Senator to expand legal marijuana debate – The Newnan Times-Herald

A joint state House-Senate committee has spent the past several months studying the possibility of making cannabis oil with a low THC content available to Georgians under strict medical protocols.

But this week, Democratic Sen. Curt Thompson, D-Norcross, who is a member of the committee, pre-filed a bill that would allow for wide-ranging but tightly regulated medical use of marijuana for serious conditions.

Thompson also filed a resolution that would allow Georgians to vote on the full legalization of recreational marijuana. The Joint Study Committee on Prescription of Cannabis for Serious Medical Conditions, of which Thompson is a member, was created during the 2014 Georgia General Assembly session.

The General Assembly doesn’t begin meeting until January, but legislators can now begin pre-filing bills.

Thompson’s medical marijuana proposal is Senate Bill 7. It would allow doctors to prescribe up to 2 ounces of marijuana for specific debilitating medical conditions.

Thompson’s Senate Resolution 6 is a proposed amendment to the state constitution, which would allow for the legalization, regulation, sale – and taxing – of marijuana. Tax revenue would be constitutionally earmarked for education and transportation infrastructure.

via Senator to expand legal marijuana debate – The Newnan Times-Herald.

Grady will not accept BCBS after months of negotiations |

ATLANTA — Bad news for Grady Health System patients who use Blue Cross Blue Shield. The hospital system says it no longer accepts the health insurance.

Grady says it’s not being paid enough by Blue Cross Blue Shield, which says Grady is asking for too much in reimbursement.

Now policy holders will have to pay out of pocket for treatment at Grady’s facilities.

via Grady will not accept BCBS after months of negotiations |

Rep. Allen Peake: A Grateful Heart, With Many Thanks……

Your Thanksgiving Desk

From Representative Allen Peake

allen peake

Thanksgiving thoughts………

Many times, we learn the most gratitude for the  blessings in our life from the tough times that come our way.

This past year has brought challenges that I have never had to face before in my 53 years, as many of you probably have also.

So, as we pause this week for Thanksgiving, please know that I am thankful to many of you who encourage me, challenge me, and stick with me, even when we may come from different walks of life, or have various perspectives of answers for problems in our society.

I’m so thankful for family and friends who love me, and who laugh with me, and at me, in spite of my numerous faults that are too many to count.

I’m thankful for business partners and employees that help our little restaurant company continue to chug along, providing good jobs to over 1,000 Georgia citizens.

I’m thankful for colleagues in the political world that have become life long friends, and who almost without exception, care deeply about the future of our state.

I’m thankful to the  HB 885/HB 1 families that I have come to know, love, and profoundly respect.  Families that face challenges everyday that no one can understand, and do it with courage, perseverance and compassion.   (more…)

Happy Thanksgiving from Senator Judson Hill and Family !

Your Thanksgiving Desk

From Senator Judson Hill 

Happy Thanksgiving from Senator Judson Hill and Family !
Jud Thanks
We wish you a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving ! 
This year has been a blessing for our family and we are so thankful to God for His grace. Our tradition of setting aside a day to give thanks started with the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock 393 years ago. They had suffered much but knew that despite their challenges they were very blessed and that their blessings were bestowed from Almighty God.  So with a grateful and thankful heart we too offer thanks – we are thankful for you, we are thankful for our community and our local public safety and healthcare professionals, for our state and country that provides us so many opportunities and truly is by the grace of God the greatest nation on earth. Moreover, may we never forget the sacrifice that our soldiers, sailors, airman and marines and their families give daily to protect our freedom and liberties each day.
We thank God for all of His provisions and may He continue to bless our obedience to Him personally and as a nation.
As we reflect on our country’s humble beginnings, Americans are reminded that we live in a land of many blessings where each person has the right to live, work, and worship in freedom. We are especially thankful for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who protect these rights.
I hope this Thanksgiving is for you one of rest, time with friends and family, and hope that it provides you time to pause and take a moment or two in the midst of this “storm” we’ve seen brewing across our globe to rest and rejuvenate and to reflect on all you have and all with which our country has been blessed.
Thank you for the honor and opportunity to serve you. Please read below the words of Governor Thomas Jefferson as he in his 1779 Thanksgiving Proclamation so wonderfully summed up why Americans give thanks to God on this day.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for November 27, 2014


On the day before Thanksgiving 2012, we brought this dog home after a two week quarantine in a kennel in Dacula. She had been a featured adoptable dog several times but had not takers. One day, after Mrs. GaPundit suggested we should foster her, I took Roxy up to Gwinnett County Animal Shelter to meet 28406.

The two girls weren’t able to meet that day – a dog in a neighboring run had come down with Parvo and 28406 was scheduled to be euthanized that day unless someone took her into a quarantine. Luckily, a rescue group moved her to quarantine and two weeks later she came home with us as a “foster” dog.


We didn’t know much about big hound dogs then, but her submissive, friendly personality was great, and we quickly learned about the hound’s needs. They require about 22 hours per day of couch time, friends to snuggle with, and 30-60 minutes of outdoor playtime every day. Without the play time, they can get ornery, but if their needs are met, they’re fantastic indoor dogs.

So today’s dogs are hound mixes in honor of 28406, now named Dolly.

Big Buddy

Big Buddy is a senior coonhound mix with what’s referred to as a Saddleback coat – obviously, he likes kids. He is available for adoption from the Society of Humane Friends in Duluth, Ga.

Here’s Big Buddy’s story:

Poor Buddy was originally thrown away when he was about 7yrs old. The dear lady who found him did right by him, getting his neuter and shots, but she was juggling 2 jobs and a young baby, so she just couldn’t manage a dog as well at that point.

He then got adopted by a sweet senior lady when he was almost 9yrs old, so he could live out his life w/a pack of smaller dogs and herself, her roommate and son. BUT the son’s pitbull began attacking Buddy, who subsequently started escaping the broken down fence at the rental home and wandering for miles, once all the way onto the ONRAMP OF HWY 285!!

It’s a miracle that so many kind souls stopped to pick him up and save his life on 3 occasions.

After some financially devastating medical incidents, his momma is no longer able to take care of him and is losing her home….so Buddy came back to his original foster parents and is now about 11yrs old. DO YOU HAVE THE HEART TO TAKE IN THIS LOVING, HAPPY, WIGGLE-BUTT SENIOR DOG TO SHARE THE HOLIDAYS & BEYOND WITH YOUR FAMILY who can keep him for good? Please call right away! He is still doing well and can see/hear okay, but he needs & deserves far more attention!

Neutered, crate-trained, vaccinated, dewormed, deflea’d, microchipped, tested heartworm-negative, on HW and flea/tick preventative. Should be supervised in home, esp. if other dogs have been marking. GREAT WITH KIDS, including babies.. Adoption fee to partially reimburse vet expenses is WAIVED to be a voluntary donation–no checks accepted. CANNOT LIVE OUTDOORS. He is available as a PET ONLY, not for hunting or, heaven forbid, for baiting!

This pet is living in foster care; please Call or Text 678-MEOW-NAP [678-636-9627], or Lisa’s personal cell 678-386-9272 [PLEASE LIMIT TXTING].. Email for an application or further info: [email protected]
PET ADOPTIONS AT ALPHARETTA PETCO on 1st-3rd SATURDAYS OF MONTH, Approx.3:30-6:30 PM. Held at address 10980 State Bridge Rd. across street from McDonald’s and Kroger Shopping Ctr (with fuel station), past Abberly Ln. and before Kimball Bridge Rd.

APPOINTMENTS ALSO AVAILABLE in the Lawrenceville/Duluth/Lilburn area, e.g. around Gwinnett Mall area, except on Saturdays when adoption showings are held.


Ladybird is a senior female Coonhound mix who is available for adoption from Angels Among Us Pet Rescue in Alpharetta, Ga. Here is Ladybird’s story:

Ladybird was picked up as a stray in a rural county, Georgia. She is a Coonhound mix. Ladybird was very timid when she came out of the shelter. Those shelters are very scary, especially for the Seniors. Each week her personality has come out little by little. She can be a bit skittish if a person speaks very loudly, but I never have to raise my voice to her, she is very obedient. This is the sweetest lady you will ever meet.

She is estimated between 8-10 years old, house trained and just loves to be close to her humans. Sometimes she moves a bit slow, but once she adjusts to her environment she runs and plays with the other dogs.

She did not bark at all for the first 2 months she lived with us. Now she will bark only when the other dogs bark. If you tell her to stop, she stops. She is house trained, has learned to go in and out the dog door, walks on a leash, is crate trained and in general a great dog!

Ladybird deserves to live out her retirement years in a loving calm home.

Make a donation in this dog’s name at
For inquiries, email [email protected]


Jethro is a senior male Foxhound mix who is available for adoption from Releashed Rescue in Cumming, Ga. Jethro’s story from his rescuers:

Jethro showed up on our property on July 5th and was not able to defecate. We took him to the vet and they diagnosed him with anal hernias possibly caused by not being neutered. We neutered him and repaired the hernias and he is good as new! We even cleaned his teeth. Jethro refuses to bay at adoptions but when he sees an intruder, it is a beautiful sound! Jethro loves to snuggle and is around 10 but in great shape for an old man!

First Lady Sandra Deal: Happy Thanksgiving

Your Thanksgiving Desk

From First Lady Sandra Deal 

Deal Thank

Happy Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, Nathan and I are so grateful for many blessings this past year has brought us. We have made new friends and had the privilege of getting to know so many of Georgia’s families.

The bonds and memories and relationships we have gained along the way are treasured dearly and mean more than words can express. We are rich in the company that He has bestowed upon us, and we are especially thankful for our family, friends and the citizens of this great state who have entrusted Nathan with four more years of public service.

As we quickly approach the end of this year and look forward to 2015, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your hard work, prayers and friendship throughout the past year.

From our family to yours, have a blessed Thanksgiving. (more…)

Rep. Austin Scott: Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving

Your Thanksgiving Desk

From Congressman Austin Scott

Austin Scott

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving

As we join Americans across our nation celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, let us take a moment to reflect on those brave men and women who have served our country.  Let us remember those currently serving who may not have the opportunity to join their families today.  Let us always be thankful for the sacrifices they have made so that we may have the freedom to enjoy Thanksgiving with our loved ones.

Vivien and I hope you and your family have an enjoyable Thanksgiving and want to say a special blessing for our Georgia heroes.  Happy Thanksgiving! 

Austin Scott
Member of Congress


Rep. Doug Collins: Happy Thanksgiving

Your Thanksgiving Desk

From Congressman Doug Collins 


Happy Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is a time of joy and remembrance, looking back over the past year and celebrating all of life’s blessings. Thanksgiving gives us cause to pause and realize that despite all our hardships we still have reasons to be grateful. Whether those reasons are turkey and pumpkin pie or seeing your family for the first time in months, the holiday provides a chance to delight in all things great and small.

For many of us, gratitude and a spirit of Thanksgiving are an integral teaching of our faith. Yet, the 4th Thursday in November has been designated a federal holiday for so long for a reason. As a country, we have so many reasons to be thankful. Taking the time to acknowledge that is important evidence of the values we still hold.

Over the next weeks and months, individuals, families, businesses, and yes, a new Congress, will be looking toward the future. Today, it’s important to look at what we have and be grateful not only for those things, but for the potential each of us has to do so much more.

Wishing you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving!


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 26, 2014

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 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.

On the same day, a Japanese navy fleet left port headed toward Pearl Harbor.

Transportation Funding

Senator Johnny Isakson wrote in the AJC that the federal government should consider moving to user fees to pay for transportation infrastructure.

With drivers buying less gasoline, the revenue coming into the Highway Trust Fund has dropped. Given these factors and recent trends, it is likely our gas consumption will continue to decline. Simply raising the tax rate on a declining revenue source isn’t the solution for our long-term infrastructure needs.

In 2015, we have a real opportunity to repair this broken trust fund and find a new formula that fits the needs of 21st century America. It is time we change the trust fund model to a “user-pays” system. Everyone who uses the roads and other modes of transportation financed through the trust fund should pay into the system.

I also support letting states set their own infrastructure funding priorities. While the federal government should prioritize projects important to the nation as a whole, states have a much better sense of their day-to-day infrastructure needs, and they should be given the flexibility to direct the use of gas tax revenues collected within their borders.

One way a user fee for highways can work is seen on I-85 in Gwinnett County, where a Peach Pass gets you access to the HOT lanes, which are usually moving faster than the prole lanes. Remember how that went over when it first started?


Barricades CapitolSM

Last night, some Atlanta residents took to the street to protest the decision by a Missouri grand jury declining to indict a police office.


Old Friends – Adoptable Senior Labs for November 26, 2014

Roxy Forsyth

Roxy is a senior female Lab mix who is available for adoption from the Forsyth County Animal Shelter in Cumming, Ga.

Libby Lab

Libby is a sweet senior Lab mix who is available for adoption from Pickens Animal Rescue, Inc. in Jasper, Ga. Libby is house trained, good with other dogs, walks well on a leash, knows basic commands, and is very smart. She enjoys lots of attention and love.

Alice Lab

Alice is a sweet senior Lab mix who is waiting for a new home at the Murray County Humane Society in Chatsworth, Ga.


This beautiful Basset Hound female was rescued from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter yesterday by Country Livin’ Pet Rescue. She started bleeding and is receiving care at Suwanee Animal Hospital and the rescue group is asking for help with her veterinary costs. To make a donation directly to the veterinary office for her care, please call 770-271-8716.

Randy Travis at Fox 5 Atlanta has a soft spot for dogs and has done a number of stories about bad situations, but this week his story profiled Lifeline Animal Project, which has taken over Fulton County Animal Services and reduced the euthanasia rate from around 60 percent to last month’s 17 percent.
Randy Travis Dolly

Six years ago the FOX 5 I-Team began investigating an earlier non-profit in charge of Fulton County Animals Services. That director resigned after we discovered she was keeping her own dogs chained up at her house, even though DeKalb County had an anti-chaining law.

We also revealed how the group’s president spent nearly $80,000 in shelter money at pricey restaurants… hotels… and New York trips. The charity claimed it was all for charity business and appropriate, but the county said the money should not have been spent that way and accused the group of refusing to fully cooperate with an audit.

So in early 2013 Fulton County replaced that non-profit with Lifeline Animal Project.

“Every person on our staff here is focused on how do we keep the animals from coming into the shelter and once they are here, how do we get them out alive,” said CEO Rebecca Guinn.