The blog.

12
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 12, 2019

Cloudy Mutt Madness

Cloudy is a young male Rottweiler & Black Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Mutt Maddness in Marietta, GA.

The forecast says it’s Cloudy with a chance of cuddles! This sweet boy can be shy at first (particularly with men), but warms up with a little patience. He adores kids and other dogs and would do best with at least one other dog in the family. He desperately wants to be friends with cats, but can be a little overenthusiastic with them at times. At almost six months old (and about 50 lbs), he’s not quite coordinated, but his puppy-dog eyes will have you melting.

Windy Mutt Madness

Windy is a young female Rottweiler & Black Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Mutt Maddness in Marietta, GA.

We see Windy days ahead with a high chance of love and devotion! This sweet girl has never met a stranger. She does very well with other dogs, but would be just as happy on her own. Cats are sources of great excitement (which they don’t all appreciate); she just wants to play! Super smart, she’s going to be a big girl (almost 6 months old and she weighs around 50 lbs).

Jack-O Mutt Madness

Jack-O is a young male Boxer mix who is available for adoption from Mutt Maddness in Marietta, GA.

HELLO from Jack-O! Did you forget about me?? I am a super sweet, snuggly, inquisitive and smart young 3 yr old pup looking for my forever home!

Do you find that your lap gets cold during long movies? You have crumbs all over your kitchen floor that never get picked up? Maybe you get lonely in your fenced in yard and need something to entertain you?

I don’t require much, I’m pretty low maintenance… Just some toys for you to toss, DEFINITELY need my horn and maybe a YAK bar for chewing, kiddie pool would be nice in the summer for lounging, but the occasional playful hose-spray to chew water is good for me too!

I would do best in a house with adults or older kids, only because I don’t always know my strength and wouldn’t want to knock anyone over…I don’t love sharing attention with other animals, so I’m sorry if that’s a deal breaker – But I PROMISE I have MORE THAN ENOUGH LOVE for you!

I’ve spent the majority of the past two years learning to be a super good boy in training, I know tricks! Last March I did a 6 week training, and I’m currently at Sleep-Away Camp with my buddy Khalvin at Tenasity Dog Training. I’ve learned sit, stay, come, pillow, kennel, and mastered walking on a loose leash!

12
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 12, 2019

General William Tecumseh Sherman ordered the destruction of railroad and telegraph lines between Atlanta and Northwest Georgia on November 12, 1864. Sherman also burned the railroad bridge over the Chattahoochee, cutting his own supply line from Chattanooga.

In what looks to me like a surprisingly progressive move for the 19th century, Governor John B. Gordon signed legislation on November 12, 1889 opening the University of Georgia to white women.

On November 12, 1918, Atlanta held a victory parade to celebrate the Armistice with Germany.

On November 12, 1944, the Atlanta Constitution released a poll of Georgia legislators indicating that most wanted more local rule for cities and counties in the new Constitution being drafted.

President Jimmy Carter ordered an end to oil imports from Iran on November 12, 1979.

Tim Berners-Lee published a Proposal for a HyperText Project, laying the foundation for the World Wide Web, on November 12, 1990.

HyperText is a way to link and access information of various kinds as a web of nodes in which the user can browse at will. Potentially, HyperText provides a single user-interface to many large classes of stored information such as reports, notes, data-bases, computer documentation and on-line systems help.

A program which provides access to the hypertext world we call a browser. A hypertext page has pieces of text which refer to other texts. Such references are highlighted and can be selected with a mouse. When you select a reference, the browser presents you with the text which is referenced.

The texts are linked together in a way that one can go from one concept to another to find the information one wants. The network of links is called a web.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Former President Jimmy Carter is scheduled for surgery this morning at Emory University, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was admitted to a hospital on Monday evening for a procedure to relieve pressure on his brain, caused by bleeding due to his recent falls, his spokeswoman said.

Carter has fallen at least three times this year, and the first incident in the spring required hip replacement surgery. He traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, and helped build a Habitat for Humanity home after getting 14 stiches following a fall on Oct. 6. And he was briefly hospitalized after fracturing his pelvis on Oct. 21. He received a dire cancer diagnosis in 2015 but survived and has since said he is cancer-free.

Cobb County confirmed a case of measles in an unvaccinated person, according to ABC News.

Cobb County, a suburban part of Atlanta, Georgia, confirmed a case of measles in an unvaccinated person, according to state health officials.

The individual may have exposed others to the infectious disease between Oct. 31 and Nov. 6, health officials said Saturday.

“The increase in measles cases in Georgia is undoubtedly a reflection of the increased number of measles outbreaks around the country,” a health department spokesperson told ABC News.

“All eight cases of measles in Georgia this year were in individuals who were not vaccinated. Measles is preventable through vaccination, and the measles vaccine is one of the most effective vaccines we have,” the spokesperson added.

In Georgia, after confirming the measles case in Cobb County, health department officials advised local residents to contact their doctor immediately if they think they have symptoms of measles.

“DO NOT go to the doctor’s office, the hospital, or a public health clinic without FIRST calling to let them know about your symptoms,” the department said in a statement.

From the Albany Herald:

Measles starts with fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.

Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. In fact, the measles virus can stay in the air for up to two hours after an infected person was there. People may be infected by simply being in a room where an infected person once was. It is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.

People with symptoms of measles should contact their health care provider immediately. Do not go to the doctor’s office, the hospital or a public health clinic without first calling to let them know about your symptoms. Health care providers who suspect measles in a patient should notify public health immediately.

For more information about measles, log on to www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html.

Some professional sports teams want Georgia to open gambling, according to the AJC.

Presidents of the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta United have formed the Georgia Professional Sports Integrity Alliance and sent a letter to state lawmakers asking them to legalize online and mobile sports betting.

“Georgia is the 12th largest state for illegal wagering,” the franchise presidents wrote. “It is not going away. That is why we must ensure the industry is above-board and transparent.”

After years of failed attempts to expand legal gambling through a constitutional amendment, which requires two-thirds support in the Legislature and a majority of Georgia voters, the coalition says betting could be legalized through legislation that needs a lower threshold of support.

Billy Linville, a lobbyist who is representing the coalition of teams, said the franchises would not see any revenue from sports betting, but that allowing the practice would engage fans who tune in to watch and see how their bets play out — driving up viewership and interest in the games.

The sports coalition estimates allowing sports betting would generate about $50 million in gross revenue for Georgia.

Virginia Galloway, a lobbyist with Georgia Faith and Freedom Coalition, said she was disappointed that Atlanta’s teams were pushing for sports betting.

“It’s sad that these great American pastimes want to bring in the predatory gambling business to take advantage of their fans,” she said. “Didn’t Pete Rose get thrown out of baseball for gambling? But now, for the sake of more revenue, these teams are ready to drop their pants — and hardworking Georgians will be on the hook for the havoc it wreaks, both socially and economically.”

A Smyrna city council election turned into a tie vote after a recount, according to the AJC.

Smyrna residents will decide more than one close race when they head to the polls to vote in the Dec. 3 runoff for mayor.

A re-vote is now required for the Ward 2 City Council race between incumbent Andrea Blustein and challenger Austin Wagner, said Cobb County Elections and Registration Director Janine Eveler.

The Nov. 5 municipal election resulted in Wagner leading Blustein by two votes. Wagner received 341 votes to Blustein’s 339 votes. However, Eveler said two provisional ballots counted Friday went to Blustein, which made the race a tie.

Superior Court Judge Ralph Van Pelt Jr. (Lookout Mountain circuit) will hear a lawsuit by the City of Dalton against Whitfield County, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

State law requires cities and counties to negotiate a new service delivery agreement every 10 years, spelling out which services the governments will provide and how they will be funded. The agreements are aimed at reducing duplication of services. The Whitfield County service delivery agreement — which is actually 39 separate agreements between the cities and the county, covering everything from ambulance service to historic preservation to zoning — was signed by the county and the smaller cities but not by the city of Dalton. It expired Oct. 31, making Whitfield County, Dalton, Cohutta, Tunnel Hill and Varnell ineligible for state grants and other funding and for state-issued permits.

The City of Dalton filed a lawsuit last week against Whitfield County and the cities of Cohutta, Tunnel Hill and Varnell in Whitfield County Superior Court to resolve an ongoing dispute over the service delivery agreement among their various governments.

The state service delivery law calls for a judge from outside the jurisdiction to preside[] over service delivery cases.

The four Superior Court judges for the Conasauga Judicial Circuit, which includes Whitfield and Murray counties, formally recused themselves from the case Friday, and David Emerson, acting administrative judge of Georgia’s 7th Judicial Administrative District, appointed Ralph Van Pelt Jr., a Superior Court judge with the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, to handle the case. The Lookout Mountain circuit includes Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade and Walker counties.

Georgia Department of Administrative Services Director Alex Atwood spoke about proposed budget cuts, according to The Brunswick News.

In remarks Monday to the Golden Isles Republican Women, Alex Atwood, director of the state Department of Administrative Services, said he fully supports Gov. Brian Kemp’s budget reduction efforts. The governor’s plans have generated a stir both inside and out of state government ahead of the legislature’s reconvening in January.

“(He) mandated all executive branch agencies to cut wasteful spending and eliminate duplication of services, with a conservative, proactive budget,” Atwood said. “Let me tell you, he’s caught some negative press on this sometimes in Atlanta — the AJC has written some articles that sometimes fire me up. The governor is pushing efficiency, but he’s also saying cut. You’ve got to cut. You’ve got to look at your budgets, you’ve got to come to me with a 4 percent cut for the end of this year, a 6 percent cut for next year.

“Why is he doing this? For his first two months of coming into office, the budget dropped 12 percent — our projected revenue dropped 12 percent. When you see your revenue dropping 12 percent, a prudent person would rein in spending a little bit, and do it quickly, so we’re not beat over the head later on if, God forbid, something happens to the economy.”

Georgia has an insatiable thirst for … water. From the Statesboro Herald.

A central focus of the overall [tri-state water lawsuit] case: Florida accuses Georgia of using too much water, imperiling the Apalachicola Bay in the Panhandle and the oyster industry that relies on it. It wants a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that would limit how much water Georgia can use.

“Georgia will continue to use just more and more water if they don’t have some sort of limit placed on them,” retired Apalachicola Riverkeeper Dan Tonsmeire told WABE. He attended recent arguments in the case before a judge in New Mexico who was appointed to manage the case.

“I hope my friends in Georgia will forgive me for this because I know there are a lot of Georgians that care about the Apalachicola and understand what a valuable resource it is,” he said. “I saw no sign that Georgia’s awareness of the impacts to the Apalachicola River and Bay that it’s caused has increased.”

Judge Paul Kelly, the court-appointed special master in the case, is expected to write a report on what he thinks should happen. The Supreme Court justices will then evaluate that.

A previous special master in the case sided with Georgia, but the Supreme Court sent the case back to get more information.

Gainesville is considering regulations on hookah and vaping businesses, according to the Gainesville Times.

The proposed regulations include restrictions on hookah lounges or bars, where “patrons use a communal hookah or pipe to smoke,” e-cigarette lounges or bars, where “patrons use e-cigarettes to smoke or smoke other alternative nicotine or tobacco products,” and vapor lounges or bars, where “patrons vape or smoke other alternative nicotine or tobacco products.”

The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board will hold a hearing and vote on the regulations Tuesday, Nov. 12. The City Council will have the final vote Dec. 17.

Any hookah, e-cigarette or vapor lounge or bar would need special approval from the Council to open in an area zoned light or heavy industrial. Those businesses could not be within 500 feet of a similar business or within 1,000 feet of a school or daycare, library, church, community or recreation center, liquor store, sexually oriented business, tattoo parlor, pawn shop, bar or nightclub, card room, check cashing business, park or residential zoning district.

Extended stay hotels could also face greater regulation, according to the Gainesville Times.

Proposed regulations in Gainesville would limit how long people can stay at hotels in the city and require hotels to keep detailed records of their guests and hand those over to the city upon request.

The rules have extra restrictions for extended stay lodging, which the city defines as hotels that provide lodging for 15 to 30 days. If a hotel has cooking appliances or a kitchen in more than 5% of its rooms, it would be designated as extended stay.

Under the proposal, patrons of hotels not designated as extended stay can only stay 15 consecutive days and cannot stay in the same room for more than 30 days in a 180-day period.

At extended stay hotels, patrons can stay in the room for up to 30 days at a time, but no more than 60 days in a 180-day period.

11
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 11, 2019

Louise PPNK

Louise is a young female hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Pound Puppies ‘N Kittens Incorporated in Social Circle, GA.

Louise is almost 5-month old hound mix weighing in at 27 lbs.

Zoey PPNK

Zoey is a four-year old female Boxer mix who is available for adoption from Pound Puppies ‘N Kittens Incorporated in Social Circle, GA.

Zoey is an owner surrender from Walton County Animal Control. She is currently in a foster home where she is doing well and she still seems to be confused about her situation. At animal control, she kept looking towards the door as if she was waiting for her owner and she still does so at her foster home. She was given up due to her jealousy issues around other dogs. Because of this, she would do best as an only pet.

Add this stunning, sweet, and fantastically well trained pup to your family today!

Kaiya PPNK

Kaiya is a female Doberman Pinscher and Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Pound Puppies ‘N Kittens Incorporated in Social Circle, GA.

About 1 year old, 45lbs Doberman Labrador mix. She’s an incredibly sweet girl with all the love to give! She’s super playful but can be a little shy at first. Once she’s warmed up to you she’s an absolute doll. A

11
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 11, 2019

The first twenty-three cadets at Virginia Military Institute began their service on November 11, 1839.

On November 11, 1918, word reached Georgia that an armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany, ending World War One. Georgia Governor Hugh Dorsery declared a state holiday. Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I, was first celebrated on November 11, 1919 and is celebrated on November 11th every year.

In 1938, Congress recognized November 11th as Armistice Day, making it a legal holiday, and in 1954, at the urging of veterans, Congress renamed the holiday “Veterans Day.”

The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery was dedicated on November 11, 1921.

On Armistice Day, in the presence of President Harding and other government, military, and international dignitaries, the unknown soldier was buried with highest honors beside the Memorial Amphitheater. As the soldier was lowered to his final resting place, a two-inch layer of soil brought from France was placed below his coffin so that he might rest forever atop the earth on which he died.

The Tomb of the Unknowns is considered the most hallowed grave at Arlington Cemetery, America’s most sacred military cemetery. The tombstone itself, designed by sculptor Thomas Hudson Jones, was not completed until 1932, when it was unveiled bearing the description “Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known but to God.” The World War I unknown was later joined by the unidentified remains of soldiers from America’s other major 20th century wars and the tomb was put under permanent guard by special military sentinels.

On November 11, 1942, the draft age was lowered to 18 and raised to 37. At the time, African-Americans were excluded from the draft over concerns about a racially-diverse military.

In 1945, the idea was put forth to expand Armistice Day to honor all veterans and in 1954, Congress made the change to “Veterans Day” official.

The “General Lee” first left the ground, using a ramp to clear a police car, during filming of “The Dukes of Hazzard” on November 11, 1978.

Ronald Reagan became the first President of the United States to address the Japanese Diet in Tokyo on November 11, 1983.

On November 11, 1988, the Georgia Vietnam Memorial was dedicated in front of the Sloppy Floyd state government building across the street from the Georgia State Capitol.

On November 11, 1997, a monument to Georgia’s World War I veterans was dedicated, also in front of the Sloppy Floyd building.

Six years ago today, on November 11, 2013, the Atlanta Braves announced they would move from downtown Atlanta to Cobb County.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

President Trump launched “Black Voices for Trump” in Atlanta on Friday, according to the AJC.

Surrounded by roughly 400 supporters, including some who were from out of state, the president on Friday invoked the refrain he repeated so often during the 2016 campaign in front of largely white crowds as an appeal to African American voters: “What the hell do you have to lose?”

Those who took the gamble and supported him, Trump said, were rewarded with criminal justice initiatives, low black unemployment rates and staunch opposition to abortion, he said at the launch of his Black Voices for Trump group. Democrats, he countered, can only come up with empty promises.

Trump was preceded by Vice President Mike Pence, who told the crowd of the sweep of black Republicans who were elected to office during the Reconstruction era and said that the GOP, from Abraham Lincoln to Dwight Eisenhower, has advocated for black Americans.

Then came U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, the only African American member of Trump’s Cabinet, who drew a rousing ovation when he told the crowd that if “Trump is a racist, he’s an awfully bad one.”

Although Trump’s event targeted black voters, the audience was peppered with influential white politicians from Georgia: Gov. Brian Kemp, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, U.S. Sen. David Perdue, and U.S. Reps. Doug Collins, Buddy Carter and Jody Hice were all in the building. Each was also singled out by Trump.

The crowd was also dotted with local black conservatives. Among the attendees was Herman Cain, the former presidential hopeful; Alveda King, a niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.; and Melvin Everson, a former state legislator.

Governor Brian Kemp penned a guest editorial on healthcare in the Augusta Chronicle.

Georgia is experiencing historic job growth and unmatched economic opportunity in every corner of the state. Participation in the job market is at record highs; unemployment recently dropped to a 20-year low; and we were named the “No. 1 State for Business” for the seventh year in a row.

But even with rising wages and 30,000 new private-sector jobs this year alone, far too many hardworking Georgians struggle to access and afford health insurance coverage.

During the 2019 legislative session, I championed – and signed into law – the Patients First Act, which empowered my administration to craft Georgia-centric health-care reform measures that will lower health-care costs and insurance premiums; enhance access to top-notch doctors and facilities; and ultimately improve health outcomes for Georgia families.

Since then, we have partnered with industry experts, medical professionals, stakeholders, lawmakers and citizen advocates to draft two unique and innovative health-care waivers that meet the needs of hardworking Georgians, keep our budget balanced and reflect our values and vision as a state. These proposals shake up the status quo and put patients – not the special interests – first.

Through the Georgia Pathways program, our state will create a new opportunity for the nearly 408,000 hardworking Georgians who make less than 100% of the federal poverty line (FPL) to afford health insurance. If you are working part-time, enrolled in school or volunteer in your community at least 80 hours a month, the state will pay for your portion of Employer Sponsored Insurance (ESI) or enroll you in Medicaid. Just like commercial insurance, the new enrollee will be required to pay a nominal premium – based on a sliding fee scale – and will be rewarded for practicing healthy behaviors.

The second health-care reform proposal, Georgia Access, creates a state re-insurance program that provides more insurance coverage options; fosters competition among insurance providers; and ultimately lowers insurance costs for Georgia families. Just like in other states with similar programs, Georgia families who purchase their insurance on the federal exchange will see a noticeable reduction in their premiums – some upward of double digits.

While the two reform proposals will be submitted to the federal government for approval separately, Georgia Pathways and Georgia Access will work in tandem to lift our friends, neighbors, and family members out of poverty. They form a path to opportunity, success, and prosperity for all Georgians – no matter your ZIP code.

There is no “silver bullet” in health care – and this, my friends, is the first year of my administration. However, the submission of Georgia Pathways and Georgia Access is a huge step in the right direction. These long-overdue reforms will lead to a safe, prosperous and healthy future for Georgia.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced $800 million in funds available to farmers after Hurricanes Michael and Florence, according to the Albany Herald.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced this week that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will make available $800 million to agricultural producers in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia affected by hurricanes Michael and Florence. The state block grants are part of a broader $3 billion package to help producers recover from 2018 and 2019 natural disasters, which includes the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program-Plus (WHIP+) as well as programs for loss of milk and stored commodities.

“Natural disasters dealt producers some hefty blows in the past couple of years,” Perdue said in a news release. “This relief complements USDA’s tool chest of disaster assistance programs and crop insurance. In many cases, these special programs help us better reach producers who suffered substantial losses beyond what our regular programs cover. While we can’t make producers whole, we can give them a helping hand to get back on their feet and prepare for next year’s planting and harvest.”

USDA and the governor’s office in Florida and the state departments of agriculture in the other two states are working out final details for the grants, which will cover qualifying losses not covered by other USDA disaster programs. Grant funding will cover losses of timber, cattle, poultry, as well as for necessary expenses related to losses of horticulture crops and present value losses associated with pecan production.

Legal hemp farming could begin soon in Georgia, according to the AJC.

Farmers could begin growing hemp as soon as this spring if state regulations are finalized by then, according to the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Georgia farmers have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to plant hemp, which is used to make CBD oil, since the General Assembly voted to allow it last spring.

Federal hemp farming rules published last week establish requirements for licensing, testing and disposal of plants that exceed THC limits. Congress authorized a national hemp-growing program when it passed the Farm Bill last year.

Now, the Georgia Department of Agriculture plans to submit a state hemp growing plan by the end of the year that complies with federal rules, said spokeswoman Julie McPeake. The U.S. Department of Agriculture intends to authorize state plans within 60 days after they’re submitted, she said.

“Once approved, Georgia will move swiftly to propose a final state rule” that could be finalized soon after a 30-day public comment period, McPeake said.

The Gainesville Times looks at what comes next after Hall County voters approved a SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) referendum.

“From a financial standpoint, there’s probably not any immediate things that we’ll have to do,” Hall County Administrator Jock Connell said last week, after voters overwhelmingly approved Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax VIII.

The county may order Fire Services equipment because “it’ll take a year to build them,” he said.

Also, the SPLOST Citizen Review Committee will be revisited.

“It’ll still be nine members but will be constituted a little differently, because the cities felt like they needed better representation,” Connell said.

Other local governments also are looking ahead to how they’ll proceed with the program, which is projected to bring in about $217 million between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2026.

SPLOST, which became a potential taxing method for governments through a state law passed in 1985, is a 1% sales tax, or a penny on the dollar, with proceeds divided between the county and its cities. The money can only be used for capital projects, not for funding operations.

Staffing and caseloads in Chatham County courts are delaying trials, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Detainees stay in jail for an average of four months longer at taxpayer expense during an longstanding impasse over staffing and caseloads in Chatham County courts, according to a recommendation from county staff to fund additional prosecutors and public defenders.

Those costs could come to $10,320 per inmate, staff found, citing the need to reduce continuances and attendant costs, staff reported to Chatham County Commission Chairman Al Scott and his fellow commissioners for Friday’s meeting agenda.

The stalemate began in January with initial requests and needs analysis when Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap and her public defender counterpart, Todd Martin, outlined their respective cases. Each again made their pleas before the Chatham County Commission in June.

The issue was again scheduled for Friday’s commission meeting, but was pulled because Scott had additional questions. A new date of Nov. 22 now is possible.

In June the commission approved one additional attorney for Martin, but put Heap’s request aside for further consideration.

Both Heap and Martin come to the table facing growing caseloads they say are overwhelming their staffs’ ability to do their jobs for citizens.

The DeKalb County Board of Education is expected to end the contract of superintendent Steve Green, according to the AJC.

Friday, officials announced a special meeting at 1:30 p.m. today with an executive session, followed by a board vote on matters from that executive session.

Ramona Tyson, Green’s former chief of staff and a former interim superintendent who now reports directly to the school board, is expected to become the district’s interim leader, the officials said.

The vote would end Green’s nearly 53-month tenure as the district‘s longest superintendent in a 10-year stretch that saw it fall into debt and nearly lose its accreditation, only to rebound with tens of millions of dollars in reserves and a multiyear accreditation approval.

The Glynn County Board of Elections will meet Tuesday to discuss planning for 2020, according to The Brunswick News.

Elections officials recently received the first of over 100 new voting machines, and have been working on a public information campaign to education the public on how to use them in advance of the 2020 presidential election cycle.

The elections board has recently discussed moving multiple polling places, including those in the Burroughs-Molette Elementary School, Oglethorpe Point Elementary School, Marshes of Glynn Baptist Church and CenterPoint Church, among others.

Glynn County Public Schools superintendent Virgil Cole announced he will leave at the end of the school year, according to The Brunswick News.

A drone pilot who dropped contraband into a state prison pled guilty and was sentenced to 48 months in prison, according to the Albany Herald.

Eric Lee Brown, 35, of Lithonia pleaded guilty to one count of operating an aircraft eligible for registration knowing that the aircraft is not registered to facilitate a controlled substance offense before U.S. District Court Judge Louis Sands. Sands sentenced the defendant to 48 months in prison, followed by three years supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

Brown admitted in his signed plea agreement that he attempted to use a drone to drop a large bag of marijuana into Autry State Prison in Pelham. Mitchell County deputies responded to a call on March 29, 2018, about a vehicle impeding the flow of traffic near the prison. Brown was inside the vehicle, and deputies smelled marijuana and observed the drone. They also saw two clear plastic bags containing a green, leafy substance that later was confirmed to be 294 grams of marijuana.

“Smugglers using drones or other means to move illegal contraband and drugs into our prisons will face prosecution and penalties in the Middle District of Georgia,” [U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Charles] Peeler said in a statement issued to media. “The public needs to be aware that the use of drones is regulated by federal criminal statutes. Our office will enforce those laws in order to keep illegal contraband and drugs out of our prisons. I want to thank the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia Department of Corrections and Department of Transportation for their excellent work in this matter.”

8
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 8, 2019

Beau Gwinnett

Beau is a 10-year old senior male Boxer mix who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.

Spirit Gwinnett

Spirit is a 6-month old female Anatolian Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.

Kona Gwinnett

Kona is a 5-year old female Bulldog mix who is available for adoption from the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.

8
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 8, 2019

On Sunday, we celebrate the birth of the United States Marine Corps, which traces its lineage to the Continental Marines, formed by a resolution adopted by the Second Continental Congress on November 10, 1775. Here, former Georgia Governor and United States Senator Zell Miller tells of his decision to join the Marine Corps and the change it made in his life.

On November 8, 1860, Savannah residents protested in favor of secession following the election of Abraham Lincoln.

President Abraham Lincoln (R) was reelected on November 8, 1864.

General William Tecumseh Sherman issued Special Field Order No. 120 on November 9, 1864.

Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, in the Field, Kingston, Georgia, November 9, 1864

5. To corps commanders alone is intrusted the power to destroy mills, houses, cotton-gins, etc.; and for them this general principle is laid down: In districts and neighborhoods where the army is unmolested, no destruction of such property should be permitted; but should guerrillas or bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local hostility, then army commanders should order and enforce a devastation more or less relentless, according to the measure of such hostility.

6. As for horses, mules, wagons, etc., belonging to the inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appropriate freely and without limit; discriminating, however, between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor and industrious, usually neutral or friendly. Foraging-parties may also take mules or horses, to replace the jaded animals of their trains, or to serve as pack-mules for the regiments of brigades. In all foraging, of whatever kind, the parties engaged will refrain abusive or threatening language, and may, where the officer in command thinks proper, given written certificates of the facts, but no receipts; and they will endeavor to leave with each family a reasonable portion for their maintenance.

7. Negroes who are able-bodied and can be of service to the several columns may be taken along; but each army commander will bear in mind that the question of supplies is a very important one, and this his first duty is to see to those who bear arms.

8. The organization, at once, of a good pioneer battalion for each army corps, composed if possible of Negroes, should be attended to. This battalion should follow the advance-guard, repair roads and double them if possible, so that the columns will not be delayed after reaching bad places.

Former Confederate General John B. Gordon was sworn-in as Governor of Georgia on November 9, 1886.

Franklin D. Roosevelt made his 15th trip to Warm Springs, Georgia on November 8, 1928 after winning the election for Governor of New York.

A monument to Nancy Hart was dedicated in Hartwell, in Hart County, Georgia, on November 10, 1931. Hart was an active Patriot in the American Revolution.

Richard B. Russell, Jr. was elected to the United States Senate on November 8, 1932 and would serve until his death in 1971. Before his election to the Senate, Russell served as State Representative, Speaker of the Georgia House, and the youngest Governor of Georgia; his father served as Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. On the same day, part-time Georgia resident Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States.

The next day, November 9, 1932, President-elect FDR addressed a national broadcast to the American people and mentioned that he would spend Thanksgiving at his “second home” in Georgia.

On November 10, 1934, two years after his election as President, FDR made his 28th trip to Georgia.

On November 9, 1938, Kristallnacht began the organized destruction and looting of Jewish businesses and homes in Munich, Germany.

Former United States Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Moultrie) was born on November 10, 1943. Chambliss was elected to Congress in 1994 as part of the “Republican Revolution” led by Newt Gingrich.

The iron ore freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sunk in a winter storm on Lake Superior on November 10, 1975.

On November 9, 1989, the former East Germany announced that citizens could cross the border to West Germany. That night, crowds began tearing down sections of the wall that divided the city.

On November 8, 1994, Republicans won control of the United States House of Representatives and Senate in what came to be called the “Republican Revolution.”

Former State School Superintendent Linda Schrenko was indicted by federal prosecutors on November 10, 2004 on eighteen counts.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp appointed J. Matthew Williamson as Solicitor General for the State Court of Walker County.

Gov. Kemp also attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new Georgia Pacific plant in Warrenton, according to WFXG.

Governor Kemp said the project sends a clear message to the rest of rural Georgia.

“We’re serious about economic development. We want to continue to work with local leaders. I know this project had a lot of collaboration with the development authority, the local officials, state involvement and that makes for a good cocktail if you will, when you’re pitching economic development projects and we are committed to that,” said Governor Brian Kemp.

The company said the 340-thousand-square-foot Warrenton project cost $135 million dollars to build.

President Trump will be arriving in Atlanta this morning, according to the AJC.

Trump is set to touch down at Dobbins Air Reserve Base around 11 a.m., head to the roundtable and fundraiser in Buckhead for lunch and then go downtown to the Georgia World Congress Center for his midafternoon speech before returning to Dobbins. Expect major traffic snarls throughout the city.

The headline-grabbing event of the day will be the unveiling of the “Black Voices for Trump” coalition in downtown Atlanta. The president is set to speak after 2 p.m. at the invite-only event, along with Vice President Mike Pence and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

Trump is preparing to host a high-dollar fundraiser in Atlanta to help defend Perdue, one of the staunchest critics of the Democratic-led impeachment effort.

The president recently set up a joint fundraising committee with the Republican in time for Friday’s fundraiser at an undisclosed Atlanta locale that will run attendees $2,800 to get in the door and a six-figure check to attend a roundtable.

Attendees will have to dig deep into their wallets: A place at the roundtable will cost supporters a $100,000 check. It follows with a luncheon that will run attendees $2,800 for a seat at the table — and at least $35,000 for a photo with the president.

Congressman Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) will be flying to Atlanta today with President Trump, according to the AJC.

Word that President Donald Trump will arrive in Atlanta on Air Force One on Friday with U.S. Rep. Doug Collins in tow has sparked a frenzy of rumors in Georgia political circles that the Gainesville Republican will be Gov. Brian Kemp’s pick for U.S. Senate.

Collins remains one of the best-known contenders for the office, but unless there’s a drastic change of plans, we don’t expect Kemp to announce his appointment in time for Trump’s visit.

Last month, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., headlined a fundraiser that raised about $300,000 for Collins and called him “the kind of fighter we need in the Senate.”

The Savannah Morning News editors weigh in on the task of rolling out thousands of new voting machines before next year’s elections.

Six counties tested the new system in their local elections this week. Some 9,000 voters cast ballots in those locales, and the system performed as one would hope and expect: far from flawlessly, but overall satisfactorily.

The experience did underscore the major challenge ahead: The human element. With 30,000 voting machines to roll out and easily that many poll workers to train, all in a span of four months, the transition promises to be rocky.

Furthermore, the state doesn’t have the option to employ the old machines as a stopgap. A federal judge has mandated they be mothballed come Dec. 4. If the new system is not ready come March 24, the vote will be done using paper ballots.

Among the issues encountered Tuesday in Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Decatur, Lowndes and Paulding counties were ballot printers not connected to power supplies, incorrect equipment setup and trouble checking voters into their polling place using a tablet device.

Training should negate these shortcomings, as should voter education. The Paulding County elections director noted the learning curve ballotcasters face with the new system. For 17 years, voting was completed at the touch of a screen.

Yet Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger acknowledged this week the full rollout of 30,000 machines to 159 county election boards won’t be completed until mid-January.

Military Times designated Gwinnett Technical College as the second best in the nation for veterans, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The ranking listed Gwinnett Tech second among career and technical colleges for academic support and mental health programs it offers to veterans:

“At least twice each year, this school holds training sessions on the GI Bill, academic support for student veterans, PTSD and related issues,” the author wrote. “The training is required for all administrators and staff, as well as some faculty. The general student population can also optionally participate. In addition, the school provides a lot of flexibility for students whose GI Bill benefits are delayed due to Veterans Affairs Department backlogs, ensuring that students don’t get dropped from their classes or saddled with late fees.”

This is the fourth consecutive year Gwinnett Tech has moved up in the rankings and its third consecutive year in the Top 5. In the Best for Vets 2019 ranking, Gwinnett Tech was ranked No. 3.

Valdosta City Council member Eric Howard criticized election day performance, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

“It’s 2019, and we still can’t get this voting thing right,” Howard said.

Picked as one of six pilot counties to test new voting technology before the 2020 presidential election, Lowndes County experienced several issues on election day.

Problems with poll pads caused voting machines to not work at some polling locations Tuesday morning. Although poll workers were able to bypass this for voters, the delay caused the county to extend voting hours from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. to compensate for the loss of time.

Additionally, issues with memory cards caused poll workers to tally paper ballots as a failsafe instead of the planned method. Unofficial results came in about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Howard said he received calls from residents during the early morning on election day saying new voting machines were not properly working. He said he received calls about long lines at the Park Avenue polling place and disorganization at the Valdosta State University location.

Savannah City Council‘s first meeting after the election went off the rails, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The first Savannah City Council meeting that followed Tuesday’s elections briefly devolved into chaos over suggestions to delay a vote regarding Savannah arena management until newly elected aldermen take power in January of 2020.

The Nov. 7 meeting began peacefully, with the council appearing united during uplifting proclamation ceremonies designating November as National American Indian Heritage Month and Nov. 16-24 as National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Later the vast majority of agenda items were approved without dissent.

However, while considering a motion to authorize the City Manager to execute an agreement with OVG Facilities Inc. for operations and management for the large-scale Savannah arena project, which is expected to be completed in February 2022, Alderman Van Johnson expressed reservations about the contract.

Johnson, who is now in a runoff election to become Savannah mayor along with incumbent Eddie DeLoach, expressed dissatisfaction with how the OVG contract was brokered.

The City of Dalton filed suit against Whitfield County and its other municipalities over service delivery, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

The City of Dalton has filed a lawsuit against Whitfield County and the cities of Cohutta, Tunnel Hill and Varnell in Whitfield County Superior Court to resolve an on-going dispute over the service delivery agreement among their various governments.

The petition filed Tuesday seeks mandatory mediation of the agreement but also says that if the groups fail to reach an agreement during the mediation, “Dalton will petition the court to resolve all remaining items in dispute.”

Board of Commissioners Chairman Lynn Laughter said she wasn’t surprised the city filed the lawsuit after council members told her last week they would.

“We had a meeting last Monday, another commissioner and I and (Dalton Mayor Dennis Mock) and another City Council member, and asked them to at least sign an extension of the service delivery agreement while we negotiated,” she said. “Then we had another meeting Friday (the day after the agreement expired) and asked why they didn’t sign an extension, and they said their lawyer told them not to.”

Andy Welch, the McDonough-based lawyer who is the city’s special counsel in the service delivery talks, filed the motion. He did not immediately return a telephone message left at his office Thursday afternoon.

Citing state law, the city of Dalton’s petition says the judge must appoint a mediator within 30 days of the city filing its petition and the mediation must be completed within 60 days of a mediator being appointed.

It also says the majority of the members of the Board of Commissioners and each City Council must attend the first mediation session. It also says that if the different parties cannot agree on how mediation should proceed, a majority of each elected body must come to each mediation session until they can agree on a process.

Shameka Reynolds was elected Mayor of Lithonia, according to On Common Ground News.

Reynolds, who served on the City Council for eight years, won the election with 245 votes (60.95 percent), while Cindy Thomas garnered 157 votes (39.05 percent) in the two-way race, according to early results.

“I feel great. I thank God for the victory. The Devil tried it, but he didn’t win. I want to thank the city of Lithonia for supporting me. We are about to make the city of Lithonia great,” Reynolds said excitedly as supporters cheered during her victory party at the Stone Manor event center.

Smyrna voters will return to the polls for a December 3 runoff for Mayor, according to Patch.com.

There will be a runoff election on Dec. 3 between Smyrna mayoral candidates Derek Norton and Ryan Campbell, reported the Marietta Daily Journal.

Of the five candidates, Norton had the most votes Tuesday night with 3,724 votes of 7,907. Campbell followed behind with 1,957. According to MDJ, since none of the candidates received the 50 percent plus one vote needed to win, the runoff is required.

Norton won 47 percent of the vote and Campbell, 24.8 percent of the vote.

Lowndes County and Valdosta governments will be open for business on Monday, despite the federal holiday, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

7
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 7, 2019

Chet Augusta

Chet is a young male mixed breed puppy who is available for adoption from Augusta Animal Services in Augusta, GA.

Emily Augusta

Emily is a young female mixed breed puppy who is available for adoption from Augusta Animal Services in Augusta, GA.

Haze Augusta

Haze is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Augusta Animal Services in Augusta, GA.

Atlanta Augusta

Atlas is a young male mixed breed puppy who is available for adoption from Augusta Animal Services in Augusta, GA.

7
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 7, 2019

Georgia Governor Joseph Brown addressed the Georgia legislature calling on them to consider Georgia’s future on November 7, 1860, the day after Abraham Lincoln’s election as President.

Jeanette Rankin was elected to Congress, the first female Member, on November 7, 1916 from Montana. After leaving Congress, Rankin moved to Watkinsville, Georgia in 1925. The Jeanette Rankin Scholarship Foundation, based in Athens, Georgia provides college scholarships and support for low-income women 35 and older.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to a record fourth term on November 7, 1944.

Democrat Sam Nunn was reelected to the United States Senate on November 7, 1978.

On November 7, 1989, David Dinkins was elected the first African-American Mayor of New York and Douglas Wilder was elected the first African-American Governor of Virginia.

On November 7, 2006, Georgia reelected its first Republican Governor since Reconstruction, Sonny Perdue, and elected its first GOP Lieutenant Governor, Casey Cagle.

The Athens-Clarke Commission approved a plan to change the REM bridge trestle, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

The Athens-Clarke Commission approved on Tuesday night preliminary plans for a bridge replacing the famous R.E.M. rail trestle in Dudley Park.

The new design keeps some of the look of the iconic image famous among rock fans worldwide as the back cover art for Athens band R.E.M.’s first album, “Murmur.”

The wooden beam support structure of the abandoned railroad trestle would be kept in the tallest, middle part of the new 500-foot span, but ends would be replaced with steel members in an arcing support structure.

The bridge would connect the first part of the pedestrian-cycling Firefly Trail, planned to extend from downtown Athens on Broad Street out to Winterville on the abandoned rail bed that the R.E.M. trestle was once part of, crossing high over Trail Creek, the greenway path that goes through Dudley Park there and Poplar Street.

The trestle is a defining image of Athens, said District 3 Commissioner Melissa Link, likening it to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

President Trump will be in Atlanta tomorrow. From WSB-TV:

Georgia Democratic Party Chair State Sen. Nikema Williams believes any such attempt will fail because of the president’s unpopularity within the black community.

“94 percent of Black Georgians voted Democratic, and I see that number only continuing to increase. As for that 6 percent, they’re a bit confused, don’t understand what Donald Trump and his Republican Party are doing to do to affect the black community,” Williams said.

But the executive director of Trump’s National Diversity Coalition disagrees.

Bruce Levell believes Trump can make inroads into the black community by pushing economic initiatives and talking about the low unemployment numbers.

“It’s just restoring back who we are as Americans and by the way, our African-American culture. We’re going to resurrect that generational wealth in small business also,” he told Elliot.

In April, Channel 2 Action News had the chance to talk one-on-one with Trump about Georgia’s role in the upcoming election. He felt it was solidly in his corner.

“I think it’s in play only for us in the upcoming election, to be honest with you. I know David Perdue is going to be running and I’m running, and we’re going to do very well,” Trump said.

Governor Brian Kemp announced that Site Selection magazine selected Georgia as the top business environment again. From a press release:

Augusta, GA – Governor Brian P. Kemp today announced that Georgia’s business climate has been named No. 1 in the nation by Site Selection Magazine, an internationally circulated business publication covering corporate real estate and economic development, for the seventh year in a row. Georgia is the only state that has received the distinction seven consecutive times in the history of Site Selection’s rankings. Governor Kemp made the historic announcement at the Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta, Georgia.

“I am incredibly proud that Georgia has received the No. 1 ranking from Site Selection for the seventh year in a row,” said Governor Kemp. “From day one of my administration, we have been laser-focused on creating opportunities for hardworking Georgians in every corner of the state. Our efforts to cut burdensome regulations, continue developing a world-class workforce, and market all regions of the Peach State through the formation of a Rural Strike Team have not gone unnoticed, and this announcement affirms that.”

“The nation’s leading site consultants see opportunity for growth across our state. Our top-ranked workforce development initiatives – combined with a conservative, pro-business policy approach, world-class higher education system, and a logistics network that puts the global economy within arm’s reach – make Georgia a top competitor for investment from businesses large and small – across the country and around the world. I am proud of the work that we have done, but it does not stop here. We will continue raising the bar and working with our economic development partners in the public and private sectors to ensure that Georgia stays the best place in the nation to live, work, and raise a family.”

Site Selection releases its Top State Business Climate rankings each November. The rankings are 50 percent based on objective criteria and 50 percent on the input received from a survey of independent site location experts who are asked to rank and explain their choice.

“Our readers are keenly interested in our annual state business climate ranking, because they seek locations with the greatest prospects for success,” said Mark Arend, editor-in-chief of Site Selection. “Georgia’s seventh consecutive Top State Business Climate win reminds them that a Georgia location will contribute to their productivity and profitability long term.”

Georgia has long received recognition from leading companies and site consultants for its attractive business climate. The state’s workforce training program, Georgia Quick Start, is the top-ranked program in the United States. Logistics hubs like the Port of Savannah and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport connect businesses to their consumers far and wide, and the state’s pro-business policies make Georgia a competitive option for companies looking to locate or expand. In Fiscal Year 2019 alone, the Georgia Department of Economic Development supported the creation of nearly 29,000 new jobs through the location of 332 projects, 74 percent of which were located outside of metro Atlanta.

“We are thrilled that Georgia’s business climate has once again been named No. 1 by Site Selection,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Under Governor Kemp’s leadership, our partnership approach to economic development has enabled us to maintain a competitive edge in attracting new business and expanding our existing industries.”

“Our world-class team at the Georgia Department of Economic Development is proud to work with our economic development partners throughout the state to make record-breaking achievements like this possible. We look forward to joining with Governor Kemp to continue spreading hope and creating opportunities for all Georgians in the years to come.”

Site Selection Magazine joins Area Development Magazine in naming Georgia the top state for business for 2019 – the seventh and sixth straight year, respectively, that both publications have awarded Georgia the ranking.

From the Augusta Chronicle:

Georgia may have the best business climate but it is the environment inside Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta that excites Tom Barnes of Parson Corporation and other cyber and defense contractors.

“This ranking is not given, it is earned,” Kemp said. “Site Selection magazine highlighted our world class workforce, infrastructure and logistics hubs. They acknowledge our low cost of doing business and praise leaders on the state, regional and local level who are focused on advancing policies to grow jobs and economic opportunities.”

Kemp last month announced Parsons would be expanding its Augusta operations by 80 positions, in addition to the 20 or so already on the ground, and Wednesday he got to meet at the center with Parsons and a number of the other entities there, such as Augusta University and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Cyber Crime Center.

“We are thrilled that a leading cybersecurity company like Parsons has decided to invest and grow right here in Augusta,” Kemp said. “Their expansion showcases the Cyber Center’s tremendous impact on the CSRA, the state and beyond. These additional high quality jobs will only add to Georgia’s resume as a national leader in the cyber industry and a key national security asset.”

What Parsons and others find so attractive is that unique mix of industry, academia and government all interacting in one place, with the ability of talented people to go from one to the other within the center, said Barnes, director of strategic cyber operations, plans and programming.

Georgia is also among the leaders in farm bankruptcies, according to the AJC.

The number of Georgia farm bankruptcies has surged in recent months to among the highest in the nation, as growers grappled with poor prices, burdensome tariffs and lingering effects from brutal weather.

But the level is still lower than it was in some other recent years.

Though millions of dollars in assistance have begun to roll out, many farmers are still waiting for promised federal aid for natural disasters such as Hurricane Michael. It’s unlikely that the payouts will make up for all the losses that have grown over the years, bankruptcy attorneys said.

Georgia logged 37 new Chapter 12 filings in the latest 12-month period ending Sept. 30, according to a report last week from the U.S. Courts. That’s up from 25 for the same period a year earlier. But it’s down from 43 and 41 in the periods for 2017 and 2016, respectively. Chapter 12 is set aside largely for family farmers. Both Georgia’s latest 12-month total number of cases and its growth compared to the same period a year ago are among the highest in the nation, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The state’s biggest increase — 14 additional filings — came in the latest reporting period of July, August and September, as some farmers waited for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to distribute a portion of new disaster aid. The assistance had been passed by Congress and signed by the president in early May, following months of rancor.

Payments have been made on about 18% of Georgia applications, which have now risen to more than 2,300, according to the department. The program is designed to cover between 70 and 95% of the expected value of certain kinds of agriculture losses, after reducing for things such as insurance payouts and lowered expenses.

Governor Kemp also presented Burke County Deputy Sheriff Eric Madison with an award, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Gov. Brian Kemp presented the Medal of Valor to Deputy Eric Madison at the courthouse in Waynesboro, Ga. It’s the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a public safety officer nationally.

Kemp said Madison was one of the “real heroes” of the community after encountering an armed suspect who had abducted a woman Aug. 10.

“Deputy Eric Madison did not count the costs or weigh his options when he showed up on the scene that day,” Kemp said. “He vowed many years ago, as you all know, to serve and protect. … He deserves all the praise and accolades that we can give him even though he doesn’t want them.”

“I’m humbled to be with the men and women of such high character that sacrifice life and limb, who devote their lives by serving others and who are willing to risk it all in the name of public safety every single day,” said Kemp, who was named an honorary deputy.

Georgia Supreme Court Justice Charlie Bethel will speak at Dalton State College, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

“Ethics and Textiles” is a topic that will be explored further when Georgia Supreme Court Justice Charles “Charlie” Bethel speaks at Dalton State College on Tuesday at 4 p.m. as part of the University System of Georgia’s Ethics Awareness Week. The presentation will be in Gignilliat Memorial Hall in the BizHub, room 101. It is free and open to the public.

Bethel’s presentation focuses on everyday interactions with textiles in relation to acquiring an effective ethical system in the community and draws from his own experiences in his career in business, law and politics. He said creating a consistent committed system that embodies integrity is crucial to a community. Moreover, maintaining the ethical component of a community is paramount.

Bethel served on the Georgia Court of Appeals before then-Gov. Nathan Deal appointed him to the position of Supreme Court justice of Georgia in September 2018. Bethel, a graduate of Dalton High School, practiced law in Dalton after earning a bachelor’s degree in business and obtaining his law degree from the University of Georgia.

The Dalton Daily Citizen-News looks at how the new state voting system performed in a limited rollout.

Six counties tried their hands at the touchscreen machines that generate a printed ballot — the low-turnout elections pilot a small sampling, compared to what’s coming next year. The Secretary of State’s office plans to implement the new system in all 159 counties by the March 24 presidential primary.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger spent time on Tuesday at the Paulding County Courthouse, one of the locations testing the new system.

Raffensperger said the rural counties piloting the system were picked in specific geographic locations — on the borders of Tennessee and Florida and at points in-between — to test for “stress points” in the system.

“We’re rolling through it, minor stuff happens time to time but that’s why you do pilots so they don’t happen on a big election day,” he said.

Raffensperger said there are 11,000 news machines waiting to be rolled out for the presidential primary in March. The elections office is “ahead of schedule.”

The system requires hundreds of thousands of paper ballots. Benefits of the paper printouts, he said, outweighs the electronic systems that “aged out” and were not kept updated.

“There’s going to be a whole lot more paper, you’re going to need the county commissioners, yes you’re going to need some large warehouses,” Raffensperger said, “but if you look at right now, over 7% of all people in America are voting with a paper ballot system of some sort. I think by 2020, 2024 it will probably be close to 100%.”

“We understand 50% of the voters will be happy and 50% of the voters will be sad,” Raffensperger said. “Because we understand we live in polarized times. But we want 100% of voters to have the confidence that their vote was accurately counted.”

From the Georgia Recorder:

Voters in Decatur County ran into a technical glitch Tuesday morning at its three precincts, which caused a 45-minute delay, but Georgia’s new ballot-marking machines otherwise drew positive reviews in election day pilot testing.

The polls in Decatur County stayed open later to accommodate the dozen or so people who didn’t wait out the repair, said Carol Heard, the chief elections official for the county’s Board of Elections and Voter Registration.

Joe Reece was among a handful of voters to cast his ballot around noon at the Watson Government Complex in Paulding County, another one of the six Georgia counties piloting the new voting machines. His experience with the Dominion Voting Systems device went smoothly, until he accidentally walked out of the precinct with his ballot still in hand. Reece got a few steps out the front door before a pair of poll workers ushered him back inside to scan the ballot.

Precincts should boost the number of poll workers on site for larger elections to keep an eye out for distracted mistakes like he made, Reece said. A more likely problem would be if the printers break down.

“You’ve added another possible glitch,” Reece said outside the government complex Tuesday before news broke of the Decatur County problems. “But as long as the printers work, there’s not much of a difference.”

From WABE:

At first glance, the actual voting process appeared to run smoothly along with the ballot scanning process. But there were a few snags with the poll pad, which is the way voters check in with the new system.

Some counties, like Decatur, kept their polls open for an extra hour. Decatur County election official Carol Heard told WABE about a dozen or so voters were affected by the problem. She said keeping the polls open was out of an abundance of caution to make sure those voters had a chance to come back and vote if they chose to.

In Paulding County, elections supervisor Deidre Holden said they were able to offer voters paper ballots to fill out by hand while they waited for the computer glitch to be fixed.

She said voters liked the new system, but it wasn’t without an adjustment period.

“There are just some pieces, some extra pieces that are in there that hopefully by March they’ll have everybody ready to go in there and know what the steps are to making their voting experience successful,” said Holden.

From WTVC:

Sam Teasley with the Georgia Secretary of States office says the touchscreen element will feel similar, but now an added step for security will be taken.

“The biggest difference is at the end of that process, you haven’t actually voted until you reviewed your piece of paper which is your ballot, and put it into the scanners.”

It’s an addition Teasley says should give voters a peace of mind, and confidence that their vote will be recorded accurately.

For the most part, the voting process has gone smoothly thus far according to Teasley, who has been in Catoosa County monitoring polls on Tuesday. One voter tells us there could be a negative side to this new system.

“The only thing is it seems like it’ll be slow, so I think everyone will want to think about doing early voting.”

“The whole reason you do a pilot is to make sure what you see what you think you have is what you have and if there are any kinks that need to be worked out then we can figure them out by March 24th.”

A federal lawsuit seeks changes in how challenged absentee ballots are handled, according to the AJC.

A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday asked a judge to require quick notification to Georgia voters when their absentee ballots are rejected, giving them time to correct problems and have their votes counted.

The lawsuit, filed by the Democratic Party, said voters often aren’t told about mismatched or missing signatures on their absentee ballots until it’s too late.

“Every Georgian should have the right to cast their vote and make sure it counts,” said Nikema Williams, chairwoman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Our elections need clear and fair standards to ensure that no one is disenfranchised and that no community is unfairly targeted.”

After the gators lost to the Bulldogs, the state of Florida will take a second chance at beating Georgia, this time in federal court. From AccessWDUN:

Lawyers for Florida will be back in federal court Thursday, trying to get a cap on Georgia’s water use from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin. An integral part of the basin is North Georgia’s Lake Lanier. The river system flows from Georgia through the Florida Panhandle.

Florida has long contended that Georgia’s use of the water in the basin has ruined its oyster industry.

Georgia, on the other hand, has argued in court over the last several years that the state has used the water responsibly for the booming metro Atlanta area and for agriculture in the south end of the state.

“Georgia makes the argument that they have been doing their part,” said Chris Manganiello, water policy director for the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper in Georgia, in a recent interview with USA Today. “I don’t expect Georgia to say anything different or all that earth-shattering (at the upcoming hearing).”

State House District 152 will see a special runoff election, according to WALB.

Two powerhouses from Lee and Worth counties will face off for the House of Representatives District 152 seat.

Tuesday night’s election determined that Bill Yearta and Jim Quinn will head to a runoff next month.

“I’m going to be working the next four weeks, trying to get as many people to come back as I can. I’m gonna knock on twice as many doors and make twice as many phone calls. People are going to get tired of me again,” said Quinn.

“We’re gonna work real hard to get our message out. It’s another great opportunity to get with the hard-working folks from Lee, Worth and Sumter counties,” said Yearta.

From the Albany Herald:

In the four-candidate field of hopefuls who qualified for the special election to fill the unexpired term of Ed Rynders, Leesburg Mayor Jim Quinn finished with 3,861 votes, or 41.58% in the Tuesday election, while former Sylvester Mayor Bill Yearta had 3,182 votes – 34.27% of the 9,286 ballots cast in the race.

The winner in the runoff election will serve the remaining year of Rynders’ term. Rynders announced plans earlier this year to step down from the seat he’s held for the past 17 years after moving with his wife to St. Simons Island.

“We’ve got more work to do,” said Yearta, who had to step down as mayor of Sylvester when he qualified to run for another office. “It’s just about getting our message out and our vision for the district. It’s just going to be an opportunity to see folks and try to let them know I’m the best person for the district and will be a strong voice for the people of District 152.”

“We get to do it all over again,” Quinn said of the four weeks of campaigning ahead. “It’s a chance to knock on more doors, see more people, make more phone calls. I like meeting people. I like talking to people.”

Albany will have runoff elections for Mayor and City Council, according to the Albany Herald.

Incumbent Mayor Dorothy Hubbard received the most votes in Tuesday’s election, finishing with 3,501, or 30.25%. Second-place finisher Kermit “Bo” Dorough received 3,206 votes, or 27.7%, of the 11,572 ballots cast.

“I am really delighted to be in the runoff,” Hubbard said on Wednesday. “We get to get out running (again). We’ll be out there campaigning as we have in the past.

“I am very disappointed that I polled less than 10% in south and east Albany,” Dorough said after election results were reported. “But what this election showed is that 70% of the people in Albany who went to the polls voted against the incumbent. The only question now is will the people who claim they want change seize the opportunity to make that change while they have this chance?

“I’m going to hit the bricks, talk to those voters. And I will debate Ms. Hubbard any time or anywhere.”

The other runoff election will be for the Ward VI City Commission seat. Incumbent Tommie Postell chose not to seek another term.

In that race Demetrius Young came out on top on election night with 705 votes, or 44.71%. John Hawthorne finished just behind with 692 votes – 43.88% – to force the runoff election between the two. Leroy Smith received 177 votes, or 11.22%.

Johns Creek will host three runoff elections, according to Northfulton.com.

Councilman Chris Coughlin, the only incumbent in the race, came the closest to an all-out win, taking 47.2 percent of the votes in the Post 4 race. In the runoff, he will face former Johns Creek Community Association President Marybeth Cooper, who earned 19.1 percent of the vote.

For Post 2, the seat that will be vacated by Councilman Jay Lin at the end of the year, retired Police Major Brian Weaver received the most votes, 45.6 percent. In the runoff, he will face Dilip Tunki, who earned 30.3 percent of the vote.

For Post 6, the seat being vacated by Councilman Steve Broadbent, the race was closer. Erin Elwood was the highest vote-earner, with 38.1 percent of the final tally. The other runoff candidate will be Issure Yang, who took 31.9 percent, beating out Judy LeFave, who earned 29.3 percent.

Roswell City Council District Three will have a December runoff, according to the Rome News Tribune.

City council candidates for post 3 could face a runoff election this December. Candidate Christine Hall ended with 34.52% of votes, and Lisa Holland with 31.84% of votes. Keith Geoke had 18.06% of votes and Kay Howell had 15.58% of votes.

Hall County voters renewed the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, according to the Gainesville Times.

A sales tax used to fund capital projects for the county and its cities, first approved in Hall County in 1985, was renewed by voters in a referendum Tuesday.

The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax VIII is projected to bring in about $217 million between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2026. It is a 1% sales tax, or a penny on the dollar, and the funds will be divided between the county and its cities. The money can only be used for capital projects, not for funding operations. Hall County and its cities have previously discussed how they would spend the money.

SPLOST law was enacted statewide in 1985, and county voters approved Hall’s first SPLOST that year. Since then, it has been renewed seven times, with SPLOST VIII getting approval Tuesday. The tax has paid for about has paid for about $671 million in county and city projects since 1985.

Three Gwinnett municipalities will have runoff elections, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Norcross, Snellville and Braselton will each hold runoff elections Dec. 3 to decide the outcome of contested City County races.

In Norcross, Tyler Hannell and Bruce Gaynor will square off for the seat being vacated by Councilman Dan Watch.

Over in Snellville, Solange Destang and Brittany Marmol will face off in the open City Council Post 2 race.

Meanwhile, Braselton Councilwoman Becky Richardson is heading to a runoff against Richard Mayberry in that city’s Council district 1 race.

Bainbridge residents approved a “brunch bill“ referendum, according to The Post Searchlight.

The special election referendum asked if the governing authority of the City of Bainbridge should be authorized to allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays in restaurants between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and if it should be authorized to allow the sale of alcohol on Sundays to be made at stores between 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Roughly 63 percent of voters voted “Yes” to sale of alcohol in restaurants and roughly 62 percent of voters said “Yes” to package sales of alcohol in stores.

Darien Mayor Hugh “Bubba” Hodge was reelected and will serve a third term, according to The Brunswick News.

Mayor Hugh “Bubba” Hodge defeated District 2 City Councilman Griffin Lotson 270-198 to win a third straight term as mayor, according to unofficial results from the county Board of Elections. In the race for the District 2 City Council seat that Lotson vacated, Morris Butler’s 102 votes were enough to avoid a runoff in a three-candidate race. With Katie Daniels garnering 56 votes and William Johnson getting 43, Butler had nearly 51 percent of the total in the race.

Newton County Commission Chair Marcello Banes announced he will run for reelection next year, according to the Covington News.

“It has been a sincere honor to work diligently for the citizens of Newton County. I ran my initial campaign for Chairman under the platform ‘Believe, Begin, Become a Better Newton County.’ Upon my election, the citizens of Newton County bestowed upon me their faith that I would be a man of my word and work diligently and selflessly toward a better Newton County,” he said.

6
Nov

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for November 6, 2019

Hank Oconee

Hank is an American Buldog and Boxer mix who is available for adoption from the Oconee County Animal Services Shelter in Bishop, GA.

Abby Oconee

Abby is a female Plott Hound mix who is available for adoption from the Oconee County Animal Services Shelter in Bishop, GA.

Mac Oconee

Mac is a senior male Jack Russell Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Oconee County Animal Services Shelter in Bishop, GA.

Mac was found stray and misses his family so much! He is about 8 years old and 28 lbs. He is dog friendly but probably is best in a house without cats because he likes to chase them.
6
Nov

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for November 6, 2019

Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th President of the United States and the first Republican to hold the office on November 6, 1860. By his inauguration in March, seven states had seceded.

On November 6, 1861, one year after Lincoln’s election, Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens of Georgia were elected President and Vice President of the Confederate States of America.

President Teddy Roosevelt left for a 17-day trip to Panama on November 6, 1906 to inspect work on the Panama Canal; he was the first President to take an official tour outside the continental United States.

A dam on the campus of Toccoa Falls Bible College burst on November 6, 1977 under pressure from heavy rains, killing 39 students and faculty.

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich (R-GA) resigned his office and his Congressional seat on November 6, 1998, effective in January 1999, despite having been reelected three days earlier.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

South Carolina filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over the Savannah River Lock and Dam, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has filed a lawsuit on behalf of state agencies against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to prevent it from tearing down New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam near Augusta, his office announced Tuesday.

South Carolina and Georgia officials are vehemently opposed to the plan because it would result in a significantly lower pool of water in the Savannah River between Augusta and North Augusta – at least two feet lower by the Corps’ estimate, and the lawsuit claims it could end up being more than twice that.

The Corps is creating the fish passage near Augusta to mitigate environmental damage from the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project near that port that could affect endangered shortnose and Atlantic sturgeon and other migrating fish, which as a result of the plan would have access beyond the lock and dam to historic spawning grounds.

Governor Brian Kemp‘s administration set dates for public comment sessions on the §1332 Medicaid waiver.

Savannah, Georgia, Thursday, November 7, 2019, 1:00 p.m. EST
Mercer School of Medicine – Savannah Campus
Hoskins Center for Biomedical Research (corner of 66th and Ranger Street)
1250 East 66th Street, Savannah, GA 31404

Macon, Georgia, Wednesday, November 13, 2019, 1:00 p.m. EST
Mercer University School of Medicine – Macon Campus
Mercer Auditorium
1550 College Street, Macon GA 31207

Bainbridge, Georgia, Thursday, November 14, 2019, 1:00 p.m. EST
Southern Regional Technical College
The Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center, Dining Room 112
2500 East Shotwell Street, Bainbridge, Georgia 39819

Gainesville, Georgia, Monday, November 18, 2019, 1:00 p.m. EST
Gainesville Civic Center, Chattahoochee Room
830 Green Street, N.E., Gainesville, Georgia 30501

Rome, Georgia, Thursday, November 21, 2019, 1:00 p.m. EST
West-Rome Baptist Church, The Well Building
914 Shorter Avenue, Rome, Georgia 30165

Kennesaw, Georgia, Friday, November 22, 2019, 2:00 p.m. EST
North Cobb Regional Library, Multi-Purpose Room
3535 Old 41 HWY, Kennesaw, Georgia 30144

Individuals or groups with disabilities, who require special accommodations, including auxiliary communicative aids and services during these meetings should notify Matthew Krull at Matthew.Krull@dch.ga.gov or (404) 651-5016 no later than 24 hours ahead of the scheduled public hearing to ensure any necessary accommodation can be provided.

Two Republicans head to a runoff for State House District 152, which was vacated by former State Rep. Ed Rynders, according to the Albany Herald.

Jim Quinn and Bill Yearta will be in the runoff.

Quinn garnered 3,727 votes and Yearta garnered 3,114 votes, according to unofficial results.

The runoff is set for Dec. 3.

From the AJC:

Quinn, a former journalist, served as mayor of Leesburg for 12 years before running for the vacated House seat. Yearta, a jeweler, served as mayor of Sylvester for 17 years and resigned earlier this year for his House run.

Quinn received about 41.6% of the nearly 9,300 ballots cast on Tuesday, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s office. Yearta secured 34.3% of votes cast.

Rynders announced his retirement in September, citing health reasons and plans to move to St. Simons Island.

Despite some glitches, new voting machines performed well in their first use yesterday, according to the Associated Press.

Voters and election supervisors testing Georgia’s new voting machines gave favorable reviews Tuesday, despite some opening glitches reported by five of six pilot counties, as the state rushes to meet a court-ordered deadline to retire its outdated, paperless system before any votes are cast in 2020.

State election officials piloted the $106 million system that combines touchscreens with paper ballots in six mostly rural counties holding elections for mayors, city councils and school boards. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger plans to use the new machines in all 159 counties for Georgia’s presidential primaries in March.

Judges ordered two counties testing the new equipment to keep polls open late, and a third county kept a single precinct open 30 extra minutes, after electronic poll books used to check in voters malfunctioned as polls opened Tuesday morning.

Decatur County elections supervisor Carol Heard said voting was delayed about 45 minutes before the software glitch was fixed. Lowndes County quickly switched to a paper registration list for check-in, causing minimal delays for voters, said elections supervisor Deb Cox. She said polls would stay open an extra 45 minutes.

“Everything is up and running swimmingly,” Cox said Tuesday afternoon. “It’s rather dull right now.”

A judge added a half hour of voting time at one precinct in Carroll County because of a similar check-in glitch, said election supervisor Greg Rigby. Two additional counties reported the same problem, but officials said there were no delays to require extending voting hours.

Bibb County voters chose a $185 million dollar Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax to fund education (E-SPLOST), according to the Macon Telegraph.

Bibb County voters embraced Tuesday an extension of the 1% sales tax to fund $185 million in school initiatives, according to unofficial vote totals.

Meanwhile, there’s a new person coming onto Warner Robins council, with a runoff election in another Warner Robins council race.

A runoff election also will be held to settle a council race in Perry.

The (E-SPLOST) vote was 7,979 yes, or 75.72 percent of the vote, to 2,558 no votes, or 24.28% of the vote.

About 10 percent of 105,062 eligible voters cast ballots on the tax measure, said Board of Elections Supervisor Jeanetta Watson.

Clarke County voters approved an extension of the SPLOST, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

According to results posted on the Athens-Clarke County website, 7,041 voters said yes to SPLOST, and just 1,937 said no. Turnout was small, just 12.54 percent — about a fifth of the turnout for last year’s general election.

The vote means merchants will continue to collect the penny tax from shoppers in Athens-Clarke County until the Athens-Clarke government collects $313.4 million from it. Athens-Clarke planners projected that would take about 11 years beginning next year, when the current SPLOST tax will expire.

In another area races, challenger Bob Smith, a former member of the state House, defeated incumbent Watkinsville Mayor Dave Shearon by a razor’s-edge margin of two votes — 402 votes for Smith to 400 for Shearon, according to results posted on the Oconee County Board of Elections and Voter Registration webpage.

Watkinsville voters approved by a nearly 3-1 margin a measure to allow Sunday alcohol sales to begin at 11 a.m. rather than the current 12:30 p.m. start. Of an even 800 ballots cast, 567 said yes to the earlier hour, while 233 said no.

Harris County voters approved an extension of the SPLOST, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

It was the sixth time in three decades that Harris County voters were asked to approve a sales tax to help pay for school projects. But for the first time, the request came in the form of two questions on the ballot Tuesday:

  • Whether to continue the existing 1% sales tax.
  • Whether to try a different way of financing the projects, which would include the possibility of increasing property taxes.

As they’ve done the previous five times it’s been on the ballot since 1997, Harris County voters approved the tax — as well as the new funding mechanism.

Approval of the second question on the ballot gave the school board the authority to increase property taxes to pay off long-term construction bonds.

Hall County voted for a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax VII that will raise $217 million dollars, according to AccessWDUN.

With all precincts tallied, the Hall County Elections Office reported 3,304 voters voted yes for the extension of the tax, while 1,422 voted against it – a 70.35% approval.

SPLOST VIII will be in place for six years. The new local option sales tax is expected to generate $216,960,000. SPLOST VII, a five year local option sales tax, expires in June 2020.

Savannah voters will choose a Mayor in a runoff election between incumbent Eddie DeLoach and alderman Van Johnson, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Smyrna will also hold a runoff for Mayor, between Derek Norton and Ryan Campbell, according to the Patch.

In Ward 2 Austin Wagner gained two more votes than incumbent Andrea G. Bluestein, making Wagner the projected winner. In ward 3, Travis Lindley (862) is the projected winner over incumbent Maryline Blackburn (766) of 1,628 votes.

Nick Millwood will serve a second term as Mayor of Ringgold, according to the Times Free Press.

Valdosta‘s mayor will be chosen in a runoff election, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

It looks like J.D. Rice and Scott James Matheson will face off in a run off to be Valdosta’s next mayor.

Election results in the Valdosta City election are still not official but Wednesday morning numbers released by the election office indicate Rice garnered 34.5 % of the vote to Matheson’s 24.9 %.

Nether candidate reached the 50 % plus one vote threshold to win the race outright.

The latest numbers indicate Rice received 2,172 votes compared to 1,568 for Matheson.

“I’m exhausted,” Matheson said. “The machines were a disaster.”

The North Ward seat held by incumbent Johnny Cason is headed to a Dec. 3 runoff after none of the four candidates earned more than 50 percent of the vote.

With three precincts not reporting results by 11:45 p.m., District 1 Alderman Van Johnson got the most votes in the four-way race with current mayor Eddie DeLoach coming in second for the day.

No candidate managed to get the required 50% plus one to be declared a winner. Run-off elections are set for Dec. 3.

As of about midnight, Johnson had 46.45% of the vote with 10,940 votes. DeLoach got 38.96% of the vote, with 9,177.

Sonny Vickers was reelected to Valdosta City Council, according to the Valdosta Daily Times. An at-large seat on Valdosta City Council will be decided in a runoff election.

Tybee Island and Pooler voted for new Mayors after both incumbents chose not to run for reelection, according to WJCL.

In Pooler, longtime mayor Mike Lamb announced during the summer that he would not seek re-election, opening the door for candidates Rebecca Benton, Adam Bridges and Steve Larson. Benton and Bridges were the top vote getters but neither surpassed 50%, thus forcing a runoff in December.

Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman announced in May he would not run again. Wanda Doyle, Mack Kitchens and Shirley Sessions vied for the seat, with Sessions earning 55% of the vote.

Dunwoody and Lithonia elected new mayors and Doraville sent two candidates to a runoff election, according to the Rome News Tribune.

When the votes were tallied in Doraville, the two candidates receiving the most votes were incumbent Mayor Donna Pittman, who gained 22.55 percent while challenger Joseph Geierman gained 39.33 percent, meaning the two will go on to a runoff election in December.

Lynn Deutsch won 61 percent of the votes to become the new mayor of Dunwoody while Shameka Reynolds won 61 [percent] of the votes to become the new mayor of Lithonia.

Elberton and Pickens voted to allow some Sunday alcohol sales, according to Fox Carolina.

In Elberton, GA, voters passed two referendums allowing Sunday alcohol sales by the drink and retail sales.

The By the Drink referendum passed with 195 “yes” votes to 85 “no,” while the Retail Sales question passed 187 to 88.

Voters in the city of Pickens also passed an alcohol referendum, with 267 “yes” votes to 222 “no” votes

Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington appears to have won election over incumbent Mayor Dennis Mock, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen-News.

It was close all evening. But at the end of the night, former Dalton mayor David Pennington defeated incumbent Dennis Mock by 11 votes to reclaim the mayor’s post.

“I’ve been out of office almost six years, running against an incumbent mayor,” said Pennington. “I knew it would be a tough race. But I’m thankful to all of those who came out to vote.”

Pennington received 1,400 votes (50.05%) to Mock’s 1,389 (49.66%). There were eight write-in votes.

Likewise, incumbents lost for Dalton Board of Education, and two seats on Varnell City Council.

Cohutta voters elected incumbent Town Council member J. Shane Kornberg and challenger Andy Lopez, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen-News.

Kornberg, an incumbent, received 88 votes (30%) to 85 votes (29%) for Lopez, a challenger, while Sheila Rose, an incumbent, garnered 63 votes (22%), and Nick Conner, another challenger, finished with 55 votes (19%).

College Park will hold a runoff election for Mayor on December 3 between incumbent Jack Longino (25%) and challenger Bianca Broom (35%), according to the Rome News Tribune.

Lowndes County passed a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST VII), according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Statesboro City Council will change from all-men to a female majority, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Dougherty County passed Sunday alcohol sales by the drink and in package sales, while Albany passed Sunday sales by the drink; Lee County passed package and by the drink Sunday sales, according to WALB.

Rome adopted the “brunch bill” referendum, according to the Rome News Tribune. Rome Mayor Bill Collins was reelected.

Juli Clay was elected to Gainesville City Council, according to the Gainesville Times.

From AccessWDUN:

* Dawson County
Dawson County voters have approved a $48 million ESPLOST to fund education projects for the Dawson County School District.
YES – 648
NO – 189

*Forsyth County

City of Cumming
Cumming voters approved a Sunday “brunch bill” to allow restaurants to participate in the earlier sale of alcohol by the drink on Sundays.
YES – 277
NO – 198

*Gwinnett County

City of Suwanee
Suwanee voters approved a Sunday “brunch bill” to allow restaurants to participate in the earlier sale of alcohol by the drink on Sundays.

*Habersham County

Habersham County voters shot down a proposed jail bond question that would have financed a $31.4-million replacement jail.

Yes – 1,828
No – 1,985

Habersham County voters will return to the polls Dec. 3 for a runoff in the County Commission District 5 race. Top vote-getters Darrin Johnston and Tim Stamey will appear on that ballot. The winner of that run-off will serve the remainder of the term for the seat left vacant by the resignation of Ed Nichols, who relocated.

City of Clarkesville
Voters in the City of Clarkesville approved a Sunday “brunch bill” to allow restaurants to participate in the earlier sale of alcohol by the drink on Sundays.

Yes – 149
No – 66

City of Cornelia

Voters in the City of Cornelia approved a Sunday “brunch bill” to allow restaurants to participate in the earlier sale of alcohol by the drink on Sundays.

Yes – 207
No – 85

*Stephens County

In Stephens County, voters overwhelmingly approved the continuation of a 1-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

SPLOST

Yes – 1,272

No – 368

*White County

City of Cleveland
Voters in the City of Cleveland approved a Sunday “brunch bill” to allow restaurants to participate in the earlier sale of alcohol by the drink on Sundays.

YES -b 49
NO- 34

Norcross Mayor Craig Newton and Grayson Mayor Allison Wilkerson were reelected, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Chad Warbington was elected to Albany Commission Ward IV, defeating incumbent Commissioner Roger Marietta, according to the Albany Herald.