday, Dec. 19, would be voting for Clinton, who leads Trump by 2.5 million in the popular vote. It’s the biggest winning margin by a losing presidential candidate in U.S. history.

But both House Bill 929 and Senate Bill 376 hit mysterious, invisible walls as last winter edged toward spring. The former received approval from a House committee and then disappeared. According to its primary sponsor, S.B. 376 had the signatures of 50 senators – in a chamber with only 56 members. The bill never even got a hearing.

“I suspended my support of the bill in an effort to better understand the issue,” said David Shafer, R-Duluth, who as Senate president pro tem is the chamber’s ranking member. “We have received new data and I no longer support the bill.”

Trump administration interest in preserving nuclear power plants may provide a boost for Georgia.

President-elect Donald Trump’s advisers are looking at ways in which the U.S. government could help nuclear power generators being forced out of the electricity market by cheaper natural gas and renewable resources.

In a document obtained by Bloomberg, Trump’s transition team asked the Energy Department how it can help keep nuclear reactors “operating as part of the nation’s infrastructure” and what it could do to prevent the shutdown of plants. Advisers also asked the agency whether there were statutory restrictions in resuming work on Yucca Mountain, a proposed federal depository for nuclear waste in Nevada that was abandoned by the Obama administration.

The list of questions to the Energy Department offers one of the clearest indications yet of Trump’s potential plans for aiding America’s battered nuclear power generators.

Trump has voiced his support for nuclear power in the past. In a television interview with Fox News in 2011, he said he was “very strongly in favor of nuclear energy,” while stressing the need for safeguards at plants.

The Department of Homeland Security says an employee doing checks against the Georgia Secretary of State’s professional licensing database may be responsible for reports of an attempted break-in.

An employee in the department who worked far removed from cybersecurity operations visited the Georgia secretary of state’s website for his work, an official told The Associated Press. The employee’s system was configured in a way that caused Georgia’s outside security vendor to misinterpret the visit as a scan of its systems. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorized to publicly discuss preliminary findings.

The computer address Georgia provided to U.S. officials traced back an internet gateway that funnels traffic for thousands of computers across the 22-agency department. By Friday afternoon, they had followed the trail back to a specific computer.

The employee told investigators that he was checking the state website to determine whether an individual had a certain type of professional license issued by the state. Due to the way the employee’s computer was configured, it appeared his computer was scanning the state system, which can be interpreted as a prelude to a hacking attempt, the official said.

Georgia legislators are unlikely to expand Medicaid eligibility until details are known about the Trump administration’s plans to address Medicaid funding and ObamaCare.

“That discussion probably effectively came to an end election night,” said Republican House Speaker David Ralston.

President-elect Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress have vowed to repeal Obamacare.

“I’m not saying that there aren’t some things that we can do during the period of time of replacement,” Ralston said, “but I think we’re all looking forward to see what the broad outlines of the replacement are going to look like.”

Ralston said he “recognizes” there are “too many uninsured Georgians,” but he said until Congress says how exactly they’ll replace Obamacare, lawmakers here will just have to wait.

Ralston expects the Legislature will try to bolster Georgia’s struggling rural hospitals, and he said he’s concerned the state doesn’t have enough primary care physicians.

Conda Goodson, candidate for Senate District 54 in tomorrow’s Special Election, told the Dalton Daily Citizen she was unaware of alleged campaign finance violations.

On Thursday, the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, also known as the state ethics commission, voted 4-0 that there were reasonable grounds to believe Conda Goodson violated state campaign finance laws.

“This is the first I’ve heard of it,” [Goodson] said Friday afternoon. “The lady I have been talking to told me something different. I guess I will have to call them Monday to find out what’s going on.”

An ethics complaint was filed against Goodson in March by attorney Daniel Laird III for failure to file a personal financial disclosure form. At the time, Goodson said a mix-up on her electronic user name caused her to misfile several key reports with the state ethics commission and she did not realize there was a problem until Laird filed his complaint.

Other candidates in the special election are former Whitfield County Republican Party chairman Chuck Payne, former Whitfield County Board of Commissioners member Debby Peppers, financial representative Shell Underwood and contractor Billy Vinyard.

The 54th District includes all of Whitfield and Murray counties and parts of Gordon and Pickens counties.

Outgoing State Rep. Earnest Smith will pay an $8000 fine over misreporting of campaign donations.

Dalton City Council is considering whether to make budget cuts or raise taxes.

As expenditures continue to outpace revenue, the city has continued to dip into its reserve fund, and the plan discussed during Thursday’s meeting of the city’s Finance Committee for 2017 would be to have a $3.6 million cushion taken from the reserve and an increase in the millage rate by .287 mills.

The city would have $16.4 million remaining in its reserve fund. The millage rate is currently 2.506 mills. The increase would be $25.83 on a $100,000 home.

“That takes us back to a 2010 or 2011 rate and doesn’t make us cut services,” Councilman Tate O’Gwin said. “Once you cut services, property values will fall and our tax digest will fall, and then you have to raise taxes even more. It is just a spiral. We will have a higher level of taxation, but we will also have a higher level of services.”

Effingham County Commissioners are also having problems with tightening finances.

The Chatham County jail purchases goods or services from companies associated with three local legislators.

Cobb County Commissioners will consider adding $10 million to the county’s share of funding for a ramp at Akers Mill to reversible toll lanes on I-75.

Incoming Cobb Commission Chair Mike Boyce cancelled a planned inaugural gala.

Gwinnett County Transportation Director Alan Chapman will be among the witnesses before the Georgia Senate Regional Transit Solutions Study Committee, which meets from 2 to 4 PM today in Room 450 of the State Capitol.

The Senate created the study committee during this year’s legislative session with the goal of looking at traffic congestion and whether it could be reduced at least somewhat by a regionwide transit system. It is also intended to look at new models for regional transit governance and funding.

Cobb County Transit Division General Manager Vida Covington is also expected to appear before the committee during the meeting, according to the agenda.

Kevin Harris, former Executive Director of the Georgia Republican Party has been promoted to Deputy Executive Director of the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA).

Prior to coming on board with GVRA, Kevin served as the Georgia Political Director for a U.S. presidential campaign, as Executive Director of the Georgia Republican Party and as the Political Director for Governor Nathan Deal’s first gubernatorial campaign. He also spent 17 years teaching at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, GA.

Executive Director Sean T. Casey praised Kevin’s devotion to the mission saying, “Kevin is without a doubt the best person to help me lead this organization towards an even further expansion of services, with the goal of helping any Georgian who wants to work and build a career. I’m confident that in the coming years we’ll demonstrate to the state and to the country as a whole that we are an example of how workforce development can flourish within any demographic or population.”

The Georgia Department of Veterans Services will seek authorization to accept contributions, according to

Georgia lawmakers will be asked next year to allow the Department of Veterans Service to accept contributions and private donations, with the money going toward care of people living in the state’s two nursing homes for war veterans.
The proposal, which would allow the department to establish a nonprofit organization as a means to accept the donations, is among three requests it will make of lawmakers when the Georgia Legislature begins work Jan. 9.

Most of the veterans living and receiving care in the homes — located on campuses in Augusta and Milledgeville — are aged and infirm, and many have limited incomes.

The long-sought creation of a female veterans program is another — the department has sought to create the program through budget requests but has not received funding. Now it will ask lawmakers to mandate the program under law.

DeKalb County has reached the status of “functional zero” for homeless veterans. Kudos.

Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May said the county housed 378 veterans so far this year through September by finding them permanent housing, distributing federal supportive housing vouchers and connecting veterans to other programs.

The county’s functional zero status was confirmed by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

To qualify for the designation, DeKalb showed that the average time it takes to permanently house veterans who were willing to accept housing is less than 90 days and that the community has sufficient housing capacity, along with other benchmarks.

Surterra Holdings, Inc., an Atlanta-based company working on medical cannabis, has raised $15 million in capital, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.