The blog.

19
Sep

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for September 19, 2017

Jagger

Jagger is a young male American Bulldog & American Staffordshire Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from Second Chance Animal Rescue in Cairo, GA.

Maybelle

Maybelle is a young female Hound dog who is available for adoption from Best Friends Dog Rescue in Cairo, GA.

Maybelle is friendly and sweet and loves everyone.

BubblesCairo

Bubbles is a 10-week old male Chihuahua & Papillon mix puppy who is available for adoption from Best Friends Dog Rescue in Cairo, GA.

19
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 19, 2017

President George Washington gave his farewell address on September 19, 1796.

The period for a new election of a Citizen, to Administer the Executive government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person, who is to be cloathed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those, out of whom a choice is to be made.

I beg you, at the sametime, to do me the justice to be assured, that this resolution has not been taken, without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation, which binds a dutiful Citizen to his country–and that, in withdrawing the tender of service which silence in my Situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness; but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.

On September 19, 1863, the Battle of Chickamauga was joined between the federal Army of the Cumberland under Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans and the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Gen. Braxton Bragg.

Thirteen marchers were shot and killed and forty more wounded in Camilla, Georgia at the Camilla Massacre on September 19, 1868 as marchers to a Republican Party rally were gunned down.

President James Garfield died on September 19, 1881, of wounds sustained on July 2d of that year. Garfield is one of seven Presidents born in Ohio – he and William McKinley, were both killed by assassins.

Chickamauga National Battlefield was dedicated September 19, 1895.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Protests at Georgia Tech last night included setting a police vehicle on fire.

Three people were arrested Monday night during a protest after a vigil for a Georgia Tech student who was fatally shot by campus police, a university spokesman said.

Police shot and killed Scout Schultz late Saturday night after the 21-year-old student called 911 to report an armed and possibly intoxicated suspicious person, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has said.

After a peaceful vigil, about 50 protesters marched to the campus police department, university spokesman Lance Wallace said. A police vehicle was damaged and two officers suffered minor injuries, with one taken to a hospital for treatment.

Police restored order relatively quickly, and three people were arrested and charged with inciting a riot and battery of an officer, Wallace said.

Governor Nathan Deal made some changes in his senior staff yesterday.

Deal recommended Christopher Nunn to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). Nunn’s appointment follows current DCA Commissioner Camila Knowles’ announcement that she will depart at the end of September for a position in the private sector. Pending DCA board approval, this change will take effect October 1.

Deal also appointed Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC) President Shawn Ryan to fill the position of Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services (DOAS). The appointment will take effect on October 1. Pending board approval, GSFC Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer Caylee Noggle will fill the vacancy left by Ryan’s departure as interim President of GSFC, also effective October 1.

“I would like to thank Commissioner Knowles for her service to our state,” said Deal. “Her efforts at DCA have helped build and grow strong, vibrant communities around Georgia, especially her work helping to revitalize rural areas in our state. I wish her the best in her future endeavors as she transitions to the private sector. I’m confident the incoming leadership at DCA, along with DOAS and GSFC, will continue advancing the needs of and serving Georgians throughout the state.”

Camila Knowles is leaving state government to work at Cornerstone Government Affairs.

Cornerstone Government Affairs announced Monday that Camila Knowles will join the firm October 1 as Senior Vice President and Counsel in the company’s Atlanta office.

Knowles comes to the firm after serving in Governor Nathan Deal’s cabinet as Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) since 2015. She led that agency’s work for community development, ensuring that through workforce housing, community infrastructure, downtown development and economic development financing, communities are prepared for opportunities to meet Governor Deal’s top priority: creating jobs across the state. DCA provides funding and technical assistance throughout Georgia, partnering with local communities to create a climate of success for Georgia’s families and businesses. The Agency also manages millions of state and federal dollars through its 65 programs, 24 of them funding programs.

“I would like to thank Camila for her service,” Governor Deal said. “I appreciate her focus at DCA on building strong, vibrant communities around Georgia, and her particular attention to revitalizing rural communities. I wish her the best in her future endeavors as she transitions to the private sector.”

Prior to her service in the Deal Administration, she was chief of staff to U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss. She began her career with Senator Chambliss in 2003 as one of the Senator’s designees on the Senate Judiciary Committee focusing on immigration law and policy. After serving as a legislative assistant and chief counsel for the Senator in Washington, she moved in 2009 to his Atlanta office as state director and was named chief of staff in 2013.

“I have known Camila her entire life, and had the pleasure of spending 12 of those years working closely with her at the forefront of policy issues that impact our state and our country,” Senator Chambliss said. “Camila has a clear, analytical approach and a true servant’s heart. I am fortunate to have benefited from her friendship, intelligence, focus and counsel. Cornerstone is fortunate to have her joining their team.”

She holds an A.B. in History from Harvard, from which she graduated with cum laude distinction, and a law degree from Georgetown University.

“Camila joining our Georgia team offers our clients new legal and policy research capabilities unmatched in our market,” Cornerstone Senior Vice President Jerry Usry said. “Her experience in every facet of government expands Cornerstone’s drafting, analysis and strategic advisory services to a new level. We are excited to see how far her knowledge and skills sets will advance our firm.”

San Francisco liberals are looking for the next Jon Ossoff to throw millions at.

New billboards popping up in greater Atlanta and Northwest Georgia this week will have a different sort of message than the typical plugs for local eateries and colleges: run for office.

The San Francisco-based political startup Crowdpac is launching a new national campaign in Georgia urging citizens to consider challenging their local congressmen using their crowdfunding website.

The nonpartisan company is homing in on the three-dozen or so U.S. House districts with members of Congress who did not face major party opposition in November — representatives who were “automatically reelected,” per the group’s assessment. It is kicking off its initiative in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, the home base of fifth-term Republican Congressman Tom Graves.

This isn’t Crowdpac’s first foray into Georgia. The left-leaning Atlanta super PAC My Ride to Vote used the site to crowdfund more than $75,000 to give free rides to the polls to “traditionally underrepresented” voters during the 6th Congressional District special election earlier this year.

The site lets users mulling a run for office post their policy pitches and solicit pledges from potential donors. The candidates see the money only if they formally jump into the race.

Federal funds for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are at risk pending congressional action.

And while experts believe that much of the funding, if not all, will be renewed by Oct. 1 or afterward, there are no guarantees, with a fractious Washington dealing with the bitter aftermath of votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The money at risk includes funding for a popular children’s health insurance; Medicaid funds for hospitals that deliver a high level of indigent care; and financial support for community health centers.

And there’s about $10 million at risk for rural hospitals in Georgia that have a low number of Medicare patients.

Another big chunk of money involves Medicaid “disproportionate share’’ (DSH) funding being cut by $43 billion between fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2025. Under the ACA, these cuts for facilities serving a large number of Medicaid and uninsured patients were supposed to be offset by expanded health coverage and the creation of more paying patients. But for many reasons, that has not always worked out as envisioned, especially in states, such as Georgia, that have not expanded their Medicaid programs under the ACA.

Under the radar among the imperiled funding streams involves another potential financial setback to rural hospitals.

The “low-volume adjustment’’ money from Medicare helps rural hospitals that are at least 15 miles from a similar hospital and have fewer than 1,600 Medicare discharges annually.

Three candidates qualified for the Smyrna City Council open seat.

Travis Lindley is a partner/owner of Capitol Strategy Group and has cofounded three small businesses. He is a current member of the Smyrna Downtown Development Authority and the Cobb Chamber of Commerce.

Lindley has been campaigning since earlier this year and has already gotten an endorsement from Ward 1 Councilman Derek Norton, who called Lindley an “old friend” and Smyrna native who has served the city well in the Downtown Development Authority.

Marshall A. Moon works security at Adventures Outdoors. He said he decided to run earlier this year.

Moon said he is running to give voice to the regular people of Smyrna, and he hopes to do that by increasing the amount of time residents are given during public comment at government meetings from three minutes to between 15 and 30. He also said he believes Smyrna residents should be able to vote directly on issues, rather those issues being decided solely by the council.

“It’s time that Smyrna had a voice instead of the people sitting up on the board,” Moon said. “They’re doing all the voting. The people that’s in the meetings, they don’t have that right. And they should have the right to … voice their opinions through voting, and it’s not right for the people who are sitting behind the desk, that they’re doing all the voting, and the people in the meeting, they don’t have a voice, and I think that’s wrong. And that’s my personal opinion.”

Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash is asking residents for input on transit.

We are considering different kinds of transit systems, new routes, and, of course, the cost and value of potential improvements. Ultimately, all of the information and analysis will be available to the community for use in deciding whether to support funding an expanded transit system for Gwinnett.

But for the study to be worthwhile, we need to hear from you, the residents of Gwinnett County. We currently have a quick online survey through Sept. 25 for people to complete that will help guide the decision-making process. It is available on the website www.ConnectGwinnettTransit.com/survey. Our team of consultants and in-house professionals are going to community events to talk to people and get their feedback and their vision for transit in Gwinnett.

But now is the time for you to get involved while the plans are still being formed. So go to www.ConnectGwinnettTransit.com/survey and take the survey. Follow Connect Gwinnett: Transit Study on Facebook. We also have lots of valuable information on www.ConnectGwinnettTransit.com.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Gainesville and Hall County schools are back in session after missing a week during Irma and its aftermath.

Augusta officials are assessing local efforts to prepare for Hurricane Irma.

Camden, Chatham and Glynn county residents may register for FEMA aid after Irma.

Warner Robins City Council adopted a slight millage rate increase for FY 2018.

The Muscogee County School District voted to borrow up to $50 million dollars to address delays in property tax billing and revenue.

Corporate Executives ranked Georgia number three in the nation for favorable business climate.

18
Sep

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for September 18, 2017

Hurricane Irma resulted in above-average numbers of dog and cat intakes at the DeKalb County Animal Service Shelter.

The facility has about 575 pets (430 dogs, 145 cats), LifeLine said in a news release.

“To encourage adoptions, we are holding a September promotion at all of our LifeLine shelters, including DCAS, where all cats and all dogs over 25 lbs. may be adopted for only $40, including their spay/neuter, microchip and vaccines,” the release said.

Tiger

Tiger is a 2-year old male Terrier mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Jazz

Jazz is a six-year old female Terrier mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Meet Jazz! This happy six year old is 100% cuddlebug. She loves belly rubs, having the occasional bout of zoomies, and relaxing in the sun. Jazz seems to get along with everyone and greets every new person she meets politely. She can be a little shy at first, but her tail never stops wagging. Jazz is perfectly fine to rest on her bed while you are watching TV and doesn’t seem to mind when she is left alone. She has done well with other dogs here at the shelter and doesn’t seem to mind kitties either. If you are looking for a well-rounded, silly, calm pup – come meet Jazz at LifeLine’s DeKalb Animal Services!

Donnie

Donnie is a ten-year old male Beagle mix who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.

Nothing can get Donnie down! This sweet senior boy is filled to the brim with personality. He has never met a stranger – human or canine. His favorite activities include going for slow walks, eating breakfast, and looking at you longingly from across the room. Donnie has a few senior-related medical issues and will need to go in for an additional check-up at his adopter’s veterinarian. Donnie is around 8-10 years old and weighs 48 pounds. For more information, email [email protected]<

The Gwinnett County Animal Shelter took in 61 animals that were evacuated during Irma.

County officials said 42 dogs and 19 cats were brought to Lawrenceville from the Glynn County animal shelter before Irma. The decision to bring them to Gwinnett came after Gov. Nathan Deal issued a mandatory evacuation order for counties along the Georgia coast.

The animals were originally taken to a temporary location in Lawrenceville, but Gwinnett officials have been transferring the animals steadily to the Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement Center.

“The Gwinnett Animal Shelter was without power much of the week,” county spokesman Joe Sorenson said. “When the power was out, we were unable to open the facility to the general public, which reduced opportunities for people to adopt dogs and cats.

“Animal Welfare staff did work closely with rescue groups to place as many animals as possible. The shelter is open again and people have an opportunity to come and adopt a new pet.”

Residents who are interested in adopting one of the evacuated dogs or cats can visit the animal shelter at 884 Winder Highway in Lawrenceville. County officials said they are moving the animals from their temporary home to the Animal Welfare and Enforcement Center steadily as space in the shelter allows.

18
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections for September 18, 2017

The Mayflower left Plymouth, England, for the New World on September 16, 1620. Thirty-five of 102 passengers were members of the English Separatist Church seeking religious freedom from the Church of England. Originally aiming to reach Virginia, Mayflower eventually landed at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Forty-one delegates signed the United States Constitution, including Abraham Baldwin and William Few representing Georgia, at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787 before adjourning sine die. Constitution Day was celebrated yesterday and the National Archives has some great background materials.

The United States government took out its first loan on September 18, 1789, the proceeds of which were used to pay the salaries of the President, and First Congress. On the same day, future President Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to E. Rutledge in which he requested that a shipment of olive trees be sent via Baltimore.

President George Washington laid the cornerstone of the United States Capitol on September 18, 1793.

We know from that newspaper article, and from Masonic ritual, that Washington placed an inscribed silver plate under the cornerstone at the southeast corner of this building. However, we do not know whether that meant the southeast corner of the Senate wing, the first section of the building to be completed, or the southeast corner of the whole building as intended, which would locate it over on the House side. Two centuries later, the Architect of the Capitol is still searching for that cornerstone. Metal detectors have failed to locate the silver plate.

On September 17, 1796, George Washington began working on the final draft of his farewell address as the first President of the United States of America.

President Millard Fillmore signed the Fugitive Slave Act on September 18, 1850, requiring that slaves be returned to their owners even if they were in a free state.

The Army of Northern Virginia under General Robert E. Lee met the Army of the Potomac under General George McClellan at the Battle of Antietam on September 17, 1862.

The Battle of Antietam actually consisted of three battles. Beginning at dawn on September 17, Union General Joseph Hooker’s men stormed Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s troops around the Dunker Church, the West Woods, and David Miller’s cornfield. The Federals made repeated attacks, but furious Rebel counterattacks kept the Yankees in check. By early afternoon, the fighting moved south to the middle of the battlefield. Union troops under General Edwin Sumner inflicted devastating casualties on the Confederates along a sunken road that became known as “Bloody Lane,” before the Southerners retreated. McClellan refused to apply reserves to exploit the opening in the Confederate center because he believed Lee’s force to be much larger than it actually was. In the late afternoon, Union General Ambrose Burnside attacked General James Longstreet’s troops across a stone bridge that came to bear Burnside’s name. The Yankees crossed the creek, but a Confederate counterattack brought any further advance to a halt.

The fighting ended by early evening, and the two armies remained in place throughout the following day. After dark on September 18, Lee began pulling his troops out of their defenses for a retreat to Virginia. The losses for the one-day battle were staggering. Union casualties included 2,108 dead, 9,540 wounded, and 753 missing, while Confederate casualties numbered 1,546 dead, 7,752 wounded, and 1,108 missing.

General Robert E. Lee retreated from Antietam Creek on September 18, 1862, following the bloodiest day of fighting in the Civil War.

A single pistol shot on September 16, 1920 opened former Cherokee land in Oklahoma to white settlers in a “land run” to claim property.

On September 17, 1932, the Georgia Division of the Roosevelt Business and Professional League was created to work with the Georgia Democratic Party to support FDR’s Presidential campaign in the Peach State.

The original stimulus act was announced to bring $70 million in federal money to Georgia to build roads and public buildings on September 16, 1933.

On September 16, 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Selective Service and Training Act requiring males 26-35 years of age to register for the draft. On the same day, Sam Rayburn of Texas was elected Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and would go on to hold the post for 17 years total, the longest tenure of any Speaker.

On September 18, 1973, Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter filed a report claiming that he saw an Unidentified Flying Object in the sky above Leary, Georgia in 1969.

Carter was preparing to give a speech at a Lions Club meeting. At about 7:15 p.m (EST), one of the guests called his attention to a strange object that was visible about 30 degrees above the horizon to the west of where he was standing. Carter described the object as being bright white and as being about as bright as the moon. It was said to have appeared to have closed in on where he was standing but to have stopped beyond a stand of pine trees some distance from him. The object is then said to have changed color, first to blue, then to red, then back to white, before appearing to recede into the distance. Carter felt that the object was self-luminous, but not a solid in nature. Carter’s report indicates that it was witnessed by about ten or twelve other people, and was in view for ten to twelve minutes before it passed out of sight.

Click here to view a copy of the report, allegedly on file at the Carter Center.

Jimmy Carter received the first ever endorsement of a national ticket by the National Education Association in his bid for President on September 17, 1976.

The Georgia General Assembly approved a new state Constitution on September 18, 1981, which was placed on the 1982 ballot and after approval by voters, went into effect in 1983.

On September 18, 1990, Atlanta was announced as the location for the 1996 Summer Olympic games.

Ted Turner announced on September 18, 1997 his intent to donate $1 billion to the United Nations.

R.E.M. and Gregg Allman were among the inductees into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on September 16, 2006.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

The Georgia Department of Revenue is extending some deadlines for victims of Hurricane Irma.

This announcement coincides with the relief announcement issued by the Internal Revenue Service. The Department is postponing until January 31, 2018, certain deadlines for individuals who reside, and businesses whose principal place of business is located, in the disaster area but the person or business must have been affected by the disaster. The postponement applies to return filing, tax payment, and other time-sensitive acts as specified by the Internal Revenue Service.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue toured Georgia last week to assess crop damage from Hurricane Irma.

Perdue [was] slated to tour damaged farms with U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Albany). The tour was slated to include a visit to Mason Pecans, a pecan farm in Fort Valley, according to an advisory on Bishop’s congressional website.

The impact is shocking and will be felt for many months,” Perdue said in a statement released Wednesday. “In addition to efforts being made on the ground to assist producers, we have taken a hard look at our regular reporting requirements and adjusted them so producers can take care of pressing needs first and mostly deal with documentation and claims later. President Trump’s directive is to help people first and deal with paperwork second. And that’s what USDA is doing.”

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black also discussed crop losses.

Fifty percent of Georgia’s pecan crop might be lost, according to state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black.

“If we lose half this pecan crop, fruitcakes will be more expensive at Christmastime, one would think,” Black said.

“It’s gonna affect livelihoods and income, and then what those people do in the local economy, too,” he said.

Cotton is nearing harvest, which made it susceptible to high winds, and crop consultants are estimating between 25 percent and 50 percent of the cotton yield is gone.

Black said Irma may mean at least one positive result for farmers.

All the storm’s rain could boost Georgia’s peanut crop toward a record-breaking harvest.

Qualifying closed last week for the “Six-Pack” of legislative seats up for Special Elections in November.Continue Reading..

15
Sep

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for September 15, 2017

Kade

Kade is a young male Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from Praying For Paws Inc McDonough, GA.

Juice

Juice is a young male Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Butts County Animal Control Jackson, GA.

Ashton

Ashton is a young male Plott Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Butts County Animal Control Jackson, GA.

15
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 15, 2017

James Oglethorpe arrived at Augusta on September 12, 1739, 277 years ago today.

The Second Continental Congress opened in Philadelphia on September 13, 1775; Georgia was represented by Archibald Bulloch, Lyman Hall,  John Houstoun, and John Zubly.

French troops arrived near Savannah to prepare for a siege against British forces there on September 12, 1779.

On September 13, 1788, the Confederation Congress voted to implement the Constitution and authorized states to elect Senators and Representatives and called the first Presidential election, with selection of presidential electors in the states to be held on January 7, 1789, and February 4, 1789 as the day electors would cast their ballots.

Francis Scott Key composed the lyrics to “The Star Spangled Banner” on September 14, 1814.

On September 15, 1831, Dr. Samuel Worcester and Dr. Elizur Butler – missionaries – were tried in a Lawrenceville courtroom for living as white people among the Cherokee and refusing to take an oath of loyalty to Georgia, convicted and sentenced to hard labor. Some historians refer to this case, which went to the United States Supreme Court on appeal, as the beginning of the events that led to the forced removal of the Cherokee people from Georgia on the “Trail of Tears.”

HMS Beagle, carrying Charles Darwin, arrived at the Gallapagos Islands on September 15, 1835.

On September 14, 1885, Georgia Governor Henry McDaniel signed legislation granting up to 200 acres in Fulton and DeKalb Counties to the federal government to be used in the constuction of Fort McPherson, which was named after Union Maj. Gen. James McPherson, who was killed in the Battle of Atlanta in 1864.

On September 14, 1901, President William McKinley died of an infection from gunshot wounds suffered eight days earlier.

On September 15, 1904, Wilbur Wright made the first in-flight turn in an airplane.

The first two women to enter the Georgia General Assembly, Viola Ross Napier of Bibb County and Atlanta Constitution reporter Bessie Kempton of Fulton County, were elected on September 13, 1922.

Early on the morning of September 15, 1963, a bomb exploded in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls.

On September 15, 1996, the Texas Rangers retired #34 in honor of the most dominant pitcher in professional baseball history, Nolan Ryan.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia Power reported outages of more than 950,000 customers. Their twitter profile says they serve 2.5 million customers. Math tells me they had nearly 40% of customers offline at the height of the outages. Because of the company’s statewide footprint, you can just think of that as being roughly 35-40% of Georgia without electric power in order to get a sense of the scale of the outages. The latest is that the company has restored service to 920,000 customers, with about 75,000 remaining offline.

Georgia Power also warned about post-hurricane scams.

In a news release Thursday, the company stated it wanted to make customers aware of potential scams during the statewide recovery from Hurricane Irma. The company offers the following tips to avoid scams and fraud.

• Georgia Power will not offer to expedite power restoration for an additional fee.

• Georgia Power will not refuse to reconnect service to customers impacted by Hurricane Irma due to a past due bill and demand payment prior to re-connection. The company will work with customers who are behind on payments or need to make payment arrangements through its usual customer service process.

Customers can check the status of outages, sign up for outage alerts and get safety tips at www.georgiapower.com/storm. Customers can report and check the status of an outage 24 hours a day by contacting Georgia Power at 888-891-0938.

An Arkansas lineman working to restore electricity in Georgia was electrocuted earlier this week and is in serious condition.

Marshal Freeman is in serious condition after he was nearly electrocuted Wednesday night.

Freeman was working in the 200 block of West Society Avenue with Southern Electric Corporation, an electrical company out of Fullwood, Mississippi when the incident happened.

Ocilla Police said Freeman was working on the power lines when he was shocked.

Southern Electrical Corporation has been helping Georgia Power restore electricity to the area.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the injured employee,” said Lynn Lovett, the area manager for Georgia Power.

Lovett said safety is a top priority.

“Our jobs are dangerous and that’s why initially when the storm blew through on Monday we could not even start work because it wasn’t safe,” explained Lovett. “We don’t want to rush. We want to get customers back on, but we need to do it safely.”

The Irwin County coroner said Wednesday night that Freeman was alive, but he was taken to the Augusta Burn Unit for his injuries.

Governor Nathan Deal surveyed damage from Hurricane Irma yesterday and viewed coastal areas by helicopter.Continue Reading..

11
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 11, 2017

911 memorial 2

I was in my car that morning, on the way to my job when I heard on the radio of the first plane hitting. The announcers thought at first that it must be a small plane and likely an accident. Seventeen minutes later all doubt vanished as the second hit. Over the next hour, a third plane hit the Pentagon and a fourth went down in a field in Pennsylvania. We watched on television as the towers burned, then collapsed.

Shortly afterwards, the Family Room opened in a nearby tower to provide a place for loved ones to grieve out of the public eye.

The Family Room opened in April 2002 in space donated by Brookfield Office Properties, the owners of 1 Liberty Plaza, across Church Street from the trade center site. By presenting what was known as a medical examiner’s family identification card, victims’ relatives were admitted during regular workdays and at night, on weekends and on holidays.

On the 20th floor, behind a door marked “The Family Room,” relatives could settle into ample leather couches or stand at windows 15 and 20 feet wide. The room was intended for “quiet contemplation,” said a 2002 notice from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which created and maintained the space, just a few doors down from its own headquarters and those of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation.

When the Family Room at 1 Liberty Plaza was replaced this summer by a new private gathering space in the National September 11 Memorial Museum pavilion, the [New York] State Museum and the memorial museum painstakingly documented the older room, and the State Museum acquired what contents family members themselves did not choose to reclaim.

There are materials in the Family Room collection related to about 1,000 victims, Mr. Schaming said, or roughly one-third of all casualties that day. “It is the most singular collection of the faces of people who were killed on 9/11,” he said.

A monument on Long Island to victims of 9-11 will include the names of 582 people who later died of conditions related to the aftermath of the attacks.

A separate plaque will have the names of 582 police officers, firefighters, construction workers, cleanup volunteers and others who spent time in the rubble of the World Trade Center in the days or months after the attacks and, years later, died of a variety of causes that they, their families or their doctors suspected were linked to toxic ash and smoke at the site. There will be room to add more names.

“I think what the town of Hempstead is doing is nothing short of honorable,” said John Feal, a longtime advocate for 9/11 responders with health problems. “People who lost a loved one to illness suffer just like someone lost on that day. Hopefully this will offer some ease and comfort to them.”

In May, officials at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum announced plans to set aside a commemorative space at the World Trade Center to honor rescue and recovery workers.

New York’s police and fire departments also have memorials for personnel who have died of illnesses since Sept. 11. A 9/11 memorial in Staten Island recently added a plaque with the names of residents there who have died of illnesses.

Feal’s charitable organization also maintains a memorial wall to 9/11 responders in Nesconset, New York.

One day after Perry’s victory in the Battle of Lake Erie, American Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough led American forces in the Battle of Plattsburg at Lake Champlain, New York on September 11, 1813.

The Union Army began evacuating civilians from Atlanta via Lovejoy’s Station on September 11, 1864.

Georgia-born Ty Cobb took his last at-bat on September 11, 1928.

After a week-long Presidential campaign swing through ten states, former Governor Jimmy Carter returned to Plains on September 11, 1976.

On September 11, 1985, Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb’s career hit record, notching number 4,192 against the San Diego Padres.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal has declared an emergency for all of Georgia and the Georgia State Capitol is closed today and tomorrow.

For up-to-date information on hurricane Irma, visit the Georgia Emergency Management Agency website.

Georgia EMCs report more than 146,000 customers without power as of 10 AM today.

Approximately 146,000 customers are without power at the present time, up from 31,000 earlier today.

The numbers have increased as the weather continues to pound the state and produce tropical storm-force winds that are blowing trees and other debris on power lines. Winds, ranging from 40 to 60 mph, are wreaking havoc on the electric infrastructure and causing severe damage especially in south, southeast and southwest Georgia.

Anticipating significant property damage and outages as a result of the storm, EMCs have been in discussions with states east of a line from Texas to Wisconsin to make plans for crew movements. Likewise cooperatives are working with EMCs within Georgia and may be able to move crews from EMCs that are least impacted to ones that are most impacted.

EMC customers should contact their local EMC to report power outages.

Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state’s 41 EMCs, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp.  Collectively, the 42 customer-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to 4.4 million people, nearly half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area.

Georgia Power has 3400 workers positioned to respond to electrial outages due to hurricane Irma.

Georgia Power officials said Sunday night that they have 3,400 personnel positioned to respond to what are expected to be extensive power outages caused by Hurricane Irma, which will affect Georgia starting late [Sunday night].

Georgia Power officials said all of its resources have been held to respond to storm restoration in Irma’s wake.

“Once the storm leaves affected areas, the company must wait until conditions are safe for damage assessment teams to enter the field and begin the restoration process, followed by repair crews, which could take several days, if not weeks, depending on the amount of damage and safe access to the area,” Georgia Power officials said. “As weather conditions improve, restoration efforts will accelerate, but it could take an extended period of time for all customers to be restored.”

Georgia Power has asked for help from other utilities through a mutual assistance network, but officials said those resources have been assigned to harder-hit areas in Florida before Georgia.

Savannah Memorial Hospital evacuated 45 babies from their neonatal ICU.

In advance of Hurricane Irma 45 babies from Savannah Memorial Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit evacuated to several Georgia hospitals. Fifteen of the babies were transported via ambulance and helicopter to Navicent Health in Macon.

Dr. Mitch Rodriguez is the Medical Director of the NICU. He said, “Some of our patients that came were relatively stable, just completing their hospitalization. Some of them were relatively critical in the sense that they were either post-surgical and/or still on the ventilator or on a significant amount of support.”

Rene Gunner is in the Macon NICU with her daughter, Quinn, who was born at 26 weeks. Gunner said, “You don’t even want to be in this situation, but things have just kind of lined up for us, and so we’re incredibly grateful and thankful for all the blessings because I consider this a blessing, coming to Macon.”

Augusta University Medical Center also welcomed 12 newborns from Savannah.

Augusta University Medical Center is continuing to take in patients from the coastal areas, including 12 Neonatal patients from Savannah.

There were a couple steps nurses had to take before sending the babies off from Savannah.

“We had to make sure they were medically cleared to go, copied all of their charts, made sure their parents were aware, got consent from them to come up and made sure all the parents had accommodations once they got here,” said [Lauren] Brooks.

A few nurses from Savannah also made the trip to Augusta.

“We have different hurricane teams, I’m on team C which I’m here in Augusta I’m taking care of babies,” said Brooks.

Other infant patients were evacuated to Atlanta hospitals.

Facilities like Northside Hospital and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta have begun to take in infant patients from south Georgia.  Northside Hospital’s Atlanta and Forsyth campuses, for example, say they’ve opened their doors to 11 infants.

According to a spokesperson with the hospital, 11 babies from the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit at Memorial Health Hospital in Savannah arrived with their parents on Friday.

In all, the Georgia Department of Public Health facilitated moving a total of 59 infants on life support–from hospitals in the Savannah area to other hospitals in metro Atlanta and the rest of Georgia that are not expected to be impacted by hurricane-force winds.

Patrick O’Neal, M.D. is the Commissioner of Georgia DPH, and explained that the young infants, many of them premature, each had to travel inside a mobile ICU called an isolette to survive the hours-long evacuation.

“It will allow almost like a cocooning of the baby, so that it can be moved, very safely, maintaining all those requirements that the baby would have had in the original hospital,” Dr. O’Neal said.

Georgia DPH has activated its emergency operation center–part of GEMA’s state operations center–helping coordinate hospital evacuations across the state and making sure shelters for thousands of evacuees are staffed with doctors and nurses, and equipped with cots and necessary supplies.

Qualifying for Special Elections has been postponed for State House Districts 42 (Stacey Evans), 89 (Stacey Abrams), 117 (Regina Quick), 119 (Chuck Williams), and State Senate Districts 6 (Hunter Hill) and 39 (Vincent Fort).

Given the expected impact Hurricane Irma will have on the state of Georgia, the qualifying period for House Districts 42, 89, 117, 119 and Senate Districts 6 and 39 shall be postponed pursuant to Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 21-2-50.1).

The new qualifying period shall be Wednesday, September 13, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Thursday, September 14, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Friday, September 15, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Secretary of State’s Office (2 MLK Jr. Drive SE, Suite 802 West Tower, Atlanta, GA 30334).

Additionally, voters are encouraged to take the following steps to ensure they are prepared for the upcoming elections as several county election offices are temporarily closing in preparation for Hurricane Irma.

“I want voters to be prepared for Election Day ahead of this storm,” said Secretary of State Brian Kemp. “My office is encouraging voters in affected counties to use these steps if they have any questions about their voter registration status.”

Six candidates qualified for a special election in Roswell City Council Post 3.

George Vail is running for the seat, which has been vacated by Donald Horton, who is running for the office of mayor.

Vail is one if six candidates who’ve qualified to serve out Horton’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2019. The other candidates running in the Nov. 7 special election are Hanny Alexander, Bassem Fakhoury, Sean A. Groer, Mike Nyden and Joe Piontek.

Former Governor Roy Barnes is among the lawyers filing a class action lawsuit against Equifax.

A team of lawyers, including former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, has filed a class-action lawsuit against Equifax over the massive data breach that has compromised the personal information of more than 140 million U.S. consumers.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta faults Equifax for “gargantuan failures to secure and safeguard consumers’ personally identifiable information … and for failing to provide timely, accurate and adequate notice” to consumers that such sensitive material had been stolen.

The Atlanta case calls Equifax reckless in its handling of consumers’ data, and also said the company failed to disclose why there was more than a month’s delay in making the breach public. It cites the sale of stock by three executives days after Equifax learned of the breach, but weeks before the company alerted consumers to the cyber theft.

11
Sep

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for September 11, 2017

Buttercup

Buttercup is a young female Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from Clayton County Humane Society in Jonesboro, GA.

Buttercup was adopted as a young puppy and when the family decided they wanted to travel they returned her to our shelter. She is super sweet and always has a smile on her face. She loves everyone and gets along great with other small dogs.

Quinn

Quinn is a male Dachshund mix puppy who is available for adoption from Clayton County Humane Society in Jonesboro, GA.

He will require lots of hands-on to help train him how to be a well adjusted dog. He loves to run and play and would do best in a home with a fenced in yard. Quinn weighs 10 pounds.

DollyCCHS

Dolly is a young female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Clayton County Humane Society in Jonesboro, GA.

8
Sep

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for September 8, 2017

Our friends at Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah are evacuating 85 cats and dogs, including the following sweet Boxer mix puppies. Today would be a great day to donate online to them. They should have immediate access to your donation to allow them to pay for whatever it takes to get to safety.

Please click here to donate online to Coastal Pet Rescue.

Bridget

Bridget is a seven-week old Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue from Savannah, GA.

King Gristle

King Gristle is a male seven-week old Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue from Savannah, GA.

Fuzzbert

Fuzzbert is a male seven-week old Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue from Savannah, GA.

8
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 8, 2017

The Continental Congress renamed their new nation the United States of America, from the previously used “United Colonies” on September 9, 1776.

An American fleet of nine ships under the command of Captain Oliver Hazard Perry routed a British fleet in the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813.

After the battle, Perry sent a famous dispatch to U.S. General William Henry Harrison that read, “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.” The Battle of Lake Erie forced the British to abandon Detroit, ensuring U.S. control over Lake Erie and the territorial northwest.

Years later, Pogo, Georgia’s Official State Possum, would paraphrase Perry’s dispatch.

Pogo Enemy

And eventually, Pogo’s statement that, “We have met the enemy and he is us” would become the official slogan of the Georgia Republican Party.

On September 7, 1864, General William T. Sherman sent a letter to his Confederate counterpart, General John Bell Hood, offering to transport civilians out of Atlanta for their safety.

The Georgia General Assembly appropriated $1 million for construction of a new State Capitol on September 8, 1883.

The Fulton County Courthouse was dedicated on September 8, 1914.

On September 9, 1933, WSB Radio in Atlanta was upgraded to broadcasting via 50,000 watt transmitter. The first broadcast included Will Rogers and a letter from President Roosevelt.

On September 9, 1939, an audience at the Fox Theater in Riverside, California watched a preview of Gone With the Wind.

The first actual computer bug was identified on September 9, 1947, when Grace Hopper removed a moth from an electrical relay in the Harvard Mark II computer. Hopper received her Ph.D. in Mathematics from Yale in 1934 and attained the rank of Rear Admiral, Lower Half in the United Stated Navy. USS Hopper (DDG-70) was named after her.

On September 9, 1954, Marvin Griffin won the Democratic Primary election over Melvin Thompson.

Elvis Presley first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on September 9, 1956.

The Professional Football Hall of Fame opened on September 7, 1963 in Canton, Ohio.

On September 8, 1966, viewers of the Star Trek debut first heard the monologue opening, “Space, the final frontier…”

On Sept. 8, one of the most enduring franchises in TV and movie history celebrates its 50th birthday. Star Trek debuted on NBC in 1966, developed by Roddenberry, a former Los Angeles cop who wanted to make a TV series which could sneak past the rampant escapism of most programs back then.

At a time when scripted TV rarely dealt directly with the turbulence of the times, Star Trek set its social messages against a space opera backdrop. Swashbuckling Captain Kirk ran the Enterprise, backed by cerebral first officer Mr. Spock and emotional Southern medical officer Dr. Leonard McCoy.

On the surface, the show’s plots dealt with exotic alien worlds in a future where space travel was commonplace. But Roddenberry and his writers slipped in subtle messages.

One classic story pointed out the absurdity of racism by depicting a war among members of an alien race, where one faction was colored black on the left side of their face and body and white on the right. The other faction had the colors reversed.

And as the end of state-sanctioned segregation rattled America, Roddenberry featured TV’s first interracial kiss: Aliens forced Captain Kirk to smooch his African American communications officer Lt. Uhura.

President Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon on September 8, 1974 for“all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.”

Future Atlanta resident Curtis Mayfield saw his song, “Superfly” turn gold on September 7, 1972.

On September 7, 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed the Panama Canal Treaty, which promised to turn over control of the canal to Panama by 2000.

On September 10, 1991, Senate confirmation hearings began for Georgia-born Clarence Thomas, who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush (41) to the United States Supreme Court.

Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit was released as a single on September 10, 1991.

Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin on September 7, 1998.

On September 10, 2002, the Atlanta Braves clinched an eleventh straight division title without playing, as a loss by the Philadelphia Phillies assured the Braves the title.

On Saturday, we wish a happy 75th birthday to former Congressman John Linder. Linder served in the State House from 1974-1980 and 1982-90. In 1990 he ran unsuccessfully for Congress against incumbent Democrat Ben Jones; in 1992, after redistricting, Linder was elected to Congress from the 7th District and served until his retirement after the 2010 election.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal yesterday declared a State of Emergency covering six Georgia counties, later expanding it to cover 30 counties.

Following a recommendation from Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) officials and local Emergency Management Agencies, Gov. Nathan Deal is expanding his emergency declaration to include 24 additional counties, with a total of 30 counties now included in a state of emergency. Deal also issued a mandatory evacuation order for all areas east of I-95, all of Chatham County and some areas west of I-95 that could be impacted by potential storm surge from Hurricane Irma. The executive order also authorized up to 5,000 Georgia National Guard members to be on state active duty to support Hurricane Irma response and recovery. The state of emergency prohibits price gouging for all goods and services related to the storm. Read the executive order here.

“The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Irma,” said Deal. “I encourage all Georgians in our coastal areas that could be impacted by this storm to evacuate the area as soon as possible. Beginning Saturday, a mandatory evacuation order will take effect for Chatham County, all areas east of I-95 and some areas west of I-95 that could be impacted by this catastrophic hurricane and storm surge. GEMA/HS continues leading our preparedness efforts as we coordinate with federal, state and local officials to safely evacuate the coastal areas, provide public shelter and minimize the disruption of traffic. Finally, I ask all Georgians to join me in praying for the safety of our people and all those in Hurricane Irma’s path.”

The 30 counties under a state of emergency are: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Clinch, Coffee, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Jenkins, Jeff Davis, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Pierce, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs, Treutlen, Wayne and Ware Counties.

At 10 AM, Gov. Deal will hold a press conference to discuss storm preparations. You can watch the live stream here.

This weekend in Georgia, you may run into folks who are part of the evacuation. They will cause traffic delays, possible shortages, and jean shorts. Please treat them with the grace you would wish for if you were forced from your home.

Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Lisa Branch has been nominated to a seat on the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

President Trump intends to nominate Judge Elizabeth L. “Lisa” Branch, of Atlanta, to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta. Branch has served as the 77th Judge on the Georgia Court of Appeals since September 4, 2012.

For the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, President Trump intends to nominate R. Stan Baker of St. Simons Island, Georgia, where he has served as magistrate judge for the same district since February 3, 2015.

“I applaud the president’s choices and look forward to working with these excellent judges as the confirmation process moves forward in the Senate,” said Senator Isakson.

“Once again President Trump has nominated two impressive Georgians to fill judicial vacancies in Georgia,” said Senator Perdue.

“I look forward to working through the Senate confirmation process with Lisa Branch on her nomination to a Georgia-based seat on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and Stan Baker on his nomination to be a judge in the Southern District of Georgia.”

The Senate Study Committee on Georgians’ Barriers to Access to Care will meet on Monday at 10 AM in Room 310 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building.

Georgia Ports are closing ahead of Hurricane Irma.

With some 40 ships scheduled to call on Garden City and Ocean terminals between Friday morning and Tuesday night, advance planning is critical, Witt said.

“Typically by this point, most ships are in storm avoidance mode, either delaying transit or changing routes,” he said, adding that ships under power are usually safer riding out a storm at sea.

At GPA’s Savannah terminals, truck gates will close at 6 p.m. Friday with operations ceasing around midnight and the last ship sailing on the high tide before dawn Saturday, according to GPA executive director Griff Lynch.

Gates at Colonel’s Island and Mayor’s Point terminals in Brunswick will close at 5 p.m. Friday.

“The safety of our employees and partners in the maritime community is our highest priority,” Lynch said, adding that operations will be restored as soon as it is safely possible.

“Our terminals in Savannah and Brunswick play a vital role in customer supply lines,” he said. “After the hurricane passes, we are committed to assessing any damage and getting our ports back up and running as quickly as possible.”

Rev. Jentezen Franklin of Gainesville’s Free Chapel talked about lobbying President Trump for DACA.

Franklin said he hopes the approximately 800,000 people involved in the program are not deported.

“I can tell you now that I believe … and the other ministers that are there, the black pastors and Hispanic pastors and those of us who pastor to multicultural churches,” Franklin said. “We were basically saying, ‘We’re in the trenches.’ I know these kids; they’ve been in my home. I know these kids; they’ve been in my children’s ministry, my youth ministry. I love these kids — these are great kids. We pleaded passionately with the president that we have got to find a pathway.”

He said that he believed Trump would sign a bill granting amnesty for DACA residents if Congress sent one to his desk. People covered by DACA are often called “Dreamers” — an acronym referencing the failed Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act first introduced in 2001.

Franklin’s discussions with Trump were reported by The Washington Post on Monday. He’s one of several pastors on Trump’s evangelical advisory council.

If the residents here illegally do end up getting deported, Franklin said he wouldn’t resign from Trump’s faith council.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Presence is everything,’ when he was asked, ‘Why are you going to the White House?’ He said presence is everything,” Franklin said. “(If I wasn’t on) that board, I wouldn’t have been able to look across the table there, the desk in the Oval Office, and have this very conversation that I’m having for you.”

Franklin said that if “you’re not at the table, you can’t argue the points.”

“If he chooses not to listen, he chooses not to listen, but you know, you don’t resign from a board — at least I don’t — every time somebody does something you don’t agree with,” Franklin said. “The president has done (several) things that I didn’t agree with, but I can’t influence that world if I’m not in it. I didn’t ask other pastors who served on President Obama’s board to resign — I wanted them there.”

Snellville Mayor Tom Witts has been indicted on 66 charges, of which 65 are felonies.

Valdosta and Lowndes County have adopted emergency ordinances to discourage “price gouging” during the evacuation.

The declaration states Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency activates both the emergency operations plan and ordinance 04-1265, which prohibits the overcharging for goods, materials, services and housing during an emergency, better known as “price gouging.”

While some prices could increase based on supply and demand, price gouging is when prices are raised above the legally allowed margin solely because of an emergency, according to officials.

Since the beginning of the week, Lowndes County has observed a shortage of gasoline, bottled water and other supplies while Florida residents make their way north to escape Hurricane Irma.

“With I-75 coming out of the middle of Florida, there is certainly going to be a lot of traffic coming up,” Lowndes County Commission Chairman Bill Slaughter said during a press conference Thursday. “It’s going to be extremely important to protect those evacuating (from price gouging). They’re going to be needing to buy gas and food.”

The City of Columbus is opening a 220-bed shelter for storm evacuees.

The mayor’s office confirmed that a 220-bed shelter will be opened at Frank D. Chester Recreation Center at 1441 Benning Drive to help house evacuees from Florida and the affected areas of the Georgia coast as Hurricane Irma approaches the mainland.

If the shelter fills up, another shelter could be opened at the Roy Martin Center in Russell County, said Candace Poole, 2-1-1 Manager at United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley.

Poole also said that people can find housing resources by dialing 211 or by texting “31902 IRMA” to the number 898211.

Evacuees have already booked nearly every hotel room in Georgia, including those in Columbus. Columbus State University will host more than 130 students from Armstrong State University after the university announced an emergency closure.

Campaigns and Elections

Cumming City Council Post 2 member Quincy Holton drew an opponent for his reelection to the seat he was first elected to in 1969.

Holton, the longest-serving member of the City Council, will face a challenger for the seat this year from local businessman Jason Evans. Holton said the city has changed a lot since he took office but that he wants to continue serving its residents.

“I’ve been in office quite a while, and when I went in we only had about a $15,000-a-year budget, and today we have about $29 million, almost $30 million for the budget,” Holton said. “Also, I’d like to keep the ad valorem tax off so we don’t have to pay it, and I like to work for the people; that’s what I’m in there for.”

Mayor H. Ford Gravitt, who was first elected to his seat in 1970, will face challenger Troy Brumbalow, a local businessman. Post 1 Councilman Chuck Welch, who took office in 2015 to fill the unexpired term of predecessor Rupert Sexton, will be challenged by Chad Crane, a project manager.

The election will be held on Nov. 7, and three weeks of advance voting will be held 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekdays between Oct. 16 and Nov. 3. All voting will take place at City Hall.

The candidate with the most votes in each race will be elected, and no run-off will be held if a candidate gets less than 50 percent of votes plus one vote, as is the case in Forsyth County and other municipalities.

Qualifying has been set for the following Special Elections:

HD 42 (formerly Stacey Evans)

HD 89 (formerly Stacey Abrams)

HD 117 (formerly Regina Quick)

HD 119 (formerly Chuck Williams)

SD 6 (formerly Hunter Hill)

SD 39 (formerly Vincent Fort)

Qualifying for the special election shall be held in the Elections Division of the Office of Secretary of State, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, 802 West Tower, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.

The dates and hours of qualifying will be Monday, September11, 2017 beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m.; Tuesday, September 12, 2017 beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m.; and Wednesday, September 13, 2017 beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 1:00 p.m. The qualifying fee shall be $400.00.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 is the last day to register to vote for all persons who are not registered to vote and who desire to vote in the special election. Advance in-person absentee voting will begin on Monday,October 16, 2017.

Steven Strickland announced he will run for State House District 119 in the Special Election, with his party affiliation to be chosen later.

A third Oconee County resident recently announced he will seek the State House of Representatives District 119 seat that was vacated when Chuck Williams resigned to become the director of the Georgia Forestry Commission.

Steven Strickland of Bishop said Wednesday he will wait until he qualifies to announce his party affiliation.

Republican candidates Tom Lord and Marcus Wiedower have already announced they intend to run in a special election in November. During the same election, a candidate will also fill the House District 117 seat vacated by Regina Quick, who was appointed as judge of the Western Judicial Circuit.

Republican Bryan Dobbs announced he will run in House District 19 against incumbent State Rep. Paulette Rakestraw. From the press release:

Dallas,​ ​Ga.​ ​–​ ​Bryan Dobbs, owner of local business Dobbs Defense and community advocate, formally announced his candidacy for Georgia House of Representatives District 19 on Sept. 8, 2017.

The people of District 19 deserve honest diligent representation. Bryan Dobbs wants to put Paulding first by improving the confidence and integrity of the office and give the people a strong voice.

This is Dobbs’ first run for public office. The government faces many challenges, to include tax reform, wasteful spending, second amendment rights and public safety.

The community of District 19 wants to see action. Bryan Dobbs humbly asks the people for an opportunity to serve them.

To find out more about the campaign, visit BryanDobbs.com.

Bruce McPherson, running against incumbents Democratic Congressman Sanford Bishop (Albany) campaigned in Cordele.

Pam Tucker kicked off her 2018 campaign for Chair of the Columbia County Commission.

Nearly 50 volunteers gathered for a campaign kickoff meeting and dinner in support of Pam Tucker, the longtime emergency services director in Columbia and Richmond counties, on Thursday night.

Tucker, who is running for the position of Columbia County Commission Chair, discussed and coordinated different duties ranging from installing and collecting yard signs to making phone calls and knocking on doors.

“Tonight kicks everything off, then we will start doing our big fundraiser in October,” Tucker said. “Then, after that, we’ve got fashion show fundraisers, and all kinds of ideas and wonderful things that we are going to be doing.”

Tucker said she plans to run on a platform promoting transparency and uniting the county through collaboration. Other than her “Tucker Time” supporter chant, Tucker said she embraces her slogan that she will “bring fresh air and sunshine back to Columbia County.”

To date, current county commissioner Doug Duncan and small business owner Mark Herbert have also submitted declarations of intent to run for the county commission seat currently held by Ron Cross. Cross has not announced whether or not he plans to seek re-election.

The primary election will take place May 22.