The blog.

16
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 16, 2017

The Pennsylvania Gazette published a criticism against the British Tea Act on October 16, 1773.

The Tea Act of 1773 was a bill designed to save the faltering British East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and granting it a virtual monopoly on the American tea trade. The low tax allowed the company to undercut even tea smuggled into America by Dutch traders, and many colonists viewed the act as yet another example of taxation tyranny. In response, the “Philadelphia Resolutions” called the British tax upon America unfair and said that it introduced “arbitrary government and slavery” upon the American citizens. The resolutions urged all Americans to oppose the British tax and stated that anyone who transported, sold or consumed the taxed tea would be considered “an enemy to his country.”

On October 16, 1854, Abraham Lincoln, a candidate for Congress, spoke against the Kansas-Nebraska Act and called the practice of slavery “immoral.”

Lincoln, who was practicing law at the time, campaigned on behalf of abolitionist Republicans in Illinois and attacked the Kansas-Nebraska Act. He denounced members of the Democratic Party for backing a law that “assumes there can be moral right in the enslaving of one man by another.” He believed that the law went against the founding American principle that “all men are created equal.”

On October 16, 1918, visitors to the Southeastern Fair at the Lakewood Fairgrounds were required by the Georgia State Board of Health to don face masks in order to prevent the spread of the Spanish flu.

Maynard Jackson was elected Mayor of Atlanta on October 16, 1973. Jackson was the first African-Amercian Mayor of Atlanta; he served eight years, and was elected for a third, non-consecutive term in 1990.

On October 16, 1976, Jimmy Carter campaigned in Youngstown, Ohio.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today is the opening of early voting in some municipalities in Georgia. Click here to find early voting information for your county.

Conyers voters will cast their ballots on new machines that create a paper trail.Continue Reading..

13
Oct

Official (Adoptable) Georgia Dogs for October 13, 2017

KateCFAS

Kate is a young female Labrador Retriever and Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Circle of Friends Animal Society Inc. in Greensboro, GA.

ChipCFAS

Chip is a young male Dachshund & Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Circle of Friends Animal Society Inc. in Greensboro, GA.

RiffCFAS

Riff is a young male Beagle & Coonhound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Circle of Friends Animal Society Inc. in Greensboro, GA.

13
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 13, 2017

Friday, October 15, 1582 marked the beginning of the adoption of the Gregorian Calendar – the previous day was Thursday, October 4th.

On October 14, 1735, John and Charles Wesley sailed with James Oglethorpe from Gravesend, England, for Georgiaand John Wesley wrote the first entry in his journal that would eventually cover 55 years. On that date, John Wesley wrote,

Our end in leaving our native country, was not to avoid want, (God having given us plenty of temporal blessings,) nor to gain the dung or dross of riches or honour; but singly this, to save our souls; to live wholly to the glory of God.

The First Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Colonial Rights in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 14, 1774.

George Washington left New York, the nation’s capitol, on October 15, 1789, embarking upon the first Presidential tour to New England.

The world’s first combat submarine, CSS Hunley, sunk during testing in Charleston Harbor on October 15, 1863.

On October 13, 1870, Governor Rufus Bullock signed legislation creating the Georgia State Board of Education.

On October 13, 1885, Governor Henry McDaniel signed legislation authorizing the creation of a state school of technology as a branch of the University of Georgia; the school would open in Atlanta in October 1888, and in 1948 was renamed the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Then-former President Theodore Roosevelt was shot before a campaign speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on October 14, 1912.

Roosevelt, who suffered only a flesh wound from the attack, went on to deliver his scheduled speech with the bullet still in his body. After a few words, the former “Rough Rider” pulled the torn and bloodstained manuscript from his breast pocket and declared, “You see, it takes more than one bullet to kill a Bull Moose.” He spoke for nearly an hour and then was rushed to the hospital.

On October 13, 1918, the ban on public gatherings in Atlanta to prevent spread of the Spanish flu, was extended an additional week.

The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution took effect October 15, 1933, changing the Presidential term of office to begin and end on January 20th following each quadrennial election and Senate and Congress to January 3d following biennial elections, both from March 4th.

The War Department renamed Wellston Air Depot to Warner Robins Air Force Depot to honor Brigadier General Augustine Warner Robins on October 14, 1942.

Billy Graham launched his national ministry on October 15, 1949 in Los Angeles, California.

On October 14, 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr. was announced as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming Georgia’s first native-born winner.

On October 15, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation creating the United States Department of Transportation. May God have mercy upon his soul.

Interstate 285 around Atlanta was completed on October 15, 1969.

The Omni opened in Atlanta on  October 15, 1972, as the Hawks beat the New York Knicks by a score of 109-101.

On December 13, 1976, Democrat Jimmy Carter received a post-debate bump against President Gerald Ford, with polls showing Carter at 50%-40% over the incumbent, up from 47%-45% before the debate.

On October 14, 1980, Republican candidate for President Ronald Reagan announced he would name a woman to the Supreme Court if elected.

To achieve those ends, we need the best people possible at the highest levels of Government regardless of sex, race or religion. I am also acutely aware, however, that within the guidelines of excellence, appointments can carry enormous symbolic significance. This permits us to guide by example, to show how deep our commitment is and to give meaning to what we profess.

One way I intend to live up to that commitment is to appoint a woman to the Supreme Court. I am announcing today that one of the first Supreme Court vacancies in my administration will be filled by the most qualified woman I can find, one who meets the high standards I will demand for all my appointments.

It is time for a woman to sit among our highest jurists. I will also seek out women to appoint to other Federal courts in an effort to bring about a better balance on the Federal bench.

Former Secretary General of the Communist Party of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev won the Nobel Peace Prize on October 15, 1990.

Georgia-born Clarence Thomas was confirmed as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on October 15, 1991.

On October 15, 2014, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie came to Georgia to support Gov. Nathan Deal’s reelection.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal has ordered flags on state properties to be flown at half-staff today in honor of United States Army Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright of Lyons, Georgia, who lost his life in the service of our country on October 4, 2017.

Gov. Deal said in Savannah that the federal government should step up with more funding for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.

“We need the federal government to step up and do their share of what it takes to deepen our harbor,” Deal told about 1,400 people as he introduced the Georgia Ports Authority’s chief executive to give his annual “State of the Ports” speech. Deal said the state wants “more money from the federal government to go ahead and allow us to complete this project in a timely fashion.”

Deal’s renewed plea for federal dollars — he made similar statements when President Barack Obama was in office — comes after a year of explosive growth at the Port of Savannah, the nation’s fourth-busiest seaport for metal containers used to ship retail goods from consumer electronics to frozen chickens.

Trump’s request of $50 million for the Savannah project is about 17 percent more than Obama secured in his last budget. But [Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff] Lynch said he fears delays starting in 2019 if the project doesn’t see a substantial funding increase.

“We’re going to need $80 to $100 million (annually) or we’re going to start having shortfalls,” Lynch said.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue criticized allowing able-bodied people to receive food stamps.

Speaking at the WSJ Global Food Forum on Tuesday, Mr. Perdue said that relying on food stamps has become a “lifestyle” for some able-bodied adults.

“We want the people who need the help to get it,” said Mr. Perdue, adding that the benefit shouldn’t be “the whole enchilada” of a family’s food security.

He suggested that enrollment in the program would fall if individuals who are able to work are restricted from using it.

State Senator Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) has resigned from his job at the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce to start a new job as executive director of the North Fulton Community Improvement District.

Grovetown Mayor Gary Jones is accused of bullying by a political opponent.

Grovetown Mayor Gary Jones is standing behind a politically charged Facebook post he called “exposure” of two candidates running for city council, prompting one to say she felt bullied by him.

The post, which has since been removed from Jones’ Facebook page, accuses incumbent Vickie Cook and candidate Deborah Fisher of “teaming up,” to unseat the historical swing vote on the council, Sylvia Martin, who is also seeking re-election. There are two open seats on the four-member council.

Fisher expressed disappointment and surprise at the comment in an email Thursday and said she has never been bullied, but felt she was now. Fisher said she has no connection with Cook and has only met Jones at a city council meeting and at Tuesday’s candidate forum.

Candidates for Braselton Town Council Post 4 agree that public safety should be a focus.

“There’s not a lot of patrol at night,” said Robert Clark. “And we’ve had a lot of issues with theft of trucks … and a lot of kids have been vandalizing.”

“I’m definitely for more cops and (a bigger) budget for the police station. If we can tax some of these bigger companies coming in, it’ll really help out and maybe we can spend that (extra revenue) toward patrols and safety.”

Hardy Johnson said that “when you have growth, crimes rates naturally increase, and we want to create an environment in Braselton where you can live, work and play.”

“It’s important to support the police department. They need adequate training, adequate equipment (and) adequate staffing levels.”

The Macon Telegraph writes about early voting in Middle Georgia municipal elections.

Early voting begins Monday in several Middle Georgia cities holding elections.

It will run Monday through Friday until Nov. 3 at each location. The election is Nov. 7.

In Warner Robins, which has contested races for mayor and two council seats on the ballot, early voting will be at City Hall at 700 Watson Blvd. in the pre-council meeting room, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Early voting also begins Monday for Thomas County voters.

In Thomas County, folks in Boston, Barwick, Coolidge, Meigs, Ochlocknee, Pavo, and Thomasville all have an important decision to make, who will be the next leaders in their community.

Folks in Boston, Barwick, Coolidge, and Meigs are voting for council members and mayor.

Ochlocknee, Pavo, and Thomasville residents are voting for several new council members.

Ringgold voters may begin casting early ballots for City Council on Monday

The Rome News-Tribune profiles candidates for the Rome Board of Education.

The Valdosta Board of Education is considering a solar proposal.

The three possible solar-array locations presented were at Pinevale Elementary, the Transportation Center and at the new Valdosta High School. However, Dr. Todd Cason, superintendent, said the location at the new high school was most likely not an option but the other two locations would be considered.

Radiance Solar’s proposed 840-kilowatt solar array at Pinevale would provide VCS $16,800 each year during the 25-year lease. Connell said the STEM students at Pinevale could benefit academically from the solar array.

“I think it would be a wonderful learning opportunity for the children of the school to see solar working right there at their school,” Connell said.

The 2.4-megawatt solar array recommendation at the Transportation Center would provide VCS with $50,000 each year during the 25-year lease, Connell said.

12
Oct

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 12, 2017

ForrestORHS

Forrest is a young male Beagle mix puppy who is available for adoption from Oconee Regional Humane Society in Greensboro, GA.

NoahORHS

Noah is a young male Beagle mix puppy who is available for adoption from Oconee Regional Humane Society in Greensboro, GA.

Debra

Debra is a young female Hound and Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Circle of Friends Animal Society Inc. in Greensboro, GA.

12
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 12, 2016

Former Confederate President Alexander Stephens was released from federal prison on October 12, 1865 and returned to Georgia.

1929 UGA vs Yale Tix

The first game in Sanford Stadium was played on October 12, 1929, with the University of Georgia Bulldogs beating the Yale Bulldogs. Here is ten minutes of the game.

1929_Georgia_vs_Yale

On October 12, 1958, The Temple was bombed after a phone call to WSB warned that Black churches and Jewish temples would be blown up.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal issued an Executive Order naming a commission to review charges against Snellville Mayor Tom Witts and yesterday suspended Witts from office.

Gov. Deal lauded Gwinnett County’s water management programs.Continue Reading..

11
Oct

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 11, 2017

Bud

Bud is a small 4-5 pound male dog about 2 years old, who is available for adoption via a private placement in Henry County. Bud’s owner has gone into assisted living and can no longer care for him, so Bud’s staying with a family member until he can find a new home. Reply to this email if you’re interested and I can facilitate a referral.

Twilia

Twilia is a 4-month old female Hound and Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Praying For Paws Inc in McDonough, GA.

LucySP

Lucy is a young female Basset Hound and Black Mouth Curt puppy who is available for adoption from Street Paws, Inc. in McDonough, GA.

Hi, I’m Lucy! They tell me I’m an adorable little Bassett hound puppy with the looks of a beautiful Black Mouth Cur. I like to play with the kids in my foster home and cuddling on the couch is wonderful too. My very favorite is belly rubs! I know we don’t speak the same language, but I do my very best to let you know I need to go potty. My foster mom says she is so proud of me for having no accidents in my kennel at night. I have these adorable little feet and short legs that don’t move very fast but I do my very best to keep up while walking on a leash. I enjoy the company of everyone that I meet so I’m super excited to meet my forever family. I just know that my family is going to be extra special and give me lots of belly rubs. Could that be you?

Cindy Wiemann, Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement Division assistant manager received an award for her work.

The assistant manager of the Gwinnett County Animal Welfare and Enforcement Division recently received the Southeastern Animal Control Association’s highest honor.

Cindy Wiemann has been awarded the President’s Award from the group, which strives to improve the skills, knowledge, abilities and image of animal care and control work in the southeast.

“I’m really humbled by this award,” she said. “It means a lot coming from my peers. They know what we do and what we go through. They’re your toughest critics.”

But Gwinnett Animal Welfare and Enforcement Manager Curt Harrell said he wasn’t surprised his assistant manager had won regional recognition.

“I have wise council. She’s my go-to person,” he said. “She’s very knowledgeable about shelter management and intake.”

11
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 11, 2017

Casimir Pulaski, a Polish aristocrat who fought with the colonists in the American Revolution, died in Savannah on October 11, 1779.

Former Georgia Governor and President of the United States Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 11, 2002.

Bobby Cox managed his last game in Game Four of the NLDS on October 11, 2010.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the water dispute between Georgia and Florida.

In an order issued Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear arguments in the long-running “tri-state water wars” case involving Florida and Georgia — a case that has already run up astronomical legal bills for both states.

The high court did not say when it would hear oral arguments, except to say they would be scheduled “in due course.” The court’s current term began last week and will extend through next June or July.

The tri-state water wars, involving not just Florida and Georgia but also Alabama, have been going on since 1990. All three states lay claim to the water flowing through the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint River Basin. Georgia needs it for the thirsty residents of growing Atlanta. Alabama needs it for the power plants built along the river. And Florida needs it to keep its famed Apalachicola oyster industry going.

Suits between two states go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court, and the court did agree to hear it in 2014. But the justices sent the two sides to a special master to hear the case and make a recommendation. In February, after five weeks of testimony and more than three years of proceedings, the special master ruled for Georgia.

Florida, which has spent nearly $100 million on the case, objected to the special master’s ruling, and so it will at last face Georgia, which has spent $30 million, in front of the the black-robed justices sometime in the next eight months.

From the Daily Report:

Georgia’s outside counsel for the trial before the special master was Kirkland & Ellis in Washington. The winning team included Craig Primis, K. Winn Allen and Devora Allon. This piece of the war alone covered two years of discovery, 100 depositions, testimony from 30 experts and a five-week trial in Maine.

Kirkland & Ellis referred questions to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr.

Carr said by email Tuesday: “We look forward to vigorously defending Georgia’s interests in the next step of this process.”

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said, “We are pleased the Supreme Court granted oral argument and look forward to presenting our arguments in court.”

Whatever the high court does with this case may not conclude the dispute between the neighboring states. Lancaster’s report noted that big farm operations in the rural southern end of the Georgia have been allowed to drastically increase irrigation with no effectively enforced limits.

State Senator Hunter Hill (R-Atlanta) visited Columbus to campaign for Governor.

Hunter Hill, a former Ranger at Fort Benning, returned to Columbus Tuesday to share ideas in his run for governor with the Muscogee County Republican Party.

More than 50 party supporters gathered at the Double Tree Hotel to meet the veteran who served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan before becoming a businessman. Hill is among a field of five Republicans in the race, including Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, businessman Clay Tippins and State Sen. Michael Williams.

Hill said his campaign focuses on eliminating the income tax and supporting public safety, transportation and education. “We are going to double our investments in transportation in our first term without raising taxes,” he said.

Hill said he believes the core elements of government such as public safety, transportation and education have been underfunded over the last 30 years by weak politicians.

Hill referred to Columbus as his second home after living in the Reese Road area while serving at Fort Benning.

State Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Cobb) took the progressive path running for Governor in speaking to Hall County Democrats.

Former State Rep. Vance Dean said he will run for the seat currently held by Rep. John Pezold, who is not running for reelection.

Longtime Harris County Republican legislator and former commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation Vance Smith announced over the weekend his intention to run for his former House of Representatives seat.

Smith, 65, said he will run in the Republican primary next May for the seat being vacated by Rep. John Pezold.

“I just got it in my blood,” Smith said Monday, confirming his candidacy and what his wife, Michele, had posted on Facebook on Saturday. “We have been looking at it since March, and Michele and I made the decision on Saturday morning. We have talked to a lot of people in Muscogee, Troup and Harris counties about this.”

Smith spent 17 years in the General Assembly before leaving to become the department head of one of the state’s most powerful agencies. He was elected in 1993 to a House district that is different from the one that exists today. When he went into the House, the district included all of Harris County. District 133 now includes about 85 percent of the county, excluding the southeast corner. The district also includes part of northeast Muscogee County and the southern portion of Troup County.

Smith, who had been chairman of the House Transportation Committee, was hired as commissioner of the DOT in June 2009. He resigned from that job in September 2011.

State Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer has been endorsed for Lieutenant Governor by former U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

“David Shafer is the rare politician who talks like a conservative and then actually votes like one,” Santorum said. “He has a phenomenal conservative record in the Georgia State Senate. He wrote Georgia’s zero based budgeting law and successfully amended the State Constitution to cap the income tax.

“David believes in the fundamental dignity of every human life. He understands the importance and dignity of work. He believes the purpose of government is to protect our God given rights. That is why Patriot Voices is joining me in this endorsement.”

Santorum joins a list of Shafer supporters that includes New Gingrich, who was one of Santorum’s opponents in the 2012 presidential race; U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who ran for president last year, and former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, who was the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president in 2008.

Other high profile endorsements include Bernie Marcus, former Congressman John Linder, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and state Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner Ralph Hudgens.

Gwinnett County Republican Paula Hastings will kickoff her campaign for State House District 102 next week.

Forsyth County Commissioners are considering changing the time of some meetings to allow more convenient public participation.

The board voted to move forward with public hearings to amend the Unified Development Code, but it wants the meetings to be scheduled for times that allow for full public participation. The board recommended the time frame from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. County staff will bring revisions, including possibly adding a clause regarding audio/video recording of the meeting, but that will be later determined by the board.

Chairman Todd Levent said he recently went to a meeting that started at 5 p.m. which caused some issues for people trying to attend after work.

“Applicants in the past have been considerate so this hasn’t come up,” Levent said.

Grantville City Council member Mark King is suing Mayor Doug Jewell over campaign signs he says were removed.

The suit was filed last week in the Magistrate Court of Coweta County. King is asking for $104.08, which includes the cost of two signs for $8.08,  $1 for punitive damages,  plus $95 for court costs, according to court documents.

King said a total of six signs were moved, but only four were recovered.

The signs were removed on Sept. 29, according to Jewell, because the signs were not in compliance with city code of ordinances, which says that signs should be at least 10 feet away from the right-of-way line of any street or highway to which it orients.

The councilman said the suit isn’t about him, but about getting the mayor to do the right thing.

“He overstepped his boundaries,” King said. “The right-of-way setback is determined street by street. I used a tape measure from to make sure signs were at least 10 feet away from the street.”

The Federal Railroad Administration has chosen a proposed high-speed rail route from Chattanooga to Atlanta.

“This project will benefit both Atlanta and Chattanooga with more efficient transportation, while also providing rail access to the rural communities in the region,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, in a statement. “This has been a long time in the making and represents a response to numerous transportation needs along the I-75 corridor.”

The [High-Speed Ground Transportation] HSGT project would run approximately 120 miles along Interstate 75 and provide what FRA terms “a competitive and more reliable transportation choice for people traveling between Atlanta and Chattanooga.”

The corridor includes eight rail stations and is estimated to take 88 minutes of travel time from the first to last station. The route would begin on the east side of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (HJAIA) at the proposed HJAIA/Southern Crescent Station and end at a proposed downtown Chattanooga station.

Valdosta City Council continues moving forward with a proposed curfew for juveniles.

Macon-Bibb County voters will weigh-in on a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) in November.

Macon-Bibb County voters could decide the fate of a new sales tax that would lead to a millage rate rollback and property tax freeze.

The County Commission is scheduled to vote next week on whether to investigate the possibility of an additional 1-cent sales tax — one of several hurdles that must be cleared before the tax is implemented.

Before the referendum could be added to November 2018 Bibb County ballot, it must first receive approval from the County Commission and state legislators.

The proposal comes after the millage rate went up 3-mills this year. The amount of revenue taken in from the local option sales tax would determine the extent of the property tax rollback.

“This is a vehicle for property tax relief, I think more consistent cash flow and addressing some of the concerns of our property owners,” Bechtel said. “But we need to go into this with our eyes open.”

Early voting begins Monday, October 16th, in at least one municipality.

Early voting for this year’s General Municipal Election will begin this Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. at the Gordon County Board of Elections & Voter Registration Office, located at 215 North Wall Street in Calhoun.

The election involves several posts up for grabs in the City of Calhoun, City of Fairmount, City of Plainville and Town of Resaca.

An important Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) vote is also on the ballot. This SPLOST is not new; if passed it will simply be a continuation of the SPLOST currently in place.

Healthcare

Suicide rates are rising in rural areas, according to Georgia Health News.

Dr. W. Vaughn McCall of the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at Augusta University said Monday that there’s a growing disparity in the economic status of rural vs. urban residents.

“There’s a lack of access to mental health services of all kinds”’ in rural areas, added McCall, an expert on suicide and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at MCG.

“While we’ve seen many causes of death come down in recent years, suicide rates have increased more than 20 percent from 2001 to 2015. And this is especially concerning in rural areas,” CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald said in a statement. “We need proven prevention efforts to help stop these deaths and the terrible pain and loss they cause.”

[Y]outh suicides in Georgia appear to show troubling trends. In May, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said that up to that point, 18 children reportedly took their own lives this year. By June, the AJC reported, 20 youths had taken their lives.

The numbers show a potentially record year for youth suicides in the state.

Bonnie Moore, an advocate at the Floyd County Suicide Prevention Coalition, said northwest Georgia has a high suicide rate  compared with other areas of the state.

“A lot of it has to do with untreated mental health issues,’’ Moore said. “In rural areas, it’s harder to get services.”

Dougherty County commissioned a study of a proposed new hospital in neighboring Lee County.

The Atlanta-area law firm that prepared a report on the impact of a proposed Lee County hospital on Dougherty County, Albany-based Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital and health care delivery in Southwest Georgia said the planned medical center would significantly and adversely impact the region’s health care.

The Dougherty County Commission authorized the impact study in August.

In a 46-page report summarized for the Dougherty County Commission Monday by County Attorney Spencer Lee, the BakerHostetler law firm said, “LCMC’s (Lee County Medical Center) project will cannibalize the insured patients already served by existing hospitals and needed to support their provision of care to the financially needy.”

The report also suggested that the certificate of need application submitted for the Lee hospital indicates a desire not to serve less affluent patients, such as those covered by Medicaid.

“LCMC will provide only non-tertiary services, which it defines as excluding basic obstetrical care,” the report reads. “Notably, though LCMC could have sought to provide basic obstetrical care, it did not, likely because such patients are largely covered by Medicaid.”

Dougherty Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas noted what he called a significant finding of the study related to health care costs.

“I found it significant that the study indicates the proposed Lee County hospital will actually charge higher rates, not cut costs as so many have claimed,” Cohilas said. “And I also think it’s important that, lost in all the sabre-rattling associated with this matter, is the fact that Lee County is not applying to build a hospital. A group is applying to build a hospital in Lee County.”

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has accepted the proposal for the acquisition of Savannah’s Memorial University Medical Center by the for-profit HCA.

The action follows completion of due diligence by the Nashville, Tenn.-based health care provider to acquire Memorial and will now require a 90-day period for the attorney general’s office to approve the sale, valued at $710 million when Memorial, a non-profit, signed a letter of intent in April.

The transaction would need to meet certain regulatory requirements and receive a favorable approval from the Attorney General’s office before it can be completed. Once completed, the hospital and its outpatient clinics and facilities will become full members of HCA’s South Atlantic Division.

The attorney general’s office will schedule a public meeting in Savannah within the 90-day period.

The Stephens County Hospital Authority named a new CEO for Stephens County Hospital after Lynne Fogerty resigned.

“Hospital leadership and the hospital authority are working in tandem to aggressively pursue financial turnaround initiatives, including improving clinical documentation and collections, service quality and increasing efficiencies in providing care,” said Hospital Authority Chairman Mark Wilkinson.

Wilkinson said the hospital has been confronted with declining market share and decreasing inpatient, surgery and emergency department volumes over the past several years.

Stephens County Hospital lost more than $4 million in fiscal year 2016 and $5 million in fiscal year 2017.

10
Oct

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 10, 2017

SamFAR

Sam is a young male Labrador Retriever who is available for adoption from Furever After Rescue in Macon, GA.

Hi, my name is Sam. My Foster Mom often calls me “Sam I am.” I am about 2 years old and am around 50 pounds. My foster mommy taught me how to be crate trained. I like to chew on my toys and do best with harder kong-type toys for chewers. I like it best when I am around my people, but am not necessarily a lap pup. I like big yards.

Sometimes I bark when I’m in my crate, so my best scenario would be with someone who has a doggie door and a fenced back yard that can help train me to their lifestyle but I am getting better. I guess I just love my humans and want to be with them all the time! I sometimes have a slight limp because I had an old injury that healed wrong. The vet says I am ok but may limp occasionally. I’m a pretty great guy all together and am a great car rider!

SamACAP

Sam is a young male Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from Atlanta Canine Adoption Project in Monticello, GA.

Sam was an owner surrender. An older couple adopted him but did not realize how active a 6 month old pup would be. He is very playful with other dogs and sweet as can be with people. He would be great for a home with kids or another active dog.

Samuel

Samuel is a young male Beagle mix puppy who is available for adoption from Oconee Regional Humane Society in Greensboro, GA.

Samuel is sweet, super socialized, and unique! ORHS doesn’t think he will be too big once we are full grown. He would be a perfect, spunky additions to any dog lover’s home! Come say hello! I may be your new best friend!

Samwel

Samwel is a young male Shih Tzu puppy who is available for adoption from Atlanta Canine Adoption Project Monticello, GA.

This cute little boy is one of 5 siblings. He has 1 sister and 3 brothers. As of October 5th, 2017 Samwel weighs 11 pounds

10
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 10, 2017

The United States Naval Academy opened in Annapolis, Maryland on October 10, 1845.

On October 9, 1963, the Board of Regents approved a new junior college in Cobb County that is today Kennesaw State University. The next year, Cobb County voters approved a bond referendum to fund construction.

Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned on October 10, 1973 and pled guilty to federal income tax evasion charges.

Democrat Jimmy Carter challenged President Gerald Ford to make his income tax returns public on October 9, 1976.

On October 10 1976, a poll by Time magazine showed Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter with a 2-1 electoral vote margin.

Carter led in 21 states and the District of Columbia, with 273 electoral votes (three more than necessary to win), while President Ford led in 17 states with 113 electoral votes.

The online Georgia archives at UGA has a collection of campaign materials, including a 1976 Carter for President brochure.

On October 10, 1980, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site was established in Atlanta.

United States Senator Sam Nunn announced on October 9, 1995 that he would not run for reelection. From CNN’s contemporary story:

“I know in my heart it is time to follow a new course,” Nunn told reporters gathered in the Georgia State Capitol. He said his decision followed “a lot of thought and prayer” and he expressed enthusiasm about meaningful days ahead in the private sector.

“Today I look forward to more freedom, to more flexibility,” he said, adding he planned to spend time with his family, to write, and “devote a substantial amount of time” to public policy and public service. He said he has no immediate plans for a presidential bid.

Nunn hailed America as “the greatest country in the world,” but cited problems that need attention, including education concerns, illegitimate children, and widespread violence and drugs. He expressed optimism on such items as the strong military and entitlement reform.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said of Sam Nunn’s retirement,

“For those who listened carefully, it is clear that the Democratic Party is not the vehicle for the values outlined by Sen. Nunn.”

Nolan Waters of Knight-Ridder wrote of the announcement,

Nunn’s departure is a watershed.

“Nunn is the last of the great moderate Southern Democrats. This creates a huge hole for the party,” said Merle Black, a specialist on Southern politics at Emory University in Atlanta.

Nunn, like President Clinton, helped organize a group of moderate Democrats, the Democratic Leadership Council, in an attempt to move the party rightward after the 1984 landslide re-election of President Reagan.

“He has been fighting the liberal wing of his party for over two decades,” Black said. “It’s been a losing battle.”

In place of Nunn, the state’s most prominent politician is becoming House Speaker Newt Gingrich – whose futuristic, activist style of conservatism seems radical along-side Nunn’s traditionalism.

On October 10, 2015, Donald Trump made his first campaign stop in Georgia.

Trump Atlanta 1

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal announced that September tax revenues were up 3.1% over September 2016.

Gov. Nathan Deal [] announced that Georgia’s net tax collections for September totaled nearly $2.08 billion, for an increase of approximately $62 million, or 3.1 percent, compared to last year when net tax collections totaled roughly $2.01 billion. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled $5.48 billion, for an increase of $171.5 million, or 3.2 percent, compared to September 2016, when net tax revenues totaled $5.31 billion.

Ken Wright, first Mayor of Dunwoody, announced he will run for State House District 79, which will be vacated by State Rep. Tom Taylor, who previously announced he will not run for reelection.

“During my tenure as Dunwoody’s first mayor, we started a first-class city that offers great service to its residents while keeping taxes low,” Wright said. “Now, I want to take the lessons about smart investment and cutting waste that I’ve learned as a businessman and as mayor to the Georgia General Assembly.

“I want to help our community at the state Capitol by continuing to work for low taxes, new transportation capacity such as the improvements to the 285/400 interchange, transit system enhancements, access to great schools for our kids and a strong jobs climate that brings even more prosperity to our community. Just as important, I’ll work to keep DeKalb County government accountable to the taxpayers.”

“Bringing the city to life and establishing a solid and lasting foundation was one of the most prized times in my public service life,” Wright said. “The pride, solidarity and dedication my fellow council members showed during this difficult start up period was immeasurable. Over these last 20-plus years, I have been honored to lead this community in numerous public service ways. I would welcome the opportunity to serve Dunwoody and all areas of the 79th House District if it is the pleasure of the voters.”

Taylor, chairman of the MARTA Oversight Committee in the House and a leader in the efforts to retain and attract the film industry to the state, announced last week that he will finish his term that includes the coming legislative session, but will not seek re-election in the fall.

State Democratic Party officials have made District 79 a priority for next year after Jon Ossoff narrowly lost the 6th Congressional District special election this summer. Taylor was considered vulnerable after a drunk-driving arrest, despite winning re-election after that in 2016.

A Democratic trial lawyer new to Dunwoody, Michael Wilensky, has said he was running for the seat.

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Oct

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 6, 2017

GucciWR

Gucci is a young male Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Houston County, Inc of Warner Robins GA.

AbrahamWR

Abraham is a young male Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Houston County, Inc of Warner Robins GA.

HershelWR

Hershel is a young male Chihuahua mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Houston County, Inc of Warner Robins GA.