Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 23, 2022

23
Sep

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for September 23, 2022

James Oglethorpe was named Commissioner of Indian Affairs and Charles Wesley was named Secretary of Indian Affairs by the Georgia Trustees in London on September 24, 1735.

Bon Homme Richard

John Paul Jones, at the helm of US ship Bonhomme Richard, won a naval battle off the coast of England on September 23, 1779.

After inflicting considerable damage to the Bonhomme Richard, Richard Pearson, the captain of the Serapis, asked Jones if he had struck his colors, the naval sign indicating surrender. From his disabled ship, Jones replied, “I have not yet begun to fight,” and after three more hours of furious fighting the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough surrendered to him.

The Judiciary Act of 1789, which established the first federal judicial system, was adopted on September 24, 1789 with the signature of President George Washington. Under the Act, the original size of the Supreme Court was five Associate Justices and a Chief Justice. Washington nominated John Jay as Chief Justice, and John Rutledge, William Cushing, John Blair, Robert Harrison, and James Wilson as Associates.

On September 25, 1789, Congress adopted the first twelve amendments, called the Bill of Rights, to the United States Constitution. A little more than two years later, in 1791, enough states had ratified ten of the Amendments, with two not receiving sufficient support.

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark returned to St. Louis Missouri from their exploratory trip to the Pacific coast on September 23, 1806.

On September 24, 1862, the Confederate Congress adopted the Seal of the Confederate States of America.

On September 25, 1864, Confederate President Jefferson Davis met with General John Bell Hood and visited troops at Palmetto, Georgia.

The Decatur Female Seminary opened with 60 students on September 24, 1889 and would later be chartered as Agnes Scott College.

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.

On September 26, 1928, future President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke in Atlanta on behalf of Democrat Alfred Smith’s campaign for President.

On September 23, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was speaking at a dinner with the Teamsters union and addressed attacks that had been made by Republicans, including the allegation that after leaving his dog, Fala, behind in the Aleutian Islands, he sent a Navy destroyer to fetch the dog. This would become known as the “Fala speech.”

These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don’t resent attacks, and my family don’t resent attacks, but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I’d left him behind on an Aleutian island and had sent a destroyer back to find him—at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or twenty million dollars—his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since. I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself … But I think I have a right to resent, to object, to libelous statements about my dog.

The idea for the joke was given to FDR by Orson Welles. The political lesson here is that any time you get an audience laughing at your opponent, you are winning.

A statue of former Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge on the grounds of the Georgia State Capitol was unveiled on September 23, 1949, the 65th anniversary of Talmadge’s birth near Forsyth, Georgia in 1884.

On September 23, 1952, Senator Richard M. Nixon was under fire for allegedly accepting $18,000 and using it for personal expenses. To salvage his place as the Vice Presidential candidate on Eisenhower’s Republican ticket, Nixon took to the airwaves in the first nationally-televised address and delivered what came to be known as the “Checkers Speech. From The Atlantic:

[A] 1999 poll of leading communication scholars ranked the address as the sixth most important American speech of the 20th century — close behind the soaring addresses of Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The “Checkers” speech wins this high rank for one stand-out reason: It marked the beginning of the television age in American politics. It also salvaged Nixon’s career, plucking a last-second success from the jaws of abject humiliation, and profoundly shaped Nixon’s personal and professional outlook, convincing him that television was a way to do an end-run around the press and the political “establishment.”

Click here for the full text of the “Checkers Speech.”

On September 24, 1960, USS Enterprise CVN-65, was launched from Newport News Shipbuilding in Norfolk, Virginia, the first Galaxy-class starship nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Enterprise was inactivated on December 1, 2012 and decommissioned on February 3, 2017.

On September 24, 1976, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter resumed campaigning after the first debate against President Gerald Ford.

On September 24, 1979, CompuServe offered the first dial-up computer information service to consumers.

Launched as MicroNET in 1979 and sold through Radio Shack stores, the service turned out to be surprisingly popular, thanks perhaps to Radio Shack’s Tandy Model 100 computers, which were portable, rugged writing machines that dovetailed very nicely with the fledgling, 300-baud information service.

MicroNET was renamed the CompuServe Information Service in 1980. Around the same time, CompuServe began working with newspapers to offer online versions of their news stories, starting with the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch in 1980. At least 10 major newspapers were offering online editions through CompuServe by 1982, including The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the San Francisco Examiner.

Ronald Reagan appointee Sandra Day O’Connor was sworn in as the first female Justice of the United States on September 25, 1981. In an interview with Terry Gross, she recalled receiving the call from President Reagan:

“I was working in my office on the Arizona Court of Appeals,” she tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “I was at the court in my chambers when the telephone rang. And it was the White House calling for me, and I was told that the president was waiting to speak to me. That was quite a shock, but I accepted the phone call, and it was President Reagan, and he said, ‘Sandra?’ ‘Yes, Mr. President?’ ‘Sandra, I’d like to announce your nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow. Is that all right with you?’ Well, now, that’s kind of a shock, wouldn’t you say?”

The Princess Bride was released on September 25, 1987. Inconceivable!

Nirvana’s Nevermind was released on September 24, 1991.

The last game played in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium took place on September 23, 1996.

On September 25, 2008, the last car came off the line at GM’s Doraville Plant.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced the availability of online sample ballots for the November elections, according to AccessWDUN.

Voters in all of Georgia’s 159 counties can now view their sample ballots on the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger made the announcement on Thursday, Sept. 22. According to a statement from Raffensberger, this new rollout will make for a more user-friendly experience for the 2022 General Election.

The sample ballot will replicate the display of a ballot marking device. Voters can select their choices on-screen and print out a marked sample ballot.

“Our job is to ensure that Georgia voters have the information they need to successfully cast a ballot,” Raffensperger said in a statement. “Our Elections Division works tirelessly to ensure that the most cutting-edge improvements are available to election officials across the state and voters in all 159 counties. Enhancements like this make elections go smoothly.”

The Georgia Commission for Access to Medical Cannabis voted to award two licenses for cannabis production, according to the Capitol Beat News Service.

The Georgia Commission for Access to Medical Cannabis voted this week to award licenses to Trulieve Georgia Inc. and Biological Sciences LLC to grow marijuana and convert the leafy crop into low-THC cannabis oil for sale to patients suffering from a range of diseases.

Trulieve is building an indoor cultivation facility in Adel, while Biological Sciences will set up shop in Glennville.

The legislature tried to launch a medical cannabis program back in 2015 by legalizing possession of low-THC cannabis oil. But the law didn’t provide a legal means of obtaining the drug until 2019, when lawmakers put in place a licensing process for companies interested in getting into the medical cannabis business in Georgia.

After a bill aimed at getting the process back on track failed during this year’s legislative session, Gov. Brian Kemp set aside $150,000 from the Governor’s Emergency Fund to expedite hearings for those companies that had been denied licenses.

“The Georgia team is hard at work to begin operations as soon as possible to ensure those in need have access to Trulieve’s line of products,” Trulieve Georgia President Lisa Pinkney said. “We’re also excited to share that Trulieve’s operation and its ancillary business partners are projected to create a wide range of jobs in the state as the business grows.”

Under the 2019 law, low-THC cannabis oil may be used in Georgia to treat patients with diseases including seizure disorders, Parkinson’s disease, terminal cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and sickle-cell anemia.

To give you some perspective, the first medical cannabis cards were issued in 2015. My late wife was diagnosed with ALS in September 2016, which qualified her for the card. She died waiting for the state to ensure the actual availability of the medicine. That was more than 4.5 years ago. Others still wait. That’s one reason I’m skeptical of government solution.

Meanwhile, the Savannah Board of Aldermen consider regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries, according to WSAV.

For the past couple of months, the City of Savannah has been drafting an ordinance for what and how having medical cannabis dispensaries in the city could look like and to also clear up some questions.

“The state has allowed low levels of THC to be sold through dispensaries by prescription only and it’s only in an oil form,” said Savannah City manager Jay Melder.

A big part of the ordinance, who gets a permit for a dispensary, but also how to introduce these dispensaries within city limits safely.

“We’re looking more at security and distances from schools and churches and all those placements,” said Interim Assistant Chief Robert Gavin. “One of the things that we want to look at, at least from the police standpoint, is the safety of not only the business or the dispensary itself when they open people going in and out.”

At this time no one in the state of Georgia has a permit to open a dispensary, there’s still some time before we can see those on the streets.

From WTOC:

It’s a joint effort right now between the city and the Savannah Police Department to establish regulations and examine where the dispensaries can be located.

This will only be prescription-based medicinal marijuana in oil form. It will be a low level of THC that isn’t smokable, vapeable or edible.

There was lengthy discussion on how the city can make sure this process is inclusive.

Some council members aren’t in favor of the process so far.

“It’s a little biased…discriminatory and what have you. It’s only gonna benefit those six companies as far as economics that are concerned,” said Post 2 At-Large Alderwoman Alicia Miller Blakely.

Alderman Nick Palumbo said he’s ready for a decision from the state and legislators have been arguing for too many years.

He said: “40,000 people who are registered and have these licenses who have cancer, who suffered from seizures, who suffered from Multiple sclerosis, from Parkinson’s Disease, from Alzheimer’s, who are in hospice, have suffered while lawmakers like us have continued arguing over the details.”

After the state legalizes it when they’re back in legislative session, Savannah’s city council will still have the power to vote.

I’m surprised the phrase “joint effort” made it past the editor’s desk.

Members of the Savannah Board of Aldermen exchanged heated words, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The long simmering animosity between two Savannah City Council members turned ugly earlier this month, as Alderman Kurtis Purtee and Alderwoman Kesha Gibson-Carter traded vulgar insults in an exchange outside council chambers.

Purtee called Gibson-Carter a “ghetto b****” in response to her accusing him of being a “child predator and a pedophile.” Purtee is a white, openly gay man while Gibson-Carter is a Black woman.

The argument took place following the Sept. 8 council meeting and was recorded on a body camera worn by a Savannah Police officer who witnessed the argument. The body camera footage was obtained using the Georgia Open Records Act.

Purtee admitted using the “ghetto b*****” slur in a telephone interview earlier this week. Contacted about the incident Thursday, Gibson-Carter shared a complaint letter she sent to Georgia Southern University President Kyle Marrero, which listed her grievances with Purtee, a GSU police captain.

Purtee and Gibson-Carter have an acrimonious history, with Purtee twice filing ethics complaints against Gibson-Carter. He frequently tells her to “shut up” during tense council meeting moments.

Purtee said Gibson-Carter confronted him, called him “boy” twice, and told him to “go somewhere else.” She then made comments about him being a “child predator and a pedophile.”

“The way she was dismissive and called me ‘boy’ twice, when I went out there to try to help talk to this lady, that kind of, that kind of threw me off,” Purtee said. “And then for her to call me a child predator and a pedophile, that pissed me off right there.”

Gibson-Carter said Purtee’s “ghetto b****” comment was especially concerning, since Purtee is a police officer and trained in de-escalation.

“The use of the term ‘ghetto’ squarely renders the encounter racist. And as a female in leadership, I am not letting this go,” Gibson-Carter said in her email. “Kurtis Purtee works at a university with Black people and women. He carries a badge and gun plus has arrest powers. This is a dangerous power for someone who has a disdain of women and African-Americans.”

Governor Brian Kemp announced the award of more than $30 million dollars in a second round of grants to fight homelessness, according to a Press Release.

Governor Brian P. Kemp [] announced the second round of grant awards for housing initiatives across Georgia focused on fighting homelessness and housing insecurity exacerbated by the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $30,833,309 will be awarded from the American Rescue Plan and the State Fiscal Recovery Fund for the 8 projects included in this round of announcements. This is on top of the $62 million in awards for this program announced last month.

“When I first took office, I promised to make Georgia a state where all people can succeed, no matter their background,” said Governor Brian Kemp. “The pandemic showed the great level of resiliency and determination Georgians have, and the funds we’re awarding today will further help those still struggling in the aftermath of COVID-19 regain stability and housing security.”

Projects receiving awards include construction and renovation of affordable housing for elderly residents as well as at-risk and low-income individuals; rental and housing units for special needs or disabled residents; and assistance for veterans experiencing homelessness. Housing insecurity issues were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to more individuals and families facing uncertainty about their living situation. Each project was chosen following a competitive application process.
Awards:

▪ Quest Community Development Organization, Inc.: $4,844,976
▪ DASH for LaGrange, Inc.: $4,000,000
▪ Atlanta BeltLine Partnership: $3,000,000
▪ Westside Future Fund: $2,000,000
▪ DreamKey Partners, Inc.: $4,999,999
▪ Wealth Watchers, Inc.: $2,200,000
▪ Resource Housing Group, Inc.: $5,000,000
▪ River Edge Foundation, Inc.: $4,788,334

Governor Kemp joined twenty other Governors in opposing federal relief for student debt, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey are among 22 governors calling on President Joe Biden to withdraw his student loan forgiveness plan.

More than 1.6 million Georgians owe an average of $42,000 in student loans totaling $66 billion.

Biden’s plan cancels up to $20,000 in debt for Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education, and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients. Borrowers are eligible if their individual income is less than $125,000 or less than $250,000 for households.

“College may not be the right decision for every American, but for the students who took out loans, it was their decision: able adults and willing borrowers who knowingly agreed to the terms of the loan and consented to taking on debt in exchange for taking classes,” the governors’ letter to Biden states. “ For many borrowers, they worked hard, made sacrifices and paid off their debt. For many others, they chose hard work and a paycheck rather than more school and a loan. Americans who did not choose to take out student loans themselves should certainly not be forced to pay for the student loans of others.”

The governors assert in the letter that borrowers with the most debt, such as $50,000 or more, almost exclusively have graduate degrees, allowing the wealthy to benefit at the expense of the working. Biden’s plan would leave hourly workers to pay off the “master’s and doctorate degrees of high salaried lawyers, doctors and professors,” the governors stated.

The governors’ letter also asserts that Biden’s plan will encourage more student borrowing, incentivize higher tuition rates, and drive-up inflation even further.

“Rather than addressing the rising cost of tuition for higher education or working to lower interest rates for student loans, your plan kicks the can down the road and makes today’s problems worse for tomorrow’s students,” the letter states.

The Georgia Supreme Court will hear the lawsuit over the Spaceport Camden referendum, according to The Brunswick News.

The Georgia Supreme Court will hear an appeal from Camden County seeking to invalidate the results of a referendum blocking the purchase of land intended as the launch site for a spaceport.

The Oct. 6 hearing will be held at the Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building.

Camden County is challenging the legality of the March referendum where 72% of the votes cast supported blocking the purchase of land owned by Union Carbide.

The court’s decision could affect the ability of people trying to challenge projects approved by local officials.

“Camden County has spent millions of dollars on a spaceport that taxpayers have soundly rejected, all the while keeping residents in the dark and refusing to provide funding for critical county services like emergency response, animal shelters, and libraries,” said Megan Desrosiers, president and CEO of One Hundred Miles.

The Federal Highway Administration approved the Georgia DOT’s proposal for electric recharger buildout, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Statesboro Herald.

Approval of Georgia’s National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) plan will position the state to receive about $130 million in federal funds to build EV-charging stations.

“The approval of Georgia’s plan is another important step in the state’s work as a leader in electric mobility,” said Jannine Miller, the DOT’s director of planning.

Georgia’s NEVI plan designates a series of alternative fuel corridors across the state that will be the first to deploy fast-charging stations that comply with federal guidelines. Currently, most EV owners in Georgia charge their vehicles at home, a slower process typically carried out overnight.

The corridors will be located along interstates 75, 85, 95, 20, 185, and 16; U.S. 82 and U.S. 441; Interstate 985/U.S. 23; and Interstate 575/Ga. 515.

The NEVI program was created in 2021 as part of the infrastructure spending plan Congress passed last fall.

The program is authorized at nearly $5 billion over the next five years.

From 13WMAZ:

[Georgia Department of Transportation Director of Strategic Communications Scott] Higley also says, “Georgia currently has approximately 30,000 registered EVs and that number will only grow as adoption of this technology continues. Additionally, the corridors have been selected because of high traffic volumes and are primary routes through the state. There is a need in Georgia for the establishment of such a charging network and that need will only continue to grow. Every 50 miles is a requirement of the administration to achieve the goals of building a national network and reducing “range anxiety” (the fear of running out of charge away from a charging station) among EV drivers.”

Democrat Stacey Abrams asserted that no such thing as a fetal heartbeat exists at six-weeks, according to NewsChannel9 (Chattanooga).

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams is facing backlash after a video clip of her sharing her views on abortion began circulating on social media.

Following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, many states effectively banned abortion. In many instances, legislatures passed “Heartbeat Laws” that banned abortions as early as six weeks of pregnancy. Georgia is one of those states.

However, Abrams apparently doesn’t believe there is such a thing as a prenatal heartbeat at six weeks’ gestation, according to comments caught on video.

“There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks. It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman’s body,” Abrams can be heard saying on the video clip shared by @RNCResearch Wednesday.

In Macon, Abrams blamed Gov. Kemp for the announced closure of Atlanta Medical Center, according to 13WMAZ.

Stacey Abrams visited Central Georgia on Thursday, hosting a news event outside Atrium Health Navicent in downtown Macon.

The Democratic candidate for governor made her case for expanding Medicaid and blamed Gov. Brian Kemp for an Atlanta hospital’s upcoming closure.

Stacey Abrams visited Central Georgia on Thursday, hosting a news event outside Atrium Health Navicent in downtown Macon.
The Democratic candidate for governor made her case for expanding Medicaid and blamed Gov. Brian Kemp for an Atlanta hospital’s upcoming closure.

“The closure of the Atlanta Medical Center is not simply an Atlanta issue. This is a Macon issue. This is a Middle Georgia issue. This is a Georgia crisis,” Abrams said.

She says the closure and added distance can be dangerous for anyone needing immediate trauma services, like stroke or gunshot victims.

“Grady has been overcrowded and severe and on diversion nearly every day, for some reason, over the last few years,” Abrams said.

That overcrowding, she said, can place additional pressure on Central Georgia. It’s something Atrium Health Navicent is already preparing for.

Abrams also addressed how Medicaid may help bring more doctors and nurses to Georgia. She said it would create more opportunities for people to be insured, and more chances for doctors to get paid for their work.

Gov. Kemp’s campaign sent 13WMAZ a response to Abrams’ visit:

“Wellstar has been abundantly clear that Medicaid expansion would not have prevented the AMC closure. But that doesn’t fit Stacey Abrams’ political narrative, so she’s falsely blaming Governor Kemp. Stacey Abrams may be allergic to the truth, but the Governor will keep fighting for more accessible and affordable healthcare for hardworking Georgians.”

Full statement from Atrium Health Navicent:

“As a Level 1 trauma center, Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center is committed to being a comprehensive regional resource for every aspect of traumatic injury from prevention through rehabilitation. We are communicating with all of our specialists who provide coverage about the possibility of increased patient volumes and ensuring they have the required resources to provide the appropriate level of care to any patient who arrives at our facility in need of care.”

Georgia law enforcement agencies seek higher pay to help attract and retain workers, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Albany Herald.

“Ask yourself this question: What if there were no police officers?” Col. Chris Wright, commissioner of the state Department of Public Safety, asked members of a Georgia House study committee meeting in Americus. “When law enforcement stops, civilized society stops.”

Maj. Josh Lamb, Wright’s chief of staff, said the demonizing of police officers and defunding of local police agencies that occurred across the nation amid street protests two years ago following the murder of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white Minneapolis police officer is hurting recruitment efforts.

Lamb also cited the bail-reform movement and a push to end “qualified immunity” shielding police from prosecution as trends that are discouraging law enforcement officers.

Wright said the $5,000 pay raises the General Assembly has adopted for state employees including troopers haven’t increased the number of applicants, while the number of employees leaving the agency is on the rise.

The state patrol lost 42 troopers to retirement between fiscal 2018 and fiscal 2022, while 180 took disability and 145 resigned or were terminated, he said. Those losses cost the state $43.1 million, he said.

Joe Chesnut, special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Americus field office, said Georgia is 28th among 33 states the GBI surveyed in starting pay for investigators.

Georgia Corrections Commissioner Timothy Ward said the state’s prison system is in the middle of the pack among surrounding states when it comes to correctional officer salaries. However, most of Georgia’s neighbors are offering signing bonuses to new recruits, he said.

Federal legislation by U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock (D-Atlanta) would allow some widows of service members to retain service-related benefits if they remarry earlier than is currently allowed, according to the Augusta Chronicle via the Savannah Morning News.

Over the years, Webb found community with other surviving spouses and made a new life for herself. The benefits she received as surviving spouse paid for a master’s degree in museum professions – a degree she still uses as the Museum Collections Specialist for the JIA Historical Division on Jekyll Island in Brunswick, Georgia.

“It was like a miracle, I mean, to have those benefits and to be able to do something I really love and also set a really good example for my daughter that despite life’s challenges you can … make your dreams come true,” Webb said.

If she remarried before the age of 55, she would have lost all of her benefits.

Webb is one of about 700 surviving military spouses in Georgia, according to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, an organization for surviving spouses. Webb connected with TAPS after Christopher’s death, and met other spouses in similar situations. Some of her friends did remarry and lose the benefits. Others lived with new partners without marrying to avoid losing the benefits.

Last week, Sens. Raphael Warnock and Jerry Moran, a Republican senator from Kansas, introduced the “Love Lives On Act,” a law that would allow surviving military spouses to keep their benefits after remarrying.

“One of the things we hear repeatedly from our surviving spouses is that they really should have the opportunity to move forward with their lives, that their service member earned these benefits, and that these are benefits that as a military spouse they earned as well,” said Candace Wheeler, TAPS director of Government & Legislative Affairs. “Often times it’s hard for military spouses to put in to a retirement saving or survivor plan, and so often times their retirement is tied up in their service member’s retirement. And what a survivor benefit plan is … it’s a replacement for that retirement if that service member dies due to their connection to military service.”

These benefits are significant: $1,400 a month for a surviving spouse plus $250 per child until they are 18, education benefits equivalent to the GI Bill for the spouse and children, healthcare, and access to bases and commissaries.

“If you’re a firefighter or a police officer, your survivors are able to remarry before the age of 55, at any age,” said Wheeler. “And that’s what we’re asking for, that these are benefits that have been earned.”

Warnock said he hopes to get this bill introduced as an amendment to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act.

Being widowed is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through personally. Some of the rules about widows remarrying and losing benefits are ridiculous and even seem punitive.

Macon-Bib County donated 250 acres to the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, according to the Macon Telegraph.

“Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park is a memorial to more than 12,000 years of continuous human habitation by multiple Indigenous cultures and peoples,” said Carla Beasley, superintendent of Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park. “These land donations from Macon-Bibb County contribute to that memorial and enhance the park’s ability to share and interpret the significance of those cultures to American history.”

The newly acquired area contains evidence of one of the longest periods of human habitation in a relatively small area. The 250 acres is situated within the Ocmulgee Old Fields, also known as the Macon Reserve, a three-by-five-mile site revered as a sacred place to Muskogean people.

“This is one of the most important efforts for our community and our region, from preserving history to increasing recreation opportunities and tourism,” said Macon-Bibb County Mayor Lester Miller. “I’m grateful for the team that has been working together so diligently at all levels of government and with all the partners to keep this moving forward.”

Some Warner Robins property owners will pay higher property taxes as values increased by the millage rate stays the same, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Hall County Commissioners appointed Jack Noa as Chair of the Board of Elections, according to the Gainesville Times.

The commission voted Thursday, Sept. 22, to appoint Jack Noa, who ran unsuccessfully for county commission in the May 24 Republican primary, to replace [Tom] Smiley as chairman, starting Jan. 1. Noa’s term will run until Dec. 31, 2026.

Smiley, who is in his sixth year on the board, wasn’t happy with Thursday’s vote.

“Yes, we did have some legal issues. We discussed them, I thought, in a man-to-man kind of way. We couldn’t resolve them outside of a court, so we allowed the court to give a remedy.”

He added: “I’m sorry they got their feelings hurt. I would have hoped they would have risen above that and continued to do what’s best for Hall County.”

The Savannah NAACP will host a meeting with Chatham County District Attorney Shalena Cook Jones, according to WSAV.

Guest speaker DA Cook Jones will discuss reforms she has initiated since taking office. She will also provide an update on the new Diversion Program for young adults, and review her decision not to prosecute individuals with small, misdemeanor amounts of marijuana.

The District Attorney will also answer questions from the Savannah Branch Membership and the community.

A Wayne County student faces charges after allegedly threatening the school, according to WTOC.

Jesup Police Chief Perry Morgan says the threat happened after school hours around 4:15 p.m. Wednesday. This means the school didn’t have to be placed on lockdown, and there weren’t any immediate impacts to the school’s schedule.

Chief Morgan says the threat originated from a TikTok video that began circulating among classmates through texting.

“He threatened to do bodily harm to students at that school by saying he’s going to go in and start shooting up the school. So, that will qualify for terroristic threats,” Chief Morgan said.

Gwinnett County public schools may add metal detectors and other security measures, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gwinnett County Public Schools Superintendent Calvin Watts told the Gwinnett Chamber, during his State of the School System Address on Wednesday, that the district is considering new security measures in schools, such as installing metal detectors, in response to school shootings that have happened across the nation.

GCPS already has two sets of doorways that visitors have to be buzzed in through by school staff in many schools, but the strategies Watts discussed in his speech go beyond that.

“We are looking at strategies such as metal detectors and scanners and artificial intelligence to identify devices or firearms that could cause harm.”

Any decision on installing metal detectors or other security devices would have to first be approved by the county’s school board. District officials have not said when the board could be asked to approve any security changes at GCPS’ 142 schools or what a roll-out would look like.

Some schools in South Georgia report problems getting enough milk for their food programs, according to WALB.

Because two milk supplier plants are shutting down at the end of the month, the school districts are having to find and use new suppliers.

“Well in August, schools districts in Alabama, Mississippi, and a few in South Georgia, heard that the Borden plants were closing in Dothan, Ala. and Hattiesburg, Miss. And we hate to see any dairy supplier leave the southeast because of job losses and the economic impact to our states. But the good news is that there are other suppliers who are stepping up to ensure all students have access to milk, with their school meals,” said Jana Miller, manager and trainer of youth wellness with the Dairy Alliance.

“They are opening a self-stable milk plant north of our states. But it will be trickling down into our area even more. So it’s readily available and it’s going to be even more available in the future.”

South Georgia milk dairies say they are producing plenty of milk. It is the closing of the distribution plants that box the milk causing the supply chain issue for schools.

Effingham County Commission Chair Wesley Corbitt issued a moratorium on new development till the Commission addresses upcoming changes to their Master Plan, according to the Savannah Morning News.

In May, Effingham County Chairman of Commissioners Wesley Corbitt issued a moratorium, preventing future developments until they can get a handle on key additions for the county, such as adding a new water and sewer system.

“We certainly want growth, but we want to make sure that if we add 5,000 homes, that we have good transportation and good public safety,” said Corbitt. “And then you want to make sure those neighborhoods have green space for children to play, sidewalks and make sure they are all planned and have good drainage. If you go too fast, you may find that you have drainage issues, safety issues. Then you have 3,000 cars going down a road that cannot handle it. Now, it’s a $20 million fix to build a road that can handle that kind of traffic.”

Effingham County has tripled in size since Corbitt moved there more than four decades ago. The county is relying on their master plan to examine and make way for major improvements, such as where apartments and density should be.

But Corbitt wants to slow down on adding new manufacturers to protect taxpayers, adding that he would like to see more restaurants in Rincon as many residents flock to Pooler to eat at their favorite chains.

Garden City approved a contract to expand Chatham Area Transit within the municipality, according to the Savanah Morning News.

Garden City council unanimously approved a contract to expand Chatham Area Transit (CAT) services during Monday’s council meeting. The expansion will be funded entirely by the city, making it the first municipality in Chatham County to enter into a direct contract with CAT.

“This is a pinnacle moment for our city in several respects and a culmination of six years of work,” said City Manager Scott Robider. “With the new K-12 and the growth of the ports and warehouse community, this was a necessary action to help our community capitalize on those opportunities.”

The deal calls for $18,000 annually (from the city’s general fund) for the next five years. Robider said American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds will offset some of the costs. The city received about $3.25 million from the ARPA.

Comments ( 0 )