The blog.

16
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 16, 2022

Bilbo 1772 is a 3-yeard old, 54-pound males mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from PAWS Humane in Columbus, GA.

Hi, my name is Bilbo! I came to Paws after being picked up by the local animal control as a stray. I have stolen some hearts here at Paws and the staff says I am such a sweet boy. I love all humans and I am a gentleman on my leash walks. The staff here says they even think I am housetrained because I never go potty in my room. I am a known escape artist, so I get walked a bunch and I love them! If I sound like a good fit for your family, ask to meet me today!

Dash 7426 is a 6-year old, 35-pound male mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from PAWS Humane in Columbus, GA.

Dash loves children and play time with other dogs.

Chase 5661 is a year-old, 78-pound male mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from PAWS Humane in Columbus, GA.

PAWS Humane is hosting a ‘No Empty Bowls’ pet food pantry, according to WTVM.

On August 27, Paws will host the pet food pantry from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The pantry is open for Alabama and Georgia residents while supplies last.

Pets for Life will also be at the event – distributing pet food and supplies to pet parents in need.

All supplies and food is first come, first serve while supplies last.

Click here to learn how to donate to PAWS Humane.

16
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 16, 2022

The State Highway Department was created on August 16, 1916 to comply with federal funding requirements, when Georgia Governor Nathaniel Harris signed legislation by the General Assembly.

Georgia Governor Hugh Dorsey signed legislation creating the State Department of Banking on August 16, 1919.

Georgia Governor Clifford Walker signed legislation changing the method of execution in Georgia from hanging to the electric chair on August 16, 1924.

On August 16, 1974, The Ramones played their first public show at CBGB in New York.

Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp announced the appointment of Mike Register as Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.Continue Reading..

15
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 15, 2022

Bella is a small adult female Pibble (Pit Bull Terrier) mix who is available for adoption from Columbia County Animal Services in Appling, GA.

Layla is an adult female German Shepherd (or Lab?) mix who is available for adoption from Columbia County Animal Services in Appling, GA.

Lilly is an adult female German Shephed (Lab?) mix who is available for adoption from Columbia County Animal Services in Appling, GA.

Layla and Lilly appear to be sisters based on their appearance and identical information about how they got to the shelter.

15
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 15, 2022

On August 15, 1903, Georgia Governor Joseph Terrell signed legislation requiring that Georgia schools teach elementary agriculture and civics. Two days later, on August 17, 1903, the General Assembly condemned the practice of whipping female inmates.

The Panama Canal opened on August 15, 1914.

Georgia Governor Thomas Hardwick signed legislation creating the Georgia State Board of Forestry on August 15, 1921.

On August 15, 1969, the Woodstock Festival began in upstate New York.

Apocalypse Now by Francis Ford Coppolla was released on August 15, 1979.

Paul Anderson, known for years as the “Strongest Man in the World” for his weightlifting feats, died on August 15, 1994 in Vidalia, Georgia. Anderson was born in 1932 in Toccoa, Georgia. He won an Olympic gold medal in the sport of weightlifting in 1956.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Georgia State Patrol is competing for best-looking cars, according to WTOC.

Georgia State Patrol’s cruiser won the contest in 2020 with 51,844 votes. The cruiser was parked near the big fountain at Forsyth Park in Savannah.

This year, the competing photo is of two GSP cruisers parked near the entrance of Wormsloe Historic Site in Savannah, which is a breathtaking avenue sheltered by live oaks and Spanish moss. The cruisers are joined by the World Series Championship Trophy and the College Football Playoff National Championship Trophy to highlight this year’s big wins by the Atlanta Braves and Georgia Bulldogs.

To cast your vote, click here.

I love the blue and gray with orange lettering on the GSP cars, but I’m not a huge fan of the “ghost paint” movement in police vehicles.

A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit United States Court of Appeals reversed a District Court decision to cancel elections for the Georgia Public Service Commission, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Albany Herald.

The appellate court’s 2-1 decision overturned a lower court’s order from last week. That initial order had blocked Georgia from holding PSC elections in two of the state’s five districts until the state changed the rules around voting for the PSC members.

The PSC regulates the state’s public utilities and sets utility rates. Under Georgia’s system, commissioners run statewide but must live in one of five districts.

The current case began when a group of black leaders sued the state, claiming the black vote had been diluted.
A federal district court ruled in the group’s favor last week, finding Georgia’s unusual system for electing PSC commissioners violates the federal Voting Rights Act. The state immediately appealed.

The majority appellate court opinion said recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have made clear federal courts should not block elections close to the voting date.

“But if we are mistaken on this point, the Supreme Court can tell us,” the ruling concludes.

From the AJC:

The 2-1 decision means that elections for two commission seats will be held as scheduled in November while the appeal is pending.

U.S. District Judge Steven Grimberg ruled Aug. 5 that the statewide election system violated the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racially discriminatory voting laws. The lawsuit sought district-level elections for the commission.

“It’s unfortunate that this order, if allowed to stand, will mean that once again Georgia will have a Public Service Commission election that goes forward using a discriminatory plan,” said Bryan Sells, an attorney for plaintiffs including members of the NAACP, Black Voters Matter and Georgia Conservation Voters.

U.S. Circuit Judge Robin Rosenbaum, who was nominated by Obama, dissented from the majority. Rosenbaum argued that there isn’t a precedent for putting a lower-court ruling on hold in this circumstance.

From Fox5Atlanta:

Circuit Judges Robert Luck and Adalberto Jordan found that U.S. District Judge Steven Grimberg’s decision came too close to the election, that having Johnson and Echols remain on the commission past the end of their terms is an improper fundamental alteration of the state’s election system, and that not only did Grimberg need to issue his decision before the ballot printing deadline but far enough in advance “to allow for meaningful appellate review.”

Governor Brian Kemp announced the state will spend an additional $240 million on rural broadband expansion, according to the Associated Press via the Statesboro Herald.

Combined with $408 million from an earlier round of COVID-19 aid, plus money from the Federal Communications Commission, nearly $1 billion will be given to utilities and others to try to bring high-speed connections to parts of Georgia that lacked them.

Applications for the new round of grants open Monday.

In February, when the state awarded the $408 million, officials projected the money would link up 132,000 of the remaining 482,000 homes and businesses that didn’t then have a fast connection.

The 49 electric cooperatives, local governments, cable companies and others who got the earlier round of funding committed to spend $330 million of their own money to match the federal cash.

Applicants for the new money provide download and upload speeds of 100 megabytes per second. Guidelines call for applicants to consider affordability as part of their plan and says they are “strongly encouraged” to provide a low-cost option. Providers must participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity program, which provides a discount of up to $30 a month to qualifying households.

Kemp decided to spend much of Georgia’s $4.8 billion in federal relief on broadband expansion, water and sewer improvements and offsetting the negative economic impact of the pandemic.

Governor Kemp delivered the Governor’s Environmental Address in Gwinnett County, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gov. Brian Kemp delivered his first environmental address to Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful since 2019 at the Gas South Convention Center on Friday. At a few points, it had the vibe of a campaign speech, allowing him to talk about the nearly 120,000 new jobs that he said have come to Georgia during his time as governor.

Success stories like the Georgia Sea Turtle Cooperative’s efforts to help loggerhead sea turtles make a comeback on the state’s coast, for example.

“For those who are interested, I’m happy to report that this year’s loggerhead sea turtle nest count reached 3,960, surpassing the previous record,” Kemp said. “Earlier in my term and again this year (First Lady Marty Kemp) and the girls went down to see some turtle hatchings firsthand and it remains a cause that is close to our heart.”

“During the same time that we’ve seen unprecedented levels of business and job growth in this community and this state … Gwinnett has received several accolades for environmental improvement,” Kemp said. “(Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful Executive Director Schelly Marlatt) kindly sharing with our team that, in June of this year, Gwinnett was recognized by the Georgia Association of Water Professionals for its quality of water.

“And, since I last addressed this group, it’s created drop off program for the Hefty Energy Bag initiative to divert recyclable materials away from landfills (and) Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful has received the Keep America Beautiful National Innovation Award for your Connecting People and Places efforts to prevent litter.”

The governor also pointed to two big economic development announcements from the last year that he said would benefit the environment because they involve electric vehicle manufacturing.

Kemp said protections for Georgia’s environment is key to attracting businesses to the state. That is because, he explained, they are just as interested in Georgia’s quality of life as they are in the state’s business infrastructure and workforce.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, for example, manages more than 1 million acres of protected public lands in the state. Kemp said state and national parks in Georgia give residents a place to enjoy the state’s natural assets.

“I’m proud that the Peach State has so much to offer in natural beauty,” Kemp said.

Hyundai is the number one exporter of cars through Georgia ports, according to The Brunswick News.

In fact, some time next week, the two millionth Hyundai will roll off a cargo ship to be delivered to the port.

More than eight million vehicles have been delivered to the port, but Hyundai is the first manufacturer to reach the two-million milestone, said Don Asdell, president and CEO of International Auto Processing.

Mercedes Benz is approaching the two-million mark for exports, most likely reaching it next year, Asdell said. KIA will hit the 1.5 million mark later this month.

Ryan Moore, president and CEO of the Golden Isles Economic Development Authority, said the arrival of the two millionth Hyundai is a significant event.

“We’re proud to see the growth of Hyundai,” he said. “South Korea auto manufacturers have invested heavily in Southeast Georgia.”

More than 50 Georgia school districts have applied for federal funding to buy electric buses, according to the Statesboro Herald.

A new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program aims at providing school buses an alternative to gasoline or diesel fuel by funding electric buses. Currently, most buses in Georgia run on diesel.

The agency will award around $1 billion annually for the next five years to school districts that want to purchase electric, propane or CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles. The funding comes from the infrastructure spending bill Congress passed last year. Also, some of the funding may be used for setting up electric-vehicle charging infrastructure.

Yancey Bus Sales & Services in Austell is helping districts apply for the program.

Coastal Georgia school districts are seeing rising COVID numbers, according to WTOC.

Case numbers have been increasing and with school back in session for a full week in Chatham County, Dr. Lawton Davis from the Coastal Health District says we may see an increase in cases.

Mainly because the prevalent variant right now is the BA.5 strain of Omicron.

However, hospitalizations remain steady in Chatham County – around 50 patients. Dr. Davis says despite the variant of COVID, people are still experiencing long COVID symptoms.

It is clear that COVID is not going anywhere soon, so the Coastal Health District is working on a new way to offer testing long into the future.

Dalton City Council and Whitfield County approved a ratio for splitting Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) revenues, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

The LOST, which had to be initially approved by voters, is a 1% tax on most goods sold in a county that is used by local governments to fund operations. It is different from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), which can only be used for specific capital projects approved by voters and cannot be used for operations.

Under the tentative agreement, Whitfield County would continue to receive 60.457% of LOST revenues, Dalton 36%, Cohutta .72%, Tunnel Hill .929% and Varnell 1.894%.

“We agreed to keep our share of the LOST flat in the understanding that there would be no new taxes on our taxpayers,” said Mayor David Pennington.

On Friday, Pennington said county officials have given city officials sufficient assurance that they will roll back the property tax rate 100%.

But Pennington said even with a 100% rollback, some property owners would get hit with a tax increase because their assessment rose by more than the cut.

And he noted that the city and the county “aren’t the big players here.”

“It’s the school systems,” he said.

Pennington noted typically around two-thirds of a property owner’s total property tax bill is school taxes.

“The county school system hasn’t set its tax rate yet,” he said. “But the city school system is looking at a tax increase because they aren’t rolling their tax rate all the way back.”

Albany and Dougherty County agreed upon a revenue split for LOST going forward, according to WALB.

The city and county decided on a 36/64 split with the county providing an additional $3.5 million for the separation of stormwater and sewage.

“I’m delighted that the process ended successfully. I did have some doubt as we progressed but we did end in a good place and I think we made the best decision for all of our citizens in Albany and Dougherty County,” Dougherty County Commissioner, Gloria Gaines said.

The discussion on splitting the SPLOST funds has been going on since the beginning of July. Albany city Commissioner, Jon Howard said that the road leading up to the decision was a difficult one.

The board of elections approved the City’s decision on SPLOST 8 meaning that a question will appear on the November ballot.

Floyd County continues negotiations with Rome and Cave Spring over LOST revenues, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Georgia counties and their respective municipalities must renegotiate their sales tax allocation every decade. In a worst case scenario, if no agreement can be reached by Aug. 26, the sales tax funds stay with the state.

Currently, through the agreement signed on Aug. 28, 2012, Floyd County receives 56.5% of the revenue while Rome gets 41.7% and Cave Spring gets 1.8%.

Rome is essentially arguing that residents are double taxed for certain county services and the city deserves a bigger piece of the pie. Much of the argument stems from the fact that Rome has a higher daytime population and garners the most business activity in Floyd County.

Union County students return to the class Tuesday after an incident delayed the Friday planned opening, according to AccessWDUN.

Savannah-Chatham County schools continue to face a teacher shortage, according to WSAV.

“We currently, we have about 50 vacancies right now so we’re still recruiting,” said Dr. Michel Pantin, HR director with the district.

Almost half of those teacher vacancies right now are in the District’s 23 elementary schools.

“We do have about 20 elementary vacancies,” Pantin said. “And that is just because of the number of elementary schools that we have.”

The district has seen an increase in it’s teachers leaving. Preliminary data says about 16% of teachers do leave but with a new pay scale in effect, the district hopes that might ease staffing shortages and improve retention.

“We just got a new pay scale,” Pantin said. “A new teacher coming in around 46,000 if they have the teaching credentials and I believe it’s 44 if they don’t.”

Dougherty County faces a shortage of election workers, according to the Albany Herald.

“I’m working with the numbers now as we start looking to the November election, but, yes, we definitely have a shortage,” [Election Supervisor Ginger] Nickerson said. “We need workers; we need people who want to serve their community. We need people who are willing to sacrifice a little of their time and make a commitment.”

“We’d love to have people who are tech savvy, but I assure you that we will train everyone who volunteers.”

“First of all, we ask volunteers to go through a training period that’s relatively simple; we don’t try to put too much on anybody,” she said. “They get paid for the training, and they get paid for the time they work on Election Day and during early voting. It’s a flat rate, and no taxes are taken from people’s checks.”

“We’ve had some schools that have given students excused absences to work at one of the precincts during Election Day,” the Elections supervisor said. “In fact, we’re going to try and put together some partnerships with some of the schools to provide students to work. It’s a great educational opportunity for students to see our elections process in action. They get an insider’s view.”

Thirteen Early County students may be suspended or otherwise disciplined after a fight, according to WALB.

Superintendent Jennifer Brown said the school should be the first call parents make.

“It would be beneficial if any parents would ask a school official, they can call the school. And many parents did, they called the school yesterday and told us what they had heard, and we were able to dispel those rumors immediately with them. Also, if they sign up for our district communication program which is (a reminder). They were issued a statement yesterday that had the details involved of the incident and that those details included everything that needed to be known. It didn’t have any information about the rumors because they were just rumors.”

As for the rumors that are going around, the superintendent told WALB News 10 that no teachers were hurt in the fight. Early County Jail officials said no gun was found after the fight.

Worth County schools are addressing a rumored incident, according to WALB.

After several witness interviews, [Worth County Superintendent Nehemiah] Cummings said they determined no threat was made and no students were in danger.

He added that they investigate alleged threats in depth and work with law enforcement to put an armed officer in every school.

Chatham County Commissioners say that a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Transportation (T-SPLOST) will help pay to address the issue of trains blocking some intersections, according to WTOC.

Chairman Chester Ellis says voting for TSPLOST in November could help get rid of railroads like the one in Garden City that often hold up traffic. Ellis says they are working to eliminate ten railroads and they are most focused on the one on Highway 21 and President Street.

“Everybody in here will agree that railroad on President Street is a nuisance.”

He says they will be receiving federal funds to help cover the railroad projects, for example federal funds will handle 80 percent of the cost to eliminate the railroad on President Street and the remaining 20 percent of funds would come from transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

“That 20 percent is set up in the TSPLOST so that we can help folks get around Chatham County.”

He says if TSPLOST doesn’t pass, it’s likely that property taxes will go up.

The tax adds a penny to sales and is on the November ballot. He says voting for TSPLOST will help them tackle drainage issues.

In addition to TSPLOST, Chatham County is still negotiating with Savannah and surrounding municipalities on how to split the Local Option Sales Tax that will give residents a rollback, according to Ellis.

The Georgia Senate Study Committee to Review Education Funding Mechanisms meets Friday to begin considering revising the state’s school funding, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Albany Herald.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton, is chair of the committee.

Other members of the committee are Sens. Chuck Payne, R-Dalton; Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta; Blake Tillery, R-Vidalia; Lindsey Tippins, R-Marietta; and Billy Hickman, R-Statesboro.

The committee grew out of a senate resolution passed in this year’s legislative session. It will prepare recommendations for the General Assembly to consider during the 2023 session.

The committee likely will focus on the Quality Basic Education formula. That formula allocates school funding based on the number of students in a district and other factors.

The committee also will meet in Savannah on Sept. 16 and in Columbus on Oct. 21.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration wants to enhance protections for endangered whales, according to The Brunswick News.

The NOAA Fisheries is proposing to expand speed limit restrictions to include more craft. The 10 knot speed limit — 11.5 mph — in protected waters is currently limited to large ships but would extend to most vessels 35 to 65 feet in length if adopted.

For most of the Atlantic Coast in the U.S., the annual effective date of the rules would begin in November and end in April.

In addition, the agency is releasing a draft “roadmap” for public comment about on-demand, or “ropeless” fishing gear, that outlines potential ways to increase the use of this technology in commercial fisheries along the East Coast. NOAA says the roadmap reflects lessons from fisheries using on-demand gear, which are emerging around the world.

The purpose of the new restrictions is to increase the survivability of right whales, an endangered species. The agency has documented whales that have been killed or injured from collisions with vessels or entanglement in fishing lines.

According to NOAA Fisheries, researchers have determined that collisions and entanglements were the leading cause of death among juvenile and adult whales between 2003 and 2018.

“These two efforts are part of our North Atlantic Right Whale Road to Recovery, a strategy that encapsulates all of our ongoing work across the agency and in collaboration with our partners and stakeholders to conserve and rebuild the North Atlantic right whale population,” said Janet Coit, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries and acting assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere at NOAA.

The restrictions would cover the waters of the nation’s entire Atlantic coast. Warmer waters of the southern coast are calving grounds for the right whale during the colder months.

12
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 12, 2022

Henry is one of Reba’s Goldendoodle Puppies, who are available for adoption from Hart Co. Animal Rescue Inc. in Hartwell, GA.

Too cute!!!! Reba’s 6 week old golden doodle puppies. They will be ready after 08/21/22 for pick up(after 2nd vaccination). Sweet bundles of joy ready for their forever homes. Wormed and UTD on vaccines. Lucy & Annie are girls – the rest are boys.

Willie is an adult male Golden Doodle who is available for adoption from Hart Co. Animal Rescue Inc. in Hartwell, GA.

Willie is the cutest little thing you have ever seen!!~ a mini Goldendoodle weighing about 22 lbs. His DOB is 10-3-19. Willie is a retired breeder that has a lot of great years ahead of him to be a loving companion. Willie is very timid and needs TLC ~ such a sweet, precious boy! He is not housetrained or leash trained as he has lived outside his entire life. He’s a smart boy though so that should come pretty easy for him. Willie is UTD on all vetting, microchipped and on HW preventative. He does require a physical fenced yard for his safety. If interested, please fill out an application @ www.hartcountyanimalrescue.org

Casey is an adult female Golden Retriever who is available for adoption from Hart Co. Animal Rescue Inc. in Hartwell, GA.

Casey is a gorgeous 2.5 yr. old (DOB:12-16-19) English Cream Golden Retriever that is a retired breeder. She is the sweetest most humble girl you could ever meet. She is a smaller Golden weighing around 50 lbs. She is very timid and needs lots of TLC. Because Casey lived outside ~ she is not housetrained or leash trained but with patience this smart girl could ace that. She is accustomed to a doggie door. Casey gets along with everything – just a pure doll! She is UTD on all vetting, microchipped and on HW preventative. Casey requires a physical fenced yard. If interested, please fill out an application @ www.hartcountyanimalrescue.org

12
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 12, 2022

On August 12, 1492 by the current calendar, Christopher Columbus set sail from the port of Palos de la Frontera in southern Spain with the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. Other accounts date his arrival at the Canary Islands off the coast of northwestern Africa on August 12, 1492.

Juan Ponce de Leon invaded Puerto Rico on August 12, 1508 and declared himself Governor.

On August 14, 1784, Russians invaded settled Alaska, founding the first permanent Russian settlement at Three Saints Bay.

Dentist, gambler, and gunfighter Doc Holliday was born on August 14, 1851 in Griffin, Georgia.

On August 11, 1862, Confederate General Braxton Bragg declared martial law in Atlanta.

On August 14, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln hosted a group of African-American men at the White House to discuss emancipation of American slaves outside the United States as colonists.

On August 12, 1864, Confederate General John B. Hood prohibited Confederate soldiers from seizing civilian property.

The Second Battle of Dalton was joined on August 14, 1864.

The first Ford Model T rolled off the assembly line on August 12, 1908.

On August 12, 1908, Ford’s first “Model T” rolled off a Detroit, Michigan, factory floor. Within six years, the car, company and man were propelled to unprecedented success, thanks to the new Highland Park plant’s first-of-its-kind assembly line, which created the intricate product quickly and in large numbers.

“If it hadn’t been for Henry Ford’s drive to create a mass market for cars, America wouldn’t have a middle class today,” wrote [Lee] Iacocca.

Increased travel spurred appeals for better and more roads, the development of suburbs, the oil industry’s rise and a boom in gas stations, strip malls and motels.

But the assembly line itself had the biggest impact on American society, Hyde contended, in making possible the swift, mass production of everything from computers to “fast food.”

On August 12, 1910, Georgia Governor Joseph M. Brown signed legislation prohibiting the carrying of a pistol or revolver without a license.

The County Unit System of elections was created on August 14, 1917 when Governor Hugh Dorsey signed legislation by the General Assembly.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935. The road to perdition is paved with good intentions.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered the summer commencement address at the University of Georgia on August 11, 1938. Later that day, Roosevelt endorsed Lawrence Camp over incumbent Governor Walter F. George, saying George had not been sufficiently supportive of the New Deal.

On August 14, 1945, the Japanese surrender to the Allies was made public in Japan.

In the afternoon of August 14, Japanese radio announced that an Imperial Proclamation was soon to be made, accepting the terms of unconditional surrender drawn up at the Potsdam Conference. That proclamation had already been recorded by the emperor.

East Germany began building the Berlin Wall on August 12, 1961.

[T]he government of East Germany, on the night of August 12, 1961, began to seal off all points of entrance into West Berlin from East Berlin by stringing barbed wire and posting sentries. In the days and weeks to come, construction of a concrete block wall began, complete with sentry towers and minefields around it. The Berlin Wall succeeded in completely sealing off the two sections of Berlin.

Three churches in Albany, Georgia first allowed African-Americans to attend their services on August 12, 1962.

The Atlanta Braves signed legendary Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige on August 11, 1968. Here’s a story on what the Braves signing meant to Paige:

In 1968, the right-hander was 158 days shy of the five years’ playing time needed to qualify for the major league pension. He would reach out to 29 teams and 29 teams would turn him down.

The problem was, he was 62.

But Braves president Bill Bartholomay saw an opportunity. While it would help at the box office for a franchise that was in its third season in Atlanta, it was also about something more.

“I jumped all over it, because I just thought it was the right thing to do,” said Bartholomay, currently the team’s chairman emeritus. “I didn’t think of it so much from the standpoint of diversity, I thought it was just the right thing to do.”

After reaching his 158 required days, Paige left the Braves and less than three years later, began drawing that pension. He received $250 a month.

“It was momentous and he did quality for his pension,” Bartholomay said, “but more importantly, the slight recognition for one of the great athletes, maybe one of the .. certainly short list of greatest pitchers of all time.”

From the AJC:

“Baseball would have been guilty of negligence should it not assure this legendary figure a place in the pension plan,” the [Braves] owner said at the signing in 1968. Looking back 40 years on, Bartholomay says Satchel justified his faith by performing sensationally as a goodwill ambassador.

“He came to us four months after the King funeral in Atlanta,” says Bartholomay. “Those were pretty tough times for African-Americans and the country in its entirety. Satchel understood that. He helped in a way that went way beyond baseball.”

On August 12, 1968, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham played together for the first time.

The first Space Shuttle, Enterprise, made its first flight in the earth’s atmosphere on August 12, 1977.

President Jimmy Carter was nominated for reelection as President by the Democratic National Convention in New York City on August 13, 1980.

President Ronald Reagan signed the Economic Recovery Tax Act on August 13, 1981.

The ERTA included a 25 percent reduction in marginal tax rates for individuals, phased in over three years, and indexed for inflation from that point on. The marginal tax rate, or the tax rate on the last dollar earned, was considered more important to economic activity than the average tax rate (total tax paid as a percentage of income earned), as it affected income earned through “extra” activities such as education, entrepreneurship or investment. Reducing marginal tax rates, the theory went, would help the economy grow faster through such extra efforts by individuals and businesses. The 1981 act, combined with another major tax reform act in 1986, cut marginal tax rates on high-income taxpayers from 70 percent to around 30 percent, and would be the defining economic legacy of Reagan’s presidency.

Reagan’s tax cuts were designed to put maximum emphasis on encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship and creating incentives for the development of venture capital and greater investment in human capital through training and education. The cuts particularly benefited “idea” industries such as software or financial services; fittingly, Reagan’s first term saw the advent of the information revolution, including IBM’s introduction of its first personal computer (PC) and the rise or launch of such tech companies as Intel, Microsoft, Dell, Sun Microsystems, Compaq and Cisco Systems.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High was released on August 13, 1982.

On August 11, 1984, Ronald Reagan jokingly announced that he had “signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever…we begin bombing in five minutes,” without knowing he was speaking into a live microphone.

A Special Session called by Governor Zell Miller to address legislative redistricting convened on August 14, 1995, after the United States Supreme Court threw out Georgia’s Congressional redistricting map.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp announced he will seek to retro-earn another round of tax refunds, according to 11Alive.

The state income tax refund checks would be worth $250-$500 to taxpayers, as they were earlier this year, and an average of $500 to homeowners according to the governor’s office.

Both measures would be submitted for next year’s budget – if Kemp is reelected. Stacey Abrams has offered a mirror proposal for the same refund checks, but opposes the property tax break.

Georgia previously issued tax refund checks, drawing from the state surplus, earlier this year.

Part of Kemp’s proposal would also reportedly include bringing back a property tax break that went away in 2009. The last time it was in place in 2008, it saved homeowners about $200-$300 on their property tax bills, according to the AP, at a total cost of $428 million to the state.

According to the press handout, the revived property tax initiative will save homeowners 15-25% on their bill – or about $500 on average.

Abrams opposes reviving the property tax break, saying it is “paying off the property taxes of mansion owners and millionaires.”

From the Associated Press:

“Abrams plans to spend more, tax more, regulate more,” Kemp said Thursday, “all while driving inflation higher and putting countless livelihoods at risk, just like her pal in the White House.”

With property values rising, most taxpayers will see higher property tax bills this year because local governments and school districts did not reduce tax rates enough to hold tax bills level.

“For young Georgians just getting settled into their first home or parents who are sending their kids off to college, unforeseen jumps in property values and local tax bills over the last year only add to concerns of an uncertain economic future,” Kemp said.

Kemp argues only Democrats are to blame for economic instability, saying Abrams deserves blame for helping get Biden elected.

“Hardworking Georgians are now faced with a Democrat-controlled Washington D.C. that is hellbent on driving 40-year high inflation even higher, and doing everything they can to make your life harder,” Kemp said. “The pain Georgians are feeling at the pump, and at the grocery store, is a direct result of these tax and spend policies pushed by Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams.”

From FoxNews:

“We want to give you, the citizens, your money back, because it’s going to be more than we just need to spend on wasteful projects,” he added, noting the government would not benefit if it were to allocate the funds to state programs as it would not necessarily be in next year’s budget.

“This is one-time money,” Kemp continued. “If you build new government programs with one-time money, it’s not going to be there the next year and she’s not going to be able to pay for all the plans that she is putting out there without raising your taxes and that is a fact.”

In his proposal, about $1 billion of the surplus will be given back in income tax rebates, including $250 for single filers, $375 for heads of household with dependents, and $500 for joint filers, FOX 5 reported.

Kemp said the other $1 billion would be given to property owners through a “Georgia Homeowner Rebate,” which would provide around $500 on average for those who regularly receive a homestead exemption.

The state legislature will have to approve any spending proposal before the money is given to taxpayers.

Meanwhile, Governor Kemp is directing state agencies to keep spending stable, according to the AJC.

In his annual instructions to agency leaders, Kemp’s budget director, Kelly Farr, said inflation could have an impact on the state’s fiscal outlook, so many agencies won’t see increased budgets.

The exception will be for education and health care programs that receive funding based on enrollment in schools or programs. For instance, if there are more students in a college than the previous year, it receives extra state money to educate those extra students.

The governor will use agency plans to build the budget proposal he will present to the General Assembly in January.

Democrat Stacey Abrams criticized Gov. Kemp for incentives that enticed Rivian to undertake a new plant, according to the AJC.

It started on Monday when Democrat Stacey Abrams delivered an economic speech that included a veiled dig at the huge incentive package that Gov. Brian Kemp’s administration leveraged to entice the automaker, which is losing money as it struggles with manufacturing issues.

“Now while the governor is comfortable promising billions to companies that have yet to turn a profit,” Abrams said, “he refuses to invest in our young people.”

Kemp fired back at a campaign event on Thursday at the state Capitol where he accused Abrams of hypocrisy. She celebrated the plant when it was announced in December and, Kemp said, supported state legislation that authorized incentives for large projects.

“In politics, you can’t have it both ways,” Kemp said. “You’ve got to stand up for what you believe in.”

Elbert County Commissioners voted against rebuilding “Satan’s Sundial,” aka the “Georgia Guidestones.” From the Augusta Chronicle:

The Elbert County Board of Commissioners voted Monday night to give the broken and crumbled remains of the destroyed Georgia Guidestones monument to the Elberton Granite Association.

The commission also decided at its Monday meeting to begin the legal process of giving the 5 acres of land that contained the monument back to the previous owner, according to [Commission Chair Lee] Vaughn.

“The county is not in the monument business, but it’s our opinion the county should never have taken ownership when they did in 1979,” Vaughn said.

The Granite Association also doesn’t want to rebuild the monument, also known widely as America’s Stonehenge, “but I hope there is a group that will come together and rebuild and create a foundation to own the Guidestones,” Vaughn said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into a shooting at Union County Primary School, according to AccessWDUN.

“Someone targeted a specific unoccupied vehicle in the parking lot of the school,” a statement from the GBI reads. “The suspect, a school employee, is in custody and there is no threat to the public.”

The man was arrested on the Blairsville downtown square following a police chase.

“School was not in session; however, there was teacher planning going on,” the statement reads.

Jordan Vocational High School in Columbus banned book bags after a gun was found, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Jordan principal Ryan Hutson told the Ledger-Enquirer the ban is “partially” related to Tuesday’s firearm confiscation, which happened during the second day of the new school year. Hutson said his administration had been discussing such a ban before the academic year even started, and he acknowledged the timing of the new policy is related to the firearm confiscation.

“Obviously, with things like that, when someone can carry a book bag, we don’t know what’s in there,” he said in a phone interview Thursday. “So that’s one of the things we wanted to also help ensure safety.”

“Our kids don’t carry a lot of books anymore,” he said. “They mainly just carry the Chromebooks. Most of the materials are online now, including a lot of our textbooks. So, besides maybe a binder and some pencils and papers and things like that, there’s not much else they need to carry.”

Berkmar High School in Gwinnett County was locked down due to a weapon sighting, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Berkmar High School went on lockdown shortly before classes were set to dismiss for the day after a weapon was spotted on campus on Thursday afternoon, according to a letter Principal Durant Williams sent out to parents.

Two students got into a fight at the school, and during that altercation, a third student told officials that they saw a weapon. Williams’ letter did not specify whether it was a knife, a firearm or some other type of weapon. It also did not specify whether it was being carried by one of the two students involved in the fight or by a different individual.

“Following our safety protocols, the school was placed in a hard lockdown while our school police investigated,” Williams said. “I want to reassure you, no one was hurt, and no weapon was found. The lockdown was lifted after 45 minutes once school police completed a thorough search.

Savannah’s Mayor and Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the city and the U.S. Justice Department, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Savannah now has a special assistant U.S. attorney to prosecute federal crimes.

At Thursday’s City Council meeting, the mayor and alderman approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the city and U.S. Attorney’s Office by a 6-3 vote. The special assistant, who will serve as a city employee, will work from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Southern District of Georgia office.

Asked why Savannah was a focal point, David Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, told Savannah Morning News, “Most of the violent crime occurs in the population centers Augusta, Savannah, Statesboro, Brunswick.”

Chatham County Manager Lee Smith remains under suspension, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Since July 21, Chatham County Manager Lee Smith has been on administrative leave, and in the three weeks that have passed since then, Chatham officials have yet to give a reason — even to Smith himself.

Asked Wednesday whether Smith was still under investigation, Assistant Chatham County Attorney Andre Pretorious said “the board is still in discussions, and we await further directions from the board.” The board referenced is the Chatham Commission.

The county manager has yet to be told why he was suspended, according to the lawyer representing Smith.

“I think he’s done a good job for the county, due to the fact he’s been there for 8 years. It shows,” said Brent Savage Sr., of Savannah-based Savage Turner Pinckney Savage & Sprouse law firm.

Augusta Commissioners are at loggerheads and unable to agree on a property tax millage rate, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Augusta commissioners remain at a stalemate over setting tax rates, with Mayor Hardie Davis breaking a 5-5 tie Thursday to oppose an increase. The delay in approving a rate could force the hand of commissioners who support a tax hike, because adopting it could cause the city miss a Sept. 1 state deadline.

The higher rate being proposed is 8.411 mills, which will generate $2.1 million in new revenue for the government this year and raise taxes for most property owners. The lower rate is a rollback rate of 7.986 mills, which would keep city taxes flat for most.

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce endorsed State Senator Burt Jones for Lieutenant Governor, according to the Capitol Beat News Service.

The business group cited Jones’ pro-business record in its endorsement announcement. Jones also is the owner of a small business.

“His lifetime ‘A’ rating with the chamber during his tenure in the General Assembly demonstrates that Senator Jones has prioritized economic growth and opportunity in Georgia,” chamber spokesman David Raynor said.

10
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 10, 2022

Gidget is a 6-7 year old, 49-pound female German Shepherd mix who is available for adoption from Peach County Animal Rescue in Marshallville, GA.

Gidget is a fluffy girl that came to us by way of animal control. She and her brother Jaxx were found as strays. Gidget is terrified of new situations and needs time to settle into her surroundings. She is shy by nature and her response to new stimuli is to try to escape it. Based on this, we really do believe that she and her brother had to run to survive prior to coming to us. They are warriors. Gidget needs a family or individual that will love her for who she is and allow her to adjust to life as a treasured member of the family on her own terms.

Bella is an 8-year old, 12-pound female Chihuahua and Rat Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Peach County Animal Rescue in Marshallville, GA.

Bella is a sweetheart that loves car rides and gets extremely excited for a harness and leash. She is quite sure of herself, but gets along with dogs of all sizes, female or male. She likes to play with the shelter’s resident dachshund when she is in the mood and enjoys the challenge of the tussle with toys with him. She loves to be picked up and cuddled, and her favorite position is to put her head under your chin.

Noah is a 3-year old, 33-pound female mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from Peach County Animal Rescue in Marshallville, GA.

Noah is a petite little girl who came to us as an unclaimed stray. She had taken up under a trailer and had puppies. The puppies have since found homes and now it’s sweet girl Noah’s turn! Noah would very much love to have another, chill, dog family member to play with. She is a great girl that can either party or chill with you on the couch. As long as she’s around friends, she’s good for anything! Noah has a mellow, calm personality and she has come to expect love and kindness from humans instead of harshness.

10
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 10, 2022

On August 10, 1774, a group calling itself the “Sons of Liberty” met at Tondee’s Tavern in Savannah, the first move in Georgia toward what would become the Revolutionary War. The Sons of Liberty adopted eight resolutions, among those one that reads,

Resolved, nemine contradicente, That we apprehend the Parliament of Great Britain hath not, nor ever had, any right to tax his Majesty’s American subjects; for it is evident beyond contradiction, the constitution admits of no taxation without representation; that they are coeval and inseparable; and every demand for the support of government should be by requisition made to the several houses of representatives.

Resolved, nemine contradicente, That we concur with our sister colonies in every constitutional measure to obtain redress of American grievances, and will by every lawful means in our power, maintain those inestimable blessings for which we are indebted to God and the Constitution of our country–a Constitution founded upon reason and justice, and the indelible rights of mankind.

The first copy in Georgia of the Declaration of Independence was read publicly in Savannah on August 10, 1776.

On August 10, 1787, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completed “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.”

Missouri was admitted as the 24th State, and the first entirely west of the Mississippi River, on August 10, 1821.

On August 10, 1864, the bombardment of Atlanta by Union force continued, with Sherman writing, “Let us destroy Atlanta and make it a desolation.”

The first Georgia state Motor Fuel Tax was enacted on August 10, 1921, when Governor Thomas Hardwick signed legislation imposing a one-cent per gallon tax.

Japan accepted unconditional surrender on August 10, 1945, one day after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki.

Red Dawn, the first movie rated PG-13 was released on August 10, 1984.

Wolverines!

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Former President Donald Trump said, “We’ll be looking at everything,” in response to being asked whether he’d support Brian Kemp over Democrat Stacey Abrams.Continue Reading..

9
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 9, 2022

The Perry Animal Shelter is at capacity, according to 13WMAZ.

It started with a Facebook post — the Friends of Perry Animal Shelter urging owners and rescuers to claim their pets or lose them entirely.

“Just really was trying to get other rescues to realize this to step up and help to pull when were unable to and/or make the owners more motivated,” Lynne Gibbs said.

Gibbs says their shelter and the city’s animal control have a partnership. Because the city’s animal control doesn’t allow for outside adoptions, an animals only way out is through rescuers and owners.

“I think that the City of Perry needs to step up and have their own avenue for animals to get out other than rescue pull and owner reclaim for the ‘just in case’ backup that we get in the situation that we’re in right now,” she said.

As of July 2022, Perry’s animal control has taken in 124 dogs and 178 cats this year.

Lee Gilmour, the city manager, says council will meet in an effort to address overcrowding. “What we’re doing is we’re going back to council and advising the partners are not able to take any animals at this time and get some determination from council about which way they want to go,” Gilmour said.

Jasper is a four-year old, 101-pound adult male mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from Friends of Perry Animal Shelter in Perry, GA.

Big Red is an three-year old, 64-pound adult male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Friends of Perry Animal Shelter in Perry, GA.

Brody is a young male Pointer mix dog who is available for adoption from Friends of Perry Animal Shelter in Perry, GA. The shelter says Brody would be good in a home with other dogs, cats, children.

9
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 9, 2022

Herman E. Talmadge was born on August 9, 1913, son of Eugene Talmadge, who later served as Governor. Herman Talmadge himself served as Governor and United States Senator from Georgia.

On August 9, 1974, Gerald Ford was sworn in as President of the United States after the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

Ford, the first president who came to the office through appointment rather than election, had replaced Spiro Agnew as vice president only eight months before. In a political scandal independent of the Nixon administration’s wrongdoings in the Watergate affair, Agnew had been forced to resign in disgrace after he was charged with income tax evasion and political corruption.

In September 1974, Ford pardoned Nixon for any crimes he may have committed while in office, explaining that he wanted to end the national divisions created by the Watergate scandal.

On August 9, 1988, President Ronald Reagan announced his nomination of Dr. Lauro Cavazos as Secretary of Education, succeeding William Bennett. Cavazos was the first Hispanic to serve in a Presidential Cabinet position. Interestingly, he was born on the King Ranch.

On August 9, 1990, voters in the City of Athens and Clarke County chose to unify the two governments into Athens-Clarke County government.

On August 9, 1995, Jerry Garcia died of a heart attack while at a residential drug treatment facility. I remember where I was when I heard.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney heard arguments in a lawsuit claiming the “Heartbeat bill” violates the state Constitution, according to CBS46 via WTVM.Continue Reading..