The blog.

16
May

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for May 16, 2019

Keoki One Love

Keoki is a young female Labrador Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from One Love Animal Rescue, Inc in Savannah, GA.

Dover One Love

Dover is a young male American Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption from One Love Animal Rescue, Inc in Savannah, GA.

Millie Mae One Love

Willa is a young female Hound and Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from One Love Animal Rescue, Inc in Savannah, GA.

16
May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 16, 2019

Button Gwinnett v Lachlan McIntosh

Button Gwinnett and Lachlan McIntosh met outside Savannah on May 16, 1777 and fought a duel; Gwinnett was mortally wounded.

Gwinnett returned to Georgia immediately after signing the [Declaration of Independence] to find city Whig Lachlan McIntosh commanding Georgia’s nascent military efforts. Determined to take control of Georgia politics, Gwinnett became speaker of the legislature, guided the Georgia Constitution of 1777 into existence and took over as governor when Archibald Bulloch died suddenly in office.

Gwinnett then wanted to lead an expedition to secure Georgia’s border with Florida. A dispute between McIntosh and Gwinnett over who would command the effort ultimately led to their duel and Gwinnett’s death.

A Constitutional Convention met on May 16, 1795 in the capital of Louisville to amend the Georgia Constitution of 1789

The United States Senate voted to acquit President Andrew Johnson of 11 Articles of Impeachment passed by the House of Representatives on May 16, 1868.

The North Georgia Electric Company was incorporated on May 16, 1901 to build a hydroelectric dam on the Chattahoochee River near Gainesville; in 1916, it would be bought by the company that today is known as Georgia Power.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today is National Barbecue Day. What’s your favorite in Georgia?

United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is taking the lead of liberal intellectual heavyweights like Alyssa Milano in targeting Georgia over the heartbeat bill, according to the AJC.

Gillibrand, a U.S. senator from New York, is among a string of White House hopefuls who have criticized House Bill 481, which seeks to outlaw most abortions as soon as six weeks.

It is Gillibrand’s first visit to Georgia since announcing her candidacy, and she joins a growing group of presidential contenders to trek to the state this year. Most other top contenders have visited, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is set to hold a town hall in Augusta this weekend.

Governor Brian Kemp wrote Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck asking him to resign, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

“Your indictment severely undermines your ability to fulfill your official obligations to the people of Georgia,’’ Kemp said in a letter to Beck dated Wednesday.

“Now, as insurance commissioner, you hold significant legal authority – including appointment powers – over GUA and its governing board,’’ Kemp wrote.

“In light of this connection and the possibility of new revelations, it would be highly inappropriate for you to continue to hold public office,’’ the letter continued. “I ask that you do what is right for our state and step down immediately.’’

Beck surrendered to authorities Wednesday, WAGA reported. He then made his first appearance in federal court, pleading not guilty to the charges.

The AJC reported that under the relevant state law, if Beck does not resign or ask to be suspended, Kemp can act after a 14-day waiting period if he determines the charges relate to the performance of Beck’s duties as commissioner. If the governor decides that they do — and his Wednesday letter suggests he has already made such a determination — he then would appoint a three-person commission to look into the charges against Beck.

The commission has 14 days to make a determination. If it finds that the charges relate to Beck’s duties, the governor must suspend Beck and name a temporary replacement.

Democrat Governor Stacey Abrams spoke out against boycotting Georgia, according to The Hill.

“I respect the call for a boycott on Georgia, but I do not believe it is the most effective, strategic choice for change,” the Democratic rising star tweeted. “However, I know the perpetrators of #HB481 — most of them men — will not be moved by protest. In fact, they want the ability to demonize the film industry while profiting from its presence.”

Former Georgia governor candidate Stacey Abrams (D) is speaking out against calls for an entertainment industry boycott of the state over its new abortion legislation.

Despite her disapproval of Georgia’s strict new “heartbeat” abortion ban, Abrams said Wednesday that a boycott is not “the most effective, strategic choice for change.”

“I respect the call for a boycott on Georgia, but I do not believe it is the most effective, strategic choice for change,” the Democratic rising star tweeted. “However, I know the perpetrators of #HB481 — most of them men — will not be moved by protest. In fact, they want the ability to demonize the film industry while profiting from its presence.”

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Abrams acknowledged the film industry and its roots in Georgia, adding that while a boycott from these companies could have an effect, “it will not have the effect of actually stopping the laws.”

“We have to recognize that Georgia is the only state that is such a deep part of the film industry that also has the type of draconian leadership that would seek to strip a woman’s autonomy in this way,” she said. “That puts us in a unique position to fight back — not only against the legislation here but the legislation around the country — and to fund the defeat of these politicians and their horrible behavior by using the resources available through the entertainment industry.”

Stacey Abrams published her latest romantic fiction editorial in the New York Times.

Nearly half of donations to President Trump’s reelection came from women, according to The New York Post.

More than 45 percent of the itemized individual contributions to Trump’s campaign for the first three months of the year came from women, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan research group that tracks money in US contests.

Woman accounted for nearly $1.5 million in Trump contributions. The president collected almost $1.8 million from male donors, bringing the total to more than $3.2 million.

Individual donations were a small portion of the president’s total fundraising haul for the first quarter. He raised $30.3 million from January to March, FEC fillings show.

Among the Democratic candidates, only two raised a higher percentage of their donations from women: New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler (R) announced that April’s unemployment numbers are down, according to AccessWDUN.

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) issued April numbers Thursday morning.

Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.6% in April. Georgia’s rate fell to 3.8%, a drop of .1 percentage points. A year ago, Georgia’s unemployment rate sat at 4.2%, according to Butler.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s job total fell by 14,900 in April. The total was 4.59 million jobs.

Even with the monthly loss, Butler said, Georgia was still up nearly 70,000 jobs when compared to last April.

“The annual numbers continue to be strong,” Butler said. “While April numbers were somewhat down, the long-term numbers all trend in the right directions.”

Macon is considering naming streets after members of the Allman Brothers Band, according to the Macon Telegraph.

There’s an effort underway to recognize four members of the legendary band near the Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House. Two other bandmates — Berry Oakley and Duane Allman — already have a stretch of road or bridge designated after them in the same area where the other four founding members could get a similar distinction.

The Big House museum is spearheading the push to recognize the band’s drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, guitarist Dickey Betts and singer-songwriter Gregg Allman.

“We’re not trying to rename anything or take anybody’s name away,” he said. “What we’re trying to do in proximity with Duane Allman Boulevard, the Berry Oakley bridge and the Big House, we’re trying to find other ways to designate or lay signage to reflect on their contributions.”

The Georgia Allman Brothers Band Association backs the idea, said former president Greg Potter and current president Laraine Potter.

Hall County received the received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for the third year in a row, according to the Gainesville Times.

The City of Cave Spring named the council chamber after late member Mike Ragland, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Jimmy Williams announced he will run for Oconee County Probate Court Judge, according to the Oconee Enterprise.

After a career in law enforcement, Williams is running for Oconee County Probate Court judge. He will be running against Oconee Courthouse Security Supervisor Lt. George Roberts and Athens-Clarke County Police Department Deputy Chief Mike Hunsinger. The incumbent judge, David Anglin, has not yet announced plans to run.

As a nonpartisan race, the outcome will be decided in the May 19, 2020 general primary, or a runoff election the following month.

One of the roles of the Probate Court is to determine adult guardianships and conservatorships. Williams said his work with Project Lifesaver, a program advocated by the Pilot Club that provides location transmitters to adults with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Just last week, Williams and Cpt. James Hale were instructors at a Pilot Club meeting.

15
May

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for May 15, 2019

Lemon CPR

Lemon is a male Plott Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Lemon loves to play and cuddle. This cuddle bug gives lots of kisses. He is laid back (for a puppy). Lemon is not housebroken yet but he is working on it in his foster home.

Leo CPR

Leo is a male Plott Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Leo is a short-stack and we do not think he will get as big as his two siblings Lemon and Leady. He is all puppy but loves to be held and cuddled. He is the calmer and quieter pup of his litter. He is not housebroken yet but is working on it in his foster home.

Loki CPR

Loki is a male Plott Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Coastal Pet Rescue in Savannah, GA.

Loki lives up to his name. He is a little scamp that loves to play! He is vocal when he wants something but does quiet down and sleep hard. Loki is short-legged so we do not believe he will grow to be very tall.

15
May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 15, 2019

On May 15, 1791, George Washington left Augusta for Savannah.

On May 15, 1800, President John Adams ordered all 125 employees of the federal government to begin packing to move the capital from Philadelphia to Washington, DC.

JasperJohnsThree_Flags

American artist Jasper Johns was born May 15, 1930 in Augusta, Georgia.

Carl Sanders was born on May 15, 1925 in Augusta, Georgia. He served in the United States Air Force, Georgia House of Representatives and State Senate, where he was President Pro Tem. In 1962, Sanders won the Democratic Primary for Governor, defeating former Governor Marvin Griffin, and in November was the first Governor of Georgia elected by popular vote after the County Unit System was abolished.

Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz was born on May 15, 1967 in Lansing, Michigan. Smoltz pitched a complete game shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the seventh game of the National League Championship Series in 1991, sending the Braves to their first World Series since moving to Atlanta in 1966. Smoltz was chosen for the All Star team eight times and won the Cy Young award in 1996.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Gwinnett County Commission Chair Charlotte Nash (R) will not run for reelection in 2020, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Nash became chairwoman after winning a special election in 2011 to replace former Chairman Charles Bannister. She was reelected in 2012 and 2016.

“I have mixed emotions as I announce that I have decided that I will not seek re-election,” Nash said in an email to the Daily Post. “I believe that it is time for me to focus on my family and to follow through on a promise I made to my husband that we will enjoy retirement together.”

“For four decades, I have enjoyed the opportunity to serve, in one role or another, the place I have called home all my life. I know that I have been fortunate in that,” Nash said. “To all those who have supported and helped me along the way, I say thank you.

Nash’s decision to not run for re-election leaves the field to replace her wide open. So far, only former state Sen. Curt Thompson, a Democrat, has announced plans to run for commission chairman in 2020.

From the AJC:

“While Chairman Nash’s leadership of the county will be most remembered in restoring the trust with the citizens of Gwinnett in the wake of elected officials’ misgivings,” said Lawrenceville City Manager Chuck Warbington, “her impact on Gwinnett goes much deeper.”

Warbington, a conservative who has often been pointed to as a potential Nash successor, credited her with ensuring Gwinnett’s continued financial stability.

Said Republican District 1 Commissioner Jace Brooks, who has also considered running for chairman: “She is one of the smartest county leaders in this state, and I have learned an immense amount serving with her.”

[Nash] has openly suggested another transit referendum could be called in the near future, irking Gwinnett Republicans in the legislature.

Democrats have dominated recent county elections, with a growing number of voters showing a willingness to vote for candidates with a “D” next to their name.

Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck was indicted on 38 federal charges, according to the AJC.

Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck was accused Tuesday by a federal grand jury of stealing more than $2 million from his former employer.

The 38-count indictment charges Beck, an ex-insurance lobbyist and long-time leader of the Georgia Christian Coalition, with fraud and money laundering in an elaborate scheme to defraud the Georgia Underwriting Association. With the stolen cash, the Republican allegedly paid his credit card bills and taxes — and even funded the 2018 campaign that landed him in office.

Beck’s, whose lawyers said he denies the charges, is expected to surrender to U.S. Marshals on Wednesday in downtown Atlanta, said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.

Pak said the crimes took place between February 2013 and August 2018, when he left the Georgia Underwriting Association in the middle of the campaign for insurance commissioner. The prosecutor said the allegations don’t relate to Beck’s current job.

“However,” Pak went on, “holding a powerful position does not shield you from the (consequences) of your past criminal activity.”

Governor Brian Kemp will postpone a trip to Los Angeles for a time it’s less hot – literally and figuratively, according to the AJC.

Abortion rights activists had threatened to protest the May 22 event, and Georgia film executives were worried that tepid turnout and no-shows from studio chiefs could do lasting damage to the state’s movie-making business.

Kemp spokesman Cody Hall said that the trip would now take place in the fall, and that the governor plans to soon tour Georgia film production firms and meet with employees to show support for the industry.

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) will sit for a Facebook Live interview with the Augusta Chronicle.

Georgia House Speaker David Ralston will be in Augusta on Thursday for a Facebook Live interview with The Augusta Chronicle’s editorial board.

The Republican from Blue Ridge, Ga., has served as speaker since 2010. The position, held by a member of the majority party, oversees nearly all aspects of the House of Representatives, including committee assignments and scheduling of debates and votes.

The Chronicle will broadcast the interview with Ralston starting at 9 a.m. Thursday and invites readers to watch on Facebook and submit questions for Ralston, although time and relevance will limit the number used.

Click here for the Chronicle’s Facebook page.

Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway announced a memorandum of agreement with the Army to help soldiers seeking work, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

On Tuesday, Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway signed a memorandum of agreement with the Army’s Partnership for Youth Success, or PaYS, program, a “strategic partnership” between the Army and corporations, companies and public sector agencies that guarantees soldiers a job interview after completing reserve training or their first term of service.

While the Army has signed MOAs with employers in many different job sectors across the nation through the program, the public safety profession is especially fitting for those with a military background, Lt. Col. Fredrick Parker, commander of the Army’s Atlanta Recruiting Battalion, said at Tuesday’s signing ceremony.

The sheriff’s office currently has a similar agreement with the Marine Corps, Jones said; every year, deputies travel to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where they spend several days recruiting and helping marines complete the first phase of the hiring process.

Macon residents came out to a public hearing about decriminalizing marijuana possession, according to the Macon Telegraph.

About 40 people came out Tuesday for a public hearing on a proposed ordinance that would give Macon-Bibb County sheriff’s deputies the option of handing out a $75 citation if a person is caught with less than an ounce of marijuana, instead of stiffer penalties.

The majority of people who spoke were in favor of the new ordinance. There also were representatives from organizations such as Reform Georgia and the local chapters of the National Action Network and NAACP.

Backers of the proposal say they want to minimize damage caused if someone is forced to pay a large fine, spend time in jail or deal with probation because of a small amount of pot.

Several people spoke about how young black people are disproportionately charged with marijuana possession.

The Macon Telegraph looks at 4 major issues in the 2020 proposed budget.

Banks County designated Bobby Blackwell as senior magistrate judge, according to AccessWDUN.

A proposed transit system for Statesboro will require federal and local funding, according to the Statesboro Herald.

The University System Board of Regents approved the renaming of a recreational facility, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

When football announcers tell us where the University of Georgia’s football team is playing in its Sept. 7 home opener, they’ll be saying “Dooley Field at Sanford Stadium.”

The state Board of Regents made it official Tuesday.

In a vote with no suspense, the board gave its formal approval to naming the field in honor of former UGA football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley.

“I’m pleased that the board approved it,” said UGA President Jere Morehead, who attended the meeting with UGA Vice President for Government Relations Toby Carr.

Columbus Council voted to remove the director of the Columbus Civic Center, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

The Columbus Council voted at 12:15 [Tuesday] to allow City Manager Isaiah Hugley to remove Jon Dorman from his position as the director of the Columbus Civic Center.

Dorman was appointed to the position by the city manager after a unanimous vote of council Jan. 24, 2017. Starting with an annual salary $90,233, he replaced former director Ross Horner.

The Albany City Commission will consider a $288.3 million dollar FY 2020 budget, according to the Albany Herald.

“This budget includes new initiatives that will allow us to dress up our front door, to make improvements in our cemeteries, to put our very successful wellness program in a permanent location, and provide updated and renovated facilities for our hardest-working employees in Public Works,” the city manager said.

Before getting into the specifics of the FY 2020 spending plan, Subadan mentioned some of the positives from the current fiscal year. She noted storm recovery work, completion of Phase I of the city’s road improvement plan, work on the connector trail that will allow access from downtown to the Albany-to-Sasser rail trail, transit improvements, ongoing work on a passenger bridge at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport, a new automated parking system at the airport and the implementation of an LED lighting program.

Brown went over some of the details of the spending plan, pointing out to commissioners that this is the fifth year that the city can expect to roll back its millage rate.

“There will be around a 2.6% rollback over that period,” Brown said. “That shows fiscal responsibility on the city’s part.”

Brown also said that, primarily because of the T-SPLOST referendum approved by voters, the city will have an additional $13.7 million in revenue during the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Dougherty County Commissioners opened a new Government Center in downtown Albany, according to the Albany Herald.

Sea level sensors have been installed across Chatham County, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The goal is to provide emergency managers and area residents with real time measures of rising water at bridges, creeks and backyard docks around the county. It’s a need that Hurricanes Matthew and Irma made evident.

“The pitch I made after Matthew and Irma is we have this one tide gauge at Fort Pulaski,” [Georgia Tech Senior Research Scientist Russ] Clark said at a session about the project at the Chatham County Hurricane Conference earlier that same day. “It told us one perspective. Just like everyone else, I was hitting reload on my web browser as fast as I could during each of those storms. Still today if you look at graphs from Pulaski it says the peak water level was the same for both storms. Even that Matthew was higher. In reality, most of the county saw more significant flooding from Irma because of the wind and the direction the storm approached. Why do we only have one vantage point, wouldn’t it be great to see in real time the impact all over the county?”

A settlement announcement is expected in the civil case against former Chatham County Probate Court Chief Clerk Kim Birge, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Attorneys in the civil case against former Chatham County Probate Court Chief Clerk Kim Birge on Tuesday apparently reached a settlement with a formal announcement expected when court resumes on Wednesday.

Visiting Senior State Court Judge Orin Douglass from Brunswick on Tuesday sent Chatham County State Court jurors home after hearing testimony from a number of victims and a Chatham County internal auditor with explanations that court officials had to work out some matters.

Attorneys were expected to put the settlement on the record before Douglass Wednesday, ending the case.

The Shellfish and Mariculture Advisory Panel will be appointed after Governor Kemp signed legislation creating it, according to The Brunswick News.

One of the frequently discussed issues with House Bill 501, in the last session of the General Assembly, was the possible existence of a citizen advisory panel regarding oyster mariculture. Gov. Brian Kemp recently signed H.B. 501 into law, which legalizes methods of oyster mariculture in the state.

The Shellfish and Mariculture Advisory Panel, as it’s named, will have 11-15 members and operate similarly to already-existing panels like those on shrimp, blue crab and finfish. The panel will be a subgroup of the state Marine Fisheries Advisory Council.

The shellfish panel is to include, “a maximum of four Department of Agriculture-certified shellfish dealers and four CRD- permitted master shellfish harvesters; a minimum of two recreational shellfish harvesters or coastal county residents; one non-DNR scientist experienced with shellfish science and affiliated with an academic institution in Georgia; one Georgia Department of Agriculture food safety officer; and one related business owner such as a restauranteur.”

14
May

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for May 14, 2019

Loxy Evelyns Place

Loxy is a male Dachshund & Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Evelyn’s Place Rescue in Gainesville, GA.

Maggie Evelyns Place

Maggie is a female Great Pyrenees who is available for adoption from Evelyn’s Place Rescue in Gainesville, GA.

Jake Evelyns Place

Jake is a male Carolina dog mix who is available for adoption from Evelyn’s Place Rescue in Gainesville, GA.

14
May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 14, 2019

Delegates to the Constitutional Convention began assembling in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 14, 1787, the designated starting day. Because a large number of delegates had not arrived the opening of the Convention was moved to May 25.

On May 14, 1791, George Washington addressed the Grand Lodge of Georgia Masons in Savannah.

On May 14, 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark left St. Louis, Missouri to explore the Northwest United States from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.

One hundred fifty years ago today, on May 14, 2014, the VMI Corps of Cadets marched 15 miles and camped overnight at Mt. Tabor, near New Market, Virginia. The next day they would march into history.

On the same day, the Battle of Resaca was fully engaged in Northwest Georgia.

On Saturday, May 14, the fighting at Resaca escalated into a full-scale battle. Beginning at dawn, Union forces engaged the Confederates along the entire four-mile front. In the early afternoon Schofield’s Army of the Ohio attacked the sharply angled center of the Confederate line. The assault was badly managed and disorganized, in part because one of Schofield’s division commanders was drunk. As the Union attack unraveled and became a fiasco, Johnston launched a counterattack on Sherman’s left flank. The counterattack collapsed, however, in the face of a determined stand by a Union artillery battery. In the evening Union forces pushed forward and seized the high ground west of Resaca, which placed the bridges leading south from the town within artillery range and threatened Johnston’s line of retreat.The following day Sherman renewed his assault on the Confederate center.

Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Atlanta History Center’s original production “37 Weeks that Changed Georgia” chronicles the Battle of Resaca in this week’s episode.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Former President Jimmy Carter fell and broke his hip, according to the New York Times.

Former President Jimmy Carter underwent surgery for a broken hip on Monday after falling at his home in Plains, Ga., his office said.

Mr. Carter, 94, the longest-living president in American history, was recovering from the operation at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in Americus, Ga., with his wife, Rosalynn, at his side, the office said in a statement.

From the Macon Telegraph:

President Jimmy Carter fell at his Plains, Georgia home Monday morning while preparing for a turkey hunt, according to a release from The Carter Center.

The release said Carter’s main concern is he hasn’t reached his limit on turkeys with the season coming to a close May 15.

He is hopeful the state will allow him to roll over the unused limit to next season.

Augusta Democrats will welcome Independent Democrat Socialist Bernie Sanders this weekend, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Sanders will hold the town hall at 5 p.m. Saturday at the 400-seat Kroc Center Theater, 1833 Broad St., as part of a five-stop weekend Southern tour.

The campaign said the tour will highlight how his policies “meet the urgent needs of communities across the South,” such as restoration of voting rights, reforming K-12 education, environmental racism and eradicating poverty. The stops will include rallies in Asheville and Charlotte in North Carolina, and Birmingham, Ala., and an environmental justice town hall in Denmark, S.C., where officials used an unapproved pool cleaner to purify drinking water for 10 years.

Jordan Johnson, the chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party, said Sanders’ choice of Augusta for the town hall was “smart” because it is a Democratic stronghold.

Governor Brian Kemp vetoed House Resolution 51, addressing a dispute over the border between Tennessee and Georgia, according to the Times Free Press.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp vetoed a resolution to create a boundary line committee Friday, one of 15 legislative measures he axed this year prior to Sunday’s deadline. Kemp argued the committee’s success was unlikely. Case in point? Lawmakers on the other side of the dispute aren’t at the negotiating table.

“Purportedly, the Commission would confer with counterpart commissions in North Carolina and in Tennessee on boundary line disputes,” Kemp said in a statement. “At this time, however, North Carolina and Tennessee have not created boundary line dispute commissions.”

State Rep. Marc Morris, R-Cumming, argued Georgia should have access to the Tennessee River because in 1818 a surveyor drew the boundary between the states a mile farther south than Congress dictated. The mistake cut off Georgia’s access.

Morris’ resolution called for an eight-person committee from Georgia to negotiate with lawmakers in Tennessee and North Carolina. If those states didn’t come to the table, the resolution asked the committee to create a list of recommendations.

From the AJC:

Many surveyors and historians agree the line is technically flawed – as are other state boundaries around the nation. But such issues are usually left alone because borders have been in place so long that “correcting” them would be disruptive, to say the least.

Georgia supporters of the legislation insist they don’t want to annex the 51-mile stretch of misplaced land (and the 30,000 residents who live there). Instead, they’re aiming for a slice of the Nickajack Lake, opening the door to a costly new pipeline that could help quench Atlanta’s thirst.

United States Senator David Perdue is not worried about a Hollywood boycott of Georgia, according to the Albany Herald.

Perdue said that he’s not concerned about the prospect of production companies leaving the state. He said that Georgia’s business outlook was strong and cited a recent study that said “Georgia is rated for the sixth year in the row as the best state in the country in which to do business.” The trade publication Site Selection gave Georgia that designation again in November.

A big reason for the state’s economic success was due to the fact that “Georgia does more traditional movie production than any other state including California,” Perdue added.

Perdue is unmoved by the threat. “It’s ironic that several of these companies that are threatening to boycott have yet to do business in Georgia,” he said. “It just shows that rhetoric is more important than reality.”

“Life is precious and we’re called to protect it at any stage, as long as it’s there.” he said during the Fox interview. “This is not a radical right or a liberal left issue here in Georgia. It’s a moral issue and I think the people of Georgia have spoken.”

Congressman Buddy Carter met with the Golden Isles Republican Women, according to The Brunswick News.

“Climate change is real. The climate has been changing since day one,” Carter said. “We’ve seen it through history, we know the climate is changing. There was a time back in the 70s when it was getting colder, and we were afraid we were going to have more freezing of areas. Now we’ve got just the opposite.”

Recently appointed to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Climate Change, Carter said he takes the issue seriously.

“I represent the entire coast of Georgia, 100 miles of pristine coastline. I’ve lived here all my life, it’s where I intend to live the rest of my life,” Carter said. “I love this coast, and I’m never going to do anything to harm this coast. I believe that we need to make sure we’ve got a representative on this committee for our coast, that’s why I volunteered for it.”

While he said he believed the government needs to take some action in response to climate change, he distanced himself from the Green New Deal, a Democratic proposal aimed at addressing the issue along with a number of others.

“It is the craziest thing I have ever seen. I read that 14 pages and laughed the whole way through,” Carter said. “I take climate change seriously. I don’t mean to be making light of it, I do take it seriously. I think we need to adapt, we need to mitigate and we need innovation.”

Perry Mayor Jimmy Faircloth resigned suddenly last week, according to 13WMAZ.

The mayor of Perry is stepping down at the end of this month.

Jimmy Faircloth sent a letter to the city Friday morning saying he’s leaving City Hall at the end of May.

His letter does not give a reason, and when 13WMAZ reached Faircloth by phone, he cited work and personal obligations saying, “It’s time.”

Faircloth has been mayor for 9.5 years and Mayor Pro-Tem Randall Walker will step in until the city elects a replacement.

The Grovetown City Council removed an agenda item from consideration that would make the Mayor full time, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The item was pulled from Monday night’s regular city council meeting agenda because Mayor Gary Jones said he felt he did not have enough support from city council members.

“The community as a whole was supportive even though there were some who were against it,” Jones said. “The council questioned if we were moving into it a little too fast. We need to slow down and take a better look.”

If approved, the mayor’s salary would have been $65,000 as Jan 1. The mayor currently is part-time and makes $10,200 per year.

Former Chatham County Clerk of Courts Kim Birge is accused of stealing more than $1 million dollars, according to the Savannah Morning News.

An attorney for 11 victims of former Chatham County Probate Court Clerk Kim Birge on Monday told jurors that his clients lost more than $409,000 to her theft while she traveled and gambled with the proceeds and she drove Corvettes.

Those sums were among the $1 million Birge stole from the court over an eight-year period from children who had lost their parents, the elderly or physically injured or mentally handicapped, attorney Brent Savage told a Chatham County State Court jury empaneled to hear the civil case.

But attorney Walter Ballew, who represents Birge, told the jurors that people who knew Birge were “shocked by her conduct” which he blamed on opioid and gambling addictions that spun out of control.

Birge, 64, was not in court. She remains incarcerated in a federal prison in West Virginia where she is serving a six-year term after pleading guilty in federal court on July 31, 2015, to stealing $232,000 from the Probate Court as part of a scheme in which the government said she stole more than $750,000 over a three-year period.

The Clarke County Board of Education will elect a new Board President from their members and also choose a new member, according to the Athens Banner Herald.

The board has set a Thursday meeting to elect a new president to replace Jared Bybee, who is resigning his seat as his wife, University of Georgia law professor Mehrsa Baradaran, takes a new job at the University of California-Irvine.

Once that’s done, they’ll begin the longer process of replacing Bybee on the board, which requires that the board advertise for candidates from Bybee’s District 4, then pick one from among them.

It’s rare for the board to replace a member, but picking Bybee’s replacement will be the second occurrence for the board this year. The board picked Frances Berry in February to replace ailing District 2 board member Vernon Payne.

Chatham County is compiling a wish list of projects for funding in a potential renewal of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), according to the Savannah Morning News.

Chatham County staff members are currently updating the proposed list of county projects to include as part of the 1 percent sales tax referendum on ballots for voters Nov. 5.

The county draft proposal includes $216 million in projects for drainage, transportation, parks and recreation, and infrastructure. Projects were selected from staff input and the recreational master plan.

The county’s municipalities presented their requests for the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax projects at the May 6 commission meeting. If approved by voters, it will be SPLOST VII.

Chatham officials predict the sales tax will raise $400 million over a six-year period, starting in October 2020.

Whitfield County Commissioners approved a list of improvements for the county jail, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

Floyd County Commissioners will consider changes to the employee retirement plan, according to the Rome News Tribune.

13
May

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for May 13, 2019

Max HSNEGA

Max is a male Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, GA.

Jojo HSNEGA

Jojo is a young male Retriever and Terrier mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, GA.

Am I the only person who thinks that a major part of Jojo’s ancestry has been left out?

Sparkle HSNEGA

Sparkle is a female Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, GA.

13
May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for March 13, 2019

On May 13, 1607, English settlers founded the first permanent English settlement in America, at Jamestown on the James River. This led to the first English-language politics in America:

Dispatched from England by the London Company, the colonists had sailed across the Atlantic aboard the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery. Upon landing at Jamestown, the first colonial council was held by seven settlers whose names had been chosen and placed in a sealed box by King James I. The council, which included Captain John Smith, an English adventurer, chose Edward Wingfield as its first president.

Lyman Hall arrived in Philadelphia as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress on May 13, 1775.

On May 13, 1798, a Constitutional Convention adopted the Georgia Constitution of 1798.

The Mexican War began on May 13, 1846.

Georgia Whigs, led by Governor George Crawford, Alexander Stephens, and Robert Toombs, criticized the war for raising divisive questions about slavery in the territories. Georgia Democrats, led by Howell Cobb and Herschel Johnson, staunchly supported the war and states’ rights afterward. Because Whigs, nationally, appeared to be antislavery, Georgia Whigs lost the governorship in 1847. The Compromise of 1850 temporarily settled the slavery question in the territories, but the moderating influence of Georgia’s Whigs dissolved in the heated rhetoric of states’ rights in the 1850s. The next war would find Americans fighting Americans.

The first fighting at Resaca, Georgia took place on May 13, 1864 and Union forces marched into Dalton.

On May 13, 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot at St. Peter’s Square in Rome.

On May 13, 2005, the Pentagon Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) recommended the closing of Fort McPherson in Atlanta, Fort Gillem in Forest Park, the Naval Air Station in Marietta, and the Naval Supply Corps School in Athens.

The Brunswick News looks at the 1777 duel between Lachlan McIntosh and Button Gwinnett.

Both McIntosh and Gwinnett took similar paths to that fateful day on May 16, 1777. Lachlan McIntosh was born in Scotland in 1725, the son of John Mohr McIntosh. The elder McIntosh brought his family to the newly established Georgia Colony in 1736 as the leader of a hardy bunch of Scotts settlers. They established the settlement that would become Darien in the area that today carries the family name, McIntosh County.

A Georgia delegate to the Continental Congress in the summer of 1776, Gwinnett’s signature sits first on the left of signers to this nation’s Declaration of Independence. By 1777, the man for whom the county in metropolitan Atlanta is named was serving in Georgia’s state legislature. He succeeded Archibald Bulloch as president of Georgia’s general assembly after Bulloch’s death.

Standing 12 paces apart, the two leveled their pistols, each at the other. No quick-draw stuff. Each staring down a barrel, the two men fired simultaneously. Gwinnett took a bullet to the thigh; McIntosh also was shot in the leg. McIntosh’s wound eventually mended; Gwinnett lived but three more days.

Gwinnett’s Whig party allies brought murder charges against McIntosh. He was acquitted.

Fearing further reprisals against the young Continental officer, Gen. George Washington himself reassigned McIntosh to the main army. There he endured the bitter winter of ’77-78 at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania, supervising North Carolina troops.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp signed a copy of the state budget in Camilla, according to the Albany Herald.

Gov. Brian Kemp signed the state’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget on Friday. Joined by lawmakers, law enforcement officials, educators, and local leaders in Camilla, Kemp’s signature of the balanced budget caps a historic first legislative session.

“This budget demonstrates our priorities as a state, reflects our core values, and signals the bright future ahead for all Georgians,” Kemp said at the signing ceremony. “For the second year in a row, our state fully-funded public education. With the support of the General Assembly, this budget delivers a well-deserved — and long overdue — educator pay raise of $3,000, the largest in state history.

“I am confident these bold investments will enhance educational outcomes and yield huge dividends for our students and our state in the future.”

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan said the budget addresses priorities established by the General Assembly.

“Eleven million Georgians expect our policies to enhance education, economic development, and health care,” he said. “The FY 2020 budget – which passed the Georgia Senate unanimously – recognizes those priorities by fully funding our K-12 education system, raising educator pay, promoting innovative approaches to technological learning, advancing health care reform measures and funding programs which prepare our state for long-term success.

Governor Kemp vetoed legislation that would have required recess time for some students, according to Georgia Health News.

Kemp vetoed House Bill 83 on Friday along with several other bills. In his veto message, the governor said the recess requirement “would impose unreasonable burdens on educational leaders without meaningful justification.’’

“While I support expanded recess opportunities for Georgia’s students, I am a firm believer in local control, especially in education,’’ Kemp stated. He said House Bill 83 would dramatically restrict this local control, stripping long-held authority from school boards.

Rep. Demetrius Douglas, a former Georgia Bulldog linebacker and currently a Henry County high school football coach, was lead sponsor of the bill. He pushed the recess idea for three years.

Douglas, a Stockbridge Democrat, pointed to the high child obesity rate in the state. One-third of Georgia children ages 10-17 were overweight or obese in 2017. “It’s a health initiative first,’’ he said of the recess bill. “It’s about our future. These kids will be running our state.’’

Kemp also vetoed another health-related measure – a pilot program for covering prescription drugs for the treatment and management of obesity and related conditions for the State Health Benefit Plan, which covers schoolteachers, other school personnel, state employees and retirees.

The governor said the program would be too costly and cause higher premiums for state employees.

From the AJC:

Recess lost ground after the No Child Left Behind Act pressured schools to raise their math and reading scores. Forty-four percent of America’s school districts reported cutting time from other areas, including recess, art and music and physical education, to beef up math and reading instruction.

There is no federal requirement for recess as it’s viewed as a state matter. Five states mandate recess, while at least seven states require daily physical activity for elementary schools. In every case, legislators in those states expressed fears over the increasing sedentary lifestyles of children. Georgia has the 18th highest obesity rate for youth ages 10 to 17

A strong push for recess is coming from parents, who contend unstructured play is vital to children’s physical and social advancement. Those parents found allies among child development researchers who say recess bolsters social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development.

Hemp farming is now legal in Georgia, after Gov. Kemp signed House Bill 213, according to the AJC.

Gov. Brian Kemp made it legal Friday for farmers to grow hemp in Georgia.

Kemp signed into law a bill that allows hemp crops, which can be used to make CBD oil, rope and other items.

Besides Georgia, 41 states have hemp programs. Kemp signed House Bill 213 during a ceremony in Lake Park in South Georgia.

Some students at Valdosta State University walked out when Gov. Kemp spoke at commencement, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Most graduates stayed seated but others walked out of Valdosta State University’s 227th commencement ceremony as Gov. Brian Kemp gave the address Saturday evening.

Students returned following the speech to walk across the stage.

A town hall meeting was held in late April protesting Kemp as VSU’s keynote speaker. On Saturday, students gave varying opinions regarding the governor’s visit.

“But graduates, I’m confident that together we can tackle things like the opioid crisis. We can expand access to quality health care,” Kemp said.

“We can keep our family safe and boost educational outcomes, protect the vulnerable and ensure that all people are treated with respect,” [said Kemp].

“There will be moments when the odds are not in your favor, when you feel alone and ill-prepared, times of darkness and despair,” he said. “Perseverance builds character and character produces hope,” [said Kemp].

D-list actress Alyssa Milano says she may not return to Georgia, according to BuzzFeed.

Alyssa Milano says she intends to honor the film production boycott of Georgia that she and dozens of other celebrities petitioned for after the state’s governor signed the controversial “heartbeat” abortion restriction into law.

Milano is currently filming Netflix’s second season of Insatiable in Georgia, a show that was criticized when it was released in August for fat-shaming and a storyline featuring an adult male beauty pageant coach who is falsely accused of molesting a minor. The actor said she’s contractually obligated to stay in Georgia for another month, but won’t return to the show if it films there in the future.

“I have to be there for another month but you can be sure I will fight tooth and nail to move Insatiable to a state that will protect our rights,” Milano told BuzzFeed News in an interview that she only agreed to do over email. “And if it doesn’t move to another state, I will not be able to return to the show if we are blessed with a third season. This is my leverage. I will use it for the betterment of society and our great country.”

Good riddance.

Milano also called for a sex strike to protest strict abortion laws, according to CNN.

Actress Alyssa Milano called for a sex strike in response to restrictive abortion laws, and many women were quick to call her out.

“Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy,” Milano said on Twitter Friday. “JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back.”

Critics said the strike assumes that sex is enjoyed only by men and that women’s bodies are commodities that can be denied to men as punishment. Some people also pointed out that the sex strike ignored LGBTQ people and didn’t consider the possibility of sexual violence.

“Living under the patriarchy has already robbed me of safety, autonomy, opportunities, and trust in our institutions. Now I’m supposed to give up sex, too, and play into the fiction that it is just a bargaining chip/transaction for women,” said Kristi Coulter on Twitter. “Love you, but nope.”

“A shame because again, you are using sex as a weapon, as a way to get what you want,” said Tammy Lawson on Twitter. “I guess your brain wasn’t good enough.”

Some other actress I’ve never heard of suggested mandatory vasectomies for Georgia men, according to Breitbart.

Hollywood actress Evan Rachel Wood took to Twitter over the weekend and joked that men should undergo mandatory surgical sterilization in response to Georgia’s “Heartbeat” abortion law, which prohibits a woman from aborting her pregnancy in the state after a heartbeat is detected.

“Please. We have been abused and used enough. They want control of our bodies. I cant even begin to explain the terrifying implications of this. Help. Please,” the Westworld star said. “They are going to try and overturn Roe vs Wade and countless women are going to die. Everyone STAND UP.”

“I dont want mandatory vasectomies because I don’t believe we should legislate peoples bodies, its a dangerous slippery slope.” the HBO star said. “I used the example to point out the hypocrisy of always putting the responsibility, punishment, blame, or means of prevention, solely on women.”

Some film production companies that don’t do business in Georgia say they’re boycotting the state, according to The Hill.

Bernie Sanders will visit Georgia, according to the AJC.

The Vermont Democrat will hold a town hall on Saturday in Augusta, part of a three-day blitz that will also bring him to Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina.

It’s his first visit to Georgia this cycle, and one of several to South Carolina, home to the first-in-the-South Democratic primary. And by visiting Augusta, the White House hopeful will also slice into a chunk of the South Carolina media market.

The City of Norcross will release results of the first municipal study of extended stay hotel populations, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

“Like in many other cities across metro Atlanta, there are limited residential options for working and middle-class families in Norcross,” organizers of the presentation event said in a media advisory. “A defining feature of the housing landscape in this city of 17,000 is that it is dotted with extended-stay motels, and most of these are home to families and elderly individuals.”

Rome Circuit Superior Court Judge Bryant Durham will not run for reelection in 2020, according to the Rome News Tribune.

At least one person who already holds a similar position has been openly talking about running within the legal community and others have hinted at it. We’ll see what happens.

The past two judicial races have been hotly contested — three ran for Judge Larry Salmon’s seat in 2008 and two ran for Judge Tami Colston’s seat in 2018. In fact, Judge Jack Niedrach — who won the election for Salmon’s seat — will become the new chief judge. We’re certainly thankful for the experience and gravitas he will bring to that position.

Speaking of the 2020 election, and rumors involved, there have been several more names floating about for those who may run for Sheriff Tim Burkhalter’s position. Three people have officially come out publicly saying they’ll qualify to run for the post — Tom Caldwell, Ronnie Kilgo and Dave Roberson. The last count of rumored candidates (including these three) was somewhere around seven. We’ll see what happens when qualifying time comes around.

Westside High School in Bibb County became the first public school to receive the SMART Exemplary School Award, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The Lowndes County Board of Elections will meet on May 14, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

The Chatham County Board of Elections will add two new precincts in Pooler, according to the Savannah Morning News.

In the 2018 mid-term election, Chatham County saw a surge in voter registrations and early voting numbers.

At 10:30 p.m. on Election Day, voters at Rothwell Baptist Church in Pooler reported about 60 people were still in line waiting to vote. Others reported it took more than four hours to cast ballots.

It’s an issue that Elections Supervisor Russell Bridges attributes to Pooler’s growing pains. The city’s booming population growth in the last few decades.

In 2018, Pooler Mayor Mike Lamb told Savannah Morning News he estimates there were about 2,000 residents in Pooler when he moved there 42 years ago. In 2017, Census data estimates put the population at 24,000.

The new precincts will include at least two voting machines — Bridges said that’s the minimum number for any precinct countywide.

There are currently three precincts in Pooler.

“The biggest problem in places like Pooler is finding places to put the polls. Pooler is residential, and it has a huge commercial district, but the Tanger Outlet and the shopping mall and all those places — they’re not amenable to be polling places,” Bridges said. “We usually use community buildings, public places, churches and schools.”

The Glynn County Board of Elections will announce their choice for hiring a new elections supervisor on Tuesday, according to The Brunswick News.

The board will have to wait 14 days from the announcement date to make the hiring official, she explained.

Assistant supervisor Chris Channell is currently serving as the interim supervisor. He follows former supervisors Tina Edwards and Monica Couch, who left their roles in July 2017 and December 2018, respectively.

Edwards resigned from her position while the board voted to fire Couch on Dec. 12, just after the 2018 general election runoff.

At the same time, they appointed Channell interim supervisor.

The board will also recognize outgoing Glynn County Republican Party appointee Ruby Robinson, who is nearing the end of her second term. The Republican Party announced her replacement, Patricia Featherstone, last week.

Savannah tourism and related revenue increased in 2018, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Last year visitors to the Hostess City opened their wallets more than ever, spending a record breaking $3 billion in 2018, an increase of 3.2% compared to the $2.91 billion spent in 2017, according to the annual Visit Savannah Visitor Study compiled by Longwoods International.

According to the survey, about $1 billion was spent on lodging; $785 million on food and beverage; $502 on retail; $359 on recreation and $322 on transportation and Marinelli said the increase in spending reflects the overall product in the local market, which has added several new, higher-end additions including The Perry Lane Hotel, Alida hotel, Husk and La Scala.

The total number of visitors also increased to 14.5 million compared to 14.1 million in 2017. About 6.2 million of those visitors were day-trippers and 8.2 million overnight visitors, who are also staying a bit longer with the average length of stay increasing to 2.6 nights from 2.4 nights in 2017.

Cave Spring City Council will likely hear a draft of a new alcohol ordinance on Tuesday, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Board members have been working on a comprehensive revision since voters approved in March the sale of liquor – by the drink, by the package and on Sundays – within the city limits. They’re using the city of Rome’s ordinance as a template but tailoring it for their historic small town.

City Attorney Frank Beacham said at the close of a work session last week that he would have a draft of the changes he’s been directed to incorporate so far.

“It is your intention to allow liquor by the drink at restaurants, distillery tasting rooms, farm wineries, malt beverage tap rooms, hotels, private clubs and retail establishments approved by the City Council – but not at bars or sham establishments,” Beacham said in summary, to nods from the board members.

The Hall County Tax Commissioner’s Office will be open Saturday, according to AccessWDUN.

There will be limited or no services related to motor vehicles May 20 through May 29 statewide. The Hall County Tax Commissioner’s Office will be unable to process vehicle tags and titles and business renewals from Thursday, May 23 through Monday, May 27, according to Tax Commissioner Darla Eden. Additionally, the self-service kiosk located at Kroger Marketplace and online renewal services will be off-line from May 21 through May 29.

With that in mind, Eden said the office will be open this Saturday, May 18 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. All titling and registration services will be available to individuals and dealerships on Saturday.

Statesboro City Council will hear the results of a transit study on Tuesday, according to the Statesboro Herald.

Connetics Transportation Group has completed its feasibility study for a possible public transit system in Statesboro and is scheduled to present the results to City Council in an open, special session at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or T-SPLOST, referendum approved by a majority of Bulloch County voters in May 2018 earmarked $450,000 to start a public transit program in Statesboro.

City Council in September contracted CTG, which has an office in Atlanta, to do the study for $68,793. The final report is about 110 pages long, or 190 pages if appendences of details such as survey and interview results are included. Beginning with data showing rapid population and employment growth, the report’s executive summary projects further growth for Statesboro and describes it as having already a “large transportation disadvantaged population,” including students, seniors, low-wage working people and people with disabilities.

10
May

Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for May 10, 2019

Ultron Glynn

Ultron is a male Hound mix who is available for adoption from the Glynn County Animal Services in Brunswick, GA.

Bo Glynn

Bo is a male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from the Glynn County Animal Services in Brunswick, GA.

Teresa Glynn

Teresa is a female mixed breed dog who is available for adoption from the Glynn County Animal Services in Brunswick, GA.

10
May

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for May 10, 2019

Georgia and American History

On May 12, 1740, Georgia forces under James Oglethorpe took Fort Diego in Florida from the Spanish and mocked the defenders’ jean shorts.

Savannah received news of the battle at Lexington on May 10, 1775, leading to a raid of British gunpowder for the colonial effort. On the same day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Second Continental Congress met.

The worst American defeat of the Revolutionary War occurred at Charleston, South Carolina on May 12, 1780. American Major General Benjamin Lincoln, who surrendered that day would later accept the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia.

On May 12, 1789, the Society of St. Tammany was founded in New York and would grow to a dominant home for political bosses. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics (Signet Classics) remains one of the best historical versions of how political machines worked.

George Washington visited Georgia on May 12, 1791. From Purysburg, South Carolina, Georgia officials escorted Washington on a barge twenty-five miles down the Savannah River to Savannah, where he would stay four days.

Happy Birthday to Minnesota, which became a state on May 11, 1858. Y’all talk funny.

On May 10, 1863, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died a week after being shot at by his own troops.

He died, as he had wished, on the Sabbath, May 10, 1863, with these last words: “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”

Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart was mortally wounded on May 11, 1864 at the Battle of Yellow Tavern, near Richmond.

On May 12, 1864, Confederate General Joseph Johnston pulled his Army of Tennessee and Georgia back to Resaca, Georgia. In Virginia, Major General John B. Gordon saved the life, or prevented the capture of General Robert E. Lee at Spotsylvania. After the war, Gordon would serve as Governor of Georgia and United States Senator.

On May 12, 1864, the Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets awoke in Staunton, where they had marched from Lexington 18 miles the previous day; after another 19 miles headed north up the Shenandoah Valley, the would make camp at Mt. Crawford, near Harrisonburg. The cadets ranged in age from fifteen to twenty-five years.

On May 10, 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops near Irwinville, Georgia.

On May 10, 1869, a ceremonial “Golden Spike” was driven in Promontory, Utah, symbolizing completion of a transcontinental railroad line joining the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad.

The first observance of Mother’s Day was May 10, 1908 at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. On May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first official “Mother’s Day.”

On May 12, 1970, Georgia National Guard troops were mobilized to end race riots that had broken out the night before in Augusta. On that same day, Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs, my father’s favorite player as a youth, hit his 500th home run.

On May 10, 2006, Georgia State School Superintendent Linda Schrenko, a Republican, pled guilty to federal charges of fraud and money laundering, beginning a streak of Republican State School Supers to leave office under a cloud.

On May 11, 2011, Newt Gingrich announced via Twitter that he would run for President. Two days later, I caught up with Newt at Fincher’s Barbecue in Macon for a brief interview the day he was scheduled to speak to the Georgia Republican Party State Convention.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Brian Kemp vetoed legislation changing the boundaries of the City of Harlem, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

Gov. Brian Kemp quietly vetoed House Bill 598 on April 25, stopping plans for the city of Harlem to greatly expand its boundaries in Columbia County.

According to prior Augusta Chronicle reports, Harlem officials withdrew their support for the bill on April 12, two weeks after it passed both chambers of the Georgia General Assembly, after a single affected landowner disagreed with the plan.

Harlem Rep. Barry Fleming quietly introduced the bill in March with fellow Republican Reps. Tom McCall, Jodi Lott and Mark Newton as co-sponsors. The bill unanimously passed the House March 18 and the Senate on March 28. The chambers typically don’t question local legislation that has the support of the legislative delegation representing the area.

The Columbia County Commission in early April approved a resolution opposing the bill, citing opposition from the sheriff’s office, fire department and affected landowners.

Gov. Kemp has through Sunday to veto legislation passed during the 2019 Session, according to the AJC.

The 40-day signing period is technically set to end on Sunday, bringing with it a deadline to sign or nullify bills, or let legislation become law by not taking action. But the Republican is set to issue his first round of vetoes a few days early.

“We’re being very methodical to go through each piece of legislation to make sure there’s no constitutional issues or things that happened in the last few hours that we’re not aware of, or that the Legislature isn’t aware of,” Kemp said.

Georgia Governor Democrat Stacey Abrams is still considering running for President, according to the New York Times.

In an interview on “Pod Save America” with Dan Pfeiffer, a former senior adviser to former Democratic U.S. President Barack Obama, Abrams was asked whether she is considering joining the huge field of Democratic presidential candidates. She replied: “Yes.”

Abrams, 45, the former Georgia House minority leader, narrowly lost the Georgia governor’s race last year against Republican Brian Kemp. She demonstrated how an African American could compete in a Southern state that has voted reliably Republican at a state level in recent years.

Congressman Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) introduced legislation to extend the period of eligibility for healthcare of infants born to female service members, according to the Gainesville Times.

Currently, the VA is only authorized to provide up to 7 days of care for a female veteran’s newborn. The Newborn Care Improvement Act would extend that time to 14 days.

“Too often, new mothers receiving medical care from the VA face financial challenges and complex insurance decisions while seeking to obtain critical care for their newborns,” Collins said in a statement. “Ensuring the VA expands care for the women who selflessly serve in our armed forces continues to be a priority for me, and I’m proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing the Newborn Care Improvement Act.”

Rep. Collins also spoke to Fox News about the Mueller report.

Ranking Member House Judiciary Committee Congressman Doug Collins-(R-GA) spoke with Brian Kilmeade about the House Judiciary Committee holding Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for not complying with a subpoena for the unredacted Mueller report.

Collins says democrats are pitching a fit by holding Barr in contempt because they want to smear Barr because the Mueller report didn’t go their way. When asked if Robert Mueller will be testifying in front of the House Judiciary on May 15th, Collins said there has been no indication Mueller will be coming to testify but hopes he does and would like to ask him why he didn’t put into his report how the investigation started in the first place.

On former FBI Director James Comey saying the FBI doesn’t spy, Collins replied, “Hearing comments like that, I don’t need a paper bag, I want to vomit in a paper bag when I hear the former director of the FBI who took a fake, unsolicited, unverified, salacious dossier and made it the basis for FISA warrants.”

The Whitfield County Board of Elections announced plans to suppress votes change the locations of two voting precincts, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.

The Atlanta Regional Commission awarded $565,000 in grants to Gwinnett County municipalities, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Some Savannah residents oppose a proposal to develop a public recreation facility at the Coastal Empire Fair grounds, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Senior Superior Court Judge Micheal L. Karpf will hear the case against suspended McIntosh County Clerk Rebecca McFerrin, according to The Brunswick News.

Robert Russell, a long-time McIntosh County resident and chief Superior Court judge of the Atlantic Judicial Circuit, had been assigned to the case, but he and all the other judges stepped away from the matter April 30. Although all the judges had dealings with McFerrin in court, Russell’s conflict of interest was more pronounced. He and State Court Judge C. Jean Bolin had written former Gov. Nathan Deal in October asking for an investigation of McFerrin’s conduct in office. Kemp acted on Russell’s and Bolin’s complaint after taking office in January.

Jeffrey H. Kight, the administrative judge for the 22-county First Judicial District, appointed Karpf to the case on Tuesday.

Karpf has 40 years experience on the bench in three Savannah area courts, first as a Recorders Court Judge in Savannah then as a Chatham County State Court judge and Superior Court judge. He decided to not seek re-election last year and his son, Benjamin, won the election to replace him.

Kemp appointed two other clerks of court and the state attorney general to investigate the complaint against McFerrin. In its investigative report, the panel asserted that McFerrin had failed to file some criminal cases in the court database. As a result, jailed defendants did not have timely bond hearings because there was no record of the charges in the court database, the report said.

The City of Rome is working to keep their transit system running after buses were prevented from being used for school students, according to the Rome News Tribune.

Students have been using the city’s tripper service for 35 years, but a recent audit by the Federal Transit Administration determined it’s not an authorized use of the program.

Rome Transit Director Kathy Shealy said funding is based on ridership and mileage, so ending the school bus service will affect annual grants.

The Lowndes County Juvenile Court has requested a doubling of funding, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Juvenile Court is requesting $10,000 for court costs in its 2020 budget. The 2019 budget included $4,500 for court costs.

“The new laws will force us to basically double?” Lowndes County Commissioner Scott Orenstein asked Thursday during county budget hearings.

Council expects an increase in civil cases in Juvenile Court due to a rise in custody disputes.

“(New laws are) trying to cut costs by giving the kids to effective kin – people who aren’t blood-related but know you,” Council said.