The blog.


Commissioner Nancy Jester: DeKalb County – A Broken Government In Disarray | The Brookhaven Post | Brookhaven, GA

A broken government in disarray.

That is not just the perception, it is our reality. It is time for both elected and appointed officials in DeKalb County to accept this, admit this, and demonstrate we have the will to change this.

Those who say the perception is worse than the reality are part of the problem – not the positive solution.

In just the past few days DeKalb County taxpayers have witnessed media reports highlighting the following:

Federal prosecutors issuing a subpoena to DeKalb County seeking records on Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Darryl Jennings, Sr. and a pool hall at the center of a bribery scandal.

A former DeKalb County police officer indicted on charges that he violated his oath of office by taking bribes.

Media reports that of the 11 officials and vendors mentioned in the blockbuster Special Purpose Grand Jury report, in addition to Burrell Ellis, none has come to criminal prosecution and there is a possibility the statute of limitations will expire.

And, the issue of the now infamous $4,000 payment from a DeKalb County vendor, which could have been graft, theft – or a setup to embarrass a high-ranking official.

J. Tom Morgan, a former DeKalb County District Attorney has stated, “This is just the tip of an iceberg, is my best guess.”

I fear Mr. Morgan may be correct. The true victims of our broken government in disarray are the taxpayers – the working men and women of DeKalb County who love our county, love their families, and try to do the right thing by going to work, obeying the law, and paying the very taxes that fund DeKalb County government.

Others are breaking what they are building – and it must stop.

I told WSB TV and the Atlanta Journal: “We can’t just keep depending on reform by scandal and reform by indictment.”

via Commissioner Jester: DeKalb County – A Broken Government In Disarray | The Brookhaven Post | Brookhaven, GA.


Lee May to resign from DeKalb commission seat |

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has learned that Lee May will announce Friday that he is resigning his commission seat which has been vacant since Gov. Nathan Deal appointed him interim CEO nearly two years ago.

May will serve as interim CEO as long as Burrell Ellis is suspended while awaiting trial on corruption charges.  The information comes to Channel 2′s Richard Belcher from a well-placed source familiar with May’s intentions.

The vacancy in May’s District 5 seat on the DeKalb County Commission has made it difficult for the remaining six members to pass numerous pieces of legislation.

The impasse has also stymied efforts for the commission to appoint a temporary replacement for May in District 5.

via Lee May to resign from DeKalb commission seat |


Former St. Senator Joey Brush killed in accident – NBC 26, Augusta-Aiken, Here for You

GROVETOWN, Ga. – Former Georgia State Senator Joey Brush was killed Thursday morning in a car accident. According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the accident happened around 8:30 am at the intersection of Columbia and Louisville Roads.

via Former St. Senator Joey Brush killed in accident – NBC 26, Augusta-Aiken, Here for You.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 7, 2015

George Washington attended the first inaugural ball on May 7, 1789 on Broadway near Wall Street in New York.

Washington arrived at the ball in the company of other American statesmen and their wives. That evening he danced with many of New York’s society ladies. Vice President John Adams, members of Congress and visiting French and Spanish dignitaries, as well their wives and daughters, joined in the festivities. Eliza Hamilton, wife of Alexander Hamilton, recorded her impressions of the ball in her memoirs, noting that the president liked to dance the minuet, a dance she thought was suited to his dignity and gravity.

On May 7, 1864, General Ulysses S. Grant disengaged his Army of the Potomac from fighting against General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, ending the Battle of the Wilderness.

Although the Wilderness is usually described as a draw, it could be called a tactical Confederate victory, but a strategic victory for the Union army. Lee inflicted heavy numerical casualties (see estimates below) on Grant, but as a percentage of Grant’s forces they were smaller than the percentage of casualties suffered by Lee’s smaller army. And, unlike Grant, Lee had very little opportunity to replenish his losses. Understanding this disparity, part of Grant’s strategy was to grind down the Confederate army by waging a war of attrition. The only way that Lee could escape from the trap that Grant had set was to destroy the Army of the Potomac while he still had sufficient force to do so, but Grant was too skilled to allow that to happen. Thus, the Overland Campaign, initiated by the crossing of the Rappahannock, and opening with this battle, set in motion the eventual destruction of the Army of Northern Virginia.

Therefore, even though Grant withdrew at the end of the battle (which is usually the action of the defeated side), unlike his predecessors since 1861, Grant continued his campaign instead of retreating to the safety of Washington, D.C. The significance of Grant’s advance was noted by James M. McPherson:

[I]nstead of heading north, they turned south. A mental sunburst brightened their minds. It was not another “Chancellorsville … another skedaddle” after all. “Our spirits rose,” recalled one veteran who remembered this moment as a turning point in the war. Despite the terrors of the past three days and those to come, “we marched free. The men began to sing.” For the first time in a Virginia campaign the Army of the Potomac stayed on the offensive after its initial battle.

Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta History Center have produced a series called 37 Weeks, which chronicles serially Sherman’s March to the Sea through Georgia in 1864. This is week three of the series, with episodes clocking in at under two minutes. If you enjoy learning about Georgia’s history, it’s great watching.

May 7, 1864 saw some of the first fighting in the Atlanta campaign, northwest of Dalton, Georgia.

Keith Richards recorded the first version of the guitar riff that would become “Satisfaction” early in the morning of May 7, 1965 before passing out.

On May 7, 1996, Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell responded to the FBI Report that ranked Atlanta the most violent city in the nation. Campbell would succed in replacing headlines about Atlanta’s violent crime by substituting headlines about official corruption.

Jimmy Carter’s Presidential campaign received a boost on May 7, 1976 when he received the personal endorsement of the President of the United Auto Workers.

Happy Birthday to Bill Kreutzman, one of the drummers for the Grateful Dead. On Kreutzman’s 31st birthday, the Dead played at Boston Garden. The next night was the legendary Cornell show.

This past weekend, the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, GA hosted a reunion of veterans who served in the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam. Attendees remembered Milton Lee Olive, III, the first African-American recipient of the Medal of Honor for actions during the Vietnam war and who served with the 173rd.

Upcoming Elections

Here’s a run-down of elections to be held June 16, 2015

State House District 55 in Fulton County

Tyrone Brooks Jr. (D)
Alysia Brown (D)
John Franklin Guest Jr. (I)
Marie R. Metze (D)
Michael B. Fitzgerald (D)
Raghu R. Raju (D)
Shelitha Renee Robertson (D)

State House District 146 in Houston County

Shaw Blackmon (R)
Larry Walker, III (R)

We are likely to see an additional State House Special Election for District 48. Quite possibly others will follow.Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 7, 2015

The following dogs are all available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.


Originally listed as a Pit Bull, Snuffy is now thought to be a 5-year old male Dogue de Bordeaux. At 108 pounds, he is a whole big hunk of love! He needs to go to someone who appreciates him and knows that big is beautiful! Snuffy knows several commands and is very human-oriented and healthy, though he might be a little bit overweight.

You’ve got to watch his video to see how sweet and loving this boy is.


Gwinnett Morgan

Morgan is a sweet female pit bull mix who is in urgent need because she’s getting anxious in the shelter.

You will not find a more loving, attentive, and gentle dog. Morgan came to the shelter as a neglect/backyard breeding case. As you can see from her before and current pictures she was almost starved to death but is now at a healthy weight. The officers have done their part, the court did their part(convicted), Morgan has done her part and survived (and stayed so sweet), now it is your turn to do your part and help her get her happy ever after!! Morgan has one more thing to overcome as she just tested HW positive. Please help save this sweet girl!!

Morgan Headshot


Flora is a sweet, young female mixed breed who is very loving. Watch her video here to see how much she loves people and why she has become a favorite of the shelter staff.


Bobo (number 44620) is a friendly Golden Retriever or Golden mix adult male. Bobo is currently housed at the temporary shelter facility located at 632 Hi Hope Road in Lawrenceville, Ga.


Report: Victor Hill to be charged in shooting incident |

Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill will be charged in a Sunday shooting incident that wounded a woman in Gwinnett County, a source told Channel 2 Action News on Wednesday night.

Hill has been notified that he will be charged with a misdemeanor, Channel 2 said. He reportedly is making arrangements to turn himself in at the Gwinnett County Detention Center.

via Report: Victor Hill to be charged in shooting incident |


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 6, 2015

On May 6, 1789, the Constitutional Convention in Augusta, Georgia adopted a new Georgia Constitution.

Jefferson Davis spoke in Savannah, Georgia on May 6, 1866.

Davis … defend[ed] the South’s cause in the Civil War, stating, “In 1776 the colonies acquired State sovereignty. They revolted from the mother country in a desperate struggle. That was the cause for which they fought. Is it a lost cause now? Never. Has Georgia lost the State sovereignty which … she won in 1776? No, a thousand times no.” Davis’s fiery remarks were captured by reporters for the New York Times and other northern newspapers.

Because of the national attention generated over his visit to Alabama and Georgia, Davis took a more conciliatory tone in a speech that evening, noting, “There are some who take it for granted that when I allude to State sovereignty I want to bring on another war. I am too old to fight again, and God knows I don’t want you to have the necessity of fighting again… . The celebration today is a link in the long chain of affection that binds you and the North together. Long may it be true.”

Roger Bannister became the first person to break the four-minute barrier for running the mile.

For years, so many athletes had tried and failed to run a mile in less than four minutes that people made it out to be a physical impossibility. The world record for a mile was 4 minutes and 1.3 seconds, set by Gunder Hagg of Sweden in 1945. Despite, or perhaps because of, the psychological mystique surrounding the four-minute barrier, several runners in the early 1950s dedicated themselves to being the first to cross into the three-minute zone.

At 6 p.m., the starting gun was fired. In a carefully planned race, Bannister was aided by Chris Brasher, a former Cambridge runner who acted as a pacemaker. For the first half-mile, Brasher led the field, with Bannister close behind, and then another runner took up the lead and reached the three-quarter-mile mark in 3 minutes 0.4 seconds, with Bannister at 3 minutes 0.7 seconds. Bannister took the lead with about 350 yards to go and passed an unofficial timekeeper at the 1,500-meter mark in 3 minutes 43 seconds, thus equaling the world’s record for that distance. Thereafter, Bannister threw in all his reserves and broke the tape in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. As soon as the first part of his score was announced–”three minutes…”–the crowd erupted in pandemonium.

A “sub-four” is still a notable time, but top international runners now routinely accomplish the feat. Because a mile is not a metric measurement, it is not a regular track event nor featured in the Olympics. It continues, however, to be run by many top runners as a glamour event.

On May 6, 1984, Spinal Tap played a “comeback show” at CBGB’s in New York.

On May 6, 1996, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Atlanta was the most dangerous city in America.

Parliament-Funkadelic were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio on May 6, 1997.

Georgia Politics

Rachel’s Law

Yesterday, Governor Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 8, called “Rachel’s Law”.

Deal Signs SB8

The legislation focuses on ending the sexual exploitation of Georgia minors and establishes more severe punishments for those found guilty of this crime. Sen. Renee Unterman (R – Buford), the bill’s sponsor, has been a long-time supporter of stricter laws and punishments intended to keep human traffickers from operating in Georgia. The new law will allow children who have been victimized by sex trafficking to be treated as victims—not criminals.Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 6, 2015

“We miss our mama!!! We were with her and then somebody picked us all up and put us in a box! We were so scared, but we snuggled up together and stayed real quiet. The next thing we knew, a man looked into our box and said nice things to us and picked us up in the box. He took us to his home for a little while, but said he just couldn’t keep us all. The man did keep two of our brothers and sisters; he told us he would take very good care of them and that he would help us get homes too! He brought us here and so we’re waiting for our turns to go to a furever home.” – Puppies in a Box

These puppies are currently at the Dublin-Laurens County Humane Society in Dublin, Georgia. A rescue group is interested in helping them, but needs foster homes. If you’re interested in fostering, you can contact the shelter volunteers via Facebook.





Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 5, 2015


Jupiter is a male Hound/Lab Mix, approximately 2-3 years old. He’s a sweet boy who gets along with other dogs, has a sibling Poseidon featured here as well, but both agreed they would prefer to have their very own identity and not share a home with each other. Jupiter keeps his space clean so is well on the road to being housebroken. He has not had the opportunity to be placed in a foster home thus far. Both he and his brother Poseidon tested positive for heartworm and are on a heartworm therapy regime. Both are happy and full of energy. Jupiiter would make a great family pet. Fence required.

Jupiter is available for adoption from Pup & Cat Co. in Winder, GA.


Star is a white female adult Cattle Dog and Spitz mix with black spotted ears. She has one blue eye and one brown eye. Beautiful girl. She is not really interested in toys at this point, but she will learn. Curious and alert.

Star is available for adoption from Warner Robins Animal Control in Warner Robins, GA.


Luna is a 4 year old Stafford-shire Terrier who is a recruit in Operation Second Chance, the awesome partnership between the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s office and the Society of Humane Friends of Georgia. This great program saves shelter dogs from euthanasia, placing them with inmates at the countyjail who have been approved to train and nurture them so that they will be good pets in their permanent adoptive homes. The goal is for each dog to be leash trained, housebroken, and have knowledge of basic obedience commands. The dogs also receive agility training.

She is one sweet girl! However she needs a home with no other dogs or small children.

Luna is fully vetted — spayed/neutered, heartworm negative, and current on vaccinations and deworming. The adoption fee is $150 (cash only, please).

You can apply to adopt by submitting an application via our website at, or by selecting the e-mail inquiry option on this page.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 5, 2015

The Battle of the Wilderness began on May 5, 1865, between the Army of the Potomac, led by General Ulysses S. Grant, and the Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee.

On May 5, 1886, Jefferson Davis attended a public reception at Savannah, Georgia’s City Hall.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Cy Young threw a perfect game against the Detroit Tigers on May5, 1904.

Alan Shepard, Jr. became the first American in space on May 5, 1961, making a 15 minute sub-orbital flight that reached an altitude of 115 miles, during which he experienced about five minutes of ‘weightlessness.’ He was launched in the 2,000-lb. capsule Freedom 7 from Cape Canaveral, Florida… The flight traveled 302 miles at a speed relative to the ground of 4,500 mph. The mission was named Mercury-Redstone 3, or Freedom 7.

On May 4, 1965, the Rolling Stones played a show at Georgia Southern.

The British band played in Hanner Fieldhouse to an overflow crowd of more than 3,500 people, according to a retrospective by Jim Hilliard in the Statesboro Herald. The gym’s capacity was about 1,500.

Hilliard said organizers figured they could sell 1,800 tickets at $2.50 each, which would be enough to pay the band and have some money left over for expenses.

The Stones had played on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on Sunday, May 2, and advance ticket sales were brisk the Monday and during lunch Tuesday, the day of the concert.

Hilliard said he signed the contract booking the Stones on behalf of Sigma Epsilon Chi fraternity. The contract called for the new fraternity to pay the band $3,000 for the appearance. Hilliard said he got a $1,500 loan from First Bulloch Bank to make the deal happen.

The Stones were expected to take the stage at 8:30 p.m. and play for at least an hour, but Hilliard had lined up three front bands, and “it proved to be a fatal flaw in plans for the concert,” he said in his retrospective.

The noise was deafening as the original Stones lineup — Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts — hit the stage nearly an hour late.

Jagger and the other band members were “openly hostile” at having to wait so long to play.

Read more here:

Georgia Politics

Gov Deal HB 170 Podium

Photo by Governor’s Office

On Monday, May 4, 2015 at Liberty Plaza, Governor Nathan Deal signed into law HB 170, legislation that addresses Georgia’s critical transportation infrastructure needs. The legislation is based off recommendations from the Joint Study Committee on Critical Infrastructure Funding, which was tasked with identifying funding solutions for Georgia’s transportation needs. The new law will generate almost $1 billion in new transportation funding annually.

Gov Deal Signs HB 170

Photo by Governor’s Office

“Each day, Georgians set out in the pursuit of a brighter future, and it is our roads and bridges that bear the weight of our success,” said Deal. “We’ve reached the point where we can no longer keep up with the growing infrastructure demand that encourages job creation, maintains our businesses’ bottom lines and takes us home to our families. This investment reflects our modern-day population and current infrastructure usage. Today, we are ensuring that Georgia’s economic engine will remain running for generations to come. I commend the courage of the General Assembly for tackling this issue head-on and prioritizing public safety and future growth over politics.”

“Georgia’s economic future depends on our ability to move people and goods quickly and safely throughout our state,” said Sen. Steve Gooch, study committee co-chairman. “Strengthening our transportation network affects each and every one of us by creating an environment that encourages private sector job growth and allowing us to make it home in time for family dinner and Little League games.”

“I appreciate Governor Deal’s steadfast leadership on this important issue,” said Rep. Jay Roberts, study committee co-chairman. “My colleagues in the General Assembly took courageous action to move transportation forward in Georgia. We now have a sustainable and reliable revenue source that will allow our state to prioritize the necessary maintenance, improvements and growth of our transportation infrastructure.”

“Without this bold action taken by Georgia’s legislators, our state was at risk of falling behind,” said Deal. “The leadership demonstrated by these men and women showed a vision oriented in the future, not in the past. The steps taken were tough, but necessary, and I appreciate the hard work on all sides of the aisle in order to boost our ability to do business, and keep Georgians safe.”

The law’s provisions will take effect on July 1.

One last bit, from WRBL in Columbus,

Deal says the state hasn’t increased taxes on fuel since 1971. He says the projects are a critical need.

Some conservative lawmakers opposed the bill, calling it a massive tax increase.

Jim Kingston: A Tough Road for Hillary

Jim Kingston, whom many of y’all met over the last two years as he criss-crossed the state on his father’s campaign for United States Senate weighs in with his thoughts on the 2016 Presidential campaign.

Only once since World War II has a political party held the White House for three consecutive terms. That was from 1980 to  1992, when George H.W. Bush was elected following the two terms of Ronald Reagan. Since then, Vice President Al Gore lost in 2000 following Bill Clinton’s two terms, and John McCain lost in 2008 after George W. Bush’s eight years in the Oval Office. They say history repeats itself, so if I were a betting man, I would wager on Hillary Clinton losing in 2016. But I also thought that Mitt Romney would be President of The United States, so what do I know?

In many ways, Hillary Clinton is the national embodiment of what we saw in Georgia with Michelle Nunn. The challenges Nunn faced with appealing to Obama supporters without scaring off those looking for something new, poses another difficult tightrope to walk. My guess is, in a debate, the right questions to ask her would include: “What is your position on Obamacare? While campaigning for other candidates in the midterms you defended  Obamacare, do you still hold that same position? What is your stance on the Keystone Pipeline? What is your stance on executive action to subvert Congress? If there are areas where you disagree with the President, Why have you never publicly voiced a dissenting opinion?

It’s an excellent piece that pays attention to the history of presidential elections while also underlining the lessons from Georgia’s 2016 campaigns that can illuminate a path to the White House in 2016. I highly recommend reading Jim’s piece in its entirety.

Culture Wars

An auto dealer’s ploy of attaching small American flags to the antennae of his cars is attracting unwanted attention from his local government in Perry, Georgia.

The city began cracking down two weeks ago on balloons, flags and other things that move in the wind, used by car dealers to draw eyes to their wares. At least one car dealer plans to fight in Municipal Court, while City Council could reconsider the flag issue at its meeting Tuesday.

Mark Hamby, owner of Hamby Automotive, said he’s attached as many as 100 flags to car antennas for years to draw attention.

“We’ve been doing it for 20-plus years, and all of a sudden it’s a problem,” Hamby told The Telegraph. “I don’t know why it would be a problem to anybody.”

Perry Mayor Jimy Faircloth said the hiring of a code enforcement officer may have increased code enforcement operations.

“We haven’t always had one,” Faircloth said. “We have more of an opportunity for the noncompliant to be brought back into the fold.”

I like that phrase by the Mayor. No more speedtraps, they’re opportunities for the noncompliant to be brought back into the fold.

A high school principal in Manchester, Georgia (Meriwether County) may have been fired for giving a sermon and prayer at a voluntary meeeting of a student group, according to WRBL in Columbus.

Dr. Michael Lehr, who has been principal for about 3 years, says the superintendent told him the district was placing him on administrative leave during his annual evaluation, which came two days after he led the FCA meeting.

“We’re all kind of baffled by the decision,” Lehr told News 3 over the phone. “The superintendent has heard me pray at meetings before. She’s been beside me when I cite scripture at graduation. Her own board meetings begin with prayer.”

A few weeks prior, the superintendent told Lehr they were not renewing his contract for the following school year, according to Lehr. He did not receive an explanation or reason at the time.

A Manchester High athlete, who did not want to be identified, said Lehr led the meeting because the person who usually leads the meetings was not there. He said it was out of the ordinary for Lehr to speak the whole time, but common for staff and faculty to pray or help lead the meetings.

According to the FCA Handbook, which cites the Equal Access Act (“the Act”), passed by Congress in 1984, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is a “qualified student club.” The handbook states: “a ‘qualified student club’ is one which is student initiated and student led. Faculty can be involved only to monitor, facilitate, or supervise, and non-school persons cannot be regularly and directly involved in the meetings.”

Perhaps it’s not a part of the Culture War, but a culture clash in Gwinnett County, where a judge has struck down a noise ordinance, as it relates to a firing range, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

A Gwinnett County judge declared part of the county’s noise ordinance unconstitutional this week, thereby nullifying a citation police issued to a gun club in Buford last year.

Record’s Court Judge Patricia Muise struck down the ordinance section which states people cannot make “loud, unnecessary or unusual sound or noise” on the grounds that it was too vague. The section states loud noises are forbidden if they unreasonably bother people or endanger their comfort, safety or health from a distance of more than 50 feet.

Muise based her ruling on a 2000 Georgia Supreme Court case out of Clayton County which also resulted in a noise ordinance being struck down for being too vague.

“Here Section 42-46 is a criminal ordinance and it cannot be so ambiguous as to allow the determination of whether a law has been broken to depend upon the subjective opinions of complaining neighbor-citizens and county officials,” Muise wrote. “There can be no other conclusion by this court that section 42-46 is anything other than constitutionally infirm by the inherent vague and subjective nature of its wording.”

The gun club was cited for violating the ordinance last October. The ticket came amid a debate between the club and nearby residents who claimed they were negatively affected by the frequent sound of gunfire. Muise pointed out in her ruling that the ordinance did not make reference to sounds coming from a “lawful operation of a gun club or shooting range.”

If I’m not mistaken, Judge Muise is a former County Commissioner.

Back to the Columbus area, a speech by an avowed Christian to a debate class at Troup County Comprehensive High School in LaGrange has atheists up in arms and lawyers trading nastygrams.

In late March, Eric Hovind, the president of the Florida-based ministry Creation Today, addressed a debate class at Troup County Comprehensive High School in LaGrange. Hovind says that his talk did not include mention of his faith or creation, but was rather a general discussion on critical thinking.

But as Hovind had engaged in a debate with a local humanist two days prior and had posted a photo of the event on social media, and since he is a born-again Christian who is known to speak against evolution, atheists became upset with school officials for allowing Hovind to address students.

The Madison, Wisc.-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) soon sent a letter to the superintendent of the Troup County School System requesting an investigation into Hovind’s appearance.

“It is unconstitutional and completely inappropriate for TCCHS to host a fundamentalist Christian speaker whose sole purpose and goal is the promotion of biblical creationism,” the letter, written by staff attorney Elizabeth Cavill, read.

But when the Memphis, Tenn.-based Center for Religious Expression learned of FFRF’s correspondence to the district, it likewise sent a letter to officials—to urge them not to listen to the atheist organization.

“The gist of FFRF’s argument is that Mr. Hovind cannot be allowed to speak in a public school because he holds religious views,” the letter, written by attorney Nate Kellum, read. “The suggestion that Mr. Hovind’s presence in a public school violates the establishment clause because he is a Christian is untenable.”

It reiterated that Hovind did not speak about his faith or evolution during his visit.

The Christian flag has been running up and down the flagpole in Cochran, Georgia, since the City Council voted in April to let it fly.

Cochran City Manager Richard Newbern said the city council voted to wave the Christian Flag over city hall.

Councilman Gary Ates said he made the motion for the flag to stay up. He said the council voted to keep it up 5 to 1. “The city manager took the flag down because an attorney said we could have a problem,” said Ates.

Ates said, “The people of Cochran came to a city council meeting and said ‘let’s put the flag back up’,” said Ates.

Ates said about 75 to 100 people requested it to be put up again.

Since then, it’s been duelling lawyer letters,

The move prompted a response by the Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State. The group sent letters to city and county officials saying flying the flag violated the First Amendment. The group’s Executive Director Rev. Barry W. Lynn said in a statement that flying the flag gives the impression that city officials favor one religion over others.

Cochran city officials said in a statement that they got a second opinion from a constitutional law attorney and voted 4-1 to remove the flag Friday.

Local Politics

Fort Valley student Ka’Shawn Burke got the opportunity to meet President Obama while in Washington, DC for a 4-H meeting.

He was going to the nation’s capital for a national 4-H conference, but he learned when he arrived that he was one of eight students chosen to visit the Oval Office.

“When they told me that, I was overwhelmed because I didn’t really know how I got selected,” he said. “I was glad that I got the privilege because I know that don’t that many people get the privilege to go in the White House, period.”

The mid-April visit gave Burke, a 16-year-old sophomore at Peach County High School, an opportunity to speak one on one with Obama. He didn’t use that chance to talk to the president about his plans to join the Navy after high school — or any other personal information.

Instead, he stuck to the plan of describing his 4-H chapter’s efforts in robotics and the group’s garden, from which the teens take produce to help feed needy people in the Fort Valley community.

Kennesaw City Council member Cris Eaton-Welsh will seek to put term limits up for a vote, according to the Marietta Daily Journal.

Councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh intends to ask the City Council to vote May 18 whether to place a binding question on the 2016 ballot allowing voters to impose term limits on the mayor and council.

Also on May 18, she will ask the council to vote in favor of eliminating health insurance and pension benefits for the mayor and council.

“I’m asking that we put term limits as a ballot measure. That way the voters can decide, and the council stays out of it,” she said.

Last month, the Marietta City Council voted in favor of placing a nonbinding question on the 2016 ballot asking voters if they support limiting the terms of Marietta’s mayor and council.

SEC Primary Update

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp updated the Athens Banner-Herald on progress toward a Southern Super Tuesday to be held March 1, 2016.

Kemp has also been working to convince other Southern states to join Georgia in staging their presidential preference primary elections on March 1 of next year — a strategy informally dubbed the “SEC primary,” a reference to the Southern states with collegiate athletic teams in the Southeastern Conference.

Thus far, Tennessee and Texas are joining Georgia with a March 1 primary, while the Alabama legislature appears to be moving in that direction, Kemp said. The Arkansas legislature will be convening a special session where the issue of the presidential preference primary — Gov. Asa Hutchinson is a supporter of the SEC primary — could be discussed, according to Kemp.

The rationale for the SEC primary, as explained by Kemp, is to present presidential candidates with an opportunity to gain a large number of delegates to the national GOP convention in a single day early in the electoral process. The benefit to Georgia and other participating Southern states, Kemp added, would be having an opportunity to get issues important to the South into the national debate, and hopefully to give the South a larger voice in national public policy decisions.

As far as the upcoming Georgia GOP convention is concerned, it’s possible other Republican presidential contenders might have accepted invitations to appear in Athens if the Lincoln Dinner fundraiser wasn’t scheduled for May 16 in Iowa. Because Iowa’s caucuses, set for Feb. 1, 2016, are the first electoral test for presidential candidates, that state wields considerable influence over those contenders.