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18
Jun

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 18, 2018

British forces under General Sir Henry Clinton left Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 18, 1778 after occupying the former capital for nine months.

On June 18, 1807, commissioners from Georgia and North Carolina agreed to recognize the 35th parallel as the boundary between the two states. North Carolina conducted a survey that placed the boundary further South than the 35th parallel, though Georgia never accepted the survey and continues to argue that the 35th is the proper boundary against both North Carolina and Tennessee.

As of today, the dispute with Tennessee continues.

The War of 1812 began on June 18, 1812, as President James Madison signed a declaration of war against Great Britain passed by the House and Senate.

On June 18, 1873, Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for illegally voting in Rochester, New York. At the conclusion of her trial, the judge read a statement that, “The Fourteenth Amendment gives no right to a woman to vote, and the voting by Miss Anthony was in violation of the law,” and directed the jury to convict her. Anthony responded,

“Yes, your honor, I have many things to say; for in your ordered verdict of guilty, you have trampled underfoot every vital principle of our government,” Anthony said. “My natural rights, my civil rights, my political rights, my judicial rights, are all alike ignored. Robbed of the fundamental privilege of citizenship, I am degraded from the status of a citizen to that of a subject; and not only myself individually, but all of my sex, are, by your honor’s verdict, doomed to political subjection under this, so-called, form of government.”

The Southern Railway Company was organized on June 18, 1894 and through predecessor railroads traces its heritage to the nation’s first regularly-scheduled railroad service, The Best Friend of Charleston. Samuel Spencer, of Columbus, Georgia, was the first President of the Southern. In the 1980s, the Southern merged with Norfolk & Western Railway to form Norfolk Southern.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Paulding County has opened early voting for the July 24 Runoff Elections, according to Patch.com.

Early voting is being held at the Paulding County Election Office, located at 240 Constitution Boulevard, and will continue until June 20.

Early voting hours until July 13 will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. From July 16 to July 20, an additional hour will be added and hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be no early voting on Saturdays for the runoff election.

If you did not vote in the primary election, you can still vote in the runoff but you must stick with the same political party as was used for the first ballot. If you voted using a nonpartisan ballot, you can vote using either the Republican or Democrat ballot.

Gwinnett County early voting for the runoff election will not open until July 2d, and will take place only at the Gwinnett County Elections office‘.

Georgia voters led by former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder are suing the state, claiming racial gerrymandering in Congressional districts, according to WABE.

The NRF is suing Secretary of State Brian Kemp on behalf of four Georgia voters. Its focus is on Congressional District 12, which the foundation argues should have included Savannah, with its majority black population. Instead, the district gained voters from whiter, nearby counties.

Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia, says convincing a court that not enough of Georgia’s 14 districts are majority minority may be a challenge.

“Georgia’s black population is right around 30 percent, and I suspect one of the defenses the state would offer would be that four out of 14 comes closer to that than five out of 14,” said Bullock.

The NRF said the suits were filed now in hopes they might have an impact on the 2020 congressional elections. The group is led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Georgia Secretary of State’s office says the Department of Justice, under Holder, approved the 2011 congressional maps and calls the complaint baseless.

Liberal special interest group Common Cause will hose the California Citizens Redistricting Commission in Savannah, according to the Savannah Morning News.

It’s a part of CC’s Georgia Gerrymandering Tour: Redistricting in GA 101, a statewide educational tour that aims to highlight the issues of gerrymandering and solutions to help alleviate it.

According to the group’s website, the meetings will focus on the problems with gerrymandering in Georgia, solutions at both the state and local levels and how citizens can become protectors of democracy in their own communities. “Legislators put partisan politics ahead of the rights of the people by manipulating districts for political advantage,” the website reads.

According to a release from the organization, the group will provide insights into how Georgians might address the issue as part of a 7-state national tour in states [Common Cause] sees the subject as “relevant and timely.”

Georgia Conservation Voters is asking Gwinnett County Commissioners to hold a November transit referendum, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

County leaders have been looking at holding a referendum on doing a major expansion of transit for a while. County Commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash first announced plans for such a referendum during her 2017 State of the County Address, and local transportation officials have been working on a transit development plan for the past year.

The passage and signing into law of House Bill 930, the regional transit bill opened up a new option for Gwinnett, to hold a referendum as early as this year on whether the county should join MARTA.

Georgia Conservation Voters said it is time for commissioners to act on that option.

“Calling a MARTA referendum now for the November election would allow Gwinnett County to invest in transit two years sooner and would preserve the option of building heavy rail,” the group said in an information packet sent to the Daily Post on Friday.

“This group has apparently not taken into account changes to the law included in HB930,” Nash said. “We have longer to make a decision on a 2018 referendum than this group has calculated. Also, we have multiple options about how to proceed in 2019 and 2020.”

Democrat Steve Foster, running against Rep. Tom Graves in the 14th Congressional District, is calling for universal healthcare, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

“What Harry Truman tried to put in place in the 1940s has been kicked back 71 years, and it’s long overdue,” said Foster, a former military physician and surgeon and owner of Dalton’s MedNow clinic.

President Harry Truman called for a national health insurance plan that would have had workers pay a fee that would not only fund health coverage but reimburse the wages of those who lost work because of injury or illness.

“The time for private health insurance companies to basically make their profits on the back of the populace, on the health of the populace, is passed. It is overdue,” Foster said.

The Dalton Daily Citizen has more video with Foster, discussing his campaign.

The Columbus Government Center is closed due to flooding from a broken waterpipe, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The busted 2.5-inch pipe on the 12th floor was discovered about 3 a.m., Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Mike Massey said. Non-emergency workers are being told to stay away from the downtown facility as the repair and clean-up work is being done, Massey said.

City officials estimate that thousands of gallons of water escaped from the water main that feeds the building’s boiler over the weekend.

One photo from inside an 11th-floor court room shows standing water on the floor. Massey said there is water damage to “many floors” and the sheriff’s office and city officials are working to assess that damage now.

City Manager Isaiah Hugley said that both 11th-floor courtrooms, one belonging to State Court Judge Andy Prather and the other to Chief Superior Court Judge Gil McBride, were underwater.

The Bulloch County Board of Education sold $43 million in bonds backed by E-SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education) proceeds, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Before Thursday evening’s meeting ended, portions of the money had been spent on school buses, gym bleachers, science learning kits and a plan to put school-owned Chromebook computers in the hands of all students in second through 12th grades who don’t already have them. Last November, a large majority of Bulloch voters approved a five-year extension of the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

This latest installment of the ESPLOST, expected to net at least $51 million and capped at $62 million, doesn’t begin until Jan. 1. But Thursday’s bond sale, also authorized by the referendum, lets the school system move ahead with major purchases as well as some building improvements.

“Board members, we are excited to announce that we went onto the bond market this morning and sold $40 million worth of bonds – we didn’t, but our underwriter did,” announced Superintendent Charles Wilson.

Glynn County is considering regulating short-term rentals, according to The Brunswick News.

Rental houses can also lead to problems for full-time residents, as evidenced in a court case brought against the county by Catherine Kyker earlier this year. She claimed short-term rentals were not one of the allowed uses of a single-family residence as defined by the county’s ordinances.

Glynn County Superior Court Judge Stephen Kelly sided with the county, dismissing the case, but Peter Murphy, Glynn County Commissioner for St. Simons, Jekyll and Sea islands, said he agreed with Kyker’s intent.

“That bus left the station a long time ago,” Murphy said. “So she lost the suit, but I think the spirit of what she was trying to do was correct. I don’t think we should have unregulated short-term rentals in neighborhoods.”

“They’re competing with our hotels, but not having to play by the same rules,” Murphy said. “The short-term rental situation is unregulated. We don’t even know the number of rentals in an area like this.”

“We’ve got to make sure they have adequate fire detectors, emergency ingress and egress, and that we don’t overtax the infrastructure of an individual home by putting an inordinate amount of guests in a single-family home,” Murphy said. “Those issues will only be better handled if we find the people who run them and hold them to higher standards.”

Coweta County law enforcement has opened up additional locations for people to make internet-based swaps and sales, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

“It’s for the safety of our citizens,” said Newnan Police Chief Douglas Meadows.

Currently, there are safe swap locations at the Newnan Public Safety Center, Senoia Police Department and Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.

At the Newnan Public Safety Center, there are two parking spots for the exchanges, and there is a phone number on the sign to advise the police department if buyers and sellers are meeting someone there.

The signs have been up for less than five years, but Meadows said that people use the spots frequently.

“If someone’s doing something bad, they aren’t going to go to a law enforcement agency to do it,” Meadows said.

The Rome Alcohol Control Commission will consider allowing earlier Sunday sales of alcohol at restaurants, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

A new Georgia law — dubbed the “brunch bill” or “Mimosa mandate” — allows local residents to vote on pushing back the start time of alcohol service to 11 a.m. from 12:30 p.m. if they already allow Sunday pouring.

“While I have not had any request for consideration of this option by any of our alcohol pouring establishments, it is appropriate for the (ACC) to acknowledge this legislation and discuss whether a recommendation should be made to the City Commission,” City Clerk Joe Smith said in a memo to the citizen-board.

The panel is scheduled to convene at 5 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall, 601 Broad St. The meetings are open to the public.

Chatham County has to recruit teachers year-round, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Demand for teachers in Chatham County and throughout most of the nation exceeds supply, but this is particularly true for teachers in specialized fields, such as math and science. While enrollment at Savannah Chatham County public schools is growing at certain schools, the number of newly trained teachers hasn’t kept pace. “The challenge for us is that the pipeline isn’t there,” said Heather Bilton, director of employment services for the Savannah Chatham County Public School System. “Not as many people are going into teaching.”

The Savannah Chatham County Public School System hires about 400 teachers a year to fill openings due to retirements and other vacancies. In an area with a large military employment, when a military family is transferred, a spouse who’s a teacher will leave the district, Bilton said.

“We work very hard all year to recruit. We keep that cycle open all year round,” Bilton said, noting the district has about 100 vacancies it hopes to fill before school opens this fall.

Banning Mills near Whitesburg is now home to a 4-year old male Bald Eagle, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

The eagle is 4 years old, and was trained by Dale Arrowood of Winged Ambassadors. Arrowood and Banning Mills have had her for about a year.

Lady Liberty was found in Alabama when she landed on someone’s house. The homeowner reported the eagle to the U.S. Fishing and Wildlife Service. When they collected her, she was starving and close to death, according to Arrowood.

Arrowood said that Lady Liberty was starving because she has cataracts. She can see clearly enough to fly but not to catch food, so she has to remain in captivity to survive.

Department of Irony

A Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputy’s car was stolen while the deputy was responding to an earlier call about a stolen car, according to The Macon Telegraph.

A Crawford County man allegedly stole and wrecked a sheriff’s patrol car while the deputy answered a call about a different vehicle the man was accused of stealing.

Gator Leon Shaw, 26, was charged with two auto theft Sunday afternoon, according to a news release from Sheriff Lewis Walker.

Someone reported a car stolen from an address on Burnette Road just before 1 p.m., but before the deputy arrived, the caller said the car had been returned.

“Shaw managed to get into the deputy patrol vehicle that was left unsecured,” the news release said.

15
Jun

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for June 15, 2016

Shirley Pup

Shirley is a young female Shepherd and Hound dog puppy who is available for adoption from Mutt Madd-ness in Marietta, GA.

Willie Pup

Willie is a young male puppy who is available for adoption from Mutt Madd-ness in Marietta, GA.

Tricksy Pup

Tricksy is a young female puppy who is available for adoption from Mutt Madd-ness in Marietta, GA.

15
Jun

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

The Magna Carta was sealed by King John on June 15, 1215.

The charter consisted of a preamble and 63 clauses and dealt mainly with feudal concerns that had little impact outside 13th century England. However, the document was remarkable in that it implied there were laws the king was bound to observe, thus precluding any future claim to absolutism by the English monarch. Of greatest interest to later generations was clause 39, which stated that “no free man shall be arrested or imprisoned or disseised [dispossessed] or outlawed or exiled or in any way victimised…except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.” This clause has been celebrated as an early guarantee of trial by jury and of habeas corpus and inspired England’s Petition of Right (1628) and the Habeas Corpus Act (1679).

On June 16, 1736, General James Oglethorpe arrived in England with Tomochichi, the Yamacraw Indian chief, Tomochichi’s wife and several other members of the tribe on a trip to meet the Georgia Trustees and King George II.

On June 15, 1740, Spanish troops attacked the English who were led by James Oglethorpe, at Fort Mose, two miles north of St. Augustine, Florida. With 68 English killed and 34 wounded, it was the heaviest losses sustained by Oglethorpe during his campaign against St. Augustine.

On June 17, 1759, Sir Francis Drake claimed California for England.

George Washington accepted the assignment of leading the Continental Army on June 15, 1775.

On June 17, 1775, British forces under General William Howe engaged American colonists at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

On June 17, some 2,200 British forces under the command of Major General William Howe (1729-1814) and Brigadier General Robert Pigot (1720-96) landed on the Charlestown Peninsula then marched to Breed’s Hill. As the British advanced in columns against the Americans, Prescott, in an effort to conserve the Americans’ limited supply of ammunition, reportedly told his men, “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” When the Redcoats were within several dozen yards, the Americans let loose with a lethal barrage of musket fire, throwing the British into retreat.

After re-forming their lines, the British attacked again, with much the same result. Prescott’s men were now low on ammunition, though, and when the Redcoats went up the hill for a third time, they reached the redoubts and engaged the Americans in hand-to-hand combat. The outnumbered Americans were forced to retreat. However, by the end of the engagement, the Patriots’ gunfire had cut down some 1,000 enemy troops, with more than 200 killed and more than 800 wounded. More than 100 Americans perished, while more than 300 others were wounded.

A distant ancestor of mine, John Logue, fought with the Americans at Bunker Hill, though he was not yet an enlisted soldier.

Creek Indians signed the Treaty of Fort Wilkinson on June 16, 1802, ceding two parcels of land in Georgia to the United States.

The Oregon Treaty was signed on June 15, 1815 between England and the United States, establishing the border between the U.S. and Canada.

On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln addressed the Illiniois Republican Convention as a candidate for U.S. Senate and warned that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

On June 15, 1864, a funeral was held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta for Confederate General Leonidas Polk, who was killed the day before at Pine Mountain near Marietta.

President Andrew Johnson appointed John Johnson (no relation) provisional Governor of Georgia after the Civil War on June 17, 1865; John Johnson had opposed secession.

The Atlanta Constitution was first published on June 16, 1868.

France announced its intention to surrender to Germany on June 17, 1940.

Newton Leroy Gingrich was born on June 17, 1943 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Gingrich graduated from college at Emory University, where he founded the Emory College Republicans. Gingrich’s congressional papers are collected in the the Georgia’s Political Heritage Program at West Georgia College, where he taught before being elected to Congress. Also at West Georgia are the papers of former Congressmen Bob Barr, Mac Collins, and Pat Swindall, along with a near-perfect replica of Georgia Speaker Tom Murphy’s office.

Bob Dylan recorded “Like a Rolling Stone” on June 16, 1965.

The Monterey Pop Festival opened at the Monterey Fairgrounds on June 16, 1967, often considered one of the opening events of the “Summer of Love.” Among the artists playing the Festival were the Jefferson Airplane, The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and Macon-born Otis Redding.

Six Flags Over Georgia opened on June 16, 1967.

Five men were arrested for burglary of the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate office and apartment complex in Washington, DC on June 17, 1972.

The affair began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate complex on June 17, 1972. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) connected cash found on the burglars to a slush fund used by the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, the official organization of Nixon’s campaign.

In July 1973, as evidence mounted against the president’s staff, including testimony provided by former staff members in an investigation conducted by the Senate Watergate Committee, it was revealed that President Nixon had a tape-recording system in his offices and he had recorded many conversations.

After a protracted series of bitter court battles, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the president had to hand over the tapes to government investigators; he ultimately complied.

Recordings from these tapes implicated the president, revealing he had attempted to cover up the questionable goings-on that had taken place after the break-in.

Facing near-certain impeachment in the House of Representatives and equally certain conviction by the Senate, Nixon resigned the presidency on August 9, 1974. His successor, Gerald Ford, then issued a pardon to him on September 8, 1974.

Atlanta Braves player Otis Nixon tied the modern record for steals in one game with six stolen bases agains the Montreal Expos on June 16, 1991.

The Bulloch County Historical Society will discuss a book about a gruesome 1904 lynching, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Dr. Charlton Mosley, author of “The Hodges Family Murders and the Lynching of Cato and Reed,” and editor Jenny Foss will discuss the historical account with Bulloch County Historical Society President Joe McGlamery and Dr. Brent Tharpe.

“I believe you will learn a great deal of additional Bulloch County history by attending this year’s annual meeting,” McGlamery said in a recent letter to group members. Non-members are invited and encouraged to attend as well.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Albany Herald looks at how Democrat Stacey Abrams is campaigning while her GOP rivals fight it out in a runoff election.Continue Reading..

14
Jun

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for June 14, 2018

June Macon

June is a young female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from All About Animals Rescue in Macon, GA. June is very affectionate and loves tennis balls.

Chloe Macon

Chloe is a female Labrador Retrieve mix puppy who is available for adoption from All About Animals Rescue in Macon, GA.

Bernie Macon

Bernie is a young male Fox Terrier who is available for adoption from All About Animals Rescue in Macon, GA.

14
Jun

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

On June 14, 1736, James Oglethorpe ordered plans to be drawn for a new city to be called Augusta.

Happy birthday to the United States Army, established on June 14, 1775.

On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution, “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” One hundred years later, on June 14, 1877, was the first observance of Flag Day.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Macon-Bibb County District 1 voters will choose a new commissioner in a runoff election next Tuesday, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The runoff for the District 1 special election between resource development director Lynn Wood and retired insurance adjuster Valerie Wynn is Tuesday. But voter turnout for the election is not expected to be as high as the May 22 election when other races were up for grabs.

There were 2,912 votes cast in the District 1 race in May. Forty-six votes were cast during the first two days of the runoff’s early voting period that ends Friday, according to the Bibb County Board of Elections.

The winner will fill the remainder of the term that ends on Dec. 31, 2020. The north Macon district was represented by Gary Bechtel before his bid for state representative.

Wynn and Wood said it’s been imperative to encourage their supporters to get out and vote. One of them could be in office in time to vote on a new Macon-Bibb budget that will likely include a property tax increase.

Statesboro City Council District 5 voters continue early voting this week before next week’s runoff election, according to the Statesboro Herald.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, only 51 people had participated in early voting for next Tuesday’s Statesboro City Council special election runoff between Don Armel and Derek Duke in Council District 5.

About seven other voters had returned absentee ballots, said Bulloch County Elections Supervisor Patricia Lanier Jones.

The Macon Telegraph asked the major party candidates for Governor whether sports gambling is likely to be legalized in Georgia.

The Telegraph asked the three remaining gubernatorial candidates — Republicans Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp, and Democrat Stacey Abrams — for their positions on the topic. The two Republicans, who are in the midst of a runoff, rejected the idea, and the Democratic nominee didn’t exactly endorse it.

“I do not support sports betting in Georgia,” Kemp said in a statement. “As a Georgia grad and diehard Dawg fan, losing the national championship was painful enough. Would have been even worse if I had money on the game!”

Brian Robinson, a Cagle spokesman, said his boss “doesn’t favor an expansion of gambling.”

Abrams, however, is open to the topic but only if tax revenue raised from sports betting went toward educational opportunities for Georgia students.

“As House Democratic Leader, I refused to support gambling legislation that did not also ensure the revenue went to need-based aid for Georgia students,” Abrams said. “Georgia must dedicate any funds from gambling to addressing our current opportunity gap and open the doors of higher education to everyone.”

Former Governor Roy Barnes (D) has unsurprisingly endorsed Democrat Stacey Abrams in the November general election, according to the AJC.

Former Gov. Roy Barnes endorsed Abrams’ campaign for governor, calling her a progressive who can also work with GOP leaders to “harness the full potential of Georgia.”

“Too many have made this election about a choice between working with Republicans to maintain our AAA bond rating or fighting for access to education, health care, and jobs,” said Barnes. “Stacey Abrams has already proven she can work across the aisle to do both, and has the experience and vision to strengthen Georgia.”

Nita Cagle campaigned in Columbus for her husband, Casey Cagle, according to WRBL.

Cagle offered a side of her husband that most people don’t get to see. Cagle stayed away from policy, instead choosing to talk about family life. However, she did share the issues she’d take on as First Lady of Georgia if voters choose to elect her husband in November.

“We started out as small business owners so I’d like to champion small businesses and help get conversations going for small businesses,” says Cagle. “I’d like to help with the regulations and that kind of thing because we’ve got some personal experiences with that. Pre-school education is very important to me. I’d like to carry on with Mrs. Sandra Deal’s legacy of literacy and carry that on.”

Early voting begins on July 2.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp convened a panel to begin considering new voting machines, according to the AJC.

Brought together by Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Secure, Accessible & Fair Elections (SAFE) Commission will review options for the state’s next voting system and then make a recommendation to the General Assembly before next year’s legislative session. A new voting system could be in place in time for the 2020 presidential election.

There’s broad consensus that Georgia should buy a voting system with a verifiable paper trail to double-check results, conduct recounts and prevent potential fraud.

But as state lawmakers found earlier this year when they failed to pass a bill for a new voting system, finding agreement on a new multimillion-dollar voting system won’t be easy.

Kemp said the state’s 16-year-old touchscreen voting machines should be phased out and replaced with a system that uses paper for verification.

Ken Hodges, who recently won a seat on the Georgia Court of Appeals, was sworn in as President of the Georgia State Bar, according to the Albany Herald.

On May 22, Hodges won a statewide election to serve on the Court of Appeals of Georgia and will be sworn in as judge in January 2019. Currently, he focuses his law practice on criminal defense and civil litigation, including but not limited to personal injury, commercial litigation and civil rights cases. He has offices in Atlanta and Albany.

Hodges spent 15 years as a prosecutor, including 12 as district attorney of the Dougherty Judicial Circuit. He was honored as Georgia’s District Attorney of the Year in 2002 and is a past recipient of the Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service and the Commitment to Equality Award, both presented by the State Bar, and the Eagle Award, presented by the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council of Georgia, for his work championing victims’ rights. He was the Democratic nominee in the 2010 election for Georgia attorney general.

Born and raised in Albany, Hodges is a graduate of Emory University and the University of Georgia School of Law. He was admitted to the State Bar in 1991. He is past chairman of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia and past president of the District Attorneys’ Association of Georgia and the Dougherty Circuit Bar Association.

Japanese Consul General Takashi Shinozuka met with Dalton Mayor Dennis Mock and toured two businesses, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

“We have two major Japanese companies here in Dalton (Shiroki-GA and Kobayashi Healthcare) and many Japanese people living here, and I just want to thank the community for welcoming our companies and our people,” Shinozuka said.

Shinozuka, who requested the visit, said Dalton is a hub for international business and the recent announcement that Hanwha Q Cells Korea will be opening a solar module manufacturing plant in the Carbondale Business Park shows it will continue to be attractive to international firms.

“Dalton has many assets, including the (Appalachian Regional Port), which will open soon,” he said.

Shinozuka said the inland port, which is slated to open in August in northern Murray County, will make it easier for firms in northwest Georgia to receive raw materials and ship products overseas through the Port of Savannah. The port will connect to the Port of Savannah by the CSX railroad.

Chris Clark, President of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, spoke in Gwinnett County on Wednesday, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

“We are facing a historic election in Georgia that will set the course for policy and prosperity for the next decade,” Clark said. “Now we have been very fortunate that we’ve been the best place to do business for five years in a row. If we elect the wrong people who have the wrong policies we won’t continue to be the best place to do business. We won’t continue to grow like we need to.”

Clark said after the luncheon that his comment was not meant to suggest a preference for one political party versus another, or one candidate versus another in the upcoming Republican runoff.

The four candidates that the state chamber’s Political Affairs Council has endorsed so far, including House District 102 candidate Paula Hastings and House District 105 candidate Donna Sheldon, are Republicans, but Clark said the group remains nonpartisan in how it views candidates for elected office.

“As people are making their decisions on who they want to vote for, Republican or Democrat, they just need to think through how are these people going to be to help grow the economy,” Clark said. “Job creation is still the No. 1 issue for Georgians in any poll that you do and you want to make sure that those candidates who are running have the right policy positions, think the right way and are going to engage, in a proactive way, in being job creators.”

Savannah officials hosted a public meeting on homelessness, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Advertised as a “thoughtful dialogue with the community,” the public forum hosted by the Chatham-Savannah Authority for the Homeless was a “listening opportunity” for both citizens and elected leaders , according to Joe Ervin, CSAH board chair and moderator for Wednesday’s discussion.

“Typical rent in Savannah is $1,350 a month and 41 percent of residents are renters,” Erwin said. “The average income for a woman is $19,000 and the average income for a man is $20,000. .. So I open the floor to you citizens. How do we solve our homeless problem in Savannah?”

The forum comes on the heels of State Rep. Jesse Petrea publicly decrying the appearance of homeless camps as a smudge on scenic Savannah and her tourist draw.

Petrea said Wednesday at the forum that he hopes the discussion will spur officials and the community into action. Petrea said he supports is consolidating the camps into one manageable camp.

“I’m continuously barraged with constituent complaints about the issue but none of the officials have asked for help,” he said. “We have a situation where people are living in conditions that are unfit for human life and they deserve better. Everybody deserves fundamental services… There has got to be a better way. I don’t have all the answers. I’m not an expert on homelessness. I’m hear to listen and stimulate a conversation about the conversation.”

A lawsuit claiming discriminatory voting maps and backed by Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder, has been filed against Georgia, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

State School Superintendent Richard Woods spoke at the opening of the Coweta County library system’s summer reading program, according to the Newnan Times-Herald.

13
Jun

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for June 13, 2018

Pearl Hart

Pearl Hart is a female Chihuahua & Dachshund mix puppy who is available for adoption from Mostly Mutts in Kennesaw, GA.

Wrigley Puppy

Wrigley is a male Chihuahua & Shetland Sheepdog mix puppy who is available for adoption from Mostly Mutts in Kennesaw, GA.

Wiggles Puppy

Wiggles is a male Chihuahua & Shetland Sheepdog mix puppy who is available for adoption from Mostly Mutts in Kennesaw, GA.

13
Jun

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for June 13, 2016

A “Liberty Tree” was planted in Savannah on June 13, 1775 to symbolize support for independence. The first liberty tree was an elm in Boston that became a meeting spot for patriots, but Savannah’s was actually a Liberty Pole. In 2006, a seedling grown from the last of the original Liberty Trees on the campus of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland was planted in Dalton, Georgia.

The Marquis de Lafayette arrived in South Carolina to assist General George Washington on June 13, 1775.

On June 13, 1966, the United States Supreme Court released its decision in Miranda v. Arizona. In Miranda, the Court held that a confession obtained by police without informing the suspect of his rights against self-incrimination (Fifth Amendment) and to the service of a lawyer (Sixth Amendment) was inadmissible.

Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Lyndon B. Johnson on June 13, 1967.

As the NAACP’s chief counsel from 1938 to 1961, he argued 32 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, successfully challenging racial segregation, most notably in public education. He won 29 of these cases, including a groundbreaking victory in 1954′s Brown v. Board of Education, in which the Supreme Court ruled that segregation violated the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and was thus illegal. The decision served as a great impetus for the African American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and ultimately led to the abolishment of segregation in all public facilities and accommodations.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Marshall to the U.S. Court of Appeals, but his nomination was opposed by many Southern senators, and he was not confirmed until the next year. In June 1967, President Johnson nominated him to the Supreme Court, and in late August he was confirmed. During his 24 years on the high court, Associate Justice Marshall consistently challenged discrimination based on race or sex, opposed the death penalty, and supported the rights of criminal defendants. He also defended affirmative action and women’s right to abortion. As appointments by a largely Republican White House changed the politics of the Court, Marshall found his liberal opinions increasingly in the minority. He retired in 1991, and two years later passed away.

The New York Times began publishing excerpts from the “Pentagon Papers” on June 13, 1971.

After failing to persuade the Times to voluntarily cease publication on June 14, Attorney General John N. Mitchell and Nixon obtained a federal court injunction forcing the Times to cease publication after three articles.Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger said:

Newspapers, as our editorial said this morning, we’re really a part of history that should have been made available, considerably longer ago. I just didn’t feel there was any breach of national security, in the sense that we were giving secrets to the enemy.

The newspaper appealed the injunction, and the case New York Times Co. v. United States (403 U.S. 713) quickly rose through the U.S. legal system to the Supreme Court.

On June 18, 1971, The Washington Post began publishing its own series of articles based upon the Pentagon Papers; Ellsberg gave portions to editor Ben Bradlee. That day, Assistant U.S. Attorney General William Rehnquist asked the Post to cease publication. After the paper refused, Rehnquist sought an injunction in U.S. district court. Judge Murray Gurfein declined to issue such an injunction, writing that “[t]he security of the Nation is not at the ramparts alone. Security also lies in the value of our free institutions. A cantankerous press, an obstinate press, a ubiquitous press must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know.” The government appealed that decision, and on June 26 the Supreme Court agreed to hear it jointly with the New York Times case.Fifteen other newspapers received copies of the study and began publishing it.

On June 30, 1971, the Supreme Court decided, 6–3, that the government failed to meet the heavy burden of proof required for prior restraint injunction. The nine justices wrote nine opinions disagreeing on significant, substantive matters.

Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.

—Justice Black

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp gets his day in the spotlight, after a lawsuit was filed, according to the AJC.Continue Reading..

12
Jun

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for June 12, 2018

Fairbanks DG

Fairbanks is a male Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Dolly Goodpuppy Society Inc in Barnesville, GA.

Guppy DG

Guppy is a male American Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Dolly Goodpuppy Society Inc in Barnesville, GA.

Hocus Pocus DG

Hocus Pocus is a male Shepherd and Collie mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Dolly Goodpuppy Society Inc in Barnesville, GA.

12
Jun

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

The first Georgia-Florida war game weekend began on June 12, 1740, as Georgia founder James Oglethorpe led 400 soldiers landing opposite the Spanish fort at St. Augustine.

The Virginia Convention adopted George Mason’s “Declaration of Rights” on June 12, 1776. From Wikipedia:

The Declaration was adopted unanimously by the Fifth Virginia Convention at Williamsburg, Virginia on June 12, 1776 as a separate document from the Constitution of Virginia which was later adopted on June 29, 1776. In 1830, the Declaration of Rights was incorporated within the Virginia State Constitution as Article I, but even before that Virginia’s Declaration of Rights stated that it was ‘”the basis and foundation of government” in Virginia. A slightly updated version may still be seen in Virginia’s Constitution, making it legally in effect to this day.

It was initially drafted by George Mason circa May 20, 1776; James Madison assisted him with the section on religious freedom.

The Virginia Declaration of Rights heavily influenced later documents. Thomas Jefferson is thought to have drawn on it when he drafted the United States Declaration of Independence in the same month (June 1776). James Madison was also influenced by the Declaration while drafting the Bill of Rights (introduced September 1789, ratified 1791), as was the Marquis de Lafayette in voting the French Revolution‘s Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789).

The importance of the Virginia Declaration of Rights is that it was the first constitutional protection of individual rights, rather than protecting only members of Parliament or consisting of simple laws that can be changed as easily as passed.

Abraham Baldwin, founder of the University of Georgia, arrived in Philadelphia on June 11, 1787 to attend the Constitutional Convention. Baldwin was joined by three other delegates, William Few Jr., William Houston, and William Pierce; Baldwin and Few would sign the Constitution on behalf of Georgia.

On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan spoke in then-divided Berlin and challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.”

Happy 94th birthday to former President George H.W. Bush.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Former Henry County Commissioner Reid Bowman died last Wednesday at the age of 70, according to the Henry Herald.

Bowman served on the Henry County Board of Commissioners from 2007 to 2014 and was instrumental in a number of projects throughout Henry County, such as the Eagles Landing Parkway project, the East Lake Extension project, Henry County Fire Station No. 9, the North Police Precinct, Moseley Park, Rock Quarry Road Bridge and Kelleytown Park.

“Commissioner Bowman was a well-respected man in Henry County, not only as a District 4 commissioner, but as a strong and influential leader in this community,” said Melissa Robinson, communications and public information director for the county. “As a county commissioner for eight years, he was instrumental in the advancement and completion of many capital and road projects, and county leadership and staff often relied on his vast expertise and knowledge of business, contracting and construction when determining and vetting projects.”

Bowman is survived by his wife of 51 years, Janice, as well as four children and nine grandchildren and three siblings. The family received friends Friday at the Cannon Cleveland funeral home in McDonough.

Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington questions the wisdom of a solar deal approved by City Council, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

“Goldman Sachs forecasts the solar panel industry will drop over the next few years, 40 percent in China alone,” Pennington said.

Earlier in their meeting, commissioners had voted 4-0 to approve a deal with Hanwha Q Cells Korea that will give the company some 800,000 square feet of land in the Carbondale Business Park as well as tax abatements. The total value of the local incentives, according to economic development officials, is about $15 million.

“People have been trying to diversify the county’s economy for years,” said Commissioner Roger Crossen. “We finally did something that will help do that. When this thing is finalized, I think people are going to appreciate it. But I guess you can’t please everybody.”

Board Chairman Lynn Laughter said the environment for economic development is “very tough.”

“There are states around us that give 20 years of tax abatements,” she said. “We have given 10 years before, but we think this project will be our game changer, so we went with 15. For that, we are getting 500 new jobs, and we hope this starts the process of diversifying our economy, so that when the next recession hits we will not be hit as hard.”

Hall County Public Schools got a sweet deal on some buses, according to AccessWDUN.

“I had just heard that our friends in Fayette County were getting rid of some relatively new buses because they had a windfall,” Schofield explained.

“That’s a personal friend down there,” Schofield said of the district official who told him of the development.  “So I just called up the superintendent; and legally you can sell surplused equipment from one school district to another.”

“So we went down and took a look at those buses, and when we saw what they were selling and what they were asking, we just said we’d take them all.  So we picked up twenty buses.”

“They’re about ten years old, some with less than 100,000 miles.  We typically will put a quarter-of-a-million to 400,000 miles on a bus.”

“Those buses are worth at least twice what we paid for them,” Schofield said of Hall County’s accepted offer of $7000 per bus.  “Buses that (are) probably in the $20,000 range.”

Lilburn City Council passed a budget for FY 2019, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The city of Lilburn passed its annual $7.9 million budget Monday night, including a 2 percent pay raise for all city employees and a sanitation fee of $13.12 for each residential property owner.

“This makes our entry-level salaries competitive with the market,” Lilburn City Manager Bill Johnsa told the panel.

The millage rate for homeowners will remain the same at 4.43, and is scheduled to be adopted at the July 9 City Council meeting.

Columbia County Fire Department rolled out its new $2.7 million dollar, 100-foot aerial firefighting truck, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

An Augusta Commission subcommittee is working on revisions to its personnel policy manual, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Albany) arranged the transfer of Earle May Recreational Area to the City of Bainbridge, according to the Post-Searchlight.

Congressman Bishop delivered the below remarks on the House floor during the consideration of the amendment:

“I thank the Chairman for yielding. I would like to thank Chairman Shuster and the committee staff for their assistance in helping to get this matter to the floor for consideration. This amendment would convey three parcels of land, known as the Earle May Recreational Area, from the Army Corps of Engineers to the city of Bainbridge, Georgia. Mr. Chairman, the Earle May Recreational Area is vitally important to the city of Bainbridge, Georgia. The city has had a long-term lease from the Army Corps of Engineers and it has invested nearly $150 million in improvements to this area for public use. These investments include a $25 million water control plant, several sporting complexes and many other facilities that attract visitors. It is a destination for people from across the southeast for its unique beauty and the recreational opportunities that are offered by the Flint River. Continued improvements, however, could be done much more efficiently if the land were conveyed from the Army Corps to the city of Bainbridge.”

“Since the original lease was initiated in 1980, any improvements that the city attempted to make had to undergo the very long and arduous process that the Army Corps of Engineers utilizes, and therefore, it increased substantially the cost to the city as well as introduced bureaucratic delays. By transferring this land to the people of the City of Bainbridge, I am confident that a proper balance can be struck between the city and the Army Corps, and that we can better facilitate the recreational activities on the Flint River as well as navigation and flood control. I thank the Chairman for his assistance and for agreeing to accept this amendment. With that, I yield back.”

Savannah City Council is asking for a tank and/or a helicopter to pursue the war against Florida display in a park honoring veterans, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The Veterans Memorial Park is being planned for a grassy lot along Abercorn at the southern end of the Truman, which was donated by the Georgia Department of Transportation.

The park is also expected to include a walking trail, brick-lined honor garden, a small parking lot with an entrance on the access road that serves Plantation Oaks Apartments, and a 30-foot by 65-foot American flag on a 100-foot pole, Thomas said.

“That flag is going to be pretty significant when you’re coming down the Truman or coming down Abercorn,” he said. “I think it’s going to be an outstanding park.”

If provided, the military equipment would be extended loaned for free, but the city would have to pay for transportation costs, Thomas said. The project is expected to cost about $190,000 and is being funded using Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds dedicated to district improvements, he said.

The Feds have devoted an additional $85 million dollars toward the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Previously, the Trump administration had allocated $50 million for SHEP in the president’s fiscal year 2018 budget request. Coupled with the Army Corps’ updated plan, the total for the fiscal year 2018, which ends Sept. 30, is now $85 million.

U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., and U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga.-01, who had lobbied for additional SHEP funding to keep the project on track, praised the funding in a joint statement on Monday.

“I thank President Trump, (Office of Management and Budget) Director (Mick) Mulvaney and the Corps of Engineers for demonstrating their commitment to completing this project that is so critical to our economy,” said Isakson.

“The Port of Savannah is boasting record numbers each month. Ensuring the on-time completion of this project is a win for trade, a win for the economy and a win for the hundreds of thousands of jobs the Port of Savannah supports.”

From a Press Release by Senator Perdue’s office:

“Finally, the Port of Savannah will receive long overdue investment from the federal government,” said Senator Perdue. “President Trump pledged to make infrastructure a priority, and again, we are seeing his Administration deliver on promises. The Savannah Harbor Expansion Project has the best return on investment of any Army Corps of Engineers project in the country at 7.3 to 1. As the fourth largest and fastest growing port in the United States, this project not only benefits Georgia, but also the entire Eastern half of the country. There is no doubt SHEP is Georgia’s top infrastructure project and will help our country compete globally.”

“I am thrilled that President Trump and OMB Director Mulvaney and the Corps of Engineers have shown that they realize the critical importance of this project by committing strong federal funding,” said Congressman “Buddy] Carter. “With a return on investment of 7.3 to 1, every step closer to completion is a step closer to realizing the full economic impact this project will have on the nation and the world. We will continue fighting for this federal support to keep the project moving forward and on time until it becomes a reality.”

U.S. District Court Judge Eleanor L. Ross dismissed a lawsuit against Georgia Gwinnett College over a prior speech code, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Former GGC student Chike Uzuegbunam, who graduated from the college in August 2017, filed the 83-page, 470-paragraph suit in December 2016, arguing that during a period of several months, college police and other officials restricted his speech to “two tiny speech zones” that were open 18 hours per week.

Another GGC student, Joseph Bradford, who also wanted to preach on campus, later joined joined the suit as a plaintiff.

“The Court has found that Plaintiff Uzuegbunam’s claims for declaratory and injunctive relief are moot because he has graduated from GGC,” Ross’ court order said. “The Court has also found that Plaintiff Bradford’s claims for declaratory and injunctive relief are moot because GGC has unambiguously terminated the Prior Policies and there is no reasonable basis to expect that GGC will return to them.”

Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul is asking the County Commission to fund pay raises for employees in his department, according to the Albany Herald.

Sproul pointed out that the sheriff’s office is losing deputies to a large number of surrounding law enforcement agencies because of low salaries. He said it is making recruitment and retention harder than it should be.

“The Albany Police Department starts its officers at $34,501 per year; our deputies start at $27,888,” Sproul said. “I beg you to search your hearts because we are trying very hard to recruit people. A 15 percent raise would get to where we need to be competitive for people.”

Dougherty County has set early and advance voting hours for the July 24 runoff, according to the Albany Herald.

Advance voting will be available weekdays for both Democratic and Republican voters during the three weeks leading up to the election. The early voting period starts July 2 and continues Mondays-Fridays until July 20. All advance voting will be conducted in the Elections office, Room 220 of the Albany-Dougherty Government Center, from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

Voters are reminded that they must select either a Republican or Democratic ballot based on which they chose during the May 22 primaries.

“If a person voted in the Democratic primary, they may only select a Democratic ballot in the runoff,” Elections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson said. “Same thing for those who selected Republican ballots in the primary. Those who chose nonpartisan ballots on May 22 will not have the opportunity to vote in the runoff.

“If there are those who did not vote in the primary but want to vote in the runoff, they may do so. But they’ll have to select one ballot or the other.”

The Brunswick News writes about Georgia’s oyster industry.

Georgia, unlike other states, does not allow oyster aquaculture. All commercially sold Georgia oysters are collected from the wild.

In other states, farmers can use systems of mesh bags filled with baby oysters and grow them to harvestable size in floating cages tethered to the bottoms of estuaries. The oysters can be mechanically sorted by size and age and re-bagged every few months to maximize profit and predictability.

In Virginia, the oyster industry was worth slightly less than $200,000 in 2004. A decade later, after the state aggressively shepherded growers toward aquaculture, oyster harvesters brought in almost $30 million. North Carolina has invested tens of millions of dollars toward oyster-bed restoration since 2003, and improved its watershed management and research program. South Carolina is behind those states, but ahead of Georgia in its use of oyster-growing cages.

Oyster aquaculture remains illegal in Georgia. That’s despite a decades-long undertaking by state researchers and regulators to spawn a new industry that could be worth more than $5 million by 2022 and directly employ dozens of coastal workers, according to state experts.

Earnest L. McIntosh, a commercial oyster grower in Harris Neck in McIntosh County, was one of the 10 growers who participated in the UGA study.

“They’re much more beautiful oysters,” he said of the crops grown in cages. “You do maintenance on them twice a week — keeping them flipped, shaking them — and it puts a shape to the oysters. It keeps them with a nice cup, and that’s what the restaurants want.”

Georgia oysters, McIntosh and many others have said, are superior in taste to those grown in the Gulf of Mexico or Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay. The Georgia variety, whether wild-harvested or grown in cages, have a salty, meaty taste with undertones of lemongrass. The taste has a lot to do with the clean, remote waters where the state permits shellfish harvesters to grow their crops.

It’s an excellent article, worth reading in its entirety if you’re interested in economic development or tasty shellfish. I recently had Georgia oysters from McIntosh & Sons, served at the Kimball House in Decatur, and they were exceptional.

11
Jun

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for June 11, 2018

Roxy Yorkie

Roxy is a female Yorkshire Terrier mix who is available for adoption from The Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, GA.

Maggie Brunswick

Maggie is a female Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from The Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, GA.

Roscoe Jackson

Roscoe Jackson is a male Corgi and Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from The Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, GA.