Perdue begins statewide bus tour in Perry – 41 NBC News

PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue went back to his home roots Saturday afternoon for a barbecue in Perry.

The lunch kicked off his bus tour around the state, making one last push before election day May 20th.

Perdue greeted more than 100 people at the event, including Perry Mayor Jimmy Faircloth.

Former governor of Georgia Sonny Perdue, David’s cousin, was the guest speaker.

Perdue said the tour was a culmination of the hard work his team had put in during the last year listening to people.

Perdue said he loved kicking off his bus tour in his hometown, and he said he would be going to places he may have not been before to introduce himself and listen to voters.

“Well look, this is the American dream right?” said Perdue. “I started right here. My mom and my dad were teachers right here in Houston County. My dad was a school superintendent here. We had farms right down the road. It was a great life, we grew up modestly and I was very blessed in my career. And that’s what I’m really fighting for is to make sure my kids and their kids have the same opportunities.”

via Perdue begins statewide bus tour in Perry – 41 NBC News.

State Senate candidate Kennedy responds to opponent Price – 41 NBC News

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – With less than two weeks before election day,

candidates for the race for the 18th district in the State Senate are taking jabs at each other.

John Kennedy has released a statement responding to what Spencer Price said Thursday afternoon at a news conference.

Price said Kennedy’s accusation that Price refused to settle a contract he had with the Medical Center of Central Georgia in 2005 was false.

The statement said the Medical Center was forced to garnish Price’s wages because he could not pay his debts.

“I stand by the court documents that are of public record showing that Spencer Price failed to honor his obligations and later failed to pay his debts which forced our Medical Center of Central Georgia to garnish his wages,” the statement said. “While having his paycheck garnished for nonpayment of debts, he was loaning his campaign money to run for this office in the State Senate. We expect and demand better from people asking to hold public office.”

The contract was for a $150,000 loan to open a medical practice.

Price was deployed to Iraq as a surgeon, and that forced him to break his obligation to pay back the loan.

Price’s lawyer said Price offered to settle the contract, but the Medical Center refused.

Price said the accusation was designed to attack his character and integrity.

“(It was) a statement that was patently false and designed to attack my character and integrity,” said Price. “The next night, at a political forum at Lake Wildwood, John Flanders Kennedy again made the same accusation after which I produced an affidavit from my attorney attesting to the fact that I had made an offer to the Medical Center of Central Georgia to settle the dispute upon my return from Iraq.”

Price went on to say the Telegraph had reported falsely that he failed to open that practice, which he says he practiced at for 13 months.

via State Senate candidate Kennedy responds to opponent Price – 41 NBC News.

Dave Emanuel Interviews Georgia School Superintendent Candidate Nancy Jester – WeArePolitics

Each of the 15 candidates for Georgia School Superintendent has a unique background and type of experience. Among them, Nancy Jester stands out as the only one who has been in the trenches fighting for transparency and accountability in an effort to redirect funding from bureaucrats to classrooms. Jester was the lone voice, when two year’s ago, she attempted to correct what she saw as financial irresponsibility within the DeKalb County Board of Education. When the irregularities finally gained public attention, they resulted in the governor removing six members from the school board.

As state school superintendent, Jester plans to use her accounting and actuarial background to right what she sees as an educational system that’s being bowled over by a bureaucracy that’s more focused on perpetuating itself than in making improvements in the classroom. She is very candid about what she sees as problems in Georgia’s educational system.

Emanuel: You have absolutely no teaching experience. What makes you think you’re qualified to be Georgia’s school superintendent?

Jester: I have what I believe to be the most appropriate background and experience for the job. We don’t need an educator as superintendent because educators tend to focus on telling others how to educate. The biggest obstacle we have to improving education in Georgia is dealing with a bureaucracy that interferes with teachers’ ability to teach. We have elected many an educator to this position and that’s what got us to where we are today. What we need is a superintendent who can get the bureaucrats out of the classroom.

Emanuel: In what ways is the bureaucracy such a big problem for the educational system?

Jester: Bloated bureaucracy diverts money from the classroom, places unnecessary burdens on teachers and administrators and prevents parents from getting a clear picture of the education that schools are providing. Bureaucracy also tends to promote centralization and I think that’s the wrong approach.

via Dave Emanuel Interviews Georgia School Superintendent Candidate Nancy Jester – WeArePolitics.

Deal announces Gwinnett Judicial Circuit appointment | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced the appointment of Randy Rich to the Superior Court judgeship in the Gwinnett Judicial Circuit.  The vacancy within the Gwinnett Judicial Circuit was created by the resignation of the Honorable Michael C. Clark. The appointment will take effect upon swearing in.

Randy Rich

Rich is currently serving his third term as State Court Judge in Gwinnett County. Prior to serving on the State Court, Rich practiced general litigation as a partner at Randolph G. Rich, P.C. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and his law degree from the Georgia State University College of Law. He and his wife, Bonnie, reside in Suwanee and have two children.

via Deal announces Gwinnett Judicial Circuit appointment | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor.

Deal: Georgia Research Alliance grant will fuel health care industry | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor

National Institute of Standards and Technology funding to support cell manufacturing technology

Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that the Georgia Research Alliance has been selected to receive a $499,636 planning grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The NIST grant comes in support of the nation’s ability to lead the global development of cell manufacturing technologies by leveraging the capabilities of industry and academia into a Cell Manufacturing Consortium (CMC). The CMC’s work will focus on the manufacturing of cells that can be used in therapies, medical devices and drug discovery.

“Georgia’s highly trained scientific workforce and world-class universities make our state the first choice for collaboration on next generation technologies,” said Deal. “Having this national partnership founded here allows for even greater research and development within our innovative health care companies.”

via Deal: Georgia Research Alliance grant will fuel health care industry | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor.

Deal names one to board | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor

W. Craig Barrs, Board of Economic Development

Barrs is executive vice president of External Affairs for Georgia Power. He currently serves on the boards of the University of Georgia Terry College of Business, the University of Georgia Research Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Chamber Foundation. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program, the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute, Leadership Georgia and Leadership Athens. Barrs earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Annie, have two children. They reside in Atlanta.

via Deal names one to board | Governor Nathan Deal Office of the Governor.

Congress reaches deal for start of Savannah harbor deepening |

After months of negotiations, the joint House-Senate Conference Committee announced last night they have reached an agreement on the $8.2 billion Water Resources Reform and Development Act.

The bill, which contains wording that allows Savannah’s harbor deepening to proceed, will be filed next week and could be signed by the president as early as May 19.

Committee members Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania, Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana and Rep. Nick Rahall of West Virginia released this statement Thursday evening:

“We are proud to deliver what the American public wants and needs. This conference report maintains ports and navigation routes for commerce and the movement of goods, provides flood control that protects lives and property, and restores vital ecosystems to preserve our natural heritage. This important measure will strengthen our nation’s infrastructure and keep America competitive in the global marketplace.”

via Congress reaches deal for start of Savannah harbor deepening |

Parole board elects chairman, vice chair |

The State Board of Pardons and Paroles has elected Terry Barnard as chairman beginning July 1.

James Mills was elected vice chairman.

“You’ve actually placed on me today the highest honor that a member of this board might ever hope to achieve, the honor of being elected your chairman,” Barnard said. “I know that this position (being chairman) does not come through succession. So it’s indeed a very high honor.”

Barnard said the board has made many changes to improve since 2010 and applauded the leadership of the previous two board members who served as chairman. He noted the board’s success since his appointment in 2010 to include a parole success rate that is currently at 74% and remains more than 20% higher than the national average.

via Parole board elects chairman, vice chair |

Animal Control moves forward with volunteer training |

The Animal Control division of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department has scheduled its first orientations for volunteers applying to work in the shelter.

They will be held at 10:30 a.m. and again at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the shelter at 7211 Sallie Mood Drive. The 90-minute orientations are limited to 15 volunteers each.

The shelter’s volunteer program has been suspended since early March and was previously scheduled to begin again in mid-April. Volunteers are being reorganized into specific job functions, a move meant to improve service to the public and the animals, as well as improve the volunteers’ experience.

But at least one group, One Love Animal Rescue, grew tired of being shut out of feeding, cleaning and playing with the dogs and cats. One Love announced earlier this week it plans to stop facilitating adoptions out of the shelter as of May 16, because the volunteer shutdown prevents it from properly vetting animal/owner matches. The group is sticking with that decision despite the upcoming orientations, said co-founder and president Karrie Bulski. Instead, her group is focusing on its growing efforts to network and transport animals out of the area.

via Animal Control moves forward with volunteer training |

Former Chatham coroner cleared by DA of criminal use of funds |

Former Chatham County Coroner James Metts Jr. has been cleared of potential criminal charges for his use of county funds prior to his resignation in December 2012.

Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden, who was assigned the case more than one year ago, wrote in a memo dated May 5 to GBI special agent Traci Sands that he was closing the investigation.

Durden wrote that he had reviewed a GBI investigative report consisting of about 2,000 pages of interviews and financial reports of auditors and the Chatham County Commission.

The audits reportedly included both those on behalf of the county and Metts’ personal banking records.

“It is my opinion there is no evidence to support any criminal impropriety in the use of funds supplied by Chatham County to Dr. James C. Metts as coroner,” Durden said.

Metts, who is in his early 80s, resigned on Dec. 14, 2012 — only about one month after he had been re-elected — after internal auditors for the county questioned his use of public funds. He had held the position since 1973.

via Former Chatham coroner cleared by DA of criminal use of funds |