The blog.

15
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 15, 2018

Dolly 7159

Dolly 7159 is an extra-large female mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from PAWS Humane in Columbus, GA.

Emily 1639

Emily 1639 is a young female mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from PAWS Humane in Columbus, GA.

Rory 2430

Rory 2430 is a female mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from PAWS Humane in Columbus, GA.

15
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 15, 2018

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 Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal of a candidate who was removed from the ballot, according to the Associated Press.Continue Reading..

14
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 14, 2018

Quinn Macon

Quinn is a female Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Macon Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.

Liberty Macon

Liberty is a female Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Macon Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.

Quincy Macon

Quincy is a male Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Macon Bibb County Animal Welfare in Macon, GA.

14
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 14, 2018

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 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.

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

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.

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.

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

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Former President Jimmy Carter endorsed Democrat Stacey Abrams for Governor, according to the AJC.

“Stacey Abrams’ experience, vision, and proven track record of building consensus across party lines are beyond compare, and I will work as hard as I can to elect her in November,” said Carter. “With Stacey Abrams in the governor’s mansion, our state will be in good hands and the Georgia of tomorrow will be bright.”

He’s the third U.S. president to weigh in on the nationally-watched race between Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp, a contest that’s already being seen as a warmup to the 2020 race for the White House.

Obama lined up behind Abrams earlier this month, and President Donald Trump’s support for Kemp in July powered the secretary of state to a dominating runoff victory. A late visit from Vice President Mike Pence helped the seal deal.

Some early voting forms sent out by the Democratic Party of Georgia contained errors, according to WABE.

Errors on forms for requesting absentee ballots that were sent to 30,000 potential Georgia voters by the campaign of Democrat Stacey Abrams are leading to questions from county election officials and threaten to confuse administrators ahead of the November midterms.

“We were concerned when we learned about this clerical error,” said Rebecca DeHart, executive director of the Georgia Democratic Party in an emailed statement. “But were relieved upon speaking with dozens of county officers that this would not impede counties’ ability to process the absentee ballot applications of Georgia voters exercising their rights.”

Incorrect voter identification numbers were included on pre-completed requests for absentee ballots prepared by Deliver Strategies. Over the weekend, the political mail vendor based in Virginia confirmed it was the source of the error.

The mailed requests, sent by the Abrams campaign on Aug. 1, include the name and address of the potential voter receiving them, and the address for the corresponding county election office.

These pre-completed absentee ballot requests are meant to make it easier for people to vote without going to a polling place. A potential voter can simply sign the form they receive and put it in the mail. In return, they should later receive an absentee ballot to complete and submit at their convenience.

U.S. Representative Karen Handel will host an opioid summit on Wednesday, August 15th at 2:30 PM at Sandy Springs City Hall.

Both candidates for Governor will appear at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Congressional Luncheon in Macon next Tuesday, April 21st.

The Georgia Ports Authority announced July was its second-busiest month ever, according to the Savannah Morning News.

For the month starting July 1, the GPA moved 378,767 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs), an increase of 12.7 percent, or 42,668 TEUs, compared to the same month last year.

“July was an incredible start to our fiscal year, with double-digit growth across our container, breakbulk and dry bulk operations,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch.

From July 2017 to June 2018, rail cargo rail cargo at Garden City Terminal increased by 16 percent (60,000 containers) for a total of 435,000 intermodal rail lifts.

Intermodal cargo in July was the busiest month on record with 41,070 container moves, for an increase of almost 21 percent (7,087 containers) compared to July 2017.

“Greater capacity, via cost-effective 14,000-TEU vessels transiting the Panama Canal, makes Savannah an even more competitive option to serve the Eastern U.S.,” said Lynch. “This, in part, is driving an increase in rail moves to markets such as Memphis and Nashville.”

Lula City Council member Vince Evans resigned his office this week, according to the Gainesville Times.

Joseph Homans, Lula’s city attorney, said Monday that a special election to fill Evans’ seat could not be held in conjunction with the Nov. 6 statewide general election because the 90-day cutoff date had already passed. Lula could hold its own special election entirely separate from all other ballot issues in the general election, but that may create voter confusion and lead to low turnout.

The next available special election date would be March 19, 2019, Homans said. The council will discuss the special election at their Monday, Aug. 20 meeting.

Breatheasy Rome is asking the City Commission to adopt a smoke-free ordinance, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

“Rome is known for being a healthcare community,” said Gena Agnew with the Northwest Georgia Cancer Coalition. “I think we deserve to be a healthy community.”

The group, called Breatheasy Rome, appeared before the commission during caucus Monday night to appeal for support of the ordinance which is modeled after proposals supported by the American Lung Association and American Cancer Society. The aim is to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke and vapor, and their associated risks.

The coalition is supported by Rome Floyd Cancer Initiative, the Northwest Georgia Regional Cancer Coalition, the Floyd County Health Department, Floyd Medical Center, Harbin Clinic, Redmond Regional Medical Center, Rome Radiology and Southeastern Pathology.

Beyond the Georgia Smokefree Air Act, signed by Governor Sonny Perdue in May 2005, tough smoking ordinances have been passed in other cities including Savannah, Augusta and Canton. The latter two cities approved new ordinances, similar to what Breatheasy is proposing, earlier this year.

Augusta University hosted a symposium on opioid abuse titled, “Working Together to Combat the Opioid Epidemic,” according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Dr. Patrice Harris, an Atlanta physician and president-elect of the American Medical Association, was one of the symposium’s guest speakers. She said there are many factors that have led to the epidemic and there is no single solution, but people need to work together to find ways to combat it.

“People that have substance use disorders don’t have a moral failing. It’s not a character flaw,” she said. “These are brain disorders and we have to make sure that we treat substance use disorders in the same manner that we treat every other chronic illness like diabetes or high blood pressure, with compassion and with care.”

Dr. Steffen Meiler, chairman of the Medical College of Georgia Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, said that different departments in the medical college are working together to find ways to treat patients without opioids. Meiler said they have found ways for patients to have operations and never receive opioids during or after them.

Meiler said the rise in prescription of opioids to patients fueled the problem. According to Meiler, the number of opioid prescriptions more than tripled to about 210 million from 1991 to 2011. He is optimistic that those numbers can be lowered.

Democratic State Senate candidate Evan Ross is raffling off 200 trigger locks, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

“Part of it is a contrast to (Republican gubernatorial candidates) Michael Williams or Brian Kemp giving away bump stocks,” Evan Ross said with a laugh.

“But, look, I’m a gun owner, I have a concealed-carry permit, I support the Second Amendment,” he added. “I just want to emphasize that Northwest Georgia gun owners are very responsible people and they want to be safe.”

Ross — a 49-year-old husband and father who manages deliveries for two local organic farms — is challenging incumbent Republican Chuck Hufstetler for the District 52 seat. The district covers all of Floyd and parts of Chattooga, Gordon and Bartow counties.

“There’s nothing wrong with raffling off trigger locks as a political gimmick,” Hufstetler shrugged. “But I don’t think it’s as effective as people locking up their guns separately.”

“We need to enforce existing laws and put an increased focus on mental health,” Hufstetler said. “We also need to continue to lift people out of poverty. I think that would have more of an effect.”

Statesboro, Bulloch County, and the Bulloch County Board of Education have approved a new Tax Allocation District, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Statesboro City Council’s vote the morning of Aug. 7 was key because the city is the “redevelopment agency” creating the TAD, or tax allocation district. But the Bulloch County Board of Commissioners later that day and the Board of Education on Thursday joined an intergovernmental agreement that also commits their property tax revenue gains in the district after Dec. 31 to public infrastructure for the project.

Centered on The Clubhouse family entertainment center and an area between it and Veterans Memorial Parkway where Tormenta’s 5,000-seat pro soccer stadium complex is planned, the district will encompass almost 290 acres. Also envisioning businesses along the outside of the parkway from the Old Register Road intersection to a proposed extension of Akins Boulevard, the plan was presented as $160.5 million in potential private investment in search of an estimated $4.75 million in public spending, mostly for roads.

“We’ve got the support of the three taxing entities,” South Georgia Tormenta FC President Darin Van Tassell said Thursday evening. “This sends a pretty clear signal to the grocery store group, so there’s that piece, as well as we now start preparing to develop the Old Register Road area. It’s an exciting day for Statesboro.”

The Whitfield County Board of Education adopted the same property tax millage rate as last year, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

Board members voted 4-0 to keep the tax rate at 18.756 mills. Because of the growth of the tax digest, that rate will bring in $73,127 more in revenue than in 2017, so it’s considered a tax increase under state law and required public hearings. Board members held their final public hearing before voting to set the tax rate, but no members of the public were present.

The board has not raised the property tax rate since 2012.

“We are trying to be consistent,” said board Chairman Bill Worley. “We certainly don’t want to raise the rate.”

The property tax rate is forecast to bring in $32.838 million this year.

13
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 13, 2018

Jake Rabun

Jake is a male senior Bluetick Coonhound who is available for adoption from Rabun Paws 4 Life, Inc. in Clayton, GA.

Sadie Rabun

Sadie is a young female Labrador Retriever & German Shepherd Dog mix who is available for adoption from Rabun Paws 4 Life, Inc. in Clayton, GA.

Bojo Rabun

Bojo is a senior male Treeing Walker Coonhound who is available for adoption from Rabun Paws 4 Life, Inc. in Clayton, GA.

13
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 13, 2018

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.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

From Governor Nathan Deal’s office:

“Smart on crime is not the same as soft on crime, which our results bear out,” said Deal. “In Georgia, we are addressing barriers to successful reentry through job training programs, ban-the-box legislation and operating a charter school in our prison system. We have implemented such initiatives while making our communities safer, with a 10 percent decrease in the violent crime rate and a 20 percent decrease in overall crime, all while saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. We have also seen the African-American percentage of our prison system drop significantly since 2009, as incarceration rates for black males have dropped almost 30 percent and incarceration rates for black females have dropped 38.2 percent. Overall African-American commitments to our prisons are at the lowest level since 1987. I am pleased to share any information that might be helpful for a national model of reforming criminal justice.”

Additional results of Georgia’s criminal justice reform initiatives include:

  • The recidivism rate for an individual who graduates from an accountability court is just 2 percent.
  • There has been a 24 percent decrease in recidivism for those who complete vocational training programs while incarcerated.
  • Recidivism rates for those who earn a GED while incarcerated have decreased by 19 percent.
  • Total commitments to the Department of Juvenile Justice are down 46 percent since 2014.

“Our first duty is to our citizens, including those who have taken the wrong path but are seeking redemption and a new beginning,” said President Trump. “We’ve passed the First Step Act through the House, and we’re working very hard in the Senate to refine it and pass it into law. We think we’ll be successful in that regard. The bill expands vocational educational programs to eligible federal inmates so that more of them can learn a trade. And that’s what we’re doing. We’re teaching them trades. We’re teaching them different things that they can put into good use, and put into use to get jobs.”

The Georgia Department of Community Health Board approved no insurance cost increases for the State Health Benefit Plan, according to AccessWDUN.

The White County Board of Commissioners voted to allow fishing in the lake at Yonah Preserve, according to AccessWDUN.

The Hospital Authority of Valdosta and Lowndes County appointed Bill Forbes as interim CEO for the South Georgia Medical Center, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Whitfield County Schools Superintendent Judy Gilreath has a new contract through 2021, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

The Newnan Times-Herald looks at the impact of methamphetamine on the community.

In Coweta County, meth still ranks supreme over all other drugs tested by the GBI forensic science lab. In the last calendar year, its lab tested 91 cases of suspected meth. A distant second was cocaine, 26, followed by oxycodone at 10.

Byung Jin “BJay” Pak, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, said a community like Coweta is primed to be on the receiving end of a meth resurgence thanks to cartels hoping to flood the market with methamphetamine that’s cheaper and more pure than ever.

A 2011 survey by The Georgia Meth Project showed that one in five Georgia teens report meth is easy to get, and 28 percent of Georgia teens see little or no risk in trying meth. Pak estimated the stats have only increased since then.

Because of Atlanta’s reputation as a transportation hub, the distribution of Mexican meth across the entire country is originating out of local labs that convert liquid methamphetamine into crystal product.
“With Newnan so close to the interstate, the area is now a benefactor to the high level of trafficking happening in Atlanta,” Pak said.

Democratic Strategist Tharon Johnson spoke to the Coweta County Democratic Party, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

Democratic candidates attending the dinner were [former Congressman John] Barrow, who is running for Georgia secretary of state; Janice Laws, Georgia insurance commissioner; Chuck Enderlin, U.S. House District 3; Tom Thomason, Georgia House District 71; Georgia House Minority Leader Bob Trammell, District 132 and County Commission Chairman Al Smith.

“Can an African-American woman become governor of Georgia?” Johnson asked, drawing applause.

“That’s exactly the conversation the Republicans want us to be having,” Johnson warned. He said the Democrats are in trouble “if this conversation is about gender and about race.”

He said Democrats instead need to focus on transit, jobs, the availability of health care and “making sure our children get a first-rate education.”

He talked about gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and her issue-based approach to campaigning.

“We’ve got to buy in to what the next governor of Georgia is telling us,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to put all this dissension and all this disappointment behind us.”

That article is worth reading in its entirety.

Democratic candidate for Governor Stacey Abrams spoke to the Congressional Black Caucus in Mississippi, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Abrams returned to her state of birth Friday and regaled attendees of the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s annual policy conference in Tunica with stories of her upbringing in Gulfport and Mississippi’s Gulf Coast region, using the vignettes to explain why she’s vying to become the nation’s first African American woman governor.

“I’m not running for me,” Abrams told a conference luncheon Friday. “I’m running for my family, I’m running for my community, I’m running for the South. And when we win the South, we win America.”

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., a Congressional Black Caucus member, said he invited Abrams, a former Georgia House minority leader, to Tunica because of her Mississippi roots and her potential history-making run.

“On election night, when she’s victorious, we’ll claim her and we’ll say ‘We won,’” Thompson said.

Thompson said Abrams’ candidacy, along with former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy’s Democratic bid to fill Thad Cochran’s Senate seat in November, could potentially change the 2020 electoral map in the South if they win.

The Augusta Judicial Circuit‘s drug court program notched its 10th anniversary, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

“It’s been a team effort,” Superior Court James G. Blanchard Jr. said of drug court. He credits the other judges for supporting his efforts to get the court started a decade ago. Augusta-area defense attorney Tanya Jeffords has been with the court from the beginning, when she worked for free, he said. Blanchard also credits the Rev. Sam Davis at Beulah Grove Baptist Church, where graduations are held.

Ten years ago, the participants were mainly using marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine, Blanchard said. Now the drug of choice is often heroin and opiates. At first, participants often said they started with smoking marijuana with friends at 16. Now it’s age 5 to 7 with marijuana or cocaine, Blanchard said.

The opiate crisis has hit the area hard. People are dying, including a drug court graduate who tried a new drug from China that causes what’s called the gray death, Blanchard said. The extent of the epidemic has prompted police to carry Narcan, medication to counter the effects of opiates when someone is going into respiratory failure.

Since the drug court program began, 524 people have participated and 180 graduated – maintained sobriety for at least 365 days, said Elaina Ashley, the program’s coordinator.

Columbus Clerk of Council Tiny Washington has been placed on paid leave ahead of an audit report, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Macon-Bibb County Commissioner Joe Allen drafted a resolution to eliminate the Planning & Zoning Commission, according to the Macon Telegraph.

It proposes the creation of a planning and zoning department under the control of the county commission. Four other county commissioners signed on as sponsors of the resolution, but one is already backing out.

“I keep hearing over the years how planning and zoning has put restrictions on people and putting a lot of hardships on a lot of people,” Allen said Wednesday. “And the costs. … My problem with P&Z is I don’t think they look after the people the way they should. There are too many tight restrictions. A lot of people don’t want to come to Bibb County.”

The resolution says the decisions of the zoning board have a significant impact on the community, and the “Macon-Bibb County Commission has further determined that the members of the (county commission) should have the responsibility for making planning and zoning decisions as they are elected to serve by the voters (of Bibb County).”

The Bulloch County Commission will set the property tax millage rate for FY 2019 in its Friday meeting, according to the Statesboro Herald.

The Bulloch County Board of Education is slated to set its property tax millage rate, with a quarter-mill rollback, during a called meeting at noon Friday, Aug. 17, at the board’s central offices, 150 Williams Road.

With a rollback from last year’s rate of 9.685 mills to 9.427 mills, the school board avoids a requirement of a tax increase notice and hearings that would have been triggered by an increased in appraised values.

Superintendent Charles Wilson had recommended the rollback in July. It was not on the agenda for their regular meeting Thursday, but board members had indicated support, and staff issued a notice Tuesday of next Friday’s called meeting.

Newnan City Council will vote on whether to buy a trolley funded from the 2013 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

Coweta County Commissioners are considering raising the impact fee to preserve rural areas from it’s current level of $0, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

Technically, Coweta County still has impact fees, but the fees are set at $0, and have been since Jan. 1, 2014.

Impact fees are set fees that are charged on all new development and are designed to pay for specific projects. The county first implemented impact fees in 2006, to help fund recreation, fire services, the jail and the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office. Fees for transportation projects were added in 2007.

Commissioner Tim Lassetter asked if impact fees would discourage industry from coming to Coweta. He said the company he works for likely would have been happy to pay impact fees to locate in Coweta with its talented workers.

“But on the other hand, the last thing I want to do is deter investment and increasing the tax base,” Lassetter said.

Savannah‘s smoke-free ordinance could become a model for other communities, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Savannah bars and restaurants have been smoke free since Jan. 1, 2011. The county passed a similar ordinance for the unincorporated area in 2012.

After Savannah’s ordinance passed, the state Department of Public Health used funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study the results. A qualitative study of bar and restaurant owners on Bay and River Streets concluded patrons were going out more frequently and restaurants weren’t having to wash smoke residue off their walls and furniture. A look at health outcomes showed a decrease in hospital admissions for heart attacks.

But the most convincing study for other cities had to do with revenue. Receipt data from the Georgia Department of Revenue showed businesses’ bottom lines were unharmed by going smoke-free.

For Augusta, those results took away a big fear and led to Augusta adopting a similar ordinance in June after twice rejecting the idea.

Virginia could provide a model for switching to paper ballots, according to WABE.

Liz Howard, a former deputy commissioner with Virginia’s Department of Elections, said that state pulled off very quick transitions across dozens of counties, twice.

“We have hands on experience with ‘this is doable,’ how it’s doable, the partners that we worked with and working with local election officials while they’re making the transition,” Howard said.

“We had multiple election officials who said ‘Look, the transition to paper ballots, away from the touchscreens, was much more intuitive, certainly for the poll workers – whose age skews older – and it also seemed to be intuitive for the voters,” she said.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp has called the idea of implementing a change before November an “absolute disaster.”

10
Aug

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

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

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

Sherman-and-Cannon Atlanta

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

The first Ford Model T rolled off the assembly line on August 12, 1904.

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 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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

Wolverines!

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.

The Gainesville Times looks at how railroads affected Gainesville’s development over the years.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia in Macon yesterday, according to the Macon Telegraph.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions lauded law enforcement officers, chided their critics and announced a $3.4 billion federal grant for local victims assistance programs Thursday during a stop in Macon.

The money comes from the Office for Victims of Crime that collects federal criminal fines, fees and special assessments and contains no tax dollars, according to a Justice Department news release.

More than $100 million will be coming to Georgia, Sessions said.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills listened intently. He has been a vocal critic of Georgia criminal justice reforms that have reduced sentences.

Sills said he was impressed by Sessions’ remarks.

“That same attitude needs to be in Atlanta with the state offenders here that we’re dealing with,” Sills said. “We need help on the local level.”

Governor Nathan Deal, meanwhile, spoke to President Trump about Georgia’s criminal justice reform, according to the AJC.

Gov. Nathan Deal touted his criminal justice initiatives Thursday with President Donald Trump and a group of mostly Republican leaders, highlighting a decrease in incarceration rates and new education programs for inmates.

“We’ve been very successful and pleased to share any information we can,” said Deal, who talked of a 10 percent decrease in violent crime and 20 percent overall decrease since he took office in 2011.

Trump’s meeting aimed to boost the pressure on Congress to adopt legislation that would provide $50 million in funding for drug treatment and job retraining programs. The White House invited officials it said represent states that adopted changes mirroring the president’s policies.

Democratic Congressional candidate Steven Foster is caught on video after his DUI arrest. Part 1 from the Dalton Daily Citizen and Part 2.

In nearly two hours of video and related audio recordings documenting Steven Lamar Foster’s arrest, the trip to Hamilton Medical Center for blood tests and his booking into the Whitfield County jail, Foster at times speaks to the officers in Spanish, blames Gulf War Syndrome on the use of uranium in weapons in the First Gulf War and tells the story of putting a Central American man’s head on a spike.

“I hope you got s—loads of audio because I want a copy of it on a FOIA,” Foster said to the officers. “You know what that is? That’s a Freedom of Information Act.”

“Eleven years I served this county,” Foster said. “I hate this county. I prayed to God that he would curse it. And guess what? He did. Man, I saw it hit and cursed, and I saw people laid off right and left — white people. I hate this county …”

Foster then calls the officers “Barneys” in apparent reference to Deputy Barney Fife of “The Andy Griffith Show.”

“It’s all right, they can’t help it,” he said. “They’re not going to arrest no Hispanics. They are not going to arrest somebody that is a damn Arab. They are not going to do that because guess what … (officer slams door).”

During the ride to the hospital, Foster also expounds on immigration and the country “letting … 10,000 run around,” berates the officers for a lack of military service and challenges them to “go one or two rounds.”

Former Democratic Congressional Candidate Kelly Lynn Collins has been indicted in South Carolina for the alleged murder of her campaign treasurer, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Kellie Lynn Collins, 30, surrendered to authorities in McDuffie County on Tuesday and was charged with murder and grand larceny. The victim was identified as Curt Cain, 41, and found at his residence on the 3000 block of Old Powderhouse Road on Tuesday after his employer requested a well-being check.

Collins was a Democratic candidate for the 10th Congressional District seat in 2018, but withdrew from the race for personal reasons and wasn’t on the ballot. According to a file from the Federal Election Commission, Cain was Collins’ treasurer.

Her former campaign manager, Clayborn Thigpen, said that Cain and Collins were living together in Aiken, but he hadn’t talked to them in five months. Thigpen said he was shocked about the murder and arrest because he knew them really well.

Georgia’s Statewide Opioid Task Force met in Augusta, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The meeting was the last in a series of three for the Statewide Opioid Task Force, and focused on how Georgia has responded to the national crisis. The task force began in October of last year and focuses on strengthening communication between experts and professionals passionate about the issue, such as pharmacies, doctors and law enforcement, to create public policy and positive outcomes.

“Four Georgians are dying every day as a result of opioid overdoses, so we have created a statewide task force that’s a little bit different than other task forces in that we are just trying to bring experts together to build the infrastructure of communication between experts,” Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said.

“One, what are we doing to address the crisis, two, how can we work together to leverage the resources we have in the state to address the crisis, and three, if there are gaps how do we fill the gaps,” Carr said.

“Unfortunately this is an issue and a crisis that oftentimes begins with a prescription drug and then turns to illicit street drugs like heroin,” Carr said. “It’s a crisis that cannot, must not, and should not fall on any one group’s shoulders – it’s too big.”

Congressman Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) also discussed opiates, in a meeting with the Golden Isles Employer Committee, according to The Brunswick News.

“We’ve got to address the situation, and we have been addressing it in my subcommittee,” Carter said.

He noted that members of Congress took a significant number of bills that passed his subcommittee and consolidated them in a larger piece of legislation.

“That bill is H.R. 6, and hopefully the Senate will take care of that before we get back after Labor Day,” Carter said. “If they’ll take care of it, then we can go to conference and get it on the president’s desk and get it signed into law.”

The bill, which passed the House 396-14 on June 22, makes a number of changes to state Medicare programs, “alters Medicare requirements to address opioid use” and deals with other opioid-related issues, according to the congressional website.

“(Addicts) need to be healed and we need to help them on that way, to their way of being healed,” Carter said. “That’s what we’re trying to do.”

A Gwinnett County Public Schools bond issue on the November ballot may be affected by the question of grass versus artificial turf, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The issue to be decided by that referendum, scheduled to be on the ballot Nov. 6, is whether the district should issue General Obligations Bonds worth as much as $350 million to pay for certain projects, including whether to install artificial turf on schools’ athletic fields.

Gwinnett has long been one of the few holdouts among metro Atlanta school systems in making a transition to some sort of artificial turf over the last decade or so.

Gwinnett County athletics director Jon Weyher declined comment when contacted earlier this week, except to say that there are many issues related to artificial turf, including financial and safety impacts, and logistics should the referendum pass and that he is in discussions with school board officials and individual school administrators.

While there have been no published studies yet looking at short- and long-term financial impacts of installing turf in Gwinnett, a report in the Cherokee Tribune and Ledger-News when the Cherokee decision came down in March indicated that the Cherokee school board projected a savings of $1.8 million over 10 years, mainly from decreased maintenance costs.

Macon-Bibb County Commissioners appear to have reached consensus on the property tax millage rate, according to the Macon Telegraph.

After being unable to agree on a property tax rate for months, the commission voted 5-4 in favor of a 3-mill tax increase at a special called meeting Thursday. It will now vote on finalizing a 20.483 millage rate at 3 p.m. Aug. 16 in the Macon-Bibb County Government Center.

Also, commissioners have to decide how that extra $12 million in revenue would be split up among various agencies such as museums, the transit authority, libraries, Macon-Bibb recreation, parks and beautification departments, and Bowden Golf Course.

Without funding, the Washington Memorial Library will shut down Aug. 16. The Macon Transit Authority only has enough money to keep it running through August. And the jobs of more than 100 county employees hang in the balance.

Commissioner Bert Bivins said commissioners have to be willing to change their minds and support an increase that is for the betterment of the community.

Hall County rolled out a new strategic plan, according to AccessWDUN.

Hall County Administrator Jock Connell said the county wanted to put a strategic plan together to prepare for the growth and development its experienced over the last several years.

“The discussion started last summer,” Connell said. “That growth is going to continue and it’s really important that we determine what are our strategic objectives and frame those in such a way that they help the county to move forward, you know, not just in the short run but more importantly in the long run.”

Connell said because the document is not legally binding or required by the state or federal government, the commission will not have to vote to adopt it.

Polk Medical Center has benefited from tax credits for donors to rural hospitals, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

The credit is designed to connect donors and hospitals by making a large percentage of the donations given to a list of hospitals statewide who need financial assistance for a variety of programs they’d otherwise couldn’t afford themselves. The credit in past years hasn’t been fully spent and at least one local legislator wanted to help.

State Rep. Trey Kelley, R-Cedartown, said to members of the Cedartown-Polk County Hospital Authority that the state house and senate put into place an amendment to increase the percentage of tax credits someone can then apply toward their state income or business tax.

“It’s something that we’ve tried to get right over the past couple of years. It started at 80 percent, and we moved it up to 90 percent. This year I carried the standalone bill that made it a true dollar-for-dollar match that would make it the silver bullet to get it right.”

This year’s fund allowed for $60 million statewide for more than 40 hospitals, with Polk Medical Center included on that list from years past with the program and earning $550,000 in donations for its percentage allowed.

The hospital could have taken in up to $4 million in donations.

“Our goal is to try to be able to meet the full amount next year,” Floyd Healthcare vice president Matt Gorman said.

Moody’s ratings agency has downgraded Georgia Power’s debt, according to the AJC.

The credit rating agency lowered the utility’s credit rating from A3 to Baa1, which according to the agency’s rating definitions signifies the company’s shift from low credit risk to moderate credit risk.

Early Wednesday, Georgia Power announced a $1.1 billion increase in the cost to complete construction at the twin nuclear units being built in Burke county. The company said the increase, announced eight months after the Georgia Public Service Commission certified $7.3 billion as the cost to complete construction, would be self-financed.

“Although the additional costs will be covered through new equity issuances at the Southern parent, the latest revised cost estimate risks damaging the ongoing support from regulators, given it occurred so soon after they vetted and approved an earlier estimate,” said Jeff Cassella, senior credit officer at Moody’s Investor Service.

Red Snapper season for recreational fishermen will open this weekend, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The recreational fishery will open for two consecutive three-day weekends: Aug. 10 to 12, and Aug. 17 to 19, with a one fish per person per day bag limit and no minimum size limit.

“That’s a very long-lived species,” said Kathy Knowlton, of Fisheries Management & Programmatic Support at the Georgia DNR. “The last few stock assessments showed it’s overfished. We have to be careful about the number, size, and age of those fished.”

During this special recreational season, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Fisheries Service will have personnel stationed along the coast to gather information from fishermen as they return from their fishing trips. The same will happen along the coasts of the Carolinas and the east coast of Florida with their respective state agencies. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council manages the fish stocks from three to 200 miles offshore in these states.

Columbus 2025 is seeking ways to make the Georgia city more competitive for new jobs, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

“The message from business and industry in the greater Columbus region has been heard loud and clear. Continued economic growth and expansion is highly dependent on a talented, educated workforce pipeline,” Jacki Lowe, a retired Georgia Power executive, said in a statement from Columbus 2025. She is chair of one of the group’s focus areas called, “Talented, Educated People.”

Columbus 2025 said it is bringing together 50-plus business, education and workforce organizations to launch what it’s calling a “Talent Coalition” to come up with a strategy for “creating a road map for talent development, retention, attraction and growth.”

“The time is now for Greater Columbus to talk strategically about its current and future talent pipeline,” Avalanche executive Chris Engle said in a statement.

The effort comes with the Columbus metro area now having a labor force of just over 127,000, with its total job count at 122,500, according to the Georgia Department of Labor. The current unemployment rate is 5.1 percent, the figure for June, which is higher than 4.4 percent in May. The July number will be released later this month.

Warner Robins issued a boil water advisory after a water main break, according to the Macon Telegraph.

10
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 10, 2018

Noah AAAR

Noah is a 9-month old male Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from All About Animals Rescue in Macon, GA.

Noah is house broken and uses a doggie door. He gets along with other dogs and is kid friendly. He LOVES the pool!

Stephanie AAAR

Stephanie is a 6-month old female Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from All About Animals Rescue in Macon, GA.

Stephanie is crate trained, house trained, knows sit command, takes treats gently, is a shy and quiet girl. She loves being with her person or her dog friends. Stephanie has been going through a transformation. She was owner surrendered to a high kill shelter with hair issues. She has since been treated and looks like a brand new pup! To complete this sweet girls new start at life she needs someone to adopt her and shower her with love.

Thor AAAR

Thor is an adult male Pointer mix who is available for adoption from All About Animals Rescue in Macon, GA.

Thor is a male around 5 years old. He is very smart and treat motivated. He’s a fast learner, walks well on a leash and is dog friendly. Thor would do best in a home where his adopter has owned a large dog before and who is willing to spend quality time with him.

9
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 9, 2018

Thumper CPR

Thumper is a young male Chocolate Labrador Retriever who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Thumper is a Chocolate Lab puppy with a great attitude!! He loves to play fetch with his shelter mates! He is willing to please and would be a great addition to any home!!

Waffles CPR

Waffles is an adult male Yellow Labrador Retriever who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

My name is Waffles and I love cheesin’ for the camera! When people stop by my kennel, I’m sure to give them the ole razzle dazzle with a cheeky grin and feverish tail wag. I am high energy and working on my leash training. I am super affectionate and love to play. I just want to be your new best friend!!

Isle CPR

Isle is a young male English Coonhound who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Isle is super sweet, he loves a good cuddle. Isle gets along with other dogs.

9
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 9, 2018

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, 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.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal appointed former Gwinnett County Republican Party Chair Rachel Little and Loganville Mayor Rey Martinez to the Immigration Enforcement Review Board.

Gov. Deal also issued a press release on Plant Vogtle:

“I applaud the leadership of Paul Bowers in ensuring this critical infrastructure and economic development project continues,” said Deal. “Georgia Power has pledged that any new price increases with this change in budget will be covered by the company, and not consumers, and I applaud its continued adherence to that commitment. This is the only ongoing nuclear energy construction project in the country, and the first to earn a permit in more than three decades. I support the efforts of Georgia Power in ensuring our citizens have a long-term, sustainable energy source while creating thousands of jobs. I look forward to completion of Plant Vogtle Units 3 & 4 and its continued impact on our economy and infrastructure.”

Georgia Power announced that the company will cover some additional costs in the Plant Vogtle project, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Georgia Power officials announced Wednesday the company – not customers – will pay $700 million in additional capital cost increases for Vogtle 3 and 4 nuclear plants. Customers, may, however, be on the hook for the $400 million balance of the revised project increase of $1.1 billion.

The revised costs follow a change in project management from Westinghouse to Southern Nuclear. Westinghouse declared bankruptcy in 2017. The total cost is now estimated at $8.4 billion.

Georgia Power officials said in a press release that a $400 million contingency cost “may be presented to the Georgia PSC for evaluation as and when appropriate in the future.”

First Lady Sandra Deal met with new mothers in Dalton, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

Deal visited Hamilton Health Care System’s Turner Maternal & Infant Care Center on Tuesday, meeting with new mothers and staff. She talked about the importance of immunizations and safe sleeping for babies.

Deal spoke with Harris and Yudelaisys Pina Linares, who gave birth on Monday to son Dylan.

“I’ve been giving out immunization cards and visiting moms in the hospital for several years,” Deal said. “It’s hard to grow a baby for nine months, then have something happen.”

Deal said that’s why she talks to parents about the importance of taking care of their babies.

“I want moms to know once the baby comes how to take care of it,” she said. “We talk about immunizations, keeping the baby healthy and having regular baby visits so the doctor can see the baby and monitor their weight.”

Democrat Steven Foster, who is running for Congress against Rep. Tom Graves, is in the Whifield County jail after being convicted of DUI, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

Foster was arrested for DUI, a misdemeanor, by the Dalton Police Department on Sept. 23, 2017. Sentencing before Judge Cindy Morris is set for Tuesday.

The clerk of court’s office said Foster was found guilty by a jury after 15 minutes of deliberation. Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Baxter was the prosecutor and Richard Murray was Foster’s attorney. Murray did not immediately return a phone message left for him late Wednesday afternoon.

The Richmond County Board of Education is looking at accessibility of polling places, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Richmond County Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey said voters had raised concerns about four polling places after recent elections: the Augusta Aquatics Center, the Wallace Branch Library, Christenberry Fieldhouse and Crawford Avenue Baptist Church.

The elections board selects polling places based on location, accessibility, parking and available space, Bailey said. Poll workers are trained to provide assistive tools, and equipment such as doorbell buzzers is installed when needed to improve access, she said. Disabled voters also can go to the front of the line until 4:30 p.m., Bailey said.

Augusta’s Americans with Disabilities Act officer, Carole Burrowbridge, said a city study of polling place accessibility looked at whether polling places met ADA requirements – which do not apply to churches – or that pedestrian routes to the facilities exist. Some 35 city voting precincts vote at church sites.

Democrat Charlie Bailey campaigned for Attorney General in Augusta, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Charlie Bailey is calling for law enforcement pay hikes and a statewide network to fight organized crime and gangs in his bid to be Georgia’s next attorney general.

Campaigning in Augusta on Wednesday, Bailey, 35, said he’ll be the first prosecutor to serve as the state’s attorney general in modern history and plans to go after the forces that keep hardworking Georgians down.

“They come in the form of organized crime and gangs,” he said. “They come in the form of special interests that exploit them, payday lenders and predatory debt collectors. They come in the form of fat-cat politicians that care more about their seat in government and protecting their special interest friends than they do about protecting the people.”

Bailey, a Democrat and native of Harris County, worked in the law firm of former Gov. Roy Barnes for four years after law school at the University of Georgia, then spent most of the past four years prosecuting organized crime and gangs for Fulton County District Attorney, he said.

Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash said a November 2018 transit referendum is no longer possible, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

At the heart of the tug-of-war over whether the referendum can be moved from its scheduled March 19 date to the Nov. 6 general election is the question of what state law allows. Democratic legislators in Gwinnett’s legislative delegation asserted county commissioners could move it as late as the beginning of October.

Nash said, however, that county attorneys have told commissioners that state law regarding publishing public notices for special elections must also be taken into account.

“(County attorneys) advised that, based on the special elections law, action by both the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Elections to call the referendum and the publishing of a notice of the call in the newspaper had to be done at least 90 days in advance of the election date,” Nash said. “Thus, it is not possible now to call a referendum for November 2018.”

Washington Memorial Library in Macon will close August 16 due to commissioners’ failure to set a millage rate, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The Middle Georgia Regional Library System posted on social media Wednesday that Washington Memorial, the main branch of the library system, will close Aug. 16 because of the lack of county funding. Three other Macon libraries have been closed since late July.

And reduction of force notices likely will be sent out by early next week to employees who work in the recreation and parks and beautification departments and at Bowden Golf Course, according to Chris Floore, assistant to the county manager for public affairs.

Commissioners will resume millage rate talks at noon Thursday as questions remain how some services could be impacted.

Brunswick City Commissioners are expected to maintain the same property tax millage rate for FY 2019, according to The Brunswick News.

City commissioners are set to vote on whether to adopt a millage rate of 13.219 mills, which is the same rate as last year.

If passed, taxpayers will only see an increase in property taxes if their property has been re-assessed at a higher value than last year.

Floyd County Public Schools may consider more school consolidations as enrollment declines, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

“The need is clear,” said Superintendent Jeff Wilson, while addressing the school personnel in attendance. The school system needs fewer facilities, he said, because sustaining 19 schools is not feasible under a predicted enrollment drop of more than a 1,000 students over the coming years. And the decision comes down to keeping that many schools and cutting staff, or merging schools to keep staff aboard and teaching to lower class sizes, he said.

“We’re going to have to be very creative,” said Wilson, during his first board meeting of the school year, adding that teachers and administrators are the most important piece of a school system, not the configuration of schools.

The school system is down 144 students at the start of this school year as compared to early last school year, Wilson said. But what has dropped even more is the FTE — full-time equivalent — count, which incorporates student enrollment and the services needed by students to formulate QBE — quality basic education — funding from the state.

Overall enrollment is around 9,000, a total decline of 2,500 students from when it was at 11,500 students years ago. This enrollment decline represents millions less in funding that the school system receives, with an average of $8,000 in funding for each student.

Skidaway Island voters might not vote on incorporation this year as a legislative typo may require correction, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Skidaway Island residents may be getting an extra year to decide whether they want to form their own city, due to a typo in the enabling legislation that could exempt homeowners from property taxes.

Skidaway’s state lawmakers, Rep. Jesse Petrea and Sen. Ben Watson, have requested that the Chatham County Board of Elections postpone the referendum that was to be placed on this November’s ballot after the incorporation steering committee discovered the error in the proposed charter.

“We didn’t put in the exempted amount,” Watson said Wednesday. “That’s what it is.”

The lawmakers said the Georgia Office of Legislative Counsel confirmed that the legislature’s attorney made the error when drafting the bill and recommended the delay so that the bill can be corrected during the next legislative session.

Petrea and Watson requested that the referendum be postponed to an eligible election date in 2019, which Petrea said would likely be during the general election that fall.