March 27, 2017 GlobalAtlanta.com
Trevor Williams reports that the Atlanta focus of a German foundation is once again paying off for the city, as 12 apprentices from the country arrive this week to hone their skills while contributing to local companies. The German youngsters hosted by the Joachim Herz Foundation will receive two weeks of training at Georgia’s technical colleges before fanning out to manufacturers, logistics providers, universities and other firms around the metro area and the U.S.
March 27, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Karen Kirkpatrick reports that each year Georgia Trend honors 40 of the state’s best and brightest under the age of 40. Whether you know someone who’s making a difference on the national stage or is a mover and shaker in his or her corner of the state, if they are under 40 years old as of Oct. 1, 2017, we want to hear about them.
March 27, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Staff reports that major contractor on Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion is expected to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the end of this month, adding new complications to the already delayed project, according to a report Friday. Reuters reported that Japanese conglomerate Toshiba has told lenders that its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse is planning for a March 31 filing. It cited unnamed people briefed on the matter.
March 27, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Urvaksh Karkaria reports that TSYS leased about 10,000 square feet — or half a floor — at One Atlantic Center, where it could employ up to 100. The office tower is home to Equifax and KPMG's innovation lab.
March 27, 2017 Marietta Daily Journal
Staff reports that third and final phase of the Atlanta Braves’ transportation plan for SunTrust Park is expected to be released at an event today. Expected to speak are Braves executives, officials from the Cobb police department, traffic engineers and representatives from the Braves’ technology partners.
March 27, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Becky Purser reports that officials are moving forward toward funding and a plan of action designed to restore financial stability to the Monroe County Hospital. An agreement to earmark $1.2 million annually for the hospital over the next two to three years is expected to be approved April 4 by the Monroe County Commission, said Chairman Greg Tapley.
March 27, 2017 GPB
Sam Whitehead reports that earlier this year, President Donald Trump issued an executive order calling for sheriffs and police departments to take a larger role in immigrations enforcement. He asked them to join a voluntary Immigrations and Customs Enforcement program called 287(g), which extends the reach of immigration agents into counties across the country.
March 27, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that the state’s hospital industry is breathing easier after U.S. House leaders pulled their health care proposal before a scheduled vote Friday. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the GOP proposal to replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, was withdrawn because it did not have enough votes to pass.
March 27, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Mary Landers reports that efforts to amend the 38-year-old Shore Protection Act are taking a pause in the legislature. Lawmakers on Wednesday tabled the bill that sought to redraw the area where the state can exert its influence on beachfront property.
March 27, 2017 WABE 90.1
Adhiti Bandlamudi reports that a bill before the Georgia Senate would regulate fracking in the state. Chuck Mueller, director of cross media programs with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, said local officials from eight counties in northwest Georgia asked for the bill. Northwest Georgia happens to have the only land in the state suitable for fracking.
March 27, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that the blast radius of the failed healthcare measure shook up a Republican debate over who should succeed Tom Price in the special election to represent his suburban Atlanta district, as several top GOP contenders sparred over what Congress should have done. The four candidates running to represent the suburban Atlanta district at the Sunday debate split on the next steps, with some blaming the GOP establishment for the failure of the measure and others praising the coalition of moderates and conservatives who ultimately scuttled the proposal.
March 24, 2017 Rome News Tribune
Doug Walker reports that although they have withdrawn a lawsuit over the discharge permitting process at Georgia Power’s Plant Hammond in Coosa and four other coal-fired plants, environmental groups claim the EPD’s new draft discharge permits aren’t stringent enough. John Kraft, a spokesman for Georgia Power said “the plants are operating with active, valid wastewater permits, in full compliance with state and federal regulations.”
March 24, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Ben Young writes, state leaders believe unprecedented transportation investments will streamline our roads and highways to accommodate big new cargo crisscrossing the state and exporting from here. They will reduce traffic and commute times and generally make us all less stressed out. I’m all for it.
March 24, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Kelly Yamanouchi reports that the new home of the Atlanta Braves, Sun Trust Park, will have an unusual piece of decor: A giant Delta airplane tail next to the stadium. The tail is from a retired Delta Boeing 757-200 known as Delta Ship 624, which had been retired to the desert in Marana, Ariz.
March 24, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Staff reports that Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) will make several changes to its C-Suite on May 1, when President and Chief Operating Officer James Quincey becomes CEO. The Atlanta-based beverage giant’s Mexico unit President Francisco Crespo will become its first chief growth officer. A 28-year company veteran, Crespo will lead the company’s global marketing, corporate strategy, and customer and commercial leadership teams to create a consolidated team with a clear mandate for driving global growth.
March 24, 2017 GlobalAtlanta.com
Phil Bolton reports, by returning to the Georgia Institute of Technology as a distinguished professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs last year, Gen. Philip Breedlove completes a full circle in a career that includes his service as NATO‘s Supreme Allied Commander Europe and the U.S. European Command Commander.
March 24, 2017 Augusta Chronicle
Thomas Gardiner reports that an element in the liquid waste cleanup process at Savannah River Site is offline after a number of leaks were identified inside. According to reports from the Defense Nuclear facilities safety Board, the “pot” inside the apparatus known as the 3H Evaporator recently developed leaks.
March 24, 2017 Albany Herald
Jim Hendricks reports, with wins in three of the 11 categories, Southwest Georgia businesses had a good showing in the Flavor of Georgia contest conducted annually by the University of Georgia. The competition’s grand prize for best overall product went to Georgia Grinders Premium Nut Butters of Chamblee for its Georgia Grinders Pecan Butter, which won first place in the Miscellaneous category.
March 24, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Staff reports that America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia received $50,000 this week from the International Paper Foundation to address food insecurity in coastal Georgia. This donation is part of International Paper’s disaster relief effort brought on by Hurricane Matthew. International Paper Company Foundation in North America supports U.S. not-for-profit organizations within the communities where International Paper has operating facilities.
March 24, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller writes, U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote Thursday evening on legislation that begins the process of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. The bill is supported by President Trump and congressional Republican leaders.
March 24, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Jim Galloway reports that the history lesson may have been a little off, but one of the more amazing moments in Georgia politics occurred this morning in a U.S. Senate hearing room in which former Gov. Sonny Perdue was vetted as President Donald Trump’s secretary of agriculture. U.S. Rep. David Scott, a Democrat, gave a passionate defense of his former state Senate colleague and told Senate Agriculture Committee members that he wanted to make sure that Perdue made it through the process with his “record unblemished.”
March 23, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that this week, the fortunes of rural hospitals in Georgia took a turn for the better. Voters in Monroe and Jefferson counties Tuesday approved tax increases to help preserve their rural hospitals, which are in financial danger. And a proposed tax credit upgrade for donors to rural hospitals, an idea that had appeared dead in this year’s Georgia General Assembly session, is alive again less than two weeks before the legislators are expected to adjourn.
March 23, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Karen Kirkpatrick reports, Dr. Crawford W. Long is credited as the father of anesthesia. In the video below, Crawford W. Long Museum Manager Vicki Starnes talks about how he discovered the key to painless surgery and previews upcoming events at the museum in Jefferson, Ga. Read more about the museum as well as the booming economy of Jackson County in this month’s Georgia Trend feature “Spreading Innovation.”
March 23, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Michael E. Kanell reports that Georgia’s unemployment rate edged down to 5.3 percent in February from 5.5 percent in January, the state labor department said today. The state added 12,000 jobs during the month, about twice as many as the average for the past three Februarys.
March 23, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Southeast Toyota Distributors plans a 330,000-square-foot vehicle processing center in Jackson County. The Southeast is the largest sales market for Toyota in the United States.
March 23, 2017 Albany Herald
Brad McEwan reports that although the new Albany Green Energy biomass renewable engery plant will not be meeting the needs of its commercial clients until mid-summer, the facility that will soon be supplying energy to Georgia Power and steam to Procter & Gamble and Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, has begun its test phase.
March 23, 2017 Georgia Times Union
Terry Dickson reports that Premium Peanut, which operates the world’s largest shelling facility in Douglas, Ga., will spend $14 million to begin producing peanut oil, officials said. The company, which began production on Barrington Road in Douglas in January 2016, said it will begin producing oil early next year and will have the capacity to produce 3 million gallons annually.
March 23, 2017 Valdosta Daily Times
John Stephen reports that a community nonprofit based in Augusta, Georgia, said Tuesday it unwittingly gave $25,000 over two years to support a white supremacist organization in Alexandria, Virginia. The Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area, which counts the Masters golf tournament among its donors, said it gave $15,000 in 2013 and $10,000 in 2014 to the National Policy Institute without knowing about its racist background.
March 23, 2017 WABE 90.1
Johnny Kauffman reports that the words “slavery” and “Civil War” don’t appear in a resolution filed in the Georgia legislature that’s meant to honor the state’s role in the “four-year struggle for state’s rights, individual freedom, and local government control.” It would recognize April as Confederate History Month, and April 26, 2017 as Confederate Memorial Day at the state capitol.
March 23, 2017 Rome News Tribune
Georgia will lose an estimated $270 million a year under an income tax cut bill that passed out of the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday. But the committee made it budget-neutral by merging it with an internet sales tax bill expected to raise roughly the same amount for the state by 2018.
March 23, 2017 Brunswick News
Wes Wolfe reports that the sand is quickly dropping through the proverbial hourglass on House Bill 271, and at present it is not scheduled to receive a vote this week. Wednesday, the state Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee took up the legislation for a hearing only. That hearing lasted fewer than 15 minutes before the committee adjourned for the day.
March 23, 2017 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Chuck Williams reports that a year later than anticipated, Columbus State University now appears to have the state funding to finish a science lab building and begin design work on a renovation of the library thanks to the budget that was passed Wednesday by the General Assembly. The $25 billion budget approved a week before the current General Assembly session ends, includes $2.5 million for two Columbus State main campus projects.
March 23, 2017 GPB
Sam Whitehead reports you soon might be able to walk into your favorite local brewery and order up a pint or grab a six pack to take home. State lawmakers have approved a bill to allow craft breweries and distilleries to sell their products directly to consumers. It passed with a vote of 52-1 in the Senate Wednesday.
March 23, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that State Rep. Stacey Evans is exploring a run for Georgia governor, setting up what could be a potentially divisive Democratic primary for the state’s top job in 2018, according to two people with direct knowledge of her discussions. The Smyrna Democrat is said to be “seriously” considering joining a Democratic contest that is also expected to feature House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams.
March 22, 2017 WABE 90.1
Miranda Hawkins reports that Downtown Atlanta could look a lot different in 15 years. The City of Atlanta and Central Atlanta Progress are updating the Downtown Atlanta Master Plan for the first time in a decade. Jennifer Ball, CAP's vice president of planning and economic development, said some wants are the same, like more bike facilities and walkable streets.
March 22, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Dana Hazels Seith reports that cable television is laced with programming that highlights the ills of modern society. Breaking Bad’s focus on the methamphetamine industry, Law & Order’s ripped-from-the-headlines crimes and the unscripted Hoarders all share a similar thread – the absolute chaos each of these leave in their wake.
March 22, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Russell Grantham reports that nine Georgians made it onto Forbes’ annual billionaire list this year, including what the magazine described as “America’s youngest female self-made billionaire.” That would be Sara Blakely, the 46-year-old founder of Spanx, the Atlanta company she founded in 2000 to produce and sell slimming undergarments.
March 22, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Ellie Hensley reports that the Grady Health Foundation raised a record-breaking $1.8 million at its seventh annual White Coat Grady Gala March 18. Over 800 business, community and philanthropic leaders were in attendance for the event at the Georgia Aquarium.
March 22, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Farmax Merchandise, a China-based peanut production and exporting company, will create more than 20 jobs and invest $5 million in a new peanut oil processing facility in Crisp County.
March 22, 2017 Gainesville Times
Jeff Gill reports that Jarl Echols’ life got a little peachier Tuesday morning. The co-owner of Jaemor Farms, a longtime peach grower off Ga. 365 in Lula, was named Farmer of the Year at the 2017 Hall County Agribusiness Awards sponsored by the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce and UGA Extension.
March 22, 2017 Albany Herald
Brad McEwan reports that although the new Albany Green Energy biomass renewable engery plant will not be meeting the needs of its commercial clients until mid-summer, the facility that will soon be supplying energy to Georgia Power and steam to Procter & Gamble and Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, has begun its test phase.
March 22, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Stanley Dunlap reports that Monroe County voters gave a resounding yes Tuesday for a tax increase that will keep the hospital open. There were 2,631 votes supporting the property tax increase compared to 1,090 against the 1-mill tax increase to fund Monroe County Hospital. County officials voted in January to begin a controlled shutdown of the hospital pending the outcome of Tuesday’s election.
March 22, 2017 Rome News Tribune
Doug Walker reports that, less than a month after Rome’s Harbin Clinic revealed plans for a new medical office building in Adairsville, Gordon Hospital has broken ground for a new single-story 12,418-square-foot office building to serve the Adairsville community. Site work at the tract on Ga. 140 just west of the Georgia North Industrial Park is already underway. Ground has not been broken yet for the Harbin facility.
March 22, 2017 Georgia Times-Union
Terry Dickson reports that by spending $14 million on upgrades and closing one of its three 18-hole golf courses, Jekyll Island could cut its losses, but it would still not be profitable, a consultant told the state-owned island’s governing board Monday.
March 22, 2017 GPB
Taylor Gantt reports that environmental advocates say Georgia’s water supplies could be at risk if Congress approves President Trump's proposal to cut $2.5 billion from the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget. If approved, the budget would slash the EPA's funding by 31 percent and lay off over 3,000 workers.
March 22, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Tamar Hallerman reports that Saxby Chambliss is plotting his return to the U.S. Senate — for a day, at least. The Georgia Republican, who retired after 20 years on Capitol Hill in 2015, will be making a cameo Thursday on behalf of Sonny Perdue during the former governor’s confirmation hearing.
March 21, 2017 GPB
Celeste Headlee and Trevor Young report that last week’s cold snap means bad news for fruit farmers in northern Georgia. The peach and blueberry industry will potentially lose millions of dollars to the late freeze. Some researchers at the University of Georgia have developed an equation which they say will help combat that loss.
March 21, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
K. K. Snyder reports that they don’t call this town “Winnersville USA” for nothing. The city of Valdosta has long been known for its winning sports teams – ESPN fans named the city the 2008 TitleTown for its sports focus. Now, with a public high school football team that just brought home its 24th state championship and a university that only a handful of years ago ranked No. 1 in Division II football in the country, Lowndes is full of the champion spirit.
March 21, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Staff reports that Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) will add three daily flights from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport starting June 19. Atlanta-based Delta is the largest global carrier at Sea-Tac and has more than tripled flights and destinations at Sea-Tac since 2012, offering 163 daily flights to more than 40 destinations.
March 21, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Katie Nussbaum reports that the month with the fewest days was another record-setting month for the Georgia Ports Authority. In February, 2.94 million tons of cargo were moved across all docks, a 9.9 percent increase from February 2016 and second only to January’s 3.01 million tons.
March 21, 2017 Brunswick News
Lindsey Adkison reports that Georgia Ports saw record growth again in February, following an all time high in January. It was the Georgia ports’ second-highest monthly tonnage ever, following 3.02 million tons in January. Collectively, the Brunswick and Savannah Ports saw a roughly 10 percent increase in imports and exports in February when compared to the previous year. Port officials attribute the growth to the expansion of the Panama Canal, which allows for an increase in cargo volume.
March 21, 2017 Gainesville Times
Jeff Gill reports that the Tennessee-Georgia border issue that caused a stir a few years ago may resurface at the Lake Lanier Association’s annual meeting Saturday. The event’s featured speaker will be Brad Carver, an Atlanta lawyer who spearheaded tweaking the state line in an effort to produce more water for Georgia and make it “drought-proof.”
March 21, 2017 Gwinnett Daily Post
Curt Yeomans reports that the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is gaining nearly 2,000 feet of frontage along the river in Suwanee as part of a new land purchase partially funded by a federal program that has been targeted for possible budget cuts by the White House.
March 21, 2017 Saporta Report
Jamil Zainaldin reports that last Thursday the White House released a budget that proposed the elimination of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). You may not be immediately familiar with its work, which grounds itself in disciplines that explore how people understand and express the human condition, such as history, literature, art, music, language, philosophy, and ethics, but you’ve felt its impact.
March 21, 2017 Georgia Times-Union
Terry Dickson reports that Wayne County residents agree the best place for coal ash from power plants is in a lined landfill; just not the one in their county. It’s more than a matter of NIMBY, the acronym for “not in my back yard.” In the case of Republic Services’ Broadhurst landfill, it’s more about not in our wetlands, say opponents of a plan under which Republic would ship by train 10,000 tons of ash daily for disposal.
March 21, 2017 WABE 90.1
Amy Kiley reports that a proposed sales tax to create a steady stream of funding for the arts in Atlanta appears to be dead. Mayor Kasim Reed needed Georgia lawmakers to sign off on the plan in order to put it before voters as a referendum in November. The idea was to let constituents decide whether they wanted to pay a one-tenth of a penny tax to support music, dance, theater or other artistic ventures in the city.
March 21, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that the House Insurance Committee on Monday passed revamped legislation to reduce “surprise billing,’’ in which patients using hospitals in their insurance network may still get unexpected bills from doctors who are not in the network.
March 21, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that his Republican rivals call him “Darth Vader,” a “lightweight liberal” and a “puppet of the left.” Fellow Democrats vow to block his “coronation” and paint him as an outsider. More than $1 million has already been spent to bog down his candidacy. Democrat Jon Ossoff has transformed the race for suburban Atlanta’s 6th Congressional District, and his soaring donations and groundswell of support from energized Democrats have fast painted a shiny target on his back as he scrambles to flip Tom Price’s ruby-red turf.
March 20, 2017 Gwinnett Daily Post
Staff reports that Walton Electric Membership Corporation has given back nearly $4.5 million to the community by collecting spare change through its Operation Round Up program, which started in 1998, according to a recent news release. The community service assistance program allows its customer-owners to round up their monthly electric bills to the nearest dollar, with the difference benefiting local charities, individuals in need and service organizations.
March 20, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Jennifer Hafer reports that Georgia’s forest industry dates all the way back to colonial times, when the British crown claimed the state’s live oaks and longleaf pines for shipbuilding. The live oaks were used for the framework of ships, while the gum from the pines was used to waterproof a ship’s wooden joints, fill in the gaps between joints and waterproof the sails.
March 20, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Russell Grantham reports that Georgia’s highest-paid company executive in 2015 no longer holds that distinction, thanks to a big pay cut last year — but he still got more than $13.8 million. In 2015, CEO Frank Bisignano took home almost $51.6 million in total compensation, making him the highest-paid CEO that year at a Georgia public company.
March 20, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
David Allison reports that the completion of Southern Co.'s long-delayed new clean coal power plant in Mississippi has been delayed again. The Atlanta-based energy giant (NYSE: SO), which had previously said it expected to place the plant in service by mid-March, reported March 16 that on March 9 it discovered leaks that will cause it to miss that deadline.
March 20, 2017 Georgia Health News
Naomi Thomas reports that nearly everyone has undergone an X-ray or MRI, whether it’s a screening mammogram or an examination of a bone that might be broken, and demand for these tests is growing as Georgians age. That means an excellent job market for people who have the right temperament and who are willing to earn a two-year associate’s degree and pass a state certification test to be a radiologic or MRI technologist.
March 20, 2017 WABE 90.1
Adhita Bandlamudi reports that Georgia Senate passed SB 201 that would require employers to let workers use their sick days to take care of a child, parent, or any dependent listed on tax returns.State Rep. Brian Strickland (R-McDonough) is sponsoring the bill in the House.
March 20, 2017 WABE 90.1
Elly Yu reports that the director of Georgia's state agency for child welfare services said changes to a bill approved by a Senate panel Thursday evening could put millions of dollars in federal funding at risk. Republican senators approved a change to a 100-page bill intended to modernize the state’s adoption laws.
March 20, 2017 Saporta Report - Opinion
Dink Nesmith writes, if fictional detective Sherlock Holmes were roaming the halls of the Georgia General Assembly, he could give an “elementary” clue why the proposed strengthening of coal-ash handling died before 2017’s Crossover Day. “My dear Watson,” the pipe-smoking sleuth would say, “follow the money.” That’s what I’ve been doing since January 2016. That’s when we learned America’s second-largest waste-management company, Republic Services, was planning to send daily shipments of 100 railcars of toxic coal ash to its private landfill in my hometown.
March 20, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Greg Bluestein reports that Republican Bob Gray hired the staffers who quit a rival campaign’s staff en masse after complaining she couldn’t pay their campaign bills, the latest move in an increasingly bitter race to represent a suburban Atlanta district.
March 17, 2017 GPB
Staff reports that the Trump administration unveiled its proposed 2018 budget Thursday morning. Unsurprisingly, the budget calls for significant increases in military and border security spending while dramatically reducing the funding for a number of other government agencies. Several of those cuts, including reductions at the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will affect a variety of Georgia-based programs that receive federal funding.
March 17, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Randy Southerland reports that in Macon, downtown streets are bustling and a growing number of loft apartments have revitalized once-abandoned buildings like the historic Dannenberg, a former department store built in 1903. Apartment occupancy rates are running around 95 percent in downtown, and builders can’t seem to keep up with demand.
March 17, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Michael E. Kanell reports that metro Atlanta unemployment rate rose in January to 5.3 percent from 5.0 percent in December, the government reported Thursday. A year ago, the jobless rate for the region was 5.2 percent. Since then, metro Atlanta has added nearly 100,000 jobs – while even more people have entered or re-entered the labor force looking for work.
March 17, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Douglas Sams reports that a new high-rise apartment tower overlooking Piedmont Park should be underway by July, says the developer of the project. Lennar Multifamily Communities LLC expects it will begin vertical construction on the building this summer, with Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart as the architect, said Chris Cassidy, the company’s division president in Atlanta.
March 17, 2017 Georgia State University
Andrea Jones reports that Georgia State University has been recognized by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) as one of 14 public higher education institutions leading student success through the effective use of student-level data.
March 17, 2017 Emory University
Kimber Williams reports that a few days before President Trump issued his first executive order limiting travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Emory University staff and administrators were already working behind the scenes to strengthen a support network for international students and scholars.
March 17, 2017 Georgia Tech
Laura Diamond reports that a safer medical device used to remove unwanted tissue and to stop bleeding won Georgia Tech’s InVenture Prize Wednesday night. The four biomedical engineering students behind CauteryGuard redesigned an electrocautery device by adding a retractable tip.
March 17, 2017 Mercer University
Kyle Sears reports that Young Harris College President and former Georgia Secretary of State Cathy Cox has been appointed dean of Mercer University’s School of Law, effective July 1. She will succeed Daisy Hurst Floyd, who has served as dean since 2014, after serving in the position from 2004 to 2010.
March 17, 2017 Athens Banner Herald
Lee Shearer reports that the state Board of Regents has given the go-ahead for a huge expansion and renovation at the west end of Sanford Stadium, where the UGA football team plays its home games.
March 17, 2017 Saporta Report
Maria Saporta reports that after Invest Atlanta’s Downtown Development Authority approved the conceptual master plan for the redevelopment of Underground Atlanta, developer T. Scott Smith signaled he would be working closely with the community going forward. The meeting included several downtown advocates who objected to elements of the plan – especially the amount of parking currently planned.
March 17, 2017 Albany Herald
Staff reports that all across Georgia, businesses, industries, governments, nonprofit organizations and individuals are “greening” the state by protecting water resources and have the chance to be recognized with the upcoming Clean 13 report. The Georgia Water Coalition said it will recognize 13 entities that have accomplished “extraordinary” work to protect, preserve and restore Georgia’s rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands and coast.
March 17, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced an additional $3.178 million to the State Forestry Commission (SFC) for new fire prevention aircraft and technology upgrades. The funding was appropriated in the amended FY17 budget.
March 17, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that a state Senate health committee Thursday approved a bill to offer optional testing of Georgia newborns for Krabbe disease, a rare genetic disorder. The form of Krabbe that strikes newborns is caused by a change, or mutation, in the gene that carries the blueprints for an enzyme called galactosylceramidase, which is crucial to wrapping protective insulation called myelin around nerves. Without it, the brain and nerves deteriorate.
March 17, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that Georgia’s race for governor is expected to formally kick off within weeks, but the emerging contest is still shrouded in mystery. Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Democratic House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams are all but guaranteed to enter the 2018 race, likely after the legislative session ends.
March 16, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Brittini Ray and Will Peebles report, it's been less than a year since Chris Gimenez opened the retro-themed Totally Awesome Bar on Whitaker Street. And now, the basement bar owner says he and his staff are ready to take on Savannah’s famous St. Patrick’s Day storm.
March 16, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Jeffrey Humphreys writes, from military growth and tourism to new industry announcements and stronger home sales, there is much to celebrate in Columbus-Muscogee County, with nonagricultural employment expected to increase by 1.2 percent or 1,500 jobs in 2017.
March 16, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Kelly Yamanouchi reports that as spring travelers head to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in coming weeks, they may notice an expanded main security checkpoint and encounter some new screening procedures. The widened switchback area at the domestic terminal’s main checkpoint is expected to help reduce back-ups into the atrium and the rest of the terminal, and to make room for future growth.
March 16, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Digital Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE: DLR) is bulking up with a $22 million expansion in Atlanta, a major data center hub. The San Francisco-based data center operator will lease 50,000 square feet at 250 Williams St. in downtown Atlanta. About 18,000 square feet of that will be "raised-floor" space — the area where servers and computers that power a data center are stored.
March 16, 2017 Athens Banner Herald
Staff reports, in 2016, U.S. Hispanic buying power was larger than the gross domestic product of Mexico. That’s just one of the telling statistics that illustrates the unprecedented economic clout of U.S. minority groups in the latest Multicultural Economy Report from the University of Georgia Terry College of Business.
March 16, 2017 Newnan Times-Herald
Rebecca Leftwich reports that information about the Georgia Consortium for Advanced Technical Training and its German-style apprenticeship program is now just a couple of keyboard strokes away. GA CATT has launched a new website, www.gacatt.com, with overviews of the program aimed at potential participants from both the manufacturer side and the student side.
March 16, 2017 Marietta Daily Journal
Staff reports that a bill sponsored by state Sen. Lindsey Tippins, R-west Cobb, could allow local school districts to choose which and how many tests their students would take. Senate Bill 211 would look at ways for students to take fewer tests while still providing the school districts, teachers and state education department the information they need to determine student growth and achievement, said Tippins, who chairs the Senate Education Committee.
March 16, 2017 Rome News Tribune
Staff reports, allowing physicians for visiting sports teams to legally treat athletes in Georgia without a state license took a step forward on Wednesday, with the House voting 169-0 in favor of Senate Bill 47. The bill moves back to the Senate with one word change, said Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, who is the main sponsor.
March 16, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that Dr. Raj Miniyar, a Rome pediatrician, opened a new practice in nearby Trion a year ago. That office became the only pediatric practice in Trion, in the center of a rural county in northwest Georgia where 28 percent of children live in poverty.
March 16, 2017 WABE 90.1
Martha Dalton reports that Gov. Nathan Deal has said his top priority this year is to address struggling schools. That's what House Bill 338 aims to do. The plan creates a "Chief Turnaround Officer" to oversee low-performing schools. But there's disagreement on who that person should report to.
March 16, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Greg Bluestein reports that candidates and outside groups have already spent more than $3.7 million for an advertising blitz in the campaign for former Rep. Tom Price’s suburban Atlanta seat, and that tally will grow significantly with one month left until the special election and three months until a likely final vote.
March 15, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Luxottica Group, a leading eyewear designer, manufacturer and distributor, will create 1,000 jobs with the expansion of its North American distribution facility in Henry County by the end of 2017.
March 15, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Christy Simo reports on new projects in Buford, Carroll County, Columbus and more. Displayit Inc. is moving its headquarters in Buford. The product and service provider for tradeshow exhibitors will open a 75,000-square-foot facility in Gwinnett County and add about 50 more employees over the next few years.
March 15, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Shelby Lin Erdman reports that outdoor specialty store chain Gander Mountain followed the lead of other sporting goods retailers in recent months and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday. The Minnesota-based retailer, which specializes in hunting, fishing and camping equipment, said in a press release that it will close 32 “under-performing retail locations” out of its 162 stores over the next few weeks.
March 15, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Urvaksh Karkaria reports that office suite-leasing giant Regus Group plc is eyeing North Fulton for its Spaces co-working brand. The Luxembourg-based company has scouted at least five sites for about 30,000 square feet, including a 224,000-square-foot office tower under construction at Avalon, an 83-acre mixed-use development.
March 15, 2017 Georgia Tech
Lance Wallace reports that for the second consecutive year, Georgia Tech's College of Engineering is ranked No. 7 overall, and No. 3 among public universities, by U.S. News and World Report. The annual rankings of graduate programs once again tabs Industrial Engineering as the top program in the country. Aerospace Engineering and Civil Engineering are each No. 2. All 11 programs within the College of Engineering are ranked in the top 10.
March 15, 2017 Emory University
Elaine Justice reports that Emory University’s graduate schools and programs are ranked among the best in the nation, according to analysis and surveys released today in U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “America’s Best Graduate Schools” guide. Emory's schools of nursing, business, law, medicine and public health are the top-ranked schools in Georgia in their respective categories, and several other Emory entities were ranked this year.
March 15, 2017 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Tony Adams reports that two companies with their headquarters in Columbus have been named among the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” by Ethisphere Insttitute. Aflac, with its corporate offices on Wynnton Road, and TSYS, its campus overlooking the Chattahoochee River in downtown Columbus, both are on the 2017 list that includes Ford Motor Co., Microsoft, Pepsico, Starbucks, Target, Mastercard and Visa — 124 firms in all, spanning 19 countries and 52 industry sectors.
March 15, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Staff reports that Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) has upgraded its serviceware to first class. The Atlanta-based airline tapped design company Alessi to create a “modern, stylish and functional” line of service products and tableware, which will appear in-flight beginning April 1. This marks the first time the design company has appeared in flight with a major airline with such a comprehensive program.
March 15, 2017 Georgia Times-Union
Terry Dickson reports that blueberry and peach farmers across South Georgia were bracing from some late harsh licks from a mild winter as temperatures were expected to drop below 30 degrees in the growing area, officials said. Bacon County, Georgia’s self-proclaimed blueberry capital, is forecast to have a low of 28 degrees Wednesday night and that would be enough to damage existing fruit and blooms, said Renee Allen, the area blueberry agent for the Georgia Extension Service.
March 15, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday that he supports congressional Republicans’ effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but also said he wants more details on the GOP plan to replace the law – and its potential effects on Georgia. “We’re still looking at the implications’’ of the American Health Care Act, the proposal that’s moving through the U.S. House, Deal told GHN in an interview.
March 15, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein and James Salzer report that Gov. Nathan Deal has signed dozens of measures since taking office that carve out hundreds of millions of dollars in special tax breaks. But he’s opposed more substantive changes to the tax code that powerful Republican lawmakers have long championed. Deal recently warned candidates aiming to replace him when he leaves office in 2019 to defy the “temptation” of broad tax changes that could jeopardize Georgia’s fiscal health.
March 14, 2017 GlobalAtlanta.com
With a Little Help From the State, Georgia Small Businesses Not Shy of Selling in International Markets
Phil Bolton reports that while imports flood the U.S. with the January 2017 numbers the highest in years, a slight shift downward in the value of the dollar and an upward tick in the growth of overseas markets could boost exports and bring the trade deficit more into balance.
March 14, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Ralph Ellis reports that Southwest Georgia, one of the poorest regions in the state, is sitting – literally – on a new project that, while controversial, could in the long run have a positive economic impact on the entire area. The 515-mile Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline, which starts in Alabama, will run through nine South Georgia counties before heading to Florida.
March 14, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Russell Grantham reports that two SunTrust Banks executives who were recently involved in a leadership shuffle saw substantial increases in pay last year. Mark Chancy’s pay jumped from almost $3.3 million in 2015 to over $6.4 million last year.
March 14, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Staff reports that AGCO (NYSE: AGCO) plans to buy Lely Group’s forage division for an undisclosed amount. The unit makes balers and loader wagons in Europe. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017, Duluth, Ga.-based AGCO said.
March 14, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Amy Wenk reports that Atlanta’s sixth-largest hotel has sold for $64.2 million, according to Fulton County court records. An affiliate of Arden Group has acquired the 763-room Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, according to JLL, which arranged the sale on behalf of the sellers, affiliates of Amerimar Enterprises and Contrarian Capital.
March 14, 2017 Saporta Report
David Pendered reports that at the end of a dirt path that touches the Yellow River in Newton County, one piece of the future of Georgia’s network of water trails is taking shape – a network that now has the blessings of the state House of Representatives.
March 14, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Maggie Lee reports that folks who use prepaid cell phone plans might see a state 911 fee go up by 75 cents. The charge is part of a larger legislative plan that some 911 bosses say is very timely. Right now, buying prepaid wireless phone service means a 75 cent fee every time a user buys more days. Senate Bill 222 would double that to $1.50.
March 14, 2017 Brunswick News
Gordon Jackson reports that critics of the Hidden Predator Act predicted an onslaught of frivolous civil suits leading to needless witch hunts when the legislation was approved two years ago. The legislation’s sponsor, state Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, said only six lawsuits have been filed since the legislation was enacted, and he’s not surprised.
March 14, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price of Georgia, said Monday in a statement that a provision of the Affordable Care Act allows waivers “to modify existing laws or create something entirely new to meet the unique needs of their communities.” The ACA, also known as Obamacare, is the target of repeal efforts in Congress. But it remains in force, along with the waiver provision noted by Price.
March 14, 2017 GPB
Adhita Bandlamudi reports that Georgia’s breweries and distilleries got one step closer to being able to sell their products directly to customers as Senate Bill 85 passed through the House today. Right now, breweries have to go through alcohol wholesalers to sell their product to retailers.
March 14, 2017 New York Times
Tina Rosenberg writes, Kalif Robinson is a star at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He’s a straight-A senior, majoring in economics and minoring in Arabic. In the fall he’ll start a two-year Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship, studying foreign affairs in Washington, D.C., training to be a diplomat.
March 14, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Tamar Hallerman reports that many Georgia Republicans scrambled to re-frame the health care conversation Monday on Capitol Hill after the release of a nonpartisan report that estimated that 24 million fewer people would be on the health insurance rolls by 2026 under GOP leaders’ Obamacare replacement plan compared to the current law.
March 13, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Linda S. Morris reports that a residential window manufacturer in Macon has steadily been increasing its production and adding jobs since it opened here 10 years ago. And it is looking to continue that trend. Since 2007, YKK AP America, a subsidiary of Japan-based YKK Corporation of America, has been manufacturing vinyl windows for new residential construction and replacement purposes at its Macon plant, which employs about 200 people.
March 13, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Mary Ann Demuth reports that the Academy Awards had serious competition recently from the inaugural Georgia Engineering Excellence Awards – and there were no winner mix-ups. The American Council of Engineering Companies of Georgia (ACEC Georgia) and the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers (GSPE) hosted the celebration of our state’s exceptional engineers, engineering projects and industry achievements. More than 400 were on hand at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center to applaud wining projects designed by Georgia engineers across the Southeast.
March 13, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Kelly Yamanouchi reports that when spring break travelers head to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, they may notice an expanded main security checkpoint designed to better handle lines during busy periods. The widened switchback queuing area at the domestic terminal’s main security checkpoint is expected to help reduce how much the lines back up into the atrium and the rest of the terminal, and make room for future growth.
March 13, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle, Savannah Morning News
Mark Meltzer reports that a developer has a new plan for a long dormant site east of downtown Savannah, the Savannah Morning News reports. Construction of a mixed-use development could begin early next year at the 56-acre Savannah River Landing site, if the city approves a new master plan to build residential, retail, hospitality and office space.
March 13, 2017 WABE 90.1
Adhita Bandlamudi reports that tiny houses are gaining popularity across the country in cities like Seattle, San Francisco and New York. In Atlanta, current zoning laws prohibit tiny houses. A new proposed piece of legislation could change that fact. Tiny homes are usually 750 square feet or less. To some, they are the perfect solution for affordable and sustainable housing in urban areas.
March 13, 2017 Gainesville Times
Jeff Gill reports,vilified years ago as a potential Hall County road project, the Northern Connector surfaced again last week — to some degree. A road spanning North Hall by connecting Thompson Bridge Road/Ga. 60 to Ga. 365 is still off the radar as a project.
March 13, 2017 Athens Banner Herald
Staff reports that Georgia Prospers, a business coalition devoted to promoting an inclusive and welcoming environment for employees, customers and visitors in Georgia, now has more than 600 members across the state, crossing that milestone earlier this month. The organization was founded in response to legislative efforts in Georgia to enact a “religious liberty” bill, an effort that was turned back by Gov. Nathan Deal last year, and that likely won’t get any definitive action in the current legislative session.
March 13, 2017 Georgia State University
LaTina Emerson reports that Dr. Christopher Basler, a professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University, director of the university’s Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Microbial Pathogenesis, has received a five-year, $4.1 million federal grant to develop a drug targeting Ebola virus.
March 13, 2017 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Tony Adams reports that call center company Convergys needs more than 150 employees for its 1838 Victory Drive facility in Columbus. To accomplish that, the Georgia Department of Labor’s Columbus Career Center will host a recruiting event 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 16. The career center is located at 700 Veterans Parkway.
March 13, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Dave Williams reports that the Georgia House of Representatives voted unanimously Friday to form a 15-member council of House lawmakers to look for ways to boost the economy of rural Georgia. Council members will be appointed by House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, who made the proposal one of his top priorities for this year's General Assembly session.
March 13, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Tamar Hallerman reports that former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue plans to step down from his business holding company and restructure his family trusts in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest should the Senate confirm him to be secretary of agriculture, according to new federal ethics documents.
March 10, 2017 Saporta Report
David Pendered reports that Georgia and Florida have split a bill of $430,325.19 charged by the special master who managed the Supreme Court lawsuit over river flow from Georgia into Florida. This may be the first time court costs associated with the case have emerged. More payments are pending. Typically, state officials have referred to, “costs associated with water litigation.
March 10, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Susan Percy reports on honors for Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, a new child advocate for the state and Gov. Deal appoints two education board members.
March 10, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Kelly Yamanouchi reports that JetBlue Airways is pushing for prime gate space at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as it prepare to launches flights in Atlanta at the end of this month. New York-based JetBlue plans to start flights from Atlanta to Boston on March 30, but says in a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it had expected to be able to operate out of Concourse E at the Atlanta airport.
March 10, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Dave Williams reports that Georgia lawmakers heard pushback Thursday to legislation that would let the state collect tolls permanently on the toll roads being built across metro Atlanta. The bill, which passed the Georgia Senate last week and is now before the state House of Representatives, would allow the State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) to continue collecting tolls after the bonds financing a toll project have been paid off if repaying the bonds is not the "primary or exclusive" purpose of the tolls.
March 10, 2017 GPB
Michael Caputo reports that Bonita Johnson suffers with the lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. Twice she went to the hospital emergency room because she had trouble breathing, the last time about a year ago. That ER was in Monroe County Hospital in Forsyth.
March 10, 2017 Newnan Times-Herald
Maggie Bowers reports that the wait continues for the proposed Newnan Behavioral Hospital, a 75-bed mental health facility planned for the now-unused, former Piedmont Newnan Hospital located at 60 Hospital Road. Officials with US HealthVest, LLC, the company seeking to open the facility in Coweta, remain hopeful that the June approval for a certificate of need from the Georgia Department of Community Health will hold despite opposition from a nearby competing hospital.
March 10, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that the Legislature’s recent injection of funding for nursing home surveyors will help the state address the increasing backlog of patients’ complaints, officials said Thursday. Nurses who respond to nursing home complaints will get higher starting pay, and veteran RNs will get a salary increase, under new funding inserted into state budgets.
March 10, 2017 Georgia State Univ.
Starting Up - Video game company founded at Georgia State expands with major venture capital investment
Jeremy Craig report that Kynton Stephens’ long-time idea for a video game now has a major shot in the arm to become a player in Atlanta’s entertainment industry. The company he founded at Georgia State University, Spray ‘n Pray Studios, has received a multimillion-dollar injection of venture capital funds, the lifeblood needed for startups to grow to prominence.
March 10, 2017 Gwinnett Daily Post
Curt Yeomans reports that weeks after WestRock announced it was taking 800 jobs from Gwinnett to the Sandy Springs area, a claims management solutions company located in the perimeter announced it will take about 500 jobs in the opposite direction. Crawford and Company officials said on Thursday that they will move their corporate headquarters, along with the hundreds of employees, from the Perimeter Center area in Atlanta to a new home at 5335 Triangle Parkway in Peachtree Corners this spring.
March 10, 2017 Marietta Daily Journal
Jon Gargis reports that Cobb commissioners on Tuesday could put to rest the issue of the county’s $14 million commitment toward transportation improvements around SunTrust Park — exactly one month before the Atlanta Braves play their first regular season game in their new home.
March 10, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein and Tamar Hallerman report that the long delay for the U.S. Senate to set a confirmation hearing for Sonny Perdue as agricultural secretary could soon be over. The former Georgia governor’s paperwork has been sent to the Senate, according to a source with direct knowledge of the development, meaning that lawmakers should soon begin to formally vet the Republican.
March 9, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Michael E. Kanell reports that Georgia’s unemployment rate started the year at 5.5 percent in January, the same rate as in December, the state labor department said Thursday. However, the state added 6,500 jobs during the month, just more than average for a January.
March 9, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Susan Percy writes, immigration bans, religious intolerance, late-night firings, disdain for distinguished public servants, disregard for the right to speak one’s mind – all in the early days of the new administration. Is this what we want? Regardless of party affiliation, political leanings or convenient labels: Is this who we are?
March 9, 2017 Georgia Tech
Laura Diamond reports that Chick-fil-A will open an Innovation Satellite Office in Georgia Tech’s Tech Square at the historic Biltmore this summer. The 6,000-square-foot facility will allow Chick-fil-A to collaborate with Georgia Tech faculty and students to develop technology solutions that will benefit restaurant customers. These include design, innovation and development projects.
March 9, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Amanda Hoyle reports that Rise Biscuits Donuts is about to go national in a big way. For the past couple of years, founder Tom Ferguson has been tweaking his Durham company’s franchise model, focusing on expanding the brand across the Triangle and into North Carolina’s other big metro areas.
March 9, 2017 Augusta Chronicle
Tom Corwin reports, when Drs. Matthew Lyon and Robert Gibson went looking for a cheap, portable 3-D ultrasound to use in their research, they couldn’t find one. So they are making their own and, in the process, could come up with a device that can be used on the sidelines to more conclusively diagnose concussions and other head injuries in sports.
March 9, 2017 New York Times
Evelyn Nieves reports that Monroe, Ga., population 13,250, is an old cotton town that sits comfortably between Atlanta, about an hour to the west, and Athens, a half-hour east. Travelers might call it a highway exit, a pleasant pit stop between two of the state’s most popular cities, and leave it at that. Stephanie Calabrese, a documentary photographer, sees it differently. Under her gaze, this quintessential Southern town — technically a city, though no one calls it that — is endlessly fascinating.
March 9, 2017 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Tony Adams reports that for the fourth time in five years, Pam Joseph has been named one of 25 “Most Influential Women in Payments” in the world. Joseph, who is president and chief operating officer at Columbus-based TSYS, graced the PaymentsSource list in 2013, 2014 and 2015, before retiring as vice chair of payment services at U.S. Bancorp. That retirement lasted briefly until her hiring at the credit-card and payments processor in May 2016.
March 9, 2017 WABE 90.1
Johnny Kauffman reports that thousands of metro Atlanta voters would find themselves in different state House districts under a Republican plan that Democrats allege reduces the influence of minority voters. Similar moves in other states have been challenged in federal courts, according to experts in voting law. If the Georgia plan is approved by the Republican dominated legislature, and Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, it could also be open to legal challenges.
March 9, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that Georgia House speaker said Wednesday that while he hasn’t had time to study the new Republican health care plan in Congress, he has initial concerns about it. David Ralston, a Republican from Blue Ridge, told attendees at the Atlanta Press Club that he has some worry that Georgia, as a state that has not expanded Medicaid, may be hurt under the new plan.
March 9, 2017 Saporta Report
Maria Saporta reports, in a talk to the Atlanta Press Club Wednesday, Georgia House Speaker David Ralston spent a great portion of the speech talking about transit. Ralston had already made news in January when he proposed setting up a House Commission to study transit. He also made a point that the Commission was not being put together to “take over” any existing transit agency (a point that was welcomed by MARTA officials at the time).
March 9, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal demanded Georgia’s superintendent explain what he’s doing to reverse a “downward spiral of failure” of struggling schools, as the state education chief steps up his argument that he should be in the middle of any major school turnaround effort. In a series of letters, Deal noted that the number of “chronically failing schools” increased since state Superintendent Richard Woods’ 2014 election, while the schools chief countered that “effectively turning school performance around will take time.”
March 8, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Georgia’s net tax collections for February totaled approximately $1.17 billion, for a decrease of $70 million, or -5.6 percent, compared to February 2016. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled $14.23 billion, for an increase of $498.4 million, or 3.6 percent, over last year, when net tax revenues totaled $13.73 billion.
March 8, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Karen Kirkpatrick reports, we all know about mainstream universities and colleges, but there’s a whole world out there of specialized education that can help train you for a career. Think higher education options in Georgia range from technical colleges to state universities or private institutions with few offerings outside those boxes? Well, think again.
March 8, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Kelly Yamanouchi reports, as Delta Air Lines renovates its gate areas at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, one feature is gaining unexpected attention: Seats that some passengers say are too hard and uncomfortable. The new seats are made of a solid black polyurethane material, making them durable and easy to clean.
March 8, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Douglas Sams reports, these days it’s becoming harder to develop a suburban office project unless you make it feel somewhat urban. Pope & Land Enterprises is taking that new reality to heart, adding apartments to the development plans for its long-held 24-acre project known as Northwinds. The change to a more walkable mixed-use environment reflects the transformation of the suburbs to a less autocentric existence, with new rental and for-sale housing in walking distance of chef-driven restaurants and street-level retail.
March 8, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Mary Landers reports that Houston-based Kinder Morgan announced last week it’s selling a 49 percent share of the liquefied natural gas export facility under construction at Elba Island for $385 million. Investment funds managed by EIG Global Energy Partners are the joint venture participant in Elba Liquefaction Company, L.L.C., which will own the equipment to be constructed as part of the Elba Liquefaction Project at Kinder Morgan’s existing Southern LNG Company, L.L.C. facility about five miles downriver from downtown Savannah.
March 8, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Andrea Honaker reports that Emmanuel Little can count on one hand the number of teachers he had growing up who looked like he does. When he talks with black male students at college fairs about going into teaching, sometimes it’s the first time they’ve even considered the possibility. “You can’t be what you can’t see,” he said. “Nationwide, less than 2 percent of all teachers are black males. (Teaching) was never even something I thought about growing up.”
March 8, 2017 Georgia State Univ.
Andrea Jones reports that Georgia State University continues to lead the nation in graduating black students, according to a new report of “Top Performing Institutions for Black Students” released March 1 by The Education Trust, a non-profit education research organization. The report examines graduation rates for African-American students and the completion gap between black and white students at 676 public and private nonprofit institutions, as well as four-year, for-profit institutions.
March 8, 2017 University of Georgia
Mark Risse reports that Congressman Buddy Carter toured the oyster hatchery at the University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant and met with a shellfish grower who is working with UGA to grow single oysters in an effort to diversify the coastal economy. Carter, along with Jared Downs, a member of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson's staff, spent Feb. 24 at the hatchery on Skidaway Island, learning about UGA's effort to revive the oyster industry in Georgia.
March 8, 2017 GlobalAtlanta.com
Phil Bolton reports that it's more than a mere coincidence that Kennesaw State University’s “Year of Russia” is taking place as so many headline grabbing controversies swirl around U.S.-Russian relations. The university’s annual country study program has been taking a wide-ranging look at a specific country or region every academic year since 1984.
March 8, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports, how would the new health care plan proposed by congressional Republicans affect Georgia? Much of the impact has yet to be analyzed. Under many of the plan’s elements, though, the states would be treated similarly. A spokeswoman Tuesday said Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, is reviewing the GOP congressional plan “and engaging with federal and state officials to assess its impact on Georgia.’’
March 8, 2017 New York Times
Eric Lipton and Steve Eder report, in Sonny Perdue’s telling, Georgians were growing weary of the corruption and scandals in their state when he took over as governor in 2003 — a time when he gave his own version of a “drain the swamp” pledge. “My first goal as governor is to restore public trust in state government by changing the culture of state government,” Mr. Perdue told a leadership conference at Kennesaw State University in April 2003.
March 8, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that fresh off a key legal victory in the decades-long water war with Florida, Georgia leaders are scrambling to shore up glaring weaknesses exposed by the litigation while bracing for a new fight in Congress that could undercut the state’s courtroom success.
March 7, 2017 Mercer University
Staff reports that Mercer University’s Center for Southern Studies will award the 2017 Sidney Lanier Prize for Southern Literature to novelist, short story writer and poet Ellen Gilchrist on April 22. The prize honors significant career contributions to Southern writing in drama, fiction or poetry.
March 7, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Karen Kirkpatrick reports, Cherokee County north of Atlanta is growing — with new residents and new businesses seemingly every day — and those folks need to be fed. The Ball Ground Burger Bus, home of craft burgers served in a repurposed c. 1948 electric trolley, is just the ticket.
March 7, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Mary Caldwell reports that if you're looking for a job, several metro Atlanta companies are making big hires this March. The following are a few that have posted large numbers of openings in a wide variety of skill sets, including links so you can apply.
March 7, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. Ltd. will invest $100 million in its northwest Georgia plant to make the world’s first 10-speed automatic transmission for front-drive vehicles. The 10-speed automatic transmission will initially appear in the 2018 Honda Odyssey minivan. The product will be rolled out to other Honda and Acura models over time.
March 7, 2017 Saporta Report
David Pendered reports that as computer hacking becomes a seemingly everyday occurrence, metro Atlanta is at the center of discussions because of its ranking as one of the nation’s major data center and home to one of the world’s largest data centers. A new report from CBRE, the real estate firm, lists Atlanta among the nation’s seven major data centers.
March 7, 2017 Brunswick News
Wes Wolfe reports that two coal ash regulation bills are kaput for the present legislative session, but the ideas behind them still have some life after actions taken late last week in the General Assembly. Thursday, state House Natural Resources and Environment Chairwoman Lynn Smith, R-Newnan, let it be known Rep. Jeff Jones’ coal ash bills — H.B. 377 and H.B. 378 — were not going to make it out of subcommittee in time to pass before the crossover deadline of the end of business Friday.
March 7, 2017 Gwinnett Daily Post
Curt Yeomans reports that a bill sponsored by state Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, to address a shortage of nurses in Georgia made its way across the Capitol to the House of Representatives this past week. Senate Bill 166, which was passed by the Senate on Tuesday, would allow registered nurses and licensed practical nurses use an enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact to hold one multistate license.
March 7, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Mary Landers reports that legislation that prohibits the construction of petroleum pipelines along the coast passed the state senate late last week. “(N)o permit shall be issued for any new petroleum pipeline or any extension within any area included within the Georgia coastal zone management program,” Senate Bill 191 states in part.
March 7, 2017 Marietta Daily Journal
Ross Williams reports that under current state law, if someone pays for sexual services from someone over 18 who they know to be a victim of human trafficking, that person can be charged with misdemeanor pandering. That charge could bring fines and prison time of up to one year. Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Marietta, said those who take advantage of sex slaves should face harsher penalties. House Bill 341, introduced by Reeves, would classify that conduct as a felony under the human trafficking statute, which could bring a sentence of ten to 20 years in prison.
March 7, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that the health care scoreboard on Crossover Day shows some expected results — and some surprises as well. A large number of health care bills had moved from one legislative chamber to the other by the end of Crossover, which was Friday, the 28th day of the 40-day legislative session. That’s the last day for a bill to move from one chamber of the Legislature to the other and thereby retain a path to becoming law this year.
March 7, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal has kept the door open for legislation that would legalize firearms on the state’s college campuses despite his vigorous veto of the legislation last year. The Republican said this week he is continuing to have conversations with the House supporters on the legislation, House Bill 280, though he did not elaborate on his concerns with the measure.
March 6, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that state Senate on Friday overwhelmingly approved a bill to require Georgia schools and child care centers to test for lead contamination in their water. The proposal, sponsored by Sen. Vincent Fort, an Atlanta Democrat, was passed by a 50-1 vote on Crossover Day. That’s the last day for a bill to move from one chamber of the Legislature to the other and thereby retain a path to becoming law this year.
March 6, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Karen Kirkpatrick reports that government or even quasi-government agencies aren’t generally known for being run like well-oiled machines. But the Henry County Water Authority is doing what it can to combat the stereotype. In fact, the HCWA, a quasi-governmental entity, is so well-run, it is the first utility or local authority to receive the Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s Business of the Year award.
March 6, 2017 WABE 90.1
Maegan Smith reports that a criminal investigation is underway to a possible data breach at Georgia's Center for Election Systems. That is the office at Kennesaw State University that manages the state's voting system. KSU released a statement today saying it is working with federal law enforcement to determine "whether and to what extent a data breach may have occurred involving records maintained by the Center for Elections Systems."
March 6, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Kelly Yamanouchi reports that with airport shuttle company SuperShuttle abruptly shutting down its operations in Atlanta this week, downtown Atlanta hotel managers say they liked having the service as an option, but the way travelers get around the city is changing.
March 6, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Melody Simmons reports that electronic retailers hhgregg is closing 88 stores nationwide, including four in metro Atlanta. The stores closing here are in Atlanta (Buckhead), Duluth, Lithonia and Morrow.
March 6, 2017 Brunswick News
Lindsey Adkison reports that in the Golden Isles, warm weather often means big business. Whether it is tourists flocking to hotels or diners enjoying outdoor restaurants, sunshine translates into a healthy bottom line for multiple industries. It is certainly something Dawn Hart knows well. The owner of Ace Garden Center, 2807 Demere Road, St. Simons Island, always sees an influx of business at her location as spring looms. And, she says, it’s been no different this year.
March 6, 2017 Georgia Tech
Staff reports that Georgia Tech was honored Thursday evening for the innovative and successful development of Technology Square. The Institute received the Visionary Award in the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2017 Best in Atlanta Real Estate Awards. Tech Square officially opened in 2003, and today the area is a thriving innovation ecosystem thanks to a vibrant network of students, faculty, researchers, startup entrepreneurs and global corporations.
March 6, 2017 Newnan Times-Herald
Kandice Bell reports that way consumers are shopping is evolving, and that trend may leave Coweta shoppers with fewer options for in-store purchases locally. According to University of West Georgia Economics Professor Dr. Mary Kassis, this shift from in-store to online shopping will result in fewer brick-and-mortar stores in the future.
March 6, 2017 Saporta Report
David Pendered reports that an effort to increase public notice about coal ash issues, and management of coal ash dumps, has stalled in the state Legislature. The proposals are dead for the year, unless advocates can attach them to legislation that is still under consideration. Coal ash is the residue of coal burnt to generate power. The federal Environmental Protection Agency monitors coal ash because of the dangers it presents.
March 6, 2017 Marietta Daily Journal
Ross Williams reports that Georgia’s adoption code may soon get an update. Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Marietta, has introduced a 100-page bill that he said will “modernize” adoption law. “The last time that Georgia’s adoption law was substantially worked on was 1990,” Reeves said. “So in the last 27 years, there have been a lot of changes, there have been a lot of adoption cases that have demonstrated flaws in our code section that have demonstrated a need for clarity in our code section. So what the goal was was to do a substantial revision or modernization of the code section and bring it up to 2017, essentially.”
March 6, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Mary Landers reports that coastal scientists look at Georgia’s latest efforts to redefine the reach of the Shore Protection Act and shake their heads. Existing research, some of which the Department of Natural Resources paid him to do, points toward a rational way to draw a so-called jurisdictional line at the beach, but the state isn’t using it, said Chester Jackson, assistant professor of geology at Georgia Southern University.
March 6, 2017 GPB
Jessica Taylor reports that for years, parents have been warning their college-age children to be careful what they post on social media. Now, one young candidate is learning this important lesson the hard way — everything you post can and will be used against you in politics. Jon Ossoff, 30, is running as a Democrat in a special election in Georgia. But the Congressional Leadership Fund, a superPAC aligned with GOP leadership, launched an attack ad Wednesday hitting him with some unflattering college footage.
March 6, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that Dan Moody launched his debut TV ad in the race for Georgia’s 6th District on Sunday, opening with a 60-second spot that features braying donkeys, stumbling elephants and a politician declaring himself ready to clean up after both of them. The former state senator from north Fulton County positioned himself in the ad as the consensus-builder who can clear the, er, muck out of Washington.
March 3, 2017 WABE 90.1
Tasnim Shamma reports that Georgia banks were having a rough time, even five years after the recession. Hundreds locked their doors and never reopened as customers defaulted on their loans. But in 2016, FDIC-insured banks in Georgia made $3 billion dollars in profit, a nearly 5 percent increase from 2015.
March 3, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Neely Young writes that only four presidents in our country’s history have been elected without approval of the common man and woman. Traditionally, leaders need to be identified as a person like us, with the traits that define good character. Integrity, honesty, compassion and fairness are all things that we look for in leaders, presidents included.
March 3, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Russell Grantham reports that Georgia Power is shelving its study of a site near Columbus for a new nuclear plant, saying it won’t be needed as soon as previously expected. In a letter Wednesday, the utility notified the Georgia Public Service Commission “of its intention to suspend work on the investigation of pursuing a new nuclear generation option.”
March 3, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Following an $11 million Series B investment last year, Atlanta-based MemberSuite is bulking up and moving to roomier digs.
March 3, 2017 Georgia Health News
Kristina Griffith reports that people who have lost a friend or loved one to opioid addiction know about naloxone. In December, Georgia became the 36th state to legalize over-the-counter sale of naloxone, which can save the life of someone who has overdosed on painkillers, heroin, or other opioid drugs. In the past, only someone with a doctor’s prescription could buy this medication at a pharmacy.
March 3, 2017 Cartersville Daily Tribune
Neil McGahee reports that not that long ago, Adairsville offered very little in the way of medical services, Harbin Clinic physician Robert Sullivan told an audience at Thursday’s monthly Eggs & Issues breakfast sponsored by the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce. “Now,” he said, “Adairsville has five family practice physicians, four nurse practitioners, three dentists and an oral surgeon, an eye doctor, three chiropractors, a veterinarian, two pharmacists and two physical therapists. We may be a sleepy town, but we sure are a healthy town.”
March 3, 2017 Augusta Chronicle
University Hospital will be first to use new testing system to cut time to identify causes of serious infections
Tom Corwin reports that University Hospital will be the first in the country to use a newly approved testing system that can cut the time to identify causes of serious infections from days to a couple of hours and also rapidly identify what specific antibiotic will work against it, officials said.
March 3, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Patty Tascarella reports that Kraft Heinz Co. has sold its condiments plant in the Lehigh Valley for $36.5 million, according to The Morning Call. The new owner is Atlanta-based Ridgeline Property Group, which plans to demolish the 907,610-square-foot facility to build warehouses. Kraft Heinz (Nasdaq:KHC) is jointly based in Pittsburgh and Chicago.
March 3, 2017 Rome News Tribune
Doug Walker reports that technology developed by a Rome company is literally shaking up the brewery industry. ShockWave Xtractor technology from Hydro Dynamics, Inc. is now being used at one of the nation’s oldest breweries, Anchor Brewing in San Francisco. Doug Mancosky, vice president for research and development at Hydro Dynamics, said the Xtractor technology forms unstable bubbles that release energy when they collapse or implode.
March 3, 2017 Albany Herald
Clint Thompson reports, if Georgia farmers want to maximize their profits, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension economist Amanda Smith says that, like all business owners, they first need to know their costs of production. Whether they’re talking about seed costs, fertilizer or fuel, farmers need to calculate their total expenses to maximize their profitability during the harvest season. That’s the message Smith has been communicating to producers during this year’s winter crop meetings.
March 3, 2017 GPB
Sam Whitehead reports that legislation that would mandate what percentage of Georgia Lottery revenue goes to education programs has passed the state Senate. The bill attempts to restore funding levels to those set in 1993 when the Georgia Lottery Corporation was established. “Changing the profitability of the lottery by even one percent per year will generate an extra $42 million for the lottery to be paid out in HOPE Scholarships and Pre-K support,” said Sen. Bill Cowsert (R - Athens), the bill’s sponsor.
March 3, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Greg Bluestein and Tamar Hallerman reports that Georgia politicians are preparing a new push for the infrastructure project that’s long been a top state priority, in hopes that President Donald Trump’s plan to inject $1 trillion into the country’s aging underbelly can add momentum to ongoing work to deepen Savannah’s port. Trump called for a “new program of national rebuilding” Tuesday during his first Capitol Hill address, pledging to create millions of new jobs while shoring up the nation’s bridges, highways and rail lines.
March 2, 2017 Saporta Report
David Pendered and Tom Baxter report that the honoree has been ailing lately, and wasn’t about to attend. But in an age of sharp political divisions, Zell Miller’s 85th birthday was celebrated Tuesday evening by as bipartisan a group as you’ll be likely to gather these days. The Miller Legacy Dinner, which is planned as an annual event, also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the lottery-funded Hope and pre-K programs.
March 2, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Karen Kirkpatrick reports, each year Georgia Trend honors 40 of the state’s best and brightest under the age of 40. Whether you know someone who’s making a difference on the national stage or is a mover and shaker in his or her corner of the state, if they are under 40 years old as of Oct. 1, 2017, we want to hear about them. The ideal candidate is someone who is successful in his or her profession and is passionate about community service.
March 2, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Russell Grantham reports that state-wide, Georgia’s 183 banks reported $3 billion in profits last year — a 4.8 percent increase over the previous year — from growing loan portfolios and higher interest rates. The full-year results were a slowdown from three months earlier, when the state’s banks were reporting profit growth of 6 percent for the first nine months of the year.
March 2, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Mark Meltzer reports that Delta Air Lines is testing new boarding procedures at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and New York’s Kennedy Airport that bring more order to boarding turbulence, The Wall Street Journal reports. Delta Senior vice president Bill Lentsch tells the Journal the procedures it is trying shave 30 to 60 seconds off a typical flight.
March 2, 2017 WABE 90.1
Stephannie Stokes reports that leaders of historically black colleges and universities in Atlanta are back home after a visit to the White House. Their trip ended Tuesday afternoon with President Donald Trump signing an executive order that he said supports HBCUs. The presidents of Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College and Morehouse College were among the dozens of HBCU leaders in attendance.
March 2, 2017 GPB
Celeste Headlee and Trevor Young report that Georgia Tech is creating what it calls the most environmentally friendly building in the Southeast. It collects its own water and solar power, and uses them to satisfy energy needs and irrigate nearby vegetation. This "living building" is on track to break ground later this year.
March 2, 2017 Georgia Tech, Emory University
Carol Clark reports that Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurodegenerative conditions involving abnormal folding of proteins, may help explain the emergence of life – and how to create it. Researchers at Emory University and Georgia Tech demonstrated this connection in two new papers published by Nature Chemistry: “Design of multi-phase dynamic chemical networks” and “Catalytic diversity in self-propagating peptide assemblies.”
March 2, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Dave Williams reports that Georgians would pay a flat state income tax of 5.4 percent under legislation that overwhelmingly cleared the Georgia House of Representatives Wednesday. The bill, which passed 126-40 and now moves to the state Senate, would replace the current graduated system, which taxes some Georgians as high as 6 percent.
March 2, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Maggie Lee reports that the state House has passed a bill that would open Georgia’s medical marijuana registry to more patients, but the next step looks likely to be a showdown with a narrower state Senate bill. “This is an expansion of what has been so far a very successful program allowing more hurting Georgians to potentially benefit from medical cannabis oil,” said state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, just before the state House passed his House Bill 65 by a vote of 165-6.
March 2, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that Uber is urging Georgia lawmakers to slam the brakes on a House proposal that would levy a 4 percent state sales tax on each trip with ride-hailing services, as well as allow cities to levy their own fees. Uber sent an email to thousands of its riders this week under the heading “stop your Uber prices from going up” that urged them to tell lawmakers to vote down House Bill 225.
March 1, 2017 AccessWDUN
Colin Ochs reports that a California-based e-commerce company is expanding to Forsyth County creating over 300 new jobs for the area. Sports Warehouse, a global retail supplier of sports and outdoor equipment, will renovate an old post office in south Forsyth, turning it into a distribution center for their tennis and running equipment in the Southeast that will begin operations in July.
March 1, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Susan Percy reports, if you’re keeping score, Georgia’s hospitality industry dodged a potentially lethal bullet from the state legislature last year but took a direct hit the year before. This year, its leaders are hopeful, but watchful. The industry, which includes restaurants, hotels and other kinds of lodging, and travel and tourism, counts itself fortunate to have avoided disaster, thanks to Gov. Nathan Deal’s veto of so-called “religious liberty” legislation passed by the 2016 General Assembly.
March 1, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Michael E. Kanell reports that Atlanta home prices ended a year of solid increase just 2.2 percent below their peak level of 2007, according to a much-watched national survey released Tuesday.
March 1, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
David Allison reports that a new ranking of top business schools places four in Georgia at No. 24, 27, 37 and 39 in North America. The rankings, published Feb. 28 by the University of Texas at Dallas, are different from many other university rankings because they are based on articles published in 24 peer-reviewed journals in the five-year period of 2012 to 2016, which is said to be a mechanism for business schools to benchmark their research productivity.
March 1, 2017 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Chuck Williams reports that W.C. Bradley Co. is poised to announce the largest real estate venture in its long history on Wednesday when it goes public with plans for a $52 million residential and retail complex along the Chattahoochee River in downtown Columbus. The company has called a 2 p.m. news conference to announce The Rapids at Riverfront Place. Earlier this week, company officials outlined the aggressive project that will add 226 new apartments in a five-story structure just north of the 13th Street bridge.
March 1, 2017 Georgia Times-Union
Terry Dickson reports that Georgia’s ports experienced their busiest month ever with double-digit growth across all business sectors, the Georgia Ports Authority said Friday. In Brunswick, bulk cargo more than doubled to 235,802 tons in January, an increase of 125,998 tons over the same month last year, the ports authority announced.
March 1, 2017 Saporta Report
Brendan Ozawa-DeSilva reports that 15 women incarcerated women at Lee Arrendale State Prison in Alto, Georgia are enrolled in an undergraduate degree program offered by Life University — the only accredited degree program in Georgia available to incarcerated persons, and the first in the state since 1994 — where they study the science, theory, and practice behind social, emotional, and ethical learning, with courses in psychology, sociology, peace studies, entrepreneurship, literature, and more.
March 1, 2017 Athens Banner-Herald
Staff reports that University of Georgia researchers are testing a possible treatment for a disease that’s affected as many as a fourth of the 700,000 troops who served in Operation Desert Storm and other Gulf War combat a quarter-century ago in 1990 and 1991. “Substantial cognitive, learning and motor deficits are among the most profound and debilitating effects of Gulf War illness,” said Nick Filipov, associate professor in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine’s physiology and pharmacology department.
March 1, 2017 WSB Radio
Natalie Dreier reports that if your Internet wasn't working, it could have been because of errors on Amazon's S3 cloud storage. On Monday, Feb. 28, many sites were failing fully, missing multimedia or running extremely slowly.
March 1, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Mary Carr Mayle reports that the Savannah Economic Development Authority on Tuesday awarded the engineering contract for its new 685-acre manufacturing park on Old River Road in west Chatham County to Savannah firms Thomas & Hutton and Hussey Gay Bell, approving an initial expenditure of $35,000 for Phase I of the project.
March 1, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that Georgia’s insurance commissioner has urged Tom Price, the new federal health secretary, to remove agents’ commissions from rules governing how insure companies spend the premium dollars they collect. The issue cited by Commissioner Ralph Hudgens in his letter to Price, a fellow Georgian, involves the “Medical Loss Ratio,” or MLR.
March 1, 2017 GPB
Sam Whitehead reports that this year could be a big one for school choice. State lawmakers are considering expanding a program that gives tax credits to Georgians who help bankroll private school scholarships. Supporters say the program gives students in public schools better access to other education options. But for many Georgians, especially those living in rural communities, those options are hard to find.
March 1, 2017 WABE 90.1
Martha Dalton reports that Georgia House approved a bill Tuesday that would increase the amount of money that could go toward Georgia’s tax credit scholarship program. Right now, Georgians who donate to Student Scholarship Organizations, or SSOs, get a dollar-for-dollar tax credit. Individuals can donate up to $1,000, and there’s a $2,500 limit for couples.
March 1, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, two former presidents on opposite sides of the political spectrum: They all united Tuesday to celebrate former Gov. Zell Miller in a bipartisan lovefest in honor of his 85th birthday. The dinner honored the Zell Miller Institute for Public Policy, a new player in Georgia politics dedicated to bipartisan policies and public service.
Feb. 28, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Staff reports that the Georgia Ports Authority and the Virginia Port Authority on Friday filed with the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to create the “East Coast Gateway Terminal Agreement.” The agreement encourages voluntary cooperation in the areas of operational and supply chain efficiencies, safety, communications and customer service. The agreement will enable the member ports to work together to find ways to become more efficient and effective, which will benefit the citizens of their respective states, as well as shippers and the carriers.
Feb. 28, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Kelly Yamanouchi reports that shared-ride airport shuttle operator SuperShuttle is pulling out of Atlanta, after facing stiff competition from ride-share services Uber and Lyft. The last day of SuperShuttle operations in Atlanta is Feb. 28. The company, which operates in dozens of airports across the country using its hallmark blue vans, lasted just over two years in Atlanta after launching services in November 2014.
Feb. 28, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Ellie Hensley reports that Jim Simpson is the new president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia, the health insurer, Kaiser Permanente announced Feb. 24. Previously Simpson served as interim president of the company in Georgia.
Feb. 28, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that five years ago, Grady Health System in Atlanta was racking up a $27 million loss. At the time, the job of Grady CEO appeared to be one of the least secure in the health industry: As of late 2011, there had been five chief executive officers in five years. That year, the Grady system had gone through a round of job cuts, and a patient had fallen to her death from a hospital window, prompting a federal investigation.
Feb. 28, 2017 Albany Herald
Jennifer Parks reports that nearly a dozen medical staff applicants, including five physicians, are looking to gain privileges at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, a recent credentials report said. There was a short agenda for the Phoebe Professional Affairs Committee on Monday, but there were several physicians and affiliate staff applicants, also known as mid-level providers, listed on the report before the committee as seeking privileges at the hospital.
Feb. 28, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Wayne Crenshaw reports that Robins Air Force Base pumped $2.86 billion into Georgia in 2016, according to the base’s annual economic impact statement. The impact marked a 4-percent increase from the previous year. The statement covers the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. It stated that 21,462 people are employed at the base.
Feb. 28, 2017 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Tony Adams reports that credit-card and electronic payment processor TSYS, headquartered here in Columbus, is laying the groundwork to open a card-production facility in the Ohio state capital of Columbus. “The primary function of it is it’s going to establish an in-house disaster recovery facility for our card-production business” in Columbus, Ga., TSYS spokesman Cyle Mims said Monday evening.
Feb. 28, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform last week delivered its 2017 report to Gov. Nathan Deal. The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer highlighted the progress of reform initiatives based on this report. Columbus Ledger-Enquirer: "A centerpiece achievement of Nathan Deal’s two terms as Georgia governor has been his focus on reforming the state’s criminal justice sentencing, probation and rehabilitation systems. Most significant changes proposed by political officials are called ‘reforms’; by all accounts, this really is one.
Feb. 28, 2017 Marietta Daily Journal
Ross Williams reports that the justice system has special procedures for children who commit crimes, based on the idea that they are less responsible for their actions and capable of growing into responsible, law-abiding adults. But Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn said there are times when juvenile court is not a solution.
Feb. 28, 2017 WABE 90.1
Tasnim Shamma reports that drivers in metro Atlanta have come to rely on HERO units, Highway Emergency Response Operators. Now Georgia’s Department of Transportation has launched a similar program for the rest of the state’s major highways. CHAMP, the Coordinated Highway Assistance and Maintenance Program (CHAMP) is similar to HERO.
Feb. 28, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that Jon Ossoff stood ramrod-straight and spoke in sparing phrases, as if a great burden rests on his 30-year-old shoulders. To hear from many of the 150 people who crowded a Dunwoody synagogue the other night to meet him, it’s easy to understand why. “The Republican side has been showing up to vote here for years, and we haven’t been energized,” said Melanie Manning, among the Democrats pinning her hopes on Ossoff. “Now we are. This election will be different.”
Feb. 27, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform delivered its 2017 report to Gov. Nathan Deal. The report includes findings on the success of previous criminal justice reform efforts and recommendations to build upon previous initiatives, including changes to probation and parole for returning citizens.
Feb. 27, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Kristen Reese reports, named for a Seinfeld character who faked her Chinese identity, Donna Chang’s is a wink and a nod to the kind of Americanized, hybridized Chinese food that also happens to be delicious. Husband-and-wife team Ryan and Shae Sims, both with cooking experience at Athens’ 5 & 10, are playing with Chinese food the way other serious chefs are reconstructing burgers and Mexican.
Feb. 27, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Najja Parker reports that axes can snatch out a big chunk of your paycheck, but some places take more than others. In fact, Georgia is one of them, ranking No. 8 for states where workers clear the least amount on pay day, according to GOBankingRates. Researchers kept in mind that nine states don't impose an income tax on your salary, eight states impose a flat tax rate, and the other 33 states including Washington, DC use alternative structures.
Feb. 27, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
David Allison reports that a giant deal involving Atlanta-based animal health company Merial has gotten a final green light from U.S. regulators. In the deal, announced last June, Boehringer Ingelheim has acquired Sanofi’s animal care subsidiary, Merial, valued at $13.53 billion, and Sanofi took over Boehringer Ingelheim’s consumer health care business unit, valued at $7.98 billion, as well as cash compensation of $5.54 billion.
Feb. 27, 2017 New York Times
Richard Faussett reports, it is 3 in the afternoon, and Anthony Palmer, 62, is behind the wheel of the beat-up, retrofitted and rebranded bread truck that is Anthony’s Rolling Store. Today his wares include vegetable oil, cornstarch, Alka-Seltzer, oatmeal pies, ramen noodles, ice cream, Slim Jims, doughnuts, ChapStick, Dial soap, little cigars, chips, fruit punch and Saltine crackers.
Feb. 27, 2017 GlobalAtlanta.com
Trevor Williams reports that Atlanta may be the payments capital of the world, but the world doesn’t necessarily know it yet. That’s why, to get its due, Atlanta is teaming up with another global capital whose financial pedigree is less in question: London. The two cities are joining forces to create what they’re pithily calling the “Davos of payments,” a play on the colloquial name for the World Economic Forum held annually in the alpine Swiss city.
Feb. 27, 2017 Emory University
April Hunt reports that Emory College of Arts and Sciences has launched a $1.2 million effort that positions it to be a national leader in the future of scholarly publishing. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is funding the multiyear initiative to support long-form, open-access publications in the humanities in partnership with university presses.
Feb. 27, 2017 GPB
Sam Whitehead reports that this year could be a big one for school choice. State lawmakers are considering expanding a program that gives tax credits to Georgians who help bankroll private school scholarships. Supporters say the program gives students in public schools better access to other education options. But for many Georgians, especially those living in rural communities, those options are hard to find.
Feb. 27, 2017 Newnan Times-Herald
Maggie Bowers reports that controversy surrounding Georgia’s 38-year commitment to certificate of need laws continues after Senate Bill 123 was introduced less than two weeks ago. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Hunter Hill, R-Atlanta, could change need laws in the state, specifically lifting restrictions imposed on the Cancer Treatment Centers of America at the time the hospital proposed building a center in Newnan.
Feb. 27, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Mary Landers reports, you may think you know a sand dune when you see one, but new legislation is defining the term in Georgia. House Bill 271, co-sponsored by State Rep Jesse Petrea, R-Savannah, seeks to better define the area at the beach where the state can regulate development under the Shore Protection Act.
Feb. 27, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Greg Bluestein reports that Donald Trump supporters are staging the first round in a wave of conservative rallies in Atlanta on Monday to push back against the explosive protests and town hall meetings by the president’s critics. Georgia tea party guru Debbie Dooley is helping to organize the “Spirit of America” events across the nation, which she said are open to anyone supporting Trump in his efforts to “bring back manufacturing jobs to America, put the security of our nation ahead of political correctness” and other staples of the president’s campaign rhetoric.
Feb. 24, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Russell Grantham reports that Southern Co. Chief Executive Tom Fanning said the utility is "closely monitoring" financial turmoil at Toshiba Corp. stemming from losses on construction contracts for nuclear power plants in Georgia and South Carolina.
Feb. 24, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Bill Crane writes, education – including funding and reform – has been a hot political topic as long as there have been teachers and politicians. In Georgia, passage of the Quality Basic Education Act (QBE) in 1985 was one of the first significant reform and funding acts – and its funding formula is still used today – 32 years later.
Feb. 24, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Staff reports that Carter’s Inc. (NYSE: CRI) bought Skip Hop Holdings Inc. from Fireman Capital Partners for $140 million in cash. Atlanta-based Carter’s said the deal also includes a potential future payment of up to $10 million depending on the company hitting certain fiscal targets in 2017.
Feb. 24, 2017 Augusta Chronicle
Tom Corwin reports that University Hospital’s board opened its checkbook and spent $14 million on capital projects Thursday as CEO Jim Davis denounced a state licensing system that keeps University from building a hospital in Columbia County. At its first meeting of 2017, University approved a number of capital projects.
Feb. 24, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Wayne Crenshaw reports that Houston County is joining a group of other counties in Georgia suing phone companies over 911 fees. The commissioners on Tuesday agreed to engage with The Barnes Law Group, which is suing 55 phone companies on behalf of 40 counties in the state, including Macon-Bibb. The law firm, led by former Gov. Roy Barnes, alleges that the phone companies are underbilling fees that are supposed to be charged to phone customers to fund 911 services.
Feb. 24, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that the latest furor about medical practice has erupted over legislation to allow optometrists — who examine the eye, test vision and prescribe corrective treatment but are not physicians — to administer drug injections into patients’ eyelids. Ophthalmologists, who are physicians specializing in the eye, are furiously opposed to this, as is the Medical Association of Georgia, a leading physician organization.
Feb. 24, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Dave Williams reports that a second bill easing restrictions imposed on the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) hospital in Newnan when it opened for business in 2008 is before the General Assembly. Legislation introduced in the Georgia House of Representatives Thursday by Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, would do away with a limit on the number of beds CTCA could provide and phase out restrictions on the percentage of Georgians the hospital could accept as patients.
Feb. 24, 2017 Athens Banner-Herald
Proposed ‘education savings account’ will be costly for taxpayers and benefit affluent city dwellers, analyst says
Lee Shearer reports that Georgia taxpayers could soon be funding private schools to the tune of nearly $1 billion a year or more, disproportionately benefiting well-off families in urban areas. An “education savings account” program would cost only about $39 million in its first year, but would balloon to an estimated $710 million in its third year, according to an analysis of the proposal by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.
Feb. 24, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal was unequivocal in his opposition to a revived “religious liberty” measure on Thursday, signaling he would veto the measure if it made it to his desk. “I didn’t want there to be any confusion about where I stand on the RFRA bill: I have no desire or appetite to entertain that legislation,” Deal said.
Feb. 23, 2017 Georgia State Univ.
Jennifer Shockley reports that Rajeev Dhawan of the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business questions the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) December dot chart in which the Federal Reserve calls for three rate hikes in 2017. “Expect one rate increase this March before the trade ruckus breaks loose,” Dhawan wrote in his quarterly “Forecast of the Nation,” released today (Feb. 22). “The Fed will stand pat until the storm blows over. Then, they will resume their hikes. Growth numbers support this in 2018.”
Feb. 23, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Anna Bentley reports that twenty-five years ago, Georgia voters faced a risky decision. Then-Gov. Zell Miller proposed the idea of a statewide lottery that would fund an ambitious Pre-K and college scholarship program. Though it was touted as a solution to the state’s brain drain problem – and a chance for millions of its students to pursue higher education, which might not have been possible otherwise – the question remained: Would it work?
Feb. 23, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Russell Grantham reports that a $200 million-plus loss on Southern Co.’s troubled Mississippi “clean coal” plant took a big bite out of its fourth-quarter profit, the Atlanta utility said Wednesday. Southern has been saddled with big challenges at its two most ambitious projects: the Kemper plant being built by its Mississippi Power unit, and the Vogtle nuclear plant expansion near Augusta, overseen by its Georgia Power subsidiary.
Feb. 23, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Shawn Shinneman reports that AT&T (NYSE: T) followed fellow wireless behemoth Verizon (NYSE: VZ) into widely accessible unlimited data plan territory last week, but at least one analyst says the move is “more marketing driven than strategy driven.” Verizon and AT&T have long been pushing their customers away from legacy unlimited plans, using restrictions to facilitate the migration, Gartner Telecom Analyst Bill Menezes said.
Feb. 23, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that Piedmont Healthcare will operate 27 retail health clinics in Walgreens stores across the Atlanta area. The transition to Piedmont management is planned for August, and the clinics will be known as Piedmont QuickCare at Walgreens. It’s the latest move by Atlanta-based Piedmont to extend its reach across metro Atlanta and North Georgia. Last year, Piedmont acquired Athens Regional Medical Center as its seventh hospital.
Feb. 23, 2017 Gwinnett Daily Post
Keith Farner reports that as he outlined the expansion as something that would have an impact well beyond Gwinnett County, Wayne Sikes described the two significant additions to the campus as an offering to the people closest to the school. “All of this, and all of this to come, is a gift to the people of Gwinnett County,” said Sikes, a trustee of the Georgia campus of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Feb. 23, 2017 WABE 90.1
Miranda Hawkins reports that Georgia's senators have passed a bill by unanimous vote that seeks to create a statewide council focused on transportation. The Georgia Regional Transit Council would focus on a strategic transit plan for the state. State Sen. Steve Gooch, R-District 51, sponsored the bill. The council would look at road congestion relief and dependable trip times for commuters.
Feb. 23, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jim Galloway reports that the stifling Senate committee room was packed to the point that state Capitol police flanked the door and were barring all newcomers. So I cooled my heels and waited for Judy Craft to walk out. She finally did, and we strolled down the long hallway in search of a quiet spot. That found, Craft dug among the many papers in her tote and pulled out copies of a questionnaire she had put together last year.
Feb. 22, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform today delivered its 2017 report to Gov. Nathan Deal. The report includes findings on the success of previous criminal justice reform efforts and recommendations to build upon previous initiatives, including changes to probation and parole for returning citizens.
Feb. 22, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Andy Johnston reports that SoftWear Automation is moving as fast as its sewbots. The Atlanta-based company, which manufactures automated sewing machines, could end up revolutionizing the world’s garment industry. Its machines can be used by apparel companies for a multitude of tasks that are required to take a garment from concept to reality, including fabric handling and direct sewing.
Feb. 22, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Michael E. Kanell reports that the chief executive of Home Depot said the Atlanta-based company expects a strong 2017. A solid year for real estate is crucial, he said during a conference call with analysts and reporters. "Strength in the US housing market will continue to support growth in our business,” said Craig Menear. Company officials said they expect 4.6 percent growth in sales this year.
Feb. 22, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Dave Williams reports that state energy regulators essentially gave Georgia Power Co. the green light Tuesday to keep moving forward with the nuclear expansion at Plant Vogtle. The Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) unanimously approved $141 million in costs the Atlanta-based utility incurred during the last half of last year, as Georgia Power and its utility partners continue building two additional nuclear reactors at the plant south of Augusta, Ga.
Feb. 22, 2017 New York Times, Reuters
Staff reports that set-top box maker Arris International Plc is nearing a deal to acquire Brocade Communications Systems Inc's networking equipment business for roughly $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Feb. 22, 2017 WABE 90.1
Stephannie Stokes reports that Atlanta-based Popeyes is getting a new owner. The company behind Burger King is buying the fried chicken chain for almost $2 billion. It comes after Popeyes Louisiana Chicken made some changes to its fast food image.
Feb. 22, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Linda Morris reports that Beau Cook wound up at the emergency department at the Medical Center, Navicent Health, about four years ago in an ambulance. "I was in pretty rough shape,” he said Tuesday during a ceremony to recognize the hospital receiving verification in November as a Level I trauma center by the American College of Surgeons. “I showed up here with eight broken ribs on my left side, a broken shoulder bone, ... and a punctured lung.”
Feb. 22, 2017 Albany Herald
Brad McEwan reports that lthough his remembrances of 13 days spent hashing out the Camp David Accords was the main focus of a special Presidents Day presentation, former President Jimmy Carter touched on a variety of subjects Monday, including the importance of his upbringing when handling negotiations, his thoughts on executive orders and his feelings about allowing refugees into the country.
Feb. 22, 2017 GPB
Emily Jones reports that hundreds of people packed into a town hall meeting with Republican Representative Buddy Carter in Savannah Tuesday. Carter was the latest of several GOP Congress members to find emotions running high back home. Before taking questions, Carter laid out some of his goals for the new Congress, including repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.
Feb. 22, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that a bill that would help facilitate needle exchange programs in Georgia took its first step toward passage Tuesday. House Bill 161 is sponsored by state Rep. Betty Price, a physician. She is the wife of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who is also a physician and was until recently a U.S. congressman from Georgia.
Feb. 22, 2017 Georgia Times-Union
Terry Dickson reports that a bill limiting the liability of the commercial space industry passed the Georgia Senate Wednesday and a House version was ready for a vote on Thursday. There was no indication late Thursday that vote had been taken.
Feb. 22, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that the debate over “religious liberty” came roaring back to the statehouse this week, when state Sen. Marty Harbin introduced a one-page, 18-line proposal that would require the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act to apply in Georgia. Our AJC colleague Kristina Torres broke the story here and Aaron Gould Sheinin told you why it’s not likely to become law. (Hint: Gov. Nathan Deal’s office won’t touch it with a 30-foot pole.)
Feb. 21, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Maggie Lee reports that Georgia’s state House members are in near unanimous agreement: It’s time to offer state tax credits to help revive fading rural towns. “The rural bill targets downtown areas that are suffering from difficult economic times,” said state Rep. Penny Houston, R-Nashville, the author of House Bill 73. The measure offers state tax credits for three steps of investing in a qualifying area: for buying real estate, for rehabbing it and for employing people there.
Feb. 21, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Bill Crane writes, education – including funding and reform – has been a hot political topic as long as there have been teachers and politicians. In Georgia, passage of the Quality Basic Education Act (QBE) in 1985 was one of the first significant reform and funding acts – and its funding formula is still used today – 32 years later.
Feb. 21, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Kelly Yamanouchi reports that it's not easy to avoid accidents on the roads today, but UPS says 9,349 of its drivers have steered clear of any avoidable accidents through 25 years of driving for the company. Sandy Springs-based UPS said it just added 1,575 drivers to its “Circle of Honor” for 25 years of safe driving, including 42 “elite drivers” from Georgia.
Feb. 21, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Jessica Saunders reports that buildings managed by CBRE Inc. and United Parcel Service Inc. Supply Chain Solutions were among eight honored for achieving operational excellence by the Building Owners and Managers Association of Georgia (BOMA Georgia). The eight winners of The Outstanding Building of the Year award at the state level go on to regional, where they will compete against other office buildings in the Southeast at the BOMA Southern Region Conference April 5-8, which will be held this year, in Atlanta.
Feb. 21, 2017 11Alive
Michael King reports that Atlanta Sports Connection is working together to put together a multimillion dollar 200-acre indoor-outdoor sports and entertainment complex in the new DeKalb County city of Stonecrest. Officials are set to announce the project at a midday news conference Wednesday on the site of the new complex, located across from the Mall at Stonecrest along Interstate 20.
Feb. 21, 2017 University of Georgia
J. Merritt Melancon reports that judges have selected 33 products to compete in the final round of the University of Georgia's 2017 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest in Atlanta on March 21. The contest is the state's premier testing ground for both small, upstart food companies and time-tested products. This year's finalists represent all corners of the state and the best of Georgia's diverse culinary heritage.
Feb. 21, 2017 Marietta Daily Journal
Mary Kate McGowan reports that Kennesaw State University hosted a recruiting event Monday to increase the number of women majoring in science, technology, engineering and math — STEM — fields. Women make up about 29 percent of the number of KSU students who major in STEM fields, according to the university. Over the past five school years, the number of women majoring in STEM fields at KSU has increased by more than 1,000 students from 2,391 in fall of 2012 to 3,456 this past fall, according to KSU.
Feb. 21, 2017 Newnan Times-Herald
Kandice Bell reports that at only 22 years old, Newnan native Ragan Whitlock is the new editor of Southern Fly Fishing Magazine. Southern Fly Fishing Magazine is an online bi-monthly magazine that focuses on the fast growing sport of kayak fishing in the south, and especially the region’s coastal waters. The magazine was launched in 2014.
Feb. 21, 2017 Augusta Chronicle
Tom Corwin reports that a new center on rural health at AU Medical Center has already helped create an affiliation with one rural hospital and is trying to expand the services it can provide through telemedicine to Georgia’s struggling rural providers. The Center for Rural Health Support and Study at AUMC is hoping a boost from the Legislature will help it do more, the new director said.
Feb. 21, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that Vicki Hopper was uninsured before she got coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchange in 2014. Right afterward, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I had the best treatment and best care,’’ says Hopper, now 58, of Roswell. “I’m cancer-free now.” The treatment cost roughly $500,000, she says.
Feb. 21, 2017 Brunswick News
Wes Wolfe reports that putting Georgia’s own coal ash controversies into the figurative dustbin of history could make some progress this week. State Rep. Jeff Jones’ coal ash bills — H.B. 387 and 388 — received their first and second readings in the state House of Representatives on Thursday and Friday after going into the House hopper Wednesday.
Feb. 21, 2017 WABE 90.1
Johnny Kauffman reports that the head of Georgia’s university system on Monday spoke publicly for the first time against a bill that would allow guns on college campuses around the state. “With respect to ‘campus carry,’ we feel strongly that current law strikes the right balance to create a safe environment on our campuses,” said Steve Wrigley, the chancellor of the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents, before a committee of mostly Republican lawmakers friendly to expanding gun rights.
Feb. 21, 2017 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Chuck Williams reports that a Columbus state representative with family ties to the hospitality industry is a co-sponsor of a bill in the House that would eliminate the $5 per room hotel/motel fee charged in Georgia. Rep. Matt Gurtler, R-Tiger, along with 15 cosponsors including Rep. John Pezold, R-Columbus, filed House Bill 364 last week that would repeal the $5 per night hotel fee that was passed with a statewide transportation bill in 2015.
Feb. 21, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that he's not the only self-styled “outsider” in the ring, nor is he the only wealthy businessman or political newcomer. But David Abroms, one of 18 contenders in Georgia’s 6th District race, said he will pump $250,000 of his own fortune into his campaign to try to rise above the pack. The 33-year-old Birmingham native’s message: “People are hungry for something new, for a new generation of leaders. Some of these politicians who are running, it’s the same-old, same-old stuff. We need a new generation of conservatives.”
Feb. 20, 2017 Georgia Tech
Staff reports that Georgia Institute of Technology President G.P. “Bud” Peterson awarded the 2017 Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage to Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter February 17 in Atlanta. “It is appropriate that this, our first Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage to be presented to a couple, will be awarded to Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter,” Peterson said.
Feb. 20, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Jennifer Hafer reports that what once was a jewel left behind by the 1996 Olympics, the old Olympic tennis center near Stone Mountain hasn’t hosted a tournament in years. While there were plenty of grand ideas along the way on how to use the facility after the close of the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, there was no money to fund them.
Feb. 20, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Kelly Yamanouchi reports, Southwest Airlines' move to buy out AirTran Airways and enter the Atlanta Market sparked hopes among some that the Dallas-based discounter would give hometown giant Delta Air Lines a bigger run for its money.
Feb. 20, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
David Allison reports that aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney made big headlines Feb. 14 when it announced it will create more than 500 jobs and invest $386 million to expand its Columbus, Ga., facility over the next five years.
Feb. 20, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Mary Carr Mayle reports that ELK Group International, a premier designer and importer of indoor and outdoor residential and commercial lighting fixtures and home decor, will create more than 100 jobs and invest $2 million in a distribution center in Screven County, the Georgia Department of Economic Development has announced.
Feb. 20, 2017 Georgia Health News
Matt Smith reports that events like last week’s Atlanta conference on climate change and health might be a model for things to come in the next few years. With a new administration vowing to reverse its predecessor’s actions to cut the carbon emissions blamed for global warming, it will be up to scientists and academics outside the federal government to keep the conversation going, said presenters at Thursday’s Climate and Health Meeting.
Feb. 20, 2017 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Tony Adams and Chuck Williams report that less than two months after completing its $1.2 billion acquisition of Carmike Cinemas, AMC Entertainment Holdings has put the former Columbus-based movie theater company’s headquarters building up for sale. The property, located at 1301 1st Ave. in downtown Columbus, just off the heavily trafficked 13th Street corridor, had served as the corporate office of Carmike Cinemas since being built in 1986.
Feb. 20, 2017 Marietta Daily Journal
Jon Gargis reports that ore than two years after Google announced it would bring its high-speed fiber optic internet service, Google Fiber, to the city of Smyrna, city officials say they have yet to receive word on when the technology would be offered locally.
Feb. 20, 2017 GPB
Najae Lamar reports that a new education bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Kevin Tanner would allow the state to provide systems of support and assistance for low-performing schools in Georgia. On Thursday, the state House Education Committee held its first hearing on the new plan. Last November voters rejected the Opportunity School District constitutional amendment backed by Gov. Nathan Deal, which would have allowed the state to temporarily take over struggling schools.
Feb. 20, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Maggie Lee reports that dozens of Georgia sheriffs paid visits to the state Capitol last week, visiting the people who write the laws that they and their staffs will enforce. The sheriffs have been telling lawmakers that counties will lose good officers if pay doesn’t rise. A jailer starts work, on average, at about $25,300 per year, according to the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association. Average deputy sheriff pay starts at $29,900. But sheriffs have another number on their minds: since a 20 percent raise for officers at state agencies went into effect this year, state troopers’ base pay now tops $46,000.
Feb. 20, 2017 WABE 90.1
Elly Yu reports that the Georgia House of Representatives on Friday approved a $25 billion state budget, which includes salary raises for thousands of state employees. Under the spending plan, teachers and other state employees would get 2 percent pay raise starting the next fiscal year. The budget also calls for child welfare caseworkers to receive 19 percent pay raises. The budget now moves to the state Senate for consideration.
Feb. 20, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that at the end of a dusty dirt road, surrounded by beat-up chain saws and worn-out lawn mowers, Richard Yarber tries to explain his tortured relationship with the new president. “If Donald Trump walked in here, within 10 minutes I’d slap him — he’s so arrogant,” Yarber declared. “But we need someone who is going to stand up. We need a man in the White House.”
Feb. 17, 2017 GPB
Sarah McCammon reports that wind power is the largest source of renewable energy in the United States. But a broad swath of the country has had no large, commercial wind farms — until now. A new one with 104 towers is up and running near Elizabeth City, N.C., where it spans 22,000 acres. Horace Pritchard is one of about 60 landowners who are leasing property to the project known as the Amazon Wind Farm U.S. East.
Feb. 17, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Candice Dyer reports that since 2000, the Matthew Reardon Center for Autism (MRCA) has operated the Advance Academy, southeast Georgia’s only year-round day school for students diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). “We began as a summer camp to keep students with special needs from regressing over the summer break from school,” says Patti Victor, president and CEO of the program that serves three counties in the Savannah area.
Feb. 17, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Kelly Yamanouchi reports that free meals in coach class are coming back to Delta — at least on some routes in other cities. After a test of free meals late last year, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is rolling out complimentary meals in the main cabin on some transcontinental flights. During last year’s test, Delta said it “saw a significant increase” in customer satisfaction scores.
Feb. 17, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Jessica Saunders reports that German grocer Lidl is eyeing seven locations for its first stores in Georgia, which are among 115 store sites on the Atlantic Seaboard it's looking at, according to an app that tracks supermarket real estate transactions. Atlanta Business Chronicle has previously reported some of the likely Lidl (pronounced Lee-dle) locations: Sandy Springs(two stores), Mableton, Newnan and Warner Robins.
Feb. 17, 2017 Augusta Chronicle
Damon Cline reports that Richmond County economic developers have given AU Medical Center tacit approval to borrow up to $75 million through a bond issue, allowing the hospital to refinance existing debt and build an infectious disease clinic near the downtown campus. The Development Authority of Richmond County on Thursday approved an “inducement resolution” to issue revenue bonds that AU Medical Center says will help retire debt it took out in 2012 to renovate the former School of Dentistry building at the corner of 15th and Laney Walker Boulevard.
Feb. 17, 2017 Emory University
Mary Beth Spence reports that Winship Cancer Institute at Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital is the first hospital in the state and one of only seven medical centers in the nation to offer advanced radiosurgery for the brain with the Gamma Knife® Icon. The device delivers minimally invasive radiation treatment for malignant and nonmalignant tumors, trigeminal neuralgia (facial pain syndrome) and other neurological disorders.
Feb. 17, 2017 Mercer University
Kyle Sears reports that two startup companies have been launched at Mercer University to commercialize promising new drug delivery systems developed in the labs of University research scientists.SynPloid LLC, formed by Dr. Edward Perkins and Dr. Amy Greene, associate professor and assistant professor, respectively, in the Mercer School of Medicine, is focused on bioengineering solutions for complex biological problems using a synthetic chromosome system.
Feb. 17, 2017 GPB
Stephen Fowler reports that several hundred climate scientists and public health professionals descended on the Carter Center in Atlanta today. It was for a climate and health conference organized by former Vice President Al Gore. A similar conference at the CDC was postponed in late December.
Feb. 17, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that a Georgia Senate panel Thursday passed legislation to halt ‘’surprise’’ medical billing – but not without a last-minute amendment that changed the contentious payment formula. The Health and Human Services Committee approved Senate Bill 8, which will address those situations in which patients get unexpected bills from providers who are not in their network, even though the hospital is a network facility.
Feb. 17, 2017 WABE 90.1
Denis O'Hayer reports, in early February, Gov. Nathan Deal sent lawmakers his latest plan to turn around failing schools in Georgia. The governor had promised the new proposal, after his Opportunity School District (OSD, sometimes called the "school takeover" plan) was rejected by the state's voters last November.
Feb. 17, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Maggie Lee reports that Georgia Senate voted on Thursday open the state’s medical marijuana registry to patents who have autism and to roll back the amount of THC that’s allowed in medical cannabis oil in Georgia. State Sen. Ben Watson, R-Savannah, author of Senate Bill 16, said that he thinks there is anecdotal evidence that cannabis might have medical benefits, but he’s also concerned about potential side effects.
Feb. 17, 2017 Georgia Times-Union
Terry Dickson reports that a bill limiting the liability of the commercial space industry passed the Georgia Senate Wednesday and a House version was ready for a vote on Thursday. There was no indication late Thursday that vote had been taken. The bills, introduced by state Sen. William Ligon, R-St. Simons, and state Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, would bar lawsuits for damages by those flying aboard space flights that lift off from Georgia.
Feb. 17, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Tamar Hallerman reports that early feedback from Democrats suggests the Senate confirmation process for former Gov. Sonny Perdue may not be marked by the same partisan conflicts that characterized consideration of former Georgia Rep. Tom Price’s health nomination. Many Senate Democrats expressed cautious optimism about Perdue in recent days, a positive sign for the Republican as he waits for his federal paperwork and background check to be completed.
Feb. 16, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal signed the Amended FY 2017 budget at a signing ceremony in Augusta, authorizing $24.3 billion in spending for the current fiscal year. This additional funding will allow the state to implement initiatives in public safety and cybersecurity, address growth needs in education and human services, improve Georgia’s transportation network and make long-term strategic investments in economic development efforts.
Feb. 16, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Ben Young writes, the scope of sustainability initiatives underway in our capital city is staggering. From stormwater remediation to urban gardens, Atlanta projects are setting the standard across the country. I caught up recently with the city of Atlanta’s Chief Resilience Officer in the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, and saw the future of Georgia cities.
Feb. 16, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Staff reports that Time Warner shareholders on Wednesday signed off on the proposed $85 billion merger with telecom giant AT&T, though the buyout still faces the hurdle of regulatory review. If the deal closes, AT&T would become the parent of Time-Warner's Atlanta-based Turner broadcasting unit, which includes CNN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network as well as other television and website operations.
Feb. 16, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Jessica Saunders reports that Atlanta-based The Carter Center beat out thousands of competitors worldwide to become one of eight semifinalists to win a single $100 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation. The center entered as its project its joint effort with Nigeria and its partners to eliminate river blindness.
Feb. 16, 2017 GPB
Emily Jones and Najae Lamar report that the University System of Georgia is making an antidote for opioid overdoses available on all its campuses. The drug Naloxone can reverse the effects of an overdose on opioids like heroin and fentanyl. The use and addiction of the opioid heroin has increased throughout the United States and is trending among 18-25 year olds.
Feb. 16, 2017 Cartersville Daily Tribune
Neil McGahee reports that in 2014, Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co. LLC (TRANSCO), a subsidiary of Williams Partners LP in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Atlanta-based Dogwood Enterprise Holdings Inc. announced plans to build the Dalton expansion project — a 112-mile pipeline transporting natural gas to the southeastern United States.
Feb. 16, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
David Allison reports that Delta Air Lines Inc. revealed Wednesday that billionaire investor Warren Buffett has raised his stake in Delta (NYSE: DAL) to more than 60 million shares worth more than $3 billion.
Feb. 16, 2017 Marietta Daily Journal
Ross Williams reports that three more citizens have thrown their hats into the ring for a chance to take Tom Price’s seat representing Georgia’s District 6 in Congress. The three additions include Republicans Karen Handel, the former Georgia secretary of state from Alpharetta, and Roswell political activist Amy Kremer. Milton-based computer systems engineer Andre Pollard qualified as an independent.
Feb. 16, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Mary Landers reports that a bill working its way through the state legislature seeks to change how Georgia defines where its beaches end and private property begins. State Rep. Jesse Petrea, R-Savannah, is cosponsoring H.B. 271, which proposes changes to the 1979 Shore Protection Act. That law protects Georgia’s network of dunes, beaches, shoals and sandbars — what’s known collectively as the sand sharing system — from adverse impacts from human activity. A healthy sand sharing system protects barrier island property from erosion and hurricane damage.
Feb. 16, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tamar Hallerman reports that any of Georgia’s Republican members of Congress kept to the sidelines Wednesday as new details emerged about alleged contact between President Donald Trump’s aides and Russian intelligence officials during the presidential campaign.
Feb. 15, 2017 WABE 90.1
Johnny Kauffman reports that Georgia has secured a victory in a decades-long battle with Florida over water. Florida says Georgia uses too much water, and not enough makes it down to the Gulf of Mexico, so the state sued. Florida blames Georgia's water use for damages to its oyster industry and the state’s surrounding economy.
Feb. 15, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Christy Simo reports on news for Atlanta, Albany-Dougherty County, Cook County and more. The Atlanta Hawks will be getting a minor-league stadium in College Park. The 3,500-seat arena would host the new Development League team as well as community functions like concerts and school graduations. The facility is scheduled to be complete by mid 2019.
Feb. 15, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Delta Air Lines ranked No. 3 in on-time performance in 2016, behind Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines in a federal ranking. Atlanta-based Delta had an overall on-time arrival rate of nearly 86.5 percent in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. That means about one out of every seven flights was delayed, based on federal calculations.
Feb. 15, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Phil W. Hudson reports that an Atlanta-based VetBiz Certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business just landed a big contract from the Transportation Security Administration. Teracore Inc. got a $31.5 million multi-year contract to provide systems engineering and technical assistance to the Operations and Engineering Division (OED) of the Component’s Office of Information Technology.
Feb. 15, 2017 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Tony Adams reports that aerospace company Pratt & Whitney plans to invest $386 million into its Columbus plant on Macon Road, pledging to create more than 500 jobs over five years. The announcement, made Tuesday in Atlanta on Valentine’s Day by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, will add to the roughly 1,200 employees already at the Columbus complex, which has expanded several times since coming to the city in 1984.
Feb. 15, 2017 Saporta Report
David Pendered reports that Atlanta is poised to hire a Marietta-based green roofing company to renovate the 14-year-old greenroof that’s on the fifth floor of the Atlanta City Hall. The cost is not to exceed $135,000. The hiring and expenditure were approved Tuesday by the Atlanta City Council’s Utilities Committee. Because the paper was approved unanimously, it will be included in a basket of legislation the council intends to approve by a single vote at its Feb. 20 meeting.
Feb. 15, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Ellie Hensley reports that the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute gave Augusta University researchers $9.4 million to study cell death from high blood pressure. Billions of cells die in the human body daily, but scientists now know high blood pressure increases the number of dying cells. Their debris triggers an immune system response that includes inflammation and blood vessel constriction, leading to even worse hypertension.
Feb. 15, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that a Senate bill that aims to prevent ‘’surprise’’ medical billing remains stalled. The major snag is a lack of agreement on a formula to determine reimbursement rates for doctors, said Sen. Renee Unterman, the bill’s sponsor, at a legislative hearing Tuesday. Unterman, a Republican from Buford, is also a nurse and has been concerned about the problem for a long time.
Feb. 15, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that let it never be said that Gov. Nathan Deal’s friendship with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is faltering in the final days of their two political terms. The governor has appointed Reed’s wife Sarah-Elizabeth Reed to the powerful Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s higher education system, passing over many GOP donors and other allies who have long sought that seat.
Feb. 14, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal received notice from the White House and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that an additional 10 counties impacted by the severe weather on January 21 and 22 have been approved for public assistance.
Feb. 14, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Lori Johnston reports that manufacturing and Main Street charm meet in Baldwin County, where a new mega-site, a trifecta of colleges and several newcomers are moving the community forward after thousands of state and industry job losses that began almost a decade ago. Sparta Industries plans to create more than 1,000 jobs over five years with a $22.5-million investment in a new plant at the old Rheem Manufacturing building in Milledgeville.
Feb. 14, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Delta Air Lines is paying out $1.1 billion in profit sharing to its employees, including more than $392 million to its employees in metro Atlanta. The Feb. 14 Delta profit sharing payout is smaller than the airline’s $1.5 billion payout last year with $541 million going to local employees, but will still make a significant impact on the local economy in Atlanta and other cities where Delta has large hubs, according to the company.
Feb. 14, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Staff reports that Atlanta-based mattress maker Serta Simmons Bedding LLC will spend more than $100 million to build four large manufacturing plants to keep up with regional demand. The new facilities will be in Windsor Locks, Conn.; Seattle; Houston; and Moreno Valley, Calif. SSB already has a network of 39 plants.
Feb. 14, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports thatWellCare announced Monday that Sonya Nelson is the new president of the health insurer’s Georgia operations. Tampa-based WellCare is the biggest of the three HMO-like Care Management Organizations (CMOs) currently serving the Medicaid and PeachCare populations in Georgia, with about 571,000 members.
Feb. 14, 2017 WABE 90.1
Martha Dalton reports that in three years, two-thirds of Georgia’s jobs will require some type of post-high school education, but the state isn’t currently producing enough qualified candidates to fill those positions. So lawmakers, educators and college administrators are trying to come up with solutions.
Feb. 14, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Staff reports that Ghost Coast Distillery, Savannah’s first distillery since before Prohibition will officially open for tours today. Located at 641 Indian St., the distillery will offer tours every hour, on the hour Monday through Wednesday from noon to 6 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Feb. 14, 2017 Saporta Report
Maria Saporta reports that from its inception, Atlanta has been a hub of transportation, commerce and communication. Those factors have made Atlanta a center of global commerce – a role that has been boosted by having the world’s busiest airport and one of the world’s largest airlines.
Feb. 14, 2017 Brunswick News
Taylor Cooper reports that five town hall meetings have been scheduled for next week by U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1, for five southeast Georgia counties.
Feb. 14, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that a federal magistrate judge recommended that a key part of a racial discrimination lawsuit that’s dogged the Georgia Republican Party should move forward, but said another damaging claim against the state GOP should be tossed out. Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman’s 75-page order this month is a mixed bag for the Georgia GOP, which has struggled to attract donors since the lawsuit was filed, and for Qiana Keith, the former staffer who sought punitive damages against the state party.
Feb. 13, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal congratulated Secretary Tom Price on his confirmation as the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. Deal called for a special election on April 18 to fill the seat for the 6th Congressional District, from which Price resigned. Qualifying begins Monday, Feb. 13. “My congratulations to Secretary Tom Price on his confirmation,” said Deal. “I look forward to continuing to work with my good friend and former colleague on behalf of Georgians. This special election will ensure that the residents of the 6th Congressional District have a voice and a vote.”
Feb. 13, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Bonnie Smith, Stan Awtrey and Ellen Berman report, when local governments develop welcoming environments, the results benefit residents and businesses alike. Jobs are created, housing options multiply and recreational opportunities increase. Whether through partnerships with outside agencies, a focus on the environment or a commitment to fun, the sum is a more livable environment.
Feb. 13, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Russell Grantham reports that with the region’s economy growing and its job market still drawing transplants, giant utility Southern Co. should be enjoying fair weather. A recent decision by Georgia regulators to let subsidiary Georgia Power pass on to customers most overrun costs at its Plant Vogtle nuclear project was an added boost financially.
Feb. 13, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
David Alison reports that, founded in 2000 and led by Home Depot veteran Tom Taylor, the Atlanta-based company has doubled in size in five years.
Feb. 13, 2017 Gwinnett Daily Post
Staff reports that Board of Regents recently approved a new round of consolidations affecting four universities in south Georgia. The board that governs Georgia’s public colleges voted to expand Georgia Southern University in Statesboro by merging it with Armstrong State University in Savannah. Both campuses would remain open under the Georgia Southern name, with a combined enrollment of about 27,000 students.
Feb. 13, 2017 WABE 90.1
Elly Yu reports that Atlanta-area immigration attorneys and advocates say federal immigration officials have recently increased the number of immigration arrests. Sarah Owings, chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Georgia Alabama Chapter, said arrests occurred along Buford Highway Thursday and Friday. She said arrests have been reported in other parts of the state as well, including Savannah and Cordele.
Feb. 13, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Dave Williams reports that with the 2017 General Assembly session set to hit the halfway mark at the end of this week, legislative budget writers will be getting busy with Gov. Nathan Deal's fiscal 2018 spending requests. The governor's record $25 billion budget is in the hands of the House Appropriations Committee. The spending plan includes substantial pay raises for Georgia law enforcement officers and child welfare caseworkers and more modest increases for other state employees as well as teachers.
Feb. 13, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that Georgia lawmakers passed major health care legislation Friday, including a bill to plug a $900 million hole in the state Medicaid budget. The Georgia House voted 152-14 to approve the renewal of the hospital “provider fee” for another three years. Senate Bill 70, which passed the Senate last week, will now go to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature.
Feb. 13, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Buestein reports that Georgia demonstrators turned a low-profile event with junior congressional staffers into a stand against Donald Trump’s policies. Now they’re demanding a chance to vent to the lawmakers in-person at a town hall meeting. Several groups on Saturday called for Sen. David Perdue and other Republicans to hold a traditional town hall meeting in metro Atlanta, and scheduled a protest at his downtown Atlanta office on Tuesday to drive their point home.
Feb. 10, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Georgia’s net tax collections for January totaled $2.2 billion, for an increase of $154.1 million, or 7.5 percent, compared to January 2016. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled nearly $13.06 billion, for an increase of $568.4 million, or 4.6 percent, over last year, when net tax revenues totaled almost $12.49 billion.
Feb. 10, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Susan Percy reports that University System of Georgia Board of Regents has merged Albany State University (ASU) and Darton State College, effective last month. The vote came following approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Feb. 10, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Phil W. Hudson reports that any Georgians who have done business with Timber Lake, S.D.-based Western Sky Financial LLC, Orange, Calif.-based CashCall Inc. and other related entities could be entitled to a piece of a $40 million settlement. According to the Office of Attorney General Chris Carr, the settlement requires Western Sky and its affiliates to pay $23.5 million in consumer restitution, to cease all collections and to forgive all outstanding loans, which will provide an additional $17 million in loan relief to Georgia borrowers.
Feb. 10, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta announced plans Thursday to build a new pediatric hospital at a prime location along I-85, with a projected construction cost of at least $1 billion. Children’s currently runs three pediatric hospitals in Atlanta. In the announcement, the system’s leaders cited the need for more capacity to meet growing demand for services.
Feb. 10, 2017 Marietta Daily Journal
Jon Gargis reports that, led by Cobb residents Tom Floyd and Richard McLamb, and trailed by the hundreds of other fellow Lockheed Martin employees who helped make the aircraft, the first LM-100J commercial air freighter was rolled out of its hangar Thursday. Based on the company’s C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, a tactical military airlifter, the first model of the commercial variant LM-100J is expected to take flight later this year, with the company committed so far to complete about two dozen more.
Feb. 10, 2017 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Ben Wright reports that the Maneuver Center of Excellence has landed 85 new positions in a training academy and assistance force at Fort Benning, members of the Georgia Congressional delegation and the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday. By Oct. 1, the post will become the U.S. Army’s headquarter element for the Security Force Assistance mission and the Military Advisor Training Academy to train, advise and assist with security forces of other partner militaries, U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue said in a release.
Feb. 10, 2017 Brunswick News
Mary Carr Mayle reports that the Georgia Ports Authority has continued to grow its Garden City Terminal container business in large part by staying ahead of the capacity curve, ports Director Griff Lynch told industry leaders gathered on Sea Island on Monday for the first day of the Georgia Foreign Trade Conference. Now, Lynch is looking to replicate that success at GPA’s growing auto port in Brunswick, where the long-term goal is to double the capacity for cars and heavy machinery on Colonel’s Island.
Feb. 10, 2017 GPB
Staff reports that in the Grant Park neighborhood in southeast Atlanta stands an auditorium that, for more than a century, has housed the massive oil painting Battle of Atlanta. Of late, the venue has become a construction site. Piles of rubble mount and scaffolding extends high into the air — surrounding the large, cylindrical oil painting also known as the Atlanta Cyclorama.
Feb. 10, 2017 Albany Herald
Terry Lewis reports that twenty-one business executives representing state recruitment and expansion prospects arrived in Southwest Georgia this week to learn about doing business in Georgia while enjoying some of the best quail hunting in the nation during the 29th annual Georgia Quail Hunt at Wynfield Plantation.
Feb. 10, 2017 Newnan Times-Herald
Sarah Fay Campbell reports that a bill intended to combat Georgia’s epidemic of prescription opioid abuse created a flurry of controversy Thursday because one provision would have severely affected Georgians who have ongoing prescriptions for medications considered controlled substances. Those medications would have included some prescriptions for attention deficit hyperactive disorder, as well as such sleeping medications as Ambien, and Lyrica, which is used to treat fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy.
Feb. 10, 2017 Athens Banner-Herald
Staff reports that coming to the Georgia Legislature once again this year — legislation to allow guns on college campuses. A similar measure vetoed by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal last year is under consideration once again, as Rep. Mandi Ballinger, R-Canton, filed House Bill 280, which would allow anyone with a carry conceal permit to bring a firearm on to the state’s universities and colleges.
Feb. 10, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that the protests that have rocked Republican town hall meetings across the nation are coming to Georgia – even if the congressmen themselves are no-shows. Dozens of protesters are expected at a meeting on Friday in Greensboro hosted by aides to U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Johnny Isakson and Rep. Jody Hice. The trio of Republicans, though, won’t be there – each cited votes and work in Washington.
Feb. 9, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that Gov. Deal Nathan Deal received notice from the White House and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that 11 counties impacted by the severe weather on January 21 and 22 have been approved for individual assistance.
Feb. 9, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Susan Percy writes, Mayor Kasim Reed tells a sweet, only-in-Atlanta story about sitting with Andrew Young and Billy Payne at a ceremony last year commemorating the 20th anniversary of the 1996 Olympic Games and recalling the improbable uphill journey the two leaders embarked on to convince the world, the Olympic Committee and even some local skeptics that Atlanta was up to the hosting task.
Feb. 9, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Atlanta corporate giants Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola Co. have partnered on an unusual art project — on airplane tray tables. The two companies worked with 12 artists around the world to transform the tray tables on a Boeing 767 into art. On that plane, the designs will be in place at all of the coach class and Comfort+ seats for about a month.
Feb. 9, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Doug DeLoach reports that an influx of companies is currently establishing or expanding their presence to Midtown. This extraordinary activity is triggering a wave of new jobs moving into the urban submarket on an unprecedented scale. “Right now, we are looking at more than 12,000 new jobs coming in,” said Shannon Powell, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Midtown Alliance.
Feb. 9, 2017 Georgia State University
Georgia State Biologist Receives $1.8 Million Grant from NIH to Investigate Pain Treatment for Elderly
Brian Mullin reports that Dr. Anne Murphy, a biologist at Georgia State University, has received a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to investigate pain management therapies for people aged 65 or older.
Feb. 9, 2017 University of Georgia
David Dodson reports that a women's initiative for students in the University of Georgia Terry College of Business was commended as an "innovation that inspires" by AACSB International, the largest business education network and accrediting organization in the world. AACSB's Innovations That Inspire showcased 35 ways that business schools globally are empowering future business leaders and challenging the status quo to address societal needs.
Feb. 9, 2017 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Tony Adams reports that the end of an era is near for Raymond Rowe Furniture, with the retailer that has been a fixture in downtown Columbus for nearly 74 years preparing to close following a liquidation that begins with a “sneak preview” sale for longtime customers on Thursday. “We are closing our doors forever” and “It’s truly the end of an era” punctuated a circular mailed recently to customers for what the store is billing as a “historic” going-out-of-business sale.
Feb. 9, 2017 Newnan Times-Herald
Kandice Bell reports that the economy in Coweta is remaining steady and more businesses, particularly manufacturers, are considering Coweta a place to do business. At their monthly meeting last week, the Coweta County Development Authority announced several new potential business projects in Coweta.
Feb. 9, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Maggie Lee reports that Georgians who have autism, intractable pain or a handful of other diagnoses would be allowed to posses medical cannabis under a bill moving through the state House. The state House Medical Cannabis Working Group on Wednesday unanimously endorsed the idea of allowing medical cannabis possession by people with those diagnoses as well as AIDS or HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, Tourette’s syndrome or people in hospice.
Feb. 9, 2017 Gwinnett Daily Post
Curtis Yeomans reports that State Senate President Pro Tempore David Shafer filed legislation on Tuesday to get more Georgians to save money by making them eligible to win prizes for doing so. Shafer, R-Duluth, is the author of Senate Bill 134, also known as the Save, Earn, Win Act. The bill gives banks and credit unions permission to offer a new savings account format where the owner of the account would be entered in a drawing for a financial prize just for having the account.
Feb. 9, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Dave Williams reports that legislation introduced into the Georgia Senate Wednesday would remove restrictions the General Assembly imposed on Cancer Treatment Centers of America when the state allowed the company to open a hospital in Newnan, Ga., in 2008. Under the bill, the hospital no longer would be required to receive at least 65 percent of its patients from out of state and would be allowed to exceed the cap of 50 beds contained in current law.
Feb. 9, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that the never-ending tug of war between corporate groups and the state’s trial lawyers under the Gold Dome has a major new player. A new business-backed organization called Georgians for Lawsuit Reform emerged this year to press for changes to the state’s litigation rules – and has quickly become a new adversary for the state’s trial bar.
Feb. 8, 2017 Georgia Historical Society
Georgia Historical Society Announces the Collection of Environmental Visionary Ray C. Anderson Now Open For Research
Staff reports that Georgia Historical Society (GHS) announced that the collection of the late Ray C. Anderson, the visionary industrialist, environmentalist, and founder of Interface, Inc., is now available for research at the GHS Research Center in Savannah and online through the GHS online finding aids. The collection was donated to GHS by the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and Interface, Inc. in late 2015.
Feb. 8, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Randy Southerland reports that old timers still recall when Cherokee County was rural with a small-town feel, but all that started to change a couple of decades ago as the county made the transition to suburban. Then the pace shifted into high gear. Today, Cherokee is a vibrant business community and prime destination for new companies.
Feb. 8, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Leon Stafford reports that Southern Art Restaurant/Bourbon Bar at the InterContinenal Buckhead Atlanta was one of 12 restaurants and hotels operated by the lodging giant InterContinental Hotels Group that suffered a security breach last year, the company says. IHG, the operator of such brands such as Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and Staybridge Suites, said malware was found on servers that processed payment cards at the properties, which are located throughout the U.S., the Caribbean and Canada.
Feb. 8, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Douglas Sams reports that with plans for additional West Midtown projects popping up, The Allen Morris Co. has tweaked the design of its proposed $210 million development along Howell Mill Road, as it aims to break ground later this spring. The Coral Gables, Fla. developer, one of the largest in the Southeast, is planning a landmark project for the rapidly changing Howell Mill corridor: 409 apartment units, 185,000 square feet of office space and 30,000 square feet of ground floor-retail that could include an organic grocery store.
Feb. 8, 2017 Georgia Times-Union
Terry Dickson reports that although he was speaking in his native Italian to an American audience, one of inventor Domenico Tanfoglio’s words needed no translation as he spoke Tuesday at the opening of a $5 million plant in Nahunta. The word “problema” was likely understood as the reason Cox Enterprises built the Golden Isles Conservation Center to use Tanfoglio’s technology to reduce 80,000 tires a year into their original, marketable components.
Feb. 8, 2017 Albany Herald
Staff reports that with the opening Tuesday of a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center in Thomasville, the federal disaster relief agency now has six such centers operating in Southwest Georgia. A seventh is expected to open soon in Worth County, officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency said. Worth and Thomas counties were added Monday to the national disaster list for individual assistance for damage from the storms, high winds and tornadoes that rolled through the area on Jan. 21-22.
Feb. 8, 2017 Athens Banner-Herald
Staff reports, for the first time in its more than 40-year history, the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy’s program in Augusta has its own facility. Located on the Augusta University Health Sciences campus, the new facility offers a 50-seat classroom, eight small group learning spaces that feature video connectivity to other UGA College of Pharmacy campuses across the state, a collaboration lounge, faculty and administrative offices and a full-service kitchen and break area.
Feb. 8, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced the appointment of Paige Reese Whitaker as Superior Court Judge of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit. Whitaker will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of the Honorable Jerry W. Baxter. The appointment will take effect upon swearing in.
Feb. 8, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that physician, hospital and insurer groups each expressed concerns Tuesday about Georgia Senate legislation that aims to prevent “surprise billing’’ of patients. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony on a proposal to halt these medical bills, which can come from ER doctors, anesthesiologists, radiologists, pathologists and others who are not in a patient’s insurance network — even though the hospital where they work is.
Feb. 8, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein and Aaron Gould Sheinin report that a powerful new ally of the casino industry huddled with Gov. Nathan Deal days before the start of the legislative session, part of a wave of pressure on Georgia’s politicians this year to allow a referendum that could legalize gambling. Haley Barbour is a former Mississippi governor and ex-chair of the Republican National Committee with a long friendship with Deal. He is also a newly-registered Georgia lobbyist, after filling out paperwork in November – the day before the election – to represent a doctors’ group and for Wynn Resorts, a Nevada-based casino company.
Feb. 7, 2017 GPA
Najae Lamar reports that Monday, the Georgia Ports Authority announced the sale of five parcels of land for commercial development at GPA’s Savannah River International Trade Park. The new development can hold up to five million square feet of logistics space and is less than five miles away from Garden City Container Terminal.
Feb. 7, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Mary Anne Dunkin reports that having one chronic disease is one too many, but when you have heart disease there’s a good chance you also have another – or others. By some estimates up to 75 percent of people with heart failure – a condition in which the heart does not pump efficiently – have at least one other chronic health condition.
Feb. 7, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Michael E. Kanell reports that SalesLoft, a Buckhead-based software firm, plans a move to Midtown late this summer as it grows. The company, which is currently located near the Atlanta Tech Village on Piedmont Road, has about 125 employees, but plans a five-year expansion in which it adds 250 jobs, according to Kevin O’Malley, vice president of marketing at the company.
Feb. 7, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Jessica Saunders reports that some of the best news for the Atlanta housing market entering 2017 is its abundance of vacant developed lots. The Atlanta region has 80,491 vacant developed lots, more than any other metropolitan area nationally, according to Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Supervision and Regulation Division Senior Financial Policy Analyst Domonic Purviance, who spoke at the Atlanta Real Estate Summit.
Feb. 7, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Linda S. Morris reports that Dollar General, which already has 750 stores in Georgia, plans to add more, and with the addition of its new distribution center create about 1,000 jobs this year. Dollar General's expansion in the Peach State is part of the Tennessee-based company's new nationwide store growth plan that would add 1,000 discount stores and create about 10,000 jobs across the country, according to a release.
Feb. 7, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Ellie Hensley reports that Emory University's grant to establish the National Ebola Training and Education Center (NETEC) has been doubled from $12 million to $24 million. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response provided the grant through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Feb. 7, 2017 Gainesville Times
Clark Leonard reports that Gainesville attorney Ashley Bell was sworn in Monday as a special assistant to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. He will be working as part of the department’s bureau of public affairs to make sure President Donald Trump’s vision for America’s place in the world is communicated clearly. Bell previously served on the transition team for Trump to help recruit State Department staff.
Feb. 7, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Kelly Quimby reports that members of the Georgia House of Representatives have introduced a bill that would give local governments across the state more flexibility to fund transportation projects. Dropped Jan. 25 as House Bill 134, the proposed legislation would confirm that counties such as Chatham could begin voting on a new transportation sales tax as early as this year’s general election. A local co-sponsor of HB 134, Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, said he thinks the current version of the T-SPLOST has a better opportunity for passage than an earlier version.
Feb. 7, 2017 WABE 90.1
Lisa Hagen reports that the U.S. House of Representatives is trying to roll back an Obama-era rule that sought to restrict firearms access to some people suffering with mental illness. Meanwhile in Georgia, lawmakers are working to close a gap in an existing state law on gun possession for those with serious mental illness.
Feb. 7, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Greg Bluestein reports that State Sen. Vincent Fort has raised nearly $250,000 in the six weeks since he announced his Atlanta mayoral bid, thanks in part to support from Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. The Atlanta Democrat will report Tuesday that more than 6,300 donors contributed to his campaign, which netted more than $100,000 of those donations after Sanders endorsed Fort’s mayoral bid.
Feb. 6, 2017 Saporta Report
David Pendered reports that Cuba and Alabama signed a deal Thursday to explore opportunities to grow trade between the state port in Mobile and Cuba. A similar deal planned for two ports in Florida was cancelled following threats by Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott to cut state funding to any state port that signed a deal with Cuba.
Feb. 6, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Christy Simo and Ben Young report that Georgia lawmakers convened Jan. 9, and it could be some good times ahead for the state. However, depending on how it all plays out, there are several controversial matters up for debate in this year’s session that could derail the state’s forward momentum.
Feb. 6, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Russell Grantham reports that Georgia’s banking industry was ravaged by the financial crisis, with more than 90 banks shut down in its wake. Most had bet too heavily on real estate. Joe Brannen, president of the Georgia Bankers Association, said the industry does not expect quick action on unwinding Dodd-Frank, the financial reform act spawned by the crisis. It was intended to prevent a repeat but has been criticized as too onerous.
Feb. 6, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
David Allison reports that Dallas and Atlanta are vying for a big office consolidation by insurance giant AIG. The deal could be for more than 500,000 square feet, Dallasnews.com reports. "AIG is more likely to wind up in Atlanta than Big D, say property agents in the know," the site reports. "...Early signs are that Atlanta is the favorite for the move."
Feb. 6, 2017 GlobalAtlanta.com
Trevor Williams reports that, making good on a change their partners voted into force in December, Atlanta’s fifth largest law firm by attorneys, has combined with a British counterpart to create a more globally focused firm.Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan LLP, founded in 1924, on Feb. 1 officially joined forces with United Kingdom-based Eversheds under the name Eversheds Sutherland.
Feb. 6, 2017 University of Georgia
Kelundra Smith reports that the University of Georgia Alumni Association recognized the 100 fastest-growing companies owned or operated by UGA alumni during the eighth annual Bulldog 100 Celebration on Feb. 4 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. The 2017 fastest-growing business was Chicken Salad Chick, helmed by president and CEO Scott Deviney, who received his degree in economics from UGA's Terry College of Business in 1995.
Feb. 6, 2017 New York Times
James Gorman reports that you never know when a frog playing an electronic game will lead to an experiment on the physics of saliva. But then, who even knew that frogs could play electronic games? Alexis C. Noel, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech, and her supervisor, David L. Hu, were watching a viral YouTube video in which a frog is attacking the screen of a smartphone running an ant-smashing game.
Feb. 6, 2017 Newnan Times-Herald
Kandice Bell reports that the film industry is booming in Georgia right now and it is not uncommon for locals to see celebrities hanging out at their favorite restaurants or other popular spots around town, mainly because big screen movies such as “Ant Man” and “Captain America” are being filmed right in their backyard.
Feb. 6, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that Georgia ended the Affordable Care Act insurance exchange’s open enrollment period with nearly a half-million enrollees for coverage this year – a significant decrease from last year. The 493,880 who signed up for Georgia exchange coverage by Jan. 31 represents a 16 percent drop from the 587,845 who enrolled during open enrollment a year ago.
Feb. 6, 2017 WABE 90.1
Johnny Kauffman reports that proposals to change gun laws usually spark contentious debates at the state legislature, but some Republicans and Democrats have found a bill they agree on. “It has something in it for everybody, which is why it’s been a bipartisan, successful bill,” said Democratic state Senator Elena Parent from northern DeKalb County, the bill’s lead sponsor.
Feb 6, 2017 Savannah Morning News, AP
Kathleen Foody and Ezra Kaplan report that lawmakers began talks about the ongoing opioid crisis this week at the Georgia Capitol as lawmakers passed the quarter mark of the 40-day working session. Here’s a look at some of the major activity, major goals in proposed legislation and what’s coming up when lawmakers return to the Capitol on Tuesday.
Feb. 6, 2017 Georgia Times-Union
Terry Dickson reports that the owners of a gigantic Wayne County landfill promised Friday to extend through 2017 a promise not to bury coal ash at the facility. At the same time, however, a pair of Glynn County legislators say they will introduce bills that would make it harder to bury coal ash in Georgia and would keep the power companies that produce it on the hook for any liability.
Feb. 6, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tamar Hallerman reports that we can pretty much say it at this point: by this time next week Georgia Congressman Tom Price will very likely be crowned secretary of health and human services. The Senate is expected to vote later this week to elevate the Roswell Republican to the nation’s top health post. If the confirmation vote doesn’t come on Thursday or Friday, it’ll likely be early next week.
Feb. 3, 2017 Saporta Report
David Pendered reports that Atlanta, host of the 2019 Super Bowl, can take heart in a report issued Thursday by Moody’s Investor Service. Moody’s predicted that the Super Bowl in Houston will raise tax revenues that are pledged to repay bonds issued to build NRG Stadium. The stadiums in Atlanta and Houston are both financed with taxes on hotel rooms. Thus, good news for Houston could well spill over to Atlanta when its hosts the 2019 Super Bowl.
Feb. 3, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Karen Kirkpatrick reports that it's exciting times at Georgia Trend with the announcement that Morris Publishing Group has acquired Trend Publications and Georgia Trend magazine. Morris Publishing Group, LLC announced today the acquisition of Trend Publications, LLC, which includes the premiere state-wide monthly business publication, Georgia Trend, several annual publications, georgiatrend.com and other print, digital and event assets.
Feb. 3, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Michael E. Kanell reports that rising home prices don’t just change how much buyers pay. They can force them to settle for less, look elsewhere or even shelve their buying plans. All three effects are being seen in metro Atlanta amid the strong rebound in prices of the past few years.
Feb. 3, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Jeff Blumenthal reports that CBS Radio, which has been up for sale for the better part of the past year, will merge into Entercom Communications Corp. Financial terms of the deal, expected to close in the second half of this year, were not released.
Feb. 3, 2017 Gwinnett Daily Post
Staff reports that Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton was recently recognized nationally for its care of the environment. “For all of us at NGMC Braselton, being green means creating a quality experience for patients and visitors, while also operating as efficiently as possible,” said Anthony Williamson, president of NGMC Braselton.
Feb. 3, 2017 University of Georgia
Kelly Simmons reports that University of Georgia outreach programs had a $753 million impact on the state of Georgia last year, with communities benefiting from leadership training, downtown revitalization, workforce development and assistance to small businesses, among others.
Feb. 3, 2017 Georgia State University
Jennifer French Giarratano reports that RePEc/IDEAS, the world’s largest economics bibliographic database, consistently ranks the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies among the top two-to-three percent of economics institutions worldwide – and first in Georgia – for its faculty research productivity. The Andrew Young School ranked sixth internationally – fourth domestically – among the world’s top public policy schools for economic research productivity in December 2016, the latest ranking posted.
Feb. 3, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that the state Senate, as expected, approved the renewal of a hospital “provider fee’’ Thursday that will fill a $900 million hole in the Georgia Medicaid budget. Though the vote was 50-3, the debate beforehand became testy. Democrats called for the state to expand its Medicaid program, as 31 other states have done. Georgia’s Republican leadership has repeatedly rejected that idea, calling it fiscally unsound.
Feb. 3, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Kelly Quimby reports that Georgia craft brewers this week got one step closer to realizing their goal of being able to sell the beer they brew on site. The Georgia Senate voted 49-2 on Thursday to adopt Senate Bill 85, which would provide for the state’s breweries to sell up to 3,000 barrels of beer each year directly to their consumers. The legislation is now headed to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
Feb. 3, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Matthew Kish reports that more than 100 companies, including the Georgia Retail Association and some of the biggest names in corporate America, have banded together to form Americans for Affordable Products, a new group designed to fight a proposed import tax. The group, launched Tuesday, plans a national advertising campaign to argue the tax would increase the prices of consumer staples, including food and gas.
Feb. 3, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that U.S. Rep. Tom Price could be confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Donald Trump’s health secretary within days, and the race to represent his affluent suburban Atlanta district could be an early test of the new president’s popularity. The field is set to boast several big-name Republicans along with at least three Democrats. But former congressional aide Jon Ossoff is commanding the lion’s share of the attention and fundraising dollars among the Democratic contenders.
Feb. 2, 2017 Athens Banner-Herald
Lee Shearer reports that Georgia’s economic growth will outperform the nation’s, and growth in Athens will outperform the state average, analysts from the University of Georgia told a crowd of more than 500 on Wednesday. “The 2017 outlook for the state of Georgia is quite good,” said Benjamin Ayers, dean of UGA’s Terry College of Business.
Feb. 2, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Neely Young reports at Georgia Trend, one of our focuses is to predict future economic trends, bring attention to them and address ways to avoid negative outcomes. Trade wars and self-driving cars and trucks will produce major economic headwinds for our state because Georgia is so dependent on trade and shipping from our ports along the coast, and none of these threats have been addressed in recent political dialogue.
Feb. 2, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Martin Sinderman reports that as the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park/The Battery Atlanta complex makes its way to completion, the surrounding Cumberland-Galleria area is enjoying a surge of new development, driven and supported at least in part by the advent of this massive market-changing project.
Feb. 2, 2017 New York Times
Joseph B. Treaster reports at Georgia State’s nursing school, the faculty used to believe that students who got a poor grade in “Conceptual Foundations of Nursing” probably wouldn’t go on to graduation. So they were surprised, after an analysis of student records stretching back a decade, to discover what really made a difference for nursing students: their performance in introductory math.
Feb. 2, 2017 Gwinnett Daily Post
Keith Farner reports that Gwinnett County Public Schools is receiving national attention for a test that it first piloted in 2014 to measure how students perform in a global economy using international benchmarks. A case study was released this week from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to monitor students’ academic outcomes and inform shifts in policy and teacher practice to meet students’ learning needs.
Feb. 2, 2017 Georgia Tech
John Toon reports, “Liberate the data.” That was a principal design goal for a team of public-private health care technology collaborators established by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Health Administration to develop a working and scalable proof-of-concept digital health platform (DHP) to support the department’s long-term vision.
Feb. 2, 2017 Rome News-Tribune
Doug Walker reports that community leaders from 14 counties across Northwest Georgia converged on Rome on Tuesday for the start of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Economic Development Academy. Corrine Thornton, a regional administrator with DCA, said the academy is designed for anyone who might have an opportunity to get involved in economic development efforts.
Feb. 2, 2017 WABE 90.1
Molly Samuel reports that getting big controversial pipelines built, like the Dakota Access and Keystone XL, is one of President Donald Trump's priorities. But in Georgia there's a moratorium on building petroleum pipelines while state lawmakers review regulations. The state legislature instituted the moratorium and created a state commission on pipelines after private property owners and environmentalists opposed a now-shelved petroleum pipeline on the Georgia coast.
Feb. 2, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Maggie Lee reports that nearly a dozen Georgians testified before a state House panel in favor of a proposal to broad access to the state's medical cannabis registry. A vote on the idea could come as early as next week.
Feb. 2, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Jim Galloway reports that if metro Atlanta becomes a hub of resistance to Donald Trump’s presidency, it won’t be because John Lewis stood up or because Sally Yates was pushed out. Nor will it be spurred by stories of refugees from the world’s wars who have suddenly found their journey blocked — or the extra-large Southern hearts that were prepared to receive them. And still are.
Feb. 1, 2017 Emory University
Staff reports that in fiscal year 2015-2016, Emory Healthcare provided $72.3 million in charity care. "Charity care" includes indigent care for patients with no health insurance, not even Medicaid or Medicare, and no resources of their own. It also includes catastrophic care for patients who may have some coverage but for whom health care bills are so large relative to their financial situation that paying them would be permanently life-shattering.
Feb. 1, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Karen Kirkpatrick and Susan Percy report that a look at the list of people who have been named a Georgia Trustee, the state’s highest honor, reveals a small group of leaders who have had a profound impact on our state in every sector, from business to sports to education to healthcare and philanthropy. This year’s additions to that elite group are no exception.
Feb. 1, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Michael E. Kanell reports that Atlanta home prices rose 6.1 percent during the past year, beating the 5.3 percent average gain for large metro areas, according to a much-watched national survey released Tuesday. That placed Atlanta seventh among 20 metro areas in the S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index, which calculates a three-month average of prices across the country.
Feb. 1, 2017 Saporta Report, Atlanta Business Chronicle
Maria Saporta and Dave Williams report that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is seeking state approval to create a dedicated funding source for arts and culture. Reed said Tuesday the city of Atlanta will ask the General Assembly to authorize a referendum to raise the sales tax by one-tenth of a penny to provide a permanent source of arts funding.
Feb. 1, 2017 GlobalAtlanta.com
Trevor Williams reports that Mayor Kasim Reed spent parts of last weekend at the Atlanta airport, trying to help disentangle families impacted by President Donald Trump’s executive order barring travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days. The order, which also indefinitely blocked Syrian refugees and suspended all refugee admissions for 120 days, caused more than 100 individuals from the affected nations to be detained at airports across the country.
Feb. 1, 2017 Athens Banner-Herald
Jim Thompson reports that Avid Bookshop in Athens was named one of five finalists for this year’s Publishers Weekly Bookstore of the Year Award. The announcement came Monday morning at the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute in Minneapolis, but Avid owner Janet Geddis, in Minneapolis for the event, got the word a couple of weeks before from a Publishers Weekly writer.
Feb. 1, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced five grant awards for the Georgia Rural AP STEM Initiative to support the implementation of AP programs in Computer Science and Statistics. This initiative is the result of a partnership between the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement and the College Board and is designed to create a vertical pathway to student success in AP STEM courses in high-need, rural areas throughout Georgia.
Feb. 1, 2017 Gainesville Times
Nick Watson reports that Northeast Georgia Health System and Habersham Medical Center are again talking about a possible partnership. A non-binding letter of intent was made public Tuesday between Habersham Medical and the Gainesville-based health system for a possible agreement on shared resources and services. A similar letter of intent expired in 2014.
Feb. 1, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that a House committee unanimously approved legislation Tuesday that would allow dental hygienists to practice in school clinics, nursing homes and safety-net locations without having a dentist present. The passage of House Bill 154 by the House Health and Human Services Committee comes a year after the sudden collapse of similar legislation in the 2016 General Assembly session.
Feb. 1, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Dave Williams reports that Roswell business owner has joined the growing field of candidates vying for U.S. Rep. Tom Price's congressional seat. Kurt Wilson, who ran against Price in last year's Republican primary, said he would push for a constitutional amendment restructuring congressional terms and imposing term limits.
Feb. 1, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that Sonny Perdue snagged the endorsement of his Democratic predecessor on Tuesday as he prepares for U.S. Senate confirmation hearings to be Donald Trump’s agriculture secretary. Ex-Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Perdue’s background as a former Republican governor helped prepare him for the “opportunities and challenges that exist in rural communities.”
Jan. 31, 2017 GPB
Celeste Headlee and Sean Powers report that over the weekend, federal immigration officials detained and later released 11 lawful permanent residents at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. They were returning from a trip to Iran, one of seven predominantly Muslim countries where there is now a three month ban on travel to the United States. That’s the result of an executive order signed by President Trump.
Jan. 31, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Karen Kirkpatrick reports that Georgia Trend hosted its Most Influential Georgians event at the Georgia Aquarium last week. Honorees included Georgian of the Year Gary Black, the state’s agriculture commissioner; the new inductees into the Hall of Fame Hank Huckaby, former chancellor of the University System of Georgia, and Alicia Philipp, president of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta; the 100 Most Influential Georgians; and 50 Notable Georgians.
Jan. 31, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Russell Grantham reports that Toshiba Corp., expected to soon report huge losses on Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear plant expansion and a similar project in South Carolina, is backing away from its nuclear power plant business, according to a Japanese newspaper. The Japan Times reported Saturday that Tokyo-based Toshiba will continue working on those projects, expected to be completed by 2020.
Jan. 31, 2017 Albany Herald
Carlton Fletcher reports that in order to give Georgia Emergency Management Agency officials a clear picture of the community’s needs in the wake of two powerful storm systems that hit the area in a three-week period, Dougherty County Commission Chairman Chris Cohilas went on a tour of severely damaged areas with the agency’s top two officials Monday: Director Homer Bryson and Deputy Director Gen. Thomas Moore.
Jan. 31, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Laura Corley reports that a bill that will expand the Ocmulgee National Monument into Georgia's first national historic park and rename the site passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday. The bill was approved in the house by a vote of 396 to 8.
Jan. 31, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Mary Landers reports that a key mitigation feature of the $706M Savannah harbor deepening project is being revised with a plan that employs scarecrows and drones to keep birds off a potentially hazardous site. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its new plan recently for disposing of cadmium-laden sediment dredged from the bottom of the river last month.
Jan. 31, 2017 Saporta Report
Water war: Georgia asked to consider importing water to Chattahoochee basin, which now exports millions of gallons a year
David Pendered reports that the latest directive from the special master overseeing the water-war litigation between Georgia and Florida reminds of the theory about the tragedy of the commons: The directive reminds of the amount of water Georgia already juggles to meet various demands. Special Master Ralph Lancaster has suggested Georgia consider importing water to the Chattahoochee River basin.
Jan. 31, 2017 GlobalAtlanta.com
Phil Bolton reports that for many years now, Clarkston, Ga., has been known for its ethnic diversity. The January 2017 issue of Atlanta Magazine even titled its article about the town’s center as the “Ellis Island of the South." Warren St. John’s book ‘Outcasts United’ and his articles for the New York Times gave the town global renown. In his book and articles Mr. St. John brings to life the story of a soccer team of refugee boys and their coach.
Jan. 31, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Dave Williams reports that legislation renewing the "bed tax" Georgia has been using to plug a Medicaid shortfall easily passed the state Senate Finance Committee Monday. With just one "no" vote, the panel sent the bill, backed by Gov. Nathan Deal and legislative leaders, to the Senate Rules Committee. It could reach the floor of the Senate by late this week.
Jan. 31, 2017 WABE 90.1
Tasnim Shamma reports that Coca-Cola is the first Fortune 500 Atlanta company to come out against President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration. Tech companies like Google and Microsoft responded loudly against the executive order this weekend. But many of Atlanta's largest publicly-traded companies aren't talking about it.
Jan. 31, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that with the Atlanta Falcons in their first Super Bowl in almost two decades, it’s tempting for Georgia politicians – with ready access to free tickets and a publicly-funded trip – to jet to Houston for the game. It’s a particularly tough question for Gov. Nathan Deal, who earlier this month deciding against attending President Donald Trump’s inauguration by citing taxpayer expense of about $20,000 for the trip.
Jan. 30, 2017 GlobalAtlanta.com
Phil Bolton reports that Cartersville‘s Highland I-75 Industrial Park in Bartow County is about to get a new international neighbor. The Huhoco Group has announced that it is to invest $24 million in a new facility on a 30-acre available stretch of land in the park.
Jan. 30, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Krista Reece reports, as our nation recovers from a bruising election and prepares to inaugurate a new president, perhaps we need a little perspective. You think we’ve had a tough time lately? How about those freezing Januaries that birthed our own Revolution, at the cost of many hardy souls who believed that something better, something greater lay at the end of their years of starving struggle.
Jan. 30, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Kelly Yamanouchi reports that in the wake of detentions of some travelers at Hartsfield-Jackson International and other airports following President Trump’s executive order on immigration, Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines says it is contacting customers who are affected.
Jan. 30, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Evan Hoopfer reports that Southwest Airlines won't introduce a basic, economy-level class anytime soon because it values its reputation, said Gary Kelly, CEO and chairman of Southwest. "We have a very powerful brand," Kelly said on the company's earnings call Thursday. "There is a huge value in offering all of our customers, 100 percent of them, a great product. We like to say at Southwest, there is no second class."
Jan. 30, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Linda S. Morris reports that Blue Bird Corp. in Fort Valley has been awarded $4.4 million to develop a zero-emission, vehicle-to-grid electric school bus. Blue Bird was awarded the largest part of $15 million that the Department of Energy announced in December it would give to organizations "in an effort to accelerate the adoption of advanced and alternative fuel vehicles," according to a release.
Jan. 30, 2017 Gainesville Times
Joshua Silavent reports that Gainesville and Hall County are positioned to reap benefits from a $7 billion film industry that state officials are promoting this year in a new travel guide and tourism promotion unveiled last week. And there could be opportunities for local residents to get in on the action and drama. The movie business supports a full 10 percent of the workforce in the state, adding to Georgia’s growing reputation as the Hollywood of the east.
Jan. 30, 2017 Georgia Times-Union
Terry Dickson reports that five Georgia state historic sites along the coast are among 14 statewide that will offer free admission Feb. 5 on Super Museum Sunday. The sites include Revolutionary War and Civil War forts, FDR’s modest Little White House in Warm Springs, plantations, Indian mounds and a gold museum.
Jan. 30, 2017 WABE 90.1
Molly Samuel reports that one of the rarest salamanders in the country lives in Georgia – or, at least, it used to – a survey last year didn't turn any up in the wild. It's called the frosted flatwoods salamander, and there's a new project in Atlanta to breed the species in captivity. The last time scientists documented one of these guys in Georgia was in 2015, near the coast.
Jan. 30, 2017 Kennesaw State University
Staff reports that from “Georgian of the Year” as the state’s top law enforcement officer in 2016 to Kennesaw State University’s new president later that same year, Samuel S. Olens is among Georgia Trend magazine’s list of people “who inspire, lead and influence” the daily lives of Georgians.
Jan. 30, 2017 Newnan Times-Herald
Clay Neely reports that across the state of Georgia, all law enforcement officers employed by the state are enjoying a 20 percent raise in their paycheck this week. The boost in pay proposed by Governor Nathan Deal last year will provide raises for 3,300 state troopers, Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents, prison guards, parole officers and natural-resources rangers.
Jan. 30, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that House Republican will introduce a measure this week that would create as many as 100 new healthcare centers geared to low-income residents in some of the state’s poorest areas. State Rep. Geoff Duncan, a Cumming health executive with an eye on higher office, said his measure would amount to a “tectonic shift” in Georgia’s healthcare policy that was partly prompted by the collapse of rural hospitals. At least eight have shuttered since 2001 and more than a dozen others are on the verge of failing.
Jan. 27, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that Gov. Deal Nathan Deal received notice from the White House and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that six counties impacted by the severe weather on January 21 and 22 have been approved for individual assistance. Deal has also requested individual assistance for the remaining 10 counties under the state of emergency.
Jan. 27, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Karen Kirkpatrick reports that Holly Quinlan, CEO of Cobb Travel & Tourism, talks a bit about Cobb County’s No. 1 industry — tourism — and welcomes visitors to the booming North Metro Atlanta county. Learn more about what’s happening in Cobb — from baseball to soccer to Class-A office space to transportation — in this month’s Georgia Trend feature “A Bright Tomorrow.”
Jan. 27, 2017 Saporta Report
David Pendered reports that Florida is running out of money to litigate the water war with Georgia, Florida state budget records show. The shortfall was made public just as the states were required to meet and try to resolve the matter and deliver results by Thursday to the special master presiding over the federal lawsuit.
Jan. 27, 2017 Gainesville Times
Carlos Garlarza reports that the Savannah port — already the fourth-busiest in the United States — is poised for exponential growth that should spur more economic development in Hall County and the rest of the state, a ports leader told Hall County business leaders Thursday. “Our role is to be an enabler of local commerce to spur economic development,” said Clifford Pyron, chief commercial officer for the Georgia Ports Authority, during a presentation at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors meeting at the Gainesville Civic Center.
Jan. 27, 2017 WABE 90.1
Tasnim Shamma and Jim Burress report that Google Glass didn’t do so well when it first launched, and is no longer in production for consumers, but the high-tech glasses are getting a second life in manufacturing. One of the pioneers of this technology is an agricultural manufacturing company based in Duluth, Georgia called AGCO.
Jan. 27, 2017 Gainesville Times
Staff reports that Metro Gainesville continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the state despite rising one-tenth of a percentage point to 4.2 percent in December, according to the Georgia Department of Labor. And the steady local economy is the biggest reason that Gainesville was named the 10th best small city for jobs and income growth in 2016 by the Milken Institute.
Jan. 27, 2017 Cartersville Daily Tribune
Marie Nesmith reports that ushering in the new year on a high note, Melinda Lemmon — executive director for Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development — is delighted to announce the Hühoco Group plans to open a new facility at Highland 75 Corporate/Industrial Park. Already operating in Mableton under the name First American Resources, Hühoco Group’s subsidiary produces functional and decorative coating systems, with its primary markets being automotive and domestic residential building products.
Jan. 27, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Russell Grantham reports that a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico could spark a retaliatory tax on U.S. exports and possibly a broader trade war that could hurt Georgia, warned one veteran economist. Georgia is very dependent on international trade," said Jeff Humphreys, director of the Selig Center for Growth at the University of Georgia's business school. He said about 1 in 12 jobs in the state is directly or indirectly dependent on Georgia's ports for instance.
Jan. 27, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Jacques Couret reports that PulteGroup Inc.’s (NYSE: PHM) profit spiked 22 percent in 2016, prompting its CEO to wax positive about the housing market 2017. The Atlanta-based homebuilder reported Thursday a profit of $603 million, or $1.75 a share, for 2016. Revenue jumped 28 percent to $7.7 billion.
Jan. 27, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Maggie Lee reports that beer brewers and beer drinkers in Georgia could soon do a lot of business with each other. A bill filed in the state Senate on Thursday would lift part of the broad ban on direct sales from brewer to beer drinker.
Jan. 27, 2017 Times Free Press
Tyler Jett reports that fear is rising among North Georgia's undocumented immigrants. Among the executive orders he signed this week, President Donald Trump called for the Department of Homeland Security to aggressively partner with local police to send those immigrants out of the country. In Dalton, Ga., where half the population is Latino, the new plan could upend much of the community.
Jan. 27, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that when his 5-year-old son suffered a burn injury, Michael Caraway took him to a local hospital emergency room. The hospital was in Caraway’s insurance network. His son got successful treatment and went home. Caraway, of Grovetown, says that weeks later, he got the ER bill that he expected . . . and another one that he did not expect.
Jan. 27, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that Donald Trump filled out his Cabinet just before he was sworn-in as president, but he still hasn’t appointed hundreds of other powerful positions in his administration. And many of his earliest supporters and most prominent allies in Georgia are in the running.
Jan. 26, 2017 Valdosta Daily Times
Terry Richards reports that Gov. Nathan Deal said federal funds have been promised to South Georgia regions devastated by a deadly tornado and storms. Deal toured the region Wednesday afternoon. He said President Donald Trump called him upon his arrival at the airport in Cook County. The governor said the president promised money for the region and said, "We have your backs."
Jan. 26, 2017 Athens Banner-Herald
Carlton Fletcher reports that Benjamin Ayers, the dean of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, offered a bright economic forecast for the state in 2017 during the annual Terry College Georgia Economic Outlook event at the downtown Hilton Garden Inn Tuesday. The Hilton ballroom was packed with area business leaders who came looking for good economic news from one of the state’s foremost business educators. They weren’t disappointed.
Jan. 26, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Michael E. Kanell reports that metro Atlanta unemployment rate rose to 5.0 percent in December, from 4.8 percent in November, the government reported today. December is not typically a strong month for hiring and this one was true to form: the labor market was basically flat, losing about 100 positions. The labor force grew by nearly 21,000 people – which combines with weak hiring for a higher unemployment rate.
Jan. 26, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Staff reports that packaging company Sonoco Products Co. (NYSE: SON) will open a $20 million packaging center in Fairburn, Ga., creating 130 full-time and 465 part-time jobs. The packaging center will support Duracell’s new North America battery packaging operation and will be in Duracell’s recently leased facility at 5000 Bohannon Rd. at Shugart Farms Industrial Park. It is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Jan. 26, 2017 UGA
Greg Trevor reports that to increase the number of need-based scholarships offered by the University of Georgia, President Jere W. Morehead unveiled the Georgia Commitment Scholarship Program Wednesday during his annual State of the University address at the UGA Chapel.
Jan. 26, 2017 Augusta Chronicle
Tom Corwin reports that he had heard of the efforts to get rid of it, but Michael Walton still showed up at an event Wednesday to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Walton, 30, runs his own business, 828 United Marketing, which does silk-screening and design for companies and schools, so the chance to get health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace was important, particularly with his aching knees.
Jan. 26, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Phil W. Hudson reports that a Westwood, N.J.-based wealth management firm and an Atlanta-based independent, fee-only advisory firm have joined forces. Modera Wealth Management LLC and Cambridge Wealth Counsel merged to establish a wealth management firm with more than $2 billion in assets under management as of Jan. 1.
Jan. 26, 2017 Georgia Times-Union
Terry Dickson reports that storms that damaged homes along the coast last weekend also brought rain that had a positive effect on the Okefenokee Swamp.“We got about five inches of rain,” and as a result, the National Wildlife Refuge is reopening boat trails closed since late October and will begin some prescribed burns, Supervisory Ranger Susan Heisey said.
Jan. 26, 2017 Saporta Report
Maria Saporta reports that the mayoral race is on – thanks to the Buckhead Coalition. At the 28th annual meeting of the Coalition, the eight declared candidates for Atlanta mayor were given an opportunity to make their debut in front of a highly-influential business and civic group.
Jan. 26, 2017 11 Alive WXIA
Doug Richards reports, go to a place in White County called Paradise Valley Farm, and you may get to see its families of African Pygmy Hedgehogs. They're here as zoo stock and as breeding stock. But Paradise Valley cannot sell African Pygmy Hedgehogs to residents of Georgia, one of three states where they're outlawed, unless the owner has a wildlife permit.
Jan. 26, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Jim Galloway reports that the House and Senate will start at 10. The House has its very first bill to vote on: HB 43, the amended budget for the rest of this fiscal year. We also expect a few bill filings, including a new version of the firefighters protection bill that the governor vetoed earlier this year.
Jan. 25, 2017 WABE 90.1
Mary Claire Kelly reports, as the new Republican federal administration digs into the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, many Georgians are left unsure about the future of their health insurance.
Jan. 25, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Ben Young writes, our hearts go out to the people and communities devastated by extreme weather in Southwest Georgia. If you’re interested in helping, check out some of these resources.
Jan. 25, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Russell Grantham reports that WestRock Co. announced Tuesday it is buying Multi Packaging Solutions International in a $1.4 billion deal that will add to its position as one of the nation’s largest paper and packaging makers.
Jan. 25, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Jessica Saunders reports that a 645-room, $250 million hotel is being proposed in Savannah. The Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission submitted a Development of Regional Impact application for the project at 1147 E. President St. in Savannah.
Jan. 25, 2017 Georgia Health News
Keren Landman reports, nobody knows exactly how the Bluff got its name, says Mona Bennett. Somewhere in the run-down neighborhood about a mile west of downtown Atlanta, there may be a land feature from which the moniker was derived. But a more popular theory, says Bennett, is that the name is an acronym for a cautionary sort of neighborhood motto: “Better leave, you fool!”
Jan. 25, 2017 New York Times
Elizabeth Olsen reports that the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Houston and the University of Georgia were among the 10 schools offering the best salary-to-debt ratios, according to the study by SoFi, which stands for Social Finance Inc., an online student loan refinance company.
Jan. 25, 2017 Gwinnett Daily Post
Curt Yeomans reports that Falcons rise up, and apparently so do Georgia Supreme Court justices. The justices held a special session on Tuesday to celebrate the Atlanta Falcons winning the NFC Championship over the Green Bay Packers this past weekend. The victory earned the team it’s first Super Bowl berth in nearly 20 years, and they will play the New England Patriots on Feb. 5 for the NFL title.
Jan. 25, 2017 Augusta Chronicle
Thomas Gardiner reports that the recently announced Cyber Innovation and Training Center could put Augusta at the pinnacle of cybersecurity and training in the nation, Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday during a tour of cyber and intelligence facilities at Fort Gordon.
Jan. 25, 2017 Saporta Report
David Pendered reports that each in its own way, the three major construction projects Gov. Nathan Deal has proposed in Downtown Atlanta will increase the vitality of its surroundings and promote greater connectivity to people who have activities in the buildings.
Jan. 25, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Dave Williams reports that identical bills spelling out details of a proposal to legalize casino gambling in Georgia will be introduced into the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate on Wednesday. Scaled back from legislation that failed to gain traction in the General Assembly last year, the bills call for the construction of two “destination” resorts that would include casinos, down from four in the 2016 measure.
Jan. 25, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Jim Galloway reports that the House and Senate convene at 10 .m. It will be another day without bills on the floor of either chamber, but the House Appropriations Committee is expected to pass the mid-year budget this morning, which means a floor vote will follow on Thursday. Days remaining in the 2017 Legislative session: 34.
Jan. 24, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that Georgia’s insurance commissioner wants Republicans in Congress to allow states more flexibility in setting their own health insurance rules. Ralph Hudgens, who has long opposed the Affordable Care Act, also says that when it is repealed, as is likely, the federal government should fund state “high-risk’’ insurance pools for people with pre-existing health conditions.
Jan. 24, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Ben Young reports, Georgia has a spectacular environment. Whether you’re on the coast, in the mountains, on the rivers or deep in the woods, the marvels are endless. A recent trip to Jekyll Island brought this home. Truly, it’s some of the most beautiful shoreline on the East Coast. It was the first-ever Climate Conference, “Prepare, Respond and Adapt: Is Georgia Climate-Ready?” presented by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Coastal Resources Division.
Jan. 24, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Russell Grantham reports that WestRock Co. said it has reached a deal to sell its health and beauty-related business to a Stamford, Conn., packaging manufacturer, Silgan Holdings, for $1.03 billion.
WestRock said Monday that the companies are expected to complete the transaction by the end of March. Silgan makes metal and plastic containers for food and other consumer products.
Jan. 24, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Jessica Saunders reports that Alabama could step into the water dispute between Georgia and Florida that is now before a special master with a deadline pending this week. Alabama’s former solicitor general, attorney John C. Neiman Jr., has filed a letter with Special Master Ralph Lancaster citing the court’s Jan. 3 order urging Georgia and Florida to consider “interbasin transfers” in order to settle their dispute over water resources.
Jan. 24, 2017 Georgia Ports Authority
Staff reports that the Georgia Ports Authority marked 12.3 percent container volume growth in December, moving 292,172 twenty-foot equivalent container units, an increase of 32,099 TEUs compared to December 2015, a record for the GPA. Roll-on/Roll-off cargo mirrored that growth, with a 12.3 percent increase (7,000 units) in passenger vehicles and heavy equipment handled at Colonel’s Island terminal in Brunswick and Ocean Terminal in Savannah. Georgia’s deepwater ports moved 63,967 Ro/Ro units last month.
Jan. 24, 2017 GlobalAtlanta.com
Phil Bolton reports that an app developed at the University of Georgia is partially responsible for the Jan 23 announcement that the World Poultry Foundation has been awarded a four-year $21.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to enhance poultry production in Africa.
Jan. 24, 2017 Albany Herald
Jim Hendricks reports that as the case with many businesses, peanut producers need to get their products into the hands of younger Americans. “Consumption is looking good,” Ed White, chairman of the National Peanut Board, said last week. “It’s not going up that much, but it was 7 pounds in 2014, 7.2 pounds in 2015 and 7.4 pounds (in 2016). What we don’t want, and what we fear is, it will start to go down.”
Jan. 24, 2017 Savannah State University
Staff reports, a patent will be issued to Savannah State University for a new chemical compound invented by Karla-Sue Marriott, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry and forensic science. She produced the compounds under a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant. The synthesized molecules have medical and pharmaceutical possibilities in the areas of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS).
Jan. 24, 2017 Brunswick News
Lauren McDonald reports that the University System of Georgia announced Monday that Margaret Amstutz has been named interim president of College of Coastal Georgia. She will succeed CCGA’s current president, Greg Aloia, following his retirement on June 30.
Jan. 24, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Dave Williams reports that Georgia Senate Republican leaders introduced legislation Monday aimed at ensuring the Georgia Lottery sends as much money to support education as possible without jeopardizing ticket sales. Senate Bill 5, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, would require the lottery to return 26 percent of gross sales to the state in fiscal year 2018. As is the case now, the state’s portion of lottery revenues would go to the HOPE Scholarships and pre-kindergarten programs.
Jan. 24, 2017 WABE 90.1
Stephannie Stokes reports that a years-old lawsuit challenging Georgia’s ban on abortions after 20 weeks went before the state Supreme Court Monday. But the main question during oral arguments didn't have much to do with the controversial procedure. Instead, it focused on “sovereign immunity,” a law that protects state agencies from being sued.
Jan. 24, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Tamar Hallerman reports that an increasingly rare thing happened earlier this month on Capitol Hill. Former Georgia U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn, a Democrat, took to the witness stand twice in two days to vouch for a pair of Cabinet nominees nominated by a Republican president. A modest gesture, yes. Notable in this radioactive political environment, for sure.
Jan. 23, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports, following the recommendation from Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMHSA) officials and local Emergency Management Agencies (EMA), Gov. Nathan Deal is declaring a state of emergency for seven South Central Georgia counties impacted by severe weather and tornado touchdowns on January 21 and 22. The state of emergency is currently in effect and will remain so for the next seven days.
Jan. 23, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Jeffrey Humphreys reports, by nearly every measure, the 2017 outlook for Georgia’s economy is very good. The pace of GDP and personal income growth will both accelerate. Jobs will be plentiful and very well balanced, with gains in both goods-producing and service-providing industries. Existing home prices will rise to all-time highs. And, for the fifth-straight year, the state’s economy will grow faster than the nation’s.
Jan. 23, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Matt Kempner reports that “Sad Mall” is what my wife calls the place that used to be one of metro Atlanta’s go-to places to spend money.
Now, there’s a newly revised plan to turn that frown upside down. It’s just hard to see how the company that owns struggling Gwinnett Place mall is going to pull it off any time soon.
Jan. 23, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Volkswagen’s pain could be Georgia's gain. About $58 million of Volkswagen’s $14.7 billion settlement for violating federal clean air laws is headed to Georgia to help clean up the state’s transportation system, according to a report from the Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center.
Jan. 23, 2017 WABE 90.1, Atlanta Business Chronicle
Dave Williams and Urvaksh Karkaria report that a proposed $50 million state-owned cybersecurity innovation center would be built in Augusta, nearly 150 miles from Atlanta’s rapidly growing cyber hub. Despite that distance, enthusiastic Atlanta-based cybersecurity industry executives say the halo effect of a state-backed research and training hub will pay dividends for Atlanta’s cybersecurity sector by driving private investment to the sector, attracting cyber companies and nurturing home-grown startups.
Jan. 23, 2017 Saporta Report
David Pendered reports that more than 1 million individuals have participated the free financial well-being program sponsored by the SunTrust Foundation. SunTrust has spread its message through partnerships with organizations including United Way and Operation Hope. The next big outreach program will center on SunTrust Park, which opens in April as the new home of the Atlanta Braves baseball team, said Corrine Cuthbertson, SunTrust’s senior vice president for brand advertising and digital.
Jan. 23, 2017 Georgia Tech
Laura Diamond reports that Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter will receive the 2017 Ivan Allen Jr. Prize for Social Courage. The former president and first lady are being jointly recognized for their partnership in a courageous collaboration to improve human rights and alleviate suffering around the world. Over the span of more than four decades their work has focused on improving health, preventing and resolving conflicts and enhancing freedom and democracy.
Jan. 23, 2017 GlobalAtlanta.com
Trevor Williams reports that Hyundai Motor Group this week announced plans to invest $3.1 billion the U.S. over the next five years, a move that could either mean a new factory or increased production at existing plants in the South, including in one run by sister company Kia Motors in Georgia.
Jan. 23, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Dave Williams reports that although the 2017 General Assembly was gaveled into session two weeks ago, the real work begins this week. Lawmakers spent the first two weeks electing officers, getting committee assignments and starting to review Gov. Nathan Deal's mid-year 2017 and fiscal 2018 budget recommendations. They used up only four of the 40 days allotted for legislative sessions each year.
Jan. 23, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports, with Donald Trump in office as president, the health care landscape is facing changes, and some may be dramatic. The Republican-led Congress and Trump aim to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which could be a long, complicated process. In a new GHN Commentary, Kelly McCutchen of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation says that local demonstration projects may bring savings and preventive care to states like Georgia while Congress hammers out a replacement plan.
Jan. 23, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Jim Galloway reports, on Friday, we told you about the phrase in President Donald Trump’s speech that had never before appeared in an inaugural address: “Total allegiance.” As in: “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other.”
Jan. 20, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Russell Grantham reports that a German manufacturer of handguns and assault weapons said it is expanding its Columbus operations as part of a move to close its plant in New Hampshire. Heckler & Koch said it expects to add 84 new jobs in Columbus over the next two years as a result of a $28.5 million expansion that will add a new 50,000 square-foot factory in the west Georgia city.
Jan. 20, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
Susan Percy writes, Georgia’s 6th District Congressman Tom Price, an orthopaedic surgeon, is President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Price, an outspoken foe of the Affordable Care Act, must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate; but that should be easily accomplished.
Jan. 20, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Ellie Hensley reports that Oscars season is upon us, and this year, the Peach State may get its chance to shine. Film production has exploded in Georgia since the state’s most recent tax incentive was established in 2008, with almost 250 films and television shows shot here last year. Not just any movie is Oscar-worthy in the eyes of Hollywood’s elite, but 2017 hopefuls such as Twentieth Century Fox’s “Hidden Figures,” Warner Bros.’ “Sully” and Fox Searchlight’s “The Birth of A Nation” stand a chance of grabbing a nomination when they are announced Jan. 24 — and maybe even a win.
Jan. 20, 2017 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
Tony Adams reports that credit-card and payment processor TSYS said Thursdays it has inked a long-term contract renewal with banking firm BBVA Compass. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., BBVA Compass Bancshares is a subsidiary of the banking conglomerate Banco Bilbao Viscaya Argentaria, which is based in Bilbao, Spain.
Jan. 20, 2017 Brunswick News
Staff reports that College of Coastal Georgia has been ranked among the best online bachelor’s degree programs in the country. In its 2017 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs rankings, released Jan. 10, U.S. News and World Report placed CCGA in the top 10 low-cost online baccalaureate programs for out-of-state students.
Jan. 20, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that state officials say they are able to respond immediately to reports of abuse or neglect in Georgia nursing homes, despite facing a large backlog of complaints. The backlog of nursing home complaints coming from residents, families and others is roughly 140, the Department of Community Health says. That’s at or near a historic high, as complaints about nursing home care have risen 50 percent over the past two years, the agency said.
Jan. 20, 2017 Gwinnett Daily Post
Staff reports that Gwinnett Medical Center was recently included on a national list of “safety net” hospitals that excel in at least one of four clinical areas. Health magazine Modern Healthcare put Gwinnett Medical on its “safety net” list after awarding it a top performance rating for its coronary bypass graft surgery.
Jan. 20, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Linda S. Morris reports that a Macon-based company moves up Entrepreneur Magazine’s top franchise listing. America’s Swimming PoolCo., which says it’s the nations largest swimming pool cleaning, repair and renovation franchise, was listed 113th on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list, according to a news release.
Jan. 20, 2017 Savannah Morning News
Katie Nussbaum reports that more than 280 projects — including feature films, television shows, commercials and student projects — used Savannah and surrounding areas as a backdrop last year, about a 2.5 percent increase from the number of projects shot in 2015. Those projects contributed nearly $132 million to the local economy, which was about $3.4 million more than in 2015.
Jan. 20, 2017 WABE 90.1
Martha Dalton reports that for years, some education advocates have urged lawmakers to create a needs-based college scholarship program in Georgia. That is, financial aid that’s based on a family’s income level. Georgia’s HOPE scholarship is merit-based, meaning students need to earn certain grades to receive it. Recently, the Southern Regional Education Board issued a report on college affordability. It showed the rising cost of college tuition hit middle and lower-income families in Georgia hard.
Jan. 20, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider
Greg Bluestein reports that true to his word, former President Jimmy Carter is en route to Washington for Donald Trump’s inauguration. A tipster sent this picture from his Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta, along with a note that he walked up and down the aisles to shake hands with the passengers.
Jan. 19, 2017 GPB
Dan Charles reports that President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as his nominee for agriculture secretary, according to a transition official and a source close to the process. This is the last open Cabinet position, although Trump has yet to name a Council of Economic Advisors chair, which is a Cabinet-level position.
Jan. 19, 2017 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!
K.K. Snyder reports that if there were any such thing as a global legal military, Dentons law firm would be the elite special ops, leading their ground troops across the world. With more than 150 offices in 50 plus countries, their global presence is well established. The firm first entered the Atlanta market in July 2015, when Dentons US merged with Atlanta’s McKenna Long & Aldridge.
Jan. 19, 2017 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Michael E. Kanell reports that Georgia’s unemployment rate edged up to 5.4 percent in December from 5.3 percent in November, the state labor department said today. The state added 5,900 jobs during the month. So the overall picture is mixed, but the unemployment rate is no longer the crucial metric to judge what is going on.
Jan. 19, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Ken Elkins reports that Home Depot Inc. rival Lowe’s Cos. Inc. (NYSE: LOW) told employees Tuesday that it’s cutting 2,400 employees from its 285,000-employee workforce. Last week, CNBC reported that Lowe’s would cut almost 1% of its staff.
Jan. 19, 2017 Georgia Health News
Andy Miller reports that Merry Fort, an RN who lives in Macon, has seen nursing shortages before. But, she says, “I’ve never seen it like this.” Fort works for a company that supplies “travel nurses’’ — hired to work in a specific location for a limited amount of time — and temp nurses to hospitals.
Jan. 19, 2017 New York Times
Wyatt Harris reports, they came to Bluffton, a small agricultural town in the southwestern corner of the state, one or two at a time. To the bare eye, they might have been any other raptor, any bird of prey. Maybe even just vultures. One day in 2011, Will Harris picked a pair of binoculars off the dash in his Jeep and pointed his gaze toward the sky.
Jan. 19, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Linda S. Morris reports that a German-based grocery store is apparently planning to come to Warner Robins. The Atlanta office of New Jersey-based Bohler Engineering has filed a Development of Regional Impact form with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for a Lidl grocery store on Ga. 96.
Jan. 19, 2017 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Sydney, Australia-based software provider Deputy has raised $25 million — capital it will primarily invest in expanding its Atlanta-based Americas headquarters. Deputy, which raised its Series A financing from Boston-based OpenView, employs about 20 in Atlanta — its sales, marketing and customer service hub. The workforce management software maker employs about 100 companywide.
Jan. 19, 2017 Macon Telegraph
Maggie Lee reports that folks who get a flat tire or run out of gas on the side of midstate interstates will soon have a new number to call for help: 511. They’ll call a CHAMP unit, a Coordinated Highway Assistance and Maintenance Program truck from the Georgia Department of Transportation.
Jan. 19, 2017 Georgia.gov
Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Colorado Premium, a manufacturer of premium protein products, will create 190 jobs and invest $15 million in a Carroll County food processing plant by the end of 2018.