On September 26, 1928, future President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke in Atlanta on behalf of Democrat Alfred Smith’s campaign for President.
The first televised debate between major party candidates for President took place on September 26, 1960 between Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Richard M. Nixon.
Kennedy emerged the apparent winner from this first of four televised debates, partly owing to his greater ease before the camera than Nixon, who, unlike Kennedy, seemed nervous and declined to wear makeup. Nixon fared better in the second and third debates, and on October 21 the candidates met to discuss foreign affairs in their fourth and final debate. Less than three weeks later, on November 8, Kennedy won 49.7 percent of the popular vote in one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history, surpassing by a fraction the 49.6 percent received by his Republican opponent.
Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections
The Georgia Department of Public Health reported the state’s first vaping-related death, according to the Macon Telegraph.
A news release says the patient had a history of heavy nicotine vaping but none of vaping THC.
The statement says the patient who died was among nine identified cases of vaping-related illness in Georgia, and other possible cases are being reviewed.
The department says all had pneumonia without any known infectious cause. The patients were 18 to 68 years old with an average age of 26 years. They include seven males.
The state agency said the patient was a man over the age of 35 who did not live in metro Atlanta. He had a history of heavy nicotine vaping, but no history of vaping THC, which has been linked to a majority of the mysterious vaping-related lung diseases afflicting e-cigarette users.
The death is one of nine confirmed cases in Georgia. The nine people were hospitalized and developed pneumonia with “no known infectious cause,” according to the agency.
In Georgia, those sickened range in age from 18 to 68. The median age of the cases is 26; seven are men.
Gov. Brian Kemp and DPH Commissioner Kathleen E. Toomey urge individuals to follow the CDC recommendation that individuals should not use e-cigarettes or other vaping devices while this investigation is ongoing.
The CDC cautioned users to avoid purchasing products with THC or CBD oils off the street, and said users should not modify or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.
“Voting rights” organizations are urging DeKalb County to stop canceling the registrations of voters using temporary addresses, according to the AJC.
Voting rights organizations sent a letter Wednesday demanding that DeKalb County election officials stop canceling the registrations of voters without notification or a legitimate challenge to their residency.
DeKalb should ensure that voting rights are protected after the county elections board recently canceled the registrations of seven voters who listed the address of a mental health business as their residence, according to the letter from the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The business provides temporary housing for people who need a place to stay to avoid psychiatric hospitalization.
Elections officials should make at least two attempts to call and email voters whose residency has been challenged, the organizations said in their letter. In addition, challenges to residency should be submitted in writing from registered voters, not government officials.
The Georgia Composite Medical Board is seeking public comments on proposed rules, according to the AJC.
The state board that regulates physicians is asking for public comment on a proposed rule that would protect the licenses of doctors who default on their student loans or fail to meet service obligations.
The change is already mandated by a new state law, Senate Bill 214, and the board is simply changing its rules to comply with it.
Georgia law used to specifically call for license suspensions in such cases. The new law inserted a “not” and now prohibits them.
The Georgia Composite Medical Board will hold a public hearing on the rule changes at 8 a.m. Nov. 7 at Emory University. The hearing is scheduled for the Emory Conference Center at 1615 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta. People who can’t attend can send their comments by email to email@example.com by Oct. 25.
All five proposed rule changes can be reviewed on the board’s website at this link.
Georgia has a gang problem, according to speakers at a meeting of the Georgia House Study Committee on Gang and Youth Violence Prevention. From the Augusta Chronicle:
Rep. Carl Gilliard, chairman of the state House Study Committee on Gang and Youth Violence Prevention, stated that belief at a meeting Wednesday of the group in Augusta. The Savannah Democrat said 71,000 gang members have been identified throughout the state, but believes there are many more. The committee was created during the 2019-2020 session to study ways to prevent the increase of gangs and youth violence in the state.
The meeting was the committee’s third and this one focused on gang prevention, said Rep. Brian Prince of Augusta, who is a member.
“It gave us an opportunity at the first meeting to talk about the problem, identify it,” Prince said. “The second meeting we had in Savannah, Georgia we actually had some people that gave some sort of testimony about what is going on, not just out in the community, but in the jails and prison system.”
“Law enforcement continues to tell us they can’t do it by themselves. It’s going to take a collaborative community effort,” Gilliard said. “Our hopes are that as we bring coalitions of people from around the state that we are able to get the information that is needed to help our law enforcement.”
“The governor has really pushed for prosecution of gangs and taking it seriously and addressing this,” [Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Natalie] Paine said. “To have the chairman here today and this committee studying, gathering information (on) what are our issues here in Georgia and what are the ways we can combat this the most effectively, I think that is a great step in dealing with this epidemic here in Georgia.”
Georgia Democrats are
calling their parent for money asking for a national investment in the state, according to the AJC.
[D]espite the predictions that Georgia will be a top 2020 battleground, Democrats are growing increasingly concerned that the national party still hasn’t devoted any significant resources to the state.
They’ve penned memos to Washington pleading for immediate investment to pay for field operatives and voter training. They’ve had quiet internal discussions to lay the groundwork for when the money comes. And they’ve lobbied national leaders to give more than lip service to the state.
“We need boots on the ground. We need more money to flow to this state. We need more training. And we need (national) leadership to be making trips here,” said Lewanna Heard-Tucker, the Fulton County Democratic chairwoman. “There needs to more noise and excitement so folks can see this state matters.”
Although Democratic presidential candidates are lavishing more attention on Georgia, none has built any lasting infrastructure in the state. No candidate has established a campaign office in Georgia or hired any full-time staff devoted to the state.
By contrast, a pro-Trump “Victory” operation is already humming, with staffers who have crisscrossed Georgia for months to hold rallies and training sessions, some geared toward women and Asian American voters that Republicans have struggled to keep in the fold.
Bibb County School Superintendent Curtis Jones delivered the State of the District address, according to the Macon Telegraph.
Among the achievements noted by Jones was Bibb schools closing the gap with the state on a calculation used to measure Georgia public schools’ student achievement and on graduation rates.
Bibb’s College and Career Ready Performance Index score for 2018 was 67.2 compared to 76.6 for the state. In 2012, Bibb’s CCRPI score was 57.3, compared to 74.1 for the state, Jones said.
Bibb’s graduation rate was 79.4% for 2019, compared to 82% for the state. In 2012, Bibb’s graduation rate was 52.3%, compared to 69.7% for the state.
“Still not good enough, but it’s where we want to go,” Jones said.
Some Bulloch County seniors continue working for property tax relief, according to the Statesboro Herald.
Superintendent of Schools Charles Wilson, at the BOE’s regular meeting Sept. 12, asked board members to be ready to tell him where they stand on the exemption request during this Thursday’s 6:30 p.m. “work session.” The second regular meeting of the month, it includes a time for board members to discuss several topics with the public listening, but with no scheduled time for further comments from the public.
Only the first regularly scheduled BOE meeting each month includes “public participation,” and the tax exemption has been a topic at the last two opportunities. At least four representatives of the pro-exemption seniors spoke to the board Aug. 8, when more than twice as many people spoke against an age-based exemption. However, pro-exemption leaders objected to the way that ratio came about, and two – Kay Anderson and William Emley – spoke again Sept. 12.
Speaking to the board, Emley said it is a fact that all Bulloch County property owners, including those who are not parents or guardians of children in school “have the responsibility of providing financial support … for children’s education.”
“To me that seems to be unfair,” Emley said. “It is a fact that nearly 100 counties in Georgia have some type of age-based school tax exemption. Some of them include 100 percent school tax exemption to their senior citizens who are retired and on fixed income.”
The University of Georgia will name the college of education for Mary Frances Early, the first African-American graduate of the University, according to the Athens Banner Herald.
Naming an academic unit such as a college for a person requires Board of Regents approval, UGA President Jere Morehead said in a meeting of his cabinet of high-level administrators, who voted unanimously to approve naming the college for Early.
The late Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter (now Charlayne Hunter-Gault) were UGA’s first black students when they enrolled as undergraduates in the winter of 1961. Early transferred from the University of Michigan as a graduate student later that year. All three went on to distinguished careers, but Early was the first to get a diploma when she received a master’s in music education in 1962. She later earned a Specialist in Education degree from UGA.
The naming of the college for Early is “honorific” — in contrast to naming colleges, schools or buildings for donors who have given large sums of money, such as buildings in the university’s new Terry College of Business complex.
Early’s career in music education included stints as music director for Atlanta Public Schools, teaching at Morehouse College, Spelman College and Clarke Atlanta University, where she was head of the music department.
In 1981, she was the first African American elected president of the Georgia Music Educators Association.
White County Sheriff Neal Walden announced he will not run for reelection, according to AccessWDUN.
Speaking with WRWH Radio Wednesday morning, Walden, who is in his 28th year as sheriff, said it’s time to do something else.
“They talk about the golden years,” Walden said. “I think it’s about time for me to take a little bite of the golden years. I’ve enjoyed my career. I’ve never got up a day in my life and said, ‘I don’t want to go to work’. It’s always been that challenge, you know, to go see what’s happening, who you can help.”
Walden began his law enforcement career in 1979, working for then-Sheriff Frank Baker Sr. Following Baker’s death, Walden ran for the office and has been serving ever since.
In his seventh term in office, Walden thanked the citizens for allowing him to serve over the years.
Rome Commission candidates will meet the public in two forums, according to the Rome News Tribune.
The Floyd County Republican Party is hosting the first candidate forum Thursday at 6 p.m. at Moe’s Original Bar B Que, 107 W. First St., next to Bridgepoint Plaza.
“This is open to the public and there will be microphones for people if they want to ask the candidates questions,” Floyd GOP spokesman Mickey Tuck said Wednesday, adding if folks wish to order food first, they should arrive by 5:30.
Eight out of the nine candidates running for seats in Wards 1 and 3 have confirmed they will be there. Only Ward 1 incumbent Milton Slack will not be able to attend as he has a previous obligation in Brooklyn, New York.
The second candidate forum on Oct. 1 is being put on at 6:30 p.m. by the Theta Omicron Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. at Thankful Baptist Church’s Russell Family Life Center, 935 Spider Webb Drive in Rome.
Registered voters in the city of Rome will be able to select three candidates for each ward and the top three in each race will start four-year terms in January.
Francine Scott became the first announced candidate for Augusta Commission Super District 9, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
The super district comprises commission districts 1, 2, 4 and 5. Commissioner Marion Williams is term-limited can’t run again next year after serving two consecutive terms. No one else has announced plans to run in the election next May.
Scott said she would bring to the commission “a wealth of experience,” including her more than 30 years in administrative roles with state agencies such as the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Georgia Department of Corrections’ operations and planning division.
Brunswick will get even more awesome when a new Stripling’s opens there. From The Brunswick News:
Buster Byrd and Dennis Carey have been Stripling’s General Store customers for years because of the high quality meats and fresh produce.
But the stores, Perry, Bogart and two in Cordele, aren’t a short drive down the road for residents in the Golden Isles — at least for the time being.
The two businessmen are opening a Stripling’s General Store franchise in Brunswick on U.S. 17 near the causeway leading to St. Simons Island.
It’s likely many visitors to the Golden Isles are already familiar with Stripling’s, which sold some of its products at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The meats sold at the store are all produced at a USDA plant in Moultrie.
Byrd said he and Carey were interested in a franchise because the four existing stores are all in rural areas, but they have a loyal clientele who go out of their way to shop there. Both men believe their store will earn a similar reputation when it opens. Under ideal circumstances, the store could open next summer by July 4th weekend, but it’s more likely the opening will be around Labor Day weekend.
Besides smoked meats, the butcher shop will also showcase a variety of fresh-catch seafood, offering shoppers a taste of the nearby sea. Setting it apart from previous locations, Stripling’s Golden Isles will highlight an impressive variety of fine wines that will pair well with a day at the beach or an at-home dinner.
On-the-go favorites include Stripling’s housemade sausage dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, Brunswick stew, and sausage biscuits, to name a few. A plethora of general groceries, including artisanal cheeses, dips, crackers, preserves, sweets, wine and beer, will also be available for purchase.