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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 15, 2018

On March 15, 44 BC, Julius Caesar was assassinated at a meeting of the Senate.

On March 15, 40 BC, Octavian executed 300 Senators and knights in vengeance for Caesar’s death.

On March 15, 1758, Georgia’s Royal Governor Henry Ellis signed legislation dividing the colony into eight parishes, primarily for religious administration, but with some parishes having secondary government functions.

On March 15, 1933, Governor Eugene Talmadge negotiated bank loans totalling $2 million dollars to keep the state’s public schools open.

On March 15, 1943, Sea Island was officially named as Governor Ellis Arnall signed legislation designating the island that had informally been given several different names.

On March 15, 1980, USS Carl Vinson, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was launched at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia. Vinson was the first Navy ship named after a living American.

Howard “Bo’ Callaway, the father of the modern Georgia Republican Party, died on March 15, 2014.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections


Vice President Mike Pence‘s visit to Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade this weekend will cause some additional security measures, according to the Savannah Morning News.

At a press conference on Wednesday, the city announced that the Secret Service will control a 12-block “enhanced security zone” extending from Bay Street to Oglethorpe Avenue between Whitaker and Drayton streets.

A number of items – including folding chairs, coolers, backpacks, purses, tents and alcoholic beverages – will not be allowed to enter the controlled zone.

The selling and consumption of alcohol will still be permitted within the control zone, but only in to-go cups provided by the bars and restaurants within its borders.

Pence will arrive on Air Force Two at Georgia Air National Guard at 10 a.m. Saturday, according to a White House official speaking on background.

Pence will join DeLoach on the balcony of City Hall and later walk down Bull Street to celebrate with local leaders, parade officials and the citizens of Savannah.

Governor Nathan Deal yesterday appointed Donald Whitaker as interim Sheriff of Worth County. The elected Sheriff Jeff Hobby was previously suspended from office in November 2017 after being indicted; Bobby Sapp was named interim Sheriff at that time but stepped down due to a medical condition. Last week, Sheriff Hobby was indicted for allegedly recording conversations between prisoners and their lawyers. From the AJC on the most recent indictments:

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation last month opened a new inquiry into the sheriff’s conduct, according to WALB News in Albany, after a tipster came forward with allegations that the sheriff had installed an illegal recording device in the attorney-client room at the jail.

A GBI spokeswoman on Monday said the sheriff turned himself in Friday after being charged with 66 counts of eavesdropping and illegal surveillance charges and one count of violation of oath of office.

 Legislative Day 35 convenes today at 10 AM in both chambers.




Upon Adjournment SENATE RULES 450 CAP


12:30 PM HOUSE Ways & Means Sub Public Finance and Policy 403 CAP – Upon Adjmnt












HB 344 – Paternity; parties beyond movants in a child support case request a genetic test; allow (Substitute) (JUDY-13th) Dempsey-13th
HB 751 – Georgia Emergency Communications Authority Act; enact (Substitute) (PUB SAF-18th) Powell-32nd
HB 754 – Insurance; division of a domestic insurer into two or more resulting domestic insurers; provisions (I&L-9th) Shaw-176th
HB 769 – Health; recommendations from the House Rural Development Council; implement (Substitute) (H&HS-11th) Jasperse-11th
HB 831 – Georgia’s Employment First Act; enact (ED&T-30th) Rogers-10th
HB 844 – Georgia Commission on Hearing Impaired and Deaf Persons; revise provisions (H&HS-9th) Houston-170th
HB 907 – Public officers and employees; appointment and election of successor in event of vacancy in the office of district attorney; provide (JUDY-23rd) Fleming-121st
HR 1090 – Jeff Davis County; Crisp County; change of use of certain property; authorize (SI&P-51st) Watson-172nd
HR 1104 – Property; granting of non-exclusive easements; authorize (Substitute) (SI&P-15th) Greene-151st


Modified Open Rule
HR 1260 – House Study Committee on Juvenile Court Judges; create (JuvJ-Ballinger-23rd)
HR 1363 – United States Congress; amend Controlled Substances Act of 1970 to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug; urge (H&HS-Cooper-43rd)
SB 82 – HOPE; need based HOPE scholarship and grant; create (HEd-Blackmon-146th) Jackson-2nd
SB 330 – “Green Agricultural Education Act”; three-component model; provide (Substitute)(Ed-Dickey-140th) Wilkinson-50th
SB 381 – Surplus Line Insurance; nonadmitted insurer domiciled in this state will be deemed a domestic surplus lines insurer if certain criteria are met; provide (Ins-Williamson-115th) Thompson-14th
SB 395 – Georgia Joint Defense Commission; create (Substitute) (ED&T-Belton-112th) Watson-1st

Modified Structured Rule
SB 118 – Autism; age limit for coverage for autism spectrum disorders for an individual covered under a policy or contract; change (Substitute) (Ins-Smith-134th) Unterman-45th (AM 37 0401)
SB 321 – Medicaid Claims; false or fraudulent; recover the maximum penalty authorized by federal law; increase the civil penalties (Substitute) (Judy-Beskin-54th) Tillery-19th
SB 406 – “Georgia Long-term Care Background Check Program” enact; public safety; promote (Substitute)(HumR-Efstration-104th) Strickland-17th
SB 436 – Probate Courts; general provisions; change and modernize (Substitute)(Judy-Fleming-121st) Strickland-17th

Structured Rule
SB 328 Income Tax; expiration of certain income tax credits; provide (Substitute)(W&M-Harrell-106th) Albers-56th

Today from 11:30 to 1 PM, a screening of Intervention will be held at the Georgia State Capitol in Room 341.


State Rep. Matt Dubnik (R-Gainesville) passed his first bill, HB 784, creating a license plate to raise funds for waterfowl and their habitat. From the Gainesville Times,

Dubnik passed his true first bill out of the legislature earlier this month, but that bill was a minor piece of legislation that he had been asked to carry by House leadership and that didn’t affect his district, he said.

“I will probably remember this one as my first one,” Dubnik said, laughing, about HB 784.

Dubnik has been involved with Ducks Unlimited for the past 15 years, including a 6-year stint as head of fundraising for the group in Georgia. Each year, the environmental conservation group raises more than $2 million in the state.

“More than 90 percent of members claim to be hunters, but we’re not a political activist group around hunting,” Dubnik said on Wednesday, March 15. “We certainly embrace our hunting heritage, but we’re in the land conservation business.”

House Bill 879 by State Rep. Jeff Jones (R-Brunswick), received a “Do Pass” recommendation from the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and the Environment. From the Brunswick News:

Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee Chairman Tyler Harper, R-Ocilla, said it was the committee’s intention to get the bill to the floor quickly.

“We did have this in subcommittee and we did take testimony in subcommittee, so my plan is to get you to present your plan before the full committee, and we’ll move through it quite rapidly,” Harper said during a hearing this week.

“HB 879 achieves an expanded public notice when coal ash ponds are being drained into the local waters within a community, by requiring that an ad be placed in the legal organ in that community once the commencing of the coal ash dewatering — as it’s called, or pond draining — has begun,” Jones said. “And the purpose of that is just to give the locals the opportunity to know what’s going on in their communities.”

A raft of legislation aimed at controlling Fulton County tax assessments passed both chambers of the General Assembly, according to

Senate Bill 317 and House Bills 707, 708, 710, 711 and 712 have all cleared both chambers, and will now move onto to Governor Nathan Deal for his signature or rejection.

The bills would expand current protections for the Fulton County portion of property tax bills. The bills would also add protections for the Fulton County School Board portion of property tax bills and portions for the cities of Roswell, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Milton and Mountain Park.

New homestead exemptions in those cities and for the school system would freeze homeowners’ tax assessments at the 2016 level. It would allow increases up to 3 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less (the city of Sandy Springs already has this in place). The homestead exemptions would remain in place as long as homeowners own their homes. The more current assessment would take effect and become the new “frozen” level once a home is sold.

Senator Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) proposed an amendment that would prevent local elected officials from receiving a pay raise they voted on until after their reelection, according to the AJC.

“If you’re in office when the pay raise is approved, you can’t get it till the term expires,” Millar, whose district includes part of DeKalb, told members of the House Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday. “Nobody should get a raise during the middle of their term.”

The amendment applies to all Georgia counties and says that commissioners who vote on their own raises cannot make them effective during their current terms. The 3 percent raise that DeKalb commissioners approved for CEO Mike Thurmond also would be delayed until 2021.

Senate Bill 403 by Sen. Bruce Thompson (R-White) passed out of the House Governmental Affairs Committee yesterday, according to the AJC.

The legislation, Senate Bill 403, would replace the state’s 16-year-old electronic voting machines with a system that creates a paper backup to ensure accuracy.

“We want to have paper ballots that deliver for voters more confidence,” said state Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth. “The public recognizes that the best-in-class technology for voting is a combination of technology with paper so that you have a verifiable, recountable, physically retallyable ballot.”

The legislation is on track for a vote in the full House of Representatives after the committee approved it on a voice vote. If it passes there, it would return to the Senate for further consideration.

Flowery Branch city government is moving to a new City Hall this week.

Columbia County public schools Superintendent Dr. Sandra Carraway asked the county Board of Education to consider options to enhance school safety, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

She proposed the options to the board at its meeting Tuesday night – the day before planned observances at the county’s five public high schools commemorating the fatal Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Carraway said she met recently with about 15 Columbia County sheriff’s deputies on another matter, but while waiting for all the officers to arrive at that meeting, conversation among those gathered turned to school safety.

But when she asked deputies how many of them felt teachers should be armed, all the deputies raised their hands.

While school-system officers patrol the county’s elementary campuses, no officers are stationed permanently at those 18 schools. The district now has eight officers – one posted at each of the five high schools and three at middle schools.

Port Wentworth Mayor Gary Norton has asked for the resignations of the City Manager and attorney at the request of City Council members.

The Glynn County Republican Party will host a candidate meet and greet at Bennie’s Red Barn on St Simons Island on March 24th.

Glynn County Board of Education Post 1 (At-large) will see a contested Republican Primary and a contested general election this year.

Two Cherokee County Board of Education seats will have primary elections in May, according to the Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News.

Lowndes County E-SPLOST sales tax collections increased more than $100k in February over the same month in 2017, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 14, 2018


Vivienne is a young female Boykin Spaniel who is available for adoption from Hero Dog Rescue in Cumming, GA.


Bohdi is a male Dachshund and Chihuahua mix puppy who is available for adoption from Hero Dog Rescue in Cumming, GA.


Skye is a female Shepherd mix who is available for adoption from Forsyth County Animal Shelter in Cumming, GA.


Bonnie is a female Doberman Pinscher mix puppy who is available for adoption from Forsyth County Animal Shelter in Cumming, GA.

Columbus City Council adopted a resolution opposing Senate Bill 418 and House Bill 948, both of which would preempt the power of local governments to ban retail sales of any goods regulated by the US Department of Agriculture, Georgia Department of Agriculture, or the Food and Drug Administration.

WHEREAS, various bills have been introduced in the 2018 Session of the Georgia General Assembly that would preempt local governments from banning the sale at retail or other regulation of dogs and cats in Georgia communities;

WHEREAS, local governments should be able to make these important policy decisions that affect animal owners and advocates in our local communities; and

WHEREAS, this Council desires that the local legislative delegation to the Georgia General Assembly oppose any further amendments to legislation or substitutes which would preempt local regulation of these matters.


We hereby respectfully request that the local legislative delegation to the Georgia General Assembly oppose any further amendments to legislation or substitutes which would preempt local regulation of the sale at retail or other regulation of dogs and cats or similar matters in Georgia communities.

Let a copy of this resolution be forwarded by the Clerk of Council to each member of the local delegation to the Georgia General Assembly.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 14, 2018

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879.

S. Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, was born on March 14, 1921.

Elvis Presley played the Fox Theater in Atlanta on March 21, 1956.

The largest traffic accident in Georgia history occurred on March 14, 2001 on I-75 in Catoosa County, involving 125 cars, injuring 39 people and killing 5.

Happy Birthday to Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Election


Governor Nathan Deal this week signed House Bill 626 by State Rep. Todd Jones (R-South Forsyth), authorizing the creation of the City of Sharon Springs, Georgia in Forsyth County, subject to a referendum on the May 2018 Primary Election ballot. From the Forsyth County News:

District 25 state Rep. Todd Jones said rather than being for or against the proposed city, he was happy voters would get the chance to decide on the matter.

“I am happy because the process won out and this gives the citizens of south Forsyth the opportunity to have their voices heard,” Jones said. “It gives them an opportunity over the next couple of months to hopefully work together, but I also understand there will be sides.”

He added that he hoped “those sides advocate in a passionate, cordial, neighborly, fact-based way to make sure that as many people as possible get educated as possible to ensure that when they go to the ballot box on May 22 that they’re able to make an informed decision.”

Voters living in the area of the proposed city will vote on cityhood in the May 22 primary. To pass, the bill will need the support of at least 57.5 percent of voters, a compromise between a simple majority and two-thirds majority.

If approved, Sharon Springs would begin with three services— zoning, sanitation and code enforcement— and would have a millage rate capped at .5 mills. One mill equals $1 for every $1,000 in assessed property value, which is 40 percent of the actual market value.

“I am happy to see that our system is working and our citizens will have self-determination and they can vote whether they would like to have more government,” Forsyth County Commission Chairman Todd Levent said, later adding that “[the information] tells me this is going to cost the citizens more than they think or are being told, more government or not.”

Under the Gold Dome Today

Legislative Day 34, both chambers convene at 10 AM.



8:00 AM HOUSE NATL RES Envtal Quality Sub 515 CLOB















4:00 PM HOUSE JUDY (Civil) Fleming Sub 132 CAP

4:00 PM House Regulated Ind Regulations Sub 506 CLOB

HB 513 – Domestic relations; signs to be posted at certain medical facilities where a newborn child may be left; provide (Substitute) (H&HS-17th) Dickerson-113th
HB 695 – Special license plates; Georgia Forestry Foundation; establish (NR&E-18th) Epps-144th
HB 784 – Specialty license plates; promote conservation of waterfowl populations and their habitats; establish (NR&E-28th) Dubnik-29th
HB 830 – Controlled substances; Schedule I and II; change certain provisions (JUDY-13th) Harden-148th
HB 888 – Ad valorem tax; certain reporting requirements; change (Substitute) (FIN-28th) Knight-130th
HB 909 – Health; designation of perinatal facilities; provisions (H&HS-52nd) Silcox-52nd

Modified Open Rule
HR 1376 – House Rural Development Council; solicit input from hospitals in the state on the financial conditions of such hospitals; urge (H&HS-Hatchett-150th)
SB 333 – Deferred Compensation Plans; governing authority of a municipality may pay costs/fees associated with employee’s participation; provide (Ret-Battles-15th) Black-8th
SB 357 – Health Coordination and Innovation Council of the State of Georgia; create (Substitute)(H&HS-Jasperse-11th) Burke-11th
SB 425 – Professional Land Surveyors; provisions; change (Substitute) (RegI-Rakestraw-19th) Gooch-51st
SR 794 – Joint Georgia-North Carolina and Georgia-Tennessee Boundary Line Commission; create (IntC-Morris-26th) Miller-49th

Structured Rule
SB 382 – Optometrists guidance and consultation by the Department of Public Health; provide (H&HS-Rhodes-120th) Martin-9th

The Associated Press has more on Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Savannah on Saturday.

Mayor Eddie DeLoach plans to host Pence and members of the vice president’s family Saturday, when locals and tourists toting plastic cups of beer will cram the sidewalks and oak-shaded squares along the 2.25-mile (3.6-kilometer) parade route through Savannah’s downtown historic district.

“It’s always fun to have a special guest come to the parade,” Michelle Gavin, a city spokeswoman, told reporters at a news conference Tuesday. “And what a great honor to have the vice president of the United Sates come to the parade and shine a national spotlight on this event.”

At least two sitting presidents — William Howard Taft in 1912 and Jimmy Carter in 1978 — have visited Savannah on St. Patrick’s Day to address the evening banquet of the local Hibernian Society, the Irish social group that started Savannah’s parade 194 years ago.

Pence has proudly noted in political speeches that his maternal grandfather, Richard Michael Cawley, came to the U.S. from Ireland in 1923.

“He got off that boat an Irish lad,” Pence said in 2006, when he served in Congress. “He died an American, and I am an American because of him.”

Three candidates for Mayor of Athens-Clarke County met in a forum Monday night, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

Richie Knight, Kelly Girtz and Harry Sims faced off at the Athens-Clarke County Library’s Appleton Auditorium, giving brief statements about who they are and why they are running, then answering questions from the audience and from the group that organized the forum, the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement.

The three candidates include two longtime members of the Athens-Clarke Commission, Sims and Girtz, and political newcomer Richie Knight. Sims and Girtz are both stepping down from the commission to run for mayor. Sims resigned his seat last month to give election officials time to schedule an election for his seat on the same election day, May 22, as the mayor’s race and several other commission seats. Girtz didn’t have to resign because his term is up at the end of the year.

Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price repaid the federal government $60,000 for charter plane flights he took for official business, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr referred for prosecution a complaint alleging Open Records violations in the City of Atlanta.

Statesboro City Council District Five voters will elect a new member on May 22d, with qualifying being held March 26-28.

The Bibb County Commission District One seat is likely to remain vacant for nine months after Commissioners declined to put the post on the May ballot, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Multiple commissioners cited concerns Tuesday about the costs of the special election and the confusion it could cause voters. They also said that the short time frame leaves people who might be interested in becoming commissioner with little time to decide.

Dawsonville voters will choose a new Mayor in a bizarre election next Tuesday, March 20th.

Current Mayor Mike Eason will face former Mayor James Grogan at the ballot box on Tuesday when the special election voting day commences.

Each is seeking to fill the unexpired term of Grogan, who was officially removed from office in October.

If elected during the March 20 special election, Grogan would be working with two city council members who voted for his removal in May of 2016, Caleb Phillips and Jason Power.

[Grogan] was removed from office after a city-council initiated investigation into allegations that he had misused city funds and violated the city charter. Grogan appealed the decision to the Superior Court but his appeal was denied.

Earlier this week, a Superior Court Judge ordered Grogan to repay more than $25,000 to the city.

Banks County Commissioners voted to create an historic preservation commission.

Augusta Commission members voted to move forward converting the old Joint Law Enforcement Center into a Juvenile Justice campus.

Decatur County Commissioners voted to join the national lawsuit against some opioid manufacturers.

The Glynn County Board of Elections is challenging the residency in District 4 of Democratic County Commission candidate Vicki Greene.

Greene’s address is listed on the Georgia Secretary of State’s website as 13 Ibis Cove in western Glynn County, which is in county commission District 1, according to the county’s property records.

At-large candidates can live in any district, but “all other candidates shall offer for election to the board from the commissioner district in which their legal residence lies,” according to the county’s ordinances.

Greene confirmed she did live outside District 4, but declined to comment on the matter.

Nineteen candidates are running for Mayor or City Council in this year’s Columbus municipal elections, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Of the 19 people who officially qualified for city races this week to run for mayor or one of six Columbus Council seats up for grabs more than 50 percent are first-time candidates.

One candidate for mayor listed his occupation as God/Jesus.

“Definitely, we are seeing a lot of newcomers entering the political process,” said Muscogee County Elections and Registration Director Nancy Boren in an interview with the Ledger-Enquirer. “We’re seeing a lot of younger people who are qualifying to run for office.”

When it’s all said and done, Columbus will have a new mayor to replace the outgoing Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, who will leave office at the end of the year due to term limits. There also will be at least two new councilors on the dais, representing District 5 and District 10.

Chatham County Superior Court Judge James F. Bass Jr. ruled that Savannah can halt short term vacation rentals while a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the law is litigated.

Hall County is seeing a bumper crop of Democratic candidates this year, according to the Gainesville Times.

[Alana] Watkins is running for a Georgia House seat in District 29, a seat currently held by Rep. Matt Dubnik, R-Gainesville. She’s one of seven Democratic candidates who qualified to run for local office this year in Hall County across races for federal, state and county offices.

Seven candidates is more than the party has fielded in 2016, 2014, 2012 and 2010 — combined. In 2014, the county party qualified zero people, according to chairman Kim Copeland. The most it put up in those four cycles was three people in 2010.

A Woodstock lawyer claims that Cherokee County Solicitor General Jessica Moss is no longer qualified to hold the office because she and her husband sold their home and are now renting elsewhere in the County, according to the Cherokee Tribune & Ledger-News.

Moss said she has changed her driver license and voter registration to her new address in Canton. She said she and her husband received an offer on their house and sold it in December. Until the end of her term on Dec. 31 they will live in a Canton apartment before retiring to a house they own in Blairsville in Union County, she said.

In his letter to the governor, Ruskell attached Moss’ state campaign disclosure filings, which have the address of the Blairsville house. “I do get some mail there, yes,” she said. “But, I live here until my term is up.”


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 13, 2018

Hannah ACRF

Hannah is a female Dachshund and Corgi mix who is available for adoption from Animal Companion Rescue Foundation in Norcross, GA.

Hannah is a wonderful little girl. Crate trained, barely barks, gets along with other dogs and cats, all people and children. She is simply amazing. Hannah weighs 18 lbs and we are guessing she could have some Dachshund, Terrier or even Corgi in her. But no matter what breeds she is mixed with she got all the good personality traits.

Heidi ACRF

Heidi is a young female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Animal Companion Rescue Foundation in Norcross, GA.

Heidi is a 1 year old chocolate lab retriever mix who was found dumped on a rural Georgia road in the freezing rain. She is such a wonderful loving and sweet girl. She weighs 45 lbs and is great with dogs and loves to play. She is good with all people as well. She is house and crate trained and Settles in very nicely. She would love a play buddy and a fenced in yard to run in. She loves her walks and is an all around sweet girl who will make a wonderful family member.


Otis is a young male Border Collie and Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from Animal Companion Rescue Foundation in Norcross, GA.

Otis is about 12 weeks old. Maybe some border collie mix… stinking cute. He seems to be about 40/45lbs fully grown. Otis will be available for adoption shortly.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 13, 2018

On March 13, 1736, the Spanish Governor of Florida complained to Georgia’s James Oglethorpe about English settlements and forts in areas claimed by Spain.

On March 13, 1868, the first impeachment trial of a United States President began in the Senate. President Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House for allegations based on his Reconstruction policies that allegedly violated federal law.

Sworn in as president after Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, President Johnson enacted a lenient Reconstruction policy for the defeated South, including almost total amnesty to ex-Confederates, a program of rapid restoration of U.S.-state status for the seceded states, and the approval of new, local Southern governments, which were able to legislate “black codes” that preserved the system of slavery in all but name. The Republican-dominated Congress greatly opposed Johnson’s Reconstruction program and passed the “Radical Reconstruction” by repeatedly overriding the president’s vetoes. Under the Radical Reconstruction, local Southern governments gave way to federal military rule, and African-American men in the South were granted the constitutional right to vote.

In March 1867, in order further to weaken Johnson’s authority, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act over his veto. The act prohibited the president from removing federal office holders, including Cabinet members, who had been confirmed by the Senate, without the consent of the Senate.

On March 13, 1957, Governor Marvin Griffin signed a joint resolution by the Georgia General Assembly purporting to impeach United State Chief Justice Earl Warren and associate justices Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, Thomas Clark, Felix Frankfurter, and Stanley Reed, and calling on Congress to impeach the Justices.

On this date in 1992, 25 years ago, “My Cousin Vinny” was released.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Vice President Mike Pence will attend Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade this Saturday, March 17th, according to WSAV. Pence will also be the featured guest at the Georgia Republican Party’s Presidents’ Day Dinner on March 23.

Today is a Committee Work Day for the General Assembly.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 12, 2018

Peanut Cedartown

Peanut is a young male Pomeranian and Chihuahua mix puppy who is available for adoption from Cedartown Animal Rescue, Education & Sterilization in Cedartown, GA.

If you are looking for a GORGEOUS puppy with PERSONALITY PLUS, look no further! Peanut was an owner turn in from an individual who surrendered several dogs.

Peanut was born 11/9/18 so he is 4 months old and weighs 5 pounds. He is a precious dog – all personality – super friendly and loving! He is playful, gets along with other dogs and cats and trained to a litter box. It is hilarious to watch Peanut run across the yard playing with the other foster pups here! We are looking for the best home for Peanut. His wish list includes a nice house with a fluffy bed (but he would rather sleep with his mom), lots of toys to play with and hopefully a canine sibling to spend the day playing with in their fenced yard. A doggy door would be a plus so he can come and go as he wishes as well as a mom or dad who is retired or works from home so he will get all the attention and training a puppy needs.

Pip Cedartown

Pip is a young male Pomeranian and Chihuahua mix puppy who is available for adoption from Cedartown Animal Rescue, Education & Sterilization in Cedartown, GA. He is Peanut’s brother.


Buttons is a young female Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Cedartown Animal Rescue, Education & Sterilization in Cedartown, GA.

Buttons is an adorable girl who is super playful! She loves running with her friends in the fenced yard, chasing after toys and hanging out after a hard day’s play. She has a gorgeous black coat with a unique white pattern that extends down her chest to her belly and even onto her front leg. At 17 weeks old (DOB: 9/21/17), she is 28 pounds. Buttons is perfectly crate trained – does not potty in her crate at all, does not whine and does not tear up her big fluffy bed and toys in there. She is super friendly, learns quickly and just a great dog. Buttons learned “sit” and “down” with 5 minutes of training! She is healthy and is ready for her forever home now.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 12, 2018

On March 12, 1739, James Oglethorpe, recognized as the Founder of Georgia, wrote the Georgia Trustees, urging them to continue the ban on slavery in the new colony.

Juliette Gordon Low held the first meeting of the Girl Guides, which would later be renamed the Girl Scouts, in her home in Savannah, Georgia on March 12, 1912.

Gianni Agnelli was born on March 12, 1921 in Turin, Italy, and would come to be the wealthiest man in Italy, head and principal shareholder of Fiat, and recognized as an Italian Senator for Life in 1991. Among those who follow fashion, Agnelli has long been recognized as an archetype of the Italian approach to menswear.

His style was about more than clothes—it was an attitude, a philosophical response to absurdity. Watching him could tell you how to live, how to behave. In Italy, they call it sprezzatura, making the difficult look easy. Americans are gonzo, a spirit personified by Hunter S. Thompson, who defined it as a man who learns to fly by falling out of a plane. Agnelli might look gonzo—especially on nights when he showed up in boots and an ill-fitting tie—but was, in fact, sprezzatura; he knew how to fly all along. “When he was not perfectly dressed, it was contrived,” says Taki Theodoracopulos, the writer, columnist, socialite and son of a Greek shipping tycoon. Taki is one of the few surviving members of Agnelli’s social circle. “The tie askew, the unbuttoned shirt—nothing was an accident. Or, to put it another way, it was meant to be an accident, which made it even more stylish.”

Clarence Thomas, originally from Pin Point, Georgia, was sworn in to the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on March 12, 1990.

R.E.M. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 12, 2007.

Happy birthday to former Atlanta Braves slugger Dale Murphy.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal has a busy Friday. He announced that Georgia will partner with self-driving vehicle company Waymo.

“On behalf of the State of Georgia, I am proud to welcome Waymo to Atlanta’s community of industry leaders,” said Deal. “The transport of freight and cargo is a critical driver for the American economy. Nowhere is this economic development tool more apparent than in Atlanta, the nation’s leading logistics hub. As we look to the future of innovation and efficiency, self-driving vehicles are at the forefront of enhancing roadway safety and making the transportation of American goods more feasible. We are excited to partner with Waymo, the leader in self-driving technology, in testing self-driving trucks here in the No. 1 state for business.”

From the company:

Starting next week, Waymo will launch a pilot in Atlanta where our self-driving trucks will carry freight bound for Google’s data centers.

Over the past year, we’ve been conducting road tests of Waymo’s self-driving trucks in California and Arizona. Our software is learning to drive big rigs in much the same way a human driver would after years of driving passenger cars. The principles are the same, but things like braking, turning, and blind spots are different with a fully-loaded truck and trailer.

Now we’re headed to Georgia. Atlanta is one of the biggest logistics hubs in the country, making it a natural home for Google’s logistical operations and the perfect environment for our next phase of testing Waymo’s self-driving trucks.

Gov. Deal traveled to the Polk County Airport in Cedartown to sign the FY 2018 Amended Budget.

Gov. Nathan Deal [on Friday] signed the Amended FY 2018 budget at a signing ceremony in Polk County, authorizing $25.4 billion in spending for the current fiscal year. The state appropriations within HB 683 are based upon a 2.7 percent growth in general fund revenues over FY 2017 collections. This additional funding will address growth needs in education and human services, provide additional funding to local governments and school systems, and support statewide economic development efforts.

“With this amended budget, we are investing in our priorities and addressing critical issues for Georgia citizens,” said Deal. “The $25.4 billion in state appropriations reflects the solid economic growth that Georgia continues to enjoy and ensures that our state agencies and local governments have the resources needed to meet the demands of a growing and vibrant state. Georgia’s economy continues to surpass expectations, allowing for further investments to improve our air transportation systems, protect coastal Georgia’s tourism industry and provide additional financial assistance to communities across the state. I want to thank the members of the General Assembly who made this amended budget possible, as their cooperation will have a lasting impact on the lives of Georgians.”

Amended FY 2018 budget highlights include:

  • $101.4 million for a midterm adjustment for K-12 enrollment growth.
  • $25.9 million for airport runway extension projects.
  • $60.7 million in additional funds for Forestland Protection Act reimbursements.
  • $15.7 million for school buses for local school systems.
  • $9.6 million for growth in the Dual Enrollment program.
  • $2 million to expand marketing efforts to promote educational opportunities available at the technical colleges.
  • $10.3 million for technical college equipment replacement statewide.
  • $28.2 million for the Indigent Care Trust Fund and Medicaid.
  • $1.2 million for hospitals to offset costs due to the high number of flu cases.
  • $15.1 million for child welfare services to care for children in state custody.
  • $3.5 million for autism services for children under 21.
  • $10 million for grants to local communities for beach nourishment projects.
  • $1.6 million for improvements to the Great Dunes South Beach Park and the Ocean View Beach Park at Jekyll Island State Park.

The Amended FY 2018 budget includes $74.8 million for Forestland Protection Act grants for local governments and school systems to offset tax digest impacts from dedicated conservation use forestland in their areas. Of this funding, $34 million will go directly to local school systems.

Additionally, this budget helps to grow vital industries in rural communities by providing $25.9 million to extend 13 runways at regional airports throughout the state. The runway extensions will increase the number of airports that can safely accommodate larger aircraft, which will attract businesses to underserved areas of the state. The budget also provides $10 million to coastal Georgia communities for beach renourishment projects and assistance in recovery from the last hurricane season.

 Deal also announced that tax revenues are up 4.8 percent for February over the same month in 2017.

ov. Nathan Deal today announced that Georgia’s net tax collections for February totaled $1.23 billion, for an increase of nearly $55.9 million, or 4.8 percent, compared to last year when net tax collections totaled almost $1.18 billion. Year-to-date, net tax collections totaled $15.1 billion, for an increase of roughly $868.8 million, or 6.1 percent, over February 2017, when net tax revenues totaled $14.23 billion.

The changes within the following tax categories contributed to the overall net tax revenue increase in February:

Individual Income Tax: Individual Income Tax collections for the month totaled $476.5 million, up from $451.9 million in February 2017, for an increase of $24.6 million, or 5.4 percent.

Sales and Use Tax: Gross Sales and Use Tax collections deposited during the month totaled nearly $899.7 million, for an increase of $87.7 million, or 10.8 percent, over last year.

Corporate Income Tax: Corporate Income Tax collections and refunds for February combined for a net decrease of roughly $5.6 million, or -23.8 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year when net Corporate Tax refund outlays outstripped revenue collections by a total of $23.3 million.

From the AJC on the FY 2019 budget, which passed the State House:

Friday, the Georgia House voted 155-14 for a new budget for the upcoming year.

The measure doesn’t include any pay raises for 200,000 teachers and state employees, although it does give a bonus of up to $900 to state retirees. Members of the Employees Retirement System haven’t received a cost-of-living raise in several years.

The House added $8 million in grants to local school districts to beef up security following last month’s massacre at a Florida school.

House Appropriations Chairman Terry England, R-Auburn, is hoping the Senate ups it to $16 million.

About one-third of new state spending — $361 million — would go to improve the financial stability of Georgia’s teacher pension system. Most of the rest would fund increased k-12 and college enrollment and growth in public health care programs.

Under the Gold Dome Today

Both chambers convene at 10 AM today for Legislative Day 33.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 9, 2018

Private Dog 4 Private Dog 3 Private Dog2 Private Dog 1

Today, four dogs need a new home as their owner cannot keep them and is seeking a private placement. They’re currently located in Henry County, Georgia.

Dakota (the brown male) is 7 years old, he is German Shepherd Great Dane mix and the dad. Mela (the black with white chest) is 2 years old she is Lab and the mom. Luna (the all black with the pink collar) she is going to be 1 in April and the daughter from the first litter. Buddy was born at Christmas and is the son from the second litter.

Doggie birthdays:
Dakota May 18th 2012.
Mela February 21st 2016.
Luna April 1st 2017.
Buddy December 6th 2017

They are all sweet, kind loving babies.

If you think you can help them, please email me and I’ll put you in touch.

Recently, I’ve become more understanding of people who have to give up their pets – I can’t know what they’re going through in their lives, so I try not to judge them.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 9, 2018

On March 10, 1734, a group of German immigrants reached the mouth of the Savannah River, from where they would proceed on to Savannah. Today, the Georgia Salzburgers Society works to preserve the Salzburger heritage and traditions in Georgia.

On March 11, 1779, Congress created the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

On March 11, 1861, the Confederate Congress, assembled in Montgomery, Alabama, adopted the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. Today the original signed manuscript of the Confederate Constitution is in the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries.

On March 9, 1862, CSS Virginia and USS Monitor, a Union ironclad, fought to a draw in the Chesapeake Bay.

On March 9, 1866, Governor Charles Jones Jenkins signed two pieces of legislation dealing with African-Americans, one recognized their marriages, the other legitimized children born to African-American couples prior to the act and required parents to maintain their children in the same way white were required.

On March 10, 1866, Governor Charles Jones Jenkins signed legislation allowing women to have bank accounts separate from their husbands as long as the balance was less than $2000; an earlier act set the limit at $1000.

On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell transmitted the first speech over his new invention, the telephone.

Thomas B. Murphy was born on March 10, 1924 in Bremen, Georgia and would first be elected to office in the 1950s, winning a seat on the Bremen Board of Education. In 1960, Murphy ran for the State House facing no opposition and was sworn in in 1961. In 1973, he became Speaker Murphy and would hold the post until Bill Heath, a Republican, beat him in the November 2002 General Election.

Murphy held the top House seat for longer than anyone in any American state legislature. He died on December 17, 2007.

On March 11, 1942, General Douglas MacArthur obeyed the President’s order dated February 20, 1942, and left the Philippines.

Bobby Fischer, the Eleventh World Champion of Chess, was born on March 9, 1943 and is considered by many the greatest player of all time.

Governor Ellis Arnall signed two important pieces of legislation on March 9, 1945. The first created the Georgia Ports Authority, with its first project being the expansion of the Port of Savannah. The second authorized the placement of a referendum to adopt a new state Constitution (in the form of a single Amendment to the Constitution of 1877) on the ballot in a Special Election to be held August 7, 1945.

On March 9, 1970, Governor Lester Maddox signed legislation setting the Georgia minimum wage at $1.25 per hour.

On March 11, 2005, Brian Nichols shot and killed Fulton County Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and court reporter Julie Brandau in the Fulton County Courthouse, leading to a lockdown of the state capitol and a number of nearby buildings. Nichols killed two more before taking a young woman hostage in Duluth; that woman, Ashley Smith, would talk Nichols into surrendering the next day. Nichols was eventually convicted for four murders and is serving consecutive life sentences.

R.E.M. was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 12, 2007.

Happy Birthday on Saturday to former Governor Roy Barnes, who served from 1999-2003, and lost to Republican Sonny Perdue in 2002, and to current Governor Nathan Deal in 2010.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal will sign the FY 2018 Amended Budget today at 9:30 AM at the Polk County Airport – Cornelius Moore Field in Cedartown.

Georgia’s legislative spouses raised $120,000 to endow a scholarship at Georgia College in honor of First Lady Sandra Deal.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston also offered their appreciation and support to the state legislative spouses who raised more than $120,000 to establish the Sandra Dunagan Deal Scholarship, which will provide financial assistance to students from Georgia’s rural areas who pursue a degree in Early Childhood Education.

“Sandra has demonstrated a lifelong devotion to improving education for all children, and I am so proud of her passion,” said Deal. “As a mother, an educator and Georgia’s first lady, she has selflessly advocated for putting children on the path to success through the development of early language and literacy skills. This scholarship will continue her dedicated efforts by opening doors for students from rural communities to lead, teach and inspire tomorrow’s youngest learners. Sandra and I are humbled by the efforts of the legislative spouses, donors and especially the steering committee for their contributions in creating the Sandra Dunagan Deal Scholarship fund. This valuable resource will help lay the foundation for the next generation of early childhood educators at Sandra’s alma mater.”

Donations to the endowment will be invested and only earnings from the endowment will be expended to support the scholarship. The first scholarship will be awarded in fall 2018. The fund will be administered by Georgia College.

“Our state is blessed to have the leadership of First Lady Sandra Deal. She has inspired a generation of Georgians to harness the power of reading and education to achieve their dreams,” said Cagle. “This honor will continue to distinguish First Lady Deal’s dedication to education by developing Georgia’s next generation of exceptional educators.”

“Mrs. Deal has been and remains a lifelong champion for early childhood education,” said Ralston. “I can think of no more fitting tribute than to encourage and empower aspiring educators to follow in the footsteps of Georgia’s First Lady.”

Under the Gold Dome






1:00 PM SENATE FINANCE – Ad Valorem Sub 125 CAP

1:00 PM SENATE FINANCE – Tax Reform Sub 123 CAP


HB 135 – Employees’ Retirement System of Georgia; creditable service for certain law enforcement officers; expand (Substitute) (RET-7th) Hitchens-161st
HB 257 – Local government authorities; register with Department of Community Affairs; require (SLGO(G)-7th) Tankersley-160th
HB 432 – Tuition grants; certain institutions that lack accreditation be approved for tuition equalization purposes; provide (H ED-55th) Dubnik-29th
HB 777 – Historic Chattahoochee Compact; repeal (I COOP-15th) Greene-151st


Open Rule
HR 1017 – State and local educational agencies and schools; dyslexia has a profound educational impact that must be addressed; recognize (Ed-Corbett-174th)

Modified Structured Rule
HR 1162 – House Study Committee on the Establishment of a State Accreditation Process; create (Ed-Coleman-97th)

Ms. Merri M. Brantley is the subject of an obituary by Bill Banks at the AJC. For her friends, it is required reading.

Merri Brantley spent the better part of 30 years working the third floor of the Georgia Capitol.

Whether as a lobbyist or her six memorable years as Senate press director, she was stylishly impeccable, rigorously impartial (though personally conservative politically) and linguistically concise.

Most recently she was a “lobbyist” for Georgia Gwinnett College, where she had gone to work after leaving state government. College President Stanley Preczewski remembers Brantley escorting him inside the Gold Dome and saying, “Just follow me and don’t say a damn thing.”

Brantley was a personification of classic Southern manners and intellect. She was a voracious reader of fiction — even wrote a novel herself — and practiced consummate fashion. As her friend Amanda Seals recalled, “Her shoes matched her purse, which were coordinated with her earrings.”

Brantley went to work for Georgia Gwinnett College in 2008, and Preczewski credits her for securing much of the bond money for campus construction during years of high growth.

Today is the last day of qualifying for the 2018 elections and qualifying closes at Noon. Click here for the Secretary of State’s page of qualified candidates.

State Senator Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) qualified for Secretary of State yesterday. From WTVM:

Republican State Senator Josh McKoon formally qualifies for Georgia Secretary of State and celebrated his entry into the race at the Georgia State Capitol Thursday.

Supporters met at the south steps of the Capitol at noon. Mckoon was introduced to attendees by his wife.

He explained how his background and experience has prepared him for office.  McKoon assured guests that he is ready to walk in and perform the jobs of secretary of state.

The AJC Political Insider tracks what they call a “wave of women” running for elected office this year.

In 2016, after five days of qualifying, 90 candidates qualified in 56 state Senate races. Nineteen were women, and 13 of those were Democrats.

As of Wednesday afternoon, according to the secretary of state’s website, a total of 75 candidates had signed up for state Senate races. Of those 75, 27 are women – already a 40 percent increase over 2016. Of those 27 women, 22 are Democrats – a 70 percent increase over 2016.

Qualifying stretches to noon Friday, but at this rate, the number of GOP women running for the state Senate has dropped from six in 2016 to five this year.

Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-LaGrange) has a Democratic challenger for the November general election, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

State Rep. John LaHood (R-Valdosta) faces opponents to retain the seat he won just last month in a Special Election. From the Valdosta Daily Times:

Coy Reaves has qualified to run for state representative of District 175. He joins incumbent John LaHood and Treva Gear, who have both already qualified.

In Lowndes County, three county commissioner seats are in contention, as well as three board of education seats.

So far, only incumbent county commissioners have filed to qualify. Commissioners Scott Orenstein, Mark Wisenbaker and Demarcus Marshall are all up for reelection. They have all qualified.

For District 1 of Lowndes County Board of Education, incumbent Michael Davis and Willie Harris have filed to qualify. For District 2, incumbent Eric Johnson has filed. For District 3, incumbent Brian Browning and Erin Price have filed.

The May 22 ballot will also include the transportation special purpose local option sales tax vote and a Hahira referendum to allow Sunday alcohol sales.

Two Hall County Republican legislators face Democratic opponents in the General Election, according to the Gainesville Times.

[State Reps.] Dunahoo of District 30 and Dubnik of District 29 have attracted Democratic challengers.

In District 30, Democrats Patrick Anderson and Alana Watkins have signed up to run in their primary. Anderson works as a CPA in Oakwood and Watkins listed her occupation a consultant. In the past she has taught language arts for the Hall County adult learning center.

The Gwinnett County Republican Party will host the GOP candidates for Governor Saturday night. From the Gwinnett Daily Post:

The Gwinnett County Republican Party will host the forum from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Norcross High School theater. All of the announced candidates were invited to participate weeks ago, with the caveat that they could only participate if they qualified to run this week.

“Don’t always believe what you hear in media, TV ads, radio ads, things of that nature,” Gwinnett GOP Chairman Mike Seigle said. “There are good people and bad people in politics. Sometimes what you need is to just look them in the eye and shake their hand to get a read on whether you like them or not.

The event is expected to be the biggest event in which the county Republican party has been involved in more than a decade, according to Seigle. More than 400 people registered for free tickets to the forum as of Thursday afternoon and local party officials expect that number to continue to rise.

“We expect a full house,” Seigle said. “This will be the largest Republican event since we hosted the state convention more than 10 years ago.”

Click here for your free tickets.

Education Brain Drain: much has been made of five Gwinnett County legislative seats being opened by retirements, but the larger issue in my mind is the combined years of service to the Gwinnett County Schools being lost due to retirements. In addition to State Rep. Brooks Coleman (R-Duluth), a career Gwinnet educator who leaves the State House after 26 years including serving as Chairman of the House Education Committee, the Gwinnett Board of Education is losing another veteran member to retirement. From the Gwinnett Daily Post:

The Gwinnett County Public Schools Board of Education will have a different look to it next year after District IV representative Robert McClure announced he would not run for re-election for a seventh consecutive term.

McClure is the second member of the board that announced he would not run for re-election this week, following District II representative Dan Seckinger’s announcement Monday. Both are the second-longest-serving board members, having spent the past 24 years representing their districts.

The final decision to not run for re-election is one that McClure said came right down to the end of the candidate qualifying period.

“Every aspect of Gwinnett County Public Schools is performing well,” McClure said. “I’m confident that whoever the voters elect in District IV will inherit a sound school system both financially and academically.”

Gwinnett County Democrats will contest at least two Commission seats this year, according to the AJC.

Officials confirmed that Democrats Ben Ku and Desmond Nembhard both submitted paperwork Monday in the race for Gwinnett Commission District 2, a diverse district that covers much of western Gwinnett, including the Norcross, Peachtree Corners and Lilburn areas.

Ku, Nembhard and any other qualifying Democrats would compete in a May primary. The winner would face Republican incumbent Lynette Howard in November’s election.

Officials confirmed Wednesday morning that Democrat Marlene Fosque had qualified to run for Gwinnett Commission District 4, the other county commission seat up for grabs this fall.

Incumbent Republican John Heard has qualified to run as well.

Muscogee County School Board member Frank Myers just couldn’t help himself and qualified for reelection despite having earlier announced his retirement. From the Ledger-Enquirer:

“I’ve had a change of heart,” he says in a video posted on his Facebook page. “I’ve had a lot of encouragement about people wanting me to run again for the District 8 seat.”

The Muscogee County Elections and Registration Office confirmed Myers qualified Thursday.

Republican candidates for Columbia County Commission Chair spoke yesterday at a forum sponsored by the Columbia County Republican Women.

Three candidates have qualified for Columbia County Commission District Four.

Five Candidates for Smyrna City Council Ward 6 qualified for a Special Election on May 22d.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division lifted drought restrictions for twelve counties, according to the Gainesville Times.

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division is lifting its level 1 drought response in 12 North Georgia counties, the division announced on Thursday, March 8. The counties include Hall, Cobb, Coweta, Dekalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Habersham, Lumpkin, Paulding and White counties.

The only water use restrictions left in place that apply to the public require landscape watering to be done before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. daily.

Lake Lanier’s water level rose four feet in February after a days and days of heavy rain. The lake has dropped several inches since its March 1 peak of 1,070.8 feet above sea level but remained above 1,070 feet as of late Thursday.

Pooler City Council member Ashley Brown will serve as the city’s next Chief of Police, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The 51st Claxton Rattlesnake & Wildlife Festival will be held this weekend. The Statesboro Herald has some history of the event:

The annual festival began as the Rattlesnake Roundup in 1968, after a local boy was bitten by a rattler. The roundup was to help reduce the number of venomous rattlesnakes in the area as well as milk them for venom to make antivenin.

The Southeast Tourism Society voted the Rattlesnake and Wildlife Festival as one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast.” The annual festival brings more than 15,000 tourists and an economic boost to the community.

Don’t pucker up, says Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade officials, asking parade-goers to refrain from the tradition of kissing members of the Third Infantry Division as they parade past. From the Savannah Morning News:

Military and Savannah St. Patrick’s Day parade officials are asking parade-goers to put away their lipstick this year and refrain from the tradition of planting kisses on members of the 3rd Infantry Division as they march during the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.

“This is mainly about professionalism for us,” said Fort Stewart spokesman Kevin Larson.

“We understand the parade traditions, but our soldiers are on duty and in uniform and, frankly, red lipstick is not part of our uniform.”

[Parade Committee Chair Brian] Counihan said having random spectators dash up to the moving parade raises safety and security concerns. Organizers also want to avoid any appearance of sexual misconduct at a time when the #MeToo movement has heightened awareness.

“People can take it the wrong way,” Counihan said.“Somebody could run up and grab an individual and it could be considered sexual harassment if it’s done improperly



Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for March 8, 2018


Sunoco is a female Boxer and Rottweiler puppy who is available for adoption from Pound Puppies ‘N Kittens Incorporated in Social Circle, GA.


Texaco is a male Boxer and Rottweiler puppy who is available for adoption from Pound Puppies ‘N Kittens Incorporated in Social Circle, GA.


Tenelle is a female Miniature Pinscher puppy who is available for adoption from Pound Puppies ‘N Kittens Incorporated in Social Circle, GA.