Thanks to his leadership, Gov. Nathan Deal visited an accredited DeKalb school today

Your Georgia Desk

From Governor Nathan Deal

In 2013, Gov. Nathan Deal stood alongside some members of the DeKalb delegation to address the school crisis.
Gov. Nathan Deal today visited DeKalb’s Chamblee Charter High School students and educators as they begin the new school year. The school is ranked No. 11 in the state by US News & World report.

In 2013, however, Chamblee Charter and the rest of DeKalb County schools faced a crisis. Due to the dysfunction of its board, the school system risked losing its accreditation, putting nearly 100,000 students in jeopardy.
Working with local leaders who had the courage to step forward, Gov. Deal took the necessary steps to save the system’s accreditation.

“In hindsight, we know the governor did the right thing for DeKalb’s children,” said State School Board Member Lisa Kinnemore. “At the time, however, many thought it was politically risky.”
Senator Jason Carter was one of them.

“Senator Carter waited to see which way the political wind would blow rather than standing up for students in his district,” Deal for Governor spokeswoman Jen Talaber said. (more…)

NorthFulton.com | Fulton headed to court over 17% tax hike

The showdown over whether the state can single out Fulton County to limit its ability to raise taxes will now be settled in the courts.

The Fulton Commission adopted Aug. 6 a general fund millage rate of 11.781 mills, a 17 percent increase for property owners. The vote was 4-3 with Commissioners Liz Hausmann, Joan Garner and Robb Pitts dissenting.

That vote not only put the county in contravention of the General Assembly legislation barring Fulton from raising taxes until 2015, it also triggered a lawsuit from Fulton County legislators.

Their opponents were ready.

Just hours after the vote, attorney Josh Belinfante, a law partner with Robbins Firm, filed suit on behalf of six Fulton County state representatives, including Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, who authored the bill, and one former state representative.

The others are Rep. Lynne Riley (R-Johns Creek), Rep. Rep. Harry Geisinger (R-Roswell/Sandy Springs), Rep. Joe Wilkinson (R-Atlanta), Rep. Chuck Martin (R-Alpharetta), Rep. Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs) and Edward Lindsey, the former representative.

They sought a preliminary and permanent injunction against the Fulton County Commission to halt the tax increase. That would prevent the tax increase from going forward at least until there is a judge’s ruling.

“We’re committed to upholding state law and the Georgia Constitution and protecting Fulton County taxpayers,” said Jones.

via NorthFulton.com | Fulton headed to court over 17% tax hike.

Buddy Carter: How An International Health Emergency Is Making Georgia Famous

Your Washington – GA 1 – Desk

From Congressman – Elect Buddy Carter 

Last week, the second of two Americans infected with the Ebola virus arrived at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

The two Americans, Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, are medical missionaries who were infected with the virus while working at an Ebola treatment center in Libreria in Western Africa.  They are the first people infected with Ebola to be treated at a U.S. Institution.

First detected in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa, Ebola is a severe viral hemorrhagic fever that is often fatal.

Although there have been sporadic outbreaks since its detection, the current outbreak in Western Africa is the biggest and most complex Ebola outbreak ever documented. On Friday of last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak an international health emergency.

Similar to many other illnesses, Ebola has an abrupt onset of symptoms such as fever, chills, sore throat, muscle weakness and body aches.  (more…)

Deal announces judicial appointment within Lowndes County | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced the appointment of Ellen S. Golden as state court judge of Lowndes County. Golden will fill the new state court judgeship created by the passage of House Bill 986 during the 2014 session of the Georgia General Assembly. The appointment will take effect upon swearing in.

Ellen S. Golden

Golden is a partner with Ryan and Golden, LLC.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from Valdosta State College and her law degree from the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law.  She and her husband, Tim, have one child and reside in Valdosta.

via Deal announces judicial appointment within Lowndes County | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor.

Not mentioned in the press release is that Golden’s husband represents the Eighth District in the Georgia Senate.

Deal announces judicial appointment within Gwinnett County | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced the appointment of Shawn Fitzpatrick Bratton as state court judge of Gwinnett County. Bratton will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of the Hon. Randy Rich to the Superior Court bench in May. The appointment will take effect upon swearing in.

Shawn Fitzpatrick Bratton

Bratton is a senior associate attorney with Mahaffey Pickens Tucker, LLP in Lawrenceville. He also serves as a part-time magistrate judge with the Magistrate Court of Gwinnett County. Bratton earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and his law degree from the Georgia State College of Law. He and his wife, Nidia, have two children and reside in Suwanee.

via Deal announces judicial appointment within Gwinnett County | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor.

Board votes to make Pringle interview public, approves new millage | The Augusta Chronicle

The Richmond County Board of Education made its second interview with superintendent candidate finalist Angela Pringle partly open to the public and finalized the 2015 millage during their committee meeting Tuesday.

Pringle will be asked questions by the board, and the board will allow a limited number of questions from attendees.

Members of the public will be able to drop pieces of paper with their questions written on them into a bowl, and then 10 questions will be randomly drawn.

The board also approved the millage for the 2015 year Tuesday, which will save area taxpayers a slight amount.

The new rate is 19.972 mils, a very small drop from last year’s rate of 19.982.

Under this new rate, those owning a house worth $100,000 would have their property taxes dropped by 35 cents, according to Board Controller Gene Spires.

via Board votes to make Pringle interview public, approves new millage | The Augusta Chronicle.

VA awards wrongful-death settlement to local family | The Augusta Chronicle

An east-central Georgia family was awarded a wrongful-death settlement from the Department of Veterans Affairs last week after VA hospitals in Augusta, Dublin and Atlanta failed to treat and diagnose a disabled Army veteran for gallbladder cancer, according to the judgment released Tuesday.

The estate of Jimmy Lee Stapleton, 68, will receive more than $100,000 in damages after he died June 2 at his home in Emanuel County from more than two years of negligent care in the three VA hospitals, said family attorney Chuck Pardue, who practices law in Martinez.

via VA awards wrongful-death settlement to local family | The Augusta Chronicle.

Columbia County schools hit record enrollment | The Augusta Chronicle

One week into the new school year, the Columbia County School System already has hit an all-time high enrollment and is projected to keep growing as more students filter in through Labor Day, according to Associate Superintendent Jeff Carney.

Enrollment reached 25,201 students on Tuesday – about 600 more than what the system started and ended with in the 2013-14 academic year.

via Columbia County schools hit record enrollment | The Augusta Chronicle.

Most Republican House districts are majority-white » Community News Network » Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

WASHINGTON — Writing in the Brookings Institution’s FixGov blog last week, political scientist Christopher Parker pondered House Republicans’ stubborn refusal to back immigration reform, despite support in the Senate and across wide swaths of the conservative commentariat. He surmises that House Republicans are balking because they “represent constituencies haunted by anxiety associated with the perception that they’re ‘losing their country’ to immigrants from south of the border.”

Recent polling backs this up. Significant numbers of conservatives, and white Americans in general, admit to feeling discomfort at the prospect of a non-majority white America. These views are even stronger among Tea Party-aligned conservatives. According to Parker’s polling, nearly two-thirds of Tea Party conservatives want to eliminate birthright citizenship, and 82 percent of Tea Partiers say they feel “anxious or fearful” about undocumented immigrants.

Another factor behind Republican recalcitrance on immigration and similar issues is the simple racial math underlying many House congressional districts. According to U.S. Census data, only 13 out of 234 Republican-held districts are majority-minority (that is, districts where white non-Hispanics make up less than 50 percent of the population). That’s about 5 percent of all Republican districts. In contrast, fully 49 percent of Democrat-held districts are majority-minority.

You can see how this looks in the accompanying chart, which plots one thin bar for every congressional district in the U.S., sorted by the white non-Hispanic share of the district population, and colored according to whether a Democrat or Republican holds the seat.

On the left side of the chart are districts with the lowest white non-Hispanic population share. These districts are overwhelmingly Democratic. The least-white district in the United States is New York’s 15th, which lies within the Bronx and is held by Democrat Jose Serrano. In terms of ranking by non-white population share a Republican district doesn’t show up until number 21 on the list — that would be Florida’s 27th, a majority Hispanic district with a large Cuban population, held by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Republicans, on the other hand, are better represented on the right side of the chart. The whitest district in the nation (at 96.2 percent) is Kentucky’s 5th, represented by Republican Hal Rogers. There are a fair number of Democrat-held districts over here too — seats in highly liberal but overwhelmingly white New England states like Maine and Vermont, as well as some seats in West Virginia and the Northern Great Lakes region.

via Most Republican House districts are majority-white » Community News Network » Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia.