Today’s Issue: Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Final edition posted at 11:30 a.m.

Q U O T E    O F    T H E    D A Y

The dead might as well speak to the living as the old to the young.”
— Willa Cather

Top T O P    S T O R Y

Dry weather impacts Lake Lanier
Drier than normal conditions are apparent at Lake Lanier, with the result being below-normal lake levels.

“Due to these record low inflows in the lower basin, lakes in the upper reach have been used to help meet the required flow in the Apalachicola River to protect endangered species,” U.S. Army Corps spokesman Patrick Robbins said. “Right now we are experiencing just enough flows throughout the basin to meet the required flows in the Apalachicola River and stabilize the levels of all the lakes in the system even though they will be below normal for this time of year.”

TopT O P    O P I N I  O N

Excursion train will be worthwhile experiment
“Whatever comes of his plan to run the state’s excursion train in west Georgia between Griffin and the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton for the Sept. 4 NASCAR race, Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols is on the right track (pun intended) – sort of.

“While railroads are no longer under the purview of the PSC – they’re now under federal regulation, while the PSC regulates utilities, wreckers, moving companies and limousine operators working in the state – Echols nonetheless convened a meeting of local officials along the route, along with environmentalists and train enthusiasts, on Monday to talk about running the excursion train in connection with the NASCAR race.”
Athens Banner-Herald


Savannah-to-Knoxville highway will likely take decades to fund, build
The project could cost up to $6.1 billion.
Savannah Morning NewsRise in population in South threatens forests
A U.S. Forest Service study says that the 200 million acres of forestland in the South could be reduced by 10% due to an increase in population over the next 50 years.
Savannah Morning News

Security heightened at U.S. Post Offices
The U.S. Office of Homeland Security increased security at federal courtrooms nationwide to protect against terrorist strikes in retaliation for the Navy SEALs operation that killed bin Laden at a hideout in Pakistan.
Athens Banner-Herald

Students in Mableton walk out of school over immigration law
The students were protesting the state’s new law to crack down on illegal immigrants.
Athens Banner-Herald

Family of Maynard Jackson pledges $250,000 for Civil Rights Museum
The family is leading a $2.5 million fundraising campaign for the museum as well.
Atlanta Business Chronicle

State to close oyster harvesting season
The Georgia DNR said that state waters would be closed due to harmful shellfish bacteria.Brunswick News


City Ink, Augusta: A new courthouse era upon us
“Yogi Berra could have been talking about the Augusta Commission when he said, ‘It’s like déjà vu all over again.'”
Augusta Chronicle

Redistricting discussed in Augusta
Ideas on redistricting were presented by dozens of residents, leaving many questions as well as suggestions.
Augusta Chronicle

Gov. Deal names new Superior Court judge
Judge H. Patrick Haggard was named Superior Court judge for Clarke and Oconee counties by Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday.
Athens Banner-Herald

GOP’s Sarah Bell qualifies for vacant House seat
Bell has qualified to fill Rep. Hank Huckaby’s seat.
Athens Banner-Herald

Gov. Deal signs $18.3 billion budget
Insurance premiums for state employees will go up and funding has been cut for the state’s college system.
Macon Telegraph

Two vetoes by Gov. Deal affect midstate counties
The vetoes effect Georgia College & State and Middle Georgia Technical College.
Macon Telegraph

Vetoes include funds for Lanier Tech and Gwinnett Tech

Gov. Deal vetoes funds for Altamaha Tech
Georgia Times-Union

Political Insider: Delta gives upgrades to Casey Cagle, state lawmakers
“And you were wondering why — unlike you — certain Georgia lawmakers have a smile on their faces when headed to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Newt Gingrich attack on Rep. Paul Ryan backfires
Gingrich attacked Ryan’s Medicare plan and is now defending his position.
Christian Science Monitor

Gingrich scrambles to explain ‘evolving’ position on health policy
Washington Post

Gingrich begins defense over Medicare comments
USA Today

“Gang of Six” on the verge of collapse
“The debt is still $14 trillion. It’s got to be solved in a bipartisan way,” Sen. Saxby Chambliss told reporters Tuesday night. “I hope that we’ll eventually, as a Gang of Six, be able to come together on some long-term resolution of the issue. But it looks like that’s not going to happen in the short term.”
Washington Post

Cordele-Crisp Chamber sponsors forum
Representatives of U. S. Congressmen Johnny Isakson, Saxby Chambliss and Sanford Bishop, along with State Senator Dickie Crosby, State Representative Buddy Harden, county and city managers addressed the audience at Tuesday’s annual legislative forum sponsored by the Cordele-Crisp Chamber.
Cordele Dispatch

Carroll County BOC questions pay increases
Carrollton Times-Georgian


Atlanta Spirit in talks with True North Sports to sell Thrashers
The NHL team could be relocated to Winnipeg, Canada.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Both Atlanta Thrashers and Atlanta Hawks are up for sale
Atlanta Business Chronicle

Study shows Savannah cruise terminal could bring 1,000 jobs
A long-range terminal could bring a direct spending impact of $89 million by 2020 and create an additional 465 jobs statewide.
Savannah Morning News

Costco gets approval to build in Augusta
Augusta Chronicle

GSA Auctions of Atlanta to auction off Unabomber’s possessions
New York Times


Hundreds protest ruling on charter schools
Several hundred people protested at the state Capitol about the  ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court to overturn a law that allowed the creation of state-approved charter schools.
Savannah Morning News

School-choice supporters rally at Georgia Capitol
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Two counties scramble to get charter school approvals
Organizers for schools planned for Cherokee County and Gwinnett County are rushing to get approvals.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Madison County BOE names new schools superintendent
Allen McCannon, who had served as interim superintendent for a year, has been named the new superintendent.
Athens Banner-Herald

Macon State College holds inaugural teacher conference
The Ready, Set, Go conference was held for new teachers.
Macon Telegraph

Online high school recruiting being held in Macon
Three information sessions were held in Macon to promote online high school Provost Academy Georgia.
Macon Telegraph

Cobb County BOE unveils timeline for redistricting southern part of county
Marietta Daily Journal

Cobb BOE prepares to declare $22 million in excess SPLOST money
Marietta Daily Journal

Gwinnett County principal’s abrupt departure discussed by BOE members
Principal Lawanna Owens-Twaites has resigned for personal reasons.
Gwinnett Daily Post

Former deputy U.S. Attorney General to teach at UGA
Larry Thompson will join the faculty of the University of Georgia School of Law this fall.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Habersham County: By 2018, 579 students could graduate
With a current high school graduation rate of 78.9 percent, Habersham County graduation coaches Andrea Jones, Josh Little and Holly Borrow, along with transition coordinator David Buchanan, are trying to increase that percentage.
Cornelia/The Northeast Georgian

Habersham County BOE says new high school on track for completion this summer
Cornelia/The Northeast Georgian

School lunches in Dawson County to cost 25 cents more next year
Dawson News

Carroll County College and Career Academy won’t be affected by charter school ruling
Dr. Christie Johnson, assistant superintendent of Administrative and Student Services for Carroll County Schools, said the court decision ruled that the Georgia Charter Schools Commission cannot decide to allow a charter school in a school system if the school system’s board of education has already denied the request.
Carrollton Times-Georgian

Douglas County BOE eliminates 8 positions, freezes others
The move was made to reduce the 2011-2012 budget by $1,634,847.
Douglas County Sentinel

Clayton County school faced with CRCT investigation
The Clayton County school district is investigating allegations of misconduct during recent Criterion-Referenced Competency Test sessions at Edwin S. Kemp Elementary School in Hampton.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Few bidders for Savannah River weed project in Augusta
Augusta Chronicle

200 square miles of Okefenokee Swamp has burned
Athens Banner-Herald

Firefighters deliberately burn nearly 10,000 acres to contain wildfire
Georgia Times-Union

Millions spent to recycle phone books
Cities are spending lots of money to recycle phone books that a lot of people don’t want in the first place.

Atlanta Gas Light to work on hazardous Rome site
The voluntary remediation plan will focus on a coal gasification plant near the new Third Avenue Parking Deck.
Rome News-Tribune

H E A L T H   C A R E

WellStar Health System doing well in wake of CEO firing
The interim CEO and chairman of the board of trustees sat down with Journal reporters to discuss the status of the not-for-profit health system.
Marietta Daily Journal

South Georgia hospital buyout under scrutiny
South Georgia Medical Center of Valdosta is planning to purchase smaller competitor Smith Northview Hospital.
Albany Herald

M A J O R    L O C A L    N E W S

Choice of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to dedicate Augusta courthouse criticized
Some say the judge has offended the sensibilities of civil rights leaders for years.
The Atlantic

Expansion of Fort Benning may impact taxes in Stewart County
Richland Mayor Adolph McLendon is concerned about a possible loss of property tax revenue if Fort Benning takes over 82,800 acres in Stewart County.
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Director of National Civil War Naval Museum talks about budget cuts
Budget cuts by the city of Columbus would hurt the facility, said museum director Bruce Smith.
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Athens’ Classic Center expansion to include relocation of main entrance
Drawings of a planned addition to the Classic Center’s exhibit hall show brick, steel and glass architecture that mirrors the Foundry Street Warehouses across the street.
Athens Banner-Herald

Former mayor of Athens hospitalized after fall
Upshaw Bentley, 87, suffered a fall recently.
Athens Banner-Herald

Perry mayor would rather cut city staff over raising property taxes
Macon Telegraph

Macon mayor wants Sunday alcohol sales vote
Macon Telegraph

Smyrna to put Sunday alcohol sales vote on ballot in November
Marietta Daily Journal

Gainesville City Council approves Sunday alcohol sales referendum for ballot

Albany considers Sunday alcohol referendum
Albany Herald

Bibb County Commissioners consider dress code for courthouse
During their meeting Tuesday, commissioners debated the situation of sagging slacks at the urging of Commissioner Joe Allen, who had requested a county dress code ordinance that could be enforced at the Bibb County Courthouse.
Macon Telegraph

Cobb County: Superior Court judge lashes out at commission chairman
Judge Jay Stephenson is lashing out over proposed budget cuts for fiscal year 2012, saying County Chairman Tim Lee has endorsed ‘budgetary misconduct.”
Marietta Daily Journal

RV park owner in Glynn County says he doesn’t have to pay bed tax
Glynn County has been trying to force Earl Perry to pay a bed tax for his camp sites, but he says he doesn’t have to pay it as he doesn’t rent out beds.
Georgia Times-Union

Gwinnett County Commissioners cut $15 million building project
Gwinnett Daily Post

Fulton County Commission chair at odds with vice chair
Chairman John Eaves and Vice Chair Emma Darnell lately have been known to argue; the current argument is over the rewiring of Assembly Hall.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Some uphappy with Auburn’s redevelopment plan ideas
Barrow County News

Barrow County’s Department of Emergency Services is over budget
The county is nearly $75,000 over budget for overtime expenditures.
Barrow County News

Georgia DOT considers roundabout for busy Dawson County intersection
Dawson News

Dublin team wins Boss Hog barbecue state championship
True Citizen

Thomasville nurseryman considers seeking commission seat
Mark NeSmith is considering a run for the District 4 Thomas County Commission seat.
Thomasville Times-Enterprise

Albany considers redistricting maps
Albany Herald


Cartoon: Mark Streeter — Coming up dry?
Savannah Morning News

Mike Luckovich: On Newt Gingrich
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Weak economy forces county’s hand on budget cuts
“Two stories in this newspaper one day apart should serve as cautionary tales but tales with an element of hope. On Saturday, the lead headline on page one told readers ‘County to cut jobs, programs.’”
Savannah Morning News

Gov. Deal commended for approval of Jimmy Deloach Parkway Connector
“Gov. Nathan Deal has been consistent and outspoken in his support of Georgia Ports and the need to improve roads and other infrastucture around the ports as well as deepen the Savannah River channel.”
Savannah Morning News

Casino trial goes from plain sleazy to truly bizarre
“Just when you might have thought the sleaze factor in the whole Alabama gambling controversy couldn’t get any sleazier, here come the telephone pollsters. This is turning into something straight out of John Grisham, with a twist of Stephen King.”
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Sonny Harmon: Sacrificing for the planet
“Where would we be today without the green folks — the conservationists who, like me, want to preserve the planet? Like my dad used to say, ‘Son, you’ll never know when it’s gonna stop raining or the sun runs out of gas.'”
Macon Telegraph

Immigration: Promise made, promise kept
“Nathan Deal ran for governor last year as the most outspoken proponent of toughening our laws against illegal immigration. His advocacy on the issue was a large part of the reason his candidacy was ultimately successful.”
Marietta Daily Journal

Don McKee: Outspoken Newt Gingrich rubs his fellow Republicans the wrong way
“Count on Newt Gingrich to stir things up.  On NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, the newly minted candidate wanted to lay out his vision for America. Instead, he got off on the wrong foot with House Republicans and conservative leaders by rejecting “right wing social engineering” in the form of the Medicare reform plan passed by House Republicans.”
Marietta Daily Journal

Tom LaBarge: Lee’s transit plans just ‘fantasy and nonsense’
“Just in case one has been living under a rock – which is about the same as believing what the mainstream media presents as “news” – the United States has a problem with spending more money that it has.”
Marietta Daily Journal

Pierre-Rene Noth: Governor’s spokesman sets bad precedent for openness
“What next? Is Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s staff going to burn newspapers and books they don’t like, as the Nazis did upon taking power in Germany, while using state troopers to feed the flames?”
Rome News-Tribune

Terry Dickson: Georgia Supreme Court curbs academic cheating without meaning to
“The Georgia Supreme Court didn’t set out to curb academic cheating but it did anyway. In a ruling released Monday morning, the state’s highest court said the Georgia Charter Schools Commission is unconstitutional. What this commission does is approve charter schools without the permission of locally elected school boards. School boards complained that the commission diverted badly needed funds from county schools and other local districts.”
Georgia Times-Union

Todd Cline: A good case of the blues
“There were plenty of familiar sights at Saturday’s inaugural American Cancer Society/Gwinnett Braves 5K run around Coolray Field. Runners running to win, those looking for personal-best times and others just happy to participate and support a good cause.”
Gwinnett Daily Post

Bob Barr: Indiana court okays illegal police entries
“For centuries a person’s home has been considered his castle. This fundamental liberty was recognized in the Magna Carta and later in our own Bill of Rights. After all, our Founding Fathers fought a war for independence from the British for routinely violating these cherished and long-recognized rights.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Education gets a raw Deal
“In a sweeping motion of his pen, Gov. Nathan Deal dealt a death knell to the future of education in Georgia.”
Valdosta Daily Times

Furman Bisher: Killebrew, 74, departed as he lived — with grace
“It was only days ago that this message scrolled across my screen. It was Harmon Killebrew’s farewell, and the only one of its kind that I’ve ever seen. His time was up. He had fought the good fight. He had lost, and this was how he said his good-bye.”
Albany Herald

Popular Deal doesn’t always get his way
“For the most part, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has gotten high marks so far in his first year as governor from both Republicans and many Democrats. His leadership style of openness and inclusiveness is seen as a giant step forward from the style of the previous administration. ”
Newnan Times-Herald

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Questions? © 2011, The Brack Group, Inc. Georgia Clips is a media service of The Brack Group, Inc. Any reproduction or retransmission, in whole or in part, is a violation of federal law and is strictly prohibited without the consent of The Brack Group, Inc. This prohibition extends to sharing this publication with clients and/or affiliate companies. All rights reserved.
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