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Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 8, 2021

Marcie is a large female Cane Corso mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, GA.

Lacey is a female Boxer mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, GA.

I’d have to see Lacey in person, but from the photos, I’m inclined to believe you could dress this dog in a red jersey and tell everyone she identifies as a Bulldog.

Tammy is a female Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, GA.

The Humane Society of Northeast Georgia is working to prevent returns of pets after their adoption, according to AccessWDUN.

Rumors have circulated on social media and throughout news reports in recent weeks that adopted pets are getting returned to the shelters they were adopted from during quarantine.

According to [HSNEGA Executive Director Allison] Mayfield, many adopted pets are brought back to the shelter because they are not a good fit for that new owner. Oftentimes, the pet either requires more work and attention than the adopter anticipated, or the pet has behavior issues that previously went unnoticed.

“Whoever adopts them has to be willing to put in the time and training, willing to do the work it takes just like you would if you got a puppy,” said Mayfield.

In order to combat these issues and make better matches between rescues and adopters, Mayfield says the shelter is in the process of making some personnel changes and implementing new programs.

First, Mayfield said she is hoping to hire an adoption center manager to specialize in matching rescue and adopter.

In addition to hiring this position, Mayfield said her goal is for the shelter to focus on behavior and enrichment programs for the animals. One of these programs is a playgroup, where rescues spend time interacting outside with one another as opposed to separated in their respective kennels.

“We’re working really hard to try and get to a point where we’re making better matches through that adoption counseling, through the animal enrichment and behavior so that we can bring them together in a way that works for everybody,” said Mayfield.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 8, 2021

On July 8, 1776, the bell now known as the Liberty Bell rang in the tower of the Pennsylvania State House, now called Independence Hall, to announce the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Rung to call the Pennsylvania Assembly together and to summon people for special announcements and events, it was also rung on important occasions, such as King George III’s 1761 ascension to the British throne and, in 1765, to call the people together to discuss Parliament’s controversial Stamp Act. With the outbreak of the American Revolution in April 1775, the bell was rung to announce the battles of Lexington and Concord. Its most famous tolling, however, was on July 8, 1776, when it summoned Philadelphia citizens for the first reading of the Declaration of Independence.

The Liberty Bell inscription includes a reference to Leviticus 25:10, “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”

The first of General William Tecumseh Sherman’s troops, under Major General Schofield, crossed the Chattahoochee River between Powers Ferry and Johnson Ferry on July 8, 1864.

Former United States Senator from Texas Phil Gramm (R) was born on July 8, 1942 in Columbus, Georgia, where his father was stationed at Fort Benning.

On July 8, 1975, President Gerald Ford announced his candidacy for President in the 1976 elections.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

First Lady Jill Biden will tour a Savannah vaccination site today, according to the Savannah Morning News.

First lady Jill Biden will tour a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Savannah on Thursday to show her support for local efforts and to encourage community residents to get vaccinated.

The mobile clinic will be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at Beach High School, 3001 Hopkins St., in Savannah. Anyone age 12 and older who has not yet been vaccinated is encouraged to make an appointment at Walk-ins will be allowed, but appointments are preferred.

“We’re honored to welcome the first lady to Savannah,” said Chatham County Health Department Nurse Manager Tammi Brown. “Our Health Department has given more than 67,000 vaccinations, but a majority of adults in Chatham County are still unvaccinated and at risk. We aren’t at the finish line yet, so we appreciate her support.”

The first lady will be joined by Sen. Raphael Warnock and Savannah Mayor Van Johnson for the tour and to deliver remarks at Beach High School. The visit is part of the White House Administration’s nation-wide effort to increase education and outreach about COVID-19 vaccination, and to reach the millions of Americans who remain unvaccinated.

As of Tuesday, 40% of Chatham residents were fully vaccinated against COVID and 44% had received at least one shot, according to the state’s COVID vaccine dashboard.

From WTOC:

Thursday afternoon, the First Lady will tour a vaccination site at a high school alongside the Savannah mayor and Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock. The senator’s office released a statement saying, “In order to keep our economy moving forward, we must do all our part to help Georgia and our nation overcome this pandemic. I’m looking forward to joining Dr. Biden in Savannah to share this important message with coastal Georgians.”

Once the First Lady wraps up the events in Georgia, she’ll head down to Orlando to attend the Scripps National Spelling Bee Finals and congratulate students and their families.

Georgia currently has the ninth-lowest vaccination rate in the country, according to the White House. The good news is that a number of counties are reporting zero new cases in the past two weeks.

No word on whether FLOTUS will go door-to-door to check vaccination statuses.

United States Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Extreme Northwest Georgia) couldn’t help discussing the door-to-door efforts. From CNN via the Gwinnett Daily Post:

Responding to remarks from Biden about mobilizing officials to reach unvaccinated individuals at their homes, Greene tweeted, “People have a choice, they don’t need your medical brown shirts showing up at their door ordering vaccinations. You can’t force people to be part of the human experiment.”

Asked about Greene’s tweet by CNN’s John Berman on “New Day,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the White House does not take medical advice from Greene.

Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan (R-Forsyth County) is raising funds despite saying he will not run for reelection, according to the AJC.

[AJC writer] James Salzer found that Duncan’s June 30 campaign finance report shows he still had $827,500 in his account halfway through 2021.

He announced in mid-May he wouldn’t run for re-election and his chief of staff, John Porter, said Duncan has not been actively fundraising since he made that announcement. While there are no specific plans for what he’ll do with his remaining funds, Duncan has several options, including giving it to other candidates’ state campaigns, within legal limits, of course.

According to his latest disclosure, his campaign’s single biggest expense in the first half of 2021 was the $17,000 it spent in April on polling.

From another story by the AJC:

James Salzer — who reviewed the group’s latest campaign disclosure — noted that two of the three contributions were reported to have come during the General Assembly session: $20,000 from the American Federation for Children, an Alexandria, Va. school-choice lobby group, and $10,000 from health care mega-company Hospital Corporation of America. Both were listed on Advance Georgia’s report as being received Jan. 29, a few weeks into the General Assembly’s annual session.

Both groups have reason to give: Republicans have long pushed private school vouchers and other school-choice legislation. And few issues get as much legislative attention — and funding — as health care.

State officials like Duncan and lawmakers have long been banned from taking campaign donations during legislative sessions in an effort to eliminate the appearance that they are being bought off for legislation or state funding.

Governor Brian Kemp joined Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-West Point) and state legislators from Coweta County in responding to FEMA’s denial of individual assistance after a March 2021 tornado,  according to a press release.

“FEMA’s July 1st rejection of Georgia’s request for Individual Assistance for Coweta County, following significant damage to the City of Newnan and Coweta County by an EF-4 tornado and other severe weather during March 25th and 26th of 2021, is very disappointing. After FEMA’s initial denial, we all came together – the State of Georgia, city and county officials, as well as elected representatives and civic groups – to appeal their wrong decision and ensure they fully understood the devastation that families experienced during this traumatic storm. At a time when Congress and the Biden administration are proposing legislation to spend trillions upon trillions of taxpayer dollars, we continue to urge FEMA to do the right thing and grant the state’s request for individual assistance to help Georgians who were impacted and are now trying to rebuild their lives.”

Governor Brian P. Kemp
Congressman Drew Ferguson
State Senator Matt Brass
State Representative Lynn Smith
State Representative Philip Singleton
State Representative David Jenkins

United States District Judge J.P. Boulee rejected a lawsuit seeking to enjoin implementation of Georgia’s new voting laws, according to the New York Times.

In his order, Judge J. P. Boulee of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia said he was basing his decision on the imminence of the July 13 elections and not the merits of the case.

“The court certainly appreciates the gravity of the First and Fourteenth Amendment harms plaintiffs have alleged,” Judge Boulee wrote, but “concerns in this case with respect to the July 13, 2021 runoff elections, including the risk of disrupting the administration of an ongoing election, outweigh the alleged harm to plaintiffs at this time.”

He continued, “The Court reserves judgment regarding the propriety of relief as to future elections and will issue a separate order on this question at a later date.”

The Georgia secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, celebrated the decision, saying in a statement: “This is just another in the line of frivolous lawsuits against Georgia’s election law based on misinformation and lies. We will continue to meet them and beat them in court.”

From the Capitol Beat News Service via the Athens Banner Herald:

“The underlying elections have already occurred, and Plaintiffs seek an order that would mandate different rules for the related runoff elections,” Boulee wrote in an 11-page order.

“Election administrators have prepared to implement the challenged rules, have implemented them at least to some extent and now would have to grapple with a different set of rules in the middle of the election.”

The July 13 runoff in Cobb County will pit Republican Devan Seabaugh and Democrat Priscilla Smith to complete the unexpired term of former Georgia Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Marietta. Reeves left the legislature for an administrative position at Georgia Tech, his alma mater.

In southeast Georgia that day, Republicans Leesa Hagan and Wally Sapp will vie in House District 156, which covers parts of Appling, Jeff Davis, Montgomery and Toombs counties. Former Rep. Greg Morris, R-Vidalia, is now serving on the State Transportation Board representing Georgia’s 12th Congressional District.

Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms will run for reelection in November, according to 13WMAZ.

The mayor and three city council seats are up for election. Wednesday, Mayor Randy Toms confirmed with 13WMAZ that he will seek reelection.

LaRhonda W. Patrick, an attorney, confirms she’s running for mayor.

Stephen Baughier, an accountant, says he’s strongly considering running. Former mayor Chuck Shaheen says he’s weighing his options. Former councilman Tim Thomas says he’ll decide in the coming weeks whether he wants to run.

Qualifying for city races runs August 16-20. Early voting runs October 12-29 — Election Day is November 2.

Augusta City Commissioner Sammie Sias has been indicted on federal charges, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia, Sias, 66, has been charged with destruction, alteration or falsification of records in federal investigations, and false statement or representation made to a department or agency of the United States. If convicted, the charges carry a maximum of 20 years in federal prison, along with substantial financial penalties and up to five years of supervised release.

“Federal investigations play a significant oversight role in maintaining integrity and transparency from elected officials and in government agencies at all levels,” Acting U.S. Attorney David Estes said in a release. “We commend our law enforcement partners in the FBI and GBI for their diligence in seeking timely and accurate information from those who are chosen to serve the taxpayers of our communities.”

The indictment alleges that Sias “did knowingly alter, destroy, mutilate, conceal and cover up records, documents and other objects, to wit, digital files belonging to Sandridge Community Association” on or about Aug. 5, 2019. The documents included invoices, spreadsheets, work orders, payments, agendas, minutes, financial reports and other documentation of the Jamestown Community Center, Jamestown Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, the SCA board of directors and SCA Summer Camp, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

The indictment states that Sias intended to “impede, obstruct and influence the investigation and proper administration of a federal criminal grand jury investigation.”

“The alleged cover-up was not only a violation of the oath taken by this elected official, but a theft of the public’s trust,” Chris Hacker, special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta, said in a release. “Public corruption is one of the FBI’s top priorities and we will do everything in our power to pursue officials who abuse their positions.”

More than half of Georgia’s counties have lagging broadband availability, according to USA Today via the Augusta Chronicle.

In about half of Georgia’s counties – 80 of 158 – measured by a Federal Communications Commission study, broadband access is available to at least 83% of residents. Yet in about half of the state measured by Microsoft – 80 of 159 counties – no more than 21% of households actually have high-speed access, a USA TODAY analysis shows.

In Georgia, 10% of residents don’t have adequate broadband infrastructure and 38.8% live in areas that have only one internet provider, according to the White House.

The proportions of Georgia households that have high speed access varies widely: In Echols County, it’s just 1%; in Baker County, it’s 2%; and in Clay County, it’s 2%. Leading the state are Forsyth County with 93%, Gwinnett County with 81% and Fulton County with 73%.

Statesboro City Council voted to authorize the police department to apply for a $1 million dollar federal grant to hire more officers, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Twiggs County will use a grant to upgrade its sewer system, according to 13WMAZ.

The county plans to make sewer improvements increasing the capacity of their wastewater plant at the I-16 industrial park.

The money will come from the OneGeorgia Authority, which funds economic development in rural counties, and the American Rescue Plan.

“Right now we don’t have the capacity to handle new businesses, and this is what we’re going to do. This grant is going to help us upgrade our capacity for new businesses with sewage and water. We’ll be able to provide businesses with sewage and water,” said commissioner, Lonnie Ford.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 7, 2021

Strawberry is a young male Labrador Retriever and Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from Homes 4-ever Rescue Organization in Rockmart, GA.

Caitlyn is a young female Beagle and Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from Homes 4-ever Rescue Organization in Rockmart, GA.

Athena is a young female Boxer and Cairn Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from Homes 4-ever Rescue Organization in Rockmart, GA.

An anticipated wave of evictions may mean more pets in need, according to the AJC.

Loss of income, homelessness and illness are constant worries for some metro area residents, but the pandemic altered many lives in a hurry. In response, LifeLine launched the Safety Net Foster Program to help pet owners experiencing housing, financial, medical or other setbacks retain ownership of their dogs or cats by providing temporary foster care. For periods ranging from two weeks to one month, pet owners can be assured that their animals would be cared for in a loving and safe environment provided by animal-loving foster families.

This month, the federal eviction moratorium, which has prevented thousands of metro area residents from losing their housing, is expected to end, and LifeLine expects to see an increase in animals that need temporary housing, said spokeswoman Karen Hirsch.

Housing experts estimate that up to 353,000 Georgians owe back rent and said they are bracing for a deluge of court filings to evict renters when the current ban ends on July 31. If pet owners in crisis feel they have no other option, it could mean an overflow of animals on the streets or surrendered to shelters. But LifeLine’s shelters have already reached high intake numbers ranging from 30 to 60 animals each day, Hirsch said.

There are currently 12 pets in the Safety Net program that have to stay in LifeLine shelters because they do not have enough foster parents signed up for the program. “Demand is getting higher and we are getting more calls,” Hirsch said, noting that at any given time, 40% of the animals under their care live with foster families. “We need more fosters,” she said.

If you’d like to donate to Lifeline, click here for online options.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 7, 2021

On July 7, 1742, General James Oglethorpe was victorious over the Spanish at the Battle of Bloody Marsh and the Battle of Gully Hole Creek; a week later Gov. Montiano would call off the invasion of Georgia from Florida, leaving Georgia to develop as a British colony.

Sliced bread was invented on July 7, 1928 at the Chillicothe Baking Company in Chillicothe, Missouri.

On July 7, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act.

The first female cadets enrolled at West Point on July 7, 1976.

Sandra Day O’Connor was nominated to the United States Supreme Court by President Ronald Reagan on July 7, 1981.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp declared a State of Emergency for 92 counties ahead of the landfall of Hurricane Elsa. From News4Jax:

Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency Tuesday affecting 92 counties in middle, south and southeast Georgia in preparation for the storm. Brantley, Camden, Charlton Glynn, Ware counties in Southeast Georgia were included.

In Glynn County, which includes Brunswick and St. Simons Island, officials urged people to prepare and stay off the roads. School summer programs, public pools and some courts announced plans to close, but Brunswick and Glynn County said they would keep their other offices open Wednesday.

If winds are high enough, the Georgia Department of Transportation could close bridges to St. Simons Island and a high-rise bridge going south out of Brunswick. Interstate 95 is unlikely to be affected, though.

Gov. Brian Kemp’s office said state officials are actively monitoring Elsa, with some coastal counties opening emergency operations centers. Georgia Power Co. says it’s ready to respond to any power outages.

From WALB:

The counties covered by the state of emergency include Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Baldwin, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Bleckley, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Calhoun, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Chattahoochee, Clay, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Columbia, Cook, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glascock, Glynn, Grady, Hancock, Houston, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Liberty, Long, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, McDuffie, McIntosh, Miller, Mitchell, Montgomery, Muscogee, Peach, Pierce, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Richmond, Schley, Screven, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Tattnall, Taylor, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Toombs, Treutlen, Turner, Twiggs, Ware, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, Wilcox, Wilkinson and Worth.

Unless renewed by the governor, the state of emergency will expire on Wednesday, July 14 at 11:59 p.m.

Governor Kemp interviewed applicants for appointment to the Georgia Supreme Court, according to the Georgia Recorder.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 6, 2021

Boujie is a young female Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Cobb County Animal Shelter, via Friends of Shelter Animals, in Marietta, GA.

Meet this precious girl, her name is Boujie and she is super sweet. Her person had a health issue and Boujie is a youngster with too much energy for them. She is as cute as can be and such a good girl. She knows commands like sit and lay down. Boujie is 1 year old and weighs 58 pounds. She is up-to-date on vaccinations and house broken. Boujie is already microchipped, she will be spayed and heart-worm tested upon adoption. Come meet her in Run 55 using ID#630178.

Aggie is a young female Plott Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Cobb County Animal Shelter, via Friends of Shelter Animals, in Marietta, GA.

Meet the darling 6 month old, 27 pound Aggie. Aggie came to the shelter as a lost girl on 06/24 and her family never came. She is hoping that she finds a new home soon – one with a family who will keep her safe. She tries to impress everyone by being very quiet in her cage and gives sweet kisses. Aggie will be spayed, microchipped and heartworm tested when adopted. She is waiting in cage 332, ID# 630122.

Odin is a male Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Cobb County Animal Shelter, via Friends of Shelter Animals, in Marietta, GA.

This darling little energetic boy is Odin. He has not had the best start in life. Found outside of an empty house in a wire crate, his owner was found and signed him over. No info was left, not even his name. He is eager to please and just hopes for a home where he is loved and cared for. At 32 pounds, he is just the right size. Odin is up-to-date on vaccinations and and will be neutered, microchipped and heartworm tested upon adoption. Stop by at kennel 835, his ID# is 630228.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 6, 2021

On July 6, 1775, Congress issued the “Declaration on the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms” addressed to King George III, stating that they preferred to “to die free men rather than live as slaves.” The document was written by John Dickinson after a draft by Thomas Jefferson.

The Republican Party was formally organized on July 6, 1854.

The party was born of hostility to slavery.

In February [1854] a gathering in Ripon, Wisconsin, resolved to form a new party and a local lawyer named Alvan E. Bovay suggested the name Republican for its echoes of Thomas Jefferson. In Michigan there were meetings in Kalamazoo, Jackson and Detroit, and after the Act had passed in May, the new party was formally founded in Jackson in July. A leading figure was Austin Blair, a Free Soiler lawyer who was prosecuting attorney of Jackson County. He helped to draft the new party’s platform, was elected to the state senate in Republican colours that year and would become governor of Michigan in 1860.

On July 6, 1885, Louis Pasteur successfully tested a rabies vaccine on a human subject.

Happy Birthday to George W. Bush, who turns 75 today.

The Cockspur Island lighthouse is receiving some restoration work, according to WTOC.

“The community loves this place; they love the lighthouse. When the scaffolding went up and we started seeing posts about it on Facebook from folks, everything has been super positive,” Fort Pulaski National Monument Chief of Interpretation and Visitor Services, Joel Cadoff, said.

In 1862, Union forces began their 36-hour bombardment of Fort Pulaski. The lighthouse, in direct line of fire, only suffered minor damage.

This 165-year-old structure has seen a civil war, several hurricanes, but it’s also living and breathing. It’s not just the history behind the structure. This is Savannah Gray Brick; it takes in water and then breathes it out.

While Cockspur has been traditionally painted white – as a day marker – the latest coat of white latex paint and some of the last mortar treatments kept Cockspur from breathing, actually suffocating it.

“And what this is doing – is keeping all the water and moisture inside the building and it’s not letting the building breathe; all buildings need to breathe it can’t be closed up and condemn. You can see all this latex is going to keep the moisture in,” Roman said.

Click here for the National Park Service history of the Cockspur Island Lighthouse.

A cemetery in Virginia may see the next and possibly last, interment of Civil War remains, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Archaeologists are looking for an available plot in Fredericksburg National Cemetery, which hasn’t seen a veteran burial since 1945, according to the National Park Service. The burial is considered “proposed” until a suitable site if found, officials said.

“The new grave will be the final resting place for the unidentified remains of US soldiers found in the City of Fredericksburg in 2015,” the military park posted Wednesday on Facebook.

“The remains were found near the Rowe–Goolrick House, which served as a hospital during the Battle of Fredericksburg.”

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Snellville City Council member Tod Warner donates part of his council salary to fight homelessness, according to the AJC.

Tod Warner became homeless when he was only 4, shortly after his parents divorced. His mother loaded him and his brother into a 1962 Volkswagen Beetle, and they slept in a vacant lot and garage for about a week.

Warner and his family found places to stay but never permanent homes.

Since January, the now 58-year-old has sent $100 each month of his $8,000 annual council salary to Lettum Eat, a nonprofit that delivers prepared meals to those in need at distribution events across Gwinnett County.

Headed by chef Hank Reid, Lettum Eat largely relies on donations, fundraisers and catering events to meet its goal. Snellville City Council recognized Reid for his work in early January, prompting Warner to begin donating to the nonprofit.

“Once Hank started taking food to people rather than having people come to him, it really hit home because there were many times in my life that was me,” Warner said. “If we don’t help when we can, then can we expect someone to help us?”

Grovetown, Georgia will be my new home if they continue giving away free Barbecue. From the Augusta Chronicle:

The City of Grovetown handed out nearly 4,000 to-go boxes of barbecue and sides Saturday to its residents free of charge. The cost of the food is part of a line item in the city’s budget each year and restaurants bid for the opportunity to provide the meals. This year’s meal was provided by Fish Eye Grill in Girard.

For the last 20 years, the city has hosted an event complete with the barbecue meal and activities at Liberty Park Community Center. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the city to cancel the event last year but this year it handed out the food in a drive-thru at the community center on a first-come, first-served basis. Each car was permitted to take four boxes of food.

“This year we wanted to make sure we didn’t have an issue with COVID so we decided to do the drive thru,” Mayor Gary Jones said. “It’s a way that we can give back to them and that we appreciate them and as a community celebrate July the Fourth.”

“This is what taking care of the community looks like,” she said. “We’re using tax-payer dollars in the right way and making sure they enjoy the benefits of those tax-payer dollars.”

Georgia deaths linked to Fentanyl more than doubled from 2019 to 2020, according to the AJC.

The number of fentanyl-involved deaths in Georgia more than doubled from 2019 to 2020, according to data from the state’s public health department. The synthetic opioid played a part in killing 803 Georgians in 2020, compared to 392 in 2019.

In each of the core metro Atlanta counties — Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett — the number of deaths nearly doubled or tripled.

Carol Terry, medical examiner for Gwinnett County, became concerned about the drug’s deadly presence toward the end of 2014. Now, the county is in the midst of a fentanyl “epidemic,” she said.

Fentanyl played a role in 60% of all drug-related deaths in the county in 2020, according to medical examiner’s office records obtained by the AJC. Seventy people died from fentanyl-related overdoses in 2020, compared to 26 in 2019.

The drug played a role in killing at least 33 people in the county from January to April of this year. Most people who died had a combination of fentanyl and other drugs in their system.

Cobb County Republicans voted in a straw poll over the weekend, according to the AJC.

Gov. Brian Kemp trounced party-switching former Democrat Vernon Jones, nabbing about two-thirds of the vote. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black was the GOP leader in the Senate race, though Herschel Walker wasn’t on the ballot.

In the open lieutenant governor’s race, which is still forming, Savannah activist Jeanne Seaver edged out state Sen. Butch Miller by four votes.

Most interesting were the two GOP incumbents in hot water.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger finished last out of the four GOP contenders on the poll. U.S. Rep. Jody Hice led the field, thanks partly to Donald Trump’s endorsement.

The straw poll also amounted to a warning beacon for Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, a three-term incumbent who says he’s running again next year. State Sen. Bruce Thompson, who worked the crowd in a branded, blindingly yellow shirt, captured 81% of the tally.

CNN ranks Georgia’s United States Senate seat held by Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Atlanta) as second-most likely to change parties in 2022, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Republicans are eager to redeem their trifecta of recent losses in Georgia. But they’re still in a waiting game when it comes to who will avenge the loss to Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock, who’s now running for a full six-year term.

That’s because Herschel Walker, encouraged by Trump to run, continues to have a freezing effect on the field. Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black announced his candidacy in early June, becoming one of the most prominent candidates so far, while other Republicans have been reluctant to jump into the race if they know someone else will have Trump’s backing. Former Rep. Doug Collins, for example, already passed on a run.

Walker, who lives in Texas, teased a campaign with a June 17 video of him revving the engine of a car with Peach State license plates (in a garage). “I’m getting ready,” the former NFL running back said. Trump said in a radio interview last week that Walker told him he’s decided to run. GOP strategists, however, are nervous about a risky candidate jeopardizing a must-win seat.

Other Republicans are still testing the waters. Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler, who lost to Warnock in the January runoff, recently tweeted about meeting with Trump. And she met with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, too, telling CNN in mid June, “I haven’t ruled it out.” Rep. Buddy Carter, who’s friends with Walker, is waiting to see what Walker does before making a decision. While everyone waits on Walker, national Republicans are not wasting time attacking one of their top targets. The National Republican Senatorial Committee has hit Warnock on TV for supporting the For the People Act, the sweeping voting and elections bill they dub “the welfare for politicians plan” (because of a public financing provision).

The Associated Press looks at Sen. Warnock’s DC demeanor and back home conduct, via AccessWDUN.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Raphael Warnock assails Republicans’ push for tighter voting rules as “Jim Crow in new clothes,” while his campaign operation blasts emails bemoaning dire risks to democracy.

Back home, Georgia’s first Black senator is more subtle, pitching a “comprehensive view of infrastructure” and avoiding talk of his reelection fight already looming just months after he won a January special election runoff with Senate control at stake.

The high-wire act will test whether Warnock, who will seek his first full Senate term next year, can again stitch together a diverse, philosophically splintered coalition that tilted Georgia to Democrats in 2020. He’s still the high-profile freshman whose election gave Democrats unified control in Washington, but now he’s angling to be seen as a “senator for all Georgians” delivering for the state with nuts-and-bolts legislative work.

The approach is part necessity given Georgia’s toss-up status: Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff, also a freshman, each won their seats by less than 100,000 votes out of 4.5 million runoff ballots; Democrat Joe Biden topped Republican Donald Trump in the presidential contest by less than 13,000 votes out of 5 million last November.

Warnock’s gambling that he can be an unapologetic advocate for Democrats’ agenda, including on voting laws, yet still prove to Georgians beyond the left’s base that he is a net-benefit for them. Come November 2022, that would mean maintaining enthusiasm among the diverse Democratic base in metro areas and Black voters in rural and small-town pockets, while again attracting enough suburban white voters, especially women, who’ve drifted away from Republicans in the Trump era.

Candidate for Augusta Mayor discussed purchasing cards and other issues, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Prevented by term limits from a third run for mayor, [Mayor Hardie] Davis’ heavy use of his city credit card recently prompted the Augusta Commission to develop a policy for its use where none existed before but most members refused to discuss or audit the charges.

Since he took office in 2015, Davis has grown the office budget by 70% and staff by two or three and added an SUV to its resources, all with commission approval.

A number of Davis’ credit card charges appear associated with travel, and Williams said he supports the mayor as well as commissioners traveling to conferences and to other cities, to bring ideas back to Augusta.

Alpharetta City Council candidate Brian Will is taking issue with an ordinance that would block him from running as he holds alcohol licenses issued by the city, according to the AJC.

Brian Will said after submitting candidate paperwork to run for City Council he was notified by the code enforcement department of a qualification problem. Will’s restaurants, three of which are located in Alpharetta, serve alcohol.

“It was quite surprising,” Will said, of learning of Alpharetta’s law. “It really isn’t about me. It’s about disqualifying an entire group people at restaurants, hotels, markets … any establishment that serves alcohol.”

An Alpharetta ordinance reads that if you hold an alcoholic beverage license, or intend to, you are not eligible to be elected to a city office. During a June 21 City Council meeting, city attorney Sam Thomas encouraged Council members to amend the ordinance. The law was drafted in 1986, Thomas said, and conflicts with the city charter, which has no criteria prohibiting elected officials from having alcoholic beverage licenses.

Council members were divided on the law change during a first reading and it was not approved to go forward for a final vote at the June 28 meeting.

Will said he is moving ahead with his run for City Council. The candidate owns Cantina Loca, Central City Tavern and Tavern House in Alpharetta.

“We are running,” he said. “Our position is the ordinance is unlawful and unenforceable. We will deal with issues as they come up.”

Former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed continues to take criticism over a federal probe of his past campaign spending, according to the AJC.

[H]is opponents and some residents say they were not shocked at all to read an AJC story last week revealing that Reed is the target of a federal wire fraud investigation, and that his campaign is fighting a subpoena that would require the grand jury testimony of his campaign attorney.

Reed allegedly used campaign funds to make personal purchases of jewelry, resort travel, lingerie and furniture for his mother, the AJC found after comparing details disclosed in a recent court ruling with Reed’s campaign disclosure reports.

It remains to be seen how the grand jury investigation could affect the Nov. 2 election.

A Reed campaign spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that Reed will focus his energy in the campaign “on the issues that matter: addressing violent crime and restoring our sense of community.”

The federal investigation of City Hall has been ongoing for several years, and has ensnared several members of Reed’s team. There have been bribery convictions against his chief procurement officer and a deputy chief of staff. Reed’s chief financial officer is currently under indictment for fraud and weapons charges, and his former director of human services is facing a 12-count fraud indictment.

Reed has repeatedly told the AJC and Channel 2 Action News that authorities never accused him of corruption and he apologized for the ongoing federal investigation.

Commercial bee removal services will now require a state license for removing bee hives from a building, according to WTVM.

It is now illegal in Georgia to remove bee hives from inside someone’s home or a structure unless you have a license from the state.

[Licensed Master Beekeeper Dale] Richter said the problem being seen is that many people with no license and no experience have been taking on the job of beehives in homes.

State lawmakers decided they needed to protect the consumer.

“If you exterminate the bees inside the structure, which is very difficult to do in the first place to do,” said Richter. “But if you are successful in doing it, you have the dead bees, the honey, the comb and all that kind of thing. And it just becomes a buffet for ants, roaches, and mice. So you are eliminating one problem, and creating 4 or 5 more.”

The new law states that only licensed people can try to kill or remove bee hives inside Georgia buildings.

The Lake Lanier Association and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers held a public meeting to discuss upcoming issues for the lake, according to the Gainesville Times.

The Corps is about to crack down on unauthorized brush clearing on Corps property, said Tim Rainey, Army Corps of Engineers operations project manager for Lake Lanier,

“We are going to start addressing these (cases) more frequently and more (harshly),” he said. To me, it’s unacceptable to have the amount of unauthorized clearing we have going on, and we’ve got to start holding people accountable.”

Rainey is closely watching the $973 billion infrastructure bill in Congress.

“It’s not specific to Lake Lanier, but we do feel good that the Corps of Engineers, as an agency, would get some of that money,” he said.

Rainey said he has totaled up about $22 million in projects for Lanier, from road paving and shoreline rock to park bathrooms.

“That’s what I’m going after,” he said. “I don’t know what I’m going to get. It certainly won’t be that much, but I hope to get some of it.”

The Georgia Department of Public Health will provide free back to school checkups in some areas, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The Georgia Department of Public Health has scheduled a series of health clinics for students entering Georgia schools for the first time; or students returning to Georgia schools after an absence of one school year.

Free vision, hearing, dental, and nutrition screenings required for school entry will be offered at the clinics. Health screenings usually cost $30; immunizations will be available at a normal cost with most insurance plans accepted.

Students will be seen on a first come, first served basis and no appointment is necessary.

Bibb County public schools will team with Atrium Health Navicent to provide vaccination clinics before the return to school, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The effort from the school district, Atrium Health Navicent, the Georgia Department of Public Health and Macon-Bibb County held its first event last Wednesday at the Wellness Center on Northside Drive. Two other vaccination events are scheduled for July 24 (first and second doses) and Aug. 14 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (for second doses only).

Vaccinations are available by appointments for students 12 and up, and adults. A parent or guardian must accompany minors to appointments. To make an appointment, visit or call 478-633-SAFE.

“We must as a community in Middle Georgia step forward and lead that effort to make the system, and community a safer place,” said Macon-Bibb County Mayor Lester Miller. “We can only do that by starting that initiative to make sure children 12 or older are getting vaccinated.”

About one-third of Bibb County residents are fully vaccinated, according to the state health department, a percentage that concerns health experts and but ranks the county in the top 25% across Georgia.

Clarke County public schools are seeking public input on COVID relief spending, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

The Clarke County School District is seeking input on how to spend $17 million — one-third of the money received through the American Rescue Plan.

District officials are asking the public to fill out a survey on how the money should be used from the federal act that has allocated a total of $48.5 million to the school system.

Some of these funds have already been earmarked for specific areas, though as of May, none of the money had been spent. The district has until 2024 to spend the federal funds. While the district has a plan in place, it can be adjusted, said Hope McGuire, the school district’s director of federal programs.

Tybee City Council will consider a 90-day contract with Chatham County to provide some leadership functions for fire services, according to WTOC.

On Thursday (July 8), Tybee Island City Council will discuss at its meeting a 90-day agreement with Chatham Emergency Services. The proposed agreement is for the subscription-based fire company to provide leadership positions for the Tybee fire chief and assistant fire chief roles.

According to a copy of the draft agreement, it would allow for remote leadership for the fire chief as long as that person stays in contact with the city manager. The assistant fire chief, however, would need to be on Tybee property for oversight of the Tybee Fire Department.

The proposed agreement does not lay out exactly how much it would cost Tybee taxpayers – only to say Chatham Emergency Services will bill the city on a monthly basis using its current payroll structure for the chief and assistant chief positions.

I wonder if the last eighteen months with remote workers and Zoom meetings made it easier for Tybee Island to consider “remote leadership.”

Gwinnett County Commissioners are considering retaining the existing property tax millage rate for the coming Fiscal Year, according to AccessWDUN.

The flat rate could cause property tax increases for some owners in the county. The board will hold three public hearings in the next two weeks with the first coming Monday, July 12 at 9:00 a.m. at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center on Langley Drive in Lawrenceville.

Commission Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson said the county is looking to use the added tax revenue to fund services.

“From engaging programs for our seniors, to our libraries, our roads and transit system and even how our court system runs – these are just a few services the tax revenue will pay for,” Hendrickson said in a release Saturday.

Stone Mountain City Council backtracked on a proposed property tax hike after citizens objected, according to the AJC.

Stone Mountain’s property taxes will hold steady in 2021 after multiple split votes and dozens of residents complained about the threat of rising taxes.

Every Georgia city has to advertise a property tax increase if property values rise and city leaders don’t commit to lowering the tax rate. Stone Mountain advertised keeping the rate the same, and since the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a housing market boom, a steady rate would have led to the city bringing in tens of thousands of extra dollars in taxes. Residents weren’t afraid to voice their opposition during the town hall.

Property taxes are charged based on a “millage rate,” which is the amount per $1,000 of property value that is used to calculate taxes. In 2020, Stone Mountain had a millage rate of 20 mills. Since the tax rate is tied to assessed property values, residents can end up paying more taxes if their home’s appraised value increases.

Led by Monroe, three councilmembers voted for a rate of 16 mills, but Mayor Patricia Wheeler overruled that proposal following a tie vote. The city ultimately passed a rate of 17.8 mills, which keeps property taxes at the same level as 2020, with Wheeler breaking another tie vote.

Shontay Jones now serves as Election Supervisor for Bulloch County, having previously served as Deputy Registrar, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Jones moves up from her position as the county’s deputy registrar and, effective Thursday, became the department’s second-ever supervisor, according to a release from the county.  She replaces Pat Lanier Jones, whose previously announced resignation took effect Wednesday and who is now the volunteer fire coordinator for the Bulloch County Fire Department.

“I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to continue my journey in Elections and Voter Registration as elections supervisor,” Shontay Jones said in the release. “I will continue to enlighten and serve the citizens of Bulloch County with the same enthusiasm, compassion and transparency regarding elections since I came to this office 22 years ago.”

Former State legislator and current Glynn County Tax Commissioner Jeff Chapman was named sole finalist for Glynn County Manager, according to The Brunswick News.

As Glynn County tax commissioner, Jeff Chapman understands he has to deal with people who don’t necessarily agree with some of the decisions made by his office.

“I’m tax commissioner so I hear it from both sides,” he said.

Chapman, a former county commissioner, state senator, state representative and candidate for governor and Congress, said being an elected official and a constitutional officer gives him a different perspective than most county managers.

Commissioner Cap Fendig, who once served with Chapman on the commission, made the motion to name Chapman the lone finalist. It passed 4-3 with Commissioners Sammy Tostensen, Wayne Neal and Walter Rafolski joining Fendig in favor of the motion. Commissioners Allen Booker, David O’Quinn and Bill Brunson cast the dissenting votes.

Fendig said Chapman’s long experience as an elected official and a lifelong Glynn County resident convinced him to be the swing vote because of his job as tax commissioner.

“He brought the tax office to the next level of efficiency,” he said.

Cave Spring City Council will hold a work session tonight to consider animal control ordinance revisions, among other things, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Zoning, animal control and the upcoming city elections are among the items on the agenda for the meeting set for 4 p.m. in City Hall, 10 Georgia Ave.

Also on Tuesday, the board is slated to discuss a potential animal control ordinance. Rome and Floyd County recently adopted new regulations.

The principle change is a ban on leaving animals tethered outside and unattended.

Also on the work session agenda is a report from City Clerk Judy Dickinson on the election schedule. Dickinson serves as Cave Spring’s election supervisor.

Three of the five City Council seats will be on the Nov. 2 ballot — those held by incumbents Nellie McCain, Charles Jackson and Nancy Fricks.
Qualifying is scheduled for Aug. 16-20. The qualifying fee is $45 and the terms are for four years.

Sea turtle nest counts are up in Georgia, but not to record levels according to The Brunswick News.

Mark Dodd, a senior wildlife biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources who coordinates sea turtle conservation efforts in the state, said Thursday that while nesting numbers are above average this summer, the approximately 1,630 nests found and recorded so far are below what’s been seen in recent years when nesting has taken place at high rates.

“We’re predicting maybe 2,400 nests, which is definitely lower than the biggest nesting year in 2019 when we had almost 4,000,” Dodd said. “It’s down from previous years.”

The fluctuations in total numbers are influenced by sea turtle nesting patterns. Female loggerheads do not nest every year and typically return every two to three years to lay their eggs.

Conservation workers, including staff at DNR and volunteers, walk the state’s beaches every morning and evening throughout nesting season, which begins in May, to monitor the beaches and keep track of and protect nests.

Beach visitors during the summer are asked to keep an eye out for nests, which are clearly marked, and to avoid using light on the beaches at night. White light can disorient a turtle or its hatchlings.

DNR and other state conservationists are closely watching the recovery of the loggerhead sea turtle population. Nesting numbers recorded so far this year offer a reason to continue being optimistic that the species is recovering, Dodd said.

“In 2004, we had only 350 nests in the whole state, so we’re luckily coming out of that and we appear to be in a recovery period,” he said. “We still have a long way to go to recover the population to where it was prior to the decline.”


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 2, 2021

Abigail (run 19) is a medium-sized female mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from the Columbus Georgia Animal Control Center in Columbus, GA.

Matthew (run 4) is a large male mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from the Columbus Georgia Animal Control Center in Columbus, GA.

Penelope (run 9) is a medium-sized female mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from the Columbus Georgia Animal Control Center in Columbus, GA.

Essy is a female German Shepherd mix who is available for adoption from the East Alabama Humane Society in Phenix City, AL.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 2, 2021

On July 5, 1737, James Oglethorpe sailed from England to Georgia with a warship and troop transports carrying a regiment to be stationed at St. Simons Island.

On July 5, 1742, Spanish forces based in Florida sailed past Fort St. Simon, bypassing English forces there. That night, Oglethorpe’s troops left Fort St Simon and fell back to Fort Frederica.

Fort Frederica National National Monument on St. Simons Island

On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted a resolution by Richard Henry Lee (father of Robert E. Lee) calling for independence from Britain. The delegations of twelve colonies voted in favor, while New York’s abstained, not knowing how their constituents would wish them to vote.

On July 4, 1776, the United States declared its independence from Great Britain.

On July 2, 1826, representatives from Georgia and Alabama met to begin surveying the border between the two.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4, 1826.

On July 2, 1861, Georgia voters approved a new state Constitution, which had been adopted by the state’s Secession Convention.

July 2, 1863 saw day 2 of the Battle of Gettysburg, with Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia attacking Meade’s Army of the Potomac.

Union cavalry under Gen. Kenner Garrard reached Roswell, Georgia on July 5, 1864, setting the town alight.

On July 4, 1868, the Georgia General Assembly convened for the first time after passage of the Constitution of 1868 with a legislature comprising 186 members, of whom 36 were African-American.

On July 3, 1889, the Georgia General Assembly held its last session at the Kimball Opera House, located at the corner of Marietta and Forsyth Streets in downtown Atlanta before moving into a new Georgia State Capitol. On July 4, 1889, the Georgia State Capitol was dedicated, then housing all three branches of the state government.

Happy birthday to Idaho, which became a state on July 3, 1890.

On July 2, 1898, the first pot of delicious Brunswick Stew was made in Brunswick, Georgia. I think I’ll celebrate with a bowl for lunch today.

On July 3, 1913, the Georgia state Senate tabled a motion to allow the Georgia Women’s Suffrage Association to address the chamber.

Construction of USS Augusta, a cruiser, began on July 2, 1928, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

She would be completed and launched in February 1930, “sponsored” by Evelyn McDaniel, of Augusta, who would later become the wife of a Superior Court judge.

Augusta saw service in the Pacific and later became a command ship during Operation Overlord and the D-Day invasion. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman traveled aboard her during wartime treaty endeavors, and the latter would publicly announce the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima from his office aboard the ship.

USS Augusta was built at Newport News Shipbuilding, where my father worked when I was a child, and where we occasionally attended christenings and launches.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on July 2, 1864. Major provisions included outlawing discriminatory application of voting laws, prohibiting racial discrimination in public accomodations, allowing the Attorney General to join lawsuits against states operating segregated public schools, and prohibiting discrimination by state and local governments or agencies receiving federal funds.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was a witness to Johnson’s signature, standing behind the President in the Oval Office. Johnson presented King with one of the 72 pens used in signing the legislation.

Occasionally, pens from the Civil Rights Act signing come onto the collectors’ market. A collection of 50 pens used to sign legislation by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson went across the block in November 2013. This pen went unsold.

As a student of Dr. Merle Black in the political science department at Emory, we began our study of Southern politics from the premise that race relations and the legacy of racial discrimination shaped Southern politics. One book we read every year was The Longest Debate: A Legislative History of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which belongs on the bookshelf of any serious student of American politics, political history, and legislative process.

On July 3, 1970, the Atlanta Pop Festival was held in Byron, Georgia.

Among the artists playing at Byron were the Allman Brothers Band and Jimi Hendrix.

The Clash played their first live show on July 4, 1976 at The Black Swan in Sheffield, England.

Back to the Future was released on July 3, 1985.

On July 3, 1986, President Ronald Reagan reopened the Statue of Liberty after a two-year restoration.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today is the deadline for absentee ballots to be received in the Special Runoff Election for Dougherty County Board of Education District 2, the first election under the rules put in place by SB 202. From WALB:Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 1, 2021

Roxy is a senior female Boxer and Plott Hound mix who is available for adoption from Evelyn’s Place Rescue in Gainesville, GA.

Roxy was originally adopted from the rescue who currently cares for her as a puppy. 8 years later her owner died and she found herself at animal control. Luckily she was chipped and we were able to pick her up. She’s around 70lbs, loves toys, super skittish and unsure of humans. Roxy needs a very calm home, patient adopter and a huge toy box. She is quiet and easy going. She just needs that special someone to love her.

Carli is a young female Labrador Retriever and American Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption from Evelyn’s Place Rescue in Gainesville, GA.

Carli is almost 12 weeks old. She’s sweet, loves toys abs has lots of energy. She is learning to potty outside. She will need more help. Her adoption fee includes puppy boosters, rabies, spay and chip.

Venus is a female Shepherd and Plott Hound mix who is available for adoption from Evelyn’s Place Rescue in Gainesville, GA.

Venus likes friendly boy dogs (hey fellas) and kiddos. Girl dogs, Bleh! No girl dogs they stress me out with their drama. I do not know if I like felines. I do not potty in the house , I like my toys and give me a treat I’ll let you rub my belly. Just being honest. My bags are packed and I’m available to crash on your couch.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 1, 2021

The Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia on July 1, 1776 to debate a resolution by Richard Henry Lee that the colonies declare their independence of Britain.

The first U.S. Postage stamps were issued on July 1, 1847 in New York City.

The Battle of Gettysburg began on July 1, 1863. July 2, 1863 saw day 2 of the Battle of Gettysburg, with Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia attacking Meade’s Army of the Potomac.

Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders charged San Juan Hill in Cuba during the Spanish-American War on July 1, 1898.

Coca-Cola marketed its current formula for the first time on July 1, 1916.

On July 1, 1956, a new Georgia flag bearing the state seal and a version of the Confederate Battle Flag became effective after being adopted by the Georgia General Assembly in the 1956 Session.

The current Georgia Constitution became effective on July 1, 1983 after its approval in a referendum during the November 1982 General Election.

Georgia native Clarence Thomas was nominated to the United States Supreme Court by President George H.W. Bush on July 1, 1991.

Savannah’s Mayor and City Council received a report that recommends moving Confederate memorials fromForsyth Park, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Updated plans for the memorial initially developed by a task force in 2017 were reviewed by the Savannah Historic Sites and Monuments Commission on June 1. The commission meets again Thursday and will exam a recommended action plan drafted by Savannah City Manager Michael Brown.

The memo calls for moving forward with the task force’s recommendations, which include the relocation of the busts of Confederate officers Francis Stebbins Bartow and LaFayette McLaws that are park of the memorial in Forsyth Park.

Doing so would end a four-year effort to change the monument. The task force first recommended action in a 2017 report, one approved by council in 2018. The process stalled due to legal challenges when the state tightened restrictions on war memorial relocations in 2019.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The first election conducted under new state laws will be a Special Runoff Election for Dougherty County Board of Education District 2 on July 13, 2021, according to the Albany Herald.Continue Reading..