Michael Thurmond may challenge interim DeKalb CEO Lee May this fall for the county’s top elected position.
Thurmond told the AJC on Wednesday that people are encouraging him to run, but he hasn’t made any decision.
Michael Thurmond may challenge interim DeKalb CEO Lee May this fall for the county’s top elected position.
Thurmond told the AJC on Wednesday that people are encouraging him to run, but he hasn’t made any decision.
Today’s adoptable dogs all come from Retired Retrievers in Savannah, GA.
Rex is a very sweet senior Labrador Retriever male who is available for adoption from Retired Retrievers in Savannah, GA. Rex has had a rough life and is now looking for a home where he can enjoy his retirement years. We’re not sure if he has dementia or has a bit of reduced mental capacity due to abuse he suffered (his previous owner shot him with a BB gun and we’re not sure what else happened to him in his life). He is still a wonderful dog with a lot of love left to give. Rex gets along with other dogs and cats.
Duck was saved on his last day at the shelter by someone who was there to pick up another dog. She saw him and just couldn’t let this handsome guy’s life end there. Now she is looking for someone to adopt him (or a rescue to take him in) to make sure he gets the love and care that he so deserves. Please consider opening up your heart and home to this sweet older guy. Duck is in Thomasville, GA. We are happy to help transport within Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. For more information about Duck, email [email protected] and we will put you in touch with his rescuer.
This handsome 13-year old ended up in a shelter because his 92-year old mom has Alzheimer’s and was no longer able to care for him. When none of her relatives were willing or able to care for him either, he found himself homeless. DJ gets along with other dogs and cats. He could stand to lose a few pounds and needs a home without a lot of steps. He is a very sweet old man!
DeKalb County Animal Shelter Moves Forward
Yesterday, the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted to move forward and approve the contract to build a new animal shelter near Peachtree-DeKalb Airport. From Commissioner Nancy Jester,
“I was proud to stand with so many across DeKalb who lead the way advocating for our animals. Because of your leadership, hard work, and dedication the new DeKalb County animal shelter is now a reality.”
“I am thankful for this important development on the path to completing the new shelter. This action is a testament to the efforts of the dedicated animal advocates whose consistent, determined, and inspired work created the success we saw today. DeKalb’s current shelter is in deplorable conditions.”
“Having a healthy building for the workers and animals, that can adequately meet the capacity requirements, has been a capital improvement that DeKalb has needed for many years. Thankfully, we now know where the shelter will be and who will build it.”
“The construction contract was awarded to Reeves & Young Construction onTuesday. The Board of Commissioners deferred the decision of the fundingsource for. The Board is currently reviewing the 2016 budget and will makea determination about the most appropriate source of funding as we review and finalize the budget. We are working to best determine whether to use accumulated cash reserves or Certificates of Participation (COPs).”
“I look forward to a positive and united solution to the payment method. However, the important news is we are moving forward with our new shelter.”
Representatives of three cities in Connecticut adopted the “Fundamental Orders,” the first written Constitution in an American colony and one of the first founding document to cite the authority of “the free consent of the people.”
On January 14, 1733, James Oglethorpe and the rest of the first colonists departed Charles Town harbor for what would become Savannah, and the State of Georgia.
The Continental Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris to end the Revolutionary War on January 14, 1784. The Treaty was negotiated by John Adams, who would later serve as President, and the delegates voting to ratify it included future Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe.
On January 14, 1835, James M. Wayne took the oath of office as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. A Savannah native, Wayne had previously served in the Georgia House of Represestatives, as Mayor of Savannah, on the Supreme Court of Georgia, and in Congress. His sister was the great-grandmother of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, and his home is now known as the Juliette Gordon Low house. When Georgia seceded from the Union, Wayne remained on the Supreme Court.
On January 14, 1860, the Committee of Thirty-Three introduced a proposed Constitutional Amendment to allow slavery in the areas it then existed.
Julian Bond was born on January 14, 1940 in Nashville, Tennessee, and was one of eleven African-American Georgians elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965. After his election, on January 10, 1966, the State House voted 184-12 not to seat him because of his publicly-stated opposition to the Vietnam War. After his federal lawsuit was rejected by a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, the United States Supreme Court ordered Bond seated.
True story: Julian Bond was the first Georgia State Senator I ever met, when I was in ninth grade and visited the state Capitol.
On January 14, 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Presidential Proclamation No. 2537, requiring Japanese-Americans, including American-born citizens of Japanese ancestry, as well as Italians and Germans to register with the federal Department of Justice. The next month, Roosevelt would have Japanese-Americans interned in concentration camps in the western United States.
House Committee Meetings
8:00 AM NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT 606 CLOB
8:30 AM Public Finance and Policy Subcommittee 133 CAP
1:00 PM Ad Valorem Tax Subcommittee 133 CAP
2:00 PM TRANSPORTATION 506 CLOB
3:00 PM Reg Ind-Boards-Commissions Subcommittee 515 CLOB
State of the State
And a couple excerpts from the speech.Continue Reading..
Lt. Governor Cagle, Speaker Ralston, President Pro Tem Shafer, Speaker Pro Tem Jones, members of the General Assembly, constitutional officers, members of the judiciary, members of the consular corps, my fellow Georgians:
Every year during this second week in January, we gather in this chamber of the people to assess the condition of our Ship of State. We review its travel log for the prior year, we inventory its store of resources, we evaluate the effectiveness of its crew, we plan its journey for the coming year, and we attempt to forecast the weather and the condition of the seas it must traverse. Like mariners of old, we consult our charts as we plan how to best avoid the rocky shoals that would damage our vessel and jeopardize the safety of our crew.Continue Reading..
Last night, at the Brookhaven City Council meeting, Mayor John Ernst began by introducing Pandora, an adoptable dog from DeKalb County Animal Services. (Photo courtesy of Meagan Hanson.)
All month long, dogs over 25 pounds and all cats may be adopted from DeKalb County Lifeline Animal Services for the discount fee of $16, which includes spay/neuter, vaccinations, and microchip.
Stanley is a super sweet boy that is bouncy, lovable, and totally cute! This one year old boy takes a few minutes to warm up to new people and place, but is a total sweetheart once he does. Stanley would love a family that understands his shy nature and will give him all the love and care he needs to feel confident everywhere. His adoption includes his neuter, microchip, vaccinations, and more! For more information email [email protected]
Cherish is a beautiful 1-year old Retriever mix girl who is available for adoption from DeKalb County Animal Services.
Jolly’s name rings true in every sense of the word. This happy, joyful guy has a unique brindle and merle coat that is absolutely stunning! Jolly is about 11 months old and has never met a stranger. He loves absolutely everyone! He already knows his sit and shake commands and would love to learn more. Meet Jolly at Lifeline’s DeKalb Animal Services!
On January 13, 1733, the ship Ann (sometimes spelled “Anne”) sailed into Charles Town harbor and was met by South Carolina Governor Robert Johnson and the Speaker of the Commons House of Assembly. Aboard the ship were James Oglethorpe and the first 114 colonists of what would become Georgia. Later that year they would land at a high bluff on the Savannah River and found the city of Savannah.
On January 13, 1959, Ernest Vandiver was inaugurated as Governor of Georgia.
On January 13, 1966, President Lyndon Baines Johnson appointed Robert C. Weaver head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), making Weaver the first African-American cabinet secretary in U.S. History.
On January 13, 1982, Hank Aaron was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
This day in 1987 saw the inauguration of Governor Joe Frank Harris to his second term in office.
On January 13, 1998, Governor Zell Miller presented his $12.5 billion FY1999 budget to the Georgia General Assembly, including $105,000 to provide CDs of classical music for every baby born in the state. According to the New York Times,
“No one questions that listening to music at a very early age affects the spatial, temporal reasoning that underlies math and engineering and even chess,” the Governor said. “Having that infant listen to soothing music helps those trillions of brain connections to develop.”
Mr. Miller said he became intrigued by the connection between music and child development at a series of recent seminars sponsored by the Education Commission of the States. As a great-grandfather and the author of “They Hear Georgia Singing” (Mercer University Press, 1983), an encyclopedia of the state’s musical history, Mr. Miller said his fascination came naturally.
He said that he had a stack of research on the subject, but also that his experiences growing up in the mountains of north Georgia had proved convincing.
“Musicians were folks that not only could play a fiddle but they also were good mechanics,” he said. “They could fix your car.”
Legislators, as is their wont, have ideas of their own.
“I asked about the possibility of some Charlie Daniels or something like that,” said Representative Homer M. (Buddy) DeLoach, a Republican from Hinesville, “but they said they thought the classical music has a greater positive impact.”
“Having never studied those impacts too much,” Mr. DeLoach added, “I guess I’ll just have to take their word for that at the moment.”
In 2003, on January 13 at the Georgia Dome, Sonny Perdue took the oath of office as Georgia’s second Republican Governor, the first since Reconstruction.
Remember this fact for a couple minutes: a little over two years ago, on January 10, 2013, the Atlanta Journal-Consistution released a poll of the Georgia Governor’s race that showed Nathan Deal with 47 percent to 38 percent for Jason Carter. The nine-point Deal advantage was as close as the AJC polling firm would come all year to correctly predicting the point spread in the General Election.
At 11 AM today, Governor Deal will give his State of the State address in the House Chamber.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been squawking about it’s “Exclusive Poll” for nearly a week, touting various results, including what it says the poll shows about Georgians’ attitudes toward casino gambling.
The poll conducted by the national firm Abt SRBI for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed 62 percent of registered voters favor legalizing casino gambling to support the HOPE scholarship, and 72 percent say Georgia should create a medical marijuana harvest and distribution system. Fifty-three percent believe lawmakers should pass a so-called religious liberty bill and 39 percent support “merit pay” for teachers.
Before I dive in a little more deeply, let us remember two things. First, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s best poll in terms of being close to the eventual result was in January 2014, eleven months from the election and they never got closer. Second, they’re using the same polling firm that embarrassed them in 2014.Continue Reading..
The full text of Governor Deal’s speech at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Issues breakfast this morning.
Senator Isakson, Lt. Governor Cagle, Speaker Ralston, Members of the General Assembly, Chairman Lingenfelter, Former-Chairman Bowers, leaders of the Georgia Chamber and leaders of other Chambers throughout our State:
It’s always a pleasure to speak before this group of industry and community leaders from across our great state, but it’s a special honor to speak after Senator Isakson whose courageous leadership in Washington has helped Georgia become and remain the No. 1 state in which to do business. He has aided in fending off the onerous proposed EPA rule that would redefine “tributaries” in the Clean Water Act in such a way that would harm those who operate in Georgia’s largest industry – agribusiness. He was instrumental in getting the necessary federal authorizing legislation passed that would ensure the viability of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. And he encouraged the recent passage of the long-term transportation bill, the first of its kind since 2005. Continue Reading..
On January 12, 1775, St. Andrews Parish on the Georgia coast passed a series of resolutions that included approving the actions of patriots in Massachusetts, three resolutions critical of British government actions, and a renunciation of slavery. The resolutions also appointed delegates to a provincial legislature at Savannah and urging that Georgia send two delegates to the Continental Congress to be held in Philadelphia the next year.
On January 12, 1906, the American Intercollegiate Football Rules Committee legalized the forward pass. Some credit Georgia Tech coach John Heisman as having popularized the idea of making the forward pass legal after seeing it in a game between Georgia and North Carolina.
On January 6, 1921, Kenesaw Mountain Landis was elected the first Commissioner of Baseball on January 12, 1921. Judge Landis was named after the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, where his father was wounded fighting for the Union.
Jimmy Carter was inaugurated as Governor of Georgia on January 12, 1971.
House Committee Meetings Today
1:00 PM JOINT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM, 606 CLOB
2:00 PM REGULATED INDUSTRIES, 506 CLOB
Senate Committee Meeting Today
1:00 PM Joint Economic Development and Tourism, 606 CLOB
Here’s the Session Calendar for the first three weeks.
Tuesday, January 12, Legislative Day 2
Wednesday, January 13, Legislative Day 3
Thursday, January 14, Legislative Day 4
Friday, January 15, Legislative Day 5
Wednesday, January 20, Legislative Day 6
Thursday, January 21, Legislative Day 7
Friday, January 22, Legislative Day 8
Monday, January 25, Legislative Day 9
Tuesday, January 26, Legislative Day 10
Wednesday, January 27, Legislative Day 11
Thursday, January 28, Legislative Day 12
Monday, February 1, Legislative Day 13
The Gainesville Times notes that’s an aggressive schedule.
House and Senate leaders hope to adjourn for the year by March 24, letting members return to their districts early and focus on re-election campaigns. Georgia’s campaign finance law prevents lawmakers from raising or accepting campaign donations during the session, motivation to wrap up the year quickly.
House and Senate members approved a schedule Monday for the General Assembly’s first 13 working days.
Lawmakers meet for 40 working days each year, starting on the second Monday in January. Days that the House and Senate don’t meet don’t count toward that total, but budget and other committee hearings can be held on those days.
Georgia’s General Assembly operates on a biennial schedule, meaning all bills approved by one chamber but not voted on by the other before the 2015 session ended remain alive. Lawmakers also can introduce new proposals.
Jim Galloway of the AJC Political Insider teases a re-write to the state’s legacy three-tier system for alcohol sales that should be introduced today, and yesterday noted that State Rep. Allen Peake has at least 90 signatures for his medical marijuana expansion bill, pretty well assuring its passage in the House.
Georgia Public Broadcasting has coverage of House Speaker David Ralston’s press conference last week.
On the questions surrounding legalizing casino gambling in the state:
“There’s a couple of questions that are involved in that discussion. One is the policy question of do we want to change what we allow in terms of our constitutional prohibition on gambling to allow casinos and/or horse racing. That’s not an easy question, but it’s a simple question, because it’s the black and white question. Then the really complex question becomes: ‘How do you implement a decision to expand?’ Then you have questions of: ‘How many licences do you issue?’ ‘What would the tax rate be?’ ‘What would the regulatory scheme be?’ So, there’s some really detailed things involved there that are going to have to be sorted out.”
On whether he supports Rep. Allen Peake’s bill that would allow for medical marijuana cultivation in Georgia:
“At least my expectation–I think that of most people around here–was when we passed HB 1 last year that there would have to be a next step, and so I think this bill is that next step. I’m not a doctor, and I’m not a medical professional, so I don’t know all the conditions that should be listed on there. I probably have had a half dozen suggested to me since we left here last year from people in my district, friends, people as I traveled around the state. Some of them are unbelievable in terms of the suggested conditions we should add. My view is that at some point we’re going to need to let those decisions be made by medical professionals, and I’m fine doing that. I’m fine putting in a provision in a cultivation bill that will allow the conditions to be determined not by the General Assembly but by medical professionals who have the expertise to do that.”
On funding rural hospitals in Georgia:
“It’s a challenge. I have a hospital in my district that’s barely hanging on, and unfortunately that’s a fairly common situation in rural Georgia. We’re looking at different things that hopefully we can use. One of the reasons I hope a member of my party is elected president in November is I hope we can look at some block granting some of the Medicaid money through the waiver process to help in that area. I know the Georgia Chamber of Commerce has commissioned a study over the next few months to look at some specific solutions. I mean, it’s a real problem, a very real problem that I see everyday and one that troubles me very much. We’ve got to find a way to deal with that.”
Meanwhile WABE spoke to Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams.
Gov. Nathan Deal and the General Assembly paused yesterday to honor the memories of five Georgia Southern nursing students.
State Rep. Bruce Williamson’s office will assist veterans with obtaining state benefits through the Georgia Department of Veterans Services.
“The process for obtaining benefits has become a burden to so many veterans,” said Rep. Williamson. “I hope that by offering this assistance, we can not only ease the process for our veterans, but also expedite things so that they may fully enjoy the benefits they have so rightfully earned.”
The Conyers Veteran Services office, located at 983 Taylor Street, provides services to Newton, Rockdale and Walton counties and serves more than 23,000 veterans in the area. In 2014, the Conyers office paid more than $91,000,000 on direct VA monetary payments with approximately $30,000,000 paid to the more than 6500 veterans in Walton County.
For more information on receiving veteran’s assistance through the Conyers Veteran Services Office, please contact Rep. Williamson’s office at 404-656-5024.
Today at 6:30, Orchard Senior Living Center will host a Meet-and-Greet for Frank Auman, who is running for Mayor of Tucker in the March 1, 2016 election at 2060 Idlewood Rd in Tucker.
One week from today, on January 19, 2016, voters will go to the polls in the first election of 2016, a Special Election in House District 58 for part of Fulton County. Three Democrats are running, Park Cannon, Ralph Long, and Kwame Thompson.
Sarah Fay Campbell of the (Newnan) Times-Herald takes a look at why Lynn Westmoreland’s decision against running for reelection will have a dramatic impact on Georgia politics.
“Something like this comes along only once in a generation or once in half a generation,” said Dr. Charles Bullock, professor of political science at the University of Georgia.
“I would anticipate some state legislators, maybe some county officials, and perhaps some well-to-do private individuals who will say ‘this is my shot,’” Bullock said.
“Once an incumbent is in office, they’re awfully hard to dislodge,” said Bullock. Typically, more than 90 percent of the time, incumbents are reelected. “Whoever wins may be there for 25 years.”
Often when there is an open seat, many holding current political office will give up their incumbency in state politics to head to Washington D.C. – even though only one candidate can win.
“I think a number of legislators, after a few years, come to think – this has been fun but I have to either do it full time or I have to get out.” And there aren’t many opportunities in state politics to go full time, Bullock said. Instead, you have to go to Washington.
Chuck Williams of the (Columbus) Ledger-Enquirer takes a look at the case for Sen. Josh McKoon running for Westmoreland’s seat.
As the Georgia General Assembly session started Monday, McKoon is one of the most high-profile members. He vows to continue his three-year fight for the state to adopt controversial religious liberty legislation that is favored by many in the right wing of the state Republican party. He is leading a group that has taken a stand against legislation that would allow for sales tax breaks to attract the NFL’s Super Bowl to Atlanta’s new domed stadium. As he has since he got to the General Assembly, he is pushing ethics reform, this time aimed at lawmakers who help pass legislation then resign and take positions within state government.
Another reason he is considering it is he would likely have a fighting chance to win. The smart money would bet that the person who replaces Westmoreland will come out of the Georgia General Assembly. That is where Westmoreland came from 10 years ago and where McKoon has been the last five years. There are 12 state representatives and six state senators who represent a piece of the Georgia Third. The most formidable of those would likely be Sen. Mike Crane, a Newnan Republican. Crane comes from the same part of the district that launched Westmoreland.
But the voting power in the district rests in Coweta, Fayette and Carroll counties. And McKoon’s district and his residence are on the southern fringe of the district.
Whoever seeks the office is going to have to make a decision quickly. Qualifying is March 7-11, when the General Assembly will likely still be in session. The Republican primary is May 24.
The (Carrollton) Times-Georgian notes that we wrote earlier that Sen. Mike Crane is likely to jump in, and also speculates that Matt Brass, who serves as Chief of Staff to Westmoreland is a potential candidate. Brass previously ran in the 2011 Senate Special Election that Crane won in a runoff, and might also take a look at that race.
In my opinion, the number one thing holding back incumbent legislators from announcing for Westmoreland’s seat is the specter of “some millionaire out there we haven’t heard of.” Call it the David Perdue effect, or the Trump effect.
With the cold weather suggesting that hell has frozen over, the Coweta County Democratic Party thinks they may have a chance to take the Republican-safe Third Congressional District seat themselves.
Cynthia Bennett, Coweta County Democratic Party chair, said this is an opportunity for a Democrat to take the chair.
“Historically, incumbency in the U.S. has assured re-election,” said Bennett. “The influence of incumbency is powerful. The Coweta County Democrats welcome the opportunity to meet candidates who might not have sought office. This opens the door for other service-minded citizens to take office.”
“This is an opportunity for Democrats to take advantage of having a seat in Congress,” said Commissioner Alphonso Smith. “In reality, we have enough people to do it, we’re just not active. We need voter activity clinics to help people understand how important their vote is at the local level. Politics is local and you can control it. I fully support my party.”
Ernest Thomas Jr will run for Richmond County Clerk of Courts, as incumbent Elaine Johnson is retiring.
This isn’t being discussed as part of the legislative session yet, but Senator Bruce Thompson (R-Cartersville) says that Georgia is in the midst of a heroin epidemic.
Heroin is one of the cheapest and most dangerous drugs on the street and kills hundreds of Georgians every year.
It’s so bad, a state senator is calling it an epidemic.
Last year, 85 people overdosed on heroin in Cherokee County alone. State Senator Bruce Thompson represents that area and said it’s an epidemic statewide.
“The problem is when you get to heroin, that’s the end, and so legislatively I think we have a responsibility to take a good look at this from a mental health standpoint and say what is it we can do for society to help with this,” said Thompson.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, heroin use more than doubled among young adults ages 18-25 in the past decade.
“One of the big dangers is that a person can think that they can tolerate a certain amount of heroin and what they buy is too much and it kills them,” Former state medical examiner Dr. Kris Sperry said.
Forty-five percent of people who used heroin were also addicted to prescription opioid painkillers – like oxycodone.
Cherokee County is holding a town hall meeting on the issue on January 12 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
That Town Hall meeting tonight is at Canton First United Methodist Church, 930 Lower Scott Mill Road, Canton, GA 30115.
Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Kathy Schrader noted on Facebook that in the last 5 years, Gwinnett County has seen a 1200% rise in heroin deaths.
On February 25, 2016, CrossPointe Church in Duluth is holding a Pastors’ Event to spread awareness of the heroin problem, and resources available to church leaders and congregations.
Nathan and his sisters, Cyclone and Brooklyn were finally rescued and brought to the shelter after a life of living on their own in a cemetery. They foraged for food and were able to survive. After weeks of failed attempts, luck was with them when animal control was successful in picking them up and bringing them to the shelter . Nathan is the more outgoing of the 3. He is a handsome gentle boy who quickly responded to human kindness.
Please welcome Finster, the newest member of the GaPundit
pack family. He was adopted from Ruffus Rescue at one of their adoption days at PET SUPPLIES “PLUS”, 2329 Cheshire Bridge Rd., Atlanta, GA 30329.
After approving our application, Ruffus Rescue sent him home with us for a one-week trial period, which is a great idea for dog rescues to consider. He quickly made himself at home and is becoming Dolly’s BFF.
If you’re considering adoption, we highly recommend Ruffus Rescue, and if you’d like to donate to them, you can donate online or mail a check to:
P.O. Box 29962
Atlanta, GA 30359-0962
You can also volunteer to foster with Ruffus Rescue.