Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 31, 2015

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 31, 2015

Georgia and American History

On July 31, 1777, the Marquis de LaFayette was commissioned a Major General in the Continental Army, serving without pay.

The cornerstone for the first United States Mint was laid in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 31, 1792, becoming the first building constructed by the federal government under the Constitution.

Former President Andrew Johnson, who succeeded President Lincoln upon his assassination and oversaw much of the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, died of a stroke in Tennessee on July 31, 1875.

On July 31, 1906, a bill to create place a Constitutional Amendment on the November election for voters to decide whether to create an intermediate-level Georgia Court of Appeals was approved by the Georgia General Assembly.

On July 31, 1962, the one-millionth immigrant was welcomed into Israel.

Nolan Ryan, the greatest pitcher in major league baseball history, won his 300th career game on July 31, 1990. During eight innings, Ryan threw 146 pitches, while today, many pitchers are pulled at around the 100-pitch count.

“In the old days throwing that many pitches was a normal game,” said Nolan Ryan, who tossed a record seven no-hitters and is the all-time leader in strikeouts, fifth in innings pitched.

Ryan, currently the Rangers’ team president, is an outspoken detractor of the recent trend toward monitoring pitch counts. In a recent Sports Illustrated article, Ryan expressed his belief that today’s pitchers are “pampered” and that there is no reason why today’s pitchers cannot pitch as much as he and his colleagues did back in the day. As a result, Ryan is pushing his team’s pitchers to throw deeper into games and extend their arms further, emphasizing conditioning over what some would call coddling.

As Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux told SI: “This generation of players has become a creature of the pitch count. Their ceiling has been lowered. It’s up to us to jack it back up.”

Georgia Politics

A fire destroyed the Monroe County home of Brian and Janea Cox, the parents of Haleigh, who became the poster child for medical cannabis in Georgia.

Six-year-old Haleigh Cox and her parents, Janea and Brian Cox, appear to have lost everything and are awaiting an insurance assessment. The fire occurred just days before Janea Cox and Haleigh were set to return home, after spending the past year in Colorado. There, the girl has been on a therapeutic regimen that includes an extract of cannabis.

Her family has said a liquid form of the drug has helped reduce her seizures.

Janea Cox said by telephone that her family is grateful for all the love and support from friends, family and the community.

“We will get through this storm and hopefully come out stronger,” she said.

Donations for the Coxes are being collected by Northway Church. Pastor Kevin Mills said the church does not yet have a list of the family’s immediate needs. Donations can be made via the church website or by calling 478-476-1971.

From their church’s website:

To Donate Via Check To The Haleigh Cox Family

  • Make checks payable to Northway Church with General Memorial Fund written on the memo line.
  • For donations mailed to Northway Church please include this information:

Northway Church
Attn: Haleigh Cox Family
5915 Zebulon Road
Macon, GA 31210

To Make A Donation Online

  1. Click here
  2. Fill out your information
  3. In the drop down box select General Memorial Fund
  4. IMPORTANT: Email kcaffarelli@northwaychurch.net with your name and gift amount.

Pretty funny campaign ad, and I think it’ll be effective. I don’t know anything about it other than that it popped up in my Facebook feed.

The Georgia Sales Tax Holiday is now in effect, just in time for back-to-school.

The holiday began this morning and extends through midnight on Saturday.

During those days, buyers won’t have to pay sales tax on several back-to-school items. Exempt items are:

• Clothing and footwear with a sales price of $100 or less per item

• Computers, computer components and pre-written computer software purchased for noncommercial home or personal use with a sales price of $1,000 or less per item

• School supplies, including art and computer supplies or instructional materials purchased for non-commercial use with a sales price of $20 or less per item

DeKalb County State Court Judge Dax Lopez has been nominated for a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

The White House has nominated DeKalb County State Court Judge Dax Lopez, a Republican, to fill the final open slot on the federal bench in the Northern District of Georgia.

The White House made the announcement Thursday afternoon. Lopez has been a state court judge since 2010. When Georgia Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue appointed Lopez to the DeKalb bench, he was 34—the youngest judge on the county’s state court bench and only the second Latino judge in the state.

He was born in Puerto Rico and moved with his family to Augusta when he was 6 years old.

Puerto Rico is part of the United States.

The AJC has statements from Georgia’s two United States Senators; federal judicial appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.

Said Perdue:

“I congratulate Judge Dax Lopez of DeKalb County on his nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I look forward to meeting Judge Lopez and exploring his judicial philosophy during the confirmation process.”

Added Isakson:

“I welcome the nomination and look forward to meeting with Judge López during the confirmation process.”

The slot on the Northern District of Georgia bench remains unfilled after last year’s battle over Judge Michael Boggs, who was blocked by Democrats because of his past views on abortion, gay rights and keeping the Confederate battle emblem on the state flag.

Richmond County Sheriff’s deputies are receiving training on the use of body cams, in advance of their rollout.

In addition to learning policy details, deputies in a class Wednesday were able to ask questions on how their activities will play out while wearing the cameras.

“Do not let this camera replace what you do as an officer,” said Cpl. Michelle Thomas, who led the class. She advised officers that even though the camera added a visual element to police work, it should not replace good policing or report writing.

Deputy Billy Jones, who has worn one of the 15 test cameras for the past six months, was able to provide some firsthand feedback.

“I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for a long time,” Jones said. “People generally like to pop off (verbally at officers) … but the camera almost takes the want to be belligerent away.”

I have some concerns about the use of body cams, including how stored footage will be used and the application of the “plain view” standard for searches. But the de-escalation of bad behavior when citizens know they’re being recorded might be an unintended good consequence that prevents routine matters from getting out of hand.

Congressman Tom Graves (R-14) will hold a series of public meetings in his district.

August 12th – Ringgold
11am to 12pm
Location: The Depot
155 Depot St
Ringgold, GA

August 19th – Dallas
11am to 12pm
Location: Watson Government Complex, Lower Level Meeting Space
240 Constitution Blvd.
Dallas, GA

August 19th – Rome
2pm to 3pm
Location: The Forum, Riverwalk Ballroom
301 Tribune Street
Rome, GA

August 20th – Dalton
1:30pm – 2:30pm
Location: Dalton City Hall
300 West Waugh Street
Dalton, GA

Bartow County is seeing a significant rise in local manufacuring and new jobs, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

A Gwinnett County grand jury will hear a presentation of charges against Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill after he accidentally shot a friend.

Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter said Thursday afternoon he had just met with county solicitor Rosanna Szabo, and they agreed that the grand jury should weigh the case. But Porter said he doesn’t necessarily expect a change in the charge against Hill in the May 3 shooting of 43-year-old Gwenevere McCord.

Previously, the case had been presumed to move forward without the grand jury, because the reckless conduct charge against Hill is a misdemeanor. Porter’s office handles felony cases, which typically require the grand jury; Szabo’s officials handles misdemeanors, which often don’t.

The decision to shift gears in protocol is because of Hill’s position in law enforcement and question about whether he was technically on or off duty, Porter said. Given Hill’s position, the law allows him a chance to make a “sworn statement not subject to cross examination” for the grand jury.

A Gwinnett-based charity delivers supplies to people with disabilities in Liberia.

[Florence A. Tolbert and the Disabled Advocates Inc.] has delivered more than $800,000 worth of devices to the country since 2008, with plans to ship at least another $55,000 worth this year.

The nonprofit has received donations from several other agencies, including carts and wheelchairs from PET International, mobility devices from Joni and Friends in California and glasses and white canes for the blind from the Lawrenceville Lions Club. This year, FATDA will ship 26 crates full of supplies to Liberia.

In addition to providing needed devices for the disabled, Dean hopes to expand the nonprofit’s capabilities to provide disability education and retrofit buildings to provide easier access. Most of all, he wants to change people’s misconceptions about disabilities.

“Disability is not due to witchcraft or divine retribution,” Dean said. “It can happen and does happen to everybody.”

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