The applicant, Friends to the Forlorn Pitbull Rescue, wants to rezone a 38.4 acre property at 5473 and 5453 Will Wheeler Road from agricultural residential use to planned residential development on land where there are already facilities for dogs such as kennels, a barn and ample space for dogs to exercise.
The nonprofit organization wants to fortify these existing facilities with improved fencing and add one additional building in order to create its rescue center for pitbulls and other kinds of dogs. When complete, the facility would be able to hold 100 dogs.
The organization spays and neuters dogs and tries to find foster homes for rehabilitated pets.
“No one’s going to want to move in next to a humane society type of deal,” said Jerry Young, an adjacent property owner. Young said they often hear dogs barking late at night and a huge increase in dogs on the property would disturb neighbors.
Four speakers from Paulding County, where the rescue has its current facility, spoke in favor of the application, and Paulding’s Commission Chairman, Dave Carmichael, wrote a letter to the Hall County Planning Commission encouraging it to accept the plans.
“I hold Mr. Flatt in high regards and feel confident that his contributions will be of value to your citizens,” Carmichael wrote.
Flatt told the Times Tuesday, Sept. 21, he would regroup with his board and see if it was worth continuing to pursue the application. They may decide to stay in Paulding County, he said.
Eggy is strong, sweet, and wagging his tail (or shall we call it a nub!). Eggy loves his shenanigans and his favorite game is ‘keep-away,’ where he will merrily zoom around the yard with his Kong in his mouth, leaving the Palace workers to chase after him when it’s time to come inside. He is looking for a forever family where he can keep on enjoying the good life of a beloved house pet. Eggy has been through more than we can imagine and he is not suited for a home with other pets or small children. If you think you can give Eggy the life he so desperately wants and deserves, contact the rescue group for more information!
Chipper is almost 5 years old and he is such a cool dog and absolutely beautiful! Chipper is a super smart and happy boy. He is medium energy, loves a good zoomie in the yard and loves a good couch snuggle fest. Chipper went into a foster home back in April 2017 when he first came into our rescue from the shelter. Chipper listens well and would do best with an adult(s) that are alpha owners. Although he gets along well with Snow (his doggie sister) he probably would do best as an only dog. Another dog is a possibility with slow introductions but it may take work. He does not do well with cats or children under 16. He walks OK on a leash but hasn’t been regularly walked in a while. He is housebroken, crate-trained and loves riding in the car.
Due to her deafness, Moxie does startle if she cannot see you coming, however she is extremely loving. Moxie adores people and is getting all the TLC she needs in foster care. She is housebroken and crate-trained. She is an active girl who loves to chase a Kong and play fetch. Sometimes when she runs, she throws both legs back at the same time and looks like a bunny! Although she is deaf, she already knows sit, down, kennel-up, and fetch as she is food-motivated and really wants to make her people happy. She knows how to fetch and doesn’t mind people taking the ball away from her. Once she burns off some energy, Moxie is happy to cuddle and is incredibly sweet. Moxie would LOVE a forever family that can show her the joys of being surrounded by love and stability. She needs someone patient and willing to work with her as learning takes longer due to her hearing loss.
“. . . on the first day of January  . . . all persons held as slaves within any State, or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”
White vigilantes seeking to assault African-Americans after reports of four white women being assaulted led to the Atlanta Race Riots on September 22-24, 1906, which would claim the lives of at least 25 African-Americans and one white person.
District Attorney Flynn Broady announced Friday that Rose, a 3-year-old black Labrador retriever, is joining the office. The victim witness unit has been working to bring Rose on board, according to a news release from the office.
Rose received specialized training from Rucker Dog Training to prepare her to help crime victims in court, the release says.
Yesterday, I wrote that when Governor Kemp misspoke about an “AIDS vaccine,” it was clear to me he meant a vaccine for “HPV,” the human papillomavirus, but I didn’t explain that. We’ll go back to 2007 for that.
Sen. Don Balfour, R-Snellville, introduced a bill Wednesday calling for the vaccination, adding Georgia to a growing list of states taking up the controversial issue of mandatory HPV shots.
Senate Bill 155 would add the vaccine to other childhood immunizations against measles and mumps, but the newly approved shot would cost more than all the other required ones combined.
Similar measures in other states this year have met criticism from parents wary about unknown side effects and from conservative groups arguing that the vaccine would encourage young girls to become sexually active.
In Georgia, 120 women die of cervical cancer each year, a statistic prompting support from both political parties for Mr. Balfour’s legislation.
“We’ve had a breakthrough on addressing cervical cancer and vaccines that protect young women,” said Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta. “I think Sen. Balfour’s bill merits a close look, and I’m supportive.”
Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Rick Perry bypassed the Legislature and issued an executive order requiring the HPV vaccine for schoolgirls, but 32 lawmakers have asked him to rescind it.
Roughly 30 bills dealing with the vaccine are being debated in other states.
A new national estimate released on Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in four U.S. women ages 14 to 59 is infected with the sexually transmitted virus that in some forms can cause cervical cancer. The U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that girls between ages 11 and 12 should be vaccinated.
“I think it’s a great thing for the health of women in the state of Georgia,” said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Don Balfour of Snellville. “It’s good for your daughters.”
But the issue is controversial in large part because the HPV virus is transmitted through sexual contact. Religious conservatives lined up to speak against the bill at a hearing Tuesday arguing the decision to require the vaccine for 11-year-old girls should be made by their parents – not the state.
Carolyn Garcia of the Georgia chapter of Americans United for Life said the bill might encourage promiscuity.
“It comes from behavior,” Garcia said of the virus. “It’s a moral issue.”
Sadie Fields, director of the Georgia Christian Alliance, said state lawmakers were “rushing to judgment” on a vaccine before the full picture was known on potential risks and side effects.
“We believe this decision should be made between parents and their doctors,” Fields said.
Balfour allowed that this is the first time state lawmakers have stepped in to mandate a vaccine. The state Department of Human Resources typically uses regulations to do so. But Balfour said the department showed no signs it was moving forward.
The bill passed 8-3 and now goes to the full Senate.
After the bill passed out of committee, it never made it to the floor of the Senate for a vote on final passage. Given that the sponsor was then Chairman of the Rules Committee, I suspect the decision to kill the bill was made at a higher level.
Some of the arguments about parental choice and against mandates in healthcare were very similar to the arguments about mask and vaccine mandates today.
Governor Kemp served in the State Senate from 2003 to 2007 and again from 2008 until he was appointed Secretary of State by Governor Perdue. While he was not in the Senate during the 2007 session, he was very much politically active and in the beginning part of his career in Georgia government. So this was a very hot issue during his formative period in politics. Clearly it made an impression on him. And that’s why when I read he referred to an “AIDS vaccine,” I immediately understood he misspoke and said AIDS, which is caused by the HIV virus, when he meant to say “HPV vaccine”. But unless you were obsessively involved in Georgia politics in 2007, you wouldn’t necessarily understand this context.
When reached for comment by the station, Kemp’s office said he meant to mention the human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccine. But even this statement raises eyebrows — the HPV vaccine is also mandated in a number of states to attend public schools (among other inoculations), a campaign that has been largely effective in getting school-age children vaccinated, 11 Alive reported.
That’s why history and context are so important to understanding what happens in Georgia politics or anywhere else. If you went through the 2007 Session, you probably understood exactly what Gov. Kemp meant when he misspoke. And why Georgia is all the poorer for the loss of political journalists like Jim Galloway. Greg Bluestein is an excellent reporter (I pre-ordered his book on the 2020 and 2021 elections – maybe it will be the first GaPundit book club selection), but Greg didn’t join the AJC until 2012, and before that was not on a political beat, so he wouldn’t have been at the Capitol frequently during 2007.
Donald Trump Jr. and state Sen. Burt Jones, R-Jackson, a candidate for lieutenant governor, will campaign at the Strand Theatre this week.
Advertised as “an event about the state of America,” the two will share the stage at the Strand starting at 6 p.m., Wednesday.
Jones, one of several Republicans vying for the lieutenant governor’s seat in 2022, received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump earlier this month. Incumbent Geoff Duncan is not seeking reelection.
Senator Jones will also join former President Donald Trump on stage at the Trump rally this weekend, according to the AJC.
[Herschel] Walker, who announced his campaign last month with Trump’s blessing, is set to address the crowd.
So are state Sen. Burt Jones, a candidate for lieutenant governor who earned Trump’s endorsement, and Rep. Jody Hice, his pick for secretary of state. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the far-right first-term Republican who Trump labeled a “rising star,” will also speak. Not on the list of scheduled speakers: Either of Gov. Brian Kemp’s longshot challengers. Nor, of course, the governor himself.
We wouldn’t be surprised if the entire pro-Trump ticket lines up for a photo on stage with the former president.
Gov. Brian Kemp signed a letter on Monday with 25 other Republican governors requesting a meeting with President Joe Biden in the next 15 days to discuss the southern border crisis.
The GOP letter to Biden was spearheaded by Govs. Doug Ducey of Arizona and Greg Abbott of Texas.
“As chief executives of our states, we request a meeting with you at The White House to bring an end to the national security crisis created by eight months of unenforced borders,” it said.
“The negative impacts of an unenforced border policy on the American people can no longer be ignored. Border apprehensions are up almost 500% compared to last year, totaling more than 1.3 million—more people than the populations of nine U.S. states,” they wrote.
“We must end the current crisis and return to border operations that respect the laws of our land and the lives of all people, including those in our states looking to the federal government to enforce and protect our nation’s borders,” it said, concluding “due to the emergent crisis, we respectfully request a meeting as soon as your schedule allows within 15 days.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in July that state tax collections for fiscal 2021, which ended June 30, were up a record $3.2 billion.
The state saw revenue grow 13.5% in 2021 over 2020.
A new state report shows that the surplus for the year was even bigger — about $3.7 billon — once state agencies returned leftover money. The report says the state was able to increase its rainy day reserve from $2.7 billon to almost $4.3 billion — enough to run the state government for two months.
That left nearly $2.2 billon in surplus money that didn’t, by law, have to go into the reserve.
“Thanks to the conservative leadership and fiscal responsibility of the governor and the General Assembly, Georgia is on strong financial footing,” Kemp press secretary Katie Byrd said. “By budgeting wisely — despite an unpredictable global pandemic — the state was able to fund its priorities of education, public safety and health care, and avoid draconian cuts or significant reductions in essential services.”
“Looking ahead to the next legislative session, the governor looks forward to working with both the House and Senate on a number of their priorities — in addition to the governor’s previous commitments from the campaign trail to raise educator pay, exempt military and first responder retirement pay from state income tax, and make it more affordable for Georgia families to send their kids to college.”
Kemp will receive pressure from his fellow Republicans to use the money to cut taxes on Georgians. Kemp has also promised teachers a pay raise that will cost about $350 million a year.
However, because the surplus is a one-time windfall, some state officials are reluctant to back any ideas that have annual, year-after-year costs attached to them.
Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit District Attorney Mark Jones (D) beat The Man. Or he is The Man. Or something. Anyway, criminal charges related to the filming of a campaign commercial were dismissed, according to WTVM.
“I no longer believe it is in the interest of justice to move forward with this matter,” said special appointed Prosecutor Brian Patterson.
During a brief virtual hearing presided by Judge Jeffrey Monroe from his Macon office, with lawyers from both side in attendance, Attorney Brian Patterson gave the state’s position on the case.
Patterson said after talking with jurors whom expressed their frustrations with the case, he plans to filed a detailed motion called, Nolle Prosequi, a Latin term that means, “not to wish to prosecute” to the court by Friday.
As the hearing proceeded Patterson did not absolve Jones of guilt, but did confirm that the jurors’ dissatisfaction did influence the decision.
“My review revealed that there is direct and circumstantial evidence that tends to point to the guilt Mr. Jones and Mr. Whittington,” said Patterson.
Patterson added the state no longer believes it is in their interest to move forward with the case. This does not mean the case is over, however. Judge Monroe still has the final decision on whether or not to retry the case. He said he will make that decision after the state’s motion is filed before the court.
Patterson said he still believes that “direct and circumstantial evidence” indicates Jones and Whittington are guilty of the charges of interfering with government property and first-degree criminal damage to property, but the sentiments of the jurors in the case weigh against further prosecution.
“They were concerned about how politics have come to bear on this case, that this is a felony prosecution, that it appears that some other individuals similarly situated have not been prosecuted in a similar manner for this kind of conduct, and that Muscogee County has other pressing criminal justice matters and concerns,” Patterson told the court during the online hearing.
The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia announced his office will look into the death of Julian Lewis, who was shot by a Georgia State Trooper, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
Lewis died from a single shot from on Aug. 7, 2020 on Stoney Pond Road, a country dirt roadway in Screven County. [State Patrol Trooper] Thompson began pursing Lewis due to a non functioning tail light, stopped Lewis’s car with a PIT maneuver, forcing the vehicle into a ditch. Thompson said he feared for his life when Lewis revved his Nissan engine and wrenched the steering wheel. Lewis was Black and Thompson is white.
Thompson was dismissed from the Georgia State Patrol after being charged with felony murder and aggravated assault. A Screven County Grand Jury failed to indict Thompson on June 28.
A Saturday COVID-19 vaccination clinic that included $100 gift cards to entice reluctant or procrastinating Dougherty County residents to roll up their sleeves brought out 538 people to get shots.
Of those, 493 received a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and 45 got second shots of the two-dose product, Sam Allen, director of Dougherty County Emergency Medical Services, said Monday.
Numbers were not available on Monday for how many of those vaccinated were eligible to receive a $100 Visa gift card. The incentive was only available to Dougherty County residents 18 and older, although vaccines were available to children 12 and older and to residents of other counties.
The Dougherty County Commission approved last week spending up to $338,000 in federal COVID relief funds on the $100 incentives.
The county, working with Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, Albany Area Primary Health Care and Georgia Department of Public Health, will hold another clinic in about a month. Gift cards also will be awarded during that event.
“It was great,” Dougherty Commissioner Russell Gray said of the clinic. “I’m really impressed with the turnout. It could have gone either way. I don’t think it was a flop by any stretch of the imagination.”
Atlanta voters will decide in November whether to make permanent a temporary property tax homestead exemption against school taxes for some homeowners, according to the AJC.
If approved, eligible property owners would continue to receive a homestead exemption from school taxes in the amount of $50,000 of their home’s assessed value, while requiring them to pay taxes on at least $10,000 of the assessed value.
The tax break was initially given to homeowners a few years ago to provide temporary relief as rising Fulton County property values pushed tax bills higher.
Jeff Jones said he will be a candidate in 2022 for the Senate 3 seat now held by Republican Sheila McNeill. Jones served three two-year terms in the House District 167 post before losing the seat to Buddy DeLoach, R-Townsend, in the 2020 Republican primary.
McNeill indicated in August she will run for another two-year term.
The Senate 3rd District post takes in Glynn, Camden, McIntosh, Brantley and Charlton counties.
In a press release emailed to The News on Monday, Jones said managing the state’s multi-billion dollar budget is important, but it’s not the only challenge facing Georgia.
He said he would push to replace the Dominion voting system with a secure paper ballot system, including a true “voter-verifiable paper trail (VVPT),” ideally in time for next year’s elections.
“A fundamental problem with Dominion is that the VVPT voting record is in machine-readable barcode, not human-readable form,” he said.
Jones would like to strengthen penalties for individuals who violate voting integrity laws and voter trust.
“I also want to, once and for all, ban Critical Race Theory from our public schools by law, not just by an executive order,” he said. “If there is one thing we’ve learned under the Biden Administration (it’s) the importance of enacting laws, not simply issuing executive orders.
“Our future generations deserve an honest look at the history of our country, not the distorted lies of Critical Race Theory. Gov. Kemp banned Critical Race Theory by an executive order, and I applaud him for that. But if Stacey Abrams has her way and becomes governor, she’ll do away with the executive order and push Critical Race Theory in our schools.”
Primary elections in Georgia are set for May 24, 2022. The general election will be held roughly six months later on Nov. 8.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger‘s staff is writing a book to be published on election day, according to the AJC.
“Integrity Counts” will be published by Simon & Schuster and hit bookstores Nov. 2.
Simon & Schuster describes the book as, “Raffensperger’s inspiring story of commitment to the integrity of American democracy,” and says he’ll speak out in the book, “against the former president’s false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.”
But it the Secretary of State won’t be limiting his criticisms to just Trump and Republicans. He’ll also take Stacey Abrams and Democrats to task for refusing to concede the governor’s race in 2018.
The webinar will offer an opportunity for [Disadvantaged Business Enterprises], small business owners and veteran-owned small businesses to gain insight into the agency’s procedures and goals and to establish themselves as qualified contractors with the state. They will learn about available free supportive services and become acquainted with the Georgia DOT personnel and supportive service staff.
Chatham County District Attorney Shalena Cook Jones (D) announced the formation of a Cold Case Unit, according to WTOC.
The new Cold Case Unit will be led by Chatham County District Attorney Shalena Cook Jones, and veteran prosecutor and Court Operations Chief Jennifer Parker. Parker says while prosecutors have investigated cold cases and taken them to trial in the past, this is the first dedicated Cold Case Unit in the history of the office.
“Just in the last few years I have been involved in the prosecution of a 14-year old homicide, and a 40-year old homicide. And so, I don’t think with those cases you can ever give up hope. There is always hope. There’s always hope that someone will come forward with information that they wouldn’t share before. But after enough time has passed, circumstances change, they’ll be willing to talk,” said Parker.
“We’ve got some big agreements coming up that we have to renegotiate,” said Commissioner Greg Jones. “We’ve got the LOST (Local Option Sales Tax) and service delivery agreements coming up, and he’s got experience in those kinds of negotiations.”
The LOST is a 1% tax on most goods sold in the county. Every 10 years, following the U.S. census, the county and the cities within it must reach an agreement on how they will split the revenues from the LOST.
The service delivery agreements outline which services each government will provide and how they will be funded. They, too, must be renegotiated every 10 years.
Negotiations will start next year.
Warner Robins City Council voted to raise property taxes for some residents but will vote again later to try to get it right unanimity, according to 13WMAZ.
They took a vote on whether the millage rate would remain the same, but since the vote was not unanimous, it’s been moved to a second reading.
Council’s special called meeting is on the September 27 at 5 p.m. If council approves to keep the current millage rate, which is 9.98, some people will see an increase in property taxes.
In Monday’s council meeting, members voted 4 to 2, with councilmembers Derek Mack and Larry Curtis voting “no.”
Reis says he hopes council will make the best decision for the city, “The reason why I’m against raising taxes is because we’re still in the middle of a pandemic. We’re also in the middle of a financial crisis. Both of those put together does not spell tax raise.”
Stella did the math and says for a fair market home of $150,000, homeowners in Houston County would see an increase from last year of about $22., and those homeowners in Peach County would see an increase of about $55.
Monday’s vote had to be unanimous for the first reading, but it wasn’t, which means they will have a second reading next week.
The Animal Farm, 105 12th St., will officially open to the public Wednesday, co-owner Hudson Terrell told the Ledger-Enquirer. The restaurant, run by Terrell and his business partner Landon Thompson, will focus on house-butchered meats and seasonal local produce.
“I just want people to have a good time,” Terrell said. “I don’t want it to be a place where you go for a nice dinner and it feels stuffy and serious. We don’t want to take ourselves serious. We want all the food to be fun. Really, I just want people to have a communal dining experience.”
“The whole premise of (Animal Farm) is we focus on local, whole-animal butchering,” Terrell said. “So, it’ll be a lot of interesting cuts.”
“It’ll have a communal, fun dining experience,” Terrell said. “You’ll see a lot of interesting cuts of meat that you won’t see anywhere else. … We’re trying to bring all the stuff that we learned from Atlanta and Athens, and bring it here. That’s the idea.”
The kitchen is “right smack in the middle” of the space, with a long window allowing diners to view the scene on the other side. It’s “basically an open kitchen,” Terrell said.
Their motto should be “All Animals are Equally Tasty. Some are more equally tasty than others.”
We’re waiting for someone to open a fraternity themed cafeteria called “The Animal House.”
The year 1881 began with Republican Rutherford B. Hayes in office. Hayes served out his first and only term and officially turned over the reins of government to James A. Garfield, who happened to be a close friend of his, in March 1881.
Just four months into his term, on July 2, Garfield was shot by an assassin named Charles Guiteau. Guiteau claimed to have killed Garfield because he refused to grant Guiteau a political appointment. Garfield sustained wounds to his back and abdomen and struggled to recover throughout the summer. Though it appeared he would pull through in early September, the autopsy report revealed that the internal bullet wound contributed to an aneurism that ultimately killed Garfield on September 19.
On September 20, 1976, Playboy magazine released an interview with Jimmy Carter, then a candidate for President.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams kicks off a tour of states she does not govern in Texas, according to the AJC.
In a few months, Stacey Abrams could be in the thick of the race for Georgia governor. But on Monday, she’ll take the stage before a packed crowd in downtown San Antonio to talk politics with left-leaning Texans.
It’s part of a nationwide tour that takes Abrams to about a dozen stops over the next two months, from the outskirts of the Alamo to the Research Triangle, in what organizers are billing as “exciting conversations on politics, leadership and social justice.”
Aside from promoting the collection of books she’s authored, the tour offers Abrams another chance to sharpen her national profile and amass new potential donors. In the meantime, her GOP critics eagerly pointed out none of the stops are scheduled in Georgia.
She’s also certain to talk of her future political goals. Asked by a KSAT reporter ahead of her visit if she aimed to be the first Black woman president, Abrams didn’t mince words.
“I don’t think that that’s the question,” Abrams responded. “For me, the issue is, ‘Do I want to run for president one day?’ And my answer is, unequivocally, yes.”
An appeal in the lawsuit over Georgia’s abortion law will be heard in the United States Court of Appeals on Friday, according to the AJC.
The Georgia Attorney General’s office appealed last summer’s ruling that stopped the enactment of a law that would have banned most abortions once a doctor could detect fetal cardiac activity — usually around six weeks of pregnancy and before many women know they are pregnant.
“Our lawyers are preparing for the hearing and we feel really good about it,” said Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates. “This is settled law. This Georgia law is unconstitutional and that’s why we got a temporary restraining order and we’re fighting for a permanent injunction, which (there is) no doubt the state would appeal.”
The goal of the measure’s supporters has always been to appeal the law to the U.S. Supreme Court where they say it will challenge Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that established a constitutional, nationwide right to abortion.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jane Barwick ruled against the Georgia State Ethics Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission as it sought campaign bank account records, according to the AJC.
A Fulton County judge ruled against the state ethics commission in its bid to get records from Democrat Stacey Abrams’ 2018 gubernatorial campaign and groups it says may have illegally coordinated with the candidate’s bid for office.
The judge found the commission’s subpoenas overly broad. Lawyers for the campaign and the groups said they’d already provided thousands of documents to the commission and that the panel — which enforces state campaign finance laws — was seeking records that either didn’t exist or should have no bearing on its case.
“This was always a political fishing expedition,” said Lauren Groh-Wargo, a top Abrams aide and her 2018 campaign manager.
“We’re considering a number of appellate options right now,” said David Emadi, the ethics commission’s executive secretary. “We don’t agree with the ruling.”
The commission is looking into whether Abrams’  campaign illegally coordinated its efforts with nonprofits supporting her bid for governor. Georgia law prohibits independent groups from coordinating with candidates.
Heath will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of The Honorable Carl C. Brown, Jr. as Superior Court Judge of the Augusta Judicial Circuit. The Augusta Judicial Circuit is comprised of Burke and Richmond Counties.
Amanda Heath holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Hampton University and a law degree from Mercer University. Since 2016, Heath has served as a Juvenile Court Judge for the Augusta Judicial Circuit and was notably the first African American female to serve in this role. As Juvenile Court Judge, she secured a $100,000 grant to be an implementation site to develop an evidence-based pilot program to serve the unique needs of sex trafficked youth through the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council.
Prior to serving the juvenile court, she opened up her own law firm and served as the solo practitioner between June 2016 through September 2016. Heath also served as an associate for the Law Offices of Tanya D. Jeffords, P.C. from 2015 to 2016. From 2011 to 2015, she served as Assistant District Attorney and Trial Team Leader for the District Attorney’s Office for the Augusta Judicial Circuit.
Governor Kemp also appointed Samuel D. Rocco IV as Solicitor General for the State Court of Jenkins County. (Executive Order 09.16.21.01)
Over the weekend the internet exploded after Governor Kemp misspoke and referred to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine as a vaccine for HIV/AIDS.
In a podcast episode of the Erick Erickson Show uploaded this week, Gov. Brian Kemp stated his belief that people need to be educated on the COVID-19 vaccine instead of being mandated or bullied into taking it.
“That is basically how the AIDS vaccine worked. People wouldn’t take it early on because it was mandated, they started educating people and now it is doing a lot of good out there,” Kemp told Erickson. “Same scenario, different year that we are dealing with right now.”
On the basic matter of there being an AIDS vaccine, which the governor has referenced at least two other times publicly, Kemp’s statements are false.
However, there is additional context.
The governor’s office said he meant to reference the HPV vaccine, which protects against human papillomavirus, a sexually transmitted infection which can cause cervical cancer .
In a small number of states, it is mandated for public school attendance.
I am certain that this was a simple slip of the tongue. This media brouhaha is a result of two things. First, the drive among liberal elites to boost Stacey Abrams and bring down Brian Kemp. Second, Facebook creates a powerful economic incentive to create clickbait headlines.
Troup County Commissioners approved the purchase of a mobile morgue unit, according to WTVM.
County officials say they will be purchasing a 10′ x 10′ walk-in cooler using CARES Act funds to store up to 15 bodies. The permanent morgue will be installed at the Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center in LaGrange.
The Troup County Coroner’s Office has been using borrowed morgue space from privately-owned morgue facilities.
Some elected officials joined a protest over COVID policies at the GSU Armstrong Campus, according to WTOC.
“We’re not asking for mandatory vaccines for every student or every professor, we’re not asking for mandatory testing. We’re just asking that the system as a whole to enforce a mandatory mask policy, right?” said Rep. Derek Mallow, Dist. 163.
Chatham County Commissioner Aaron Whitely added, “Our students, our leaders, our children are not political pawns.”
And Savannah City Council Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryan said, “They should be supporting these young people who they say are the future…”
“All week long it has been primarily been faculty out here on the lawn protesting. But today, we are really feeling the support from the community and the fact that our community leaders have come out here to support us has been great,” said protest organizer Ned Rinalducci.
Glynn County Schools will be in the “green” level of operations Monday, which means some COVID-19 protocols will be relaxed, including the enforcement of masks.
Bibb County public schools reopen for in-person learning today after two weeks of remote learning, according to 13WMAZ.
Superintendent Curtis Jones says the districts COVID-19 numbers have gone down, but this doesn’t mean that they’re taking it easy.
“We will still monitor what’s happening with COVID. We want to make sure we can tell if the spreading is inside of classrooms, grade cohort or schools.” Jones said.
Superintendent Curtis Jones says safety of the students and staff remains their top mission.
“We’re still monitoring for temperatures, looking at students visually to see if they’re displaying symptoms, and we are going to ask questions. We’re going to sponsor some vaccination events, as well at our middle schools and high schools. So, anyone that wants to get a vaccine can do so,” Jones said.
Nearly $40 million will be used for small business grants, automating trash collection, premium pay for essential employees and more after Columbus Council unanimously approved the city’s American Rescue Plan priorities Tuesday.
This money represents half of the $78.4 million the consolidated government was allocated. Muscogee County received $39.2 million on June 14, and Columbus received $20.2 million on June 7. The funds must be distributed within 12 months, and are intended to be used in response to the economic impact of COVID-19, like workers performing essential work, revenue replacement for the government and investments in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure..
The vote comes after public meetings were held to gather community feedback on the recommended priorities that were compiled by city staff.
Monday, the county is holding a public education session explaining the new ordinance the mayor signed into law in June.
[Mayor Lester] Miller says after this session, code enforcement will be checking with businesses regularly to see how many tires they take in and how the tires are disposed of.
“There’s just too many scrap tires. People are just dumping them randomly everywhere. So, the only way we’re going to regulate it is if we regulate not only the dealers, but also the people hauling the tires. Anybody who has anything to do with used tires needs to be accountable for what they’re doing,” District 7 Commissioner Bill Howell said.
The Bibb County Board of Elections is considering suppressing votes moving a polling location, according to 13WMAZ.
Indeed, the Ocilla native, a seventh-generation farmer, has worked on — and continues to run — his family’s farm on land that the Harpers have owned for more than a century. He serves on the state Senate’s Natural Resources, Public Safety, and Agriculture committees. He also is the Agriculture & Rural Development vice chairman of the Southern Legislative Conference and previously served as president of the Georgia Young Farmers Association.
“I’m proud of my record in the Senate,” Harper said. “My record shows that, during my time in the Legislature, I have worked tirelessly to push issues that impact the 7th District, issues that affect rural Georgia. But I also have championed statewide issues that I thought were important to all Georgians. Among those are agriculture, natural resources and public safety issues.
“When Gary (Black) announced that he was going to run for the U.S. Senate, and thus vacate the Ag Commissioner’s office in 2022, I started thinking about having a bigger voice in the state, having a bigger impact. That’s one of the reasons I decided to run. I have the passion for the ag industry, I know it inside and out from my work in the industry, and I know what it takes to fight for Georgia farmers so that their work remains the No. 1 industry in the state. I don’t know who might ultimately decide to run for the office, but I do know my background compares most favorably to anyone who might decide to run.”
Harper said his primary concern as Agriculture Commissioner would be to make sure that the state’s “food chain” is delivered “safe and protected.”
“Our nation’s food supply chain is certainly a national security issue,” he said. “I believe recent events have shown that we have to put renewed focus on that issue. America feeds its people and much of the world, and we have to continue to make sure we shine a light on that fact. We must invest in the technology and the human capital it takes to keep Georgia growers and producers competitive in the worldwide markets.”
“We also need to keep expanding ag education on down to the elementary level — K-12 — so that the next generation can know that there are a lot of opportunities in the ag industry beyond production. And we want to make sure new and beginning farmers have access to ag capital so that they can become a part of the process.”
Former Georgia Republican Party Chair John Padgett is suing the state party asking for reimbursement for his attorney’s fees related to a previous lawsuit against the GAGOP. From the AJC:
John Padgett wants the state party to pay him more than $230,000 for legal costs he said he incurred related to the lawsuit filed by Qiana Keith, a former Georgia GOP staffer who claimed her co-workers had referred to her with a racial slur and humiliated her.
The state party paid more than $500,000 in 2017 to settle the lawsuit and racked up more than $1 million overall in legal costs.
Padgett, who led the party from 2013-2017, said in the complaint that he should be repaid the legal fees he tallied because he was named as an individual defendant in Keith’s lawsuit. A judge later dismissed the complaints against Padgett, letting stand the broader lawsuit against the party.
The lawsuit added that Padgett could have repaid himself while he led the party but decided to reserve the funds “for political activities during that presidential election year (2016).”
The Georgia GOP said Padgett’s complaint is frivolous.
“The Georgia Republican Party has gone to great lengths to prevent the problems the party experienced when Padgett was the chairman,” said Brandon Moye, the state GOP’s executive director. “If this lawsuit is pursued, we believe it will become clear that Padgett’s recollection of these long-past events is wholly erroneous.”
The latest move, an ordinance establishing a fee structure based on occupancy, passed the six-member council Sept. 9 by a unanimous vote, with member Jay Burke recusing.
The occupancy fee comes in the wake of council instituting a 90-day moratorium on short-term vacation rental permits at the Aug. 26 meeting.
Residents and owners in the past have pointed to a Georgia code that prevents Tybee’s code enforcement team, which typically handles residents’ complaints, from entering a residential property to check on the number of occupants without probable cause.
“It won’t be real-time enforcement,” said [City Manager Shawn] Gillen, “The computer system will monitor what the advertised occupancy rate is, versus what they put on their application. If those are different than we’ll be sending them a letter saying they’ll be getting a citation plus, they’ll have to pay the difference.”
Angst over STVRs is driven in part by concerns over the economic value of the rentals as well as their impact on the island’s resources, such as water and sewer services. The permit moratorium was put in place to allow for studies and data analysis in these areas. The City of Tybee held the first of a series of town halls on STVRs on Sept. 15.
So far, the city has held two town hall meetings. One was in-person and one virtual. Tybee Mayor Shirley Sessions says these have been extremely helpful and they’ve been able to gather a lot of recommendations from the community.
Mayor Sessions says a lot of residents and folks in the STVR industry have participated in the meetings. The city is hearing many of the same issues they’ve heard in the past, like the noise, trash and infrastructure issues often associated with the number of STVRs on the island. But finding common ground is a challenge.
Sessions says some residents say they want to see things like occupancy restrictions and a cap on neighborhood rentals while those in the industry say “no” to these suggestions.
There is that possibility, however, following recent actions by the Natural Resources Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives. In a vote split along party lines, Democrats supported incentives favorable to the establishment of wind farms off the coasts of Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas as part of the proposed $3.5 trillion spending bill.
Committee Democrats added wind farms to the bill in response to President Joe Biden’s call for clean, carbon-free energy.
Among other things, the bill would direct the U.S. Department of Interior to hold lease sales for offshore windmills.
“I am opposed to having windmills that would be visible to our coastal residents and our tourists,” [State Senator Sheila] McNeill said. “I am not against windmills in general, but our coast is not the place for them.”
“Not only do we worry about the optics, but we also have to worry about our bird population,” McNeill said. “There are over 280 species that spend winters on Little St. Simons alone.”
“Over one million birds are killed by wind turbines every year,” McNeill said.
Others share her sentiments, including state Rep. Buddy DeLoach, R-Townsend.
“I am opposed to these structures,” he said when asked. “We will be looking at what the states can do to protect our coast.”
“The General Assembly has previously expressed reservations with offshore energy exploration,” [U.S. Rep. Buddy] Carter said. “While I recognize the need for and value American-made energy, I will not support development off Georgia’s coast until those concerns have been resolved.”
“I’ve worked in local government management in three states — in Nebraska, Oregon and, most recently, in Wisconsin — and what impressed me about Whitfield County was the makeup of the Board of Commissioners,” he said. “They are people who are engaged. They are exhibiting leadership. They have a sense of direction.”
The commissioners named Sivick the sole finalist for county administrator on Sept. 6. They are scheduled to vote to confirm him Monday at noon in the large conference room on the fifth floor of the Wells Fargo building at 201 S. Hamilton St.
“We wanted to provide an easy to access mobile app that allows residents, and business, an integrated one-stop-shop for all things Forsyth County government,” said County Manager Kevin Tanner. “It also allows an easier way to submit an issue rather than searching for the right department phone number and making a call.”
Through Connect2Forsyth, mobile users can report an issue such as animal welfare, code compliance complaint, road debris and more; view and pay water bills and property taxes; obtain or renew a passport, water service, building permits, auto registration and more; call the County administration phone line; read the latest County news posts; view a calendar of events/meetings; and contact District Commissioners.
Connect2Forsyth is available for free download through the Apple App Store on IOS devices and the Google Play Store on Android devices.
Rufus is awesome! He is great with large and small dogs and he’s very submissive. He shows interest his fosters’ cat but he doesn’t go running after him. We feel it’s more out of being curious. He’s completely housebroken and crate trained. He’s not a talker, so you don’t have to worry about him barking. He is approximately one- two years old and he came to us from a sweet older couple. He was found as a stray and they never could find the owner. He is a bit underweight, but his sweet foster is working to fatten him up some- and he’s loving every minute of it.
Paris is a true snuggle bug! She loves sleeping with her foster mom and playing with her 4-legged foster siblings. She’s crate trained and 99% potty trained- she’s has one accident in the house, but that was day one of her arrival. Paris is 2 years old and is about 15-20 pounds. She sheds very little.
Molly is the longest residing resident at Hootie’s Haven. She came to us after her owner lost his home in a fire and was living in his car with Molly and his other dog. Molly is such an amazing girl! She will play fetch for hours. She LOVES her balls & KONG toys! She had an accident as a puppy and she has issues with her back left leg but she doesnt let it slow her down one bit! She is so toy driven that as long as you play ball, she will do anything else you want her to do! She does not like to share her toys, so we feel she would do best as an only dog and in a home with no young children.
We know from that newspaper article, and from Masonic ritual, that Washington placed an inscribed silver plate under the cornerstone at the southeast corner of this building. However, we do not know whether that meant the southeast corner of the Senate wing, the first section of the building to be completed, or the southeast corner of the whole building as intended, which would locate it over on the House side. Two centuries later, the Architect of the Capitol is still searching for that cornerstone. Metal detectors have failed to locate the silver plate.
The period for a new election of a Citizen, to Administer the Executive government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person, who is to be cloathed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those, out of whom a choice is to be made.
I beg you, at the sametime, to do me the justice to be assured, that this resolution has not been taken, without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation, which binds a dutiful Citizen to his country–and that, in withdrawing the tender of service which silence in my Situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness; but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.
The Battle of Antietam actually consisted of three battles. Beginning at dawn on September 17, Union General Joseph Hooker’s men stormed Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s troops around the Dunker Church, the West Woods, and David Miller’s cornfield. The Federals made repeated attacks, but furious Rebel counterattacks kept the Yankees in check. By early afternoon, the fighting moved south to the middle of the battlefield. Union troops under General Edwin Sumner inflicted devastating casualties on the Confederates along a sunken road that became known as “Bloody Lane,” before the Southerners retreated. McClellan refused to apply reserves to exploit the opening in the Confederate center because he believed Lee’s force to be much larger than it actually was. In the late afternoon, Union General Ambrose Burnside attacked General James Longstreet’s troops across a stone bridge that came to bear Burnside’s name. The Yankees crossed the creek, but a Confederate counterattack brought any further advance to a halt.
The fighting ended by early evening, and the two armies remained in place throughout the following day. After dark on September 18, Lee began pulling his troops out of their defenses for a retreat to Virginia. The losses for the one-day battle were staggering. Union casualties included 2,108 dead, 9,540 wounded, and 753 missing, while Confederate casualties numbered 1,546 dead, 7,752 wounded, and 1,108 missing.
On September 19, 1863, the Battle of Chickamauga was joined between the federal Army of the Cumberland under Maj. Gen. William Rosecrans and the Confederate Army of Tennessee under Gen. Braxton Bragg. After Gettysburg, Chickamauga is generally considered the second-bloodiest battle of the Civil War, with 18,500 Confederate casualties and 16,100 Union dead.
Carter was preparing to give a speech at a Lions Club meeting. At about 7:15 p.m (EST), one of the guests called his attention to a strange object that was visible about 30 degrees above the horizon to the west of where he was standing. Carter described the object as being bright white and as being about as bright as the moon. It was said to have appeared to have closed in on where he was standing but to have stopped beyond a stand of pine trees some distance from him. The object is then said to have changed color, first to blue, then to red, then back to white, before appearing to recede into the distance. Carter felt that the object was self-luminous, but not a solid in nature. Carter’s report indicates that it was witnessed by about ten or twelve other people, and was in view for ten to twelve minutes before it passed out of sight.
President Joe Biden nominated Statesboro native Reta Jo Lewis as Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, according to the Statesboro Herald.
She is the first Black woman to be nominated to head the Export-Import Bank, which assists American businesses export their goods by providing financial assistance in the form of loans, loan guarantees and insurance.
Lewis was born in Statesboro and is the daughter of the late Charlie and Altheia Lewis, who were entrepreneurs and civic activists in Statesboro for more than 50 years. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia, holds a master’s degree from American University in Washington and earned her law degree from Emory University School of Law in Atlanta.
Lewis has more than two decades of leadership experience in international affairs, legal, public policy and regulatory issues, as well as subnational diplomacy, including serving under the Obama-Biden administration.
Under then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she was the first-ever special representative for global intergovernmental affairs.
Prior to serving in the Obama White House, Lewis worked as a special assistant for political affairs for former President Bill Clinton.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said this week the decision comes from supply shortages and demand for the treatments across the country, mainly due to the delta variant’s rapid spread.
Health care providers will no longer be able to order the treatments directly. HHS said it will determine each state’s weekly allocation of monoclonal antibody products based on use and the number of new COVID cases.
The Georgia Department of Public Health said it will identify which sites in the state will receive the product and the amount each site receives.
Health care providers must record their administration of the products in order to be eligible to receive additional shipments.
Some Monoclonal Antibody Infusion treatment sites in Georgia are closing because of the Biden Administration’s policy change, according to WALB.
Effective Thursday, COVID-19 infusion sites across South Georgia are temporarily closing.
Colquitt Regional Medical Center was one of many facilities in the region to say that monoclonal antibody treatment will be unavailable until further notice.
For a few months now, that infusion treatment has been available to hundreds of COVID-19 patients. However, officials say things are changing and it’s out of the hospital’s control.
The infusion sites are closing as the state works through a new distribution process.
“We are very disappointed that the infusions are not available to us in the moment,” said Matthew Clifton, Assistant Vice President of Pharmacy and Oncology at CRMC. “Health and Human Services, the department of the government, notified us about a week ago that they were really looking at the numbers and were questioning the volumes we were ordering, which led to all the orders that we were making kind of being held up.”
He says the treatment has helped keep people out of the hospital and lessen the stress on local hospital staff.
It’s unclear, Clifton says, when the distribution will begin again and how many doses the hospital will be granted.
South Georgia Medical Center has postponed monoclonal antibody infusion treatments. The Biden administration now oversees the distribution of them while shortages are reported across the state and country.
When the facility opened in early August, these treatments help keep people alive, and hospitals from surpassing capacity.
“We wanted to make sure we treated as many people as we possibly could and we still do once we re-supply. We want to continue treating as many people as possible to minimize their risk of being hospitalized or death,” said Brian Dawson, Chief Medical Officer at SGMC.
Demand is up and supply is down for monoclonal antibody infusions.
“It’s my understanding now they have changed their distribution and allotment strategy, as before they were going through a national drug wholesaler, now they’re going directly to the state department of public health to get those distributed,” said Dawson.
Health care providers will no longer be able to order the treatments directly.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will determine each state’s weekly allocation based on the use and the number of new COVID-19 cases.
Georgia Department of Public Health will identify which areas will receive the product and amount.
A small batch of supplies remains for those that come to the Emergency Department very ill.
Once SGMC receives more supplies, they plan to reopen this infusion unit.
“Ultimately, this should improve our ability to communicate our need for monoclonal antibody treatment medications,” Melissa Frank, director of pharmacy services at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, wrote in a statement Wednesday, Sept. 15.
But the change has already disrupted supply for some providers, including Longstreet Clinic, which has locations in Gainesville, Oakwood and Braselton. The clinic tried to submit an order for the treatment through a drug vendor last week before they were informed of the distribution change, said Chief Operating Officer Loren Funk. The clinic does not currently administer monoclonal antibody treatment, he said.
“We were making our plans to do so and that change from how they’re distributing has slowed that process,” Funk said. “I’m in the process of figuring out how and if we can go through the proper channels to be able to get the Regeneron to administer.”
U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop was supportive of Biden’s new COVID-19 plan. The congressman, whose second congressional district includes the southwest corner of the state as well as portions of Macon and Columbus, said vaccinations and testing were “crucial” to preventing the spread and mutation of the coronavirus. Both public health measures, he said, would lower risks, allow schools to stay open and ensure people are healthy.
Bishop added that Georgians are already required to receive vaccines for a number of dangerous diseases including “polio, hepatitis B and measles” among others.
“By implementing vaccine requirements for federal employees and contractors, the President is ensuring that our federal workforce is as healthy as possible during this pandemic — capable of defending and serving our country,” a portion of Bishop’s statement read. “It is also important to be clear that, for businesses with 100 or more employees, the President is requiring that employees be vaccinated or tested weekly.
“The plan that the President announced last week was not limited to vaccines,” Bishop added. “It also outlined ways to expand testing, help hospital and healthcare worker capacity, and improve funding support for small businesses.”
U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, whose district stretches from north Columbus to the southern suburbs of Atlanta, posted a statement on Twitter last week calling Biden’s COVID-19 plan unconstitutional.
“The federal government mandating the COVID-19 vaccine is unacceptable and unconstitutional,” the post read. “It’s a slippery slope that erodes individual liberty. I encourage people to have a discussion with their healthcare provider, discuss the risks & benefits, and make an informed decision.”
U.S. Rep Austin Scott, whose district includes portions of north Macon, Warner Robins and Perry, issued a statement on Twitter.
“I tested positive for COVID-19 last yr & was in the hospital on (oxygen.) I believe the COVID-19 vaccine is safe & effective, but I don’t support a dictatorial COVID-19 vaccine mandate, vaccine passports, or forcing private businesses to give workers PTO to comply w/ Biden’s mandate. Getting a vaccine is a personal choice. This is America, & @JoeBiden doesn’t get to dictate the health care choices of Americans. Show some respect, Mr. President.”
For the upcoming Warner Robins election, there are four races on the ballot — mayor and three city council seats.
Andy Holland with the Houston County Board of Elections says the biggest change is for absentee voters.
“Some of the changes include when you can request the ballot. The last day ballots can be mailed out things like their ballots now can only be requested within 78 days of an election, and then the last day to mail a ballot out has been moved to 11 days prior to the election,” said Holland.
He says ID is now required for both in-person and mail-in voting
“All requests on that application have to include a driver’s license number of Georgia driver’s license number for the voter. If they do not have a Georgia driver’s license, that’s when they would have to attach an alternate form of ID, like a copy of a photo ID like a passport,” said Holland.
Holland says the same applies when you return your absentee ballot. You’ll need to put down your driver’s license number or last four of your social security number.
The law also limits the number of absentee ballot drop boxes.
Early voting runs Oct. 12-29. Holland says Saturday voting will be open the first two weeks. Election day is Nov. 2.
“What I can tell you is that the Trump investigation is ongoing. As a district attorney, I do not have the right to look the other way on any crime that may have happened in my jurisdiction,” Willis told reporters this week. “We have a team of lawyers that is dedicated to that, but my No. 1 priority is to make sure that we keep violent offenders off the street.”
Willis’s probe spans not only the former President’s activities, but also a call between Sen. Lindsey Graham and Raffensperger, Rudy Giuliani’s false allegations of election fraud before Georgia legislators and the surprise departure of Byung “BJay” Pak from his role as US attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.
Audio recordings of both of those calls have already emerged, and Willis’s office has been poring over those along with other documents and records from the Secretary of State’s office, according to people familiar with the matter.
United States Representative Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) is questioning a policy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynn County, according to The Brunswick News.
U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1, questions a FLETC rule that forbids students receiving COVID-19 vaccine from leaving the Glynco campus.
The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center says the rule, put into effect after a COVID-19-forced break in training in August, is for the safety of students, staff and the community during the pandemic. It is only temporary and subject to review in about four months.
“The confining of all FLETC students, vaccinated and unvaccinated, is completely unnecessary,” Carter said. “I believe that by confining vaccinated students, it diminishes confidence in the vaccine itself.”
Carter, whose congressional district includes the training facility, received complaints about the lockdown from students and a former student. They complain that it is unfair to prevent them from leaving the base when instructors and other staff, as well as contractors, are free to come and go.
“We should be confident in the vaccine that our doctors and scientists have put so much time and effort in to developing, and this policy only goes to reduce incentive to get vaccinated,” Carter said.
Bibb County public schools will host a vaccine clinic for eligible students, according to 13WMAZ.
Individuals 12 and older will be able to get the Pfizer vaccine at middle and high schools.
In order for students to receive the vaccine, parents must complete a consent form and return it to your child’s school.
Statesboro will host a vaccine clinic this weekend, according to the Statesboro Herald.
Statesboro’s city government is working in partnership with the Bulloch County NAACP and Squashing the Spread Bulloch County to host the free COVID-19 vaccine clinic this Saturday, Sept. 18, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Jones-Love Cultural Center in Luetta Moore Park.
The park is at 585 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, where the first 300 visitors in line will get a $50 gift card after receiving their choice of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the city government announced. The free vaccines will be administered by licensed practitioners from the Bulloch County Health Department.
“Myself and the Statesboro City Council want our citizens to get vaccinated,” Mayor Jonathan McCollar said in a press release. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. The COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and save lives. It is our hope that offering the $50 incentive will encourage more citizens to take the vaccine to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors.”
Anyone who received their first dose of a two-dose vaccine at the City Hall clinic Sept. 1 will be eligible to receive a second dose and an additional $50 gift card during the clinic Saturday at the park, city Public Information Officer Layne Phillips stated in the press release.
After initially approving an expenditure of $10,000 for two hundred $50 bank-issued gift cards before the Sept. 1 clinic, City Council on Sept. 7 approved the purchase of 168 more cards, replacing the 68 previously distributed and boosting the total available for Saturday to 300. That also made the cumulative expenditure for gift cards $18,400, with the funding source being the city’s federal reimbursement for public safety expenses under Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act of 2020.
That is an interesting scenario, because it incentivizes people to get the two-shot vaccine. According to the CDC:
You should get your second shot as close to the recommended 3-week or 4-week interval as possible.
People are considered fully vaccinated:
• 2 weeks after their second shot in a 2-dose series, like the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
• 2 weeks after a single-shot vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine
The big tents are up behind the Albany Civic Center, but it’s not a circus coming to town in this instance. The setup is for a Saturday COVID vaccination clinic that will pay Dougherty County residents to roll up their sleeves.
Dougherty residents 18 and up will receive $100 Visa gift cards for getting a COVID-vaccination at the vaccination clinic scheduled for 8 a.m.-1 p.m. However, the event is open to anyone 12 and older and residents of other counties can get vaccinated but will not receive the $100 incentive.
“We want people in Dougherty County to come out, the city of Albany as well,” Albany Fire Department Chief Cedric Scott, who also serves as Dougherty County Emergency Management Director, said. “I’m just excited about Saturday. I’m looking forward to it, and hopefully we’ll see a lot of Dougherty County and Albany residents.”
The Dougherty County Commission earlier this week earmarked $338,000 toward the incentive effort. Residents can get $100 for both an initial vaccination and when they get a second shot, in approximately three to four weeks. The Pfizer vaccine version will be administered, and another clinic is planned for a month from Saturday for the second dose.
Last month, the commission approved $300 payments to employees who provided proof of full vaccination, and the vaccination rate for county staff increased from about 10 percent to nearly 50 percent over a month’s time.
Residents can provide proof of residency on Saturday with a driver’s license or other forms of identification. There is no specific list of acceptable identification, but a valid college identification or other forms of identification will be accepted.
– Students or staff member will not have to quarantine if they are asymptomatic and fully vaccinated, at least 14 days from the vaccination series.
– Individuals who have had COVID-19 in the previous three months and are asymptomatic are not required to quarantine but should continue wearing a mask indoors.
– A pre-K-12 student who is asymptomatic and was three to six feet from a student with confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 in the classroom setting is not required to quarantine, only if, both students were consistently and correctly wearing well-fitted masks at the time of exposure.
“Myself and my staff believe we can ask for this modified quarantine plan because we are mandating masks and feel safer doing so,” Cason said, “I believe if we had not mandated masks I would not be asking for a modified quarantine plan.”
Fort Gordon has begun to implement a required COVID-19 vaccination plan after receiving guidance from the Army.
The Army outlined its plan to fully comply with the Secretary of Defense’s order to require all service members to be fully vaccine. Before the order was put in place last month, vaccines were optional.
“This is quite literally a matter of life and death for our soldiers, their families and the communities in which we live,” Lt. Gen. R. Scott Dingle, the U.S. Army Surgeon General, said in a release. “Case counts and deaths continue to be concerning as the Delta variant spreads, which makes protecting the force through mandatory vaccination a health and readiness priority for the total Army.”
“Anecdotally, we see people at mobile events and who come to the health department, who have expressed that they were hesitant before and now they are taking advantage of it,” [East Central Health District Director Dr. Stephen] Goggans said. “This helps motivate them. So I think it is helping some. At least at our sites it is doing pretty well.”
In terms of numbers, it has not yet moved the needle. Looking at just over a week’s worth of data since the kickoff, Richmond County’s rate of vaccination is virtually the same as Columbia County’s, where there is no incentive program, an Augusta Chronicle analysis found.
It may just be too early to see the impact yet, Goggans said. The city is partnering with a couple of other clinics that have yet to get going and once that happens the impact may be more widely felt, he said.
Georgia Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller (R-Gainesville) says he will try to pass parts of the Texas abortion law in the next Session of the General Assembly, according to the AJC.
Miller, a Gainesville Republican who is running for lieutenant governor against an opponent backed by former President Donald Trump, said he is working with anti-abortion groups to write the legislation.
The Texas statute is similar to a Georgia law that a federal judge blocked last year that would have banned abortions once fetal cardiac activity is detected, usually about six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women know they’re pregnant. Georgia’s law also extends legal rights to fertilized eggs. The case challenging the Georgia law will be heard in a federal appeals court on Sept. 24.
“We have one of the strongest pro-life laws in the nation, but it’s not in effect,” Miller said. “Because of the courts, it’s not currently saving the lives it was intended to save. If the Texas model allows us to move forward with a pro-life law, I’ll work to get it done.”
Miller is running against two other Republican candidates for the lieutenant governor nomination, including his colleague state Sen. Burt Jones, a Jackson Republican who was recently endorsed by Trump. A spokesman for Jones said while the candidate was supportive of anti-abortion laws, he would need to know the particulars of the proposed legislation before weighing in.
Miller said he fully expects to see Republicans simply copy Texas’ abortion law and file an exact duplicate here in Georgia.
Miller is running for lieutenant governor, so is State Senator Burt Jones, who said the exact same thing.
“There’s probably going to be several states that do something very similar to that. And I wouldn’t doubt it at all,” Jones said.
“If you look at the vote tally in the house on HB 481, it passed by two votes. Two votes. That is hardly a mandate in Georgia that the state wants this. It’s not,” [Democratic State Rep. Beth] Moore said.
Before any of that happens, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the state’s appeal on the Georgia heartbeat abortion law. That will happen on Sept. 24.
The five state Senate and five state House districts that lost the most residents between 2010 and 2020 – about 68,000 residents – are in rural parts of the state, according to U.S. Census figures released last month. Meanwhile, the districts that have grown the most are all in metro areas near Atlanta, Augusta and Savannah.
House District 139, which encompasses Taylor, Macon and Dooley counties and parts of Peach County in central Georgia, lost 16% — or about 8,600 — of its residents in the past decade. Senate District 12, which includes all or parts of 11 counties in southwest Georgia, lost nearly 10% of its residents, about 16,000 people.
But with rural Georgia losing residents, while metro areas have seen huge growth, rural parts of the state are likely going to lose districts. So Republicans will want to draw GOP-leaning districts in the increasingly diverse suburban and exurban parts of the state.
“This will be a continuation of a pattern that has been going on for about 50 years of South Georgia losing seats to North Georgia, and more specifically losing seats to metro Atlanta,” said Charles Bullock, a University of Georgia political scientist and author of the book “Redistricting: The Most Political Activity in America.”
State Rep. Gerald Greene, a Cuthbert Republican who represents a sprawling nine-county district in southwest Georgia that has declined by 4,000 people since 2010, said it’s too early to worry about what redistricting could mean for him.
“You have to be careful if you’re dismantling any districts currently held by an African American legislator,” Bullock said. “That would surely get them sued.”
Bullock said Republicans will have to decide if they want to plan for short-term or long-term control. If short-term control is more important, they will try to craft as many Republican-leaning districts as possible. But if they are thinking long term, Bullock said, they’ll decide which districts they can confidently hold for the next decade as Georgia’s population changes, and cede the rest.
Senate District 12 is represented by Sen. Freddie Powell Sims (D-Albany) and House District 139 by State Rep. Patty Bentley (D-Butler).
[Downtown Development Authority] Director Aundi Lesley collected data from two retailers and three restaurants on weekend foot traffic and sales increase for the month of August. The increase varies, she said, with one retailer recording a 28% increase in sales and another recording a 95% increase compared to August 2020.
Rome police also reported that there haven’t been any alcohol-related issues downtown so far. There was one incident where people used aluminum cans when walking around the Town Green and another incident where someone tried to use a glass.
Glynn County Commissioners voted to ban alcohol from the beaches of St Simons Island during the Georgia-Florida game weekend, according to The Brunswick News.
The intent of the ban on Oct. 29-30 is to reduce the burden on public safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commissioner Cap Fendig, who made the motion to impose the ban, said public safety has to be protected, and there are no other suggestions to curtail excessive alcohol consumption on the beach.
The Rome-Floyd County Development Authority will use Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax proceeds to buy a shuttered state hospital, according to the Rome News Tribune.
The Rome-Floyd County Development Authority announced Thursday the state has accepted their offer to buy the Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital property for $2.25 million, using SPLOST funds.
The hospital was one of the state-run mental health facilities. It was closed as part of a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice regarding treatment of patients in the state’s seven psychiatric hospitals. The closure left 700 employees without jobs and 2,000 patients without medical care.
The primary obstacle to a deal has always been the millions in debt owed on bonds the state issued to improve the hospital’s facilities before the decision to shut it down.
“I have felt all along that the highest and best use of the property was for job creation,” Rome Mayor Craig McDaniel said. “I want to thank Gov. Brian Kemp, the State Properties Commission and especially our legislative delegation for their support of our request.”
The Gainesville City school district has partnered with Brenau University and the University of North Georgia to train its faculty to teach English to Speakers of Other Languages, with plans to train almost all of its teachers in the next three years.
Nearly one-third of the district’s 8,000 students are English learners — the highest in the entire state — and the unofficial number is even higher, about 50%, when factoring in those students who become proficient enough to shed the English to Speakers of Other Languages label but whose performance is still monitored for a couple of years afterward. Roughly 60% of the district’s students are Hispanic, and most ESOL students test out of the program by the time they reach fourth grade.
The district has roughly 800 faculty and 34% of them are currently qualified to teach ESOL. The goal is to have 90% of them endorsed in the next three years, Williams said, with as many as two-thirds by the spring of next year. Endorsement, in this case, refers to additional training in a particular subject area for teachers who are already certified.
The moratorium specifically is for development applications for condos on parcels located in zoning district R-4 Multi-Family Residential within the city limits. It will last until November 9. The full resolution can be found here.
Second reading and final adoption will take place at the October meeting.
The moratorium will last until November 9.
Julius Hall filed a lawsuit in Chatham County Superior Court contesting his removal from the ballot for Mayor of Port Wentworth because of a previous felony conviction, according to the Savannah Morning News.
Disqualified Port Wentworth mayoral candidate Julius Hall asked the Chatham County Superior Court on Thursday to grant an injunction that would prevent his removal from the Nov. 2 ballot.
The brief hearing focused solely on whether Hall’s injunction will be granted and did not discuss whether or not Hall was qualified as a candidate.
Hall plans on appealing the disqualification itself at a later date, according to the language in the injunction request. The deadline for Hall for file an appeal is Sept. 19, according to City of Port Wentworth documents.
Port Wentworth’s elections superintendent, Shanta Scarboro, ruled Sept. 10 that Hall had not satisfied all the requirements of the law to run for mayor. State code bars released felons from running for office for 10 years after the completion of their sentence.
Hall said part of why he’s fighting to run for office is because he “wants to change the culture of people thinking that life is over for them” after they get out of prison.
“You can come out, be productive and be an honest person,” Hall said.
Dewey Galeas said Thursday that an incumbent would be the better choice to help guide the county through its period of record growth. Columbia County is among the top 50 fastest-growing counties in the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
“I’ve discovered that it takes a while to learn about the office, and you have a window where you’ve learned enough about the office to be effective,” he said. “I believe that I’ve gotten there and I’d like to continue to be effective and carry all the lessons I’ve learned into a second term.”
Sparked by a returned check for a qualifying fee by current commissioner Jessica Brewster Payton, the special election will be held in conjunction with November’s municipal general election.
Polk County Elections Director Brande Coggins reported that Payton submitted paperwork and payment on Wednesday afternoon to qualify for the special election.
The first-term commissioner said she had planned to qualify in a statement issued Friday that described the chain of events that led to the returned check and her disqualification from the municipal general election.
With only the three incumbents qualifying for the three Cedartown City Commission seats up for election this year, Payton’s disqualification meant there weren’t enough candidates to fill the open seats. That led to county and city attorneys going over Georgia state law and determining to hold a special election for the seat currently held by Payton.
The other two Cedartown city commissioners who qualified for November’s election — Sam Branch and Matt Foster — are unopposed and will retain their seats for another term.
A vote on an extension of the current Education Local Option Sales Tax for the Polk School District will also be put to all Polk County voters.
In recent weeks hundreds of City of Savannah employees across 17 departments have been busy moving to a new city services complex in west Savannah. Officials say the new complex will help consolidate numerous services, a benefit for both citizens and employees.
The 38-acre site will house approximately 600 employees in 11 buildings and has been under development for two years. Assistant City Manager and Chief Development Officer Heath Lloyd called the project is a “win-win” for all involved.
“A win for our residents and the city in terms of efficiencies gained due to the collocation of city staff into one facility, thereby reducing the costs to the citizens while increasing collaborative efforts between our City departments,” he said. “A win for the residents and the business community since it will provide one-stop shop for residential/business permitting and development. I am thrilled about the realization of such an awesome project with so much potential!”
Bibb County Superintendent Curtis Jones announced he will retire at the end of the school year, according to 13WMAZ.
Hi I’m Rhea! I’m a 12 week old puppy that was given to a shelter along with my brothers and sisters when my owner could not keep us anymore. Lucky for me the rescue took us in and I’ve gotten plenty of love and attention since then! I love to play and cuddle. My foster mom even calls me her snuggle bunny because I’m always up for a good cuddle in her arms or lap when I’m not playing. I can be nervous when I meet people I don’t know, but I warm up quickly and then get excited to be with them. I love dogs too!
Hi, my name is Aphrodite but my friends call me Rosie! I am a female that is about 10 weeks old (estimated birthday is 6/16/21), and I currently weigh about 12.5 lbs. I am a lab mix of some sort, but no one has seen my parents so that is just a guess (I was found as a stray with my siblings). I am a total love bug and velcro dog that wants to be curled up beside you or in your lap. I love to run and play outside, but I like to stick close by my humans too. I am still a young puppy so I am still learning tricks like “sit” and working on potty training and walking nicely on a leash. I love to chew on toys too. I am very friendly and love other people, children, and other dogs. I will even play with the cats, so I get along well with everybody.
Hi, my name is Gertrude. I am about 5 months old (estimated birthday is 4/8/21). No one is quite sure what kind of dog I am, but the best guess is a lab/pit mix. I am a very happy and energetic little girl. I love playing with everyone and everything. I am very smart! I know how to sit, shake, fetch, and LOVE to do treat puzzles. I am a very quick learner. I can be a little rambunctious at times, but I listen very well and will calm down when asked. I am still learning to walk on the leash but I will walk beside you when I am not on it. I am potty trained and will sleep in a crate through the night.