Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 26, 2021

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 26, 2021

On April 26, 1866, the Atlanta Ladies’ Memorial Association held a Confederate memorial observance at Oakland Cemetery for the first time.

In 1874, the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation designating April 26th of each year as “Confederate Memorial Day,” choosing the day of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s surrender to Union General William T. Sherman at Durham Station, North Carolina. There is no longer a statutorily-recognized Confederate Memorial Day, but it has become custom for Governors to issue a proclamation yearly designating April 26th as Confederate Memorial Day or to make it the Monday or Friday closest to the 26th.

On April 26, 1913, 13-year old Mary Phagan was found dead, having been sexually assaulted, in the basement of a pencil factory in Atlanta. Guilt was pinned on the Jewish owner of the factory, Leo Frank. Frank was convicted, but later his sentence was commuted after Governor John Slaton concluded from his own investigation that Frank had been framed. Frank was later hanged by a lynch mob.

On April 26, 1986, the world’s worst nuclear accident occurred at Chernobyl in the Soviet Union.

Thirty-two people died and dozens more suffered radiation burns in the opening days of the crisis, but only after Swedish authorities reported the fallout did Soviet authorities reluctantly admit that an accident had occurred.

On April 27, Soviet authorities began an evacuation of the 30,000 inhabitants of Pripyat. A cover-up was attempted, but on April 28 Swedish radiation monitoring stations, more than 800 miles to the northwest of Chernobyl, reported radiation levels 40 percent higher than normal. Later that day, the Soviet news agency acknowledged that a major nuclear accident had occurred at Chernobyl.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Vice President Joe Biden (D) will visit Atlanta on the occasion of his 100th day in office on Thursday, according to the Capitol Beat News Service.

It will be the second time Biden travels to Georgia since taking office in January, following his win over former President Donald Trump in Georgia’s 2020 presidential election by 11,779 votes.

Details on Biden’s Atlanta visit next week have not yet been disclosed by the White House. The president will be joined by First Lady Jill Biden.

Georgia has taken center stage in national politics over the past several months as Democrats competed for and won both of the state’s U.S. Senate seats, handing Democrats control of Congress and the White House until at least the 2022 midterm elections.

Governor Brian Kemp announced the appointment of Chase Studstill as District Attorney for the Alapaha Circut, according to a press release.

Studstill will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of the Honorable Dick Perryman as Superior Court Judge of the Alapaha Judicial Circuit, effective February 22, 2021. The Alapaha Judicial Circuit is comprised of Atkinson, Berrien, Clinch, Cook, and Lanier Counties.

Chase Studstill holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Valdosta State University and a law degree from Florida Coastal School of Law. Since 2017, Studstill has served as a public defender in the Tift Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office. From 2007 through 2016, Studstill served as a part-time office manager and legal assistant at Studstill Firm, LLP. In 2016, he also served as a legal assistant at the Alapaha Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office.

Governor Kemp also appointed former State Senator (and State Rep.) Fran Millar to the Board of the Technical College System of Georgia.

Gov. Kemp last week signed the daylight saving time bill, Senate Bill. From WTOC:

In Savannah this week Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill that calls for the state to observe daylight saving year-round. But it will only go into effect if Congress gives it the green light.

If Congress were to lift the ban on states adopting time change measures, Georgia wouldn’t be the only state to switch things up.

“All of the states surrounding us, Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee have also the legislation in that Congress allows the states to go to daylight saving time year-round. Like Georgia, they would too,” said Sen. Watson.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and other members of the Senate reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act last month, which is legislation that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent across the country if passed. Along with Georgia, fifteen other states have passed similar laws, resolutions or voter initiatives according to Sen. Rubio’s office.

Former Congressman Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) announced today that he will not run for office in 2022.

The Augusta Chronicle looks at progress made on T-SPLOST projects.

In 2012, the Augusta area was among the first three regions in Georgia to approve the Transportation Investment Act, with 54% voter support. The 10-year tax proved so popular that voter support increased to 71% on the June 2020 ballot for a new $923 million package of projects and discretionary funding.

State TIA Director Kenneth Franks told a citizen review panel Thursday that the remaining projects in the 13-county area likely will take beyond the start of the next tax to close out.

“We will be talking about TIA 1 and TIA 2 for quite a few years,” he said.

The centerpiece of Augusta’s TIA plans – a massive overhaul of downtown streets and sidewalks, likely won’t get underway until next year, the final year of the tax. The project list for the second sales tax includes additional funds for several of the streets.

A local group will hold a public reading of parts of the Bible on May 6 and 7 on the courthouse lawn in Statesboro, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Residents from 26 area churches will come together on May 6 and 7 to read the Bible aloud on the courthouse lawn. The event will be in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer, which is from noon to 1 p.m. on May 6.

More than 120 people are scheduled to read over the two-day period, which totals to 21-and-a-half hours of reading. Working in 30-minute time slots, they will read from the New Testament, beginning with the book of Matthew and ending with Revelation.  Each 30-minute slot will feature two to five readers.

On May 6, the readings will begin at 8:30 a.m., and stop at 11 a.m. to provide time for setup for the National Day of Prayer event. Once that event is complete, readings will begin again at 1:30 and continue until 9 p.m. On May 7, readings will take place from 8:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. The public is invited to attend and listen.

Monroe County schools moved registration online, according to 13WMAZ.

“When a family joins our community, we invite them to come to our central office, bring an I.D. showing that they are who they say they are, and then we want to see two or three proofs of residency,” Valerie Mercer said.

Mercer is the Chief Technology Officer of the district, and she says this year, you will be able to do everything online.

“You can do all of the registering, all of the proof of residency on your own time, you don’t have to come into the central office to do it,” Mercer said.

Mercer says the process will be much easier for parents compared to scheduling a time to come into the building.

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