The blog.

14
May

Saint Mark UMC gay minister Josh Noblitt to make run for Georgia state House – LGBT Georgia | Gay Georgia | Gay Atlanta | LGBT Atlanta

Josh Noblitt, the openly gay Minister of Social Justice at Saint Mark United Methodist Church, is set to throw his hat in the ring to run for open state House seat that will be available when State Rep. Margaret Kaiser steps down to run for mayor. If elected he would be the first openly gay man elected to the Georgia legislature.

Several people were discussing Noblitt’s run at the recent HRC Atlanta Gala Dinner and the Georgia Voice confirmed Noblitt was set to announce his run as soon as this weekend with his spokesperson, Beth Cope.

The mayoral election is not until 2017. Cathy Woolard, the first openly gay person elected to office in Georgia, is also running for mayor. Kaiser’s seat will be open in 2015 as part of the general election.

House District 59 includes the neighborhoods of Poncey-Highland, Little Five Points, Inman Park, Reynoldstown, North Ormewood Park, Glenwood Park, Ormewood Park, Boulevard Heights, Grant Park, The Villages at Carver, South Atlanta, Lakewood Heights, Polar Rock, Perkerson Park, East Point, Colonial Hills, Frog Hollow, Conley Hills, Semmes, Park, Fort Valley and Greenbriar.

via Saint Mark UMC gay minister Josh Noblitt to make run for Georgia state House – LGBT Georgia | Gay Georgia | Gay Atlanta | LGBT Atlanta.

14
May

DeKalb school board member Jester submits to background check | www.ajc.com

After a four-month standoff over a national background check, DeKalb Board of Education member Stan Jester has been cleared to receive all the benefits of a school board member, Superintendent Michael Thurmond’s office said today.

Jester cleared the national background check that will allow him to receive the salary, benefits, technology equipment and security clearance afforded other members.

via DeKalb school board member Jester submits to background check | www.ajc.com.

14
May

Dog starved in Macon finds New York home with Grammy winner | Pets | Macon.com

The saxophone plays and the dog howls.

In a 16-second video clip shared the other day on renowned saxophonist David Sanborn’s Facebook page, the pooch’s wail all but drowns out the horn in his New York studio.

The dog, though, sounds right at home — and she is.

Callie, roughly 3 years old, was seized in February from Macon owners who’d neglected and starved her. The emaciated boxer-Lab-bulldog mix was nursed back to health and ended up in the hands of a New York City rescue group.

via Dog starved in Macon finds New York home with Grammy winner | Pets | Macon.com.

14
May

Regulators: More delays possible for Plant Vogtle reactors | The Augusta Chronicle

ATLANTA — Regulators say there’s a “high probability” a nuclear plant under construction in Georgia will be delayed even longer than the three years already announced by its owners, according to an analysis obtained by The Associated Press.

Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power and its co-owners are building two more nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle near Waynesboro. A project using the same reactor design, Westinghouse Electric Co.’s AP1000, is underway at the Summer nuclear station in South Carolina, which has seen similar delays.

The first new reactor in Georgia was supposed to start operating in April 2016, with the second reactor following a year later. In January, Georgia Power announced the consortium designing and building the plant, Westinghouse and Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., expected the construction schedule would be delayed by more than three years. Those companies remain locked in a legal dispute about who should pay the resulting costs.

Those delays may prove a best-case scenario, according to an April 28 analysis by nuclear engineer William Jacobs Jr. and staff utility regulators at the Georgia Public Service Commission. The AP obtained a copy of the report using Georgia’s open records law.

via Regulators: More delays possible for Plant Vogtle reactors | The Augusta Chronicle.

14
May

Georgia DOT has until Tuesday to act on pipeline application | The Augusta Chronicle

Georgia Department of Transpor­tation Commissioner Russell McMurry is expected to issue a decision by Tuesday on a controversial, tri-state petroleum pipeline, proposed to run through 210 miles in Georgia.

If approved, Kinder Morgan’s new Palmetto Pipeline will dogleg off the existing Plantation Pipeline in Belton S.C., and transport up to 7 million gallons of oil per day to terminals in North Augusta, Savannah and Jacksonville.

 

The proposed route would go through 603 private and 26 public tracts in Georgia and will require eminent domain rights to condemn property from landowners. Under Georgia law, pipeline companies must first obtain a certificate of need from the DOT and then a permit from the Environmental Protection Division at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to initiate eminent domain proceedings.

McMurry has until Tuesday, 90 days since Kinder Morgan’s notice of filing its application, to act on the certificate of need. If he denies the application, Kinder Morgan can appeal the decision in court. If McMurry doesn’t issue any decision, the certificate is automatically granted.

via Georgia DOT has until Tuesday to act on pipeline application | The Augusta Chronicle.

14
May

Lee County courthouse to be assesed for restorations : News : WFXL.com

LEESBURG, GA — Lee County is making efforts to restore the courthouse downtown.

Masonry Restoration Technologies & Services (MRTS) will conduct an exterior assessment that would help develop a restoration and repair plan.

The Lee County Board of Commissioners approved MRTS’s proposal for $24,535.

County Manager Ron Rabun said it’s important for the county to invest in its community buildings.

via Lee County courthouse to be assesed for restorations : News : WFXL.com.

14
May

GA wildlife officials warn of bird nesting sites along coast – The Tifton Gazette: News

BRUNSWICK — Georgia wildlife officials are asking beachgoers to be careful around bird nesting areas along the Georgia coast.

Department of Natural Resources officials say certain birds build nests on Georgia beaches and disturbance from humans and pets can pose significant threats.

via GA wildlife officials warn of bird nesting sites along coast – The Tifton Gazette: News.

14
May

Mrs. Georgia 2015 Competes to Raise Domestic Violence Awareness | California Newswire

ROSWELL, Ga., May 5, 2015  — In three months, Nova Kopp will be headed to compete in the Mrs. United States National Pageant. After her recent win of the Mrs. Georgia crown on April 26, she is excited to move onto the next level. Her main goals: to raise awareness and to create a strategy for dealing with domestic violence.

Nova represented the city of Atlanta in the competition. The Mrs. Georgia judging was based on a composite score that was calculated from the interview, swimsuit and evening gown.

“I decided to compete in the Mrs. Georgia competition as a way to get myself out there,” she says. “Ultimately, I’d like to work with non-profits that focus on domestic violence and help them to generate revenue.”

As a child, Nova was abused by her father, who is now deceased after committing suicide. A domestic violence survivor, she is seeking a platform that will allow her to effectively work with other people in similar situations. She is passionate about serving women and children who have experienced traumatic events.

via Mrs. Georgia 2015 Competes to Raise Domestic Violence Awareness | California Newswire.

14
May

Georgia judges: Drunk driving suspects won’t get licenses back | The Watchdog blog

Law enforcement was thrown for a loop in March, when the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that a state law on testing suspected drunken drivers was unconstitutional. The law says that motorists who refuse to be tested for alcohol or drugs lose their driver’s license for a year. But the justices said that law runs afoul of the Constitution’s guarantee against unreasonable search and seizures. The suspect who submits to the required test has not necessarily freely consented to waive the constitutional requirement for a warrant, they wrote in their decision on a Gwinnett County case.

That set off a scramble, with some legal experts predicting that state law would have to be re-written and cops would have to obtain warrants for such tests or the results could be excluded in court.

But in recent rulings, Georgia administrative law judges have said the Supreme Court decision does not apply when it comes to decisions to suspend a driver’s license.

via Georgia judges: Drunk driving suspects won’t get licenses back | The Watchdog blog.

14
May

David Perdue: Still looking for ‘urgency’ in D.C. | Kyle Wingfield

He didn’t wear his famous jean jacket for his first speech on the Senate floor, but David Perdue still talks about Washington as if he’s an outsider, not an insider.

“I’m trying to help people have a greater sense of urgency on what I think are the greatest crises of the day,” Perdue, Georgia’s brand-new Republican senator, told me by phone recently.

If describing the debt and deficits as a crisis sounds so 2010, keep in mind that Perdue last year elbowed his way past an experienced GOP primary field by talking about the threat they still pose — and the inability of longtime Washington insiders to rein them in.

“We had about six weeks to deal with six years of irresponsibility, and we came up with a budget, and it’s the first budget we’ve had in a while, and it’s the first one that balances (over time), I think, since 2001,” said Perdue. “But it’s not a panacea, it’s not where it needs to be.”

Not, he said, with the debt where it is. “We’ve passed the tipping point with regard to this debt, big-time,” he said. “We have $18 trillion in debt. If interest rates today were at their 30-year (average) rate of just over 5.5 percent, we’d already be paying over $1 trillion (annually) in interest. That’s just not manageable.”

via David Perdue: Still looking for ‘urgency’ in D.C. | Kyle Wingfield.