The blog.

29
Dec

DeKalb prosecutor’s chief investigator arrested for DUI, speeding | www.ajc.com

The chief investigator for the DeKalb County District Attorney’s office was jailed overnight in Rockdale County for allegedly driving under the influence.

Channel 2 Action News reported that Craig Scott was driving a county-issued car on I-20 eastbound at Ga. 138 when he was pulled over for speeding about 11:30 p.m. by Rockdale sheriff’s deputies.

Deputies clocked Scott at more than 100 miles per hour before he was stopped, according to Channel 2. Scott refused to take a breathalyzer test, but deputies obtained a search warrant for blood to be drawn. Results of the blood test have not been released.

via DeKalb prosecutor’s chief investigator arrested for DUI, speeding | www.ajc.com.

29
Dec

Republicans: Wins show success in digital battle – Washington Times

Republicans say their 2014 campaign victories are proof they’ve made up ground in the battle with Democrats for digital supremacy, but consultants say they’ll need to continue cultivating a pool of talent to make sure they’re ready to compete at the presidential level in 2016.

Campaigns boosted their commitment to their online strategies, treating them as integral parts of their campaigns, rather than add-ons, and the GOP now has access to the same software and tools as President Obama’s successful 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

Part of the proof of the GOP’s gain was the level at which digital strategy was discussed, said Anton Vuljaj, director of advertising at IMGE, a consulting firm in Alexandria. He said in 2012, online message conversations were handled by communications directors, but this year those conversations often involved campaign managers themselves.

via Republicans: Wins show success in digital battle – Washington Times.

29
Dec

Last train load of coal expected at UGA this week | Online Athens

A lonesome train whistle will mark the end of an era on the University of Georgia campus this week, or at least the beginning of the end.

The train, a short line called the Athens Line, is scheduled to roll parallel to East Campus Road with the last shipment of coal for the university’s coal-fired steam boiler, slated for replacement after this winter.

The Athens Line brought in five cars of coal, about 500 tons, last week from Virginia’s Red River Coal Company, said Tom Satterly, assistant vice president of UGA’s facilities management division. With this week’s expected shipment of another six cars with 600 tons, UGA will have a winter stockpile of just more than 4,000 tons to help heat the Athens main campus in the cold months ahead.

“This is the last planned shipment,” Satterly said.

via Last train load of coal expected at UGA this week | Online Athens.

29
Dec

Fulton remains a county divided | www.myajc.com

New leadership in Fulton County government has inspired talk of bipartisan cooperation. But November’s election results show Georgia’s largest county remains divided along geographic, partisan and racial lines, and it will take more than rhetoric to overcome them.

Democratic County Commission Chairman John Eaves cruised to re-election with 63 percent of the vote – but lost nearly all precincts in north Fulton, a Republican stronghold. Earl Cooper, his Republican opponent, did best in far north Fulton and in other largely white and affluent areas.

Fulton’s partisan divide remains so stark that Democrats didn’t bother to field candidates in three northern commission districts, while Republicans abandoned two of the three Atlanta and south Fulton districts. In the one contested district election, Atlanta Democratic incumbent Emma Darnell trounced her Republican opponent, gaining 91 percent of the vote.

Those political dynamics will shape the new Board of Commissioners – four Democrats and three Republicans – that will hold its first meeting Jan. 7.

via Fulton remains a county divided | www.myajc.com.

29
Dec

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 29, 2014

Savannah, Georgia was captured by British troops on December 29, 1778.

The American Colonization Society was organized in Washington, DC on December 28, 1816 to return African-Americans to Africa, with William Harris Crawford, the first Georgian to run for President (1816 and 1824) as a founding member. In 1822, the American Colonization Society founded a colony on the West coast of Africa that would later become Liberia.

The City of Atlanta was re-incorporated on December 29, 1847, changing from a “town” to a “city,” a meaningless distinction, though the date is often cited as the creation of Atlanta.

Good News and Bad News

Last week, Tamara Paquette ran out of gas somewhere in South Georgia on the way to her home in Florida. Luckily for her, Georgia State Patrol officer Sergeant Elbert Slappey was there to help.

[T]he voice recorder, and AAA was going to be four hours before they came to get me.

Things appeared they were just not going to go my way tonight.

Then, I saw blue lights on the horizon, turn on, drive towards me, turn around, then  pull up behind. With all the reports I read of cops shooting unarmed people, my stomach turned. I immediately rolled down my window, held my hands on the steering wheel and held the cell phone high enough so I would not be seen as a threat.

Continue Reading..

29
Dec

Adoptable Georgia Dogs for December 29, 2014

MickeyFinn

Mickey Finn – Shepherd/Collie mix

Meet the happiest dog in the world, Mickey Finn! Mickey had a tough life before being rescued by AAU. He has some scars on his face, missing front teeth, and he occasionally holds his back leg up when he runs. But none of that gets Mickey down! He is one of the sweetest, happiest fosters we have ever had!!

Mickey is a shepherd/collie mix with very soft fur. He is about 6 years old and around 50 pounds. Mickey has the perfect energy level: excited for a walk, food, or attention, but is mellow when the rest of the family is busy. He goes with the flow.

Mickey’s happiness is contagious! You can’t help but touch him. Mickey smiles all the time, nuzzles into you, and keeps you laughing with his antics from crossing his paws, crawling toward you, rolling over and squirming, and making “aroo” noises when you are preparing his food. Mickey will soak up all the love you are willing to give.

Mickey is housetrained, rarely barks, is great with other dogs and walking on a leash. No need for a crate as he has great manners. Mickey does have allergies so will require prescription dog food. He is SO worth it!! Mickey is looking for a best friend and companion. Please ask to meet him today!! (Mickey loves kids, but no young children for Mickey Finn. He gets startled by loud and quick movements).

Nibbles

Nibbles – Catahoula/Retriever mix?

“My name is Nibbles, but I go by Jack. I am a year old and weigh about 60 pounds. Best guess on my breed is Catahoula and retriever mix? Who knows, but I sure am handsome! They tell me all the time! My brindle markings are to die for. I am super sweet and smart. I want to please and learn new things. I have already mastered sit and lay down, next is stay. I have been bounced around a lot and now have found myself in boarding. No place for me. I need a stable and structured home environment with a dog savvy family. I get along with other dogs, chase cats, and would do best in a household without children. What I really want is a forever home! One to spend the rest of my life with. Is it you? I am house trained and crated trained. I am leash trained too! Did I mention I LOVE other dogs? I would make a great dog for an active person or couple who wants a great companion. To adopt visit angelsrescue.org/adopt to fill out an application. I’ll be waiting for YOU!!!”

Theodora

Theodora -  Shepherd mix

“Hi! My name is Theodora, but my foster mommy and daddy call me Thea. I was really down on my luck and so very scared when my foster daddy was pulling dogs from a high kill shelter for AAU and saw me huddled in the back of my run, paralyzed with fear, barking dogs all around me. He made a very fast phone call to the Angels and begged them to let him save me, he even told them that he would foster me himself. Of course, they said yes!! But I was so frightened that every time he tried to get me to walk out of my run, I dropped to my tummy and cowered. So he just scooped me up and carried me out of that awful place like a baby. Turned out I was heartworm positive, but no worries, the Angels had me treated for that and those nasty things are gone now!”

“I am a small Shepard mix…only about 28 pounds, spayed, current on all my vaccines, and ready for my forever home.I am about a year old, still a puppy, really. I get along great with other dogs, as a matter of fact I think I would be very sad if my forever home had no playmates for me because I am very high energy and I LOVE to play! Actually, sometimes I would rather play with my doggy friends than eat. I do like cats, a lot! I like to chase them and lick them, but I have never hurt them. A couple of my cat friends here in my foster home don’t like that very much, though. I must be an inside doggy, but I must also have a fenced in backyard as I love to hang out in the backyard and on the deck when my foster mommy and daddy are home, and I love to run and play with my foster family’s other dogs. One thing you do need to know about me is that I can sail right over a 4 foot wooden fence, you should see me! I am GOOD at that! So I will require at least a 6 foot privacy fence, I have never tried to get out of my foster family’s 6 foot fence. I also LOVE the baby pool….so if you adopt me I would like to have one of those, too. Could I be the right doggy for your family?”

Here’s a bonus picture of Theodora.

Theodora swimming

28
Dec

The Marietta Daily Journal – Rep Teasley trying to pass religious liberty bill again

MARIETTA — A controversial “religious liberty” bill in the Georgia General Assembly this year drew state lawmakers into a national conversation about discrimination.

Although the measure failed to pass, the Marietta lawmaker who proposed it said he plans to bring it back in the 2015 legislative session.

State Rep. Sam Teasley (R-Marietta) said his bill is a “modest, common sense measure” to ensure state and local governments cannot infringe upon a person’s right to religious expression.

“The primary function of the bill is to place a restriction on government’s ability to unnecessarily burden a person’s free exercise of religion,” Teasley explained.

Despite the First Amendment in the Constitution guaranteeing a citizen’s freedom of religion, Teasley said several U.S. Supreme Court decisions have resulted in a complex web of statutes and precedents on the issue.

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Rep Teasley trying to pass religious liberty bill again.

27
Dec

Report analyzes effects, future of $400 million Race to the Top grant | Gwinnett Daily Post

Four years after Georgia received a $400 million federal grant to improve education, officials are evaluating its effect and where its momentum could take education.

While the Race to the Top grant had several delays, top education officials have said the state must maintain momentum in education reform that was sparked by the grant.

The Georgia Department of Education recently asked the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education to perform an independent review of its work, which resulted in a 50-page report.

“Georgia is moving forward, but we have to take advantage of this momentum if we hope to make lasting improvements and remain competitive in the global marketplace,” GPEE President Steve Dolinger said. “It is my belief because of this effort, Georgia is well positioned to undertake new and innovative ways to improve teaching and learning.”

Susan Andrews, Georgia Department of Education Deputy Superintendent for Race to the Top, said the seven agencies involved in the work did an incredible job, which the report noted.

via Report analyzes effects, future of $400 million Race to the Top grant | Gwinnett Daily Post.

26
Dec

Georgia GOP trio gains ‘a little humility’ on way out of Congress | www.myajc.com

WASHINGTON — Nearly two years ago, three Georgia U.S. House members gambled on campaigns to move across the Capitol and capture the state’s open U.S. Senate seat.

This month, Republican Reps. Paul Broun, Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston were relegated to small desks in a shared work space in the basement of a House office building, staging staff meetings in the cafeteria, living out their final days in Congress. Departing members were evicted in mid-November in a game of musical chairs with the newcomers for Capitol Hill office space.

“It’s pretty meager, a little less than a cubicle and one workstation among many,” Gingrey said. “It’s not a bad thing for a member of Congress to get a little humility now and then.”

All three were humbled in the U.S. Senate primary, as they fell to political newcomer David Perdue and his “outsider” image. Congress’ unpopularity and minefields within their decades-long records in office were among the reasons the trio fell.

So they had months to play out the string and wrap up their congressional careers. They continued to fight for their favorite causes, searched for jobs for themselves and their staffs, and packed up their offices.

via Georgia GOP trio gains ‘a little humility’ on way out of Congress | www.myajc.com.

26
Dec

Spending bill is ‘first volley’ in water fight between… | www.myajc.com

WASHINGTON — Georgia farmers worried about the Environmental Protection Agency encroaching on their drainage ditches scored a partial victory in Congress’ $1 trillion spending package that was signed into law earlier this month.

But the EPA will move forward on a new regulation it says is crucial to limiting pollution in the nation’s waterways and will not overburden farmers, setting up a sure clash with the Republican majorities in the incoming Congress.

The dispute concerns a rule the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed in April to regulate tributaries to major waterways under the Clean Water Act — and a tributary does not necessarily have to flow year-round to qualify.

The farm lobby went on the attack against the “Waters of the USA” rule immediately, claiming that the EPA could take new jurisdiction over farmers’ property.

via Spending bill is ‘first volley’ in water fight between… | www.myajc.com.