Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 29, 2018

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 29, 2018

Lt. Colonel George Washington fought French and Indian scouts on May 28, 1754, beginning the Seven Years War.

On May 28, 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, requiring all Native Americans to relocate west of the Mississippi River.

On May 29, 1836, the United States Senate ratified the Treaty of New Echota, which required the movement of all Cherokee out of Georgia and led to the “Trail of Tears.”

The Battle of Dallas, Georgia began on May 28, 1864. Click here to watch Week 7 of the Georgia Public Broadcasting/Atlanta History Center series on the Civil War in Georgia.

On May 29, 1942, Adolf Hitler ordered all Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris to wear a yellow Star of David on their coats.

Happy Birthday to Gladys Knight, born in Atlanta on May 28, 1944. Try some chicken and waffles and traditional Georgia side dishes if you’re downtown today.

On May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Nepalese Sherpa, became the first to summit Mount Everest.

On May 28, Tenzing and Hillary set out, setting up high camp at 27,900 feet. After a freezing, sleepless night, the pair plodded on, reaching the South Summit by 9 a.m. and a steep rocky step, some 40 feet high, about an hour later. Wedging himself in a crack in the face, Hillary inched himself up what was thereafter known as the Hillary Step. Hillary threw down a rope, and Norgay followed. At about 11:30 a.m., the climbers arrived at the top of the world.

News of the success was rushed by runner from the expedition’s base camp to the radio post at Namche Bazar, and then sent by coded message to London, where Queen Elizabeth II learned of the achievement on June 1, the eve of her coronation. The next day, the news broke around the world. Later that year, Hillary and Hunt were knighted by the queen. Norgay, because he was not a citizen of a Commonwealth nation, received the lesser British Empire Medal.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Our prayers are with Tom Crawford, long-time editorialist and publisher of The Georgia Report, who is receiving hospice care for cancer. Crawford wrote:

I am, unfortunately, in the final stages of cancer and am under home hospice care.  For that reason, we are suspending operation of The Georgia Report after more than 18 years of publication.

I appreciate the support of all our readers. It has been quite a ride. Thank you all very much.

Your friend and editor,

Tom Crawford

The Associated Press writes about party turnout in this year’s primary elections.

Republican ballots made up approximately 61 percent of early and absentee primary votes in the 2014 and 2016 election cycles, according to data provided by Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office. Democratic ballots made up just 37 percent those years.

Fast forward to this year, and the Republican share of early and absentee primary ballots has shrunk to 53 percent, while Democrats’ share has climbed to 46 percent. Still, even though Democrats have seen recent gains, GOP advance voters exceeded Democratic ones by a healthy margin.

The total number of early ballots cast was down slightly, according to preliminary estimates, from roughly 329,000 in 2016 to 320,000 this year, though years like 2016 with a presidential election usually record higher turnouts.

Advance in-person voting continues to increase each year in Georgia, while mail-in voting has tapered.

ATL Transit Link supporters spoke to Henry County citizens about what the new organization could mean for transit in Henry, according to the Henry Herald.

Representatives from the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Georgia Department of Transportation, as well as the chairwoman of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners were on hand to provide information and answer questions about what the ATL could mean for Henry County.

The ATL, said David Haynes, principal planner of the ARC, is an attempt to clear up what he called the “Balkanization” of different transit systems around the Atlanta metro area.

A question submitted to the town hall asked how feasible a rail option was for Henry County and how quickly rail could come to the area.

“It depends on the funding and the type of rail produced,” Lemon said. “If you’ve been to Charlotte, you’ve seen a dramatic change in implemention in light rail in the last 10 years.”

Haynes said the timeline could be even longer than 10 years, depending on the type of rail requested.

The Henry County Board of Commissioners unanimously passed the FY 2019 budget without a millage rate increase, according to the Henry Herald.

Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway‘s department has transferred more inmates to federal immigration officials since President Donald Trump took office, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

In the first 3 1/2 months of Trump’s presidency, Gwinnett County transferred nearly 250 percent more inmates into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody than in the same period in 2016, a recently released report by the Migration Policy Institute showed.

The 116-page document, titled “Revving Up the Deportation Machinery: Enforcement under Trump and the Pushback,” was co-written by five researchers for MPI, a nonprofit research center that looks at migration trends and refugee policies at local, national and international levels.

“The broad picture that emerges is of a sea of change in interior enforcement from the final years of the Obama administration, when ICE immigration activities were tightly focused on criminals, recent border crossers and those with fresh removal orders,” the report said. “In a sharp reversal, Department of Homeland Security policy under the Trump administration deems every unauthorized immigrant or otherwise deportable noncitizen a candidate for arrest and removal.

Though the 287(g) program, which has been active in Gwinnett since 2010 when Conway first signed on, is relatively new, the county’s cooperation with federal officials and its little tolerance for unauthorized immigrants is not a new stance, Conway told the Daily Post.

“It’s federal law — our immigration laws are — and we enforce (U.S. law),” Conway said. “We were enforcing immigration law in the 1970s when I first started policing and we were cooperating with the federal government then. It hasn’t changed.”

Jeffrey Wilson was named as the new Floyd County School Superintendent, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

Teenage members of the Gainesville Police Department Explorer 297 Post created an anti-opioid public service announcement and cam in as runners-up in a contest sponsored by the Attorney General’s office.

A July 18 hearing has been set for the interlocutory appeal in the case seeking to invalidate legislation creating the City of Eagles Landing, according to the Henry Herald.

The request for an interlocutory injunction would ask the court to prevent members of the Board of Commissioners and Board of Elections and Registration from “taking any action to aid or abet the creation of the city of Eagles Landing.”

The city of Stockbridge has stated that, since a referendum is scheduled in November, time is of the essence for its case.

In court documents supplied by the city of Stockbridge, the city has asked for the injunction as officials view it to be “critical to preserve the status quo and protect (Stockbridge) and the public from irreparable harm until the court can make a final determination as to the constitutionality of the legislative acts purporting to create the city of Eagles Landing and de-annex property from the city of Stockbridge.”

Gwinnett County Commissioners approved bonds to finance the expansion of Infinite Energy Center, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The Board of Commissioners approved the issuing of bonds that will fund an expansion of the center’s conference space as well as construction on a new parking deck that must be built to make room in the existing parking area for the Revel mixed-use development. They will be first construction bonds issued by the county in nearly a decade.

Gwinnett voters approved $67.34 million in special purpose local option sales tax funding to help pay for the expansion as part of the 2017 SPLOST referendum. Bonds will be issued to get construction started, and the SPLOST funds will pay off most of that debt.

“I’m grateful for Explore Gwinnett’s efforts to promote tourism over the years and look forward to their plans for attracting even more visitors,” County Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said in a statement. “I’m grateful to Gwinnett voters for recognizing the ability of SPLOST to enhance our community’s quality of life.

To help pay off the debt on the Infinite Energy Center expansion, the commissioners increased the county’s hotel/motel tax from 7 percent to 8 percent. It was the first increase in the hotel/motel tax since 2000, and the new rate is expected to generate about $1.5 million to $1.6 million in revenue.

The 8 percent rate will go into effect Aug. 1.

Glynn County Schools will provide free breakfast and lunch over the summer, according to The Brunswick News.

In Glynn County Schools, 85 percent of students received free and reduced lunch benefits.

Last summer, the free meal program served nearly 48,000 breakfasts and more than 57,000 lunches.

“Serving almost 105,000 meals last summer is a good indication that this is a much-needed program in Glynn County,” said Dawn Lewis, culinary services director for Glynn County Schools, in a press release.

Breakfast and lunch will be served at 33 locations in Brunswick and on St. Simons Island on Mondays through Fridays beginning June 4 and ending July 27. Meals will not be served on July 4.

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