The blog.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 12, 2018

Kenny Monticello

Kenny is a young male Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Atlanta Canine Adoption Project in Monticello, GA.

Timmy Monticello

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

Bam Bam Monticello

Bam Bam is a young male American Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Atlanta Canine Adoption Project in Monticello, GA. Bam Bam had one rear leg amputated, but he’s already learned to run up stairs.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 12, 2018

Pennsylvania became the second state to ratify the Constitution on December 12, 1787.

Guglielmo Marconi completed the first transatlantic radio transmission from Cornwall, England to Newfoundland on December 12, 1901.

Jimmy Carter announced he would run for President of the United States on December 12, 1974.

Dickey Betts, guitarist for the Allman Brothers Band, was born on December 12, 1943.

The United States Supreme Court released its decision in Bush v. Gore on December 12, 2000, stopping manual recounts of contested ballots in Florida.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor-elect Brian Kemp addressed state legislators yesterday at the Biennial Institute in Athens, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

Governor-elect Brian Kemp called for unity and outlined some of his legislative agenda in his first major speech since winning the close gubernatorial election over Democrat Stacey Abrams last month.

“But the campaign is over and it’s time to put politics behind us,” he said. “It’s time to shed the labels and work together as Georgians. It’s time to stand up for our communities, and our values, and our people.”

Kemp was the final speaker at the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government’s three-day Biennial Institute for Georgia Legislators, held in election years just after elections for state offices and just before the newly elected state Legislature convenes in January.

Kemp praised the track records of his Republican predecessors in the governor’s mansion, Sonny Perdue and Nathan Deal, and also outlined what some of his first legislative goals will be. He noted recent accomplishments of the Legislature and outgoing Deal, including a public education system now “fully funded” and the addition of 800,000 jobs during Deal’s two terms.

“Governor Deal transformed the criminal justice system, reducing costs, strengthening families, and keeping our communities safe,” Kemp said, indicating he will build on those reforms.

“My plan for Georgia’s future begins with our economy and continued job growth,” Kemp said. “As a small business guy I know the impact that taxes, regulation and government red tape can have on investment, expansion and hiring. That’s why on day one I will create the Georgians First Committee, led by business leaders, not bureaucrats, to identify things that frustrate our small business owners.”

“Let’s raise the rural hospital tax credit, tackle the rural doctor shortage, improve teacher retention through pay raises, and champion an early learning initiative that improves outcomes for Georgia students,” he said. “Let’s use innovation to lower health care costs, insurance premiums and prescription drug prices, while improving access to quality health care.”

From Jill Nolin with CNHI:

“The rising tide in Atlanta, Augusta and Savannah has not lifted our rural communities. Some continue to struggle and in some areas it feels like they’re still in the Great Recession,” he said.

“We know that mental health is the root of school violence. Let’s address this before the tragedy strikes,” Kemp said. “Our classrooms are for raising the next generation of Georgia leaders, not a hunting ground for school shooters.”

Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, D-Stone Mountain, said he was encouraged by the focus on teacher pay, but said the $5,000 salary bumps that Kemp proposed during his campaign isn’t enough.

Likewise, Henson said expanding the rural hospital tax credit, which enables eligible hospitals to raise up to $4 million a year in donations, fails to address the high number of uninsured and under insured patients straining these hospitals. He said talk of a Medicaid waiver might progress with Kemp.

From the AJC:

In the speech, Kemp didn’t announce a departure from his stance on issues such as his vow to expand gun rights and pledge to sign a “religious liberty” measure. But he sought to take a more conciliatory approach to the lawmakers he’ll need to pass his agenda.

He repeated previous campaign promises, such as an increase in teacher pay and a boost in rural hospital tax credits. And he outlined a new group, dubbed the Georgians First Committee, that will hash out ways to reduce regulations and boost small businesses.

State House Speaker David Ralston also discussed his priorities, according to the AJC.

House members, led by Ralston, had already laid out their own agenda. Last week, finishing up two years of work, the House Rural Development Council offered up a package of legislation intended to help rescue a rural Georgia bereft of jobs, health care, and – increasingly – young people.

It proposes a rewriting of Georgia’s “certificate of need” process, through which the state regulates the construction of hospitals and the services they offer. House members also proposed lowering – but also broadening – a tax on communication services, so that it includes services like satellite TV and livestreaming purchases. Think Netflix and Hulu.

That cash would be used to extend high-speed service to Georgia’s broadband deserts.

Other initiatives: Tax credits would be extended to employers who create jobs five and 10 at a time, rather than 50. Farm-based wineries would be able to sell as much as 24,000 gallons of their product without running afoul of Georgia’s arcane alcohol laws.

Insider: How does “certificate of need” fit into rural development?

Ralston: Anything that breaks down the barriers to access to quality health care in rural Georgia, or creates barriers, I think is fair game. And there’s a feeling by many that we couldn’t talk about the whole issue of rural hospitals and ignore that issue. So I think it has to be part of the discussion.

Insider: I didn’t see any reference to Medicaid waivers. (Note: Democrats speak of expanding Medicaid coverage for those who can’t afford health insurance. Some red states have pursued separate deals with the federal government, allowing them more control over how the money is spent, under the name of “waivers.”)

Ralston: There’s some discussion out there. I think Governor-elect Kemp talked about that in the campaign. I’m willing to have a discussion about that. I just don’t think we can fix our health care system on the promises of the federal government. That’s been my concern with Medicaid expansion. Waivers are a different kind of thing.

Whitfield County legislative delegation members want to know public opinion before deciding whether to support changing term limits for county commissioners, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

State Rep. Kasey Carpenter, R-Dalton, said he would “have a struggle” with supporting local legislation to abolish term limits on commissioners since it wasn’t supported by all board members.

“I’ll take a look at it, but it has been the precedent, well before I came to the Legislature, that a request for local legislation be unanimous,” he said.

“Most of the calls I’ve been getting have been against changing term limits,” he said. “If there are people who support removing term limits, I want to hear from them and find out what their reasons are.”

State Sen. Chuck Payne, R-Dalton, said he wants commissioners to place a question on an election ballot asking if voters support removing term limits before he decides whether he could support a law ending those term limits

“Because it isn’t a unanimous vote, before we take legislation down there, we need to make sure this is what the community wants. If the people want to do away with term limits for county commissioners, I’ll be happy to introduce that bill,” he said.

Payne said he wants to make sure he’s acting in the interests of the majority and not a few.

Brad Freeman will be sworn-in as Sheriff of Monroe County on Thursday, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and District 5 Council member Mike Baker attended their last meeting of city council, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Tomlinson, 53, is wrapping up almost eight years as the 69th mayor of Columbus while Baker, 61, has served his district for three terms, nearly 12 years. Both were presented a real clock from the 10-member council and separate resolutions thanking them for their service to a government with a $275.3 million budget.

The mayor, an attorney, is set to join the law office of Hall Booth Smith P.C., after leaving early next month while also looking at pursuing a higher political office.

One of her biggest defeats as mayor was a vote to “Thaw the Freeze” on property taxes, which failed by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin in November 2016. The same proposal failed by an even larger margin in a previous referendum.

“We were not able to overcome the tax system, which is very controversial in this community, the property tax freeze,” the mayor said. “I know this. We made up 20 points in favor of doing something in adopting another system. I also know that young people cannot and will not tolerate the current tax system we have. They, from a generational perspective, understand the strain it puts on our growth and prosperity.”

The Glynn County Board of Elections fired Elections and Registration Supervisor Monica Couch, according to The Brunswick News.

Assistant supervisor Chris Channell will serve as interim supervisor while the board searches for a permanent replacement. Chairwoman Patricia Gibson had no comment on the decision to fire Couch when reached by phone Tuesday afternoon. She did say the board had been in touch with human resources to start the process of posting the job and hiring a new supervisor.

Before going into executive session, the board discussed, among other things, two temporary employees who will be responsible for scanning physical voter registration cards into a physical database.

Jim Sells was sworn-in to the Grantville City Council, representing District 1, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

Last month, Councilman Willie Kee resigned from his council post and requested the city council appoint Sells, who won the council seat by one vote, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s website. City Manager Al Grieshaber said the council will decide whether or not to appoint Sells at its Dec. 17 meeting. The swearing in was the only order of business that could be completed because of the lack of a quorum.

Environmental groups filed a federal lawsuit in Charleston, SC, challenging plans for seismic testing off the east coast, according to The Brunswick News.

Alice Keyes, vice president for One Hundred Miles, said one of the reasons OHM is part of the suit is because they “believe our federal government is unlawfully and unjustifiably threatening marine species and taking it one step closer to offshore drilling. This is an industrial development that will transform Georgia’s working waterfront, our beaches and our pristine marshes.”

She said seismic testing poses a danger to the entire food chain, but especially to North Atlantic right whales. Keyes referenced a letter signed by 28 right whale experts and sent to the Obama administration in 2016 that suggested seismic testing off the Atlantic coast could provide a tipping point to the right whales’ path toward extinction.

The CDC confirmed a fourth case of acute flaccid myelitis in Georgia, according to Georgia Health News.

The Georgia Department of Public Health did not give identifying information about the fourth patient with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), but said Monday that the person is a child.

There is no known single cause of AFM, whose symptoms include weakness in the arms or legs, and sometimes paralysis.

The condition affects the nervous system, specifically the area of the spinal cord called gray matter. It causes the muscles and reflexes in the body to become weak or even paralyzed. Cases of acute flaccid myelitis are characterized by a sudden onset of arm or leg weakness and loss of muscle tone and reflexes.

Acute flaccid myelitis’s symptoms are likened to those caused by polio, which was once a major public health threat in the United States. But polio was eradicated in this country thanks to the polio vaccine, and the CDC recently emphasized that none of the children who developed AFM symptoms had the polio virus.

Navicent Health moved closer to a merger with South Carolina-based Atrium Health, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The Navicent Health Board of Directors and the Atrium Health Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the strategic combination Tuesday. The Georgia Attorney General’s Office has already authorized the proposed deal, which the two parties will finalize over the next several weeks.

“We believe this strategic combination between Atrium Health and Navicent Health will have a significant and positive impact on the communities we are privileged to serve, and we look forward to expanding access to quality healthcare while reducing disparities,” the health care systems wrote in a joint statement Tuesday.

“By working together, Atrium Health and Navicent Health can implement innovative treatment models like virtual care and telepsychiatry throughout central and south Georgia, creating the next generation of healthcare that is better for all we serve.”

Georgia Power is accepting proposals for up to 540 megawatts of renewable energy, according to the AJC.

The purchases, through Georgia Power’s Renewable Energy Development Initiative (REDI), will be the final action to fulfill a 2016 deal approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission to provide 1,200 megawatts of renewable energy through multiple projects.

The company, the largest electric provider in the state serving more than 2.5 million customers, will be receiving proposals from interested companies until noon January 15, 2019.

“We are eager to receive, review and select projects from this RFP that will provide significant long-term value,” said Mallard.

The company, which currently has 976 megawatts of solar power online, expects to grow its renewable resources by an additional 1,600 megawatts by 2021.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 11, 2018

Starla Athens

Starla is a 2-4 month old, 28-pound, young female mixed breed puppy who is available for adoption from Athenspets in Athens, GA.

Starla is an adorable little hunk o’ love! She looks so serious in her pictures, but that’s only because she was concentrating on earning a treat and doing her best to please me and stay. MOST of the time, she was running to me to be loved on or bouncing with joy. You’ll just have to come see her smile in person! Starla is soft and sweet and would love to give you kisses all day. She can be shy about leaving the back of her kennel (it’s such a noisy place!), but if you go inside, talk sweetly, and maybe even offer her a treat, she’ll come running out wagging her tail. Believe me, you’ll fall in love with Starla!

Patty Athens

Patty is a 4-6 month old, 22-pound female puppy who is available for adoption from Athenspets in Athens, GA.

Patty is a happy, bouncy pup. She’s not shy in the least and loves everyone. She likes to run and play with other dogs at the fence but call her to you and she’s there in seconds ready for pets and hugs. One way to get Patty to put the brakes on is to hold up a treat. You’ve got her attention now, and she’ll even sit for them. Patty is filled with joy and love and can’t wait to share both with a new family!

Peaches Athens

Peaches is a young female, 52-pound mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from Athenspets in Athens, GA.

Thanks to a grant from the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s license plate program, Peaches is spayed and up-to-date on her basic vaccinations!

Peaches never meets a stranger! She had just been surrendered but was thrilled to meet a new friend. She’s a happy, energetic dog who loves to run and have fun. She’d chase stuffed toys and toss them around and them come to me for pets and treats. She hasn’t been taught to sit, but she’s treat motivated and can learn. If you enjoy an active lifestyle and are looking for a companion to keep up with you, Peaches is your girl!


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 11, 2018

On December 11, 1777, during their movement to Valley Forge for the winter, Washington’s colonial forces engaged British troops under General Cornwallis as the Americans were crossing the Schuylkill River.

Indiana became the 19th State on December 11, 1816.

Governor Charles McDonald signed legislation on December 11, 1841 to prevent a person from having his or her testimony excluded in court because of the individual’s religious beliefs.

The first use of nitrous oxide as a dental anesthetic took place on December 11, 1844.

On December 11, 1872, Pinckney Benton Stewart Pinchback took office in Louisiana as the first black Governor in the United States.

A memorial service for Jefferson Davis, former President of the Confederate States of America, was held in the Georgia State Capitol on December 11, 1889 while his funeral was that day in New Orleans.

On December 11, 1941, Germany declared war on the United States.

On December 11, 1960, a civil rights demonstration including 8000 African-American citizens was held in Atlanta as part of the movement to boycott stores that remained segregated.

The Libertarian Party was founded on December 11, 1971 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal announced yesterday that state government offices will delay opening today.

Acting on the latest forecast from the National Weather Service, Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that state government will delay opening until 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11. The National Weather Service has warned that counties basically north of I-20 may have black ice on roads as temperatures drop below freezing overnight.

“Out of an abundance of caution and following the latest update from the National Weather Service, state government will delay opening for non-essential personnel until 10 a.m. tomorrow,” said Deal. “Our top priorities are to ensure the safety of Georgians and to allow the Georgia Department of Transportation to keep our roads as safe as possible. I encourage those in affected areas to remain off of the roads early tomorrow morning. We will continue monitoring the weather and will provide updates as necessary.”

Gwinnett County government offices will also delay opening, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gwinnett schools and colleges, trials and hearings in the county and state government offices will operate on a two-hour delay on Tuesday out of concerns that potential black ice may form overnight on roads in north Georgia.

County spokesman Joe Sorenson said trials and hearings in the county will be delayed until 10 a.m. as well.

Meanwhile, Buford City Schools and Gwinnett County Public Schools announced their schools will also open two hours later than usual.

“Morning buses will run two hours later than the regularly scheduled pick-up time,” Gwinnett schools spokeswoman Sloan Roach said. “This means if your bus usually comes at 6:30 a.m. it will be at the stop at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow. All schools will end and release at their normally scheduled time.

“All after school and evening activities on Tuesday will be held as scheduled,” she added.

Some of Gwinnett’s cities have already announced morning delays or cancellations. Officials in Duluth and Loganville announced Monday night that they will delay opening their respective city offices until 10 a.m., and Suwanee announced its 9 a.m. municipal court session has been cancelled. Cases scheduled for that session will be rescheduled for Jan. 22, according to announcement the city’s Facebook page.

Governor-elect Brian Kemp and Lieutenant Governor-elect Geoff Duncan will address the Biennial Institute in Athens today. From the AJC:

The Republican is set to address lawmakers Tuesday at the legislative biennial in Athens, and he’s likely to strike a vastly different tone than he did during the divisive race against Democrat Stacey Abrams.

Kemp’s allies say he won’t depart from his stance on key policy debates, from guns to “religious liberty,” but that he’ll signal a more conciliatory approach to the lawmakers he’ll need to corral to pass his agenda.

Several Democratic lawmakers have pledged to boycott the event, saying they won’t forget his “hateful” rhetoric during the campaign and don’t want to lend legitimacy to him by attending his first address.

United States Senator David Perdue spoke to the Golden Isles Republican Women on Monday, according to The Brunswick News.

Lunch attendees asked him a number of questions, including about the recently-announced closure of four U.S. General Motors manufacturing plants.

He referenced investments the U.S. government made in car manufacturers from in 2008 to 2010. Bailing out the automakers just prolonged the inevitable, he said.

“I know what those factories looked like in the 1970s when every small town in South Georgia had an operator plant that had 200 operators in it … We don’t have those anymore. I don’t know how to bring those back, frankly, when you’re dealing with $3 an hour labor in China,” Perdue said.

One member of the Republican women asked him if a border wall along America’s border with Mexico has a chance of receiving funding before Christmas.

Perdue said around $1.6 billion for the project is included in one of the final U.S. Senate appropriations bills of the year, but that he wasn’t sure it would get the votes necessary to pass.

Whitfield County Board of Commission Chairman Lynn Laughter was surprised by a move to remove term limits for county commissioners, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

In a move that Whitfield County Board of Commission Chairman Lynn Laughter said “completely blindsided” her, the other four members of the commission voted Monday night to ask local state legislators to remove term limits on county commissioners.

Local resident Ed Painter presented a plan to the board in November to allow a commissioner on the board to run for a fourth term in office if that fourth term would be served as the commission chairman. Commissioners currently can serve only three consecutive, full four-year terms.

But at Monday’s meeting, Painter recommended the board do away with term limits completely.

Commissioners are term-limited by state law, which was put in place in 1993. Only the Legislature can change that state law, and Monday’s vote is only asking local legislators to propose new legislation in the upcoming session.

Lowndes County Board of Elections meets today at 4:30 PM, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Buford City Schools is searching for a new superintendent, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The Gainesville Times looks at when changes in brunch service laws will go into effect.

Oakwood City Council tweaked its alcohol ordinance Monday night to reflect voters’ Nov. 6 OK of earlier Sunday alcohol sales at restaurants.

Voters in Hall County, Gainesville, Flowery Branch and Oakwood approved allowing sales to begin at 11 a.m. instead of 12:30 p.m.

Moving forward, the cities and county “are looking at the implementation date” of Feb. 3, City Manager Stan Brown told the council at its Dec. 10 meeting.

“We’re just trying to eliminate confusion between different jurisdictions,” he said.

The Augusta Commission will consider appointing an interim District 5 commissioner, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Last week, three commissioners’ nominations for an interim commissioner to replace Andrew Jefferson, who died Nov. 4, each failed to garner six supporting votes. The interim will serve until a March special election but would appear on the ballot as the incumbent if he or she chooses to run.


Floyd County Commissioners meet today to discuss the county budget, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Floyd County Commissioners will hold a public hearing this morning on the proposed 2019 operating and capital projects budgets.

The board also is expected to elect the chair and vice chair for the coming year.

Commissioners are scheduled to caucus at 9 a.m. and start their regular meeting at 10 a.m. in the County Administration Building, 12 E. Fourth Ave. Both sessions are open.

The board normally meets at 6 p.m. but moved today’s meeting to the morning when it looked like the Rome Wolves would be playing in the GHSA state football championship in Atlanta. The Wolves lost in the semi-finals, but it was too late to change the public notice time.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 10, 2018

Mabel ACR

Mabel is a female Labrador Retriever & Siberian Husky puppy who is available for adoption from Athens Canine Rescue in Athens, GA.

Mabel is a 4 month old lab-husky mix puppy who we think will top out at around 50 pounds once she’s full grown. Mabel didn’t have the best start to life, so she’s currently learning how to be a puppy!

Mabel is nearly potty trained! She knows that outside is where she should go potty, but sometimes her bladder just can’t hold it any more! But, Mabel tries really hard to wait until she’s outside to do her business. Mabel is also crate trained! Foster Mom said that Mabel picked up on crate training very quickly – Mabel is a fast learner! Mabel will go into her kennel on command, and will lay quietly in there until Foster Mom comes home.

Mabel is still a little shy around other dogs, but she is willing to approach them to see if they want to be friends! Mabel currently lives with other ACR adoptables and Foster Mom’s own dogs, and has started trying to play with them. We think that once she’s older she will be a good dog park dog as long as her confidence keeps going up! As far as feline friends go, Mabel met one at the vet’s office, and didn’t really react to it. Mabel is shy with new human friends, too, but quickly warms up once she realizes that they just want to give her some love!

Mabel is a puppy, so she has a lot of puppy energy. She loves to play around the house and chew on some toys, and then takes a nice nap. One of her favorite ways to get energy out is practicing her puppy paws – she prances towards objects and taps them with her paws to make sure they’re safe/good to play with or investigate! Once she’s done exploring, she’ll climb up on the couch and cuddle next to Foster Mom. But, she can self-entertain with a toy if Foster Mom is busy.

Chancey ACR

Chancey is a female American Bulldog & Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Athens Canine Rescue in Athens, GA.

Chancey is a sweet 6-month old American Bulldog puppy. Chancey currently weighs ~50 pounds, and will probably top out at around 60-70 pounds.

Chancey has graduated from Potty Training 101 with gold stars, and is officially potty trained! Chancey also does great in her crate. She keeps her crate clean when she’s in it, and will go in with a little food encouragement. Once inside, Chancey will lay down and go to sleep – you won’t hear a peep out of her. Foster Mom has been working with Chancey on learning new commands, and now knows “”sit” and “stay.” Chancey also has good house manners, and only chews on her toys instead of other objects in the house!

Chancey is good with kids! She has been around kids aged 6-13 years old, and just wanted to play with them. She also does well with other dogs, and Foster Mom told us that Chancey gets along great with her older dogs. Since Chancey is still a puppy she can get a little rowdy with them sometimes; but, she has learned dog code for, “I don’t want to play” and backs off once she gets that message! We think she’d have a great time at the dog park, as she loves meeting new dogs and playing with them.

Chancey would be happiest with a family that’s willing to work with her to get some of her puppy energy out. She loves walks around the blocks, wrestling sessions with doggie-friends, and exploring the outdoors in rainy weather. After a walk or play session, Chancey is ready to snuggle up next to Foster Mom and take a snooze. She loves to be loved on, but understands that you might have other thing to do than snuggle with her. There’s only one thing Chancey loves more than snuggling with her family: her tennis ball. Chancey almost always has a ball, and will even sleep with it!

Emily ACR

Emily is a female Dalmatian & Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from Athens Canine Rescue in Athens, GA.

Emily is an adorable 8 month old dalmatian x boxer mix. She currently weighs around 40 pounds, and we think she’ll top out around 50-60 pounds. Earlier this year Emily hurt her tail from wagging it too much, but we are glad to say that she has recovered from her case of Happy Tail!.

Emily has almost mastered potty training! Emily doesn’t have a consistent potty signal just yet, but knows to wait until Foster Mom lets her go outside to do her business. She as also completely mastered crate training! She will walk right in on command and settles in quickly without whining. Emily has also mastered going to the dog park – you can often find her there playing with anyone who is willing, or running around playing a game of chase with the dogs there.

Emily is great with familiar and unfamiliar folks! While at a recent ACR outreach event, she was friendly as can be with college kids, adults, and even those in electric wheelchairs! As far as dogs go, she loves them – especially dogs that love to roughhouse! Her eagerness to roughhouse can overwhelm some dogs, but Emily is working on learning which dogs to play rough with and which dogs to tone it down with. As far as energy goes, Emily has a lot of it. Since she is a puppy, she is full of puppy energy. She would do well with an active family who is able to take her on walks, trips to the dog park, or play with her throughout the day!

When Emily isn’t running outside or trying to find her next adventure, you can catch her trying to get some cuddles with Foster Mom. She loves attention and snuggling, but understands that she can’t get attention 24/7.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 10, 2018

Solomon’s Masonic Lodge, the first in Georgia, was organized on December 10, 1735. Upon his return to the colony, James Oglethorpe would join the group.

Patriots captured liberated Virginia on December 9, 1775 as militias from Virginia and North Carolina defeated the redcoats at Great Bridge.

John Jay was elected President of the Continental Congress on December 10, 1778.

On December 7, 1801, Georgia’s United States Senator Abraham Baldwin was elected President Pro Tem of the Senate.

Emory College was incorporated on December 10, 1836, as Governor William Schley signed legislation chartering the school.

On December 10, 1850, a special convention met in Milledgeville to determine the state’s reaction to the Compromise of 1850, a series of five bills passed in Congress attempting to deal with issues between slave states and free states.

The [Georgia] platform established Georgia’s conditional acceptance of the Compromise of 1850. Much of the document followed a draft written by Charles Jones Jenkins and represented a collaboration between Georgia Whigs and moderate Democrats dedicated to preserving the Union. In effect, the proclamation accepted the measures of the compromise so long as the North complied with the Fugitive Slave Act and would no longer attempt to ban the expansion of slavery into new territories and states. Northern contempt for these conditions, the platform warned, would make secession inevitable.

This qualified endorsement of the Compromise of 1850 essentially undermined the movement for immediate secession throughout the South. Newspapers across the nation credited Georgia with saving the Union.

President Abraham Lincoln issued his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction on December 8, 1863.

First, it allowed for a full pardon for and restoration of property to all engaged in the rebellion with the exception of the highest Confederate officials and military leaders.

Second, it allowed for a new state government to be formed when 10 percent of the eligible voters had taken an oath of allegiance to the United States.

Third, the Southern states admitted in this fashion were encouraged to enact plans to deal with the freed slaves so long as their freedom was not compromised.

On December 9, 1867, a Constitutional Convention to draft a new state document convened in Atlanta. Among the 166 to 169 delegates elected to the Constitutional Convention were 33 or 37 African-American members – accounts vary.

The Atlanta City Council appointed the first Board of Education on December 10, 1869.

The Spanish-American War was ended on December 10, 1898, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

On December 8, 1899, Georgia Governor Allen Candler signed legislation to levy a tax on all dogs older than four months.

On December 7, 1941, Japanese carrier-launched planes attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The United States declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941. Montana Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin, the first female elected to the United States House of Representatives, cast the sole dissenting vote.

GeorgiaInfo has the reactions of Georgia leaders to the Pearl Harbor attack,

U.S. Sen. Walter F. George stated: “Japan’s deed is an act of desperation by a war-mad people. The attack on Hawaii is a deliberate act of the Japanese government. I am utterly amazed. It is unthinkable… . An open declaration of war will give us greater freedom of action.” Noting the vastness of the Pacific Ocean, George optimistically predicted that “it may take two or three years to fight this war to the end.”

U.S. Sen. Richard B. Russell responded to the attack by stating: “Japan has committed national hari-kari. I cannot conceive of any member of Congress voting against a declaration of war in view of the unpardonable, unprovoked attack on us. I am utterly astounded.”

U.S. Rep. Carl Vinson, chairman of the House Naval Affairs Committee, added: “Of course we will have to declare war. There is nothing else for Congress to do. This is a concerted action by the Axis Powers, but I am confident our Navy is ready and will render a glorious account of itself. It probably means we will be drawn into the world conflict on both oceans.”

Chief Boatswain’s Mate Joseph L. George was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star Medal with V device for valor for his actions aboard USS Vestal at Pearl Harbor.

George, a second class petty officer at the time, saved the lives of several sailors from the battleship USS Arizona. He survived the war and retired from the Navy in 1955 but passed away in 1996.

The Bronze Star Medal will be presented by Rear Adm. Matthew J. Carter, deputy commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, to George’s daughter, Joe Ann Taylor, today during a 4:30 p.m. (Hawaii-Aleutian time) ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor.

“The presentation of the medals is not only appropriate but simply the right thing to do,” Spencer said in a release sent out by the Navy. “One of my highest priorities is to honor the service and sacrifice of our sailors, Marines, civilians, and family members. It is clear that Lt. (Aloysious H.) Schmitt and Chief George are heroes whose service and sacrifice will stand as an example for current and future service members.”

In addition to George’s Bronze Star, the secretary also awarded the Silver Star Medal to Lt. j.g. Schmitt for action at Pearl Harbor while serving on the battleship USS Oklahoma.

The Augusta Chronicle profiles the last known Pearl Harbor veteran in the area.

[Alvin] Mays, an Army veteran, had been assigned to the 21st infantry, 24th Division, at Schofield Barracks when the attack occurred. He reflected Monday on the Japanese fighter planes that flew overhead, spraying those below with bullets, following the bombing of the U.S. naval base, located near Honolulu, Hawaii.

“I just had walked out of the mess hall that morning and heard all the bombing and everything sounding off at a distance,” Mays said . “Just minutes after that we began to see the planes flying over. They came in striking the 21st infantry at treetop level and lucky for us we did not have any casualties that morning.”

Mays, who served as a mechanic, was assigned to the base after enlisting in 1941. He was 18. Following the Pearl Harbor attack, Mays deployed to Australia, then to the Philippines where he fought on the front lines before being ordered back to the States.

“When I got to Hawaii, I didn’t take any basic training,” he said. “That was very unusual, but they were just motorizing their infantry at that time. I went straight into the motor pool and that’s where I stayed until MacArthur signed the treaty.”

From the Ledger-Enquirer on the role played by Georgia Congressman Carl Vinson in building the U.S. Navy before the attack at Pearl Harbor.

For nearly a decade before Pearl Harbor, Vinson had schemed and politicked in brilliant fashion to ensure that America was building a two-ocean navy larger than all the major navies of the world combined.

Vinson had assumed in the mid-1930s that fascist Japan and Germany posed existential threats to the United States. For America to survive, he saw that America would need mastery of the seas to transport its armies across the Pacific and Atlantic.

From 1934 to 1940, Vinson pushed through Congress four major naval appropriations bills. The result was that the U.S. Pacific Fleet which Japan thought it had almost destroyed in December 1941 was already slated to be replaced by a far larger and updated armada.

A little more than seven months after Pearl Harbor, the USS Essex — the finest carrier in the world — was launched. Essex was the first of 24 such state-of-the-art fleet carriers of its class to be built during the war.

Vinson’s various prewar naval construction bills also ensured the launching of hundreds of modern battleships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines. As bombs fell at Pearl Harbor, ships of the new American fleet were soon to be deployed, under construction or already authorized.

Vinson’s foresight would save thousands of American lives in the Atlantic and Pacific. American naval power quickly allowed the U.S. to fight a two-front war against Japan, Germany and Italy.

Vinson, a rural Georgian, was an unlikely advocate of global naval supremacy.

On December 7, 1946, the Winecoff Hotel in downtown Atlanta, previously considered fireproof, burned in the worst hotel fire to date.

Gregg Allman was born December 8, 1947 in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10, 1964 in Oslo, Norway, becoming the youngest recipient of the award.

John Lennon was shot and killed outside his apartment building in New York City on December 8, 1980.

Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10, 2002.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal announced that November tax revenues were down by .7 percent over last year.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 6, 2018

Lil Anne Monroe

Lil Anne is a female Redbone Coonhound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Save A Pet Inc in Forsyth, GA.

Lil Anne is an adorable little girl. Her estimated DOB is May 2018. She is a little shy but wants nothing more than to be cuddled. Her sweet puppy eyes will melt your heart!

Tink Monroe

Tink is a female Labrador Retriever and Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Save A Pet Inc in Forsyth, GA.

Malcolm Monroe

Malcolm is a young male Labrador Retriever and Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Save A Pet Inc in Forsyth, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 6, 2018

On December 6, 1847, Dr. William White spoke to a group of Atlanta residents about a proposal to move the state capital to Atlanta and was met with cheers.

The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on December 6, 1865, when Georgia ratified the Amendment outlawing slavery.

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

The Washington Monument was completed on December 6, 1884.

On December 6, 1932, the legislation repealing Prohibition was introduced by Senator John Blaine of Wisconsin. It was ratified on December 5, 1933. Georgia never took action on the Amendment.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal addressed the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce, according to the Albany Herald.

Tuesday night the Albany Area Chamber honored Deal and First Lady Sandra Deal for their steadfast leadership of Georgia during the chamber’s inaugural Governor’s Dinner.

It was only fitting that the governor touched upon Hurricane Michael in his opening remarks.

“As you all know, Dougherty County was included in the original state of emergency issued on Oct. 9 in response to Hurricane Michael. That state of emergency lasted until Nov. 21, though for some, the recovery process is ongoing,” Deal said. “A generation of planters, growers, and producers has been deeply impacted — perhaps more than at any other time in the last century. Within the agriculture and timber industries alone, more than $2.5 billion were lost, shorn away by the bitter winds and drowned by the thundering rains of the storm. That type of loss can take a generation to recuperate. These are the families who put food on our tables and shirts on our backs through the fruits of their hard labor.”

Deal reminded the crowd he had called for a special session of the General Assembly to provide relief funding and spur economic recovery for areas most heavily affected by Hurricane Michael.

“That special session ran from Nov. 13 through 17, and I signed legislation to amend the Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations Act and add $270 million in emergency funding for state agencies and local governments,” the governor said. “I also signed legislation to create a tax credit for taxpayers in southwest Georgia’s timber industry who incurred significant expenses as a result of the hurricane.”

“As I conclude, and as we head further into this Christmas season wherein we reflect on the blessings of this past year, the hopes for the coming year, and that which is closest to our hearts, I ask you to keep all of southwest Georgia in your prayers,” he said. “This will be a difficult Christmas for many Georgians, and we should choose this season, especially, to adhere to the Lord’s great command and love our neighbors as ourselves. In time, together, we will ensure those families see joyful Christmases once again.”

“Together, we will rebuild, replant and regrow the livelihood of an entire region. Together, we will make southwest Georgia, and all of our state not just whole again, but even greater than it already was before the storm.”

Lowndes County voters sided with the GOP candidate for Secretary of State, according to the Valdosta Daily News.

Brad Raffensperger, a state lawmaker from suburban Atlanta, defeated former Democratic congressman John Barrow to become Georgia’s top elections official, the office vacated by Gov.-elect Brian Kemp.

Statewide, Raffensperger took 756,083 votes, or 51.97 percent of the total, against Barrow’s 648,847 votes, or 48.03 percent of the total, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s website.

In Lowndes County, Raffensperger gained 6,313 votes, or 60.46 percent, against Barrow’s 4,128 votes, or 39.54 percent, said Deb Cox, county elections supervisor.

From the Savannah Morning News:

[Chatham County Board of Elections employee Russell] Bridges said absentee ballots had to be postmarked by today and reach the registrar’s office by Friday.

“We sent out 4,000,” Bridges said.

The Democratic Party of Georgia had sued Georgia’s Secretary of State stating absentee were not mailed to voters from over 60 counties until the last week of November. That left only seven days for voters to return the ballots.

From the Brunswick News:

More than 11,000 Glynn County residents showed up at the polls Tuesday to cast their ballots in the runoff election races.

The Glynn County Board of Elections office counted 11,129 votes cast, which is nearly 21 percent of the county’s registered voters.

About 3,780 ballots were cast in person during early voting, said Chris Channell, assistant supervisor of the local Board of Elections.

Absentee ballots are still trickling in to the local Board of Election office, Channell said, and will be accepted until Friday if postmarked for Dec. 4.

During early voting, which began Nov. 26 and wrapped up Nov. 30, board of elections officials counted 721 absentee ballots coming in.

From the Henry Herald:

Neither Raffensperger nor Eaton, however, carried Henry County, a county that went blue during this election.

Barrow carried Henry with 53.36 percent of the vote, or 18,652 votes as of Wednesday afternoon, while Miller carried the county with 54.08 percent of the vote, or 18,829 votes as of Wednesday.

The Secretary of State and Public Service Commission races were the only two races on Tuesday’s ballot, as all other races – including every Henry County-specific race — had been decided on Election Day.

Turnout for the Tuesday runoff surpassed turnout in recent general election runoffs. Henry County saw a turnout of 22.68 percent as of Wednesday afternoon.

“The turnout for the runoff was twice as many as the May 2016 general primary and more than the May 2018 general primary,” she said.

Lunsford said previous runoffs had turnouts ranging from 4 to 9 percent.

From the Augusta Chronicle:

John Barrow and Lindy Miller, the Democrats who came up short in Tuesday’s statewide runoffs, each conceded their losses Wednesday.

“It now appears that the number of uncounted absentee ballots is still greater than the margin of difference, but is so small that there is very little chance of their affecting the outcome,” Barrow said. “I have therefore extended my congratulations to Brad Raffensperger on his victory. He’ll be our secretary of state, and I wish him every success.”

Miller, the Democratic nominee for a Georgia Public Service Commission seat, admitted her runoff loss to incumbent Chuck Eaton on Wednesday but said her run had raised the profile of the commission, which regulates the state’s utilities, including the nearby ongoing expansion at Plant Vogtle.

“Almost 1.5 million Georgians came out to cast their ballots for this race for a third time. We saw unprecedented historic turnout for a runoff election,” Miller said.

Meanwhile, work continues at the two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The placement of a massive “ring” in a steel containment vessel and the last cooling pump for a new reactor are signs of continued progress on two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, a spokesman for Georgia Power Co. said. The site is already the state’s largest construction project at more than 7,000 workers but is continuing to hire, spokesman Jeff Wilson said.

“We continue to make significant progress there at the site,” Wilson said. “We are still on track for the commercial operation dates of November 2021 and November 2022″ for Units 3 and 4, respectively. He said collectively the two projects are now 71 percent complete.

“We’re adding hundreds of craft workers,” Wilson said. “Where we are in the project now, we need electricians, we need pipefitters and other various craft labor. We’re in the process of adding additional craft labor now and into the future. That process continues.”

A Special Election to succeed the late State Rep. John Meadows (R-Calhoun) has attracted four candidates, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

Four Gordon County residents, including one who narrowly lost a bid to unseat Chuck Payne in the Georgia Senate District 54 Republican primary earlier this year, qualified Wednesday for the state House of Representatives seat left vacant after the death of Rep. John Meadows.

The special election for the District 5 seat is Jan. 8, 2019. A runoff, necessary if no one receives more than 50 percent of the vote, would be Feb. 5. District 5 comprises parts of Gordon and Murray counties.

Matt Barton, Larry Massey Jr., Scott Tidwell and Jesse Vaughn qualified with the Secretary of State’s office for the seat Meadows held since 2004. Meadows, the chairman of the House Rules Committee, died of stomach cancer in November. He was 74.

All four candidates are registered as Republican. Qualifying began Wednesday and continues today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Secretary of State’s office in Atlanta. The qualifying fee is $400.

Macon-Bibb County revised its alcohol ordinance, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Macon liquor stores will be able to stay open later after an extensive update to the county’s alcohol ordinance was approved Tuesday.

The extended hours were added to the code in response to some of the increased costs for alcohol licensing fees some business owners will pay. Macon restaurant and bar patrons, however, will not have a slightly higher bill because a new tax on liquor was removed from the measure.

Commissioner Virgil Watkins, who sponsored the updated ordinance, said the new fees will bring Macon closer to the state average, and more revenue will help bring more resources to a struggling business license department, he said.

An initial proposal to charge a 3 percent tax on liquor sold for on-site consumption was removed from the measure. (The tax would not have impacted beer or wine sales).

Brad Freeman was elected Sheriff of Monroe County in the runoff election on Tuesday, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Brad Freeman beat Lawson Bittick on Tuesday to become the next sheriff of Monroe County.

With all precincts counted, Freeman had 4,016 votes, or 56 percent, to 3,101 votes, or 44 percent, for Bittick. The turnout was 39 percent.

Bittick, a lieutenant in the sheriff’s office, was bidding to follow in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather to serve as Monroe sheriff. Freeman, a captain in the sheriff’s office, worked for 32 years under Bittick’s father, who resigned earlier this year to become U.S. marshal for the Middle District of Georgia.

During the runoff campaign, Bittick, 30, advocated for increasing the investigation division of the sheriff office while Freeman, 54, put more emphasis on increasing patrols.

In the general election held Nov. 6, Bittick was the top vote getter in the 6-way race with 3,937 votes, or 31 percent. Freeman was second with 2,974 votes, or 24 percent.

With it being a special election to fill an unexpired term, Freeman will take office as soon as the election is certified and he is sworn in. He would then be up for election again in two years.

The City of Hahira is considering hiring consultants to help prioritize projects to be funded under the next Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Statesboro adopted a new marijuana policy that will prevent the jailing of people accused of possessing small amounts, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Effective Jan. 1, misdemeanor marijuana possession in Statesboro will be punishable by at most a $500 fine or equivalent community service, with no jail time, when prosecuted in the Statesboro Municipal Court.

Under state law, which will still apply in Bulloch County State Court and Superior Court, the penalty for possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana is a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.

City Council enacted the new ordinance by a 5-0 vote Tuesday morning, after hearing from speakers on both sides of the issue. Mayor Jonathan McCollar and the council also heard Chief of Police Mike Broadhead express concern that, if the Statesboro Police Department is directed to cite only under the city ordinance, this will excessively restrict officer discretion. His “show and tell,” involving bags of actual marijuana, suggested that there are cases where less than an ounce represents something other than possession for one’s own use.

A preamble to the ordinance states that it is not City Council’s intent to “legalize or otherwise decriminalize.”

Councilman Sam Lee Jones, when he initiated City Council’s discussion of marijuana in June, referred to decriminalization at first. But the discussion even then turned to a “cite and release” approach, and Broadhead expressed support for this as a means to free up officer time for other police work. The previous approach requires booking misdemeanor possession suspects into the county jail.

The goal that Jones and other council members have invoked most often for creating a cite-and-release ordinance is giving young offenders a second chance without creating a record in the state’s court system.

Leesburg City Council Member Debra Long resigned her seat, according to the Albany Herald.

The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services is rolling out a new “panic button” for their field staff, according to the Gainesville Times.

On Monday, the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services went live with a phased rollout of a new security system by distributing to child-welfare investigators and case managers “panic buttons” that connect to the Click Safe mobile phone application.

“These professionals must go wherever necessary to safeguard children,” Tom Rawlings, interim DFCS director, said in a press release. “They can’t choose the places or situations they enter.”

When pressed, the button on a key fob transmits a signal via Bluetooth to a phone app on the worker’s state-issued mobile device. The phone then silently notifies the agency’s call center where a trained operator contacts the nearest 911 center with details on the alarm, a description of the employee, the location and a request to rush law enforcement officers to the scene.

The system operates silently and out of sight to keep from alerting anyone threatening a case worker that law enforcement is responding, which could make a tense situation even more dangerous.

Engineers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute developed the system at the request of Gov. Nathan Deal.

Three new Henry County Magistrate Judges were sworn in, according to the Henry Herald.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for December 5, 2018

Joey Dirt Road

Joey is a young male Pit Bull Terrier & Australian Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from Dirt Road Doggies Rescue, INC in Gillsville, GA.

Phoebe Dirt Road

Phoebe is a young female Pit Bull Terrier & Australian Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from Dirt Road Doggies Rescue, INC in Gillsville, GA.

Rachel Dirt Road

Rachel is a young female Pit Bull Terrier & Australian Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from Dirt Road Doggies Rescue, INC in Gillsville, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for December 5, 2018

On December 5, 1887, Georgia voters approved a new State Constitution and voted to keep the state capital in Atlanta instead of moving it back to Milledgeville.

On December 5, 1933, Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment, repealing the 18th Amendment and ending prohibition. Earlier that day, Pennsylvania and Ohio had ratified the Amendment.

On December 5, 2000, the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou was released.

On December 5, 2006, Republican Chuck Eaton won the General Election Runoff for Public Service Commission District 3, beating incumbent Democrat David Burgess. Total votes cast: 215,092.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Runoff results 12052018

Last night, Chuck Eaton was re-elected to the Georgia Public Service Commission with more than 1.4 million votes cast in the Runoff Election, making him the only Georgia politician to win two statewide General Election Runoffs.

In the court-ordered redo of House District 28′s Republican Primary, the results are too close to call, with 3 votes separating leader and challenger Chris Erwin from incumbent Dan Gasaway.

HD 28 Redo Results

From the AJC:

The repeat election between state Rep. Dan Gasaway and challenger Chris Erwin was ordered by a judge because dozens of voters received ballots for the wrong districts in the original May 22 Republican Party primary election.

Erwin led Gasaway after all Election Day votes were reported, but provisional and overseas ballots were still pending. It’s unclear how many of those ballots were outstanding. They could still be counted if they’re received by election officials by Friday.

House District 28 covers all of Banks and Stephens counties, as well as about half of Habersham County.