GaPundit https://gapundit.com Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections Fri, 18 Jan 2019 15:23:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.26 Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for January 18, 2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/18/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-january-18-2019/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-january-18-2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/18/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-january-18-2019/#comments Fri, 18 Jan 2019 15:09:18 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=64547 GaPundit:

Puffin is a young male Rottweiler mix who is available for adoption from PAWS Atlanta in Decatur, GA. Puffin has everything going for him except a home. Intelligent, athletic, sweet, and well behaved, he is nearly perfect in every way. This exuberant nine-month-old runs like the wind! He loves to play with people and dogs

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GaPundit:

Puffin PAWS

Puffin is a young male Rottweiler mix who is available for adoption from PAWS Atlanta in Decatur, GA.

Puffin has everything going for him except a home. Intelligent, athletic, sweet, and well behaved, he is nearly perfect in every way. This exuberant nine-month-old runs like the wind! He loves to play with people and dogs alike. Whatever activity you suggest, he’s game. Puffin is also a gentleman. He comes when called and is eager to please, looking at you for his cues. He is mannerly on his leash and he waits to be released into his kennel or onto the trails. Whatever Puffin’s heritage might be, it works. Stand back, and you can see his Rottweiler coloring. Watch him run, and a sleek herder or a retriever springs to mind. He is, in a word, beautiful. Puffin plays nicely with another PAWS dog, so bring yours out to meet him during a supervised visit. He’ll be waiting, eager to make your acquaintance.

Atreyu PAWS

Atreyu is a male Hound and Rottweiler mix who is available for adoption from PAWS Atlanta in Decatur, GA.

Atreyu is a staff favorite: playful, fun, eager to get his game on with anyone and everyone. With his long legs, he may be the fastest runner and ball chaser in the shelter. Atreyu loves going for walks, and really enjoys ANY kind of exercise. He is so eager to meet people, it sometimes takes him a minute to gather himself in his kennel. We hope he’ll find an active home with gentle people who can guide him and show him how to be an excellent dog.

Butter PAWS

Butter is a male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from PAWS Atlanta in Decatur, GA.

When Butter smiles at us, and he smiles at us a lot, everything feels right with the world. He’s a sleek, athletic, wildly-smart guy who is looking for a kindred spirit human. At 4, Butter bonds quickly with people who will spend time with him, engage him, and really get him. He is so crazy intelligent, he craves a job, or something to do – whether it’s training, or playing fetch in the yard, or going for a run together. Doesn’t matter. He needs that sense of purpose and connection.

Butter has been working with the positive-focused trainers at Canine PhD for so long, he practically has a PhD in the basics of being a great dog. Now, all he needs is someone who can channel his energy and give him a job to do, even if that “job” is just having fun. When you first meet him, you might get the feeling Butter is sizing you up. Mostly because he is. But once he knows you, he is loyal to a fault. He has been fostered and has been wonderful in with the people in his foster homes, but he was not willing to share with other pets.

Butter can sometimes be possessive with food and high-value treats and toys, so we feel he would not be a great fit for young children. He would be perfect for you if you’re looking for a confident, smart, striking dog who is beyond eager to learn. We could talk about Butter for days. If you have any questions, please shoot them our way. No one deserves a happy-ever-after more than this guy.

 

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 18, 2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/18/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-january-18-2019/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-january-18-2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/18/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-january-18-2019/#comments Fri, 18 Jan 2019 13:45:17 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=64544 GaPundit:

On January 18, 1776, James Wright, Royal Governor of Georgia, was arrested by John Habersham, a member of the Provincial Congress. On January 20, 1788, the First African Baptist Church was established in Savannah, Georgia, one of the first black churches in the United States. John Marshall was nominated as Chief Justice of the Supreme

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GaPundit:

On January 18, 1776, James Wright, Royal Governor of Georgia, was arrested by John Habersham, a member of the Provincial Congress.

On January 20, 1788, the First African Baptist Church was established in Savannah, Georgia, one of the first black churches in the United States.

John Marshall was nominated as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States by President John Adams on January 20, 1801.

Robert E. Lee was born on January 19, 1807 at his family home, Stratford Hall, Virginia.

Lieutenant William T. Sherman was ordered to Georgia for the first time in his military career on January 21, 1844.

Delegates to the Secession Convention in Milledgeville voted 208-89 in favor of seceding from the United States on January 19, 1861.

On January 19, 1871, Savannah, Georgia became the first city to recognize Robert E. Lee’s Birthday as a public holiday.

L.Q.C. Lamar, born near Eatonton, Georgia, was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court on January 18, 1888.

On January 20, 1920, DeForest Kelley was born in Atlanta and he grew up in Conyers. Kelley sang in the choir of his father’s church and appeared on WSB radio; he graduated from Decatur Boys High School and served in the United States Navy. Kelley became famous as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in the original Star Trek series.

On January 20, 1928, Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited Warm Springs, Georgia for the tenth time, staying through February 11th. During the visit, he spoke to the Chamber of Commerce of Americus and Sumter County, telling them

“In Georgia the movement towards the cities is growing by leaps and bounds and this means the abandonment of the farms or those farms that are not suited to the uses of agriculture. It means that we will have vacant lands but these can and should be used in growing timber.”

January 20th became Inaugural Day in 1937; when the date falls on a Sunday, a private inauguration of the President is held, with a public ceremony the following day. The Twentieth Amendment moved inauguration day from March 4 to January 20. Imagine six additional weeks of a lame duck President.

Roosevelt was sworn-in to a fourth term as President on January 20, 1945 and died in Warm Springs on April 12, 1945.

On January 20, 1939, Paul D. Coverdell was born in Des Moines, Iowa. Coverdell was one of the key figures in the development of the Georgia Republican Party.

On January 20, 1977, former Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter was inaugurated as the 39th President of the United States.

On January 20, 1981, Ronald Wilson Reagan was inaugurated 40th President of the United States.

Donald J. Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian P. Kemp delivered his first “State of the State” address yesterday in the House Chamber.

From the Statesboro Herald:

Georgia’s newly elected Republican governor announced during his State of the State speech Thursday that he was setting aside $1 million to create a waiver plan that would give the state more flexibility in using federal Medicaid funding.

Gov. Brian Kemp, who has frequently assailed Medicaid expansion — a keystone of his defeated Democratic rival Stacey Abrams’ platform during their 2018 gubernatorial race — said the waiver would “expand access without expanding a broken system that fails to deliver for patients.”

Kemp did not elaborate about what the waiver might include and questions emailed to his office were not answered.

His office instead sent a statement saying that the funding was for a consultant to assist in reviewing options and developing a plan and that the “ultimate goals are lowering costs, increasing choice, and improving quality and access.”

From Georgia Health News:

He also said he will work with the Legislature to grow the rural hospital tax credit program – presumably by raising the credit from $60 million to $100 million – and “tackle the doctor shortage, and build a healthier Georgia.’’

Waivers can take various forms. One past proposal from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce looked a lot like standard Medicaid expansion, and would cover an estimated 500,000 low-income adults in the state. Another waiver proposal has been offered by Grady Health System, which would extend coverage to thousands of people and then manage their medical care.

On another health issue, Kemp said in his Thursday speech that to keep classrooms safe, “we must also address the mental health issues that often lead to school violence.’’

He said that with $8.4 million in additional funding through the APEX program, “we can focus on mental health in Georgia high schools. These professionals will engage with struggling students and provide critical resources to prevent disruptive and aggressive behavior. They will inspire, mentor, and keep our students safe. Together, we will secure our classrooms and protect our state’s most treasured asset – our children.’’

From the Albany Herald:

Advocates for the elderly are praising Gov. Brian Kemp for proposing funding that could make a difference for 1,000 of the 7,000 older Georgians on waiting lists for home and community services.

Georgia Council on Aging officials said Kemp’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal, unveiled Thursday, includes an extra $1.89 million for a state program that helps the elderly stay in their communities. In response to the waiting lists for Meals on Wheels at the aging agencies across the state, Kemp’s budget includes $945,955 for meals for these seniors.

“We are so grateful to the governor for his insight and budget recommendation,” Vicki Johnson, chair of the state Council on Aging, said. “Not only is this the most cost-efficient way of helping our elderly citizens, but it also allows them to stay in their homes where they prefer to be.”

Officials said funds for adult protective service and public guardianship workers, for a total of $1.32 million, are also included in the budget. These public servants meant to help protect Georgia’s vulnerable at-risk adults.

From the Athens Banner-Herald:

Kemp laid out a proposal to permanently increase teacher salaries by $3,000 for all certified Georgia teachers, which he said was a “sizeable down payment” on his campaign promise to raise pay by $5,000.

Kemp also touted plans previously unveiled to allocate money to each Georgia public school for safety measures and an anti-gang task force within the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

He’s seeking $30,000 for each public school in the state — a total cost of $69 million — to enact safety measures determined at the local level. Kemp also said he plans to address mental health within schools and provide extra resources.

Kemp said he wants to put $500,000 in initial funding toward the new GBI anti-gang task force.

From the Gwinnett Daily Post:

The speech was a chance to look at some of the issues Kemp wants to push during the 2019 legislative session as well as some of his priorities for the state’s 2020 budget. Education, crime and health were key parts of Kemp’s address.

Kemp said he intends to build on Nathan Deal’s criminal justice reform efforts, but he also wants to address gangs in Georgia, saying the gangs are “pawns for the Mexican drug cartels, pushing opioids and drugs.” In addition to drugs, the governor also tied gangs to the issue of sex trafficking.

He told legislators he wants to set aside half a million dollars that will serve as initial funds to set up a gang task force in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to fight gangs and go after drug cartel “kingpins” who are in the state.

“This highly qualified group of experienced law enforcement personnel and prosecutors will work with local district attorneys and law enforcement to stop and dismantle gangs in Georgia,” Kemp said.

“By utilizing the criminal gang and criminal alien database, which will be funded with existing resources from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, we will track and deport drug cartel kingpins who are terrorizing our communities.”

On the health care front, Kemp said he wants to work with legislators to grow rural hospital tax credit and tackle a shortage of doctors. He also wants to put $1 million in the Department of Community Health’s budget to “craft state flexibility options for Georgia’s Medicaid program”

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston announced the creation of a “Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics,” according to the Saporta Report.

“As we look ahead on transportation, our focus will shift to freight and logistics,” said State House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, addressing something near 2,000 businesspeople and elected officials from across the state, at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s annual Eggs and Issues breakfast on Wednesday morning.

Ralston announced that a “Georgia Commission on Freight and Logistics” will soon be outlined in a House bill to be carried by Transportation Committee Chairman Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville.

Ralston said two giant railroads — CSX and Norfolk Southern — will be invaluable partners.

Georgia’s ports are economic engines, said Craig Camuso, regional vice president at CSX.

But as more cargo moves around Georgia — sometimes on trucks — that’s more demand on roads.

“While the trucking industry is so important to the state, it can’t handle everything,” said Camuso. “With the number of people that are on the roads coupled with the number of trucks on the road … there have got to be alternatives. Freight rail provides that alternative.”

 

Columbus-Muscogee County has issued its legislative wish list, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Columbus’ government wants an interstate highway on the route where U.S. 80 is now, in the name of economic development. What’s called Interstate 14 starts in Texas and is a federal project. There’s little the state Legislature can do to make it happen, but the request is that state legislators support the idea where they can.

And on to what seems like a small thing until somebody abandons a car on your private property and blocks your dumpster. Right now, the local government can’t remove an abandoned car for ordinance violations from private property. Columbus wants a change that says it’s OK to tow off an ordinance-violating abandoned car from private property.

Things to put under “money” have a lot to do with showing hospitality by not taxing hotel guests so much: Columbus wants a repeal of a $5-per-night state hotel tax, on the grounds that Georgians who are in hotels are already being taxed in other ways. A more modest request is for a break from that tax for folks who are fleeing hurricanes or other natural disasters. Another would exempt hotel stays from a local tax.

The county’s endorsing what would be a huge change in voting and how candidates get nominated. Right now, if you go vote in a primary, you can pick a Republican ballot with only GOP choices, a Democrat ballot with only Democrat choices or a nonpartisan ballot. The nonpartisan ballot will only have nonpartisan races, like those for judges. Columbus wants nonpartisan ballots to cover all races. So somebody who wants to vote for a Democrat in one primary race and a Republican in another, could.

Delta awarded a grant to keep the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historical Park in Atlanta open during the federal shutdown, according to CNN.

The National Park Service will use a grant from Delta Air Lines and fee revenues to reopen the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta despite the government shutdown.

Most sites of the park, including the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and King’s birth home, have been closed since the partial government shutdown began on December 22. Travelers missed their chance to relive the civil rights leader’s legacy and many others were worried they could not visit the sites during the upcoming federal holiday honoring King.

The historic park will open Saturday for 16 days to ensure people in Atlanta can celebrate King’s legacy in advance of the holiday on Monday and travelers attending the Super Bowl game on February 3 have a chance to visit the sites, the park service said.

An $83,500 grant from the Delta Air Lines Foundation will cover the cleanup, administration, maintenance and operating costs of employees not covered under recreation fee funds.

Savannah breweries and distillers are seeing problems with approvals for new products due to the federal government shutdown, according to the Savannah Morning News.

“This impacts us pretty significantly as we have all these backlogs of beer labels that have been submitted that have not been reviewed at all,” said Smith Mathews, marketing and sales director of Savannah’s Southbound Brewing Co.

“These are beers we planned on releasing in the next couple of months and throughout this year.”

Breweries must submit a Certificate of Label Approval (COLA) to a branch of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for any new beer they plan to sell outside of state lines, and Mathews said Southbound has four or five labels for new beers that they’re waiting to get approved.

Beer brewers do have a little relief during the shutdown since any new brews that contain pre-approved ingredients can still be sold and distributed within state lines, but Mathews estimates that about 20 percent of Southbound’s distribution is out-of-state, and that coupled with customer expectations creates quite a challenge.

Macon-Bibb County will use money earmarked for unfilled positions to cover unfunded holiday pay for employees, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The Lowndes County Board of Education voted to put a SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) VI referendum on the March 19 ballot, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Glynn County Commissioners made several appointments to local boards, according to The Brunswick News.

Savannah officials heard from residents about how to deal with special events that have the possibility of disrupting, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Flowery Branch City Council tabled a measure that would request changes to the city charter, according to AccessWDUN.

Members of the Flowery Branch City Council decided to table a resolution at their meeting Thursday evening that affects the way the city deals with council vacancies when council members are unable to complete their entire term in office.

Leslie Jarchow won the job of filling out the remainder of Richard’s term representing Post 3 after a Special Election held simultaneous with the November General Election.  In June a Special Election will be held to fill Jones’ vacant Post 2 seat, but whoever wins that seat will only serve the remainder of Jones’ term, which is set to expire later this year.

They will then need to run again in November if they wish to continue serving.  That would be two elections – supposing no run-offs – in five months.

What may sound like an unusual number of Special Elections is even more so when you factor in that two individuals already on the city council, Joe Anglin and Chris Mundy, both took office as the result of previous Special Elections.  So it’s easy to see why the city wants to find another way of dealing with unfulfilled terms.

Special Elections cost money: both for candidates and their campaigns, and for the city.  Andrew said the city spends $1825 to host a Special Election, an amount which can double if a run-off is needed; candidates could spend much more depending upon the number of contenders vying for the position and the closeness of the race.

Braselton will elect two council members on November 5, according to the Gainesville Times.

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Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for January 17, 2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/17/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-january-17-2019/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-january-17-2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/17/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-january-17-2019/#comments Thu, 17 Jan 2019 12:34:45 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=64532 GaPundit:

Sugar is a young female Beagle and Pug mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Forsyth County Animal Shelter in Cumming, GA. Benny is a young male Beagle & Harrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Forsyth County Animal Shelter in Cumming, GA. Marla is a young female Cattle Dog

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GaPundit:

Sugar FCAS

Sugar is a young female Beagle and Pug mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Forsyth County Animal Shelter in Cumming, GA.

Benny FCAS

Benny is a young male Beagle & Harrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Forsyth County Animal Shelter in Cumming, GA.

Marla Hero

Marla is a young female Cattle Dog mix puppy who is available for adoption from tHero Dog Rescue in Cumming, GA.

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 17, 2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/17/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-january-17-2019/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-january-17-2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/17/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-january-17-2019/#comments Thu, 17 Jan 2019 11:08:39 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=64533 GaPundit:

On January 17, 1733, Georgia’s Trustees in London voted to ban Jews from the colony. On January 16, 1919, the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, prohibiting alcoholic beverages, when Nebraska became the 36th of the 48 states then in the Union to ratify the Amendment. Martin Luther King, Jr. began the Chicago civil

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GaPundit:

On January 17, 1733, Georgia’s Trustees in London voted to ban Jews from the colony.

On January 16, 1919, the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, prohibiting alcoholic beverages, when Nebraska became the 36th of the 48 states then in the Union to ratify the Amendment.

Martin Luther King, Jr. began the Chicago civil rights campaign on January 17, 1966.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

United States Senator Johnny Isakson spoke out about the possible consequences of the federal shutdown for the Super Bowl Atlanta hosts next week, according to the AJC.

On Tuesday, Delta CEO Ed Bastian reported that the shutdown will cost his airline $25 million this month in lost revenue.

And there is the riled-up U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, who walked onto the Senate floor Tuesday afternoon and excoriated his colleagues for “not doing a damned thing while the American people are suffering.”

Isakson was a late arrival to Washington this week — he stayed behind in Georgia an extra day to watch Gov. Brian Kemp’s swearing-in. But when passing through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Isakson said he was unable to offer an explanation for the shutdown when constituents, including several Transportation Security Agency workers, approached him.

“We’re just doing the wrong thing, punishing the wrong people, and it’s not right,” he said.

“We’ve got a Super Bowl coming to Atlanta, Ga., in about three weeks. The biggest tourism event in the world this year. What if the largest airport in the world, that’s going to bring people to the largest football game in the world, goes out of business because the TSA strikes?” Isakson asked. “Then you’ve just cost millions of dollars to the United States of America, my home city of Atlanta and others.

Also from the AJC:

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said the shutdown is costing the company $25 million in revenue this month as fewer government contractors and employees travel.

“We are seeing some pressure on our business,” Bastian said during an investor conference call Tuesday morning. “We strongly encourage our elected officials to do their very best to resolve their differences and get the government fully open as soon as possible.”

The Transportation Security Administration said wait times at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport at their peak were about an hour and a half long on Monday. In PreCheck lanes, the wait times were up to 55 minutes long at the Atlanta airport, TSA said.

A Forsyth County resident has been charged with planning an attack on the White House, according to the Gainesville Times.

Hasher Jallal Taheb, 21, was charged with “attempt to damage by means of an explosive” after the Joint Terrorism Task Force received a tip from the community.

“As articulated in the affidavit supporting the complaint, his alleged intent was to attack the White House and other targets of opportunity in the Washington, D.C. area,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A confidential informant, one undercover agent and Taheb met Wednesday, Jan. 16, in a Buford parking lot to exchange vehicles for weapons, according to the FBI special agent’s affidavit.

In other meetings with FBI informants or undercover agents, Taheb allegedly told them “jihad was an obligation,” that he wanted to do maximum damage and expected to be a “martyr,” according to the affidavit.

He allegedly showed them his plan for attacking the White House’s West Wing in composition book sketches, but Taheb later expanded the plans to the Washington Monument, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and a synagogue, according to the affidavit.

Governor Brian Kemp will present his budget to the General Assembly today, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Gov. Brian Kemp is slated to present his budget today to a joint session of the Georgia House and Senate. He gave a short preview Wednesday at the annual Eggs and Issues breakfast in Atlanta.

“We’ll get down to business next week with budget hearings,” Lumsden said. “We won’t be in session, but we’ll be hearing from all the department heads.”

Governor Kemp spoke about plans to increase school safety funding and teacher pay, according to the AJC.

Increased teacher pay, money to secure schools and growing the ranks of school counselors will all be part of Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s strategy to bolster education.

“Investments in education have brought higher graduation rates,” Kemp told a crowd of business and government leaders who gathered at the Georgia World Congress Center Wednesday morning for the state Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs and Issues forum. An educated workforce is key to the economy, he added.

The speech echoed Kemp’s commitment while a candidate to raise pay for teachers by $5,000. Given the cost — analysts place it at $700 million or more annually — some have speculated he will break the raise into pieces to be delivered over multiple years.

He said the classroom should be a “safe haven” from would-be shooters, hence his commitment to funding school security improvements. Addressing mental health is also important for safety, he said, which elicited applause. Again, the details will be revealed Thursday, he said.

The Rome News-Tribune spoke to local education officials about Governor Kemp’s proposal to increase school safety.

At the annual Eggs and Issues Breakfast, newly-elected Gov. Brian Kemp told those attending the Georgia chamber of Commerce event his plan to give every public school in the state $30,000 for school security.

“Our first deal for safety is to get resource officers for each school,” Wilson said for Floyd County Schools. “If it does happen, I promise it will go to good use.”

Byars said how Rome City Schools will use the funds depends entirely on how the state appropriates the money. According to Byars, RCS does receive some money marked for school security already, and the system uses it for upgrades or other security-related items. For example, the schools recently updated their security cameras using their security funds he said. Regardless, Rome City Schools will be looking to continually add to their security next year he said.

Another issue discussed with the two superintendents was the piece of legislature submitted by Sen. John Albers, R-Sandy Springs, which would allow for schools to pull funds from ELOST to be “allocated towards the security of schools, including additional staffing, such as specialized mental health counselors.”

“Some districts need that, but I think there are inherent problems with using those funds for mental health,” said Byars. “I would try to not use ELOST funds for that.”

Gov. Kemp’s budget will include $1 million to develop a state waiver application for Medicaid funding, according to the AJC.

Gov. Brian Kemp will include $1 million in his budget to develop a waiver that he said would give the state more flexibility to use federal Medicaid dollars, an idea he indicated was promoted by former Health Secretary Tom Price.

The Republican, who has long opposed Medicaid expansion, said on WSB’s The Erick Erickson Show that he would outline the plan Thursday in his State of the State address to take a “first step to start moving the needle” on healthcare.

Kemp quickly brought up Price, who he said “knows about how these processes work to get approvals through the executive branch in D.C. to allow you to do some innovative things.”

“We believe this money we’re looking at funding will give us opportunities to figure those things out,” Kemp told Erickson. “This is absolutely an issue we’ve got to work with the Legislature on, and I’m looking forward to doing that.”

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston announced the formation of a new House Working Group on Creative Arts & Entertainment, according to the AJC.

The working group could propose legislation to support the entertainment industry, which includes film, TV, music and video game production.

Those businesses employ about 200,000 Georgians and have a $60 billion annual impact on the state’s economy, Ralston said.

“The House Working Group on Creative Arts & Entertainment will work to encourage the growth of these industries and the creative economy,” said Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, at the state Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs and Issues forum. “They will work to ensure Georgia has a workforce ready for the jobs these industries are creating throughout our state.”

Four candidates qualified for a Special Election to House District 176, after State Rep. Jason Shaw was appointed to the Georgia Public Service Commission, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

The Feb. 12 election is to fill the seat for House District 176 vacated by Jason Shaw. The district is made up of portions of Lowndes, Atkinson, Lanier and Ware counties.

• James Burchett, an attorney from Waycross (Republican);

• Barbara Griffin, a social worker from Waycross (Democrat);

• Franklin Patten, a businessman from Lakeland (Republican);

• Barbara Seidman, a retiree from Waycross (Democrat).

The Gordon County Republican Party hosted Jesse Vaughn and Matt Barton, special runoff election candidates for State House District 5, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Following the results from Election Day on Jan. 8 – where Vaughn finished with 33.72 percent of the votes and Barton received 23.15 percent – a runoff election was set for Feb. 5.

At Thursday’s forum, Barton said he was also in favor of giving teachers raises, keeping taxes low, maintaining religious freedom and against legalizing casino gambling.

“I think (legalizing gambling) is a slippery road and it can increase crime and unwarranted things in the area,” Barton said. “I wouldn’t be in favor of that, at least not at this time.”

Barton views medicinal marijuana in the same light, saying if it’s legalized in the state, it would have to be heavily regulated.

Vaughn is passionate about being pro-life, pro-Georgia and pro-America. The lawyer also said at the forum that he is for religious freedom, for lowering taxes, giving teachers raises and against legalizing casino gambling.

“We need to protect our property owners and our beauty but also help the environment,” Vaughn responded to a question on fracking. “It’s much better to have a thoughtful set of rules in place to say there absolutely can’t be any fracking or have no rules and just let it be the wild west.”

State Rep. Tom McCall (R-Elberton) was sworn into the General Assembly from a hospital room, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Rep. Tom McCall, R-Elberton, was unopposed for reelection to a 13th term last year. His district, 33, includes part of Columbia County and all of Lincoln County.

McCall was recovering from open heart surgery at Piedmont Athens, Ga., Regional Hospital when he took his oath Monday after watching Gov. Brian Kemp’s inauguration on an iPad, the hospital said in a statement.

Joined by his wife, Jane, and son Alan, McCall was given the oath by longtime friend and colleague, Northern Circuit Superior Court Judge Chris Phelps.

Former State Senator Michael Williams pled not guilty to charges alleging insurance fraud, according to the Gainesville Times.

His attorney A.J. Richman filed the plea with the Superior Court of Hall County on Jan. 8. Williams turned himself in at the Hall County Jail Dec. 26 and left the jail that afternoon.

In May 2018, Williams, a former state senator from Cumming, reported that about $300,000 worth of cryptocurrency servers were missing from his office on Monroe Drive in Gainesville. He had been using the servers for his business, LPW Investments, and running campaign operations out of a separate part of the building.

On Dec. 18, Williams was charged by a Hall County grand jury with three counts for insurance fraud, false report of a crime and making a false statement.

According to his indictment, he is accused of “claiming that computer servers were stolen from his place of business, when in fact they were not” when filing an insurance claim to The Hartford.

The federal shutdown may affect a Valdosta shelter for domestic violence victims, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

The Haven, which offers a shelter for domestic violence victims as well as a rape crisis center, may have to cut back services or even close due to the sudden cutoff of federal funding, said Michelle Girtman, executive director.

“We received a letter from our state funders” warning that federal funding was unavailable as of Tuesday, she said. About 80 percent of The Haven’s funds come from the U.S. Department of Justice; the money is filtered from the federal level through state agencies to The Haven, Girtman said.

“Anything we spend from (Jan. 15) onward does not get reimbursed until the shutdown’s over,” she said. “As of right now, we’re OK, but everything depends on expenses.”

The Haven is at full capacity with 30 women right now, Girtman said.

An Augusta union will rally members on Saturday in support of federal employees affected by the shutdown, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

April C. Newkirk was sworn in as a new member of the Bullock County Board of Education, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Coast Guard members stationed in Brunswick missed their first paycheck of the federal shutdown, according to The Brunswick News.

Tonya Elrod will serve as the first female Chief of Police for Tallulah Falls, according to AccessWDUN.

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Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for January 16, 2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/16/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-january-16-2019/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-january-16-2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/16/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-january-16-2019/#comments Wed, 16 Jan 2019 13:53:58 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=64524 GaPundit:

Pico is a young male Great Dane & Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from Little Nuggets Rescue in Snellville, GA. Meet Pico! He is a happy ~ go-lucky puppy. Guessing birthdate to be 4/20/16. He was dumped on the side of the road. A good samaritan turned him into my vet’s office.

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GaPundit:

Pico Nugget

Pico is a young male Great Dane & Boxer mix puppy who is available for adoption from Little Nuggets Rescue in Snellville, GA.

Meet Pico! He is a happy ~ go-lucky puppy. Guessing birthdate to be 4/20/16. He was dumped on the side of the road. A good samaritan turned him into my vet’s office. We are only guessing his breed – Great Dane / Boxer because he is one big boy at only 6 months of age. Believe it or not, he is house trained. So smart!

Dellis Nugget

Dellis is a male Coonhound & Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Little Nuggets Rescue in Snellville, GA.

Hello – my name is Dellis. Would you like to have a happy go lucky kinda guy added to your family? Well, that’s me! I’m the sweetest baby. My foster mom taught me to sit. I’m very well mannered. If you have a lake, can I come swim? I love to run and jump in the water. My foster mom thinks I’m part duck! I’ve been with my foster mom since I was a puppy (rescued from a high kill shelter). Please give me a forever home. I’ll give you lots of kisses!

George Nugget

George is an adult male Coonhound and Pointer mix who is available for adoption from Little Nuggets Rescue in Snellville, GA.

Hello, my name is George. Would you like to add an easy going, laid back guy like me to your family? My birthday is February 3, 2011. My foster mom just started crating me and I must say that I am doing very well. Although, I would really prefer a family to allow me to roam the house. A plastic swimming pool on hot days is a PLUS since I love to stand in them. I promise to give you lots of kisses!

 

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 16, 2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/16/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-january-16-2019/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-january-16-2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/16/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-january-16-2019/#comments Wed, 16 Jan 2019 13:14:35 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=64519 GaPundit:

On January 16, 1786, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, was adopted by the Virginia General Assembly. On January 16, 1919, the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, prohibiting alcoholic beverages, when Nebraska became the 36th of the 48 states then in the Union to ratify the Amendment. At 4:30

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GaPundit:

On January 16, 1786, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, was adopted by the Virginia General Assembly.

On January 16, 1919, the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, prohibiting alcoholic beverages, when Nebraska became the 36th of the 48 states then in the Union to ratify the Amendment.

At 4:30 PM on January 16, 1991, the Persian Gulf War began as air attacks against Iraq launched from US and British aircraft carriers, beginning Operation Desert Storm.

On January 16, 1997, a bomb exploded in a Sandy Springs abortion clinic, later determined to be the work of Eric Rudolph, who also bombed Centennial Olympic Park in 1996, a lesbian bar in Atlanta in February 1997, and a Birmingham abortion clinic in 1998.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp ordered an investigation into the handling of state employee sexual harrassment claims, according to the AJC.

On his first day in office, Gov. Brian Kemp kept a campaign promise, ordering state government to reform the way employees’ sexual harassment claims are handled.

His executive order creates a centralized system with uniform standards to replace a disjointed, haphazard one that left victims seeking justice. But the reforms won’t happen overnight. They will require time to develop new training programs and more money and staff to ensure complaints are thoroughly investigated.

Kemp’s executive order Monday requires every department and agency under his authority to designate “at least two persons, not of the same gender” to investigate complaints and report their findings to the state Office of Inspector General, which will collect and audit investigations from across state government. Sexual harassment investigators will be required to have “standardized investigative training … to ensure consistency among all sexual harassment investigations across the state.”

In addition, Kemp ordered a new sexual harassment prevention training program which every state employee will be required to take when they are first hired and annually after that. The order also bans retaliation against those who file complaints.

The AJC profiles Tim Flemming, Governor Kemp’s new Chief of Staff.

Tim Fleming first worked for Kemp in 2002 during his successful bid for a state Senate seat, held a position for years in the Secretary of State’s Office and was campaign manager in last year’s victorious run for governor.

“I’ve had that role for many years. That comes along with the territory,” he said. “There’s the good and the bad and the ugly for any leadership role. You make tough decisions, but it’s your job to make sure it gets done – and to move in the right direction.”

Fleming comes from a family accustomed to the political glare. His grandfather was a Pierce County Commission chairman. His father was a Newton County Commission chairman. Summers in Covington were spent planting campaign signs and knocking on doors with his dad.

After Fleming graduated in 2005, Kemp turned to be the campaign manager for his biggest race yet: a bid for agriculture commissioner. Kemp fell about 40,000 votes short to Gary Black, who now holds that office, in the Republican runoff.

It wasn’t long before Fleming decided to seek office himself. He ran for an open Newton County Commission seat in 2008 and won by roughly 150 votes, becoming the youngest elected official in county history. In a nod to Kemp’s narrow victory in the governor’s race, he quipped: “I know what it’s like to win by a slim margin.”

The Georgia Department of Family and Childrens Services has issued food stamp benefits early due to the federal government shutdown, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Jan. 8, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials made the decision to protect Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants’ access and announced that food stamp recipients will have access to their full benefits for February, even if the partial government shutdown continues. USDA is working with states to load benefits onto recipients’ cards by Jan. 20, under a provision that allows them to award the benefits.

Georgia SNAP, traditionally known as food stamps, recipients can now access their February benefits via their electronic benefits transfer (EBT) cards and do not have to wait until their regularly-scheduled issuance date for the month.

Georgia DFCS worked over the weekend with its EBT vendor, Conduent, and with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to provide early issuance of February benefits for all SNAP recipients. The move was made in an effort to ensure families are fully prepared to purchase food in the event that the partial government shutdown is not resolved before current funding for the program is exhausted.

“Georgia has worked very closely with the federal USDA staff to prepare for the possible impact of a limited federal shutdown,” said DFCS Chief Deputy Division Director Jon Anderson. “The division is monitoring the situation and continuing to evaluate options as circumstances dictate. We are hopeful the early release of next month’s benefit amount will help families equip themselves appropriately should the partial shutdown continue.”

The Georgia Forest Commission is accepting applications for funds for debris removal after Hurricane Michael, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The Georgia Forestry Commission created the Forest Debris Management Program to fund up to 80 percent of debris removal with a maximum payment limit that will be determined after the end of the first application period, according to a news release.

The Georgia Forestry Commission will be accepting applications from Georgia residents who are the legal owners of the property that was damaged during Hurricane Michael in early October.

Benefits are available for parcels of at least 10 acres of forest or a commercial orchard of any size.

You can apply for the money even if the work has been completed, the release stated.

Congressman Buddy Carter (R-Pooler) told the Savannah Morning News that a federal funding compromise is possible.

Carter was asked in an audio interview on Tuesday with the Savannah Morning News about concerns that President Donald Trump would declare a national emergency and take the SHEP funds to build a border wall.

“I don’t think that is going to happen,” Carter said.

Carter did admit, however, he has no assurances that money for any federal projects is safe from presidential use.

“We don’t really have assurances that any money is off limits.”

Carter does believe a compromise is “out there.”

Gwinnett County voters will have three weeks of early voting ahead of the March referendum on transit, according to the AJC.

The Gwinnett County elections board approved Tuesday night the unusually extensive schedule for voting ahead of the March 19 special election.

“I believe that turnout is going to be higher than in a typical special election,” county elections director Lynn Ledford told the board. “If we have the opportunity to provide these additional opportunities, than we should.”

The first day of advance in-person voting will be Feb. 25.

Every day between Feb. 25 and March 15, including Saturdays and Sundays, early voting will be available at the county elections office at 455 Grayson Highway in Lawrenceville. Voting hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

During the final pair of weeks, advance voting will also be available at seven satellite locations.

The Glynn County Commission continues working on a proposal to collect a toll on the Torras Causeway to St Simons Island, according to The Brunswick News.

Augusta University has rolled out a new bike sharing program, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The bikes are part of the university’s new bike-sharing program called JagRide, which officially began with a ribbon-cutting outside the Jaguar Student Activities Center at noon. Across Augusta University’s three campuses, there are 18 bikes leased from Gotcha, a mobility company based out of Charleston, S.C.

Six bikes each will be located on the heath sciences campus, the riverfront campus in the new Georgia Cyber Center, and the Summerville campus.

The bikes are available 24 hours every day and can be reserved and paid for with the app SoBi, short for Social Bicycles. The bikes are free for the first 30 minutes and $5 every hour after. That money goes toward Gotcha’s operation costs.

Snellville City Council named Council member Barbara Bender as the new Mayor, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Snellville’s City Council accepted the resignation of embattled former Mayor Tom Witts and picked Councilwoman Barbara Bender to succeed him Monday night.

Bender, who was chosen by her colleagues in a 3-1 vote, will serve the remainder of Witts’ unexpired term, which has just shy of one year left. Councilman Roger Marmol cast the lone dissenting vote, saying he felt the city should have held an election to fill the mayor’s office.

Rome City Commission’s public safety committee recommended changes to the smoking statute, according to the Rome News Tribune.

“The first reading  [of the proposed revisions] will be Jan. 28 and they’ll hold the second reading, not a public hearing, at the first meeting in February,” City Clerk Joe Smith said.

The amendment to the city’s smoking ordinance would prohibit smoking and vaping on all public property along Broad and its side streets, between East First and East Eighth avenues.

It includes sidewalk cafes, the Town Green, the Third Avenue Parking Deck and Bridgepoint Plaza.

Smokers could be fined $50 for the first offense and up to $250 for repeat offenses. Business owners who fail to stop employees or customers from smoking could be hit with penalties ranging from $100 to $500.

Concerns about government overreach have dogged the proposal since discussions began last fall. Downtown property owner and resident Diane Lewis said Tuesday she strongly objects to the enforcement mechanism.

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Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for January 15, 2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/15/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-january-15-2019/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-january-15-2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/15/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-january-15-2019/#comments Tue, 15 Jan 2019 13:49:52 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=64505 GaPundit:

Oscar is a 2-year old male Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from the Carroll County Animal Shelter in Carrollton, GA. Carl is a 2-year old male Corgi mix who is available for adoption from the Carroll County Animal Shelter in Carrollton, GA. Angie is a female Dachshund and Shepherd mix puppy who is

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GaPundit:

Oscar Carroll

Oscar is a 2-year old male Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from the Carroll County Animal Shelter in Carrollton, GA.

Carl Carroll

Carl is a 2-year old male Corgi mix who is available for adoption from the Carroll County Animal Shelter in Carrollton, GA.

Angie Carroll

Angie is a female Dachshund and Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Carroll County Animal Shelter in Carrollton, GA.

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 15, 2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/15/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-january-15-2019/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-january-15-2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/15/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-january-15-2019/#comments Tue, 15 Jan 2019 12:50:26 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=64506 GaPundit:

An elected Provincial Assembly first convened in Georgia on January 15, 1751. The Assembly did not have the power to tax or spend money, but was to advise the Trustees. The state of New Connecticut declared its independence of both Britain and New York on January 15, 1777. In June of that year they would

GaPundit - Georgia Politics, Campaigns and Elections

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GaPundit:

An elected Provincial Assembly first convened in Georgia on January 15, 1751. The Assembly did not have the power to tax or spend money, but was to advise the Trustees.

The state of New Connecticut declared its independence of both Britain and New York on January 15, 1777. In June of that year they would decide on the name Vermont. Vermont would be considered part of New York for a number of years, finally being admitted as the 14th state in 1791.

The donkey was first used as a symbol for the Democratic Party on January 15, 1870 by cartoonist Thomas Nash.

democrat-donkey-cartoon

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Yesterday, a tractor-trailer carrying 40,000 pounds of frozen chicken caught fire.

Governor Brian P.Kemp issued three Executive Orders yesterday:

Establishing the Georgians First Commission
Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Executive Branch of Government
Establishing a Code of Ethics for Executive Branch Officers and Employees

From the Associated Press via that Valdosta Daily Times:

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp pledged Monday to work for all Georgians, striking a conciliatory tone in his inaugural address as he sought to leave behind a bitter election contest with Democrats who are pursuing a legal challenge to the state’s balloting methods.

Kemp, 56, was sworn in as Georgia’s 83rd chief executive at a university stadium whose audience included the GOP faithful, state lawmakers, lobbyists and members of Kemp’s Cabinet and family. Kemp’s wife and three teenage daughters sat behind him, wiping tears from their faces as he spoke.

“Through the prism of politics, our state appears divided,” Kemp said. “Metro versus rural. Black versus white. Republican versus Democrat. But after visiting all 159 counties I can tell you this: We have so much in common and as governor I will fight for all Georgians.”

Sylvia Turnage of Blairsville, Georgia, said she had followed Kemp’s political career for years and came from northern Georgia to see him sworn in.

“He’s going to be helping rural and agricultural areas,” Turnage said. “We’re in a pretty remote area ourselves up there in the mountains, so we’re hoping he’ll pay attention to our needs.”

From the Gwinnett Daily Post:

Kemp’s speech offered a view of some of the issues that the new governor wants to tackle. He highlighted opioid addiction, mental health issues, struggling small businesses, gangs, drug cartels, infrastructure in metro Atlanta communities, sex trafficking and third-grade reading proficiency among some of those issues.

He pledged to continue fully funding education, something that was accomplished for the first time under former Gov. Nathan Deal’s leadership last year, and to further cut taxes and red tape in an effort to spur new private sector job creation.

“As governor, I will work every day to keep Georgia moving in the right direction,” Kemp said. “My vision is for a safer, stronger state. I know it can be done.”

“Thanks to the bold leadership of Gov. Sonny Perdue and Gov. Nathan Deal, Georgia weathered the Great Recession and emerged stronger than ever,” Kemp said. “Wages are rising and the unemployment rate is the lowest in 18 years. Thanks to the hard work of the legislature, Georgia is the top state in the country for business six years in a row.”

From the AJC:

State representatives re-elected David Ralston to be House speaker, a post he has held since 2010. Ralston will have considerable influence on legislation while working with Georgia’s other elected leaders, Kemp and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who serves as president of the state Senate.

Ralston called on lawmakers to avoid harming Georgia’s reputation and focus on initiatives that help create jobs. He didn’t mention specifics, but Ralston has previously said he’s cautious about “religious liberty” and gun rights measures.

“It is a state that is too busy moving forward to unnecessarily and harmfully divide us against each other,” Ralston, a Republican from Blue Ridge, said as he was interrupted by applause in the House chamber. “The loudest and angriest voices are not always right but oftentimes are simply that: loud and angry.”

Democrats gained 11 seats in the state House and two in the state Senate in November’s elections. Republicans now control 58 percent of seats in the General Assembly and every statewide elected office, including governor, secretary of state, attorney general and state schools superintendent.

The Georgia State Senate debated new rules addressing sexual harassment allegiations against Senators or staff, according to AccessWDUN.

The Georgia Senate placed a time limit on how soon accusers must report allegations of misconduct by senators and their staffs Monday as the legislature convened for its 2019 session.

The new rule also says gives the Senate power to dismiss internal ethics complaints filed by accusers who publicly disclose the allegations. It says allegations may be made public only in cases where “substantial credible evidence exists.”

Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan told lawmakers the amended rule only affects internal complaints against senators and staff members.

“There are multiple avenues that a person can make a complaint,” said Dugan, R-Carrollton. “They can do it internally through the system … or they can go and take it to the court system.”

Gwinnett County‘s state senate delegation has two new Democratic members, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

[T]wo new senators from Gwinnett County made state history on Day One of the legislative session. Sen. Zahra Karinshak, D-Duluth, was sworn in as Georgia’s first Iranian-American legislator while Sen. Sheikh Rahman, D-Lawrenceville, was sworn in as the state’s first Muslim legislator.

“Gwinnett is so diverse,” Rahman said. “That’s the reason why we’re here in a way. That tells you will all of these people coming from all over the world (to Gwinnett), they have a place. No matter where we come from, there are common things that bond us together.”

Georgia Supreme Court Justice Charles Bethel administered the oath of office to members of the Senate, many of whom — Rahman and Karinshak included — were surrounded by members of their families.

Karinshak also invited former Congressman Buddy Darden, who put her name forward for her appointment to the Air Force Academy when she was a teenager to join her family on the Senate floor.

The federal government shutdown is hitting TSA lines at Hartsfield-Jackson airport, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, the world’s busiest airport, said on Monday that it was struggling with short staffing from the Transportation Security Administration as footage of the lengthy security lines there hit social media.

“Mondays are always busy days for us at Hartsfield-Jackson, but I can tell you that we are down a few security lanes because of the shutdown,” Elise Durham, the airport’s communications director, told CNN.

TSA spokesman Michael Bilello said in a tweet Monday afternoon that Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson, Miami International Airport, George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and Washington Dulles International Airport in the DC area were all “exercising their contingency plans.”

The Brunswick News spoke to local legislators about their priorities for the 2019 Session.

State Rep, Jeff Jones, R-St. Simons Island, enters this session with eight bills he intends to push, and highlighted an effort to bring more transparency to government meetings.

“That’s an issue that affects us locally,” Jones said. “Right now, our county commission, joint water-sewer (commission), school board, other public groups like that, don’t have to publish their agendas until they actually start the meeting. Current law allows that, so we need to strengthen that open meeting law to require our groups, such as I just described, to post their agenda — their full agenda — one full week prior to the start of the meeting, so that we as a public have an opportunity to comment and know.”

Jones is also working on bills regarding coal ash pond dewatering and public notice for coal ash solid waste storage in municipal landfills, prohibiting the issuance of driver’s licenses to people unauthorized to be in the country, imposing fees on out-of-state cash wire transfers, granting a teacher tax credit for out-of-pocket school supplies and legalizing oyster farming. He’s also looking at dealing with state-owned property in McIntosh and Long counties, and how to replace that lost local property tax revenue.

State Sen. William Ligon, R-White Oak, said one of his top priorities is going to be addressing school safety.

“We’re going to be looking at school safety, and I have a particular interest in that — I’ve been working with our juvenile court judges here, and they’re asking us to consider some legislation that would toughen up some of the penalties for students in school who are caught bringing about threats on social media,” Ligon said. “And they want to use it — part of it is punishment, but part of it is being able to engage with them and allow them to have more supervision and bring some structure to those that are making those threats.”

Law enforcement officers often say they’re on the front lines of dealing with mental health in this country. State Rep. Don Hogan, R-St. Simons Island, said he’s working on legislation that will provide some help.

Former State Rep. Melvin Everson has been promoted to vice president of economic development for Gwinnett Tech, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Habersham County Commissioners voted to create a mental health accountability court, according to AccessWDUN.

Glynn County Commissioners will discuss appointments to various boards at their next meeting, according to The Brunswick News.

The Glynn County Sheriff’s Office has started a progam called CHAMPS, according to The Brunswick News.

C.H.A.M.P.S. — or Choosing Healthy Activities and Methods Promoting Safety — allows students to participate in healthy activities and to learn how to avoid risky behaviors. The program, offered to fifth graders, will be introduced for the first time in Glynn County this semester.

The Georgia Sheriff’s Association created the program years ago to replace the D.A.R.E. program, which educated students about the risks of alcohol and drug use.

The C.H.A.M.P.S program covers a wider array of topics, including the risks of alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine and tobacco, as well as issues like bullying, choices and consequences, internet and social media safety, peer pressure, stress and more.

“Mental health court will be a treatment program through the superior court system that will be available for those who are incarcerated in jail with severe mental health issues that have not historically had any treatment options,” the executive summary from County Manager Phil Sutton states.

The grant award began Jan. 1 and ends June 30, and the current maximum capacity for the program is 15 participants.

During the meeting, Accountability Court Coordinator Beth Pelaccio and Superior Court Judge Russell Smith discussed the proposed court with commissioners.

While the new court will meet in Stephens County due to scheduling and other factors, it still will serve participants from Habersham, Rabun and Stephens, which make up the Mountain Judicial Circuit.

Rome City Commissioners elected Commissioner Bill Collins as the first black Mayor of Rome, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Collins has been on the board since 1996 and was mayor pro tem last year.

“He’s served this body with distinction for a vast number of years. It’s time for a change in leadership … and he has earned this position,” said Commissioner Wendy Davis, who nominated him at the panel’s first meeting of the year.

Three seats on the Oakwood City Council will be filled in a November 5, 2019 election, according to the Gainesville Times.

A new coffee shop in Savannah will offer work opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, according to the Savannah Morning News.

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Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for January 14, 2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/14/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-january-14-2019/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-january-14-2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/14/adoptable-official-georgia-dogs-for-january-14-2019/#comments Mon, 14 Jan 2019 12:09:43 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=64499 GaPundit:

Miss Muffett is an adult female English Bulldog who is available for adoption from Pregnant Dog Rescue, Inc. in Griffin, GA. Miss Muffet is a 4 yr old English Bulldog who weighs about 50 lbs. We rescued her from a breeder and she is ready to live her life with a family! This girl is

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GaPundit:

Miss Muffett

Miss Muffett is an adult female English Bulldog who is available for adoption from Pregnant Dog Rescue, Inc. in Griffin, GA.

Miss Muffet is a 4 yr old English Bulldog who weighs about 50 lbs. We rescued her from a breeder and she is ready to live her life with a family! This girl is laid back, easy going and never makes a peep. She is great with all people and older kids. She prefers a home with no other dogs. Not sure about cats. Miss Muffet has been spayed and fully vetted.

Bruno Gwinnett

Pen 179 is an adult male English Bulldog who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.

Bruno Hickory Hound

Bruno is an adult male English Bulldog and Pit Bull Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Hickory Level Hound Rescue in Carrollton, GA.

Bruno is a 3 year old neutered male chocolate English bulldog mix. He weighs about 50lbs. Bruno is a goofy guy who loves everyone he meets. He loves to play with toys, but needs big ones like jolly balls. He has demodectic mange which is non contagious. He needs a monthly nexguard to keep it under control. He needs a home by himself or with one other large dog. He hasn’t met a dog he doesn’t like but he needs all your love and attention and prefers to spend it with you. Bruno has loads of energy but also tires quickly. He needs someone active to keep up with him. Bruno is the happiest guy you’ll meet and loves to slobber and give kisses!

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 14, 2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/14/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-january-14-2019/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-january-14-2019 https://gapundit.com/2019/01/14/georgia-politics-campaigns-and-elections-for-january-14-2019/#comments Mon, 14 Jan 2019 10:52:27 +0000 http://gapundit.com/?p=64492 GaPundit:

Representatives of three cities in Connecticut adopted the “Fundamental Orders,” the first written Constitution in an American colony and one of the first founding document to cite the authority of “the free consent of the people.” On January 14, 1733, James Oglethorpe and the rest of the first colonists departed Charles Town harbor for what

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Representatives of three cities in Connecticut adopted the “Fundamental Orders,” the first written Constitution in an American colony and one of the first founding document to cite the authority of “the free consent of the people.”

On January 14, 1733, James Oglethorpe and the rest of the first colonists departed Charles Town harbor for what would become Savannah, and the State of Georgia.

The Continental Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris to end the Revolutionary War on January 14, 1784. The Treaty was negotiated by John Adams, who would later serve as President, and the delegates voting to ratify it included future Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe.

On January 14, 1835, James M. Wayne took the oath of office as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. A Savannah native, Wayne had previously served in the Georgia House of Represestatives, as Mayor of Savannah, on the Supreme Court of Georgia, and in Congress. His sister was the great-grandmother of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts, and his home is now known as the Juliette Gordon Low house. When Georgia seceded from the Union, Wayne remained on the Supreme Court.

On January 14, 1860, the Committee of Thirty-Three introduced a proposed Constitutional Amendment to allow slavery in the areas it then existed.

Julian Bond was born on January 14, 1940 in Nashville, Tennessee, and was one of eleven African-American Georgians elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965. After his election, on January 10, 1966, the State House voted 184-12 not to seat him because of his publicly-stated opposition to the Vietnam War. After his federal lawsuit was rejected by a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, the United States Supreme Court ordered Bond seated.

True story: Julian Bond was the first Georgia State Senator I ever met, when I was in ninth grade and visited the state Capitol.

On January 14, 1942, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Presidential Proclamation No. 2537, requiring Japanese-Americans, including American-born citizens of Japanese ancestry, as well as Italians and Germans to register with the federal Department of Justice. The next month, Roosevelt would have Japanese-Americans interned in concentration camps in the western United States.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

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Republican Brian P. Kemp will take office today as Governor of Georgia.

From the Athens Banner Herald:

Georgia’s new governor campaigned as a self-described “politically incorrect conservative” who sealed support among fellow Republicans with an endorsement from President Donald Trump and eked out a close November victory after lobbing a last-minute accusation that the state Democratic Party tried to hack the election.

Now the question is whether Brian Kemp will be as partisan a governor as he was a candidate after he’s sworn into office Monday.

He told reporters during a statewide victory lap last week he plans to work hard to win support from Georgians who didn’t vote for him in November. And he’s already thinking ahead to running again in 2022.

Republicans still control all statewide offices in Georgia and both chambers of the legislature, giving Kemp little short-term need to reach across the aisle. But the 2018 midterms saw Georgia Democrats make their first notable advances in years, including a gain of a dozen seats in the state House.

From the AJC:

His inaugural speech, to be delivered at 2 p.m. Monday at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion, will set the tone for his first year in office. Expect a broad focus on working across party lines and building consensus — and none of the partisan attacks that proliferated on the campaign trail.

That’s just the start of a hectic week. Kemp is expected to outline some specifics Wednesday at the Georgia Chamber’s annual breakfast, and then sharpen the details and unveil his spending plan Thursday in his State of the State address. He’ll cap the week with his inaugural gala Thursday night.

Kemp is but one player in a larger changing of the guard in Georgia politics. Geoff Duncan, a former Republican member of the state House, will become the titular head of the state Senate as lieutenant governor. How he will handle the chamber’s complicated politics could make or break legislation.

A slate of other GOP candidates won every other statewide post. Brad Raffensperger, another ex-legislator, will become Georgia’s top elections official as secretary of state. He’ll have to navigate the tangle of voting rights problems that surfaced during last year’s elections.

A total of 42 freshmen will take office in the 236-seat Georgia Legislature, meaning that nearly one in six seats has changed hands since last year as incumbents lost re-election, ran for another office or retired.

Even as Republicans won every statewide office, a Democratic surge across the suburbs reshaped the Legislature. Democrats picked up 13 seats, all in metro Atlanta, to cut into the GOP majority in both chambers. Republicans still control the legislative branch, but Democrats plan to wield newfound clout.

The Gainesville Times spoke to Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller about the upcoming legislative Session.

[I]n January 2018, State Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, joined the ranks of top leadership when he was elected by his colleagues to serve as Senate President Pro Tempore. Miller was first elected in 2010, and as President Pro Tempore he presides over the Senate when the president of the Senate is absent and handles administrative duties for the Senate.

But with Deal and Cagle leaving office Monday, Brian Kemp and Geoff Duncan will take over as governor and lieutenant governor. Both are from North Georgia — Kemp is from Athens and Duncan from Cumming — but with the departures of Deal and Cagle, Hall will lose two of its top state leaders.

“There’s a natural tendency for (the region), for those individuals, to come to Hall County and Gainesville,” Miller said. “That makes Gainesville and Hall County a central business district.”

“There’s also a culture in Hall County of altruism, there’s a culture of commitment to community, there’s a culture of economic development and quality of life and generosity and caring for your fellow man,” he said. “That is the fertile ground, that many leaders have been produced from Hall County.”

“Politics and government is fluid, and it will certainly change,” he said. “I and our other delegation members will work very hard to continue to make Gainesville and Hall County that continued area of prosperity and growth that we’ve experienced in the past.”

The Gainesville Times also spoke to local Democrats.

Deborah Gonzalez, outgoing state representative of District 117 in Georgia, encourages her fellow Democrats to not focus on the negative outcomes for the party, but the accomplishments.

“Look at the other end,” Gonzalez said during the Hall County Democratic Party meeting on Jan. 7. “We’ve got 103 women in that Congress, and we’ve got Muslims in that Congress, and we’ve got progressives in that Congress, and we’ve got mothers in that Congress, and we’ve got young millenials in that Congress and they’re dancing in the Congress halls.”

Before people know it, Gonzalez said 2020 is going to come. She urges Democrats to be prepared because she finds that Republicans are fully aware of the fact that Democrats will no longer remain silent.

She asks Democrats to be intentional and committed with their efforts.

“I know it’s challenging and there are times when you want to say, ‘It’s not going to happen,’” Gonzalez said. “But, remember, when you give up, how do we ask somebody else to pick it up again?”

In honor of the opening of the 2019 Session of the Georgia General Assembly, a Macon manure truck “poured one out.”

The Dalton Daily Citizen spoke to local legislators who are headed to Atlanta.

To the feds, medical cannabis remains a highly controlled substance, right up there with heroin, that has no recognized medical use.

But the cousin of cannabis, hemp, is now a different story. Cultivation of the plant was legalized nationwide through the new federal farm bill, which the president signed into law last month. “At the end of the day, anything over 0.3 percent is still against federal law,” said Rep. John Corbett, a Republican from Lake Park who has supported the state’s low THC oil program in the past. ”I guess as long as the feds continue to turn their head, (other states) can get by with it. But one day they might decide, ‘You know, we’re going to enforce the law.’”

Corbett chaired a study committee last year that ultimately endorsed growing industrial hemp in Georgia through a program that licenses growers. Already, about 40 states have passed laws that allow some form of cultivation or production, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Corbett’s committee convened as another group, a commission of lawmakers from both chambers, parents of children who use the oil and a sheriff, explored how best to create access to the medical cannabis that is already legal to possess under state law. That second panel endorsed in-state cultivation of medical cannabis — something that will prove a hard sell for lawmakers such as Corbett.

Maggie Lee, writes about three new states legislators from Middle Georgia in the Macon Telegraph.

Two new midstate representatives are heading to Atlanta, replacing lawmakers who retired. About 15 percent of Georgia’s 236 lawmakers will be either freshmen, or folks who are returning to office after a break.

Cochran Republican Danny Mathis will represent all of Twiggs, Wilkinson and Bleckley counties plus parts of Jones, Bibb, Houston and Laurens. He’s no stranger to elected office, as he spent 18 years as Bleckley County’s coroner. Mathis, 64, is also a funeral service provider. He won state House District 144 with 65 percent of the vote.

Macon Republican and realtor Dale Washburn will represent parts of Bibb and Monroe counties. It’ll be his first time holding elected office. Washburn, 68, beat three other Republicans in a two-round primary in the deep red district, and he had no Democratic challenger in the general election for state House District 141.

Andy Miller of Georgia Health News writes about the upcoming session.

Despite a new lineup of legislators — as well as a new governor and lieutenant governor — many health care issues in the upcoming session of the Georgia General Assembly will have a familiar look. They are largely the same ones that have percolated under the Gold Dome in past years.

Health care regulations. Surprise medical billing. Rural health care. Medical marijuana.

Curt Yeomans of the Gwinnett Daily Post spoke to local legislators about their priorities for the Session.

In a year when a new governor and lieutenant governor will be taking office, the biggest change affecting Gwinnett residents might be the changes in the county’s legislative delegation. It will have nine new members this year, and Democrats now make up the majority in the delegation for the first time in decades.

The delegation will also have the state’s first Muslim legislator, Sen.-elect Sheikh Rahman, D-Lawrenceville, and its first Iranian-American legislator, Sen.-elect Zahra Karinshak, D-Duluth.

“We have (nine) new members that we have to nurture and we have to mentor,” said Rep. Pedro Marin, D-Duluth, who is the delegation’s new chairman. “I think their coming in to the legislature is a positive, but you have to remember it’s not just us (Democrats). When we represent, we represent everyone.”

Some Gwinnett legislators said they foresee delegation members working across party lines on local legislation requests regardless of the new majority. A theme brought up among legislators that the Daily Post spoke with was focusing on what is best for Gwinnett.

“I expect we’re going to have a great working relationship between Republicans and Democratic members when it comes to issues that are important to the citizens of Gwinnett,” said state Rep. Chuck Efstration, R-Dacula.

Fulton County’s legislative delegation also switched to a Democratic majority, according to the AJC.

Last fall’s election saw a dramatic shift in the balance of power across metro Atlanta’s suburbs that had historically been controlled by Republicans. Democrats picked up seats in Fulton, Gwinnett and Cobb counties, and now have majorities in each. DeKalb County now has no Republican members of its delegation.

Fulton’s House delegation now has 19 Democrats and six Republicans, where last year the balance was 12 Democrats and 13 Republicans. In the Senate, Democrats now have seven seats and Republicans have four, versus last year’s total of five Democrats and six Republicans.

“One thing is, I think you’re going to see us pay attention to all parts of Fulton County equally,” [State Rep. David Dreyer] said. “What you can expect is a lot of hard work and diligence. Voices from all parts of the community are going to be elevated.”

Robb Pitts, the Fulton commission chairman, said a change in philosophy for leaders might mean more success in passing legislation that’s a priority to the county. Rep. Roger Bruce, D-South Fulton, said he expects more conversation around improving transit and other transportation, and expanding Medicaid through a waiver for Grady Health Systems.

The Rome News-Tribune looks at local priorities for the 2019 Session.

Topping the list: Help with mental health issues in the community, compounded by the opioid crisis, that are straining the county jail.

“We want some guidance from the state on how to put this all under one umbrella with somebody taking the lead,” Commission Chair Scotty Hancock said. “We’re willing to do our part, but right now it’s a shotgun approach. Everybody’s repeating the same thing and nothing’s getting done.”

“In Georgia, not a single jail got a single penny for the wave of mental health problems we knew was coming (when the state shifted to community-based care),” [Jail Administrator Bob Sapp said. “One official said they didn’t want them in jail. I said, ‘how’s that working out for you?’”

Rep. Eddie Lumsden, R-Armuchee, said his service on the Rural Development Council made it clear that information-sharing is key to helping communities be more efficient in dealing with the problems.

However, Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome, noted that there was pushback from agencies reluctant to give up their data when she and Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, chaired a joint committee on a potential initiative last year. But there are plans in the works this year.

Former State Senator Josh McKoon spoke to the Glynn County Republican Party, according to The Brunswick News.

State Sen. William Ligon, R-White Oak, introduced McKoon — the two were known to be close friends in the Senate. Since McKoon left the Senate, first for a secretary of state run that ended in the primary, Ligon’s carried the banner for religious conservatives in the chamber.

“He served in the state Senate for eight years, and he was a fearless, passionate conservative,” Ligon said. “He is someone that stood firm on his principle, without compromise. He was very effective — he served as our chairman of the Judiciary Committee for many years.”

McKoon spoke on several issues on his mind regarding the upcoming session, like legislation in the works on marijuana and gambling legalization, both of which he opposes. He also reflected on another attempt to get a state Religious Freedom Restoration Act through the General Assembly.

“This will be the fifth year since I originally introduced that bill in 2014,” McKoon said. “Just for those of you who are not familiar with this, all we are talking about with this legislation, is a bill that tells Georgia courts if somebody comes into your courtroom saying that the government is trampling on their religious freedom, you treat them the same way that you treat someone who comes into your courtroom to complain about free speech, or free association, or free press.”

The Brunswick News spoke to local business owners about the effect of the federal government shutdown.

Tanya Sergey, owner of A Moveable Feast, said she has lost half the business she normally sees.

She estimates half the business at her restaurant is from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick. And most of the FLETC customers were instructors, administrators and contractors.

“It’s definitely having an impact on us,” she said. “It affects everyone from me, the owner, to the dishwasher.”

Bruce Dixon, owner of the Holiday Inn and Fairfield Inn Mariott in Brunswick, said he has lost business as a result of the shutdown. Some FLETC trainees stay at his motels but the cancellation of some classes has affected his business.

“It reduces our occupancy rates some,” he said. “We have all been affected some by that.”

Rome City Commissioners will choose among themselves to elect a new Mayor, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Mayor Jamie Doss has held the gavel for five consecutive years. Commissioner Bill Collins was chosen as mayor pro tem — to handle duties in the absence of the mayor — for the first time in 2018.

While city commissioners all have equal power, the chair position was renamed “mayor” in 2002 to reflect the practice of other cities. Ronnie Wallace served as mayor for six years. His successors, Wright Bagby Jr. and Evie McNiece, served three years each.

Among the other items on the agenda is a resolution setting the qualifying fee to run for one of the six Rome City Commission seats that will be on the ballot in November.

Terms expire in December for the three Ward 1 commissioners — Milton Slack, Bill Irmscher and Sundai Stevenson — and the three Ward 3 commissioners, Collins, McNiece and Craig McDaniel.

The City of Statesboro has two new assistant city managers, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Hall County District Three Commissioner Shelly Echols has taken office, according to the Gainesville Times.

Echols, a Republican, defeated incumbent Scott Gibbs in 2018′s commission primary before running unopposed in November’s general election. She said it was a busy first week.

“It’s gone very well,” Echols said after Thursday’s voting session. “I’ve certainly enjoyed learning and working with everybody.”

Echols is the lone newcomer to 2019′s county commission. The only other commissioner up for re-election, District One Commissioner Kathy Cooper, won her primary and general election to secure another term.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division announced the sighting of a second Right Whale calf off the coast, according to The Brunswick News.

“Whale researchers from the Georgia DNR and Sea to Shore Alliance were nearby and approached in a small boat to collect high-definition images and video for photo-identification and health assessment purposes. Researchers turned off the boat’s engines and floated quietly as the whales swam past, cannonball jellyfish swirling in their wake.

“Please remember that only federally permitted researchers are allowed within 500 yards of the endangered species. All other boats must remain outside that limit.”

It’s believed the calf was born in the area sometime between Dec. 23 and 28.

Two tourists who removed loggerhead turtle hatchlings from the beach at Tybee Island were fined $930 each, according to The Savannah Morning News.

The Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia confirmed the fine Friday. Public Affairs Officer Barry L. Paschal said the couple has 60 days from their Dec. 15 receipt of the citations to respond. Typically these citations are paid like a traffic ticket, though the couple also has the right to challenge it in court.

Loggerhead sea turtles are a threatened species and as such are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act, which allows for fines up to $25,000 per violation. Paschal said the notes from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Special Agent on the case, Jimmy Barna, indicated the couple’s actions were “far down on the full spectrum of violations.”

“It was clear they did not intend to harm the turtles,” Paschal said. “They weren’t taking them with an intent to transport and sell them.”

The hatchlings appeared healthy and five of them were released hours after they were discovered. The Tybee Island Marine Science Center kept the sixth one, now named Admiral. Now nearly six months old, Admiral graduated to a larger tank Thursday and an article about her progress prompted Paschal to relay the updated information on the case. What would have been a routine press release about the resolution of the case was preempted by the federal government shutdown, he said.

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