The blog.

4
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 4, 2020

Jameson Dahlonega Lumpkin Humane Society

Jameson is a young male German Shepherd and Mountain Cur mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Humane Society, dba TLC Humane Society in Dahlonega, GA.

Nala Dahlonega Lumpkin Humane Society

Nala is a young female Mountain Cur mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Humane Society, dba TLC Humane Society in Dahlonega, GA.

Rosie Dahlonega Lumpkin Humane Society

Rosie is a young female Redbone Coonhound mix who is available for adoption from the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Humane Society, dba TLC Humane Society in Dahlonega, GA.

4
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 4, 2020

On August 4, 1753, George Washington became a Master Mason at the Masonic Lodge No. 4 in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

On August 4, 1944, Anne Frank, her family, and two others were found by Nazis in a sealed area in an Amsterdam warehouse. They were sent first to a concentration camp in Holland, then most were sent to Auschwitz. Anne and her sister Margot died from Typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March of 1945.

Gold from Dahlonega on its way to Atlanta. Photo by Ed Jackson via http://georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu

On August 4, 1958, a wagon train left Dahlonega, headed to Atlanta to pay tribute to the mighty General Assembly deliver 43 ounces of gold to be used to coat the dome of the State Capitol.

On August 4, 1993, Nolan Ryan, the greatest pitcher in major league baseball history, hit Chicago White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura, and Ventura charged the mound.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp signed House Bill 879 by State Rep. Brett Harrell (R-Snellville), which will allow home delivery of alcohol, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Albany Herald.

House Bill 879, which cleared the General Assembly in June during the final week of this year’s legislative session, will let restaurants, supermarkets and liquor stores make home deliveries of beer, wine and distilled spirits in Georgia, subject to the approval of local voters. The bill also allows alcohol retailers to provide to-go services.

“This new law represents the balance of safe, convenient delivery while maintaining the rights for local governments to decide what is best for their community,” said Martin Smith, executive director of the Georgia Beer Wholesalers Association. “We want to thank Governor Kemp and the Georgia legislature for setting a high standard for the safe delivery of alcohol in our state.”

Harrell’s bill also broadens the so-called “Sunday brunch bill” the General Assembly passed two years ago allowing restaurants, hotels and wineries to serve alcohol on premises starting at 11 a.m. on Sundays. The new law allows sales of liquor by grocery stores for off-premises consumption as well.

House Bill 879 also expands the current state law allowing tastings of limited amounts of beer, wine and spirits from just wineries and distilleries to package stores.

From Georgia Recorder:

Customers will need to create an account with the store and show their ID on delivery to prove they are of legal age to buy alcohol. Drivers are not supposed to make a delivery if the customer is not present, is visibly intoxicated or without identification. A business that fails to meet the requirements could face a fine of up to $500 and a 30-day suspension.

Businesses that deliver alcohol will be subject to the same local laws as those that sell it in-store, including restrictions on Sunday sales before 12:30 p.m., and local government officials can ban alcohol deliveries in their jurisdictions.

“During this COVID, a lot of people have been getting their groceries, delivered, and they’re like, ‘Hey, if we’re not going out to get exposed, why not get our beer and wine delivered too?” said Athens Republican Sen. Bill Cowsert during the Senate debate.

The new law directs the state revenue department to create a system for approving the licenses by Jan. 1.

Governor Kemp also signed House Bill 847 to regulate the hemp industry, according to the AJC.

The measure prepares the state for its first hemp crops, which are already being grown this summer after the General Assembly legalized hemp farming last year.

Hemp is used to make CBD oil, a product sold in stores as a treatment for pain, anxiety and insomnia. Hemp comes from the cannabis plant, but unlike marijuana it contains less than 0.3% THC, the compound that gives marijuana users a high.

The legislation, House Bill 847, increases the annual hemp processing fee to $50,000 a year, up from a $10,000 fee initially set last year. The fee to grow hemp remains at $50 per acre.

Anyone transporting hemp plants is required to carry appropriate paperwork to help prove they’re in possession of a legal product, according to the bill.

In addition, the bill permits farmers and processors to sell their products to authorized hemp producers in other states.

Gov. Kemp has an Op-Ed published in the Augusta Chronicle.

Under the current executive order, the medically fragile are sheltered in place; large gatherings are banned unless social distancing measures are implemented; and businesses that choose to operate are required to follow intense sanitation and safety protocols.

Through multiple partnerships with academia and private companies, Georgia has rapidly expanded COVID-19 testing. With 170 locations and over 20,000 tests reported on a daily basis, we have exceeded 1.5 million tests administered since March.

While our state is split on what power state and local leaders should wield during these difficult times, we all agree that individuals – not the government – are ultimately responsible for stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Georgia.

That is why we are asking Georgians to do “4 Things for 4 Weeks” to flatten the curve:

First, wear a mask.

Second, keep your distance.

Third, wash your hands.

Fourth, follow and enforce the guidance provided in the executive order and from public health officials.

Study after study shows that unemployment, economic instability and loss of income do more than just tighten the pocketbook. A decade ago, we saw an uptick in substance abuse, depression and suicide as Americans endured the Great Recession. We are already seeing similar warning signs as Congress debates the next stimulus package.

This reality was top of mind when I took action against the city of Atlanta. Despite reckless misreporting by the national press, this lawsuit was never about masks, politics or control. I sued the mayor and city council because their Phase One rollback plan would have shuttered businesses, slashed paychecks and sent thousands of hardworking Georgians to the back of the unemployment line.

In short, their action would have made matters worse and created a ripple effect with serious, real-world consequences. Politics aside, I had to act.

You see, protecting livelihoods – businesses, jobs, economic stability – is also protecting lives. It is a war on two fronts, but the goal is undoubtedly the same.

So, hunker down, mask up and join the fight. Together, we will protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians!

Western Circuit Superior Court Judge Eric Norris enjoined an Athens measure to close bars earlier, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

Western Circuit Superior Court Judge Eric Norris granted a temporary restraining order Friday which stops enforcement for an Athens-Clarke County ordinance changing the “last call” for alcohol sales.

The Athens-Clarke Commission passed an update to the ordinance Thursday making “last call” for alcohol at 10 p.m.

The commission passed the ordinance as a way to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

A key component of the suit is that it violates pandemic measures set in place by Gov. Brian Kemp.

The Western Judicial Circuit serves Clarke and Oconee Counties.

United States Senator Kelly Loeffler‘s campaign has hired a former Kemp field director, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Chris Allen, who ran then-gubernatorial candidate Kemp’s outreach in 2018, has been tapped as Loeffler’s state field director in charge of voter mobilization efforts, her campaign announced Monday.

Allen also managed state Rep. Kevin Tanner’s campaign for the 9th Congressional District seat that he lost in the Republican primary in June.

Loeffler, R-Ga., is looking to fend off challengers from all sides as she campaigns to keep her Senate seat, to which she was appointed by Kemp in December to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.

The Nov. 3 special election is a free-for-all contest involving candidates from all parties on the same ballot. A runoff will be held in January if no candidate gains more than 50% of votes.

Congressman Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) and his wife hosted a discussion of school reopening plans, according to AccessWDUN.

Georgia Ninth District Congressman Doug Collins and his wife, Lisa, hosted a roundtable discussion Monday evening to hear from both school districts operating in Hall County about their plans, and their needs, as they prepare to reopen later this month.

Representative Collins said what concerned school leaders was a longtime interest of his. “I’m glad to have Lisa here tonight, because the last time, frankly, we were in this room (conference room at Hall County School’s District Office) we were finding out about retirement.”

Lisa Collins retired this spring after thirty years of teaching elementary students in Hall County Schools.

“We wanted to have this tonight to see just what we can do from a federal perspective; what is the local perspective; and how can we be a helpful mouth piece to help you get the message out of what’s going on in your systems and how each are different,” Collins explained.

The vital importance of in-person learning was a common thread woven throughout the roundtable discussion.

Ms. Collins’ last months as a teacher were spent teaching online and she quickly witnessed the added challenge involved in teaching her students while they were at home. “There was a lot of teaching of the parents, if you will, just as much as it was for the kids.”

“So much of the teaching had to come from the parents,” Collins continued. “The biggest thing we dealt with was teaching the parents how to help their child.”

Republicans Marjorie Greene and Dr. Joel Cowan head toward next week’s Primary Runoff Election in the 14th Congressional District, according to the (Chattanooga) Times Free Press.

In the primary, Greene — a construction company owner in Milton — received more than 40% of the vote and got nearly twice as many votes as Cowan. The primary field was one of the most crowded races in the state with nine candidates vying for Rep. Tom Graves’ seat.

Both Greene and Cowan consider themselves pro-Trump. Trump congratulated Greene’s primary victory in a tweet, saying she was “a big winner.” Greene came out of the primary as the favorite but the race got significantly closer weeks after the primary as several GOP leaders started to distance themselves from the frontrunner.

As of July 22, Greene has raised $1.59 million, which includes a $900,000 loan from herself, and has spent $1.44 million. She has about $143,500 on hand.

Cowan has raised $1.2 million, which includes a $200,000 loan from himself, and has spent $960,000. He has about $237,000 cash on hand.

Heading into the final week of early voting, about 253,000 votes have been cast in Georgia for the runoff. Of those votes, 68% have been absentee mail-in ballots. In the 14th District race, about 26,000 people have already voted.

The 14th District includes Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Haralson, Murray, Paulding, Polk, Walker, Whitfield and a portion of Pickens counties.

The Rome-Floyd County NAACP has filed a complaint with its statewide organization against the Floyd County Board of Elections, according to the Rome News Tribune.

The Rome-Floyd County NAACP has forwarded a list of complaints to its state organization in regard to the Floyd County Board of Elections and Registration’s handling of local voting in the June 9 primary.

According to local NAACP president Ouida D. Sams, the group is unhappy with portions of how the last election day was handled and with Chief Elections Clerk Robert Brady’s June 26 follow up report on the matter.

Brady said he was unaware of any action by the NAACP, but stands by his June 26 report.

“There were a few problems, as there always are,” Brady said. “We had one piece of equipment fail, and we replaced that. Beyond all that, I’m not aware of anything other than the usual minor annoyances with opening and closing the polls.”

The complaint contains allegations that there were late poll openings, a lack of training, an inconsistent absentee ballot protocol and instances of equipment failure.

UGA Faculty representatives are not entirely happy with reopening plans, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

UGA measures to contain COVID-19 when students come back are vague and in some cases life-threatening to students, faculty and other workers, according to a resolution unanimously adopted by the elected faculty senate of Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the university’s largest academic unit, and overwhelmingly endorsed by the faculty senate of the Mary Frances Early College of Education.

The groups sent their resolution to UGA President Jere Morehead and USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley, asking for a response by Tuesday.

The Franklin College Senate is scheduled to meet again Aug. 11, possibly to vote on a no-confidence resolution depending on administrators’ response to the faculty resolution.

The groups also asked for a series of open town hall meetings, and say faculty, staff and students should be included in future decision-making. Task forces appointed to prepare UGA’s reopening plans were almost entirely made up of UGA administrators.

“It is deeply regrettable that the UGA and USG administrations have brought us so close to the opening of the Fall semester without a clear community understanding of the issues above,” the faculty representatives wrote. “Furthermore, these issues by no means exhaust the list of unanswered concerns, many of them literal matters of life and death, held by staff, students and faculty.

The Atlanta Board of Education voted to delay school reopening and require masks, according to the AJC.

Atlanta Public Schools will postpone the first day of class until Aug. 24, two weeks later than the district initially planned.

The school board on Monday voted unanimously to give final approval to the delayed start, which officials said would give teachers and families more time to prepare for virtual instruction. The district previously announced it would hold online-only lessons for at least the first nine weeks of the year, or until there is minimal or moderate spread of the coronavirus.

The board also approved a dress code change which would allow the district to require students to wear masks when they are in school buildings.

“Face coverings are required for all students and staff except while eating, drinking and exercising, with limited exceptions for students or staff who have medical reasons for not being able to wear a mask or face shield,” a district document states.

Lawrenceville Mayor David Still announced that all large scale events will be canceled for the remainder of 2020, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

That does not mean there may not be events in Lawrenceville during the remainder of the year, however. Still said there will be smaller events held in the city for residents.

These events include drive-in movies from September through December; A “Free Comic Book Summer” event through September; a Wellness Wednesday series from September through November; a virtual version of the Family Promise Bed Race on Aug. 22; a Universal Joint Chili Cook-Off on Nov. 14; a Spotlight in the DTL series from September to December; and Yoga at the Plaza on Aug. 13, 20 and 27.

“Also look for pop-up live entertainment on the square, artists, and other surprises and unique events offered by our downtown businesses,” Still said. “On behalf of the City Council, I thank you for supporting the City of Lawrenceville and look forward to seeing you at our restructured 2020 events and at future events when we are able to safely return to our regular event schedule.”

Details about the events are expected to announced at lawrencevillega.org and downtownlawrencevillega.com as well as on the city’s social media channels.

3
Aug

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for August 3, 2020

Walker Glynn County Animal Services

Walker is a young male Labrador Retriever (and Hound?) mix puppy who is available for adoption from Glynn County Animal Services in Brunswick, GA.

Molly Glynn County Animal Services

Molly is a young female Labrador Retriever (and Hound?) mix puppy who is available for adoption from Glynn County Animal Services in Brunswick, GA.

Gus Glynn County Animal Services

Gus is a young male Labrador Retriever (and Hound?) mix puppy who is available for adoption from Glynn County Animal Services in Brunswick, GA.

3
Aug

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for August 3, 2020

16th Amendment

On August 3, 1910, Georgia became the ninth state to ratify the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which allows Congress to levy a tax without apportioning it among the states.

Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as President on August 3, 1923 after Warren Harding died in office.

On August 3, 1982, Michael Hardwick was arrested, setting in motion the prosecution that would eventually lead to the United States Supreme Court in the case of Bowers v. Hardwick.

The World of Coca-Cola opened on August 3, 1990 between Underground Atlanta and the Georgia State Capitol.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Legendary actor Wilford Brimley has died, according to the Albany Herald. His finest performance was in Absence of Malice.

I can’t see a photo or mention of Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills without being reminded of Brimley’s tour de force perfomance.

Governor Brian Kemp issued Executive Order #07.31.20.01, continuing the Public Health State of Emergency through September 10, 2020 at 11:59 PM.Continue Reading..

31
Jul

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 31, 2020

Diego Henry County GA Humane Society

Diego is a young male Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from the Henry County Humane Society in McDonough, GA.

Cheyenne Henry County GA Humane Society

Cheyenne is a female Pomeranian mix who is available for adoption from the Henry County Humane Society in McDonough, GA.

Chandler Henry County GA Humane Society

Chandler is a female West Highland Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Henry County Humane Society in McDonough, GA.

Chandler is a sweet girl about 3-4 yrs old and weighs 21 lbs. we believe that her mother may have been Ansley, a Westie that she came in with. Both girls were brought into our local animal control as strays a little over a month ago.

31
Jul

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 31, 2020

Georgia delegates Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, and George Walton signed the Declaration of Independence on August 2, 1776.

On July 31, 1777, the Marquis de LaFayette was commissioned a Major General in the Continental Army, serving without pay.

The cornerstone for the first United States Mint was laid in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 31, 1792, becoming the first building constructed by the federal government under the Constitution.

Former President Andrew Johnson, who succeeded President Lincoln upon his assassination and oversaw much of the post-Civil War Reconstruction era, died of a stroke in Tennessee on July 31, 1875.

August 1 was a big day for Benjamin Mays – he was born on August 1, 1895 and became President of Morehouse College on August 1, 1936.

On July 31, 1906, a bill to place a Constitutional Amendment on the November election for voters to decide whether to create an intermediate-level Georgia Court of Appeals was approved by the Georgia General Assembly.

PT-109, commanded by LTJG John F. Kennedy was sunk on August 1, 1943.

On July 31, 1962, the one-millionth immigrant was welcomed into Israel.

On August 1, 1982, Hank Aaron was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

On August 2, 1983, the United States House of Representatives voted to observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a federal holiday on the third monday in January.

On July 31, 1987, “The Lost Boys” was released. From the New York Times:

“The Lost Boys” is to horror movies what “Late Night With David Letterman” is to television; it laughs at the form it embraces, adds a rock-and-roll soundtrack and, if you share its serious-satiric attitude, manages to be very funny.

Nolan Ryan, the greatest pitcher in major league baseball history, won his 300th career game on July 31, 1990. During eight innings, Ryan threw 146 pitches, while today, many pitchers are pulled at around the 100-pitch count.

“In the old days throwing that many pitches was a normal game,” said Nolan Ryan, who tossed a record seven no-hitters and is the all-time leader in strikeouts, fifth in innings pitched.

Ryan, currently the Rangers’ team president, is an outspoken detractor of the recent trend toward monitoring pitch counts. In a recent Sports Illustrated article, Ryan expressed his belief that today’s pitchers are “pampered” and that there is no reason why today’s pitchers cannot pitch as much as he and his colleagues did back in the day. As a result, Ryan is pushing his team’s pitchers to throw deeper into games and extend their arms further, emphasizing conditioning over what some would call coddling.

As Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux told SI: “This generation of players has become a creature of the pitch count. Their ceiling has been lowered. It’s up to us to jack it back up.”

Although I think that time he whipped Robin Ventura should count as a win.

President Barack Obama visited Georgia on August 2, 2010 – his first trip to Atlanta and second to Georgia after his election in November 2008. The occasion of his 2010 trip, like his trip to Atlanta yesterday, was to deliver a speech to the Disabled American Veterans Conference at the Hyatt Regency. From his 2010 speech:

As a candidate for President, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end.  Shortly after taking office, I announced our new strategy for Iraq and for a transition to full Iraqi responsibility. And I made it clear that by August 31st, 2010, America’s combat mission in Iraq would end. And that is exactly what we are doing — as promised and on schedule….

As agreed to with the Iraqi government, we will maintain a transitional force until we remove all our troops from Iraq by the end of next year.

At the same time, every American who has ever worn the uniform must also know this: Your country is going to take care of you when you come home. Our nation’s commitment to our veterans, to you and your families, is a sacred trust. And to me and my administration, upholding that trust is a moral obligation. It’s not just politics.

That’s why I’ve charged Secretary Shinseki with building a 21st century VA.  And that includes one of the largest percentage increases to the VA budget in the past 30 years. We are going to cut this deficit that we’ve got, and I’ve proposed a freeze on discretionary domestic spending. But what I have not frozen is the spending we need to keep our military strong, our country safe and our veterans secure. So we’re going to keep on making historic commitments to our veterans.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Former Republican Presidential candidate Herman Cain died yesterday at age 74 of the coronavirus disease. From the New York Times:

Herman Cain, who rose from poverty in the segregated South to become chief executive of a successful pizza chain and then thrust himself into the national spotlight by seeking the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, has died. He was 74.

Mr. Cain had been hospitalized in the Atlanta area this month after testing positive for the virus on June 29.

On the stump, Mr. Cain called himself an ABC candidate — American Black Conservative. He brought an irreverent style to the 2011 campaign as he touted his by-the-bootstraps story in an appeal to Tea Party conservatives.

Mr. Cain said he had become a Republican after a Black man at a restaurant yelled out: “Black Republicans? There’s no such thing.”

“When I got back to Omaha,” where he was living at he time, “I registered as a Republican,” he told The New York Times Magazine in 2011. “It haunted me for three days that someone would dare tell me what party affiliation I should have.”

After the announcement of his death, Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Cain had “embodied the American dream and represented the very best of the American spirit.”

Herman Cain was born on Dec. 13, 1945, in Memphis, to Lenora (Davis) and Luther Cain. His mother was a cleaning woman and domestic worker; his father, who grew up on a farm, worked as a janitor and a barber and as a chauffeur for Robert W. Woodruff, president of the Coca-Cola Company, which is based in Atlanta, where Herman was raised.

Herman graduated from historically Black Morehouse College in Atlanta in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He worked as a civilian ballistics analyst for the Navy and earned his master’s degree in computer science at Purdue University in 1971.

From the AJC:

The Henry County resident was as successful and opinionated as he was unforgettable, but COVID-19 has silenced him, Cain’s current and former employees confirmed Thursday. He was 74.

“We’re heartbroken, and the world is poorer: Herman Cain has gone to be with the Lord,” an employee wrote on Cain’s Instagram page.

Cain’s supporters, including Trump, spoke instead of his charisma and how he emerged from humble beginnings to become an accomplished businessman and prominent figure within the GOP.

“Herman had an incredible career and was adored by everyone that ever met him, especially me,” Trump tweeted. “He was a very special man, an American Patriot, and great friend.”

Close friend and fellow radio host Neal Boortz said, “You combine his faith, a personality that enjoyed everybody and his accomplishments in his life — it’s a pretty extraordinary package.”

Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton spoke yesterday at the funeral of Congressman John Lewis.

Consensus appears to be forming to replace the statute of Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens in the National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol with one of Congressman Lewis. From the Georgia Recorder.

Gov. Brian Kemp tweeted Wednesday night that swapping out a statue of Alexander Stephens for one of Lewis would “celebrate his legacy of service for years to come.”

Ten members of Georgia’s U.S. delegation sent a formal letter Thursday asking that Republicans Kemp, House Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan work to replace the U.S. Capitol statue of Confederate Alexander Stephens. Duncan and Ralston publicly backed the idea last week.

Getting the statue inside the hall will first require the support of Georgia state legislators, a path that could be smoothed with powerful supporters like Ralston and Duncan.

Each state is entitled to place two statues of honorees in the hall, so adding Lewis’ statue requires removing one of the existing ones: Stephens or Crawford Long, an Athens doctor who is credited with pioneering the use of ether in a surgery.

From the Chattanoogan:

[Congressman Tom] Graves said, “I can think of no better statue in the U.S. Capitol representing our state than one of John Lewis. Our nation lost a giant, and it’s up to us to work together so that John’s fight for justice and equality continues. I was glad to see Gov. Kemp signal yesterday that he agrees that John’s legacy should be honored in our nation’s Capitol for generations to come.”

From the AJC:

Legislative leaders previously made clear they support the switch. House Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, who presides over the Senate, both signaled their support shortly after Lewis’ July 17 death.

“I like the idea very much,” Ralston said. “I always admired Congressman Lewis and told him so many times. Georgia has a long history, so much more than just the Civil War, and John Lewis has been an important part of that.”

Duncan said in an earlier statement that it’s “time for our state to be represented in the National Statuary Hall by a figure that aligns with our state’s core values — that all are created equal — and I’ll advocate for that figure to be Rep. John Lewis.”

Each state gets two statues in the Statuary Hall, and Stephens has represented Georgia since 1927 at the U.S. Capitol. Georgia’s other honoree, Crawford W. Long, was a 19th century physician who pioneered the use of ether in surgery.

Congressman Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) is supported by 41 locally-elected Sheriffs in his race for United States Senate, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The Glynn County Republican Party will hold runoff forums, according to The Brunswick News.

Local runoff candidates and U.S. Sen. David Purdue will rub elbows with voters Saturday evening at a meet and greet organized by the Glynn County Republican Party.

Glynn County Commission At-large Post 2 candidates Bo Clark and Walter Rafolski and state Senate District 3 candidates Sheila McNeill and David Sharpe will be in attendance.

The event will be held from 5-7 p.m. Saturday in the River Room at Coastal Kitchen, 102 Marina Drive on St. Simons Island.

The rubbing elbows part may be literal, as that has largely replace handshakes.

Or Fist Bumps. As seen in the photo accompanying the Statesboro Herald’s coverage of a runoff forum in Senate District 4. The Herald also has video of the candidates for Bulloch County Solicitor General and Commission District 4.

New unemployment claims are down for last week, according to the Capitol Beat News Service via the Rome News Tribune.

Initial unemployment claims filed in Georgia declined last week to 84,984, down 37,329 from the previous week, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The labor agency paid out $778.1 million last week, including not just regular state unemployment insurance but funds from other state and federal unemployment compensation programs created to help offset the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

That brought to more than $11 billion the total payout by the labor department since mid-March.

“As additional claims are being filed, we have been able to maintain an impressive ratio of eligible claims filed to payouts,” Georgia Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler said. “Record-breaking payout rates represent a new standard for this department as we strive to better serve Georgians.”

The Savannah Morning News compares the school reopening plans of Bryan, Chatham, and Effingham Counties.

Some Juliette residents are suing Georgia Power over allegation of coal ash pollution, according to the Albany Herald.

Tony Bowdoin is one of 45 central Georgia residents living near America’s largest coal-fired plant who claim in a lawsuit that the utility has unlawfully released, discharged and deposited coal ash into their community’s drinking water source. The residents get their water from private drinking wells, which draw water from the aquifer below the ground.

They’re seeking to force the state’s largest power company to stop polluting the area’s water, provide ongoing medical monitoring and pay damages.

The mass tort lawsuit, filed Wednesday morning in Superior Court of Fulton County, where Georgia Power is based, claims that coal ash stored in an unlined basin has contaminated the groundwater surrounding the plant site.

“Georgia Power has been a bad neighbor,” said Atlanta-based attorney Stacey Evans, a former state lawmaker and gubernatorial contender who recently won a Democratic primary to regain her seat in the Georgia House. “When you’re a bad neighbor, and you hurt your neighbors, you fix it. It’s unfortunate a lawsuit is required to do that.”

Georgia Power has repeatedly denied that Plant Scherer’s coal ash is linked to any negative health outcomes. In a statement Wednesday, Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft told Georgia Health News that the company is “reviewing the lawsuit,” and declined to answer specific questions.

The Walker County Courthouse is temporarily closed after an employee tested positive, according to WDEF.

The Walker County Courthouse in LaFayette is closed to the public until Monday.

All offices will still conduct business online or by phone.

The Walker County Board of Elections and Registration is exempt from the closure order, since Advance Voting in the August runoff is underway on the ground floor.

30
Jul

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 30, 2020

Princess Leia Ruff Dog Rescue Milton GA

Princess Leia is a senior female Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from Ruff Dog Rescue in Milton, GA.

Princess Leia is a spunky little soul looking for a forever home where she can thrive. Princess Leia, also known around the galaxy as Little Miss Sunshine, has SO MUCH PERSONALITY in her little 20lbs body.  Older most certainly does not mean slower when it comes to this funny girl. She surprises everyone with her playfulness daily. She will be great for a lightly active family who likes to go on walks or play a game of fetch. She will even play hide-and-seek or tag if you give her the chance! Princess is looking for a devoted companion and would love to be your one and only. Princess would do best as an only pet since she doesn’t like to share the spotlight!

Little G and Louis Ruff Dog Rescue Milton GA

Little G and Louis are a bonded pair of 3-pound male Chihuahua mix puppies who are available for adoption from Ruff Dog Rescue in Milton, GA.

Meet Little G and Louis, two of the most handsome and and tiny Chiweenies at only 3 lbs. These brothers are looking for a loving forever home together. They are a BONDED PAIR. Louis is vison handicapped, we believe he see shadows, but does not have clear vision.

Obviously not seeing clearly makes Louis a bit unsure of his surroundings. But Little G sticks by his brothers side and gives him the security and comfort he needs. They are playful and lovable, and they stick together like glue!

We are searching for the perfect home for these two sweet babies. Please apply today if you are interested in this most handsome bonded pair of brothers.

Sidney Ruff Dog Rescue Milton GA

Sidney is a 5-month old female Shepherd Dog mix who is available for adoption from Ruff Dog Rescue in Milton, GA.

Sidney loves all dogs, people, kids and sleeps through the night. She minds very well loves treats and belly rubs. Loves her people! She has good energy, loves toys, loves treats… did we say she loves treats! She is working on her potty training but improving every day. Honestly, she is just an all around great puppy.

30
Jul

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 30, 2020

July 30th could be celebrated as the birthday of democracy in America, as the Virginia House of Burgesses became the first legislative body in the New World on July 30, 1619.

Its first law, which, like all of its laws, would have to be approved by the London Company, required tobacco to be sold for at least three shillings per pound. Other laws passed during its first six-day session included prohibitions against gambling, drunkenness, and idleness, and a measure that made Sabbath observance mandatory.

On July 30, 1931, Georgia Governor Richard B. Russell, Jr. signed legislation merging Milton and Fulton Counties if voters in each county approved a referendum. Fulton had earlier merged with Campbell County, to the south.

Actor Laurence Fishburn was born in Augusta, Georgia on July 30, 1961.

President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed legislation creating Medicare, for seniors, and Medicaid for some low-income people on July 30, 1965.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Former President Barack Obama is expected to speak at today’s funeral for John Lewis, according to the AJC.

Another news outlet in Atlanta also reported Obama would be attending Thursday’s service, with former President George Bush and President Bill Clinton.

Deanna Congelio, a spokeswoman for President Jimmy Carter said the President and Rosaylnn Carter are “not traveling these days” but are sending their condolences in writing. Carter had appointed Lewis to a federal position when president.

Services for Lewis, the civil rights hero and longtime congressman who died July 17 at age 80, will be at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta at 11 a.m.

Although Lewis did not originally endorse Obama’s 2008 campaign against Hillary Clinton, Lewis came around, and the two formed a close relationship. Obama awarded Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

Ebenezer’s Rev. Raphael Warnock will be presiding over the invitation-only funeral service. Lewis will be buried Thursday afternoon next to his wife, Lillian, at South-View Cemetery.

Governor Brian Kemp delivered remarks at a ceremony honoring the late Congressman John Lewis.Continue Reading..

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Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 29, 2020

Andre Habersham County Animal Shelter

Andre is a 3-year old male Basset Hound mix who is available for adoption from the Habersham County Animal Shelter in Clarkesville, GA.

Abigail Habersham County Animal Shelter

Abigail is a female Great Pyrenees and Husky mix who is available for adoption from the Habersham County Animal Shelter in Clarkesville, GA.

Lisa Habersham County Animal Shelter

Lisa is a female Australian Cattle Dog/Blue Heeler mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Habersham County Animal Shelter in Clarkesville, GA.

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Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 29, 2020

Vincent Van Gogh died of a gunshot wound on July 29, 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise, France

President Franklin D. Roosevelt made his eighth visit to Warm Springs, Georgia on July 29, 1927.

Congress passed legislation establishing the National Aeronautic and Space Admininistration (NASA) on July 29, 1958.

The Doors’ “Light My Fire” became their first #1 hit on July 29, 1967.

Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer on July 29, 1981.

Carl Lewis won his fourth consecutive gold medal in the long jump at the Atlanta Olympics on July 29, 1996.

https://youtu.be/JuD1OdoXe9Q

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The very first sentence in a New York Times article about Jefferson, Georgia contains a misstatement of fact.

JEFFERSON, Ga. — When Jennifer Fogle and her family moved from Indiana to Georgia 13 years ago, they settled in Jefferson, a small, handsome city an hour’s drive from Atlanta, because they had heard about the excellent schools. And until recently, they had little to complain about. The teachers are passionate and committed, and the facilities rival those found at some private schools.

The [public school] reopening plans have starkly divided Jefferson, a middle-class city of about 12,000 people, offering a likely preview of the contentious debates ahead for many other communities whose school years start closer to the end of summer.

Jefferson sits northeast of Atlanta and is the seat of semirural Jackson County, which has had 13 coronavirus-related deaths, and an infection rate of 1,067 per 100,000 people. But in nearby Gwinnett County, which has about 12 times as many people, the infection rate is considerably higher and 216 people have died. More broadly, Georgia, in the week ending July 23, has seen an average of 3,287 new cases per day — an increase of 42 percent from the average two weeks earlier. Many Jefferson residents traditionally commute for work to Atlanta and beyond.

The president won almost 80 percent of the vote in Jackson County in 2016, and he has repeatedly downplayed the seriousness of the virus. Similar sentiments have been a staple on a Facebook forum for Jefferson residents that has been flaring with passionate disagreements about the pandemic and the school system’s response to it.

My father lives in Jefferson and I drive there every other week. There is no way that Jefferson is an hour from Atlanta. It’s 75 minutes on a good day, trending toward 90+ in normal pre-COVID traffic.Continue Reading..