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.
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.