Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 12, 2019

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 12, 2019

General William Tecumseh Sherman ordered the destruction of railroad and telegraph lines between Atlanta and Northwest Georgia on November 12, 1864. Sherman also burned the railroad bridge over the Chattahoochee, cutting his own supply line from Chattanooga.

In what looks to me like a surprisingly progressive move for the 19th century, Governor John B. Gordon signed legislation on November 12, 1889 opening the University of Georgia to white women.

On November 12, 1918, Atlanta held a victory parade to celebrate the Armistice with Germany.

On November 12, 1944, the Atlanta Constitution released a poll of Georgia legislators indicating that most wanted more local rule for cities and counties in the new Constitution being drafted.

President Jimmy Carter ordered an end to oil imports from Iran on November 12, 1979.

Tim Berners-Lee published a Proposal for a HyperText Project, laying the foundation for the World Wide Web, on November 12, 1990.

HyperText is a way to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will. Potentially, HyperText provides a single user-interface to many large classes of stored information such as reports, notes, data-bases, computer documentation and on-line systems help.

A program which provides access to the hypertext world we call a browser. A hypertext page has pieces of text which refer to other texts. Such references are highlighted and can be selected with a mouse. When you select a reference, the browser presents you with the text which is referenced.

The texts are linked together in a way that one can go from one concept to another to find the information one wants. The network of links is called a web.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Former President Jimmy Carter is scheduled for surgery this morning at Emory University, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was admitted to a hospital on Monday evening for a procedure to relieve pressure on his brain, caused by bleeding due to his recent falls, his spokeswoman said.

Carter has fallen at least three times this year, and the first incident in the spring required hip replacement surgery. He traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, and helped build a Habitat for Humanity home after getting 14 stiches following a fall on Oct. 6. And he was briefly hospitalized after fracturing his pelvis on Oct. 21. He received a dire cancer diagnosis in 2015 but survived and has since said he is cancer-free.

Cobb County confirmed a case of measles in an unvaccinated person, according to ABC News.

Cobb County, a suburban part of Atlanta, Georgia, confirmed a case of measles in an unvaccinated person, according to state health officials.

The individual may have exposed others to the infectious disease between Oct. 31 and Nov. 6, health officials said Saturday.

“The increase in measles cases in Georgia is undoubtedly a reflection of the increased number of measles outbreaks around the country,” a health department spokesperson told ABC News.

“All eight cases of measles in Georgia this year were in individuals who were not vaccinated. Measles is preventable through vaccination, and the measles vaccine is one of the most effective vaccines we have,” the spokesperson added.

In Georgia, after confirming the measles case in Cobb County, health department officials advised local residents to contact their doctor immediately if they think they have symptoms of measles.

“DO NOT go to the doctor’s office, the hospital, or a public health clinic without FIRST calling to let them know about your symptoms,” the department said in a statement.

From the Albany Herald:

Measles starts with fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.

Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In fact, the measles virus can stay in the air for up to two hours after an infected person was there. People may be infected by simply being in a room where an infected person once was. It is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.

People with symptoms of measles should contact their health care provider immediately. Do not go to the doctor’s office, the hospital or a public health clinic without first calling to let them know about your symptoms. Health care providers who suspect measles in a patient should notify public health immediately.

For more information about measles, log on to www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.

Some professional sports teams want Georgia to open gambling, according to the AJC.

Presidents of the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta United have formed the Georgia Professional Sports Integrity Alliance and sent a letter to state lawmakers asking them to legalize online and mobile sports betting.

“Georgia is the 12th largest state for illegal wagering,” the franchise presidents wrote. “It is not going away. That is why we must ensure the industry is above-board and transparent.”

After years of failed attempts to expand legal gambling through a constitutional amendment, which requires two-thirds support in the Legislature and a majority of Georgia voters, the coalition says betting could be legalized through legislation that needs a lower threshold of support.

Billy Linville, a lobbyist who is representing the coalition of teams, said the franchises would not see any revenue from sports betting, but that allowing the practice would engage fans who tune in to watch and see how their bets play out — driving up viewership and interest in the games.

The sports coalition estimates allowing sports betting would generate about $50 million in gross revenue for Georgia.

Virginia Galloway, a lobbyist with Georgia Faith and Freedom Coalition, said she was disappointed that Atlanta’s teams were pushing for sports betting.

“It’s sad that these great American pastimes want to bring in the predatory gambling business to take advantage of their fans,” she said. “Didn’t Pete Rose get thrown out of baseball for gambling? But now, for the sake of more revenue, these teams are ready to drop their pants — and hardworking Georgians will be on the hook for the havoc it wreaks, both socially and economically.”

A Smyrna city council election turned into a tie vote after a recount, according to the AJC.

Smyrna residents will decide more than one close race when they head to the polls to vote in the Dec. 3 runoff for mayor.

A re-vote is now required for the Ward 2 City Council race between incumbent Andrea Blustein and challenger Austin Wagner, said Cobb County Elections and Registration Director Janine Eveler.

The Nov. 5 municipal election resulted in Wagner leading Blustein by two votes. Wagner received 341 votes to Blustein’s 339 votes. However, Eveler said two provisional ballots counted Friday went to Blustein, which made the race a tie.

Superior Court Judge Ralph Van Pelt Jr. (Lookout Mountain circuit) will hear a lawsuit by the City of Dalton against Whitfield County, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

State law requires cities and counties to negotiate a new service delivery agreement every 10 years, spelling out which services the governments will provide and how they will be funded. The agreements are aimed at reducing duplication of services. The Whitfield County service delivery agreement — which is actually 39 separate agreements between the cities and the county, covering everything from ambulance service to historic preservation to zoning — was signed by the county and the smaller cities but not by the city of Dalton. It expired Oct. 31, making Whitfield County, Dalton, Cohutta, Tunnel Hill and Varnell ineligible for state grants and other funding and for state-issued permits.

The City of Dalton filed a lawsuit last week against Whitfield County and the cities of Cohutta, Tunnel Hill and Varnell in Whitfield County Superior Court to resolve an ongoing dispute over the service delivery agreement among their various governments.

The state service delivery law calls for a judge from outside the jurisdiction to preside[] over service delivery cases.

The four Superior Court judges for the Conasauga Judicial Circuit, which includes Whitfield and Murray counties, formally recused themselves from the case Friday, and David Emerson, acting administrative judge of Georgia’s 7th Judicial Administrative District, appointed Ralph Van Pelt Jr., a Superior Court judge with the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, to handle the case. The Lookout Mountain circuit includes Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade and Walker counties.

Georgia Department of Administrative Services Director Alex Atwood spoke about proposed budget cuts, according to The Brunswick News.

In remarks Monday to the Golden Isles Republican Women, Alex Atwood, director of the state Department of Administrative Services, said he fully supports Gov. Brian Kemp’s budget reduction efforts. The governor’s plans have generated a stir both inside and out of state government ahead of the legislature’s reconvening in January.

“(He) mandated all executive branch agencies to cut wasteful spending and eliminate duplication of services, with a conservative, proactive budget,” Atwood said. “Let me tell you, he’s caught some negative press on this sometimes in Atlanta — the AJC has written some articles that sometimes fire me up. The governor is pushing efficiency, but he’s also saying cut. You’ve got to cut. You’ve got to look at your budgets, you’ve got to come to me with a 4 percent cut for the end of this year, a 6 percent cut for next year.

“Why is he doing this? For his first two months of coming into office, the budget dropped 12 percent — our projected revenue dropped 12 percent. When you see your revenue dropping 12 percent, a prudent person would rein in spending a little bit, and do it quickly, so we’re not beat over the head later on if, God forbid, something happens to the economy.”

Georgia has an insatiable thirst for … water. From the Statesboro Herald.

A central focus of the overall [tri-state water lawsuit] case: Florida accuses Georgia of using too much water, imperiling the Apalachicola Bay in the Panhandle and the oyster industry that relies on it. It wants a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that would limit how much water Georgia can use.

“Georgia will continue to use just more and more water if they don’t have some sort of limit placed on them,” retired Apalachicola Riverkeeper Dan Tonsmeire told WABE. He attended recent arguments in the case before a judge in New Mexico who was appointed to manage the case.

“I hope my friends in Georgia will forgive me for this because I know there are a lot of Georgians that care about the Apalachicola and understand what a valuable resource it is,” he said. “I saw no sign that Georgia’s awareness of the impacts to the Apalachicola River and Bay that it’s caused has increased.”

Judge Paul Kelly, the court-appointed special master in the case, is expected to write a report on what he thinks should happen. The Supreme Court justices will then evaluate that.

A previous special master in the case sided with Georgia, but the Supreme Court sent the case back to get more information.

Gainesville is considering regulations on hookah and vaping businesses, according to the Gainesville Times.

The proposed regulations include restrictions on hookah lounges or bars, where “patrons use a communal hookah or pipe to smoke,” e-cigarette lounges or bars, where “patrons use e-cigarettes to smoke or smoke other alternative nicotine or tobacco products,” and vapor lounges or bars, where “patrons vape or smoke other alternative nicotine or tobacco products.”

The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board will hold a hearing and vote on the regulations Tuesday, Nov. 12. The City Council will have the final vote Dec. 17.

Any hookah, e-cigarette or vapor lounge or bar would need special approval from the Council to open in an area zoned light or heavy industrial. Those businesses could not be within 500 feet of a similar business or within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare, library, church, community or recreation center, liquor store, sexually oriented business, tattoo parlor, pawn shop, bar or nightclub, card room, check cashing business, park or residential zoning district.

Extended stay hotels could also face greater regulation, according to the Gainesville Times.

Proposed regulations in Gainesville would limit how long people can stay at hotels in the city and require hotels to keep detailed records of their guests and hand those over to the city upon request.

The rules have extra restrictions for extended stay lodging, which the city defines as hotels that provide lodging for 15 to 30 days. If a hotel has cooking appliances or a kitchen in more than 5% of its rooms, it would be designated as extended stay.

Under the proposal, patrons of hotels not designated as extended stay can only stay 15 consecutive days and cannot stay in the same room for more than 30 days in a 180-day period.

At extended stay hotels, patrons can stay in the room for up to 30 days at a time, but no more than 60 days in a 180-day period.

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