NASHVILLE, Tenn.: Republican governors’ words shift on gay marriage | National Politics |

NASHVILLE, TENN. — Deep in the nation’s Bible Belt, new signs emerged this weekend of an evolution among Republican governors on gay marriage, an explosive social issue that has divided American families and politics for years.

While the Republican Party’s religious conservatives continue to fight against same-sex marriage, its governors appear to be backing off their opposition– in their rhetoric, at least. For some, the shift may be more a matter of tone than substance as the GOP tries to attract new voters ahead of the midterm elections. Nonetheless, it is dramatic turn for a party that has long been defined by social conservative values.

“I don’t think the Republican Party is fighting it,” Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker said of gay marriage. He spoke with The Associated Press during an interview this weekend at the National Governors Association in Nashville.

“I’m not saying it’s not important,” continued Walker, who is considering a 2016 presidential bid should he survive his re-election test this fall. “But Republicans haven’t been talking about this. We’ve been talking about economic and fiscal issues. It’s those on the left that are pushing it.”

Walker, like other ambitious Republican governors, is trying to strike a delicate balance.

via NASHVILLE, Tenn.: Republican governors’ words shift on gay marriage | National Politics |

Supreme Court sides with Georgia-Pacific in class action suit |

The Georgia Supreme Court, in a 5-2 decision, has reversed a decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals granting class-action status in a lawsuit against Georgia-Pacific’s Savannah River Mill Plant.

The suit was originally filed in 2010 by Kirbi and Aaron Ratner and David and Kathy McDonald, who live near the Fort Howard Road Plant.

The lawsuit presented claims of nuisance, trespass and negligence, alleging that sludge dumped in disposal cells at the plant released hydrogen sulfide, a gas that causes egg-like smells and is corrosive to metal. The property owners claim the gas caused loss of property values and physical damage to homes.

Supreme Court sides with Georgia-Pacific in class action suit |

Effingham candidacy case ends |

The Georgia Supreme Court today denied an application for discretionary appeal in the challenge of Effingham County Commissioner Vera Jones’ candidacy, effectively ending a three-month battle.

Rick Rafter, a Springfield attorney representing Andrew Brantley, a resident of Jones’ District 2, said he will not pursue the case any further.

The court announced today that all the justices concur in denying the application.

Rafter had argued that Jones was paid $590,000 too much in 2007 for sewer systems at subdivisions her company was developing in the county and that she refused to return the overpayment when asked.

The Effingham Board of Elections voted on April 4 to dismiss the challenge to Jones’ candidacy and Superior Court Judge F. Gates Peed on May 21 affirmed the board’s decision, saying there was “no evidence to support petitioner’s claim that any money was being unlawfully held.”

Rafter had told the state Supreme Court that allowing those decisions to stand “would be a total miscarriage of justice” because they permitted a person holding public funds to be a candidate for office, a “violation of the public trust.”

via Effingham candidacy case ends |

Just under a week left to vote early in GA primary |

ATLANTA — Georgia voters have just under a week left to cast an in-person early ballot for this month’s primary runoff election.

Early voting ends Friday for the July 22 election.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office said 66,662 people had cast early ballots statewide, either in person or by mail, by Friday. Of those, 48,034 were in-person votes and 18,628 were mailed in.

via Just under a week left to vote early in GA primary |

Perdue touts business record in Georgia Senate bid |

“I know what it takes to develop economic growth globally, and there are not that many people in Washington who know how to do that,” Perdue said when announcing his campaign.

A closer look reveals a successful business executive comfortable with taking risks but who is not immune to criticism from investors and analysts. And that’s created an opening for Kingston to attack.

Perdue continues to draw on his business experience as he campaigns, although his frustration over the attacks sometimes surfaces.

“You think you’ve had a good career until you see it through the eyes of other people,” Perdue said with a smile during a campaign stop in May.

via Perdue touts business record in Georgia Senate bid |

Gulfstream poised to debut new business jet |

Although Gulfstream executives aren’t talking, most everyone else in business aviation is buzzing about the anticipated debut of the company’s newest large-cabin design, rumored to replace the G450 and give Dassault’s Falcon 5X — unveiled last October — a run for its money.

“We know what we are going to do next, but we haven’t announced what we are going to do next,” Gulfstream president Larry Flynn, told Flightglobal during a recent media flight on a G550.

However, since Flightglobal, an international media company dedicated to the aviation and aerospace industry, first mentioned P42 four years ago, references to the project have continued to pop up on websites around the world.

For example, a flight control engineer for Parker Aerospace, which developed the G650’s “fly by wire” systems, recently listed the Gulfstream P42 project on a LinkedIn resume. Another employee with a different supplier also touted work on the “Gulfstream P42 (-1, -2, -3),” insinuating that the company could have as many as three different versions in development.

Speculation heated up earlier this month when, on July 4, UK-based Corporate Jet Investor posted a story with the headline “Gulfstream discounts G550 prices as it prepares for P42 launch.”

via Gulfstream poised to debut new business jet |

Alfa Romeo: Old Fashioned Driving Is New Again – WSJ

[T]he Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition ($70,000), a bewitching bit of track-day excess that is spearheading Alfa Romeo’s return to North America this summer after two decades.

Alfa Romeo? I know, I know. It’s hard to trust again. But imagine, just hypothetically, a midengine, carbon-chassis Italian exotic in your driveway, 445 pounds lighter than a Porsche Cayman S, with turbo boost out the wazoo, with huge, taste-the-bile Brembo brakes, and styling known to cause spontaneous nudity. For between $55,000 and $70,000. Can I tempt you to hear more?

What relevance any of this has to do with the return of Alfa Romeo to the U.S., I'm still not clear. Alfa Romeo recently announced a five-year megaplan that targets global sales of 400,000 by 2018, with eight new vehicles and more than five times 2013 volume. The big picture calls for an expeditious transition to rear-drive or all-wheel-drive architectures and 50-50 weight distribution. Alfa wants to be the Italian Audi.

What happens when Turin's supply of nitrous oxide and antidepressants runs out, no one knows.

via Alfa Romeo: Old Fashioned Driving Is New Again – WSJ.

C.D.C. Closes Anthrax and Flu Labs After Accidents –

In one episode last month, at least 62 C.D.C. employees may have been exposed to live anthrax bacteria after potentially infectious samples were sent to laboratories unequipped to handle them. Employees not wearing protective gear worked with bacteria that were supposed to have been killed but may not have been. All were offered a vaccine and antibiotics, and the agency said it believed no one was in danger.

In a second accident, disclosed Friday, a C.D.C. lab accidentally contaminated a relatively benign flu sample with a dangerous H5N1 bird flu strain that has killed 386 people since 2003. Fortunately, a United States Agriculture Department laboratory realized that the strain was more dangerous than expected and alerted the C.D.C.

In addition to those mistakes, Dr. Frieden also announced Friday that two of six vials of smallpox recently found stored in a National Institutes of Health laboratory since 1954 contained live virus capable of infecting people.

All the samples will be destroyed as soon as the genomes of the virus in them can be sequenced. The N.I.H. will scour its freezers and storerooms for other dangerous material, he said.

“These events revealed totally unacceptable behavior,” Dr. Frieden said. “They should never have happened. I’m upset, I’m angry, I’ve lost sleep over this, and I’m working on it until the issue is resolved.”

via C.D.C. Closes Anthrax and Flu Labs After Accidents –

C.D.C. Details Anthrax Scare for Scientists at Facilities –

As many as 75 scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may have been exposed to live anthrax bacteria after potentially infectious samples were sent to laboratories unequipped to handle dangerous pathogens, a spokesman for the federal health agency said Thursday.

The agency was testing a new way to kill anthrax, which it discovered did not work as well as expected.

None of the potentially infected scientists have any symptoms, but a number of them are being treated with antibiotics “out of an abundance of caution,” the spokesman, Thomas Skinner, said.

The lapse occurred sometime between June 6 and June 13. Workers in three labs who were not wearing protective gear moved and experimented with samples of the highly infectious bacteria that were supposed to have been deactivated, the agency said.

It added in a statement that procedures used in two of those laboratories in Atlanta, where the C.D.C. is based, may have “aerosolized the spores,” essentially blowing the bacteria into the air. The exposure was discovered June 13, when the bacterial plates were collected for disposal and live B. anthracis colonies, or anthrax bacteria, were found.

“The likelihood that anyone was actually exposed is very small,” Mr. Skinner said.

via C.D.C. Details Anthrax Scare for Scientists at Facilities –

The Marietta Daily Journal – Cobb commissioners mayors sign plan to reimburse cities

MARIETTA — This November, the county will begin a decade-long process of repaying each city portions of their taxes that have funded duplicated services.

Taxpayers fund duplicated services when their county taxes pay for services that their city taxes already provide.

The Cobb Board of Commissioners approved an agreement this week to dole out $50 million to Cobb’s six cities over the next 10 years.

While Chairman Tim Lee said commissioners and mayors spent almost three years hammering out an initial agreement ten years ago, he said the process this time around was completed in a series of meetings over the past six months.

“They were starting from scratch for an agreement to work off of, and there was disagreement at that time over what duplication of services cost,” Lee said of the previous agreement.

The plan passed this week worked off of what commissioners agreed upon under then-Chairman Sam Olens, adjusting the amount of money cities would receive for factors such as a cost of living increase, said county finance director Jim Pehrson.

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Cobb commissioners mayors sign plan to reimburse cities.

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