The blog.


University of Georgia set to release findings of month-long educational listening sessions | Albany Herald

ALBANY — In a continued effort to expand collaborative efforts of K-16 institutions in Albany-Dougherty County, the presidents of Albany State University (Art Dunning), Darton State College (Paul Jones), and Albany Technical College (Anthony Parker), along with the Dougherty County School System Superintendent Butch Mosely, invite the community to participate in the second Albany-Dougherty County Education Summit to be held on Thursday.

##Representatives from the University of Georgia’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development and Carl Vinson Institute of Government will be presenting findings from a series of community-wide listening sessions, focus groups, and interviews which were conducted over the last few months.

##The Summit will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Albany Technical College’s Kirkland Conference Center located at 1704 South Slappey Boulevard.

via University of Georgia set to release findings of month-long educational listening sessions | Albany Herald.


Canton mayor calls meeting to discuss parking Monday – The Cherokee Ledger-News: Top Stories

After a discussion between City Council members and downtown business owners during the public input portion of the Dec. 4 City Council meeting, a special called meeting to consider parking enforcement in downtown Canton has been set for Monday, Dec. 8, at 6 p.m., at City Hall. The public is invited to express their concerns.

Downtown business owners, especially those in the service industry, say their clients are not returning after the police department began writing tickets for violating the two-hour parking ordinance, while others say they have paid for the tickets issued to their clients, which puts a hardship on their businesses.

via Canton mayor calls meeting to discuss parking Monday – The Cherokee Ledger-News: Top Stories.


Delegation Day set for [this] week – The Cherokee Ledger-News: Top Stories

The Cherokee County Legislative Delegation has set its annual “Delegation Day” meetings with local governments and agencies for Dec. 10 at the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce offices at 3605 Marietta Hwy., in Canton.

The meetings between elected officials foster communication between local and state government prior to the annual meeting of the General Assembly. It also is a time when local officials can talk to state-elected representatives about state legislation that is needed for their localities.

Meetings between the delegation and the local governments are open to the public.

Members of the Cherokee delegation are Rep. Mandi Ballinger, R-Canton; Rep. Michael Caldwell, R-Woodstock; Rep. Scot Turner, R-Holly Springs; Rep. John Carson, R-Marietta; Sen. Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta; Sen. Bruce Thompson, R-White; and Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell.

Delegation Day will begin at 8 a.m., as legislators share breakfast with the Chamber of Commerce’s Governmental Affairs Council at BridgeMill.

via Delegation Day set for next week – The Cherokee Ledger-News: Top Stories.


State GOP lawmaker weeds out the nuances of cannibas oil and pot |

State lawmakers have a month before they get back to work in the 2015 legislative session and already the debate over medical marijuana has gotten into the, ahem, weeds.

State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon serves as co-chair of a joint legislative committee that has studied whether and how to legalize the drug for certain conditions, including seizures in children.

Peake has revived a bill aimed at allowing cannabis oil made from marijuana plants for treatment of certain seizure disorders and other health problems. He is finalizing that proposal, pre-filed as House Bill 1 after a similar measure fell short last session.

But another committee member, state Sen. Curt Thompson, D-Tucker, is proposing a competing bill that would allow vaporized, edible or smokable marijuana. Thompson has filed a resolution, calling for a statewide referendum on whether to authorize recreational use of the drug.

Confusion about the oil form versus a smokeable drug has prompted Peake, who said he does not support expanded use, to speak out.

“We believe that the medical cannabis oil – very low in THC, that doesn’t have a psychoactive component to it, cannot get you high – is a better approach for our citizens,” Peake said in a press conference before a committee meeting last week.

Opponents of the oil have raised safety concerns. So PolitiFact Georgia decided to take a closer look at Peake’s contention that the oil extracted from marijuana won’t get users high.

via State GOP lawmaker weeds out the nuances of cannibas oil and pot |


Atlanta mayor joins coalition supporting Obama’s immigration plan |

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has joined a coalition of 20 mayors supporting President Barack Obama’s plan to safeguard millions of immigrants from deportation.

The mayors want to help the president’s plan work in their cities, while pushing Congress to pass long-sought immigration overhaul legislation. On Monday, Reed traveled to a one-day summit in New York City, where the mayors were to receive a briefing from White House officials about the president’s executive actions.

The move puts Reed — the Democratic mayor of Georgia’s largest city — at odds with his state’s Republican political leadership. Gov. Nathan Deal, who has worked closely with Reed on other issues, has criticized Obama’s actions. And last week, Georgia joined many other states in suing in federal court to block the president’s plan, arguing it is unconstitutional.

via Atlanta mayor joins coalition supporting Obama’s immigration plan |


Gov. Nathan Deal: Castellini Group To Create 300 Jobs In Clayton County

Your Georgia Desk

From Governor Nathan Deal

Deal Clayton


Deal: Castellini Group to create 300 jobs in Clayton County

Leading fresh produce distributor to invest $52 million into new processing facility

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Castellini Group of Companies, one of the largest fresh produce distributors in the United States, will develop a large-scale fresh-cut fruits and vegetables processing and produce distribution center in Conley, creating 300 jobs and investing $52 million into the project over the next several years.

“With our No. 1 business climate and highly skilled workforce, Georgia has become a hub for growing companies that require a strong logistics infrastructure,” said Deal. “I’m confident that our state will provide Castellini with the support and resources it needs to remain competitive in today’s fast-moving market, and in return, deliver high-quality jobs to our citizens.”

The company will construct a facility to process and distribute produce to leading wholesale, retail and food service customers on the East Coast. The new distribution center in Georgia strengthens the Castellini Group of Companies’ position in the Southeast, enabling them to reach 80 percent of the U.S. market within a single day’s truck drive. Site preparation for the 180,000-square-foot facility has already begun and is slated to open in September 2015.Continue Reading..


Who’s most likely to end up as Republicans’ nominee in 2016 presidential race – The Washington Post

If there’s one thing you can say about the 2016 Republican presidential field, it is this: It is going to be huge.

There are as many as 23 names on some long (long) lists of potential candidates. That’s twice(!) as many people as have run for the GOP nomination in any previous campaign. Now, not all of those “candidates” will actually run — Sen. Bob Corker and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, both of Tennessee, don’t make much sense as presidential candidates, to name just two — but a huge field of serious contenders remains.

Although all won’t make the race, the fact that there are so many credible potential candidates speaks to the key dynamic of the coming Republican race: There is no true front-runner.

You can make the case for Jeb Bush as the top dog. Or Chris Christie. Or, as we have in the ratings below, Rand Paul. But you can unmake each of the cases — including ours — pretty easily. When national polls put the leading contender at 15 percent, you know the word “front-runner” doesn’t mean much.

Given that, the prevailing sentiment among ambitious Republicans looking at 2016 is “Why not me?” As in, if the best-known potential candidates are polling only in the mid-teens (at best), why the heck shouldn’t I run and just see what happens? That attitude is affirmed by what happened in the 2012 primary fight, a remarkably fluid contest in which previously unknown candidates such as Herman Cain got their moment(s) in the national spotlight.

Add it up and you can expect to see as many as 15 legitimate candidates in the presidential contest at some point in the next two years.

via Who’s most likely to end up as Republicans’ nominee in 2016 presidential race – The Washington Post.


Legislators get primer on state government at UGA Biennial Institute | Online Athens

In Sunday’s 10 a.m. primer on state government, Institute of Government staffers Paul Burks and David Tanner, both veterans state government planners, shared basic facts on the state, state government and a little bit of how the budget process works in a two-hour session.

Here’s some of what Burks and Tanner told them:

• The number of state employees is down by nearly one-fifth in six years — about 67,500 today versus 83,000 in 2008.

• Most of Georgia’s annual state budget goes to three kinds of expenditures: education (54.1 percent), health, including public health and Medicare (23.1 percent) and safety, such as police courts and prisons (8.4 percent). Georgia pays about 5.4 percent of its annual budget ($20 billion this year) for debt service.

• Georgia sets a limit of 10 percent of the state budget for debt, but in practice, Georgia leaders have observed a 6 percent limit — low compared to many states. That low debt load is a big reason Georgia has a AAA bond rating, which allows the state to get the lowest possible interest rates when it issues bonds for building projects such as the University of Georgia’s $45 million Student Learning Center.

• Georgia state revenues come mainly from two sources — sales tax (25.2 percent) and individual income tax (45.8 percent). Corporate income tax accounts for about 4.1 percent. One kind of tax, gasoline tax, can only spent in for roads and bridges — and not for purposes such as mass transit.

via Legislators get primer on state government at UGA Biennial Institute | Online Athens.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 8, 2014

President Abraham Lincoln issued his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction on December 8, 1863.

First, it allowed for a full pardon for and restoration of property to all engaged in the rebellion with the exception of the highest Confederate officials and military leaders.

Second, it allowed for a new state government to be formed when 10 percent of the eligible voters had taken an oath of allegiance to the United States.

Third, the Southern states admitted in this fashion were encouraged to enact plans to deal with the freed slaves so long as their freedom was not compromised.

On December 8, 1899, Georgia Governor Allen Candler signed legislation to levy a tax on all dogs older than four months.

The United States declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941. Montana Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin, the first female elected to the United States House of Representatives, cast the sole dissenting vote.

John Lennon was shot and killed outside his apartment building in New York City on December 8, 1980.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

CANDIDATE FORUM TONIGHT FOR HD50 SPECIAL ELECTION: The Johns Creek Community Association is hosting a Candidate Forum today, Monday, December 8, 2014 for the special election to fill the Georgia House District 50 seat. The election will be held on January 6, 2015 and early voting begins on December 15 at the Johns Creek Environmental Center.

This forum will be your only opportunity to hear all 5 candidates answer your questions. The Forum will be held at the Thornhill Clubhouse.

You can meet the candidates at 6:30 PM and the Q&A will begin at 7:00 PM.

Former President George W. Bush (43) was in Valdosta last week at Moody Air Force Base, signing copies of his book, 41: A Portrait of My Father.

Hundreds of people lined up at Moody’s Base Exchange for hours, just to get the opportunity to shake George W. Bush’s hand and get a signed copy of his new book.

“It’s an opportunitiy of a lifetime to come and get the chance to shake his hand and thank him for his service to the country”, says Marla Haag, a Book Signing Attendee.

“I’m most excited to hopefully shake his hand. That was my ultimate goal”, says Staff Sergeant, Kyle Pantermoller.

41: Portraits Of My Father is the Former President’s second book, and is a biography of his father, George Bush Senior. Though politics aren’t discussed in the book, it gives a unique look in to presidential life… which is one reason why Staff Sergeant Pantermoller says he was excited to read it.

Continue Reading..


Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 8, 2014

Ness Puppy

Someone I know found the dog above in Swainsboro and took her in – she was cold, hungry, and scared. He’d like to keep her, but needs some help with her initial vetting, spaying, and expenses. Please consider joining me in making an online donation to help this dog keep her permanent home. All funds received in excess of her actual vetting costs will be donated to Golden Retriever Rescue Atlanta.

Roxy Fulton Composite

Roxy is a beautiful Reddish Lab-looking mix female, about 3 years old and weighing 60 pounds. She is microchipped but her owner never came to pick her up and she is in urgent need of a new home. She has blossomed into a wonderful dog. She has been great with people and the other dogs she is kenneled with. Unfortunately, she had an argument with one of her kennel mates and is now housed separately. The shelter volunteers really love this girl and hope you will help us get her to safety.

Roxy is available for adoption from Fulton County Animal Services in Atlanta, Ga.

Fulton County Animal Services
860 Marietta Blvd NW
Atlanta, GA 30318

Shelter Hours:
Monday- Friday 11am- 7pm
Saturday & Sunday 11am- 6pm





This beautiful young adult female Lab mix is friendly and available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.


Number 117 (above) is a large Hound dog mix who is listed as a German Shepherd mix, but who really knows. He is friendly and playful and was surrendered by his owner. He is about 3 years old, and because he was owner-surrendered, he will be among the first to be euthanized. He is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.


Here’s another Hound dog masquerading as a Shepherd mix, he’s about 4 years old and 45 pounds and fully-vetted. Number 42884 was also owner-surrendered and is friendly and playful. He is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.



Number 43095 is an adult male Weimaraner mix who was found stray and is friendly. He will be available for adoption beginning tomorrow at Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.