Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 26, 2018

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for April 26, 2018

On August 26, 1864, having withdrawn from trenches and fortifications outside Atlanta the previous day, U.S. General Sherman sent most of his forces westward around Atlanta and toward the south of the city.

On August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was adopted. Ratification took place on August 18, 1920, as the Tennessee House of Representatives adopted it, but adoption became official on August 26, when United States Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the Amendment. It reads:

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

On August 26, 1939, the first televised major league baseball game aired, as the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds split a doubleheader in Ebbets Field.

On August 26, 1961, the 718th Engineer Light Equipment Company of Fort Valley and the 210th Signal Base Depot Company of Augusta were called up to take part in the American response to the crisis in Berlin.

President Lyndon B. Johnson was nominated for President by the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey on August 26, 1964.

On August 26, 1965, Sonny & Cher were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘I Got You Babe’, the duo’s only UK No.1. Sonny Bono was inspired to write the song to capitalize on the popularity of the term “babe,” as heard in Bob Dylan’s ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’. Bono would later be elected to Congress as a Republican in 1994 and served from 1995 until his death in 1998.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia flu season is over and comes in as one of the worst recorded, according to the AJC.

145 dead in Georgia and 3,037 hospitalizations in metro Atlanta. According to local health officials, this was the worst outbreak in decades.

Flu activity in Georgia finally dropped to low intensity throughout the state, according to the most recent flu report for the week ending April 14. Only two people were hospitalized in metro Atlanta during that time period.

In Georgia, there were record-breaking hospitalizations for the flu in metro Atlanta this past season. The death toll of 145 people in Georgia included four children ages 5-17; 15 were ages 18-51; 25 were ages 51-64; and 101 were people 65 and over. The number of flu-related deaths is expected to rise over the coming weeks as more reports are sent to the health department.

Last season, there was a total of nine flu-related deaths in the state.

Governor Nathan Deal announced yesterday that Pandora will create 250 jobs in Atlanta over the next three years.

“Pandora’s investment in Atlanta is a testament to the value of our highly skilled workforce and business-friendly environment for attracting innovative companies,” said Deal. “With this expansion, Pandora will benefit from the strategic resources available to digital leaders operating in Georgia, as well as close proximity to our vibrant arts and entertainment communities. We appreciate Pandora’s ongoing commitment here in Georgia and look forward to strengthening our partnership as the company continues to grow and create meaningful employment opportunities for our citizens.”

Pandora plans to hire for positions in product and engineering, sales, client services, legal and human resources.

“Atlanta has been home to a wide array of top artists who have both defined and defied genres,” said Pandora CEO Roger Lynch. “This rich music history, combined with Atlanta’s diverse talent, dynamic startup culture, and extensive higher education community, make it the right place to grow our team. We look forward to expanding our presence in Atlanta and becoming a bigger part of the local community.”

“Like Pandora, Atlanta sits at the nexus of music and technology,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “We are a premier destination for some of the world’s most talented musical artists and producers, as well as tech talent. I trust this combination will be beneficial to Pandora as it stays at the forefront of music technology and am pleased to welcome many new Pandora employees to Atlanta.”

“Pandora is a household name and trailblazer in the music streaming industry,” said Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “We’re thrilled that they are expanding their presence in our region. Pandora should feel right at home in metro Atlanta, where our technology ecosystem is thriving and cultivating the latest innovations in digital media and entertainment.”

“When a leading technology company like Pandora commits to hundreds of jobs in Fulton County, it speaks to the strength of our talent base, our high quality of life and attractiveness for economic investment,” said Fulton County Chairman Robb Pitts.

Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Project Manager Laura Pemberton represented the Global Commerce Division in partnership with the Metro Atlanta Chamber, the Development Authority of Fulton County and Georgia Power.

“Atlanta places Pandora at the ideal intersection of culture, technology and a diverse workforce,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Georgia has been long known for its robust entertainment and technology sectors, and we look forward to welcoming a company that is invested in both the entertainment and technology world.”

View open positions in Pandora’s Atlanta office here.

Gov. Deal also announced a new app designed to connect citizens with local law enforcement, according to 11Alive.

“As technology continues to drastically change our world, public safety remains a top priority,” said Deal. “While we work to make our state a safer place to live, work and raise a family, Georgia citizens and law enforcement must cooperate to deter crime and report suspected terrorism within our communities.”

Information received in the app is sent directly to the Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center (GISAC) where the tips can be evaluated and provided to law enforcement across the state as needed.

The Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS), along with the GBI and GEMA have led efforts to implement the See Something, Say Something system in Georgia.

Georgia’s app is used in nine other states, including Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

To download Georgia’s My Mobile Witness/See Something, Say Something app, click here.

Deal also heard arguments on how the incorporation of Eagle’s Landing would affect municipal bonds, according to the AJC.

If the Henry County community is successful in breaking away from Stockbridge, some fear other high tax revenue areas around the state, such as Buckead in Atlanta, could follow and open the door to hikes in municipal bond rates because of concerns over the stability of a city’s tax base.

Legislation to create the city of Eagle’s Landing was passed by the Georgia Legislature earlier this year and is waiting for Gov. Nathan Deal to decided whether to approve it or not.

Deal has not made a decision on the matter, his office said Wednesday. Deal met with leaders from Stockbridge and those backing Eagle’s Landing cityhood on Tuesday to hear their arguments. He also met with bond analysts in New York last week to discuss the impact the move could have on Georgia’s AAA bond rating.

Steve Hutchison, mayor of nearby Hampton, said city leaders across the state should be worried. Communities disagree with leadership all the time, he said, and the solution can’t be to allow them to break apart. Once that begins, where does it end.

Lake Lanier’s water level exceeded full pool for the first time in more than two years, according to AccessWDUN.

Russell Knick will succeed the retiring Gwinnett County Fire Chief, Casey Snyder, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason announced the city will rollout drone bus service, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Mayor Mike Mason was joined by representatives from the engineering consulting firm Atkins, Partnership Gwinnett and Prototype Prime as he announced plans to install a $2 million programmed autonomous shuttle pilot program on Technology Parkway. The city council approved the plans Tuesday night.

Officials are touting it as an economic development opportunity that could attract companies working with self-driving vehicle technology to Peachtree Corners.

“The objective (of the test system) is not ridership, it’s economic development,” Mason said. “What we want to do is attract start ups and existing businesses to come to Prototype Prime and help them test their technology on our test bed. Of course, the (return on investment) is we’re trying to attract businesses here to be part of our community.”

It will be limited to a 1.4-mile stretch of Technology Parkway between Spalding Drive, near Norcross High School, and Peachtree Parkway, where the Atlanta Marriott Peachtree Corners is located.

Northwest Georgia Housing Authority has entered into an agreement to provide low-income housing in East Rome, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

The housing agency would be a 51 percent developer of the project with Rea Ventures, based in Atlanta, holding 49 percent interest in the development which will provide housing at several sites in East Rome.

All of the units would be made available as project-based Section 8 rental properties which require residents to pay a portion of their income for rent. NWGHA Executive Director Sandra Hudson said 12 scattered site units along Maple Street and East Twelfth Street would be earmarked for people who have had issues with homelessness or are developmentally disabled.

The housing agency plans to seek nine percent tax credits from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to help finance the project. if the authority is unable to win the competitive process to receive the tax credits that it would probably re-apply again in 2019, attorney Stewart Duggan said.

Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach has proposed using part of a budget surplus to pay for education programs, according to the Savannah Morning News.

In collaboration with the Savannah-Chatham school board, DeLoach said he wants to use $1 million of the $10 million surplus being considered by the city council Thursday to fund the center and boost the literacy and graduation rates of Savannah’s impoverished youth.

“We’ve spent millions of dollars on poverty programs that have done nothing,” he said. “Here is an opportunity to try something that might be a game changer.”

The education center funds would come from $2.5 million staff is proposing to invest in the city’s reserves and instead go towards the cost of alterations to an eastside school for the center, DeLoach said.

The remaining $1.2 million needed this year to cover the center’s start-up costs is expected to be available after a mid-year fiscal review, with revenue expected to come in higher than budgeted, DeLoach said. After the first year, the center is expected to cost the city about $800,000 annually, he said.

Henry County candidates appeared at a public forum at Mt. Olive Baptist Church, according to the Henry Herald.

Around 20 candidates spoke at the forum sponsored by the Henry County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. as well as Henry County NAACP, Henry-Clayton Section of NCNW and Rho Sigma Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Common issues raised by candidates included a prospective city of Eagle’s Landing and any possible ramifications it could inspire, as well as transportation issues surrounding a recently-passed transit initiative called The ATL.

A number of candidates came out against the possible de-annexation of properties in Stockbridge to create the new city of Eagle’s Landing, while others said the voters in the area should determine how they should be governed.

“Ultimately, the people have a fundamental right to how they’ll be governed,” said Geoff Cauble, the incumbent Republican representative over District 111. “I understand that not everyone in Stockbridge will have a vote on de-annexation. The word ‘involuntary’ has been used, but all properties will have a vote on the referendum. That’s how the state law is set up.”

By voting in favor of the referendum, Cauble said he felt he was acting in the best way he could to allow citizens a right to vote on how they would be governed, and not in favor of one city over another.

Phyllis Hatcher, a Democrat running for the District 17 seat against Lee and incumbent Brian Strickland, said the Eagle’s Landing proposal was a form of “modern segregation.”

“That bill should have never made it to the floor,” Hatcher said. “De-annexation from Stockbridge to Eagle’s Landing would destitute Stockbridge. They would take the revenues from Stockbridge and form their own little safe haven city of Eagle’s Landing, which is unconstitutional.”

Local governments in South Georgia have joined the lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

The City of Milledgeville filed papers in federal court against two dozen pharmaceutical companies April 24, according to court documents. The lawsuit appears virtually identical to others filed recently in the Middle District of Georgia federal court, including:

• The City of Tifton, filed April 5;

• The City of Bainbridge, filed March 22;

• Decatur County, filed March 16;

• Cook County, filed March 9;

• Crisp County, filed Feb. 14.

Though filed individually in the Middle District of Georgia federal court, the cases, along with others from across the nation, are being transferred to the federal court in the Northern District of Ohio for consolidation, according to court records.

Varnell City Council voted unanimously to approve a special permit for the Dalton Cricket Grounds, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

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