Savannah area sees strongest quarters of hotel/motel tax collections on record | savannahnow.com

The city of Savannah, Chatham County and Tybee Island each had its strongest first three quarters ever for hotel/motel tax collections, according to a report compiled by Visit Savannah.

The Savannah area collected $16 million in hotel/motel tax in the first three quarters of 2014, a nearly 14 percent year-over-year growth from $14 million in 2013.

“The strong collections throughout the entire Savannah marketplace for hotel/motel tax collections reflects more rooms being sold than ever before and at higher rates,” said Jack Bussert, general manager of the River Street Inn and Visit Savannah board chair. “When you talk about the economic impact of an industry in a community and an almost 14 percent gain, the story doesn’t get much better than that.”

via Savannah area sees strongest quarters of hotel/motel tax collections on record | savannahnow.com.

Huge solar plant lags in early production | savannahnow.com

LOS ANGELES — The largest solar power plant of its type in the world — once promoted as a turning point in green energy — isn’t producing as much energy as planned.

One of the reasons is as basic as it gets: The sun isn’t shining as much as expected.

Sprawling across roughly 5 square miles of federal desert near the California-Nevada border, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System opened in February, with operators saying it would produce enough electricity to power a city of 140,000 homes.

So far, however, the plant is producing about half of its expected annual output for 2014, according to calculations by the California Energy Commission.

via Huge solar plant lags in early production | savannahnow.com.

More voters follow politics on social media | #AlwaysOn | StarTribune.com

Twenty-eight percent of registered voters use cell phones to track political news and campaign coverage, according to a Pew Research Center report released today. That’s up from 13 percent in 2010.

Voters are also more likely to follow candidates and political figures on social media (Facebook and Twitter) than they were four years ago. Sixteen percent do so now, compared with just 6 percent in 2010. And the uptick in political cell phone usage isn’t just a young adult trend.

Pew found that voters age 30 to 49 jumped into mobile politics in a big way, nearly matching the 20-somethings’ smartphone and social media usage for political news.

Voters from both parties said a “major reason” for using social media was the ability to form deeper connections with candidates.

As for other “major reasons” for following politics on social media, among Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents, 50 percent cited getting news quickly and 33 percent said the news on social media was more reliable than what they they get form traditional news outlets. Among Democrats, 35 percent cited the need to know quickly and 20 percent said social media news was more reliable than what they could get through traditional outlets.

via More voters follow politics on social media | #AlwaysOn | StarTribune.com.

Former state Rep. Tom Buck named to fill out Red McDaniels’ term | Latest News | Columbus Ledger Enquirer

Columbus Council today named former state Rep. Tom Buck to fill out the term of the late Red McDaniel, who died Nov. 3 of acute pancreatitis.

Buck, who served in the state House of Representatives for 38 years before retiring in 2003, told councilors that he has no interest in seeking to District 8 seat in the next municipal election in 2016.

via Former state Rep. Tom Buck named to fill out Red McDaniels’ term | Latest News | Columbus Ledger Enquirer.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 19, 2014

Lincolnatgettysburg

President Abraham Lincoln delivered an 87-word speech at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania on November 19, 1863.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

On November 19, 1864, as Sherman marched toward Savannah, the Georgia delegation to the Confederate Congress in Richmond, Virginia, sent a message to the state,

“Let every man fly to arms! Remove your negroes, horses, cattle, and provisions from Sherman’s army, and burn what you cannot carry. Burn all bridges and block up the roads in his route. Assail the invader in front, flank, and rear, by night and by day. Let him have no rest.”

The first issue of National Review magazine was published on November 19, 1955.

Reagan Gorbachev 11191985

President Ronald Reagan met for the first time with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev on November 19, 1985.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Morehouse College Republicans are in the spotlight in an article in The Source that is worth reading in its entirety.

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Adoptable Georgia Dogs for November 19, 2014

Gracie

Gracie is a sweet adult Shepherd and Lab mix female who needs a trusting, loving home. She gets along well with other dogs and loves to go for walks. She was surrendered by her owner who had her from age 3 months. No knowledge if she is good with cats. Please consider giving Gracie her forever home. Gracie is available for adoption from CSRA Humane Society, Inc. in Augusta, GA.

Madonna

Madonna is an adult female Hound dog, very even tempered and gets on well with other dogs. She is inclined to be a little timid, and would fit in best in a quiet household. Madonna is available for adoption from CSRA Humane Society, Inc. in Augusta, GA.

Star

Star is a small female Chihuahua mix female who is available for adoption from Augusta Animal Services in Augusta, GA.

Warner Robins councilman accused of illegally holding office; Thomas calls attack political | Politics | Macon.com

WARNER ROBINS — City Councilman Tim Thomas says he’s under politically motivated attacks that falsely claim he’s breaking the law.

A statement emailed Monday to several midstate reporters accuses Thomas of still engaging in the bail bondsman business while serving in an elected capacity. That would be a misdemeanor offense under state law. Thomas said he first heard of the claim several weeks ago.

“From the day I was elected, I quit signing any bonds in the city or the county, and I haven’t done any since,” Thomas told The Telegraph. “There’s not a bond out from November 2013 (or later) that’s got my signature on it.”

Thomas said he quit the business the day after his 2013 election, weeks before he took office. He said he removed his name from all the bank accounts and completed all the other paperwork to separate himself from Parkway Bonding Co., which his family launched in 1972. His son and mother continue to sign bonds for the company. His son’s name is also Timothy Thomas, but he and the councilman have different middle names. Thomas said that could be contributing to some of the confusion.

Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton said he and his chief deputy spoke several weeks ago and found no indication that Thomas was signing bonds.

“He used to sign some bonds, but when he got elected, to my knowledge he hasn’t signed any bonds,” Talton said.

Warner Robins Police Chief Brett Evans, City Attorney Jim Elliott and Mayor Randy Toms said their own inquiries found no evidence that Thomas was still signing bail bonds. The email to the media also said an ethics complaint would be filed with the state attorney general “requesting his office intervene since Mayor Randy Toms has chosen to ignore the law and protect Councilman Thomas.”

via Warner Robins councilman accused of illegally holding office; Thomas calls attack political | Politics | Macon.com.

Former Gov. Carl Sanders to be Honored at State Capitol

Your Georgia Desk

From Governor Nathan Deal

Deal Sanders

Former Gov. Carl Sanders to be honored at state Capitol

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that former Georgia Gov. Carl Sanders’ funeral procession will pause at the state Capitoltomorrow at 8 a.m. so the state may pay its respects. The procession will make a ceremonial lap and be formally saluted by the Georgia State Patrol honor guard on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive steps outside the Capitol.

Gov. Sanders, 89, passed away on Sunday evening. He served as Georgia’s 74th governor from 1963-1967. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22 at Second Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, 2715 Peachtree Road, NE. The family has asked that donations in memory of Gov. Sanders be made to either the Metropolitan YMCA or the University of Georgia Law School.

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Senator-elect David Perdue: Statement On Keystone Vote

Your Washington Desk

From Senator – elect David Perdue

Perdue Senate Logo

Senator-elect David Perdue Statement On Keystone Vote

U.S. Senator-elect David Perdue today released the following statement on the Keystone XL Pipeline vote:

“The Keystone XL Pipeline should never have been a political issue. It’s disappointing that tonight Senate Democrats prevented its passage. Building Keystone would create thousands of American jobs and help lower energy costs for Georgia families. In the new Congress, I’m hopeful that the Republican majority will finally act on jobs and energy bills once blocked by Harry Reid and get the Senate working again. Unleashing our nation’s full energy potential remains one of my top priorities in the U.S. Senate. (more…)