In case you missed it, they opened a whitewater course on the Chattahoochee River last weekend. It was in all the papers — especially this one. Which brings us to …
The YouTube video that was all the rage on FaceBook disappeared, taken down sometime in the last day or so. But as of Wednesday afternoon, the 5-minute, 40-second video was back on YouTube.
It is spectacular. It’s like a NASCAR wreck on steroids.
Sunday evening, someone posted the video of a rafting logjam at Cutbait, the signature rapid on the new Chattahoochee whitewater course.
SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — It may be hard to believe, but some metro Atlanta residents are upset that the tolls on Georgia 400 are going away Nov. 20.
Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston found it’s not just a handful of people, there are quite a few.
Huddleston found commuters that think removing the infamous toll will only create more problems.
“I think it’s going to cause a bottleneck in traffic,” driver Stephanie Evertsz told Huddleston.
Evertsz travels Ga. 400 and worries that removing the toll will create massive backups.
“Opening it up to everyone is going to cause more traffic. I don’t think it’s a benefit,” Evertsz said.
And others agree with Evertsz. The State Road and Tollway Authority said it’s have received several emails from concerned drivers.
“I’m happy to pay the tolls,” one email said.
“How foolish of you to stop the toll!” another email said.
MACON, Ga. — A state lawmaker says elections for Macon-Bibb County’s newly formed consolidated government system will likely be held in November after the Department of Justice essentially halted a nonpartisan election that was scheduled for mid-July.
Republican state Rep. Allen Peake, of Macon, called the federal action a delay tactic Wednesday. Lawmakers have been given 60 days to respond to the federal inquiry and Peake says federal officials have 60 days after that to respond to them.
The delegation’s legislative counsel said nonpartisan elections were conducted during summer primaries and officials were unaware that nonpartisan elections could also be held in the fall, Peake said.
The Voting Rights Act requires states with a history of discrimination, mainly in the Deep South, to get approval before making changes in the way elections are held. The Supreme Court is wrestling with the fate of a section of the landmark civil rights law that has helped millions of Americans exercise their right to vote.
Federal officials are probing whether summer elections would have had a disparate racial impact on voter turnout. Georgia Secretary of State records show black voter turnout was significantly lower during July primaries than during the November 2012 elections.
A slave woman brought Macon worldwide notoriety by disguising herself as a white man in 1848 to escape serving her half-sister.
A freed black man became a successful east Macon businessman before the Civil War, although the law forced him to rely on a white partner to make his legal transactions.
The first black Georgian elected to the U.S. Congress came from Macon.
These are just a few of the stories detailed in a new historical marker, titled “Civil War Era Maconites of African Ancestry,” that was dedicated Wednesday morning at 830 Mulberry St.
A three-page letter from the Justice Department that has thrown elections for Macon-Bibb’s new merged government into turmoil hinges on one basic question. Federal attorneys want to know why nonpartisan summer elections should supplant a November vote with party labels, as voters approved countywide in 2012.
Until that’s sorted out, it’s not clear when Bibb County residents will choose officials for their first consolidated government.
“The ball is in DOJ’s hands,” said Jeanetta Watson, elections supervisor for the Macon-Bibb County Board of Elections. She spoke as she began canceling preparations for the scheduled July 16 nonpartisan vote for Macon-Bibb County’s commissioners, mayor and county school board.
The county election board is scheduled to meet at 9:30 a.m. Friday to formally cancel the July vote, which would also void the list of candidates who qualified. Anyone who wants to run would have to sign up again.
Another Milestone for Savannah Harbor Expansion
A Charleston, SC-based U.S. District Court approved a settlement of the lawsuit by environmental groups seeking to halt the proposed dredging of the Savannah River to improve access to the Port of Savannah, clearing a hurdle for what is widely considered the most important economic development project in Georgia.
The agreement was reached after nine months of intense mediation among environmental groups and South Carolina government agencies on one side and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Georgia Ports Authority on the other.
At issue was the environmental damage that will result from digging the Savannah River’s navigation channel 5 feet deeper to accommodate bigger, more efficient ships.
New conservation efforts mandated by the settlement include land preservation along the river and its tributaries to protect drinking water quality, a decommissioning of the river’s navigation status above the harbor to allow for the return of its natural meandering course and a requirement that the corps proves the efficacy of a controversial oxygen injection system before any inner harbor dredging may begin.
This last requirement also comes with an escape clause for the conservation groups. If they’re not satisfied with the proof, they can reactivate their litigation.
The new mitigation adds $43.5 million to the $652 million project. GPA has agreed to bear most of the additional cost, with the Georgia Department of Transportation handing over $10 million worth of land in Jasper County, S.C., to the Savannah River Maritime Commission to serve as a possible future site of a Jasper port.
The settlement leaves only funding as the missing piece of harbor deepening. Georgia has already allotted $231.1 million to the project. Construction can begin once Congress completes action on the Water Resources Development Act.
The Senate version of the measure, passed this month, approves the $652 million cost level of the deepening, which has increased since the project was authorized 13 years ago. The House now takes up the bill.
Bob Barr Internal Poll
An internal benchmark poll by Kellyanne Conway for the Bob Barr campaign shows Barr with 93% name ID among likely 2014 Republican Primary Voters and 49% favorable ratings while none of his announced opponents breaks 20% favorable.
Five small six-week old male puppies have found themselves in the Clayton County Animal Shelter, which is not a healthy environment for puppies. These guys are also working on a lice problem they have and should be considered urgent. The puppy not pictured is light brown. Here is a link to their freedom fund, which will help a rescue group pay for their vetting and foster care expenses.
Brody is a tiny little puppy with a nasty gash that they’re trying to treat, but unfortunately have limited ability to help with at Clayton County Animal Control. Something like this, which would be a relatively inexpensive fix at a veterinarian will likely cost this little boy his life. He’s less likely to be adopted, highly likely to get infected, and once sick almost certain to be euthanized. Here’s a link to his Freedom/Veterinary Care Fund.
I know that one of our readers is looking for this little guy, a terrier mix puppy who is at Gwinnett County Animal Shelter and will be available for adoption beginning Monday, May 3d. You know who you are. So, go visit him this weekend, and if you need him picked up on Monday, let me know.
This male poodle is also available from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter, becoming eligible for adoption on Monday. Pretty sure someone at the Walton County Barbecue mentioned they were looking for a poodle. Here’s your new best friend.
This female is the second English Bulldog I’ve seen in Gwinnett Animal Shelter in about a week. She’ll be available for adoption beginning Monday. If I had my heart set on this girl, I’d call and see if there’s a list for her.
It may be a little later than normal because of the cool, wet spring, but this year’s peach season in South Carolina is looking pretty peachy.
A few late freezes caused some of the earliest peaches blooming in the state to die, but overall, farmers said the crop is good as peach farmers start picking and packing.
The state’s most southern major peach operation, Chappell Farms in Barnwell County, opened its packing shed and started harvesting about a week ago, which is about two to three weeks behind the average season, co-owner Tommy Chappell said.
You can have Georgia-grown, or you can have Certified Organic. But almost never both.
Five years ago, you would have had trouble finding Georgia’s most iconic fruit at a local farmers market. Peaches, like Vidalia onions, are usually grown on large commercial farms and distributed nationally through a system that gives little preference to local retail outlets.
Then a guy named John Short came along. Since he grew up in Georgia’s peach country, when he moved to Atlanta he naturally assumed he could show up at any farmers market and buy a local peach. When he discovered that wasn’t the case, he called up his old friend Will McGeehy, a fifth-generation farmer in Crawford County, and worked out a way to transport and sell fresh-picked peaches at local farmers markets. Now in his fifth season, Short oversees a network of sellers that represent Pearson Farm all around Atlanta.
A true innovator, however, is rarely left alone, and Short is no longer the sole peach purveyor at Atlanta-area farmers markets. Inspired by Short’s success, a guy named Brandon Smith is now running a similar distribution team for Watsonia Farms peaches.
Smith gives credit where it’s due. He started as a member of the Pearson crew. “We were constantly asked about the availability of organic peaches,” Smith says. “I knew that there were large markets, such as Peachtree Road, that required organic or naturally grown certification. … And that’s how the conversation started with the Watsons.”
Because the Hill Country lost a substantial portion of its peach crop this year to weather, growers with roadside stands and others are scouring the state to buy peaches from other areas.