The blog.

9
Oct

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 9, 2020

Boyce Cobb County

Boyce is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Cobb County Animal Shelter in Marietta, GA.

Boyce is super cute, sweet and very playful. He loves toys and like any lab loves playing in the water. He also loves treats and will sit and lay down for them as soon as told. He also loves people and is quite affectionate. Boyce came into the shelter on Sept. 29 as a lost dog and his family hasn’t come to find him. He is about 2 years old, weighs 51 pounds and has a beautiful tan and white coat. He is up-to-date on vaccinations, now neutered and will be heartworm tested and microchipped upon adoption. Come meet him in Run 80 using ID# 625203.

Bella Cobb County

Bella is a young female Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Cobb County Animal Shelter in Marietta, GA.

Meet Bella! Sweet girl thought she had her forever home when she was adopted from the shelter in February but the family said they could no longer care for her and returned her October 4. They said that Bella(formerly known as Brownie) was good with kids and house trained. Bella is very frightened in the shelter and really wants to get out and back into a home with toys, a soft bed and people to play with her. Bella knows to sit when told and is gentle on leash. She is current on her vaccines, spayed and micro-chipped. She will be tested for heart worms upon adoption. You will find her waiting in run 853 and her ID# is 625329. Bella is just 1 year old and weighs 43 pounds.

Tawny Cobb County

Tawny is a female Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Cobb County Animal Shelter in Marietta, GA.

Meet Tawny! What a cutie pie she is. Tawny is super sweet and playful. She is curiuos and eager to please. Sits when told. Still needs to learn a few leash manners but does pretty good. Tawny is about 1.5 years old and 38 pounds. She is up to date on shots, and will be spayed, microchipped and heartworm tested upon adoption. She is waiting to meet you in run 831. ID 624432

9
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 9, 2020

Today is Leif Erikson Day, celebrating the Norse explorer being the first European to visit North America. From Mental Floss:

While the actual date of Leif Erikson Day doesn’t have anything personally to do with Leif, it was picked for the holiday because it’s the anniversary of the day that the ship Restauration arrived in New York from Stavanger, Norway, back in 1825. The arrival of the Restauration marked the beginning of organized immigration from Scandinavia to the USA. The holiday was first recognized by Wisconsin in 1930, eventually becoming a nationally observed holiday in 1964.

Casimir Pulaski, a Polish aristocrat who fought with the colonists in the American Revolution, died in Savannah on October 11, 1779.

The United States Naval Academy opened in Annapolis, Maryland on October 10, 1845.

On October 9, 1963, the Board of Regents approved a new junior college in Cobb County that is today Kennesaw State University. The next year, Cobb County voters approved a bond referendum to fund construction.

Democrat Jimmy Carter challenged President Gerald Ford to make his income tax returns public on October 9, 1976.

On October 10 1976, a poll by Time magazine showed Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter with a 2-1 electoral vote margin.

Carter led in 21 states and the District of Columbia, with 273 electoral votes (three more than necessary to win), while President Ford led in 17 states with 113 electoral votes.

The online Georgia archives at UGA has a collection of campaign materials, including a 1976 Carter for President brochure.

On October 10, 1980, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site was established in Atlanta.

United States Senator Sam Nunn announced on October 9, 1995 that he would not run for reelection. From CNN’s contemporary story:

“I know in my heart it is time to follow a new course,” Nunn told reporters gathered in the Georgia State Capitol. He said his decision followed “a lot of thought and prayer” and he expressed enthusiasm about meaningful days ahead in the private sector.

“Today I look forward to more freedom, to more flexibility,” he said, adding he planned to spend time with his family, to write, and “devote a substantial amount of time” to public policy and public service. He said he has no immediate plans for a presidential bid.

Nunn hailed America as “the greatest country in the world,” but cited problems that need attention, including education concerns, illegitimate children, and widespread violence and drugs. He expressed optimism on such items as the strong military and entitlement reform.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said of Sam Nunn’s retirement,

“For those who listened carefully, it is clear that the Democratic Party is not the vehicle for the values outlined by Sen. Nunn.”

Nolan Waters of Knight-Ridder wrote of the announcement,

Nunn’s departure is a watershed.

“Nunn is the last of the great moderate Southern Democrats. This creates a huge hole for the party,” said Merle Black, a specialist on Southern politics at Emory University in Atlanta.

Nunn, like President Clinton, helped organize a group of moderate Democrats, the Democratic Leadership Council, in an attempt to move the party rightward after the 1984 landslide re-election of President Reagan.

“He has been fighting the liberal wing of his party for over two decades,” Black said. “It’s been a losing battle.”

In place of Nunn, the state’s most prominent politician is becoming House Speaker Newt Gingrich – whose futuristic, activist style of conservatism seems radical along-side Nunn’s traditionalism.

Former Georgia Governor and President of the United States Jimmy Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 11, 2002.

Bobby Cox managed his last game in Game Four of the NLDS on October 11, 2010.

On October 10, 2015, Donald Trump made his first campaign stop in Georgia.

Trump Atlanta 1

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled that an election must be held in the Western Judicial Circuit, according to the AJC.

The ruling pits Gov. Brian Kemp’s appointee to the Western Judicial Circuit, Brian Patterson, against Deborah Gonzalez, an Athens-based lawyer and former Democratic state representative. The special election will take place on the same ballot as the presidential election, which is expected to draw the highest turnout in recent history.

The court’s ruling can be traced to District Attorney Ken Mauldin’s retirement in February. Typically, the governor would appoint a new DA to fulfill the office until the next election. However, according to a 2018 law, if the next election is within six months of an appointment, the appointee can stay in office until the following statewide election.

After Mauldin’s early retirement, there was a delay of several months before Kemp appointed Patterson to the empty seat. This would have been the last year of Mauldin’s four-year term, and according to the 2018 law, Patterson’s appointment would have lasted until 2022 — creating a gap of six years between elections for Athens’ district attorney. The term limit set by the state constitution for district attorneys is four years.

In a decision written by Chief Justice Harold Melton, the court ruled that the 2018 law cited by Kemp and Raffensperger was unconstitutional. Melton quoted the lower court in the decision, which wrote, “It is fundamentally unfair and constitutionally impermissible for public officials to disenfranchise voters in violation of state law so that they may fill the seats of government through the power of appointment.”

From the Capitol Beat News Service via the Athens Banner Herald:

In Thursday’s ruling, the court declared the state law violates Paragraph I (a) of the 1983 Georgia Constitution.

“The final sentence of Paragraph I (a) says simply, ‘Vacancies shall be filled by appointment of the governor.’ It does not say appointments to fill vacancies do anything to change the existing, four-year term of office held by the district attorney who vacated the office before the end of that term,” Chief Justice Harold Melton wrote for the court.

“Accordingly, when the governor’s appointee fills a vacancy in an office of district attorney, he or she steps only into the remainder of the unexpired fixed four-year term for the office.”

The Western Judicial Circuit comprises Clarke and Oconee Counties.

A Paulding County teacher has sued over coronavirus allegations, according to the AJC.

The lawsuit alleges that lax state and local standards have exposed staff, students, families and the Paulding community to risk of infection by the sometimes deadly virus.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the State Defendants have steadfastly refused to issue meaningful, binding requirements for school districts concerning how they are expected to operate during the pandemic,” says the complaint in Fulton County Superior Court. This is in “sharp contrast” to standards for restaurants, retailers or summer camps, the lawsuit notes.

The Georgia Association of Educators, the state’s second-largest teacher advocacy organization with 28,000 members, is a party to the suit with the anonymous Paulding employee and education group member, described as a longtime teacher. She is referred to only by her initials M.J. because she fears retaliation by the school district, the suit says. She lives with a parent, nearly 80, who has a lung disease that enhances the risk of consequences of COVID-19.

From the Valdosta Daily Times:

Gov. Brian Kemp, State School Superintendent Richard Woods, Commissioner of the Department of Public Health Kathleen Toomey and multiple Paulding County School District officials are listed in the complaint that includes two unnamed plaintiffs — an educator and a parent on behalf of a child in the Paulding school system.

Woods responded to the lawsuit in a statement Thursday and said the department — along with the Department of Public Health — issued detailed guidance to school systems, including encouraging masks as part of the dress code but, ultimately, Georgia schools have the authority to make their own decisions on how to reopen.

“At the end of the day, the Georgia Constitution provides for the local control of public schools,” he said in a statement. “There is often a misconception that the state school superintendent has unilateral authority over all operations of public schools, and that is simply not true. The GAE complaint is asking the Georgia Department of Education to exercise authority we do not have.”

Whitfield County schools set dates for high school students to return to full-time in-person learning, according to the Dalton Daily News Citizen.

Currently, all elementary and middle school students who did not opt for total virtual learning this year are attending in-person classes five days a week, but because of the size of the student population at the system’s high schools, those students are broken into two cohorts, each attending two days a week and learning virtually the other three. On Monday, Oct. 26, cohorts will be discontinued, and all face-to-face high school students will attend school in-person Monday-Thursday, with five-day weeks beginning on Monday, Nov. 30.

All of those plans are contingent upon the community rates of COVID-19 remaining relatively modest, said Superintendent Judy Gilreath.

“Our intent from the beginning has been to get back to a regular schedule, but the (level) of the virus in our community was always going to determine what we do and when.”

Cobb County voters begin early voting in-person on Monday, October 12th, according to the AJC.

Early voting begins Oct. 12, and the Cobb County Elections and Voter Registration Office will open 11 places for advance voting.

Janine Eveler, director of the agency, said she expects at least 200,000 people to vote early this year. More than 141,000 Cobb voters cast ballots during the 2016 early voting period for the general election, Eveler said.

Cobb residents also have the option of dropping off absentee ballots at 16 drop-box locations around the county. Those locations can be viewed on Cobb County Elections’ website. You can also visit the website to request a mail-in ballot.

Click here for more information from the Cobb County Board of Elections.

From the Brunswick News:

Early in-person voting begins Monday or Tuesday, depending on if the county celebrates the federal Columbus Day holiday. Early voting ends Oct. 30 at designated polling places in every county in the state.

Early voting will be offered during a stretch of 12 consecutive days in some counties, including Camden and Glynn.

Masks are encouraged but not required at polling places. Poll workers will be wearing masks and taking other precautions. Voting stations will be sanitized throughout the day.

Elenore Gale, elections supervisor in McIntosh County, said her county will begin early voting on Oct. 12 because the county does not recognize the federal Columbus Day holiday. She predicted a higher than average turnout for early voting because of the long lines expected on Nov. 3. The turnout will also be higher because of some hotly contested local races, she said.

From the AJC:

Each of Georgia’s 159 counties has at least one early voting location, and there are dozens scattered around metro Atlanta. In Fulton County alone, there are 30 early voting sites, including State Farm Arena, the High Museum of Art and the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park.

Early voting is also available on a Saturday, on Oct. 24. The final day of in-person early voting is Oct. 30. Times and locations vary depending on each location’s availability.

You must vote at a location in the county where you are registered.

Clarke County voter registration is up since the Primary Elections, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

The Georgia secretary of state’s office this week released a preliminary count of the number of Georgians registered to vote in the Nov. 3 election — nearly 7.6 million, up by about 600,000 since the 2018 general election. That’s a nearly 9% jump. Almost a third of that increase, about 200,000, has come in just the past few months. The state listed about 7.4 million registered voters for this spring’s party primaries and nonpartisan elections.

But Clarke County’s voter rolls have jumped much more than that since the primaries, according to the Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office — from about 71,191 to 81,906, almost 15%.

The statewide and local surges in voter registration for this fall’s election reflect two factors, said University of Georgia political analyst Charles Bullock.

One is simply that people are automatically registered when obtaining driver’s licenses from the Georgia Department of Driver Services.

“It’s now so easy to register. You have to opt out rather than opt in,” Bullock said.

The second factor is public interest in the election.

“It indicates that there are a lot of people who want to make sure they can participate in the election,” Bullock said.

A third factor could also be at play in Clarke County, said Linda Lloyd, executive director of Athens’ Economic Justice Coalition.

Lloyd and the coalition for years have been active in registering voters, and this spring and summer they got help from several other organizations, including the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement, the Athens chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority alumni, the Athens Unitarian Universalist Church and others.

The Glynn County Republican Party will host an event with Congressman Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) on Saturday, October 10, 2020.

The Brunswick News reports higher than normal levels of campaign sign stealing.

A contributing factor to the sign thefts in those areas might be the heavily polarized political climate, she said.

“It’s just pretty hyper-partisan and you’re getting people who are very passionate about their candidates and taking signs, which I don’t condone at all,” [Glynn County Democrats Chair Julie] Jordan said.

Theft isn’t the only possible explanation for some of the disappearances. For code enforcement officers in the city of Brunswick and Glynn County, pulling up signs in public rights-of-way is a routine part of the job.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has endorsed Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff for United States Senate, according to 11Alive.

The endorsement was not a surprise, coming from a Democratic mayor on behalf of Democratic candidates, but reinforced the party’s ambitions in Georgia, where both races are seen as competitive.

The mayor framed the two Senate elections as an “opportunity for us not just to change the landscape of representation in Georgia, but change the landscape of our nation – two Senate seats, two opportunities for us to send strong leaders to the Senate.”

“This is a race that the entire country is watching,” the mayor said.

Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree said gun violence and mental health issues are up this year, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The Saturday shooting death of transgender woman Felycya Harris brought the year’s homicide total to 28, on par with 2019. Roundtree said the office hasn’t determined whether to investigate the case as a hate crime.

The recent incidents, including a homicide at Augusta Mall last week, reflect what Roundtree said are events “rapidly escalating to gun violence.”

“We have seen a recent uptick in gun violence. We are throwing every possible resource we have at that issue,” Roundtree said.

The year’s count of non-fatal aggravated assault cases involving a gun is at 174 – on par with last year’s 173 – but gun violence has increased 79% overall since 2013, he said.

Does “on par with” 2019 mean with this day last year or all of last year?

8
Oct

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 8, 2020

Forester Renegade Paws Rescue

Forester is a young male Labrador Retriever & Australian Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from Renegade Paws Rescue in Savannah, GA.

This handsome older puppy was found wandering about with his momma and siblings. He’s a sweet fellow who’s ready to start his new life with a human family.

Booker Renegade Paws Rescue

Booker is a young male Labrador Retriever & Australian Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from Renegade Paws Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Booker is a lovely pup around 9 months old. This handsome guy can’t wait to find his perfect family!!

Fozzy Renegade Paws Rescue

Fozzy is a young male Border Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Renegade Paws Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Hey hey hey Fozzy Bear here. I may still look like a rough around the edges, but that comes from living on the street. You would think I wouldn’t be sweet and cuddly, but I am exactly that. I love everyone dogs, humans, cats and most of all FOOD! I am food obsessed and gobble it down so mommy is trying to help slow me down so I don’t get indigestion. I sleep in bed with my foster mom and will cuddle both when I go to sleep and again when I wake up. I sleep through the night and am just an all around cutie pie. I prefer to sleep in my owner’s bed and roam around in the house during the day. I’m a sweet boy and irresistably adorable. I cock my head to the side to listen to you when you talk to me. Doesn’t mean I exactly do what you tell me to do, but I listen with my eyes beaming at you. I love to walk and get along with all I meet I’m like the Mr. Rogers of my neighborhood. Won’t you be my neighbor?

8
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 8, 2020

The Chicago Fire began on October 8, 1871. A completely different kind of Chicago Fire is underway now.

On October 8, 1895, the Liberty Bell arrived in Atlanta for the Cotton States Exposition.

The famously–cracked 2,000 pound pealer left Philadelphia on seven trips between 1885 and 1915. Each time it came home with more cracks. It turned out the men hired to guard the Bell were taking liberties, literally: chipping off pieces and selling them as souvenirs.

Cheering crowds greeted the Bell in Atlanta. A two–mile parade took it to Piedmont Park, where 50,000 people lined up to see it.

Liberty Bell in Atlanta

Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Georgia Historical Society have an interesting video on the Liberty Bell’s trip to Atlanta. You can view a photo of the Liberty Bell Parade at the Atlanta History Center.

Polling released on October 8, 1976 indicated that Democrat Jimmy Carter won the second debate against President Gerald Ford by a 50-27 margin.

On October 8, 1981, former Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter visited with President Ronald Reagan at the White House before heading to Egypt to represent the United States at the funeral of assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

Four Presidents

Long-time Atlanta Braves pitcher Phil Niekro won his 300th game on October 8, 1984, though he wore Yankees pinstripes for that game.

The first C-5A airplane arrived at Robins Air Force Base on October 8, 1997.

C-5 at Robins

On October 8, 1998, the United States House of Representatives voted 258-176 to authorize an impeachment inquiry against President Bill Clinton.

President George W. Bush issued an Executive Order establishing the Department of Homeland Security on October 8, 2001.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp announced Trey Kilpatrick will begin work as Chief of Staff on October 15, 2020. From the Press Release:

Kilpatrick currently serves as Vice President for Government and Community Affairs for Georgia State University and formerly served as U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson’s Deputy Chief of Staff.

“With his wealth of experience from both federal and state government, Trey is uniquely qualified to lead my administration,” said Governor Kemp. “Together, we will continue to put hardworking Georgians first – protecting lives and livelihoods as we battle COVID-19, reforming adoption and foster care, fighting human trafficking, and prioritizing economic prosperity in every region of our state. I am truly honored to welcome him to my team.”

Kilpatrick will take over job duties from Caylee Noggle, who was named Kemp’s interim Chief of Staff on September 17, 2020 – the first woman in Georgia history to hold that position. Noggle will remain a top official in the Kemp administration.

Kilpatrick joined Senator Isakson in 2009. He served Senator Isakson as Political Director, State Director, and Campaign Manager before becoming Deputy Chief of Staff. Kilpatrick has served as Vice President for Government and Community Affairs for Georgia State University since February 2020.

“I am honored by the opportunity to serve Governor Kemp, his administration, and the people of Georgia in this role,” said Trey Kilpatrick. “I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to work with a great Georgian like Senator Isakson for ten years, and now have the opportunity to work with a principled leader like Governor Kemp in his administration.”

Governor Kemp also announced three appointments to judicial office. From the Press Release:

Governor Brian P. Kemp announced his appointment of Pandora Palmer to fill the Superior Court vacancy in the Flint Judicial Circuit and Vinny Lotti and Danielle Roberts to fill vacancies in the State Court of Henry County.

Palmer will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of the Honorable Trea Pipkin to the Georgia Court of Appeals in April 2020. The Flint Judicial Circuit includes all of Henry County. Lotti will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Ernest Blount in February 2020, and Roberts will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of Pandora Palmer to the Superior Court.

Pandora Palmer holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Pre-law from the University of Georgia and law degree from Georgia State University. As an attorney, she worked in private practice before joining Smith, Welch & Brittain LLP, later known as Smith, Welch, Webb, & White, LLC. She founded her own firm, Pandora E. Palmer P.C., before becoming a state court judge in January 2019. She is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, Hawaii Bar Association, Council of State Court Judges, American Bar Association, Henry County Bar Association, Clayton County Bar Association, Towaliga Bar Association, and the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers. Palmer and her husband reside in McDonough.

Vinny Lotti received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia and law degree from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. He previously served as an associate judge with the Henry County Magistrate County and City of McDonough Municipal Court and as the owner and sole practitioner of The Lotti Law Firm, LLC. He is a member of the Henry County Bar Association. Lotti resides in McDonough.

Danielle Roberts earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Howard University and law degree from Georgia State University. Previously, she served as an associate attorney with AXAMLAW, partner and co-founder of Axam~Roberts Legal Group, and as a presiding judge with the Henry County Magistrate Court. She is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, Henry County Bar Association, Gate City Bar Association, and the Atlanta Lawyer’s Club. Roberts and her family live in Ellenwood.

Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey warned of a possible flu outbreak along with the pandemic, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen News.

“Never has it been more important to get a flu shot than this year,” she said. “We realize that people sometimes don’t think a flu shot is effective, or are afraid to get it or just don’t bother. This is particularly important this year. We’re trying to prevent twindemics of COVID plus influenza, which could be devastating.”

While Toomey noted the combination of COVID-19 and influenza cases could have catastrophic outcomes, she said no one really knows what that combination might look like. But an increase in flu patients could mean a decrease in the state’s essential hospital bed capacity.

Health officials are encouraging everyone older than 6 months old get a flu shot. Toomey said children and elderly residents are particularly at risk.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention based in Atlanta lists online that the agency believes “it’s likely” coronavirus and influenza could spread simultaneously throughout the fall and winter. It is also possible for someone to have both at the same time.

Raphael Warnock campaigned in Savannah, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Warnock is taking his U.S. Senate campaign on the road after months of coronavirus-safe virtual stumping, leaving his Atlanta headquarters for a day of bumping elbows with supporters at four stops around Savannah before campaigning across Georgia.

A black Cadillac Escalade with tinted windows pulls up and a burly bodyguard steps out to survey the scene. Warnock emerges to a wholehearted welcome from the small but powerful crowd; he responds with friendly hellos and broad smiles.

“I grew up in public housing. We were intentional about reminding folks that I’m from Savannah,” Warnock says to the lively local politicos in opening remarks about his campaign. His lines sound polished, yet delivered from the heart. “It’s not about where you start, it’s where you’re going.”

“I’ve spent my life and my ministry trying to fight for people without a voice, the people almost at the bottom,” Warnock tells his supporters, noting his name’s alphabetical placement near the end of a long list of candidates in this race. “If you’re looking for me, I’ll be next to the name at the bottom.”

“I’m always grateful to be in the presence of our former mayor, Mayor Otis Johnson,” Warnock says to spirited cheers. “When I was growing up he was a professor at Savannah State College, and he represented for me intellect and integrity all committed to pulling folk up from the grassroots. Anybody remember the ‘Message from the Grass Roots’?”

Young Warnock listened regularly to “Message from the Grass Roots” and now credits Johnson as a formative guide for carrying on the spirit of King. After graduating from Savannah’s Sol C. Johnson High School, Warnock followed King’s path to enroll at Morehouse College — earning his bachelor’s degree with Pell Grants and low-interest student loans — before achieving his doctorate at New York’s Union Theological Seminary.

Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton will sign an order allowing recommencement of jury trials, according to AccessWDUN.

Chief Justice Harold D. Melton of the Supreme Court of Georgia announced Wednesday that he will sign the order on Saturday, Oct. 10 to lift the suspension on jury trials. The blanket suspension of jury trials was enacted in a March 14 order.

The order gives the chief judge of each trial court the discretion to resume jury trials. Each judge must submit a detailed plan with specific health and safety guidelines prior to the resumption of such trials.

For the last five months, a statewide Judicial COVID-19 Task Force – made up of judges and lawyers appointed in May by Chief Justice Melton – has been working on developing guidelines for the safe reopening of in-person proceedings. The Guidance for Resuming Jury Trials provides a set of detailed guidelines that address a number of topics, including the use of masks; the reconfiguring of courtrooms and chairs, installation of plexiglass barriers, and use of markers to ensure social distancing; the regular replacement of air filters; and plans for guaranteeing public access to court proceedings, including setting up areas where the public can watch remotely from within the courthouse.

Acting Georgia Secretary of State United States District Court Judge Amy Totenberg (D-Obama Administration) continues to inflict uncertainty upon Georgia voters. From the Augusta Chronicle:

With the start of early voting less than a week away and a software update being installed to address a glitch in Georgia’s voting machines, a federal judge was still considering a request by voting integrity activists to sideline the new touchscreen voting machines in favor of hand-marked paper ballots for the November general election.

U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg is presiding over a long-running lawsuit challenging the election system the state bought last year from Dominion Voting Systems for more than $100 million. The activists argue the system places an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote because voters cannot be confident their votes are accurately counted. A bug in the touchscreen machines and a hasty software update underscore that the machines aren’t ready for use, they say.

The three-week in-person early voting period is set to begin Monday, and Election Day is less than four weeks away.

Fair Fight, founded by Georgia Governor part-time resident Stacey Abrams has raised more than $32 million dollars for its PAC, according to the AJC.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed fundraising for Fair Fight’s political action committee, which reported Wednesday that it had raised $6 million since the beginning of July and has now taken in more than $12 million since February, just before the coronavirus hit the state.

The group has reported spending $19.5 million since 2018, and it still had $12.7 million in the bank as of Sept. 30. That’s more than the state’s political parties.

The numbers make it clear Abrams — a former state House Democratic leader — will have no trouble building a gigantic war chest if she seeks a rematch with Gov. Brian Kemp in 2022.

Fair Fight’s PAC has contributed about $5 million to Democratic Party efforts across the country heading toward the November election, including at least $1.4 million to the Democratic Party of Georgia.

The League of Women Voters says Columbia County needs more absentee ballot drop boxes, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Two women representing the League of Women Voters of the CSRA spoke at the county’s Board of Commissioners meeting to express dissatisfaction with the county’s action regarding the boxes.

At a called meeting of the Columbia County Board of Elections on Sept. 28, board members voted to obtain and install a drop box, either through the Georgia secretary of state’s office or a private vendor. The single box is expected to be installed in front of the board’s office on Faircloth Drive.

But that’s not enough for people such as on-duty military, the elderly and the infirm who have unreliable access to normal polling places, Evans resident Jennie Roberts said.

She said the election board’s reasons why several boxes can’t be erected instantly were inadequate: a shortage of space, since the boxes must be placed on county or city property with local governments’ approval; a lack of time leading up to the November election; and prohibitive cost, since the county elections office says it is extended over budget for the year.

Roberts told commissioners it should be “very embarrassing” to them that there are more drop boxes in Richmond County, whose residents she said have a median income almost less than half that of Columbia County residents.

The Gainesville Times hosted an online forum with the candidates for the Ninth Congressional District.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows attended his daughter’s May wedding in Atlanta, according to the AJC.

The Georgia Building Authority approved security enhancements that will include a fence around the State Capitol, according to the AJC.

Citing safety concerns and the ongoing expenditure for security from the National Guard, the Georgia Building Authority’s Board of Governors approved a $5 million project that will enhance security at several major government buildings. The package includes an 8-foot fence to be built around the Capitol.

The new fence replaces temporary barriers that were constructed earlier this year in response to protests calling for racial justice. Some of those protests focused on a statue of Confederate Gen. John B. Gordon, who later became the leader of the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia.

“To ensure the safety of state employees, protect the public and prevent damage to state property, the Department of Public Safety and the Georgia Building Authority recommended numerous improvements to a number of state buildings,” said Cody Hall, a spokesman for Gov. Brian Kemp. “The governor agreed with their assessment.”

Kaleb McMichen, a spokesman for Republican state House Speaker David Ralston, said the fence was “was not a political decision and should not be made into a political issue.”

The Savannah-Chatham County board of education voted to continue moving forward in returning students to in-person learning, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The plan aims toward implementing Phase III in the schools on Oct. 26. On that date students in grades 3-5, 7, 8, and 10-12, and whose families choose the hybrid option, will join pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, first- and second-graders, sixth- and first-time ninth-graders the classroom in an expanded hybrid model in two cohorts.

Phase II started Monday. Parents and students who choose to remain virtual will continue in that mode.

The return date is contingent upon the continuing downward trend of COVID rates in Chatham County and the district’s staffing numbers. The board also reiterated that the start date for Phase IV is yet to be determined.

The board addressed potential staffing shortages since some teachers may not be comfortable returning to the classroom. About an hour of discussion ensued when board members floated the idea of offering a monetary incentive to teachers and staff if they agreed to return to their school sites on Oct. 19 — one week before students return in Phase III.

DeKalb County is also moving toward reopening schools for in-person instruction, according to the AJC.

If current trends continue, students who choose to return to a physical classroom could be back on campus on a limited basis by early November, according to the district’s plan.

“The tentative timeline is subject to change based on COVID-19 data and current health guidance from medical experts and health agencies,” a school district spokeswoman said in an email.

Augusta Commission members are defending the salary offered to a new City Manager and pay raise for the Sheriff, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Hall County‘s government phone system was attacked by ransomware but is back online, according to AccessWDUN.

The Gainesville Times looks at contract tracing among students and staff in the Gainesville and Hall County school systems.

Statesboro City Council met outside to accomodate citizens interested in a new nondiscrimination ordinance, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Statesboro City Council on Tuesday morning unanimously voted the main part of a proposed city nondiscrimination law forward to a second reading.

That part of the overall Nondiscrimination and Equity Ordinance will forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex, as well as disability, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age or military status in employment, housing and the sale or rental of real estate and in public accommodations.

In response to a question from [Council member Phil] Boyum at the beginning of the meeting, City Attorney Cain Smith said that Statesboro’s proposed ordinance does not conflict with state or federal law. The ordinance now pending final approval is “substantially the same” as Doraville’s ordinance, which has been in effect for 20 years and has not faced any constitutional challenge, he said.

Navigate Recovery in Gwinnett County is offering free Narcan along with training on its use, according to the AJC.

Navigate Recovery offers the drug and class every second and fourth Saturday of the month at its Safe Harbor office. The Gwinnett County Health Department is partnering with the organization to teach the public about opioid addiction, how to recognize when an overdose has occurred and how to get help recovering from addiction, it said in a press release.

Narcan is available for purchase without a prescription at many pharmacies, but the training will help people better understand how to use it, said Audrey Arona, health director for the Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale County Health Departments. Narcan is the brand name of the drug naloxone, which can be used in the case of an overdose of drugs including heroin and opiates like fentanyl and oxycodone.

“Families are hugely affected by the opioid crisis and often feel like they have no tools to prepare for the challenge of dealing with a loved one or a friend struggling with opioid misuse,” said Farley Barge, co-founder and president of Navigate Recovery Gwinnett, in the release. “This is a positive way to engage our community in combatting this public health epidemic and prevent unnecessary deaths.”

7
Oct

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 7, 2020

Fritz Save-A-Life Savannah

Fritz is a 13-month old, 50-pound male Weimaraner who is available for adoption from Save-A-Life in Savannah, GA.

Fritz is very active and tries to play with every dog he meets. They do not always reciprocate. He is trained to sleep in a crate at night. He is still too active for small children. He sits on command and is learning to fetch. This is a charming, sweet tempered dog, who loves knotted rope toys. Fritz is looking for an inside home with a fenced yard and an active family to entertain him.

Hank Save-A-Life Savannah

Hank is a 2-year old, 70-pound male Labrador Retriever and Belgian Malinois mix who is available for adoption from Save-A-Life in Savannah, GA.

Hank is lively and full of fun, but too active for smaller children. He is neutered, vaccinated, crate trained, and on his monthly heart worm/flea prevention. He is healthy, happy, and loves tag with the other dogs. He loves fetch, and is never far from his ball. He will play fetch all day if you let him. He prefers sleeping in a dog bed or on your bed at night. Hank is looking for an inside home with an active family who has a fenced yard.

Honey Save-A-Life Savannah

Honey is a 3-5-year old, 7-pound female Pomeranian and Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from Save-A-Life in Savannah, GA.

Honey is timid, quiet, and sleeps next to you on the bed. She was dumped from a car in a back lane where she was found shaking under a bush and rescued. She is slow to trust and easily frightened. She is too timid for children. She is spayed, vaccinated, and had her teeth cleaned with several removed due to eating poor quality food. Once she learns to trust you and that she will not be harmed, she is a charming companion. This little girl will not lick you or jump into your lap but stares at you with soulful eyes that say everything. Honey is looking for an inside adult home without a lot of activity.

7
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 7, 2020

King George, III issued the Proclamation of 1763 on October 7, 1763.

With respect to Georgia’s official boundaries, the proclamation expanded Georgia’s southern boundary by giving the colony all lands between the Altamaha and St. Marys rivers. Previously, the Altamaha had served as Georgia’s southern boundary.

So, the impact of the Proclamation of 1763 was to set Georgia’s official southern boundary as the St. Marys River from its mouth to the headwaters, then north to the Altamaha River, then north to the headwaters of that river, and then westward to the Mississippi River. Georgia’s northern boundary was the Savannah River from its mouth to its headwaters.

GeorgiaBoundaries1763

Patriot militia defeated Loyalists at the Battle of King’s Mountain in North Carolina, near the South Carolina border on October 7, 1780.

On October 7, 1916, Georgia Tech beat Cumberland College in the most-one-sided college football game in history, by a score of 222-0.

The Engineers led 63–0 after the first quarter and 126–0 at halftime. Tech added 54 more points in the third quarter and 42 in the final period.

Tech Cumberland Scoreboard Tech Cumberland Ball

Recently, a Georgia Tech alumnus paid $44,388 for the game ball with the intention of donating it to the trade school.

The Democratic Republic of Germany (East Germany) was created by the Soviets on October 7, 1949.

Democrat John F. Kennedy and Republican Vice President Richard Nixon met in the second televised Presidential debate on October 7, 1960.

President Richard Nixon proposed a structure for peace and eventual withdrawal of American forces from Vietnam on October 7, 1970.

President George W. Bush (43) announced military action in Afghanistan on October 7, 2001.

In a televised address that evening, Bush informed the American public that “carefully targeted actions” were being carried out to crush the military capability of al-Qaida and the Taliban, with help from British, Canadian, Australian, German and French troops. An additional 40 nations around the world provided intelligence, as well as bases from which the operations were conducted.

Bush touted the multinational effort as proof that America, in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, was “supported by the collective will of the world.” He also warned that the war in Afghanistan would likely be only the first front in a long struggle against terrorism. He vowed to continue to take what he called the “war on terror” to those countries that sponsored, harbored or trained terrorists.

Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California on October 7, 2003.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp is scheduled for a press conference today at 9 AM, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Kemp and [Department of Public Health Commissioner Kathleen] Toomey’s Wednesday conference will be the first COVID-19 briefing since mid-July. The news conference will be live-streamed on Kemp’s Facebook page and Georgia Public Broadcasting’s website. The conference begins at 9 a.m.

The announcement comes after Kemp extended the state’s coronavirus restrictions through at least Oct. 15. Confirmed infections are down from the state’s summer peak, but state health officials reported the seven-day average for new cases rose 3.4% from Sept. 29 to Oct. 5. The state’s seven-day test positivity average also increased from 6.3% on Sept. 28 to 7% on Oct. 5.

In addition to the state’s coronavirus trends, Toomey will discuss flu shots and antigen coronavirus testing, said department spokesperson Nancy Nydam. Toomey has previously said getting a flu shot could prevent Georgians from suffering severe flu complications and keep medical providers from being overwhelmed.

Click here for the live stream from GPB News.

Governor Kemp released September revenue numbers yesterday, according to a press release:Continue Reading..

6
Oct

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 6, 2020

Betty Boop Mostly Mutts

Betty Boop is a female German Shepherd Dog and Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Mostly Mutts in Kennesaw, GA.

Hi, I’m Betty Boop! I came to Mostly Mutts very pregnant & heartworm positive, so I’m super grateful to have been rescued. I had my puppies & they have found their furever homes! Now, it’s my turn to find my home & live the good life!

Petra Mostly Mutts

Petra is a female Jack Russell Terrier and Basenji mix who is available for adoption from Mostly Mutts in Kennesaw, GA.

A SWEET & FRIENDLY GIRL: 3 years old / 23 lbs.

Hello – my name is Petra! I came to Mostly Mutts with 6 other dogs from the same home. There were just too many animals for all of us to get the love and attention we deserve in the home, so Mostly Mutts was glad to help, and now I’m on my way to a new home!

Milton Mostly Mutts

Milton is a 7-year old, 17-pound male Lhasa Apso mix who is available for adoption from Mostly Mutts in Kennesaw, GA.

Hi there! My name is Milton! I somehow ended up at animal control with my friend Mortimer in need of good care and attention. I had some fur loss, itchy skin and dry eyes – all of which are being treated now that Mostly Mutts has come to my rescue and that of my friend Mortimer.

6
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 6, 2020

The first Mennonites arrived in America on October 6, 1683 aboard the Concord.

Cy Young threw his last professional baseball game as a member of the Boston Braves on October 6, 1911.

On October 6, 1953, WTVM-TV began broadcasting in  Columbus, Georgia.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience held its first rehearsal on October 6, 1966.

The second Presidential debate between Republican incumbent Gerald Ford and Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter took place on October 6, 1976. During the debate, Ford said, there was “no Soviet domination in Eastern Europe”. Polling released on October 8, 1976 indicated that Democrat Jimmy Carter won the second debate against President Gerald Ford by a 50-27 margin.

Pope John Paul II became the first Pope to visit the White House on October 6, 1979. Carter’s notes from the meeting are at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta.

The last four B-52 bombers stationed at Robins Air Force Base in Warner-Robins left the base for the last time on October 6, 1983.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

The Georgia Action Fund will spend $5 million to help re-elect Senator David Perdue, according to the AJC.Continue Reading..

5
Oct

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for October 5, 2020

Tommy Dog Days Rescue

Tommy is a male Jack Russell Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Dog Days Rescue in Kennesaw, GA.

Tommy is around 3-4 months old, sweet, playful and curious! Apartment life is not suitable for Tommy.

Reed Dog Days Rescue

Reed is a male Catahoula Leopard Dog mix puppy who is available for adoption from Dog Days Rescue in Kennesaw, GA.

Reed is a super sweet, super playful, super happy, super gorgeous boy! He’s approximately 6 months old and really well behaved for a puppy. He’s very quiet, is great in his crate and house trained.

Mitch Dog Days Rescue

Mitch is a male Hound mix who is available for adoption from Dog Days Rescue in Kennesaw, GA.

Mitch is a young hound mix around a year old weighing about 50-55 lbs. He is a goofy boy full of personality and loves to play!

5
Oct

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for October 5, 2020

On October 5, 1864, the Battle of Allatoona Pass was fought in Bartow County, Georgia.

The first televised Presidential address from the White House was broadcast on October 5, 1947.

The Georgia Supreme Court outlawed use of the electric chair as “cruel and unusual punishment” on October 5, 2001.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today is the voter registration deadline for the November General Election, according to the Brunswick News.

You can check your voter registration by signing into the MVP system.

Governor Brian Kemp will visit Augusta tomorrow, according to WRDW.Continue Reading..