The blog.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 20, 2018

Union General Irvin McDowell’s forces engaged Confederates under General Pierre G.T. Beauregard and General Joseph Johnston at the First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run on July 21, 1861.

On July 20, 1864, the Battle of Peachtree Creek took place in Atlanta. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a special online section on the Battle of Atlanta.

General William Tecumseh Sherman gained the upper hand in the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864. Estimated casualties were 12,140 (3,641 Union, 8,499 Confederate).

On July 21, 1868, the Georgia General Assembly ratified the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution as a condition for readmission.

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois.

Sir Edmund Hillary was born on July 20, 1919 in Auckland, New Zealand. He and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first to summit Mount Everest on May 29, 1953.

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to set foot on the moon.

When the lunar module lands at 4:18 p.m EDT, only 30 seconds of fuel remain. Armstrong radios “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Mission control erupts in celebration as the tension breaks, and a controller tells the crew “You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue, we’re breathing again.”

At 10:56 p.m. EDT Armstrong is ready to plant the first human foot on another world. With more than half a billion people watching on television, he climbs down the ladder and proclaims: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Aldrin joins him shortly, and offers a simple but powerful description of the lunar surface: “magnificent desolation.” They explore the surface for two and a half hours, collecting samples and taking photographs.

They leave behind an American flag, a patch honoring the fallen Apollo 1 crew, and a plaque on one of Eagle’s legs. It reads, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

On July 22, 1975, the United States House of Representatives voted to restore U.S. Citizenship to General Robert E. Lee posthumously.

Though President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation of amnesty and pardon to the Southern rebels in 1865, it required Lee to apply separately. On Oct. 2, 1865, the same day that Lee was inaugurated as president of Washington College in Lexington, Va., he signed the required amnesty oath and filed an application through Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

Nonetheless, neither was Lee pardoned, nor was his citizenship restored. After receiving it, Secretary of State William Seward gave Lee’s application to a friend as a souvenir. Meanwhile, State Department officials, apparently with Seward’s approval, pigeonholed the oath.

In 1970, an archivist, examining State Department records at the National Archives, found Lee’s lost oath. That discovery helped set in motion a five-year congressional effort to restore citizenship to the general, who had died stateless in 1870.

President Gerald Ford signed the congressional resolution on July 24, 1975, correcting what he said was a 110-year oversight. The signing ceremony took place at Arlington House in Virginia, the former Lee family home. Several Lee descendants, including Robert E. Lee V, his great-great-grandson, attended.

On July 22, 1977, Elvis Costello released his first album, My Aim is True.

Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton gave the speech nominating Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis for President on July 20, 1988 at the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. Dukakis accepted the nomination the next day.

Clinton’s performance was widely panned.

[Clinton] bombed so badly that there was speculation it might spoil his political future.

The prime-time speech would be a perfect opportunity for Clinton to regain some of the ground he’d lost to Gore and to reestablish himself as the one to watch from the party’s moderate/Southern wing.

But he blew it. The speech he delivered was long – 33 minutes, or twice the expected length – and mechanical. It only took a few minutes for convention delegates to tune him out, as the din of their conversations began drowning him out on television. Eventually, the broadcast networks began cutting away from his speech, with commentators noting the crowd’s complete lack of interest. The lowlight came when Clinton uttered the words “In closing,” prompting a spontaneous round of sarcastic cheers from the audience. His home state paper summed it up this way:

ATLANTA Gov. Bill Clinton’s big national moment his prime time speech Wednesday night in nomination of Michael Dukakis was an unmitigated disaster.

On July 21, 1988, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis accepted the Democratic nomination for President at the National Convention in Atlanta.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Today is the last day of early voting in this year’s Primary Runoff Elections. Click here to find out where to vote early today in your home county.

Vice President Mike Pence will headline a rally for Brian Kemp in Macon on Saturday, according to the Macon Telegraph.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 18, 2018

Marzipan Bogart

Marzipan is a 3-month old female Labrador Retriever and Dachshund mix puppy who is available for adoption from Helping Paws Rescue in Bogart, GA.

Georgia Bogart

Georgia is a young female Jack Russell Terrier & Terrier mix who is available for adoption from Helping Paws Rescue in Bogart, GA.

Copeland Bogart

Copeland is an adult male Beagle who is available for adoption from Helping Paws Rescue in Bogart, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 19, 2018

Griffin, Georgia native John Henry “Doc” Holliday killed Mike Gordon after Gordon shot up Holliday’s saloon in Las Vegas, New Mexico.

The 1996 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony was held on July 19, 1996 and competition started the next day.

The Georgia State Quarter was released on July 19, 1999.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Trump Tweet Kemp

President Donald Trump yesterday tweeted his endorsement of Brian Kemp for Governor of Georgia.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 18, 2018

DB 08

DB-08 is a nine-month old male Hound mix puppy who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.

DB 01

DB-01 is a five-month old female Shepherd mix puppy who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.

Pen 238

Pen 238 is a nine-week old female Jack Russell Terrier and Chihuahua mix who is available for adoption from Gwinnett County Animal Shelter in Lawrenceville, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 18, 2018

The greatest political journalist to ever put pen to paper, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, was born on July 18, 1929. That makes today “Gonzo Day.” You have been warned.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt was nominated for a third term at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago on July 18, 1940.

President Harry S. Truman signed the second Presidential Succession Act on July 18, 1947

The original succession act designated the Senate president pro tempore as the first in line to succeed the president should he and the vice president die unexpectedly while in office. If he for some reason could not take over the duties, the speaker of the house was placed next in the line of succession. In 1886, during Grover Cleveland‘s administration, Congress removed both the Senate president and the speaker of the house from the line of succession. From that time until 1947, two cabinet officials, (their order in line depended on the order in which the agencies were created) became the next in line to succeed a president should the vice president also become incapacitated or die. The decision was controversial. Many members of Congress felt that those in a position to succeed the president should be elected officials and not, as cabinet members were, political appointees, thereby giving both Republican and Democratic parties a chance at controlling the White House.

In 1945, then-Vice President Truman assumed the presidency after Franklin Roosevelt died of a stroke during his fourth term. As president, Truman advanced the view that the speaker of the house, as an elected official, should be next in line to be president after the vice president. On July 18, 1947, he signed an act that resurrected the original 1792 law, but placed the speaker ahead of the Senate president pro tempore in the hierarchy.

On July 18, 1988, the Democratic National Convention opened at the Omni in Atlanta. That night, actor Rob Lowe would shoot a videotape in a hotel with two hairdressers, one 22 and one 16. Several weeks later, the era of the celebrity sex tape began.

On July 18, 2000, United States Senator Paul Coverdell died of a cerebral hemorrhage. I remember where I was when I heard the news.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Tom Crawford has died of cancer, according to the AJC.

Tom Crawford, the dean of state Capitol journalists who documented Georgia politics over more than three decades, has died. He was 67.

And he pioneered a business model in Georgia that delivered news to two distinct audiences: An online subscription serviced geared largely to Gold Dome insiders and a weekly column featuring unvarnished analysis of state politics that was syndicated to mostly smaller and medium-sized newspapers.

The subscription service instantly made a mark, catering to an underserved audience of lobbyists, lawyers and politicos that offered readers an incisive, detail-oriented window into the inner workings of legislators from his perch under the Gold Dome.

He also aimed for a more general audience with a weekly political column that ran in more than three dozen newspapers across the state. Many of those news outlets relied solely on Crawford to inform their readers of the happenings in state government, and he delivered with exacting precision.

“The Georgia Report was aimed at lobbyists and those with a stake in legislation that went before the General Assembly, so details were important to Tom,” said Jim Galloway, political columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But then, through that weekly column that went out to dozens of newspapers, he used these large brushstrokes to convey what was happening to tens of thousands of readers. He’ll be greatly missed.”

Godspeed, my friend.

Two felons were allowed to vote in May due to backlogs in the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, according to the AJC.

At least two felons were allowed to vote illegally in May primaries thanks to a backlog of felon lists overseen by the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation has found.

With less than a week until the primary runoff, that backlog has left some county elections offices across the state scrambling to process unusually large lists of felons that need to be purged from voter rolls.

Sending felon lists to county elections offices is one of the duties of Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is facing Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in the Republican primary runoff for governor. The state office gathers information on convictions from other state agencies and sends monthly lists of felons who have lost their right to vote to county elections offices.

One felon was allowed to illegally vote in the May primary in Cherokee County. Another individual illegally voted in Paulding County, elections supervisor Deidre Holden said. Both incidents are under investigation by the state, and Broce said the Secretary of State’s Office plans to work with Georgia’s attorney general to bring charges before the state elections board.

Former State Senator Don Balfour is being accused of bankrolling attacks against LG candidate David Shafer, according to the AJC.

William Perry said he plans to file the complaints Wednesday, a little less than a week before Shafer, a state senator, faces former state Rep. Geoff Duncan in the July 24 Republican runoff for lieutenant governor.

Perry, who runs Georgia Ethics Watchdogs, alleges that former state Sen. Don Balfour of Snellville cycled funds through a dark-money political action committee to run attack ads against Shafer, a longtime state senator.

Perry accuses Balfour of providing money to Citizens for a Working America, which has been, in turn, funding the Washington-based Hometown Freedom Action Network.

Balfour told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he doesn’t know anything about the groups mentioned in Perry’s complaints.

Gwinnett County Commissioners adopted a 30-year transportation plan calling for passenger heavy rail, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The commission’s adoption of the Connect Gwinnett Transit Plan means heavy rail will come to at least Jimmy Carter Boulevard — and maybe eventually Gwinnett Place Mall — as well as bus rapid transit, rapid bus routes, more paratransit, express and local bus services — they are all officially on the table for current and future county leaders to consider.

“I think it’s a great plan and it just allows us to really have some options in the future for transit improvements,” Gwinnett County Director of Transportation Alan Chapman said.

One of the big items in the plan is an extension of heavy rail from the Doraville MARTA station to a planned multi-modal hub that will be located somewhere on the Jimmy Carter Boulevard corridor. That is part of the long-range transit plans for the county.

If Gwinnett holds a transportation special purpose local option sales tax to fund projects in its transit plan, residents would likely have to wait 15 to 20 years before they see the rail line up and running.

A long-range phase II part of the plan — projects that would likely take more than 30 years to complete — includes an extension of heavy rail form Jimmy Carter to Gwinnett Place.

The Gwinnett County Commission also voted to rollback the property tax millage rate, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Gwinnett County residents will see their property tax rate — or at least the part of the rate levied by their county government — go down this year.

Gwinnett County commissioners rolled back the county’s millage rate Tuesday, setting the general fund rate at 7.209 mills. The general fund rate is one part of the county’s overall millage rate, which also includes rates for police, fire and emergency services, development code enforcement and recreation funds.

The overall rate will be 13.315 mills. That is down from last year’s rate of 13.51 mills.

County commission Chairwoman Charlotte Nash attributed the ability to roll back the rate to a level that keeps revenues flat with last year to a rebounding local economy and tax base.

The Gwinnett County Board of Education also lowered the property tax millage rate for school taxes but not enough to avoid having to advertise a tax increase, according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.

The Gwinnett County Board of Education voted to lower the school system’s millage rate for the first time in six years Monday, but property owners can still expect to pay more for the schools-related portion of their taxes.

School board members unanimously opted to decrease the debt-service port of the overall rate, which is used to determine how much property owners pay in taxes to support Gwinnett County Public Schools, by 0.1 mills. That means the debt-service millage rate will go from 2.05 mills to 1.95 mills.

The school system’s maintenance and operations millage rate is going to remain at 19.8 mills. The maintenance and operations and debt-service rates combine to make up the district’s overall millage rate.

Although the overall millage rate went down due to the decrease in the debt-service rate, the school board was required by state law to hold a series of open forums since it was not enough of a decrease to reach the revenue-neutral rollback level.

The Glynn County Commission is considering how to regulate short term rentals, according to The Brunswick News.

Peter Murphy, Glynn County Commissioner for St. Simons, Jekyll and Sea islands, said he’s heard many complaints from his constituents about short-term rentals. Some have said they’ve seen busses dropping off 12 or more people at single-family residences, Murphy said.

There’s also the issue of an “uneven playing field,” Murphy said. Short-term rentals compete with hotels and motels, but don’t have to adhere to the same regulations. Many of them duck paying the lodging tax as well, Murphy said.

A Chatham County Superior Court Judge ruled against a challenge to the regulation of short term rentals, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Chatham County Superior Court Judge James F. Bass Jr. issued an injunction late Tuesday that rejected the Belzers’ argument that as “devout people of faith” they were acting in accordance with their Jewish scripture and tradition of hospitality and could use their home at 34 Washington Ave. despite the local ordinance ban. He ruled the zoning ordinance was “not a substantial burden on the (Belzers’) religious freedom.”

He also barred them from listing the property on or similar websites during the same time period and required them to comply with the city’s short-term vacation rental ordinance.

The ruling ends, at least temporarily, litigation the city began in 2014 as an enforcement action in Chatham County Recorder’s Court to enforce the city’s ban on short-term vacation rentals in the Ardsley Park zone. The injunction will remain in place until a final order is entered in the case.

Savannah city attorney Brooks Stillwell said Friday the city was “pleased with the judge’s ruling.”

“We feel he applied the applicable law,” Stillwell said. “This will allow us to continue to enforce the short-term rental ordinances.”

The Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission continues looking at raising fees to cover a budget shortfall, according to the Macon Telegraph.

The Macon-Bibb County Planning & Zoning Commission held a special called meeting to discuss a fee schedule increase in response to the county cutting its financing of $800,000 from the budget. The county subsequently reinstated the funds contingent on increasing property taxes 4.1 mills. The money from the county is half of the zoning commission’s total budget. The county considers P&Z as an outside agency.

Executive Director Jim Thomas said he had been in touch with the mayor’s office, but he still didn’t know what the county is going to do.

“They need six votes to raise the millage rate,” he said. That vote would take place next month.

“I don’t want to raise fees,” Thomas said. “We’ve made cuts (to personnel). We are in bad shape. … If (the county) is going to defund us, what do they expect us to do? What services do we give up?”

Hogansville Mayor Bill Stankiewicz vetoed a rezoning by City Council, according to the LaGrange Daily News.

The Columbia County Commission voted in favor of two rezonings for new solar farms, according to the Augusta Chronicle.

The Columbia County Board of Commissioners voted to grant rezoning requests that would allow Atlanta renewable-energy development company Beltline Energy to erect more than 20,000 solar panels on farms in the northern part of the county.

The property in question is in Columbia County’s largely rural District 4, and its commissioner, Bill Morris, expressed concerns about the solar farms’ environmental impact.

Commissioners unanimously approved a rezoning request March 20 on Parham Road property south of Grovetown to construct 5,238 solar modules on about 15 acres of land. The energy company erecting that farm is Atlanta-based SolAmerica.

Chatham County‘s proposed parking fee hike by the county courthouse is creating pushback, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The turmoil apparently was prompted by a June 12 email from the county to employees that rate increases and restructure of parking spaces “which were approved” by the Chatham County Board of Commission” will go into effect Aug. 1.

The proposed rate for the reduced 20 reserved spaces, with unlimited access, were set at $180 a month for county employees, and $250 a month for non-county employees, the email said. That is an increase from $65 and $90 respectively.

Non-reserved spaces, limited access, will be $57 and $85 per month, respectively, according to the email. That is an increase from $47 and $75 respectively.

But a petition floating around the Chatham County District Attorney’s office contends county employees “have been misinformed and under-informed about the proposed changes.”

Gainesville City Council voted to put an earlier Sunday alcohol sales (“Brunch Bill”) on the November ballot, according to AccessWDUN.

The vote by city council Tuesday evening to add a referendum question to the ballot was not unanimous but on November 6th residents of Gainesville will be asked:

“Shall the governing authority of the City of Gainesville, Georgia, be authorized to permit and regulate Sunday sales of distilled spirits or alcoholic beverages for beverage purposes by the drink from 11:00 A.M. to 12:30 P.M.?”

“This is to turn it over to the people so the people can decide what to do,” Councilman Zach Thompson said.

Thompson was referring to the city’s decision to follow the guidelines of Georgia Senate Bill 17, commonly known as the Brunch Bill, signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal on May 8th.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first cannabis-based drug for human use, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Epidiolex for two rare and severe forms of childhood-onset epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Its active ingredient is cannabidiol, a chemical component of the marijuana plant that doesn’t produce the high that comes from THC.

“This is a great first step,” said state Rep. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, “It shows the FDA is finally recognizing there is some value in cannabis and it will make it easier to advance its use in other situations.”

The manufacturer of Epidiolex — GW Pharmaceuticals of Britain — says in a press release it expects the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify cannabidiol as a prescription drug by October.

State Rep. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome, who serves on the House Medical Cannabis Working Group, said it’s an issue that’s still being studied.

“The whole manufacturing process is our challenge,” she said. “A pure supply is the stumbling block.”

Hufstetler said the rescheduling of Epidiolex will open the door for more research on medical marijuana in Georgia, and he could support making it in the state if conditions are right.

“The real answer is for the federal government to change the designation of marijuana to a Schedule II drug,” Hufstetler said. “Barring that, we do need to look at manufacturing it in Georgia.”

WTOC looks at the race for President of the Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education.

Joe Buck or Betty Morgan will be the next Savannah-Chatham County Public School board president after Tuesday’s runoff election, and both say they hope to restore unity among and public trust in the school board.

Buck is a former eight-year SCCPSS board president who was first elected as the school board was coming off probation. He served then with seven of the nine current board members and knows the two new members elected in May.  Buck previously worked as the vice president of student affairs at Armstrong State University and retired after 38 years of employment. He also served in the U.S. Navy.

Morgan is a former educator with nearly 40 years of experience, mostly teaching middle school, and was the State Command Chief of the Georgia Air National Guard. As the highest enlisted person in the Georgia Air National Guard, she oversaw 35,000 enlisted personnel and is the only African American to ever hold that position.

Georgia Democrats will vote for a candidate for State School Superintendent, according to the AJC.

Sid Chapman, a former teacher, turned state teacher advocate is competing against Otha Thornton, a former national parents’ advocate. The pair emerged from a three-way primary election in May. The winner on July 24 will face incumbent Republican Richard Woods, a former teacher and school administrator concluding his first term as superintendent.

The Medial Association of Georgia is suing Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia over the insurer’s new emergency room policy, according to Georgia Health News.

The parent company, Indianapolis-based Anthem, has pursued a new policy over the past year in Georgia and five other states, reviewing customers’ ER visits and limiting or denying payment for those it deems not to have been true emergencies.

A similar lawsuit was filed by Piedmont Healthcare hospitals earlier this year. That suit, though, ended when Piedmont and Blue Cross reached a new reimbursement contract in April.

The physicians groups say Blue Cross’ policy violates the “prudent layperson’’ standard, a federal law requiring insurers to cover the costs of emergency care based on a patient’s symptoms, not on the final diagnosis.

“We can’t possibly expect people with no medical expertise to know the difference between something minor or something life-threatening, such as an ovarian cyst versus a burst appendix,”  Dr. Paul Kivela, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), said in a statement Tuesday. He said his group and MAG “have tried multiple times to work with Anthem to express these concerns and urge them to reverse this policy, and they have refused. We felt we had no choice but to take action to protect our patients.’’


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 17, 2018

Jackson Gainesville

Jackson is a young male Terrier and Feist mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, GA. He’s the spitting image of Finster, my Dachshund mix.

Dr Grant Gainesville

Dr. Grant is a male Husky and Akita mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia in Gainesville, GA.

Chuckie Gainesville

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


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 17, 2018

On July 17, 1864, General William Tecumseh Sherman set up headquarters in Fulton County on Powers Ferry Road near the Chattahoochee River. Late that night, Confederate General Joseph Johnston was replaced by newly-commissioned Gen. John Bell Hood.

For nearly three months, Johnston and Sherman had maneuvered around the rugged corridor from Chattanooga to Atlanta. Although there was constant skirmishing, there were few major battles; Sherman kept trying to outflank Johnston, but his advances were blocked. Though this kept losses to a minimum, there was also a limit to how long Johnston could maintain this strategy as each move brought the armies closer to Atlanta. By July 17, 1864, Johnston was backed into the outskirts of Atlanta. Johnston felt his strategy was the only way to preserve the Army of Tennessee, but Davis felt that he had given up too much territory.

Georgia-born Ty Cobb died on July 17, 1961.

The Beatles premiered The Yellow Submarine on July 17, 1968 in London.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal yesterday endorsed Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle in the Primary Runoff Election. From the AJC:

The governor called Cagle the best candidate to continue his “tradition” of conservative leadership, making the announcement during a question-and-answer session at the end of an unrelated press conference at the state Capitol.

“My point of view is not personal. I have known both of these candidates in our Republican runoff, and I think very highly of both of them,” Deal said. “My concern is, let’s not undo, or transform in a negative fashion, the good reforms that we’ve put in place.”

The governor added: “That will be the challenge for the next governor of this state: To not go backwards, but to go forward. And for that reason, I believe Casey Cagle will be the best candidate.”

“This is a man with great integrity and great character,” said Cagle, who cast himself as an extension of Deal’s legacy. “To have his confidence reflects exactly the type of governor that I’ll be.”

From the Gwinnett Daily Post:

“In order to get those major changes through the General Assembly, I had two partners,” Deal said. “Because he has had a part in making these reforms happen, I think he is the best one to continue this tradition.

“My concern is let’s not undo or transform in a negative fashion the good reforms that have been put in place. For that reason, I believe that Casey Cagle will be the best candidate for that position as the next governor of our state.”

From the Augusta Chronicle:

“I want to build on the foundation that Gov. Deal has created,” Cagle said. “Eight years ago no one would have thought that we would grow by nearly 700,000 jobs and 40,000 businesses, become the No. 1 state in the nation for business and cut taxes by billions. But that’s what happens with rock-solid conservative leadership.”

The Valdosta Daily Times looks at early voting.

Lowndes County elections office reported that 887 people cast ballots as of Friday, July 13, during the first 10 days of early voting, according to election officials.

Deb Cox, Lowndes County election supervisor, said recently runoff voting is open to all registered voters. A voter did not have to vote in the May primary to vote in the runoff.

“If they voted in the primary, they will vote the same party in the runoff,” Cox said recently. “If they voted non-partisan or didn’t vote in the primary, they can choose either party in the runoff.”

In Lowndes County, all runoff races are for statewide offices.

The LaGrange Daily News reports on early voting in Troup County.

As of Monday morning, there have been a total of 718 ballots cast for the run-off, according to elections supervisor Andrew Harper. The majority of those ballots — 597, or 83 percent — are Republican ballots. The other 121 are Democratic ballots.

The majority of ballots cast have been in-person, with 569 being cast that way. The other 149 have been absentee by mail.

In May, during the general election, less than 17 percent of Troup County’s 37,775 voters went to the polls to take part in the election.

Run-off elections generally have a low voter turnout as well.

The Henry Herald writes about early voting in local elections.

According to Tina Lunsford, Henry County’s director of elections and voter registration, a total of 1,796 voters cast their ballots between Monday and Friday, while 325 voters cast their ballots during the special Saturday polling event.

A week before, a total of 1,289 voters participated in early voting, which means that 3,410 voters have participated in early voting since the start of the month. There is a total of 160,292 registered voters in Henry County.

On the local level, a seat on the Henry County State Court and the District 4 seat on the Henry County Board of Education are up for grabs.

The Albany Herald covers early voting turnout:

County Elections Sections Supervisor Ginger Nickerson said Monday the in-person voting numbers have been lighter than during the primary.

“When we opened the door this morning, we’d only had about 300 come in here and vote in person,” Nickerson said, adding, “but that’s not unusual in a primary runoff and it’s the month of July.”

According to numbers released Monday by Kemp’s office, Dougherty County had tallied just 559 voters in person and through mail-in ballots. Early voting will end at 5 p.m. Friday.

From the Rome News-Tribune:

Floyd County Election Technician Donna Maldonado said 636 people had cast ballots through Friday at the two early-voting sites in the county.

Of those, 559 chose the Republican ballot and 77 picked the Democratic ballot. The Elections Department also mailed out 107 Republican absentee ballots and 45 containing the Democratic race. Forty-six of the 152 absentee ballots were still out Monday.

“But, remember, mail-outs have until 7 p.m. on July 24 to return their ballots,” Maldonado said.

Any eligible Floyd County voter can walk in between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to vote at the County Administration Building, 12 E. Fourth Ave., or Garden Lakes Baptist Church, 2200 Redmond Circle. All 25 precincts will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day.

Floyd County’s turnout for the May primary barely topped 20 percent. A total of 9,659 votes were cast in the Republican and Democratic governor races. About 69.6 percent of the voters pulled the Republican ballot and 25 percent voted in the Democratic primary. The rest voted only in the nonpartisan judges’ races.

A jury has been seated in the federal trial of Isaac J. Culver III, who is accused of defrauding Macon-Bibb County, according to the Macon Telegraph.

Culver, 48, president and CEO of Progressive Consulting Technologies Inc., faces charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to launder money as part of a $3.7 million deal in late 2012 to put new computers in Macon schools.

While Romain Dallemand, ex-superintendent of Bibb schools, could be called to testify, Judge Marc T. Treadwell explained to prospective jurors that Dallemand is not accused by federal prosecutors of conspiring to commit any wrongdoing in this case.

Alabama will have a sales tax holiday weekend, while Georgia won’t, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

Alabama is offering a tax-free weekend, to include Phenix City and the nearby shopping hub of Auburn-Opelika, the latter having a major power shopping center in Tiger Town, as well as a mall.

The sales tax holiday kicks off bright and early at 12:01 a.m. Friday, then runs until midnight Sunday. Alabama is among 16 states this year offering such tax breaks leading up to the start of school later this summer, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators.

Georgia last held a tax holiday in 2016, but lawmakers in the Peach State failed to pass legislation in 2017 and again this year to make the event happen.

The Glynn County Commission will hear a proposed tree ordinance for St Simons Island on Thursday, according to The Brunswick News.

Glynn County Public Schools will add an administrator to oversee mental health services for students, according to The Brunswick News.

Groundbreaking ceremonies will be held Monday for the Statesboro/Bulloch County Public Safety Training Building, according to the Statesboro Herald.

The GBI said meth and marijuana-laced edibles are among the most-confiscated illicit drugs, according to the Savannah Morning News.

Based on data from 3,954 drug cases investigated by GBI from January to May 22, the six most confiscated drugs in Georgia are methamphetamine, cocaine, alprazolam (Xanax), oxycodone, heroin and hydrocodone.

GBI’s Chemistry Section Manager Deneen Kilcrease said meth has been the most tested substance for GBI since 2011, when it topped the former leader, cocaine.

Only four counties in the state — Cobb, Fulton, Gwinnett and DeKalb — had a higher number of opiates tested than Chatham.

A total of 11 different variations of fentanyl were seized by law enforcement and tested by GBI.

Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis raised more than $50,000 in the last quarter of his reelection campaign, according to the Augusta Chronicle.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 16, 2018

Valley Releash

Valley is a 10-week old female Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Releash Atlanta.

Canyon Releash

Canyon is a 9-week old male Retriever mix puppy who is available for adoption from Releash Atlanta.


Lori Beth is a young female mixed breed puppy (part of a litter of 4) who is available for adoption from Releash Atlanta. She’s estimated to be roughly 35-50 pounds when fully grown.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 16, 2018

On July 16, 1790, Congress declared Washington, DC the new capital city.

Georgia Congressman Carl Vinson set a new record for longevity in office on July 16, 1963, having served 48 years, 8 months, and 12 days since his election in 1914. Vinson’s record held until 1992 and his tenure is now sixth-longest.

On July 16, 1914, Asa Griggs Candler, retired President of Coca-Cola, wrote his brother Warren, who was a Bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, a letter offering one million dollars and 72 acres of land in Atlanta for the church to establish a new university in the East.

The United States performed the first test of an atomic bomb on July 16, 1945 at the Trinity site in New Mexico.

Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of the project, watched the mushroom cloud rise into the New Mexico sky. “Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds,” he uttered, reciting a passage from an ancient Hindu text.

Shirley the Elephant celebrated her 75th birthday this weekend at Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, GA, according to the Valdosta Daily Times.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Federal funding for Obamacare “Navigators” will be slashed, according to the Rome News-Tribune.

The White House is again slashing funds for the “navigators’’ who help enroll people in the Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges.

The cuts will almost certainly reduce the in-person assistance provided to Georgians seeking an exchange health plan for next year.

Macon-based Community Health Works, which oversees a navigator program in the state, said Wednesday that the federal navigator funding for the upcoming year’s enrollment for Georgia will be $500,000 – about one-third of the 2018 exchange total. The cuts will especially affect enrollment of hard-to-reach populations, experts said.

The federal funding for insurance navigators nationwide will drop to $10 million for the 2019 open enrollment period, down from $36 million for 2018 and about $63 million the year before, federal health officials announced late Tuesday.

Flowery Branch will hold candidate qualifying for an at-large seat on City Council, according to the Gainesville Times.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for July 31, 2018

Sammy VR

Sammy is an 18-month old, 50-pound male Labrador Retriever who is available for adoption from Life is Labs Rescue in Temple, GA.

Pepper VR

Pepper is a young female Labrador Retriever who is available for adoption from Life is Labs Rescue in Temple, GA.


Twixx is a 2-year old, 47-pound male Labrador Retriever who is available for adoption from Life is Labs Rescue in Temple, GA.