On June 24, 1497, John Cabot first sighted North America, claiming it for the British Crown.
On June 24, 1795, the United States Senate voted to ratify Jay’s Treaty between the UK and United States. The terms of the treaty required an appropriation from the U.S. House of Representatives to implement it, and Congressional opponents tried to defeat the appropriation, which was approved by a 51-48 margin on April 30, 1796. Click here for more background on the treaty and controversy.
On June 24, 1853, President Franklin Pierce signed the Gadsden Purchase, acquiring what it now southern Arizona and New Mexico from Mexico.
General Robert E. Lee led the Army of Northern Virginia across the Potomac River toward Pennsylvania on June 24, 1863.
John R. Lynch was the first African-American elected Chairman of the Republican National Convention on June 24, 1884; Lynch was nominated by Theodore Roosevelt.
Woodrow Wilson married Ellen Louise Axson of Rome, Georgia in Savannah on June 24, 1885.
On June 24, 1948, the Soviet Union blockaded West Berlin from all road, rail, and barge traffic.
Following World War II, Germany was divided into occupation zones. The United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and, eventually, France, were given specific zones to occupy in which they were to accept the surrender of Nazi forces and restore order. The Soviet Union occupied most of eastern Germany, while the other Allied nations occupied western Germany. The German capital of Berlin was similarly divided into four zones of occupation.
The United States response came just two days after the Soviets began their blockade. A massive airlift of supplies into West Berlin was undertaken in what was to become one of the greatest logistical efforts in history. For the Soviets, the escapade quickly became a diplomatic embarrassment. Russia looked like an international bully that was trying to starve men, women, and children into submission. And the successful American airlift merely served to accentuate the technological superiority of the United States over the Soviet Union. On May 12, 1949, the Soviets officially ended the blockade.
General Lucius D. Clay of Marietta, Georgia was military Governor of occupied Germany at that time.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show was released in West Germany on June 24, 1977. It’s astounding.
Rickey Henderson made his major league debut with the Oakland A’s on June 24, 1979, stealing his first base.
On June 24, 1982, the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution was defeated, having garnered the ratification of thirty-five states, three shy of the requisite Constitutional Majority.
Hopes for ratification before the deadline next Wednesday were dashed this week when the amendment was rejected by the Illinois House and the Florida Senate, two states in which supporters felt they had a fighting chance.
Had Illinois and Florida ratified the amendment, there was at least some chance that either Oklahoma or North Carolina would have provided the final needed vote.
Prospects were far slimmer in the other nonratifying states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia.
Phyllis Schlafly, a leader of a group called Stop-ERA, hailed the defeat of the amendment tonight, saying: ”They realized E.R.A. is dead and I think that that is an admission they have lost the battle. My feeling is that E.R.A. will take its place with the prohibition and the child labor amendments as ones which did not have enough support of the American people to be in the Constitution.”
Wintersville now has it’s own double-barreled cannon, a replica of the original that stands outside the Athens City Hall.
Georgia moved to dismiss the federal lawsuit by Florida over water flows to the Apalachicola basin, but court rejected the motion. Last month, the Athens Banner-Herald wrote that water use in Georgia declined between 1980 and 2010.
Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-11) passed his first legislation since taking office.
Loudermilk, a Republican from Cassville, is the lead sponsor of the DHS Paid Administrative Leave Act, which would aim to keep better track of Department of Homeland Security employees who are put on paid leave while they are investigated for misconduct. It would order DHS to come up with a departmentwide policy on administrative leave and report to Congress all employees on leave longer than six months.
The inspiration for the legislation was a 2014 Government Accountability Office report on paid leave across the federal government, showing that DHS employees took 1.5 million days of paid leave from 2011 to 2013. Loudermilk serves on the Homeland Security Committee.
Early Wednesday evening, the House approved the bill in a unanimous voice vote.
The Suwanee City Council adopted an FY2016 budget 9.2% higher than the previous year, that assumes the same millage rate, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution has apparently noticed that residential property taxes are going up in DeKalb County.
In DeKalb, which was hit hard by foreclosures a few years ago, residents are now experiencing some of the steepest increases in home values. The hot real estate market has given the county more information about how much properties are worth, Hicks said. The estimated worth of some houses has more than doubled since last year.
Residential real property assessments are up 17 percent in DeKalb, 11 percent in Clayton, 10 percent in Fulton, 7 percent in Cobb and 6 percent in Gwinnett, according to preliminary figures.
Appraisers estimate individual home values based on nearby sales combined with computer estimates that factor for location, square footage, condition and other considerations.
“Whether your home is losing value or gaining value, our job is to place those assessments in line with whatever the market is doing,” he said.
Some homeowners say the enormous jump in property assessments is unreasonable, and they want the county to approve a significant tax cut to reduce the impact on their personal finances.
“The numbers they’ve come up with aren’t understandable, realistic or fair,” said Nancy McCall, whose rental property near Stone Mountain is valued 56 percent higher than last year, costing her a projected $369 more than she paid last year.
The Lowndes County Commission passed a balanced $100+ million budget that does not include a millage rate increase.
Forsyth County Schools have proposed a property tax increase for the first time since 2011, according to the Forsyth News.
The board tentatively has agreed to a rate of 17.3 mills, which would amount to an increase in property taxes of 11.7 percent, according to the school system’s chief financial officer, Dan Jones.
Three public hearings must be held before the board makes a final vote in July. It would be the first school tax increase since 2011.
The tentative plan would result in an increase of 1.812 mills. Without it, the millage rate would be no higher than 15.488 mills.
In Cherokee County, a $530 million school board budget would be based on keeping the same 19.45 mill property tax rate as last year, while rising property values produce a 6 percent revenue bump over last year, according to the Cherokee Ledger News.
“This must be tempered by the fact that expected property tax collections for 2015-16 will be only slightly higher than they were in 2006, while we are faced with the reality of educating nearly 6,000 additional students who have enrolled since then,” [Superintendent Dr. Frank Petruzielo] explained.
When it comes to state funding for the 2015-16 Fiscal Year, Petruzielo said the local district would receive another $6.5 million that had been withheld in previous years because of budget cuts.
“The positive news reflected in state revenue increases is tempered by the fact that CCSD will still not receive $11.1 million in earned … funding due to unilateral state funding reductions that will continue for the 2015-16 school year,” Petruzielo explained. “This equates to approximately 180 teachers that could have been employed to work in our classrooms next year.”
Likewise, the Cherokee County Commission will keep the same millage rate of 5.728 mills while seeing higher property values.
5 percent raises across the board for next year for county employees, County Manager Jerry Cooper said at the June 16 Board of Commissioner’s work session.
This will increase the property tax levy by 4.98 percent over the rollback million rate, which is 5.457.
The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners, after hearing Cooper’s revised report on the estimated county tax digest and project expenses, determined the millage rates recommended for general operations, the parks bond and the fire fund should stay the same for 2015. By Cooper’s revised calculations, those tax rates will provide a 5 percent cost-of-living adjustments. The BOC directed Cooper to advertise an operations rate of 5.728, a parks bond rate of 7.44 mills and a fire services fund millage rate of 3.356.
County residents can express their viewpoints on the proposed tax rate at two public hearings, which will be held at each of the regularly scheduled commission meetings July 7 and July 21. Commissioners meet the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in Cherokee Hall at the County Administration Building at 1130 Bluffs Parkway in Canton. Commissioners will set the final 2015 millage rate at a special called meeting.
The Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority is requesting $5 million from the proceeds of SPLOST collections toward an new $110 million arena. Meanwhile, the combined City-County government marks the 20th anniversary of the 1995 vote to consolidate local governments.
Floyd County District Attorney Leigh Patterson has some advice for folks appearing in court, according to the Rome News-Tribune.
“If you come in dressed like a hoochie, and you are accused of being a hoochie, you’ve just fulfilled that role,” Patterson said. “You want to have some respect for the court and for yourself.”
Patterson admits that while some crimes are so terrible, it won’t matter what someone wears, it does always help to look presentable.
“You don’t have to dress in something expensive, but be clean and neat and don’t wear something vulgar,” she said.
“I’ve seen a guy come into my office wearing a cropped shirt that said ‘Booty Hunter’ on it,” she said. “He also seemed as if he hadn’t bathed in 10 days. You can’t go to court like that.”
Joe Smith, Rome city clerk, said that bailiffs sometimes have to ask people to put something on or change.
“I’ve heard of a judge telling someone to go home and he reschedules their court date,” Smith said. “More often than not, it is an issue of not wearing enough clothing. Summer is the time it happens the most.”
Macon-Bibb County Commissioners clearly see money intended to fight blight as a pie, to be divided evenly among district, but Mayor Robert Reichert hopes they’ll change that plan, according to the Macon Telegraph.
The commission’s blight committee has approved dividing the money into nine equal $1 million portions to attack blight in each commission district.
That’s a change from a recommendation made by Macon-Bibb’s Blight Task Force, which recommended using $8 million for three specific blight projects that had not been determined, with the remaining $1 million to be split among the nine districts.
“In my opinion, splitting this money may not be the most effective use of it,” Reichert told commissioners.
Reichert said he thinks the money would be more effectively leveraged by partnering with other local agencies and attacking blight in specific parts of town. Under that scenario, he said, the community would see a greater impact because the improved areas could be used for economic development.
“It’s not enough to demolish some structures,” Reichert said. “There has to be adaptive re-use as well.”
But some commissioners, including Bert Bivins and Virgil Watkins, said Tuesday that commissioners could assess the biggest needs within their districts and come up with a plan to remove blighted properties.
The Forsyth County Republican Party cancelled plans for a runoff debate in House District 24 after only one candidate showed interest.
Jason Mock, chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party, said Tuesday he and other officials called off the event after just one candidate attended a meeting Saturday.
“We looked at it from a couple standpoints,” Mock said. “At the last debate, on June 6, I made an announcement that stated that we’d like to invite the top two candidates to the monthly GOP meeting on June 20 to talk about why they’re running.
“That was last Saturday and we only had one candidate appear at that meeting.”
Mock said that it wasn’t an easy decision to scrap the debate, but that doing so in advance was preferable.
“I didn’t want the candidates, the party or the community to come to a debate with potentially only one candidate or no candidates,” he said.
The Journal of the American Medical Association has published a study showing little evidence exists for the efficacy of medical marijuana.
The strongest evidence is for chronic pain and for muscle stiffness in multiple sclerosis, according to the review, which evaluated 79 studies involving more than 6,000 patients. Evidence was weak for many other conditions, including anxiety, sleep disorders, and Tourette’s syndrome and the authors recommend more research.
The analysis is among several medical marijuana articles published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. They include a small study suggesting that many brand labels for edible marijuana products list inaccurate amounts of active ingredients. More than half of brands tested had much lower amounts than labeled, meaning users might get no effect.
The researchers pooled results from studies that tested marijuana against placebos, usual care or no treatment. That’s the most rigorous kind of research but many studies found no conclusive evidence of any benefit. Side effects were common and included dizziness, dry mouth and sleepiness. A less extensive research review in the journal found similar results.
It’s possible medical marijuana could have widespread benefits, but strong evidence from high-quality studies is lacking, authors of both articles say.
“It’s not a wonder drug but it certainly has some potential,” said Dr. Robert Wolff, a co-author and researcher with Kleijnen Systematic Reviews Ltd., a research company in York, England.
[An] editorial by two Yale University psychiatrists suggests enthusiasm for medical marijuana has outpaced rigorous research and says widespread use should wait for better evidence. Federal and state governments should support and encourage such research, the editorial says.
Surprisingly, increased consumption of Ben & Jerry’s was not listed as a common side effect.
Gay marriage may have more support across the nation, but rural areas appear less likely to support it, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.
In Schley County, near Americus, about 91 percent of voters endorsed a ban in the state Constitution that is still in effect today.
David Theiss, who chairs the county’s Republican Party, doubts that many have altered their opinion.
“I haven’t seen God change the Bible yet,” said Theiss, who is also mayor of Ellaville, “and he’s the one who created marriage between Adam and Eve.”
While the general public has warmed to gay marriage — a Pew Research Center survey found 57 percent of Americans favor it, up from 42 percent five years ago — religious Americans remain opposed.
That isn’t likely to change, regardless of how the high court rules this month, said Charles S. Bullock III, a political science professor at the University of Georgia.
“If you believe the Bible tells you it’s a sin, the fact that a court comes along and says it isn’t a sin is not going to change your mind,” Bullock said. “In your hierarchy, the Bible is going to come ahead of everything else.”
That’s certainly the case in Echols County, where about 91 percent of voters approved the ban in 2004.
Rep. John Corbett, R-Lake Park, said scripture alone is what shapes public sentiment there.
“If that vote was taken again today, I think you would get the same results,” he said.
Bullock said that’s likely true in all of the counties where voters passed the ban in convincing fashion — and there were many.
Statewide, 76 percent of voters supported the Constitutional amendment. The measure passed with more than 90 percent approval in two-dozen rural counties.
The most enthusiastic audience came in Pierce County, where the ban passed with nearly 94 percent of the vote.
Nearly half of the counties where the amendment found the most success form a cluster near Pierce County, in the southeast corner of the state.