The blog.


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for May 14, 2015


Sweet Hazel is a 9-month old female Plott Hound mix who is searching for her forever home and available for adoption from Athens Canine Rescue in Athens, Ga.


Pansy is a sweet, thoughtful Border Collie girl about 5-6 months of age. Pansy loves to play (what puppy doesn’t smile) , but also has a “off” switch and will lay quietly near her person. She is very food motivated and would do well with any type of sport, such as agility or obedience. She has been to see sheep, but doesn’t show any early herding instinct- preferring instead to bark at those big woolies! Pansy is catching on quickly to housetraining, and is crate trained as well. Like most puppies, she does enjoy chewing on things, including hands, so we are working on this, but very young children would not appreciate this fun activity.

Pansy is available for adoption from Athens Canine Rescue in Athens, Ga.


Emma is a beautiful female brindle lab/hound mix. She has taken up a great space in her foster home and they absolutely love having her around!

She is both housebroken and crate trained. She will go right into her crate at night and sleep peacefully without a peep!

Emma absolutely loves to run around outside and chase squirrels! Or just run around! She isn’t hyper but she just really enjoys the exercise and fun. She is super fast too! She listens very well and we think she would be an awesome dog to do agility or training with! She is a big fan of her special treats and peanut butter – but really, who isn’t?

Emma is available for adoption from Athens Canine Rescue in Athens, Ga.


Scott Downing announces candidacy for State House District 155

Last week, Scott Downing of Fitzgerald announced he will run in a special election to fill the State House District 155 seat being vacated by Rep. Jay Roberts (R-Ocilla), who has been nominated as planning director for the Georgia Department of Transportation.

“As someone who makes a living in a small business in agriculture, I feel that I know what this area needs in a State Representative. We need someone who can work to bring back jobs,” said Downing. “I have been involved in many different business ventures from commercial meat products to economic development. I love our area and I want a future here for our children so that they don’t have to leave in order to find gainful employment.”


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 14, 2015

Delegates to the Constitutional Convention began assembling in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 14, 1787, the designated starting day. Because a large number of delegates had not arrived the opening of the Convention was moved to May 25.

On May 14, 1791, George Washington addressed the Grand Lodge of Georgia Masons in Savannah.

On May 14, 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark left St. Louis, Missouri to explore the Northwest United States from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.

One hundred fifty years ago today, on May 14, 2014, the VMI Corps of Cadets marched 15 miles and camped overnight at Mt. Tabor, near New Market, Virginia. The next day they would march into history.

On the same day, the Battle of Resaca was fully engaged in Northwest Georgia.

On Saturday, May 14, the fighting at Resaca escalated into a full-scale battle. Beginning at dawn, Union forces engaged the Confederates along the entire four-mile front. In the early afternoon Schofield’s Army of the Ohio attacked the sharply angled center of the Confederate line. The assault was badly managed and disorganized, in part because one of Schofield’s division commanders was drunk. As the Union attack unraveled and became a fiasco, Johnston launched a counterattack on Sherman’s left flank. The counterattack collapsed, however, in the face of a determined stand by a Union artillery battery. In the evening Union forces pushed forward and seized the high ground west of Resaca, which placed the bridges leading south from the town within artillery range and threatened Johnston’s line of retreat.The following day Sherman renewed his assault on the Confederate center.

Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta History Center’s original production “37 Weeks that Changed Georgia” chronicles the Battle of Resaca in this week’s episode.

Tomorrow from 3-4 PM, Georgia Public Broadcasting’s  “Political Rewind” will be live from the Georgia Republican Party State Convention in Athens. The local station to tune-in is WUGA 91.7 FM. If you’re not already in Athens then, you can find your local GPB radio station here.

Georgia Politics

I wrote yesterday that Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis is likely to run for State House District 80, which is being vacated by Mike Jacobs, who will be appointed to the DeKalb County State Court.

Later that day, the AJC published a story about a complaint filed by two former City of Brookhaven employees alleging misconduct by Davis.

Two female Brookhaven employees accused Mayor J. Max Davis of sexual harassment, a spokeswoman for the city confirmed for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

City officials, however, disputed that characterization of the complaint. Late Wednesday, the city released a statement saying Mayor J. Max Davis has been cleared of wrongdoing.

“(City Attorney) Tom Kurrie has concluded that there was no intentional conduct that rose to the level of harassment of any type,” the news release said. “Neither of the employees involved claimed or inferred that this incident involving the mayor was sexual or harassing in nature.”

The Brookhaven Post has more on the dispute.

In an exclusive interview, Mayor J Max Davis told The Post, “It is unfortunate the term ‘sexual harassment’ was ever spoken to the media. This incident was never about that and neither of the parties present ever claimed or made that accusation.”

Mr. Kurrie also said that “There is not presently nor was there any investigation of sexual harassment being conducted by the City of Brookhaven. Furthermore, there has been no claim or complaint filed by anyone, employee or otherwise, alleging sexual harassment by the Mayor.”

[The city released the following statement:]

At the direction of the city manager, the city attorney on March 17, 2015, commenced the investigation of an incident where an aerosol can was sprayed in the vicinity of two city employees by the mayor. After interviewing the two employees, the mayor, the city manager and the human resources director, Mr. Tom Kurrie has concluded that there was no intentional conduct that rose to the level of harassment of any type. Neither of the employees involved claimed or inferred that this incident involving the mayor was sexual or harassing in nature. Mayor J. Max Davis said, “I have spoken with both employees present and they have accepted the sincere apology that I offered. The action was innocent and was not intended to bring discomfort.”

House District 155 has gained at least one candidate, with Scott Downing of Fitzgerald announcing he will enter the special election to succeed State Rep. Jay Roberts. Downing served as a Ben Hill County Commissioner, and resigned that seat to run for State House at a date to be announced.

A special election will be held June 16th to fill Commissioner Downing’s position. Depending on when the state announces their election dates, the House representative position may also be on the ballot.

Ben Hill County Manager Frank Feild said they hope to be able to hold the elections on the same day because it would save the county money. These elections were not budgeted for this year, so the county has to spend extra money.

Unintended Consequences: Homegrown Hope

After this year’s passage by the General Assembly of House Bill 1, “Haleigh’s Hope,” which legalizes treatment of certain medical conditions with cannabis oil and decriminalizes possession of the oil under strict state regulation, we now have a criminal case involving oil made illegally in Georgia and allegedly used for treatment of depression.Continue Reading..


Deal: MI Metals to create 100 jobs in Jenkins County | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that MI Metals, a leading aluminum extrusion company, will expand its existing operations in Millen, creating 100 jobs and investing $2 million over the next three years.

“Georgia has become a national hub for advanced and highly skilled manufacturing,” said Deal. “When high-tech companies such as MI Metals choose our state to expand, it indicates that Georgia’s pro-business climate is not only attracting new businesses, but also helping existing companies in Georgia achieve the success necessary to grow and prosper.”

In order to better reach customers in the Southeast, the company will expand its fabrication and metal extrusion production facility by 120,000 square feet. MI Metals will also take advantage of Quick Start, the nation’s No. 1 workforce training program, to provide customized training for the newly created positions.

“We at MI Metals are very excited about the opportunities that the Millen, Georgia, facility represent for our company in the coming years,” said MI Metals President Brook Massey. “After the approval of our air permit, we will be able to paint extrusions in the Georgia location, adding even more jobs to the local community. The plant in Millen is located within a four-hour drive to several of our existing customers and will be MI Metals fifth plant location with 100 million-plus pounds of aluminum extrusion and finishing capacity.”

MI Metal products can be found in the transportation, communication, recreational vehicles, solar, building and construction, medical science and power generation markets.

MI Metals represents one of more than 20 companies that have expanded in the east region of the state since FY 15. Adela Kelley, senior project manager of existing industry and regional recruitment at the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), supported the company on behalf of the state of Georgia, along with the Jenkins County Development Authority.

“We are thrilled to see this expansion come to fruition,” said Jenkins County Development Authority Vice Chair King Rocker. “Today’s news represents hard work and dedication from our entire community. We welcome MI Metals to Jenkins County and look forward to their growth.”

“MI Metals’ decision to expand in Jenkins County speaks volumes about our skilled workforce,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “A strong logistics framework, solid network of companies and direct access to leading R&D resources will better support MI Metals in reaching its customer base.”

About MI Metals

MI Metals, founded in 1947 in Oldsmar, Fla., has provided more than 60 years of professional experience. Today, it is a leader in the aluminum extrusion industry, with five strategic locations across the United States. To learn more about MI Metals, click here.

via Deal: MI Metals to create 100 jobs in Jenkins County | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor.


State officials stress awareness following hike in traffic fatalities | Route 666

In response to a troubling uptick in road fatalities, Georgia transportation and law enforcement officials this week launched a campaign to increase driver awareness.

Traffic fatalities are up by 25 percent already during the first quarter of this year. Nearly two thirds of those crashes involved a single vehicle – a sign, officials say, that the driver was distracted. The Drive Alert. Arrive Alive. campaign implores motorists to focus on driving, not drive while drowsy or impaired and to wear a seat belt.

“If we continue at this rate, we could see the first increase in traffic fatalities in Georgia in nine years,” said Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry. “That’s just unacceptable – especially when many of these crashes can be prevented by changing driver behavior.”

via State officials stress awareness following hike in traffic fatalities | Route 666.


Tony Pope, Patricia Reid re-arrested in corruption case |

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The two people at the center of the DeKalb County schools corruption case have been re-arrested.

In November, Judge Cynthia Becker overturned the convictions of Pat Reid and her ex-husband, Tony Pope, who were convicted in a DeKalb County school construction scandal last year.

Pope and Reid had been sentenced to serve several years in prison.

Prosecutors said Reid, the former district chief operating officer, helped steer more than $1 million in contracts to her then-husband, Pope. A judge had initially sentenced Reid to 15 years in prison and Pope to eight years.

Becker resigned from her position on Nov. 10.

via Tony Pope, Patricia Reid re-arrested in corruption case |


Ex-Commissioner Boyer’s top aide pleads not guilty |

The top aide to former DeKalb County Commissioner Elaine Boyer pleaded not guilty today to accusations that he used his government charge card for personal purposes.

Bob Lundsten appeared in court to respond to allegations that he used his taxpayer-backed purchasing card to buy about $200 to $300 worth of items at stores including Kroger and the UPS Store.

Lundsten stood in court while his attorney entered the not guilty plea, and he made no other comments.

via Ex-Commissioner Boyer’s top aide pleads not guilty |


Brookhaven mayor accused of harassment |

An employee of Brookhaven has accused Mayor J. Max Davis of sexual harassment, a spokeswoman for the city has confirmed for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

City Attorney Tom Kurrie is investigating the complaint, spokeswoman Megan Matteucci said. A related complaint has also been filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she said.

via Brookhaven mayor accused of harassment |


Former justice calls for end to death penalty |

A former chief justice of Georgia’s highest court on Tuesday strongly renounced the death penalty and called for its abolition.

Norman Fletcher, who served 15 years on the Georgia Supreme Court, said the death penalty is “morally indefensible,” “makes no business sense” and is not applied fairly and consistently.

“Capital punishment must be permanently halted, without exception,” Fletcher said. “It will not be easy, but it can and will be accomplished.”

via Former justice calls for end to death penalty |


Deal issues 2015 veto statements | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor

Veto Number 1

SB 76 Senate Bill 76 would allow motorcycle and bicycle operators to enter an intersection without providing a definitive regard to the traffic signal in instances where the lightweight nature of their vehicle will not activate a traffic-control device. While I am sympathetic to the concerns and causes of motorcyclists and bicyclists, this legislation does not provide an adequate solution and presents a confusing exception to motorists. Furthermore, Senate Bill 76 would eliminate the current 15-inch height restriction placed on motorcycle handlebars. Motorcycles equipped with handlebars more than 15 inches in height pose a safety hazard due to the increased difficulty in steering and decreased control. In 2014, crashes involving motorcycles and bicycles accounted for 13 percent of the fatalities on Georgia roads, and I do not see how this legislation will enhance roadway safety. Therefore, in the interest of providing the necessary roadway safety Georgians deserve, I hereby VETO Senate Bill 76.

Veto Number 2

HB 439  House Bill 439, the Georgia New Markets Jobs Act, contains two major tax policy initiatives that affect the Georgia insurance premium tax. It provides for $55 million in tax credits against insurance premium tax liability for certain equity investments in qualified community development entities. During the legislative process, language was added to HB 439 authorizing the Invest Georgia Fund to sell up to $55 million in tax credits against insurance premium tax liability. Each of these concepts merit serious discussion standing on their own; however, the combination of these policy initiatives into one piece of legislation and the prospect of implementing these initiatives at the same time under our current budget environment would have too much of an impact on the general fund. It is my opinion that these initiatives require further study and, thus, I hereby VETO House Bill 439.Continue Reading..