The blog.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for February 5, 2018

Yoga Releash

Yoda is a 40-pound, 6-month old male Boxer puppy who is available for adoption from Releash Atlanta in Atlanta, GA.

Fiesta Releash

Fiesta is a 15-pound, 18-month old female Manchester Terrier who is available for adoption from Releash Atlanta in Atlanta, GA. Fiesta is the mother of a litter of puppies who will be available for adoption once they’re old enough.


Sparkles is a 6-week old female Manchester Terrier mix puppy who is available for adoption from Releash Atlanta in Atlanta, GA. Her siblings, Bubbles, Twinkles, and Fizzles will also be adoptable.

Fiesta Puppies


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 5, 2018

John and Charles Wesley arrived at Tybee Roads, at the mouth of the Savannah River on February 5, 1736, along with James Oglethorpe and 254 other colonists.

On February 5, 1777, Georgia’s first Constitution was adopted in Savannah, creating the first eight counties. Happy birthday to Wilkes, Richmond, Burke, Effingham, Chatham, Liberty, Glynn, and Camden counties.

The 1777 Constitution was progressive for the time, outlawing primogeniture and entail, English common law doctrines that controlled inheritance of land.

Primogeniture ensured that the eldest son in a family inherited the largest portion of his father’s property upon the father’s death. The practice of entail, guaranteeing that a landed estate remain in the hands of only one male heir, was frequently practiced in conjunction with primogeniture. (Virginia abolished entail in 1776, but permitted primogeniture to persist until 1785.)

Georgians restructured inheritance laws in Article LI of the state’s constitution by abolishing entail in all forms and proclaiming that any person who died without a will would have his or her estate divided equally among their children; the widow shall have a child’s share, or her dower at her option.

The Southern Pacific Railroad completed its “Sunset Route” from New Orleans to California on February 5, 1883, giving the SP a dominant position in transcontinental railroading.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced his “court packing” plan on February 5, 1937. After the United States Supreme Court found some of his “New Deal” legislation unconstitutional, Roosevelt’s proposal would have encouraged the retirement of justices older than 70 and for those who did not retire, appoint an assistant Justice with full voting rights on decisions by the Court.

On February 5, 1945, Governor Ellis Arnall signed legislation abolishing the poll tax, making Georgia the first Southern state to do so.

Georgia’s 1877 constitution authorized the tax, which limited voter participation among both poor blacks and whites. But most whites got around the provision through exemptions for those whose ancestors fought in the Civil War or who could vote before the war.

In 1937, the U.S. Supreme court upheld Georgia’s poll tax as constitutional. But in 1942, Georgia voters chose Ellis Arnall for governor and the progressive Arnall ushered in a wave of reforms, including abolishing Georgia’s poll tax.

Nigel Tufnel, of the band Spinal Tap, was born on February 5, 1948.

On February 5, 1974, “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” by Barry White reached #1 on the charts.

Def Leppard’s “Pyromania” began a 92-week run on the best-seller charts on February 5, 1983. Rock on.

Bill Kirby, writing in the Augusta Chronicle, looks back to 1964, when Carl Sanders was Governor.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

GEORGIA FLU DEATHS have hit 51, according to Georgia Health News, via the Savannah Morning News on February 3d.Continue Reading..


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 2, 2018

On February 4, 1789, George Washington was unanimously elected by the Electoral College as the first President of the United States; Washington’s runner-up John Adams served as Vice President. Washington would repeat the feat four years later on February 4, 1793.

On February 4, 1801, John Marshall took office as Chief Justice of the United States. Marshall continued to hold the post of Secretary of State until March 4th. In one of American history’s rich ironies, Marshall, who served at the same time in the judicial and legislative branches of the federal government, would write the Court’s opinion in Marbury v. Madison, establishing the supremacy of the Supreme Court in matters of applying the Constitution through judicial review and establishing the doctrine of separation of powers. Marshall would serve during the terms of six Presidents.

The first recorded reference to Groundhog Day was in 1841; the first Punxsutawney observance was in 1870.

The first recorded reference to Groundhog Day was in 1841; the first Punxsutawney observance was in 1870.

Atlanta City Council met for the first time on February 2, 1848.

On February 4, 1861, the Provisional Confederate Congress convened in Montgomery, Alabama, where it would draft a Constitution for the Confederate States of America, beginning with a near-verbatim copy of the United States Constitution.

On February 2, 1870, the Georgia General Assembly ratified the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states, “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

On February 3, 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, prohibiting racial discrimination in voting.

On February 3, 1887, Congress adopted the Electoral Count Act to clarify how Congress was to count electoral votes.

Electoral vote counting is the oldest activity of the national government and among the oldest questions of constitutional law. It was Congress’s first task when a quorum appeared in the nation’s new legislature on April 6, 1789. It has happened every four years since then. Yet, electoral vote counting remains one of the least understood aspects of our constitutional order.

The Electoral Count Act of 1887 (ECA) lies at the heart of this confusion. In enacting the ECA, Congress drew on lessons learned from its twenty-five previous electoral counts; it sorted through innumerable proposals floated before and after the disastrous presidential election of 1876; and it thrashed out the ECA’s specific provisions over fourteen years of sustained debate. Still, the law invites misinterpretation. The ECA is turgid and repetitious. Its central provisions seem contradictory. Many of its substantive rules are set out in a single sentence that is 275 words long. Proponents of the law admitted it was “not perfect.” Contemporary commentators were less charitable. John Burgess, a leading political scientist in the late nineteenth century, pronounced the law unwise, incomplete, premised on contradictory principles, and expressed in language that was “very confused, almost unintelligible.” At least he thought the law was constitutional; others did not.

Over the nearly 120 years since the ECA’s adoption, the criticisms faded, only to be renewed whenever there was a close presidential election. Our ability to misunderstand the ECA has grown over time. During the 2000 presidential election dispute, politicians, lawyers, commentators, and Supreme Court justices seemed prone to misstate or misinterpret the provisions of the law, even those provisions which were clear to the generation that wrote them. The Supreme Court, for example, mistakenly believed that the Supreme Court of Florida’s erroneous construction of its election code would deny Florida’s electors the ECA’s “safe harbor” protection; Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s hasty submission of his state’s Certificate of Ascertainment was untimely under the Act; and Democratic members of Congress framed their objections to accepting Florida’s electoral vote on the wrong grounds. Even Al Gore, the presidential candidate contesting the election’s outcome, misread the federal deadline for seating Florida’s electors.

Only the United States Congress could so obfuscate a matter as seemingly simple as counting that its Act remained undecipherable for more than one hundred years.

The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by Delaware on February 3, 1913, giving the Amendment the requisite Constitutional supermajority of three-fourths of the states. The text of the Amendment reads, in its entirety,

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

President Woodrow Wilson died on February 3, 1924 in Washington, DC. Wilson was born in Staunton, Virginia (pronounced Stan-ton) and spent most of his youth to age 14 in Augusta, Georgia. Wilson started practicing law in Atlanta, Georgia in 1882, leaving the next year to pursue a Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University. His wife, Ellen Louise Axson, was from Savannah, and they married in Rome, Ga in 1885.

On February 2, 1932, Al Capone was sent to federal prison in Atlanta.

On February 3, 1959, a chartered Beechcraft Bonanza carrying Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson crashed near Mason City, Iowa, killing all aboard.

Jimi Hendrix recorded Purple Haze on February 3, 1967.

On January 4, 1976, the Georgia Senate approved a resolution previously passed by the State House proposing a Constitutional Amendment to allow Governors of Georgia to serve two consecutive terms and voters approved in November 1976. Then-Governor George Busbee won reelection in November 1978, and since then Democrat Roy Barnes is the only Georgia Governor to not win reelection.

On February 2, 1988, the Georgia Senate ratified the 22d Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides that pay raises for Members of Congress shall not go into effect until the next term.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

[We’re delayed in our normal publication schedule. We apologize and please check back this afternoon.



Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for February 1, 2018

Roxi Jasper

Roxi is a female mixed breed puppy who is available for adoption from Pickens Animal Rescue Inc in Jasper, GA. She’s sweet and playful.

Gus Jasper

Gus is a male Dachshund mix who is available for adoption from Pickens Animal Rescue Inc in Jasper, GA. Gus is blind and will need a special home, but he’s playful and loving.

Murphy Jasper

Murphy is a young male Labrador Retriever mix who is available for adoption from Pickens Animal Rescue Inc in Jasper, GA. Murphy is loving, playful, and active.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for February 1, 2018

Georgia’s first colonists landed at Yamacraw Bluff on February 1, 1733.

The United States Supreme Court held its first session in New York City, Chief Justice John Jay presiding, on February 1, 1790.

On February 1, 1861, Texas seceded from the Union.

On February 1, 1871, Jefferson Franklin Long of Macon, Georgia became the first black Member of Congress to speak on the floor of the United States House of Representatives. Long was born into slavery and taught himself to read and write. Long was a prominent member of the Republican Party, speaking on its behalf in Georgia and other Southern states. He helped elect 37 African-American members to the 1867 Georgia Constitutional Convention and 32 members of the state legislature; Long continued after his term in Congress as a delegate to Republican National Conventions through 1880. In 1880, Long’s support of Governor Alfred Colquitt showed that African-Americans could be an electoral force in Georgia politics.

On February 1, 1965, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. arrived in Selma, Alabama, where he was arrested.

Richard M. Nixon announced his candidacy for President of the United States on Feburary 1, 1968.

On February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Flu deaths in Georgia number 37, including the first pediatric death.

The deaths, up from the 25 total reported Friday, include a child who was between ages 12 and 18, Public Health officials said Wednesday. That case is the first confirmed pediatric flu death this season in Georgia.

The overall flu death toll may approach the 58 that the state recorded in 2009, said Cherie Drenzek, state epidemiologist. “It looks like we’re approaching our peak’’ in terms of flu activity, she said, but added that it’s likely that there are several more weeks of flu ahead.

“We’re seeing an increase in hospitalizations in metro Atlanta,’’ she said.

Emergency departments across Georgia have reported an unusually high number of patients, many of whom have the flu. Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital has added a temporary mobile ER to handle its patient overflow.

The flu is a serious problem, “but is not a disease that people should panic about,’’ said Dr. Patrick O’Neal, the state’s Public Health commissioner.  He said the number of pediatric cases has not been as high as in previous years.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was the designated survivor in last night’s State of the Union by President Trump.Continue Reading..


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for January 31, 2018

Ariel Harris

Ariel is a female English Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Harris County in Hamilton, GA.

Coco Harris

Coco is a female English Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Harris County in Hamilton, GA.

Destiny Harris

Destiny is a female English Bulldog mix puppy who is available for adoption from the Humane Society of Harris County in Hamilton, GA.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 31, 2018

On January 31, 1733, six boats carried Georgia’s first colonists to Trench’s Island, now called Hilton Head Island, where they spent the night before continuing on to land in Georgia at Yamacraw Bluff on February 1, 1733.

On January 31, 1865, Robert E. Lee began service as Commander-in-Chief of the Confederate armies.

On January 31, 1865, Congress passed the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, outlawing slavery.

General William Tecumseh Sherman visited Kimball Opera House in Atlanta on January 31, 1879, which was then serving as State Capitol, fifteen years after burning the city.

On January 31, 1893, the trademark for “Coca-Cola” was filed.

Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker was suspended on January 31, 2000 for remarks made to ESPN.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Governor Nathan Deal has appointed Benjamin A. Land to the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit. The Chattahoochee Circuit comprises Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion, Muscogee, Talbot, and Taylor Counties.

The Senate and House convene at 10 AM for Legislative Day #13








8:00 AM House Insurance (Life & Health) Sub 606 CLOB






1:00 PM House Local Gov’t Sub Gov’tal Affairs 406 CLOB



1:30 PM House Ways & Means Income Tax Sub 133 CAP





2:00 PM House Kelley Subc Judiciary (Civil) 132 CAP





Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, former Georgia Commissioner of Public Health, has resigned as Director of the CDC, based in Atlanta.

The Trump administration’s top public health official bought shares in a tobacco company one month into her leadership of the agency charged with reducing tobacco use — the leading cause of preventable disease and death and an issue she had long championed.

The stock was one of about a dozen new investments that Brenda Fitzgerald, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, made after she took over the agency’s top job, according to documents obtained by POLITICO.

State Senator Renee Unterman introduced Senate Bill 352, aimed at curbing opioid abuse.

Unterman joined Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Sen. Dean Burke, R-Bainbridge, on Monday to unveil a group of new bills designed to address health issues in the state. One of those pieces of legislation, Senate Bill 352, targets addiction issues in the state through various means.

“Senate Bill 352 is not my legislation, it is not my colleague’s legislation, this is for the thousands of people who have reached out about the opioid addiction crisis in our state to let us know what they need and what the State of Georgia needs,” Unterman said in a statement. “Although we have worked hard in the past to address those issues, this legislation takes our efforts significantly further.”

One of the bill’s intended steps to fight opioid addiction is to create a way for communities and recovery treatment providers to work together to expand access to treatment. It also sets up a K-12 education strategy designed to encourage students to not abuse household medications or use drugs such as heroin.

“This holistic approach will turn the tide in Georgia’s fight against substance abuse and addiction,” Cagle said in a statement. “By improving education, treatment and recovery, we can save countless lives and defeat the opioid epidemic.”

Herman West, Jr. kicked off his campaign for the Second Congressional District seat held by Democrat Sanford Bishop.

Republican Herman West Jr. officially kicked off his campaign Monday to unseat veteran U.S. Rep .Sanford Bishop Jr., D-Albany, in Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District.

“I’m not a politician and that’s what gives me a chance against him,” West, a native of Cuthbert who now lives in Albany, said. “This a not a career change for me, I’m not looking for a new career.

“I’m running to make a difference in the lives of the people in this district. I want to bring jobs and economic opportunities to the district, and to increase the availability of our healthcare system along with educational opportunities.”

West is the elder brother of retired Lt. Col. Allen West, a former Florida congressman, and Arlan West.

Columbus newscaster Mallory Hagan is considering running for an Alabama congressional seat.

Mallory Hagan, Miss America 2013, is considering running for the congressional seat for Alabama’s 3rd District. Hagan would be running as a Democrat, challenging Republican U.S. Rep Mike Rogers.

“My whole life I have been standing up for others. From defending grade school friends on the playground when I was a little girl to lobbying nationally for children in our Child Advocacy Centers as an adult, I have always been a strong and passionate voice for others. It is second nature to me” Hagan said in a statement.

Hagan, who currently is an evening co-anchor at NBC affiliate WLTZ in Columbus, Georgia, stated her campaign platforms include better education, jobs, fair wages, gender equality, access to affordable healthcare and a focus on environmental issues.

The candidate filing deadline in Alabama is Feb. 9. All 435 seats in Congress will be up for election on Nov. 6.

Karín Sandiford will run as a Democrat against Republican State Rep. John Carson (Marietta).

Nelson, Georgia will hold a special election on May 22, 2018 to fill a city council vacancy.

“Notice is hereby given that on May 22, 2018, the municipal special election for a city council seat shall be held at the established voting precinct for the City of Nelson to fill the unexpired term of the Honorable Mike Haviland,” the notice said.

Qualifying for the May election will be held at the Pickens County Board of Elections and Registration office at 83 Pioneer Road in Jasper from March 5-7 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, with an hour break at noon for lunch. The qualifying fee for any prospective candidate is $25.

Haviland vacated his council seat, in accordance with state law, to qualify for a mayoral run after former Mayor Larry Ray decided he would not run for re-election at the end of his four-year term, which expired on Dec. 31, 2017. Haviland’s qualifying for the mayoral candidacy in the middle of his own council term meant he was required to immediately vacate his seat.

Georgia Power announced it will lower the rates charged to ratepayers to finance construction of the two new reactors at Plant Vogtle.

Georgia Power announced Tuesday it will charge customers $139 million less this year to finance two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle just days before the Georgia Public Service Commission is to hold a hearing on its decision in December to allow those projects to proceed.

The company said it had filed an update to the Nuclear Construction Cost Recovery tariff with the PSC that showed it will ask for less this year for Vogtle construction. In a cover letter to the PSC, a Georgia Power official explained that its original $89 million increase will actually be a $50 million decrease due to the impact of the corporate tax cut and a $1.7 billion payment last year from Toshiba, the parent company of the expansion project’s original main contractor Westinghouse, which declared bankruptcy last March. The amount charged to the customer’s base bill will decline from 9.7 percent to 8.4 percent but the impact on the total bill will remain at around 5 percent, according to Georgia Power spokesman Jacob Hawkins.

Beginning in April, that would mean about $2.70 less from a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours a month, the company said in a news release, or about $24 less for the remainder of the year. The company was also ordered by the PSC to pay each customer $75 in rebates for Vogtle construction, spread over three months this year, but the timing for that rebate has not been announced.

Because it earned too much in return on equity in 2016, the PSC has also ordered the company to rebate $43.6 million to customers this year but the timing and the amount per customer have not been announced.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for January 30, 2018

Olive Bloodhound

Olive is a female Bloodhound who is available for adoption from Canine Adoption Network in Ball Ground, GA.

Olive is a 5 year old female bloodhound turned into a rural Georgia shelter, emaciated and in need of medical care. She probably lived outside her whole life and has obviously has had several litters of pups. She is now a healthy, petite ( for a bloodhound) 64 pounds, She is very sweet and eager to please and loves being around people, she is quite the social butterfly, and enjoys walks in the park, or tucked under the patio table at a dog friendly restaurant . Though she is happy to lay out on the porch, Olive prefers being inside and close by her people, she likes the couch or her own chair. We are looking for a home for Olive where she will get the human attention she deserves.

Archie Hound

Archie is a young male Hound and Boxer mix who is available for adoption from Companion Animal Connection in Waleska, GA.

I’m ARCHIE, an 8 month old 44lb hunk of LOVE. I’m very well mannered, love to play outside with my puppy friends, sunbath on the deck and snuggle on the couch, I may grow to be a 65-70lb adult. Come see me at the Roswell Petsmart on Saturdays. My Adoption Fee is $399.00. This includes spaying/neutering, heartworm test, and ALL age appropriate vaccinations. I have been de-wormed, treated monthly with flea & heartworm preventatives and been given an AVID Prepaid Microchip.

Charlie Hound

Charlie is a young female Hound mix who is available for adoption from Refuge Rescue, Inc. in Woodstock, GA.

Would you like to meet a really REALLY sweet dog? Well here is Charlie who was dropped at a rural shelter in West Georgia, terrified and so confused because she had no clu what brought her there in the first place! It just so happedned that this wonderful lady with a huge big heart for sweet dogs saw her post and just could not Charlie out of her mind, so she saved her from being euthanized. Charlie was SOOO grateful for being in a home and warmed up quickly to big and small humans and to the other canines in the house.

Charlie loves to go for walks on the leash and here comes the best part: She is potty trained and crate trained already!!! She’s a total love bug and nothing makes her happier than to cuddle up with you and a bone to chew on. Charlie is eager to please and even more eager to love and be loved on. She is a perfect, small to medium built (30lbs) and a year old. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you are interested in giving this little lady a temporary (foster) or forever home!


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for January 30, 2018

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV)

Today’s historical moments below combine to show some of the major influences on Georgia politics and governance since her founding, and how the same conflicts have played out across the world, from Northern Ireland to India, to stages of rock and roll shows.

On January 30, 1788, the Georgia legislature passed a resolution calling for a state Constitutional Convention in Augusta to adopt a state Constitution that conformed to the new Constitution of the United States.

On January 30, 1862, the United States launced its first ironclad warship, USS Monitor.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born on January 30, 1882 in Hyde Park, New York. In 1942, Roosevelt ordered Japanese-Americans on the west coast of the United States into concentration camps, leaving German and Italian Americans free.

On January 30, 1935, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. protested segregated elevators at the Fulton County Courthouse.

On January 30, 1948, Mohandas K. Gandhi was assassinated.

1920 Georgia Flag

On January 30, 1956, six members of the Georgia State House of Representatives introduced House Bill 98 to replace the red and white stripes on Georgia’s flag (above) with a Confederate battle flag (below). That same day, a bomb was thrown at the Birmingham, AL home of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

1956 Georgia Flag

January 30, 1972 is remembered as Bloody Sunday in commemoration of the shooting of 26 civilians by British troops in Northern Ireland.

On January 30, 2001, the Georgia State Senate passed a house bill changing the state flag from the 1956 version to one that aggregated the State Seal and five former state flags, pictured below.


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Georgia First Lady Sandra Deal yesterday announced that she had undergone surgery and will undergo chemotherapy for breast cancer.

“During an annual mammogram, I was diagnosed with Stage I breast cancer,” said Mrs. Deal. “Since I caught it in its early stages, I am confident that the chemotherapy will yield successful results. In light of this, I encourage all women to be proactive about their health and see a medical professional for an annual mammogram. Nathan and I appreciate your thoughts and prayers during this time, and I look forward to continuing to read to students across the state.”

Information about mammograms and breast cancer prevention is available on the Georgia Department of Public Health website.

Our prayers are with her and her family.






1:30 PM House Ways & Means Ad Val Sub 133 CAP





2:00 PM House Ways & Means Sales Tax Sub 133 CAP







Grady Memorial Hospital opened a mobile emergency room as Georgia flu victims fill their beds.

The tractor trailer-sized structure sits outside Grady Memorial Hospital’s ER, looking like some huge tent assembled outside a major entertainment or sports event.

But the unit will open Tuesday morning as a mobile emergency department, with 14 beds, leased by Grady to handle its soaring ER numbers. The fully equipped structure is wired and ready to start delivering medical care.

Typically, the Atlanta safety-net hospital sees 400 ER patients a day. Lately, though, the number has moved above 500. And while flu has contributed to the increase, it has also included many patients with other viral illnesses, Dr. Hany Atallah, chief of emergency medicine at Grady, said Monday.

This is the mobile ER’s first use in Georgia, and Grady has arranged for a 30-day setup.

Georgia Senate leaders yesterday introduced legislation to address the opioid abuse crisis. From Jill Nolin for the Valdosta Daily Times.

There’s no new money for treatment services in next year’s proposed budget, but Sen. Renee Unterman, who chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said Monday that she plans to push for more funding this legislative session.

“When you’re looking at the epidemic, you see the need,” said Unterman, R-Buford. “We prioritize our needs in the budget process, and obviously, if you’re in the middle of an epidemic, that prioritization is going to float to the top.”

Sen. Dean Burke, R-Bainbridge, has introduced a bill that would create legislative council and a separate think tank that would vet ideas for fixes, particularly for rural Georgia. Burke compared the plan to what was done with criminal justice reform under Gov. Nathan Deal.

Cagle said funding solutions, such as potentially a Medicaid waiver for addiction treatment, may be considered.

“The reality is that we know this is a crisis,” Cagle said. “And to solve this issue, we need to have far more community resource centers than we do right now.

Cagle said, though, that it’s “not just simply that government needs to be the one to shoulder all the burden or the cost associated with it.”

From Andy Miller with Georgia Health News:

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle on Monday told reporters that he is opposed to expanding Medicaid in Georgia.

Big government won’t improve our health care system,’’ Cagle said at a press conference Monday at the Capitol. He added, “I have a philosophical difference’’ with supporters of expansion, which has been done in 32 states under the Affordable Care Act.

“It does no good to continue to grow government and create additional [budgetary] strain,’’ Cagle said.

Cagle acknowledged the problems in access to care in rural Georgia in discussing Senate Bill 357, whose goal, he said, is to improve the quality and affordability of medical care in the state.

“Our health system must become more efficient and effective,’’ he said.

Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Kathryn Schrader told reporters that Georgia doesn’t have sufficient treatment options. “Recovery is real when it’s done right,’’ she said.

Cherokee County has seen a 150% increase in suspected overdoses so far this year, according to 11Alive.

The year has just begun and already, people are dying from overdoses. In Cherokee County, nine people died in 19 days. Three of those deaths happened on the same day, January 14.

Cherokee County is always either the first or second highest county for drug deaths. They go back and forth with Richmond County. According to the GBI, Cherokee averages 35 to 45 drug-related deaths a year, that averages out to about three or four deaths a month. If all nine January deaths are officially ruled to be drug-related, this would be about a 150 percent increase.

The AJC writes that State Senator Brandon Beach (R-North Fulton) will introduce legislation to consolidate transit planning under the Georgia Regional Transportation Agency (GRTA).

State Sen. Brandon Beach, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, has not finalized all aspects of the bill he plans to introduce this week. A big unknown: the details of state funding for mass transitprojects that would be an incentive for counties to surrender some of their control over transit planning and operations.

But Beach, an Alpharetta Republican, said his goal is to create a seamless regional transit system that is not hindered by county lines.

“Gwinnett Transit works pretty good in Gwinnett. CobbLinc works pretty good in Cobb,” Beach said. “But until we get unified infrastructure planning, we’ll never have a truly regional system.”

Beach’s bill would be the year’s first formal proposal to tackle the thorny political issue of mass transit funding in metro Atlanta. But it almost certainly won’t be the last.

Bibb County’s proposed sales tax hike would increase its total take at the cash register to 9%, the highest in Georgia.

After three years of county budget shortfalls, Bibb County leaders are asking state lawmakers to help them pursue a new sales tax. But there’s hesitation in Atlanta, as the county could be headed to the highest sales tax rate in Georgia.

Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert pleaded the county’s case in a little hearing room in the state Capitol basement Monday morning. He told eight Macon-Bibb County lawmakers why the county wants them to set up a public vote on an “OLOST,” a one-penny “other” local option sales tax.

“This is the best of bad options,” Reichert said, adding that no one wants to go up on taxes, but that the county needs this increase.

There’s another sales tax ask ahead of it in line. In May, county voters will say if they want to raise the sales tax from 7 to 8 percent, mainly for roads and bridges. The OLOST would take it to 9 percent.

“That is the concern,” said state Rep. James Beverly, D-Macon. “How do you stimulate growth in a county that has the highest tax rate?”

Warner Robins City Clerk Bill Harte has resigned, saying he expected to be fired by Mayor Randy Toms.


Adoptable (Official) Georgia Dogs for January 29, 2018

Hunter Tri County

Hunter is a male Hound mix who is available for adoption from Tri-County Animal Rescue Center in Mauk, GA.

Vizsla Tri County

Vizsla Boy is a male Vizsla & Affenpinscher mix who is available for adoption from Tri-County Animal Rescue Center in Mauk, GA.

Annie Tri County

Annie is a female Treeing Walker Coonhound who is available for adoption from Tri-County Animal Rescue Center in Mauk, GA.