Today’s news for Friday, May 20


Q U O T E   O F   T H E   D A Y

“The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything — or nothing.”
— Nancy Astor

Top T O P   S T O R Y

Head of state Democratic party wants public to weigh in on redistricting
Party Chairman Mike Berlon says the public’s input could bolster any potential lawsuits challenging the maps that will be drawn later this summer.
Macon Telegraph

TopT O P   O P I N I O N

Charter schools ruling puts many in legal limbo
“The Georgia Supreme Court has not outlawed or abolished charter schools. What the court did, in a 4-3 decision handed down Monday, was to say charter schools, like other public schools in Georgia, are the province of local school districts and not the state. That ruling should neither shock nor dismay Georgians who insist on more local control of public education.”
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer


Georgia’s budgeting to start from zero
Three agencies are shifting to zero-based budgeting, a process that will allow the governor and legislators to scrutinize every penny.
Georgia Times-Union

Georgia Tech to lead Homeland Security effort
The five year, $10 million Homeland Open Security Technology Program includes other groups involved in the Open Technology Research Consortium.
Atlanta Business Chronicle

Museum remembering Freedom Riders opens in Montgomery, Alabama
The former Greyhound Bus Station is reopening as a museum honoring the Freedom Riders on the 50th anniversary of the day they were attacked.
Washington Post

Rep. John Lewis attends museum dedication today

Some Christians believe Judgment Day is Saturday
Most people are taking the prediction with humor.
Carrollton Times-Georgian

Rossville teen makes it to American Idol finals
Lauren Alaina, 16, is in the final round.


Georgia lawmakers comment on gas prices
“Skyrocketing gas prices are one of the most important issues on the minds of Georgians,” Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said after a failed Democratic vote to hamper oil companies. “I hear from hundreds each day who struggle to fill up the gas tank to get to work, take the kids to school or run necessary errands. It is imperative for Congress to focus on creating a policy to expand and diversify our energy sources so the American people are no longer held hostage by the prices at the pump. I am hopeful that in the 112th Congress, we will take on some form of comprehensive energy legislation.”
Macon Telegraph

U.S. Rep. Broun defends vote to continue tax breaks for oil companies
Athens Banner-Herald

Herman Cain to announce candidacy for president at Saturday rally in Atlanta
Atlanta Business Chronicle

Political Insider: Newt Gingrich to Rush Limbaugh: Criticism of Paul Ryan? It didn’t happen
“Chris Good at The Atlantic has one of the first accounts of GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s session this afternoon with Rush Limbaugh. A day earlier, the conservative talk show guru had declared himself “befuddled” by Gingrich’s criticism of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to fix Medicare during his “Meet the Press” appearance on Sunday.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Linda Feldman: Can Newt Gingrich save his campaign?
“It’s s tempting to conclude that Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid is over already. Some pundits and Republican strategists have already said as much, especially amid reports that donors are dropping him like a hot rock.”
Christian Science Monitor

James Taranto: I, Newt
“Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich started quite a kerfuffle the other day when he appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Gingrich denounced fellow Republicans, apparently in the hope of setting himself apart from the GOP field. (If you’re interested in the substance of the dispute, read The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial “Gingrich to House GOP: Drop Dead.”) ”
Wall Street Journal

Steve Jones becomes newest federal judge in the Northern District of Georgia
Athens Banner-Herald

Georgia Republican Foundation held panel discussion on economic development
A common notion among speakers was reducing the role of government and allowing the free market to let private businesses create jobs.
Dalton Daily Citizen

Lawsuit against Sen. Chip Rogers, Rep. Tom Graves moves forward
The lawsuit, filed by now-failed Bartow County Bank, had been on hold during the 2011 General Assembly session.
Cherokee Ledger-News


Travelocity’s Roaming Gnome visits Savannah
The gnome visited the Tybee Lighthouse, toured Bonaventure Cemetery, and made cupcakes with Paula Deen, among other activities.
Savannah Morning News

Gov. Deal visits JCB world headquarters in Savannah
Deal is on a two-week economic development tour.
Savannah Morning News

Maersk Line reduces vessels’ carbon dioxide emissions
The company presented a hands-on exhibit of its “Climate Box” which is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions generated by transporting cargo.
Savannah Morning News

Columbus Kellogg plant gains ‘Energy Star’ certification
It’s one of seven Kellogg plants to earn the certification.
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Gateway Mitsubishi closes down dealership in Columbus
It was the last new car dealership in town.
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

2011 Manufacturing Summit held in Dalton
At the top of discussed issues was concern about energy; T. Boone Pickens said the U.S. is the only country in the world that doesn’t have an energy plan.
Dalton Daily Citizen

Kroger to launch gas savings program for some shoppers
The Fuel Rewards Program will start Sunday and could bring the cost of a gallon of gas to below $3.

Siemans Industry to build Atlanta streetcars
Four new streetcars will be built for $17.2 million; they will be the first streetcars in the city since 1949.
Atlanta Business Chronicle

Delta to reduce aircraft count
The company will also cut capacity by 4%.
Atlanta Business Chronicle

Study by FAA rules out Gwinnett’s Briscoe Field as second major Atlanta-area commercial airport
Gwinnett Daily Post

Construction industry boosted by boom in medical field
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

State agriculture commissioner visits Americus
Americus Times-Recorder

Caravelle Powerboats gets Made in USA Certification
Caravelle is the first American boat manufacturer to get the certification.
Americus Times-Recorder

Vidalia onion growers worry about immigration crackdown
Tifton Gazette

Exodus of illegal immigrates worries Vidalia onion growers

Glennville celebrates 35th Sweet Onion Festival
Glennville Sentinel

Carlos Santana blasts state on immigration law

Dougherty County jobless rate drops below 10%
Albany Herald

Owner of Atlanta Braves makes $1 billion bid for Barnes & Noble
Atlanta Journal-Constitution


High school graduates in Columbus not eager to return to area after college
Some students interviewed believe Columbus is too small or lacks technology, while others want to see more of the world.
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Bibb County BOE approves tax schedule
The board voted 9-0 on a resolution to allow the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority the ability to pre-approve three tax exemption schedules that will help the authority recruit new industries to the area.
Macon Telegraph

Cobb County School District names finalist for superintendent
Dr. Michael Hinojosa of Dallas, Texas has been named the sole finalist.
Marietta Daily Journal

Dr. Hinojosa has son living in Atlanta
The superintendent candidate will become a grandfather soon.
Marietta Daily Journal

Cobb County hires new superintendent
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Marietta parents, students and educators turn out to support performing arts center proposal
A proposed $8.6 million, 900-seat performing arts center was discussed.
Marietta Daily Journal

NGCSU to begin online-only graduate program in criminal justice

Gwinnett County BOE decides to defer decision on charter schools
Ivy Preparatory Academy founder Nina Gilbert asked the BOE to delay a decision on two charter schools.
Gwinnett Daily Post

Gwinnett County BOE adopts $1.7 billion budget
Gwinnett Daily Post

UGA expects more freshman in the fall compared with 2010
Athens Banner-Herald

Dual enrollment student upset with inconsistent grading at Clayton State
A Stockbridge High student learned she would not get full credit for high grades at Clayton State as her high school is tabulating the college scores differently.
Clayton News Daily

Supporters of Cherokee Charter Academy gather at school board meeting
Cherokee Tribune

Jones County BOE works to avoid staff cuts
Jones County News

Hart County BOE approves school principal decisions
Hartwell Sun

Early results show Screven County student scores have improved
Sylvania Telephone

Student test scores in Barnesville look promising so far
Barnesville Herald-Gazette


Atlanta air expected to have high ozone concentration today
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

More than 55% of Okefenokee Swamp fire is contained
Georgia Times-Union

Two bears spotted in Carrollton near University of West Georgia
Carrollton Times-Georgian

Video: Georgia dog adopts fawn
Wall Street Journal


Tobacco use banned in public places in Bloomingdale
Savannah Morning News

Crisp County health department investigates possible TB exposure at Crisp County High
Cordele Dispatch

Meth project takes scary images to students
Clayton News Daily

Northeast Georgia Physicians Group Cleveland opens new facility in White County
White County News

Statewide trauma network to get upgrade this summer

M A J O R    L O C A L   N E W S

2010 Savannah budget numbers show surplus
The budget gain for 2011 is expected to be higher.
Savannah Morning News

Consultant tells Savannah City Council that Bay Street is safest for LNG transport
However, despite Bay Street being the shortest, safest and most secure route for trucking liquified natural gas across the city, an emergency management consultant did not recommend Bay as the route.
Savannah Morning News

Chatham County budget proposal includes cuts to police squad
Savannah Morning News

Ridership of CAT is increasing
Chatham Area Transit numbers are going up as riders choose transit due to rising gas prices.
Savannah Morning News

Columbus City Council drops mayor’s plan to reduce garbage pickup
The city manager says keeping twice-a-week pickup will cost up to $10 a month extra.
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Tybee Island Beach Bum Parade hits 25th year
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Bibb County holds first of seven listening sessions on SPLOST
Macon Telegraph

Rome counterfeiting ring busted
More than $5,000 in fake $5, $20 and $100 bills were found.
Rome News-Tribune

Fulton County to mail 230,000 corrected tax assessments

Athens preacher to be released from prison in Jamaica
A bullet had been found in his carry-on bag when trying to leave Jamaica.

City of Royston seeks to become economic opportunity zone
Two major employers closed in the last six months.
Anderson Independent-Mail

Former Albany Area Chamber official dies
Wendy Martin served as interim president/CEO of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce and apparently died Thursday after a long-term illness.
Albany Herald

Despite loss of more than half of municipal workforce, Danielsville is still up and running
There are only four people left on the city employment payroll.
Athens Banner-Herald

Warner Robins police move to four-day work week
Athens Banner-Herald

Cedar Creek Reservoir mediation is delayed
Gainesville Times

Forest Park: Women to hold breast-feeding “Nurse-In” on Saturday
Clayton News Daily

Coweta County to host Cattlemen’s event this weekend
Newnan Times-Herald

Audio: Atlanta mayor restores arts funding


Kelly Haggard Olson: Arts, Convention Center join in operations, booking venture
A distinctive beneficial partnership has been formed between two long-standing Gwinnett institutions.”

Elliott Brack: Classical evening could become model for the rest of Gwinnett
With 805,321 people in Gwinnett at the 2010 census, you would think that more classical music artists would make more of their presence felt in the county. But somehow, this has not been the focus of the overall Gwinnett community.”

Carol Megathlin: Let’s pitch in for single soldiers
“‘Yeah, we share our care packages with guys who don’t get anything, but it still means a lot to get something with your name on it,’ U.S. Army Capt. Paul Benfield said.”
Savannah Morning News

Cartoon: Mark Streeter: As we know it
Savannah Morning News

Rick McKee: Gingrich’s launch party
Augusta Chronicle

Mike Lester: Awards for Obama
Rome News-Tribune

Mike Luckovich: On Newt Gingrich
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Public schools: The new ‘up’
“Flat is the new up. It has been that way for several years in the private sector. It’s now hitting the public sector. The Savannah-Chatham County public school system is the latest local agency to catch the flatness vibe.”
Savannah Morning News

Richard Hyatt: Army’s land search complicates appeal of Fort Benning
“‘Mother-in-Law of the Army’ it’s been called — referring to marital matchmaking between Fort Benning soldiers and unmarried women from Columbus. But when land has been involved, the relationship between post and town has not always been loving.”
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Ed Grisamore: Real-life CSI not like on television
“Jay Jarvis was CSI before CSI was cool.He would arrive at a crime scene and wrap his fingers around every shred, fiber, particle and drop of evidence. Then he would return to the laboratory and attempt to solve the crime.”
Macon Telegraph

Erick Erickson: As the county turns
“Perhaps Lauren Benedict and Nancy White should just board up Ward 5, Post 3, and turn out the lights. The seat is vacant again. There are only six months left of real activity. Why bother unless they give it to Beverly Olson, who is probably a shoo-in if she actually runs? It is comical.”
Macon Telegraph

Charles Richardson: What’s up with Ward 5? Musical council chairs again
“Once again the Ward 5, Post 3, Macon City Council seat is vacant. What, you ask? Didn’t council, just two months ago, settle on Beverly Blake, after a little bit of controversy, to take Erick Erickson’s place after he moved out of the ward? Yes, and for the second time in two months, Ward 5 has watched its representatives call movers to get them out of the ward.”
Macon Telegraph

Best challenger for Obama yet to emerge
“When Donald Trump dropped his 2012 presidential run, the Republican race lost its most entertaining candidate, and when Mike Huckabee dropped out, and in doing so found “inexplicable inner peace,” the party’s social conservatives lost their standard-bearer.”
Marietta Daily Journal

Don McKee: Atlanta Press Club protests governor barring news team
“Gov. Nathan Deal’s banning of a television news team from a bill signing last week has drawn fire from the Atlanta Press Club which labeled the action “unacceptable in a free and open society.”
Marietta Daily Journal

Uncork this even if not drinking
“City of Rome voters should get a chance to say their piece in the Nov. 8 municipal elections regarding permitting Sunday sales of beer, wine and liquor. The General Assembly, after many years, finally authorized the long-overdue local option on this question.”
Rome News-Tribune

Bob Barr: Techno-nannies target school lunches
“Taxpayer-funded and government-controlled surveillance cameras are – unfortunately – becoming commonplace in cities large and small across the country. They are employed for everything from increasing local government revenues from red-light scofflaws, to supposedly guarding against terrorists attending sporting events. Now, a school district in Texas has taken this surveillance-camera obsession to a new low – spying on grade school students’ eating habits.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Bernard Lafayette, Jr.: The seige of the Freedom Riders
“Fifty years ago today I arrived in Montgomery, Ala., on a Greyhound bus. I was 20 years old and was there as one of the Freedom Riders, a racially mixed group, mostly college students, who were riding buses through the South to test the Supreme Court’s recent ban on segregation in waiting rooms and restaurants that served interstate travelers.”
New York Times

Kudos to Regal
“Ten years ago, when Bayliner decided to close its doors and lay off 200-300 employees, the city was still reeling from the Levi Strauss closing and it was devastating news.”
Valdosta Daily Times

Ten should never be forgotten
“These are 10 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty, a duty that is often unappreciated and, certainly, underpaid.”
Albany Herald

Hop away from ‘kangaroo court’ is good move
“There was some good news out of City Hall earlier this week, as the Athens-Clarke County Commission’s Legislative Review Committee appears to be slinking away from its effort to establish what would have been a “kangaroo court” for handling local quality-of-life ordinance violations.”
Athens Banner-Herald

Dink NeSmith: Hollywood couldn’t write a story better than Howard Wasdin’s
“Hollywood glamorized Rambo, the death-defying commando who won against all odds. Three thousand miles away in Screven, a town of 900 people produced a real-life fighting machine-Howard Wasdin.”
White County News

Local health care gets an upgrade
“Let’s face it: White County is never going to be a hub for health care – not when there’s a major regional medical center just 30 minutes away in Gainesville.”
White County News

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