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Aug. 29, 2014 WABE

Nearly 35 Million Georgians Hitting the Road for Labor Day

John Lorinc reports, expect a mass exodus from the Peach State later today. AAA reports nearly 972,000 Georgians will go at least 50 miles from home for Labor Day weekend. A majority of those, about 850,000, will do so by car.


Aug. 29, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Organizations: Crime Stoppers!

Candice Dyer reports that in situations where crime seems to pay, catching a law-breaker can pay even more, thanks to Crime Stoppers, a community-based nonprofit that offers up to $2,000 in cash for a tip that leads to an arrest. “This system is effective because it helps citizens overcome the two obstacles that prevent them from helping us take criminals off the streets,” says Karla Baldini, coordinator for Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta, one of four affiliated groups in the state.


Aug. 29, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Shaw files ‘epic’ suit against flooring rival Carlisle

Christopher Seward reports that Shaw Industries Group, the Dalton-based carpet and flooring producer, is suing a competitor for trademark infringement and deceptive trade practices over the use of the word ‘epic’. In a lawsuit filed recently in federal court in Atlanta, Shaw claims Carlisle Wide Plank Floors refuses to drop the word “epic” from its marketing, a “mark” that Shaw said it has had exclusive rights to use since 2006.


Aug. 29, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta company’s app among 25 most popular

Staff reports that an Atlanta media giant has made the list of top 25 mobile apps by unique visitors, but it’s not who you think it is. The Weather Channel is No. 15 on that list by comScore with nearly 30 million unique visitors. No surprise, when you think about checking the weather on your mobile device.


Aug. 29, 2014 GPS

Georgia’s Ban On Same Sex Marriage Costing the State Millions

Gabrielle Ware reports that a new report says legalizing same-sex marriage in Georgia would result in a $78 million boost to the state’s economy. The study, done by researchers at the Williams Institute, a UCLA think tank, predicts an increase in spending on wedding vendors and tourism. Researcher Christy Mallory says the numbers could be even higher.


Aug. 29, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia banks gaining ground despite lower profits

Russell Grantham reports that Georgia’s banks continued to show improved vital signs in the first half of the year, with more profitable banks and more jobs. But not all things were headed in the right direction in the second quarter, almost seven years after the real estate crash led to widespread loan losses and unleashed a wave of 88 bank failures in the state — the most in the nation.


Aug. 29, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Power: Plant Vogtle still on time, within budget

Dave Williams reports that the $14 billion nuclear expansion project at Plant Vogtle remains on schedule and within budget, Georgia Power Co. reported Thursday. In a semi-annual construction update filed with the state Public Service Commission, the Atlanta-based utility indicated it spent $198 million during the first six months of this year on the two additional reactors under construction at the nuclear facility south of Augusta, Ga. 


Aug. 29, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Ride-share service Uber announces new Athens service

Kelsey Cochran reports that ride-share service Uber announced Thursday it is expanding service to 22 college towns across the U.S., including Athens. "We're proud to be providing safe and affordable transportation options to an additional 600,000 students this year and to 55 (percent) of the (U.S.) population," according to a blog post on


Aug. 29, 2014 Saporta Report

High Museum of Art receives $2.5 million gift for folk art initiatives

Maria Saporta reports that   High Museun of Atlanta announced today that Atlanta-based patrons Dan Boone and his late wife Merri Boone to support and expand the museum’s folk and self-taught art initiatives. The gift also includes the endowment of a permanent, full-time curatorial position to lead the deparment. The establishment of the Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art enables the continued growth of the Museum’s exhibition program, conservation efforts and its collection in this field, which is recognized as one of the most significant public repositories of contemporary American folk and self-taught art in the world.


Aug. 29, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Democrats to press for stronger whistleblower protections next year

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal’s talk of changing Georgia’s whistleblower law has led state Democrats to come up with a sweeping counterproposal. The Senate Democratic Caucus met in Newnan Thursday to approve its 2015 legislative agenda, and sent us word that a key part of the package is a proposal that would give public employees broader leeway to file whistleblower complaints.


Aug. 29, 2014 Macon Telegraph - Editorial

Georgia is failing children in fundamental ways

The editorial board writes, Georgia has the sixth-highest childhood poverty rate in the nation at 27. 2 percent. So how has the state responded? During the past decade, the General Assembly has cut $8 billion from education funding. And while some will tout that throwing money at the problem is not the answer, in many cases, it is the answer if you throw it in the right direction. The fact that Georgia ranks 40th in the nation in education funding should give us a clue as to the direction we need to go.




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Aug. 28, 2014 Augusta Chronicle, Morris News Service

Georgia State University's Economic Forecasting Center's outlook says state growth will continue in 2014

Walter C. Jones reports that Georgia’s economy will continue adding jobs and growing personal income for the rest of the year despite potential international problems, according to a university economic forecast released Wednesday. Georgia State University’s Economic Forecasting Center’s quarterly outlook points to an addition of 74,100 jobs during 2014. That’s less than the 83,400 new hires the previous year, but this year lost ground because of unusually severe winter weather, the economists said.


Aug. 28, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Economy: Growing Clout

Jeffrey Humphries reports that the immense buying power of Hispanics continues to energize the U.S. consumer market. This year, Hispanics will control $1.3 trillion in U.S. spending power. More than one person in six who lives in the U.S. is of Hispanic origin; three out of five living here are born here. In Georgia, Hispanics control almost $18 billion in spending, up from $6 billion in 2000 and from only $1 billion in 1990.


Aug. 28, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Blue Cross breaks ground on $50 million complex

Tony Adams reports that BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia was digging dirt literally Wednesday, with earth movers and dump trucks moving back and forth in the distance — dust flying through the air — as the insurer held its ceremonial ground-breaking for a $50 million complex in the Midland area of Columbus. Nodding to artist renderings of the three-story, 235,000-square-foot complex that will be home initially to about 1,500 employees, with capacity for 2,000, Morgan Kendrick drew a chuckle from those gathered for the occasion.


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Aug. 28, 2014

Governor's China trade missions: Do they matter?

Trevor Williams reports that Georgia leaders sell their China trade missions as a chance to bring home jobs for their citizens.  But with the state tied for tops in the nation by number of gubernatorial visits to the country since 2009, it’s worth asking how productive their visits have been in fostering deals within the country most say is poised to be the next big direct foreign investor in the United States.


Aug. 28, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Historic Savannah Foundation drops suit to block Ben Carter's Broughton building demolition

Julia Ritchey reports that The Historic Savannah Foundation is dropping its legal challenge against the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals over the demolition of 240 W. Broughton St., clearing the way for a new four-story structure to house clothing retailer H&M. Daniel Carey, president and CEO of the preservation nonprofit, said his organization dismissed its complaint after reviewing more information on the condition of the facade of the gray building and seeing more suitable infill plans. 


Aug. 28, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WSB

Georgia colleges make magazine’s best, worst lists

Janel Davis reports that Washington Monthly Magazine is out this week with its annual College Guide and Rankings, with Georgia schools claiming slots on its best and worst lists. The magazine – which covers politics, government, culture and the media – bases its ratings on three criteria: social mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), research and how much students are giving back to their communities.


Aug. 28, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

DuPont withdraws application for permit to mine more than 2,200 acres in Wayne County

Terry Dickson reports that DuPont has withdrawn its application for a permit to mine 2,254 acres near Jesup, Ga., until it can address "various points'' raised by Wayne County residents at recent meetings, the company said Wednesday. “We’re going to hit the pause button and start over,’’ company spokeswoman Tara Stewart said. “We want to take time and listen to the community. We want to do this right.”


Aug. 28, 2014 GPB

Peake: Expand Medical Marijuana To More Georgians

Claire Simms reports that the lawmaker behind a bill to legalize medical marijuana for seizure patients said Wednesday the state should go one step further. Earlier this year, Representative Allen Peake, R-Macon, championed a bill that would legalize cannabis oil for patients with seizure disorders. That effort ultimately failed in the final hours of the 2014 legislative session.


Aug. 28, 2014 WABE

Carter Nabs Big Education Endorsement

Martha Dalton reports that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter nabbed a key endorsement Wednesday. The Georgia Association of Educators announced they’re backing the state senator. GAE president Sid Chapman said Carter has the right vision for education. Carter said his plan, which is focused on funding, is simple.


Aug. 28, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

How a plan to keep a GOP rally off the Internet went awry

Jim Galloway reports that last Saturday began very sweetly for Nydia Tisdale, citizen journalist. She was at Burt’s Farm in Dawsonville, a private concern mobbed by tourists during pumpkin season, to point her video camera at several GOP candidates at the top of the November ballot. They were scheduled to speak at the rally, which had been advertised as a come-one, come-all event.



Aug. 27, 2014 WABE

Georgia School Districts Weigh Different Operating Models

Michelle Wirth reports that due to a 2008 state law, all Georgia school systems will have to decide by the end of next June whether to continue as a traditional school district or choose two other options. State officials say the law was passed in an attempt to spur innovation and the other choices would allow school systems more flexibility from state education rules. School systems from across the state recently attended a Georgia Charter Schools Association symposium focused on the three choices and collaboration between charter and traditional schools.


Aug. 27, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Jekyll Hosts Environmental Conference

Ben Young writes, the Georgia Environmental Conference brought nearly 700 attendees and vendors to sunny Jekyll Island last week to attend lectures and panels on topics ranging from stormwater management to integrating minorities into sustainability culture. Georgia Trend’s Ben Young attended and brought back these highlights.


Aug. 27, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Home values up, but increase slowing

Michael Kanell reports that Atlanta’s price hikes in real estate slowed as summer began, according to the latest data from the closely watched Case-Shiller Home Price Index. But even after two years of those increases, metro Atlanta leads the nation in the percentage of homeowners who are “under water,” that is who still owe more on their mortgages than their houses are worth, according to a separate study.


Aug. 27, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Mobile software firm AirWatch preps for expansion with renovation of former HQ

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that fast-growing mobile software maker AirWatch is laying the groundwork for what could be a major workforce expansion. AirWatch, which was acquired by VMware for $1.5 billion in January, plans to renovate its 225,000 square foot former headquarters at 1425 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd., according to a building permit filed with the City of Atlanta Aug. 25. A space of that size would typically accommodate up to 1,000 people, according to commercial real estate estimates.


Aug. 27, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

UGA students press Governor Nathan Deal on immigration issue during campaign visit 

Kelsey Cochran reports that Gov. Nathan Deal may have gotten more than he bargained for at a campaign event hosted by the University of Georgia College Republicans Tuesday. A group of young people representing the Undocumented Student Alliance interjected into a questions-and-answer session with their own inquiries about the governor's stance on a policy barring illegal immigrants from enrolling in the Institution.


Aug. 27, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

NTSB removes UPS from crash inquiry

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that the National Transportation Safety Board has removed UPS Airlines and its pilots union from the investigation of the cargo carrier’s August 2013 plane crash in Birmingham. The NTSB said UPS and the Independent Pilots Association took actions that were “prejudicial to the investigation by publicly commenting on and providing their own analysis of the investigation prior to the NTSB’s public meeting to determine the probable cause of the accident.”


Aug. 27, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Reservoir projects land state loans

Dave Williams reports that three reservoir projects will receive $26 million in state low-interest loans from the Governor’s Water Supply Program, the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) announced Tuesday. The 305-acre Richland Creek Reservoir in Paulding County and the 643-acre Indian Creek Reservoir in Carroll County will get $6 million and $10 million, respectively, representing the next installment in multi-year funding for the two projects. The Etowah Water & Sewer Authority will receive the other $10 million loan for the 137-acre Russell Creek Reservoir in Dawson County, that project’s first funding through the state program.


Aug. 27, 2014 GPB

How Does Death Row Clemency Work In Georgia?

Grant Blankenship reports that in July, Tommy Lee Waldrip became only the ninth Georgia Death Row inmate to be granted clemency from execution since the resumption of executions in the 1970s. The explanations for Waldrip's reduction in sentence from news media more or less agreed that the Board of Pardons and Parole saw co-conspirators in the murder for which Waldrip was convicted serving life sentences and decided his execution would be be unfair.


Aug. 27, 2014 WABE

Gov. Deal Defends Board Appointees

Martha Dalton reports that Gov. Nathan Deal this week dismissed recent criticism from Democratic opponent Jason Carter. Carter took issue with an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report that showed members of three state boards contributed to the governor’s re-election campaign. The report says members of the Board of Regents, Georgia Ports Authority, and the Board of Natural Resources gave about $1.3 million to Deal’s campaign. Carter called that “disturbing” and said it shows the governor cares more about wealthy donors than average Georgians. Deal denied that.


Aug. 27, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

City of Cumming, mayor fined $12k for violating Open Meetings Act

Jim Galloway reports that three days after Attorney General Sam Olens spoke up for Nydia Tisdale as the citizen-journalist was loudly tossed from a GOP rally in north Georgia, we have this press release from his office — involving the same journalist. On August 21, 2014, Judge Robert Adamson ruled in favor of Attorney General Sam Olens in a lawsuit filed in June 2012 against the City of Cumming and Mayor Henry Ford Gravitt for violations of the Open Meetings Act. Judge Adamson ordered the defendants to pay $12,000 in penalties, the highest amount possible under the law.



Aug. 26, 2014 WABE

Gov. Deal Unveils New Plan for High School Computer Classes

Martha Dalton reports that reading, writing, and arithmetic are still taught in schools these days. But today, Gov. Nathan Deal proposed a slight change in the way Georgia schools approach the arithmetic piece. The governor wants high school students to be able to count computer programming classes toward math, science, or foreign language requirements.  He also wants the University System to accept the courses for admission.


Aug. 26, 2014 Georgia Health News

Freestanding ERs target suburbs, rural panel told

Andy Miller reports that freestanding emergency departments have been proposed in Georgia as a potential solution for struggling rural hospitals, or newly closed ones, that want to remain operational in downsized form to help patients in need. But the trend toward such standalone emergency rooms nationally is totally different from that picture, members of the Georgia Rural Hospital Stabilization Committee were told Monday. Freestanding EDs are actually proliferating in suburban areas, targeting high-income patients who have private insurance, said Charles Horne of accounting firm Draffin & Tucker. The prevailing emphasis is on patient convenience, not need, he told committee members at a meeting in Cordele.


Aug. 26, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia looks to boost electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Dave Williams reports that Georgia is taking the carrot approach to increase the availability of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) launched an incentive program Aug. 20 that will reward state agencies and authorities, local governments and colleges, universities and technical colleges that install charging stations at their campuses or facilities.


Aug. 26, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Turner Broadcasting to offer voluntary buyouts, layoffs also expected

Matt Kempner and J. Scott Trubey report that Turner Broadcasting, one of Atlanta’s biggest employers, will offer voluntary buyouts this week to hundreds of its U.S. employees, two company executives familiar with the plans have told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Additional job cuts are still expected later this year at the company, which is part of Time Warner Inc. and includes TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, truTV, HLN and other TV networks and online sites.


Aug. 26, 2014 Gainesville Times

Former president Jimmy Carter inspires Brenau students

Jennifer Brown reports that the first assignment for freshmen at Brenau University this year included a rare opportunity — getting to meet with former President Jimmy Carter. Students in Brenau’s freshman seminar, which is required for all first-year students, read Carter’s book “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power.” On Friday, they went on a field trip that included a meeting with Carter at the Carter Center in Atlanta.


Aug. 26, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Safety agency raps UPS, union for meddling in crash investigation

David Allison reports that a federal safety agency has rapped United Parcel Service Inc. and the Independent Pilots Association for interfering in the investigation of the crash of a UPS cargo plane last year. The National Transportation Safety Board said Aug. 25 that it's kicking both UPS Airlines and the union out of the investigation because both violated NTSB rules by commenting publicly on the crash and providing their own analysis of the investigation before the NTSB could hold a public meeting to determine the probable cause of the accident.


Aug. 26, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

PulteGroup acquiring Dominion Homes

Christopher Seward reports that Atlanta-based PulteGroup said it has acquired the assets of Midwest homebuilder Dominion Homes. Dominion Homes serves Columbus, Ohio, and Louisville and Lexington, Ky., PulteGroup plans to purchase move-up and entry-level homes in about 40 communities.


Aug. 26, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Savannah rental market bullish

Julia Ritchey reports that Savannah’s rental industry is performing well post-recession, a result of a surge in local demand combined with a nationwide slump in home ownership. Brandy Mai, a local sales executive with Apartment Guide, an Internet listing site, said occupancy rates have been good this year, especially in places like west Chatham County.


Aug. 26, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Augusta military conference returns to highlight technology at Fort Gordon

Wesley Brown reports that the international conference that helped rally support for the Army Cyber Command’s move to Fort Gordon last year will return to Augusta in two weeks to highlight the area as a leader in developing technology to modernize the military. Top Army and industry leaders will participate in panel discussions Sept. 9-11 during TechNet Augusta’s second year at the downtown convention center.


Aug. 26, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Drones are coming to Georgia. And they’ve got lawyers.

Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy report that if you want to know where the future is headed, watch where the legal community goes. The legal/governmental affairs firm of McKenna, Long & Aldridge, perhaps the most politically active entity of its kind in Atlanta – working both sides of the aisle, has a new Washington unit: An unmanned Aircraft Systems division. The firm is now advertising a Sept. 23 seminar in Georgia that will include a look at what might be popping up legislatively during the 2015 session of the General Assembly.



Aug. 25, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta hiring 1,800 flight attendants

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines plans to hire at least 1,800 flight attendants as it plans for growth. The airline began taking applications for the flight attendant positions this week, after opening it up to internal candidates last week.


Aug. 25, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Douglas - Coffee County: Sparking Development

Scott Blusiewicz reports that when Virginia Carson arrived in Coffee County in the spring of 2008, the then-interim president of South Georgia State College was struck by the instant acceptance she received from the region’s political, business and community leaders. A Macon native who spent years working as a professor and administrator at Georgia Perimeter College in Clarkston and Georgia Highlands College in Rome, she is far from the only person who gushes when the subject of Coffee County’s community spirit comes up.


Aug. 25, 2014 Atlanta Businesss Chronicle

Report: Turner employees told to expect layoffs

Carla Caldwell reports that Turner Broadcasting System employees were told this week the company will unveil details of a new corporate structure “in the next two months” and to expect big changes. Chief Executive Officer John Martin said in a memo to employees on Tuesday that the company will “start 2015 a more streamlined, nimble and efficient company focused on driving programming, monetization and innovation, in a culture that emphasizes and rewards continuous improvement," reports


Aug. 25, 2014 Gainesville Times

Schools use fresh data to take new measure of student achievement

Jennifer Brown reports that school districts have a new way of looking at student testing data, but they’re still learning how to make the most of it. Data is an important part of school district planning, and there is a lot of it to sort through: Test scores, graduation rates, attendance rates, demographic data and teacher success data, to name a few. The date often is used to create ratings, such as the College and Career Ready Performance Index.


Aug. 25, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Women-owned firms growing quickest in Georgia

Jenna Martin reports that since 1997, the number of businesses helmed by women in the Peach State has skyrockted by 118 percent, almost double the national increase of 68 percent, according to American Express OPEN’s fourth annual “State of Women-Owned Business” report. Georgia is tied for fourth with Arizona in economic clout, which combines growth in number, revenue and employment of women-run companies, after ranking eighth in the country in 2012.


Aug. 25, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Lockheed Martin celebrates C-130 anniversary

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules Airlifter will reach 60 years in flight come Saturday, as it holds the title for the longest continuous production run in military aircraft history. The first flight of the C-130 was in Burbank, Calif. in 1954. All C-130 production models are built at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility in Marietta.


Aug. 25, 2014 Newnan Times-Herald

After 43 years, Powers’ festival is no more

Sarah Fay Campbell reports that for the first time in 43 years, there won’t be a festival at Power’s Crossroads on Labor Day Weekend. The Powers’ Crossroads Country Fair and Arts Festival, shortened in recent years to “The Powers’ Festival,” began in 1971. It was a major attraction in the early years, and was a unique experience that drew visitors and artists from all over the country. 


Aug. 25, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Community & Southern Holdings buys Alliance Bancshares

Phil W. Hudson reports that Community & Southern Holdings Inc. completed its acquisition of Alliance Bancshares Inc. and its Alliance National Bank subsidiary. The Atlanta-based bank said prior to the merger, Alliance National Bank reported $157 million in total assets, $92 million of loans and $130 million in deposits. It operated two banking offices in Dalton and Cumming, Ga.


Aug. 25, 2014 GPB

When Same-Sex Couples In Savannah Leave The City To Get Married, They Take Their Wallets With Them 

Gabrielle Ware reports that Savannah’s lush squares and beautiful coastline make it a popular destination for weddings. This weekend, vendors will meet there for the first-ever LGBT Wedding Expo. Some couples will take part in a mass commitment ceremony to celebrate their love. Same-sex weddings aren’t legally recognized in Georgia – but that could change, if a lawsuit against the state’s gay marriage ban is successful.


Aug. 25, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Flipping Georgia’s races: New WSB-Landmark poll puts Jason Carter, Michelle Nunn at top

Jim Galloway reports that early this week, we told you of a SurveyUSA poll, commissioned by 11Alive, that placed Georgia’s races for governor and U.S. Senate in terms that mimicked past post-2002 cycles. But now we have a Landmark Communications survey, commissioned by Channel 2 Action News, released only four days later, that essentially flips those results. But the survey tracks closely with a previous WSB/Landmark poll from July.





Aug. 22, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Wage hikes? Not soon, argues Atlanta Fed

Michael Kanell reports that if you are at the helm of a business, you may fear that an enormous wave of pay hikes is just over the horizon, ready to swamp your company with higher costs as an improving labor market forces every employer to bid up the cost of good help. Of course, if you are a working person, your fear may be just the opposite: that the wave is just a wind-blown ripple – or an illusion.


Aug. 22, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Economic Development - August 2014

Christy Simo writes about economic development, including Keurig Green Mountain’s new Douglas County facility and Kroger Co.’s Forest Park distribution center.


Aug. 22, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Athens-Clarke mayor, others oppose current plan to bring refugees to Athens

Andre Gallant reports that the plan to resettle an increased number of international refugees in the Athens area is facing opposition from Athens-Clarke County Mayor Nancy Denson. Denson addressed her concerns about refugees straining public resources in a letter sent on Aug. 18 to state government officials in charge of refugee resettlement in Georgia.


Aug. 22, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Jacoby strikes deal with Los Angeles production studio

Ellie Hensley reports that Atlanta developer Jim Jacoby has taken another big step toward remaking the OFS plant at Interstate 85 and Jimmy Carter Boulevard into a what it calls the largest movie studio campus in the Southeast. Jacoby, chairman of Jacoby Development Inc., says his company has struck a partnership with Los Angeles-based MBS3. 


Aug. 22, 2014 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Little business signs on interstates will pay for upgrades of Georgia welcome centers, rest areas

Walter C. Jones reports that one group that believes in the power of advertising are the members of the State Transportation Board because ad revenue from official interstate exit signs is going to pay for renovating Georgia’s welcome centers and rest areas. The Department of Transportation program that features logos of fuel stops, stores, restaurants and other nearby establishments for $1,200 each per year is generating enough cash to enhance the appearance of the nine welcome centers and 17 rest areas that dot the Interstates.  


Aug. 22, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Craig Menear replacing Frank Blake as Home Depot CEO

Henry Unger reports that Frank Blake, who stabilized and then strengthened Home Depot after the tumultuous tenure of his predecessor, is stepping down Nov. 1 after seven years as CEO of the world’s largest home-improvement retailer. The new CEO will be Craig Menear, Atlanta-based Home Depot announced Thursday after the stock market closed. Menear, 57, has been president of the company’s U.S. retail operations since February, establishing him as Blake’s likely successor, and is a 34-year retail veteran.


Aug. 22, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta home affordability rising, rent getting more expensive

Staff reports that Atlanta is one of only a few metros currently more affordable than it historically has been for homeowners, as growth in housing costs continues to outpace wage growth, reported. Atlanta home buyers at the end of the second quarter could expect to pay 11.7 percent of their incomes to a mortgage on the typical home, less than the 19.9 percent share Atlanta homeowners devoted to mortgages in the pre-bubble days.


Aug. 22, 2014 Savannah Morning News

GPA delivers big lift for cancer patients

Mary Carr Mayle reports that good things don't always come in small packages, as evidenced by the cutting-edge cancer treatment equipment that recently moved from Kobe, Japan through Georgia Ports Authority's Ocean Terminal in Savannah. Proton therapy is an advanced, precise form of radiation cancer treatment. The technology is able to target cancer tissue with less damage to surrounding healthy tissue than traditional radiation treatments.


Aug. 22, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia Lottery fights federal proposal to outlaw online gaming

Greg Bluestein reports that even as Gov. Nathan Deal was courting casino mogul Sheldon Adelson’s support, his administration has been engaged in a quiet lobbying campaign against federal legislation supported by the billionaire that would restrict online gambling. Adelson is behind a nationwide campaign against Internet gaming, and he’s a supporter of legislation introduced by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina that would do just that. Three states – Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada – have allowed some forms of online gaming. But it riled up Georgia officials for a different reason.


Aug. 22, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

DNC, unions discuss Georgia ground game plans

Daniel Malloy reports that the  Democratic National Committee is having its summer meetings this week in Atlanta, in part to show its intention to commit resources to making Georgia competitive. DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, of Florida, told reporters at a news conference today that the party has hired a “Voter Expansion Coordinator” in Georgia as part of its efforts to register and turn out the hundreds of thousands of new voters Democrats need to make this election — and future ones — close.





Aug. 21, 2014 WABE

Georgia Students Scoring Higher on College Entrance Exams

Martha Dalton reports that Georgia students are making gains on college entrance exams. Georgia’s class of 2014 scored higher than many others in the South on the ACT. Georgia’s composite ACT score is 20.8. That’s slightly lower than the national average of 21, out of a possible 36. Officials would like Georgia’s number to be higher, but Department of Education spokesperson Matt Cardoza says it’s progress.


Aug. 21, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Augusta/Richmond County: Future meets past

Randy Southerland reports that the nation’s fight against cyberterrorism is coming to Augusta. Everyone here knows that this East Georgia community is home to one of the nation’s top spy outfits – the National Security Agency at Fort Gordon. Now the sprawling military base is set to expand still more with the addition this year of the U.S. Army Cyber Command.


Aug. 21, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta lands 94 companies on 2014 Inc. 5000

Staff reports that Atlanta had a solid showing on Inc. magazine’s 33rd annual Inc. 5000 list with 94 companies -- bested only by New York and Chicago. The magazine’s list tracks the fastest growing private companies in America. Highest on the list is Atlanta-based Residential Capital Management. 


Aug. 21, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Service

Regents asked to boost health premiums, deductibles

Walter C. Jones reports that faculty, staff and retirees of the University System of Georgia are likely to wind up with an increase in health insurance premiums, co-pays and deductibles after the Board of Regents votes next month. The premium changes range from a 6 percent decrease in the comprehensive plan to as much as a 33 percent jump in the high-deductible option. Co-pays increase 20 percent from $25 to $30, and deductibles climb to $500 in the comprehensive plan and $1,500 in the high-deductible option.


Aug. 21, 2014 Augusta Chronicle, Columbia County News-Times

Columbia County approves $700,000 in incentives for development

Steve Crawford reports that Columbia County officials have agreed to give $700,000 in economic incentives to a project that could bring a Wal-Mart “competitor” and as many as 500 jobs to the area outside of Grovetown near Interstate 20. County commissioners approved the incentive money at their meeting Tuesday night. According to county documents, $400,000 will be awarded to Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial as reimbursement for costs associated with infrastructure improvements to make way for a potential development on Lewiston Road at William Few Parkway. 


Aug. 21, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ebix moving headquarters to Johns Creek

Christopher Seward reports that Ebix Inc., an Atlanta-based company that designs software for insurance and healthcare companies, said it has purchased 11.6 acres in Johns Creek for a new headquarters and corporate campus. The purchase, including 100,000 square feet of office space, was made in Johns Creek Technology Park, a mixed-use development in Fulton County.


Aug. 21, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Big questions about $90M Savannah film studio deal, future

Carla Caldwell reports that the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority was peppered with questions this week about how Medient Studios plans to pay for a $90 million studio the company has planned for 1,500 acres owned by the county. Some members of the development board - which has spent tax dollars on the deal - have their own questions for Medient.


Aug. 21, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Nunn, Perdue to meet for first time at Macon forum

Staff reports that political eyes will look toward Macon on Thursday as U.S. Senate candidates Michelle Nunn and David Perdue participate in a forum at the Macon Marriott City Center. Hosted by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Association of Broadcasters and the Georgia News Network, the event, which starts at 12:15 p.m., marks the first time the candidates will appear together, according to a news release from the Georgia Chamber.


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Aug. 21, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Carter, Deal put different spin on unemployment numbers

Kristi Reed reports that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter and incumbent Republican Gov. Nathan Deal continued to battle last week over the meaning of recent state unemployment numbers. In a speech to Gwinnett business leaders on Tuesday, Carter offered pointed criticism of Gov. Nathan Deal regarding Georgia’s unemployment rate compared to other states. Numbers released Aug. 18 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate Georgia has the highest rate — at 7.8 percent — of any state in the union apart from Mississippi.


Aug. 21, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

A cipher in the ‘dream’ kid debate tries to stay afloat

Jim Galloway reports that Marco was stretched out on a hard chair in a beat-up DeKalb County school conference room, in the presence of a former teacher who’s taken up for him. He is a bright, skinny and well-spoken 16-year-old with a flat American accent.  Pronunciation slipped only when he named the Mexican village whence he came. Marco was smuggled across the border into the United States not once, but twice. First when he was a 4-year-old, then again when he was eight. Marco is now one of President Barack Obama’s “dream” kids, one of thousands of under-aged children who accompanied illegal immigrant parents into the country, and who now have been granted provisional legal residency here.



Aug. 20, 2014

Deal announces $39.7 million in community development awards

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that 82 Georgia communities will receive a total of $39.7 million in assistance to grow their local economies. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the funding to Georgia’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which is administered by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).


Aug. 20, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Downtown development showcase

Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy reports that Georgia is home to a number of cities that have gotten it right when it comes to downtown development and revitalization. Three such cities – Moultrie, Thomasville and Valdosta – got to show off their impressive downtown areas to officials from across the state as part of the Georgia Municipal Association’s recent Heart and Soul of Georgia Tour.


Aug. 20, 2014 WABE

PSC Approves Latest Round Of Vogtle Spending, Minus Cost Overruns

Jonathan Shapiro reports that state regulators Tuesday signed off on more spending for Georgia Power’s nuclear expansion of Plant Vogtle near Augusta. Advocates say ratepayers should prepare for higher bills due to construction delays and cost overruns. Georgia’s five-member Public Service Commission unanimously approved $389 million to continue construction, bringing total costs so far to $2.6 billion.


Aug. 20, 2014 Georgia Health News

Key activist group sees flaws in state health plan

Andy Miller reports that last week, when upcoming changes in the state employee and teacher health plan were announced, they drew a generally positive response. Members learned that the 2015 plan would include an increased choice of insurers, which was welcome, and officials presented information showing that many members would see no premium increase. But after studying the proposed rates in greater detail, a group representing teachers, employees and retirees is voicing concern. It says many of the new options will be unaffordable for members looking to switch from their current plans. 


Aug. 20, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Four Georgia hotels in running for national historic hotel awards

Carla Caldwell reports that four Georgia hotels are in the running for Historic Hotels of America’s 2014 Awards of Excellence. The organization says the awards recognize and celebrate the finest historic hotels and hoteliers. Winners will be announced October 2 at The Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania, which was built in 1933.


Aug. 20, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Wayne County residents wary of duPont's plans for titanium mine on 4,063 acres

Terry Dickson reports that environmentalists are marshalling Wayne County residents to demand local ordinances to control the scope of DuPont's plans to mine titanium oxide, zircon and other minerals from 2,254 acres it has leased near Jesup.E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company Inc. of Starke filed an application for a surface mining permit on May 2 with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division for a 4,063-acre site it describes as the Amelia A & B mine.


Aug. 20, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tech job growth fuels office space demand

Christopher Seward reports that Metro Atlanta ranked 11th in the nation in creating new tech jobs over the last two years, and the growth is fueling the need for more office space, according to a report released this week. The report by CBRE, a commercial real estate services firm, said there has been a notable increase in the number of tech companies coming to the area or expanding existing operations.


Aug. 20, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

The Hanover Co. has agreement to buy Buckhead Village site

Douglas Sams and Amy Wenk report that for more than a year, a high-end hotel was in the works next to the historic Buckhead Theatre. Now, a project that would feature residential and street-level retail is being planned on the more than 1-acre site. The Hanover Co. has the parking lot next to the Buckhead Theatre under contract, the property's owner Robin Loudermilk said.


Aug. 20, 2014 Savannah Morning News

PERC coffee launching new line of cold brews

local roasting company PERC Coffee is making its first foray into bottling with the launch of a new single-origin cold brewed coffee. PERC cold brew will be available in stores and restaurants beginning Saturday according to owner and roaster Philip Brown.


Aug. 20, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Jason Carter backs a new push for transportation sales tax

Greg Bluestein reports that Democrat Jason Carter said Tuesday it was time to revive the idea of a regional sales tax for infrastructure improvements to fix a transportation dilemma he said is weighing down Georgia’s economy like an “anchor.” The 2012 push for a sales tax increase for transportation, known as the T-SPLOST, failed in most parts of the state despite tremendous support from the business community and backing from most of the state’s leading politicians, including both Carter and Gov. Nathan Deal, his November opponent.




Aug. 19, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia has nation’s 2nd-highest unemployment rate

Dan Chapman reports that Georgia notched the second worst unemployment rate in the nation — 7.8 percent — in July, according to a report released Monday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only Mississippi, with a jobless rate of 8 percent, came in below the Peach State. Each month the BLS lists unemployment rates for every state. During the peak of the recession, Georgia — hit hard by the collapse of the housing and construction industries — had much company at the bottom of the jobless rankings. 


Each month the BLS lists unemployment rates for every state. During the peak of the recession, Georgia — hit hard by the collapse of the housing and construction industries — had much company at the bottom of the jobless rankings.

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Aug. 19, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Gulfstream moving toward supersonic jet

Mary Carr Mayle reports that all about the boom. For more than a decade, Savannah-based Gulfstream Aerospace has dedicated a team of engineers and other researchers to finding a way to diminish the bone-jarring sound of an aircraft breaking the sound barrier. Some seven years, Gulfstream rolled out its "Quiet Spike" sonic boom mitigation system on a NASA F-15 jet, which had been testing the structural integrity of the device.


Aug. 19, 2014 WABE

Metro Atlanta's Real Estate Market Holds Steady

John Lorinc reports that it could be better, but it could be worse. That's the findings from the Atlanta Board of Realtors' latest report on the housing numbers for July 2014. "All the indications are very, very favorable for a continued, thriving and sustainable housing market in Atlanta," says ABR president Todd Emerson.


Aug. 19, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Uber tests moving service in Atlanta, Nashville

Phil W. Hudson reports that Uber tested a new moving service in Atlanta on Aug. 16. The San Francisco-based tech-enabled car service teamed up with the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based moving service Bellhops to test UberMovers, a professional moving service. Uber said the promotion was focused on large areas surrounding Georgia Tech and the Atlanta University Center. 


Aug. 19, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Partridge Inn sale complete

Jenna Martin reports that the Partridge Inn sale was completed Monday, with a planned $6 million renovation announced by its new ownership group. The historic Walton Way hotel is now owned by Atlanta-based Partridge Inn Holdings LLC and will be managed by NorthPointe Hospitality Management LLC, according to a news release.


Aug. 19, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Edens buys Buckhead Village center for $19 million

Douglas Sams reports that Edens, the Columbia, S.C.-based real estate company, recently bought the entertainment and shopping center Andrews Square — part of the Buckhead Village — for $19.1 million. The 2.6-acre center is known for its restaurants and clubs that make up East Andrews Entertainment District and for popular Buckhead cafe Souper Jenny


Aug. 19, 2014 Saporta Report

Races for governor, Senate could affect Tyler Perry’s purchase plans 

David Pendered reports that implications on the races for Georgia’s governor and U.S. senator of the Tyler Perry proposal to buy most of Fort McPherson may be starting to take shape. The election is less than three weeks after Perry’s tentatively scheduled closing, on Oct. 15, for 330 acres of the fort. If Gov. Nathan Deal loses to Sen. Jason Carter, or if Michelle Nunn wins a Senate seat, there’s a chance that either victor may intervene to slow Perry’s deal. 


Aug. 19, 2014 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Jason Carter hammers Nathan Deal on rise in Georgia unemployment rate

Walter C. Jones reports that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter used a conference call Monday to blast Gov. Nathan Deal for the latest rise in the state's unemployment rate, offering education spending as a general solution. Meanwhile, the Libertarian nominee renewed his specific pledge to drop the unemployment rate with employer rebates.


Aug. 19, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Michelle Nunn losing the Super PAC war

Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway report that never mind the polls in the race for U.S. Senate. Democrat Michelle Nunn is losing one of the more important modern measurements of candidate potency: Super PAC support. While Nunn’s campaign has been wildly successful at raising money, her allied Super PAC, Georgians Together, had brought in a mere $70,000 as of the end of June. Keith Mason, treasurer of that organization, sent us some spending figures over the weekend, which we have adjusted slightly.




Aug. 18, 2014 Georgia Health News

State health plan choices for 2015 draw praise

Andy Miller reports that many state employees and teachers will see no increase in their health insurance premiums next year under rates approved by a state agency’s board Thursday. The State Health Benefit Plan members will have choices among plans offered by three health insurers, rather than a single insurance company this year.


The State Health Benefit Plan members will have choices among plans offered by three health insurers, rather than a single insurance company this year.

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Aug. 18, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Increasing Development

Don Sadler reports that on the surface, the idea of a business voluntarily paying more money in taxes than it owes sounds absurd. But this is exactly what hundreds of businesses and commercial property owners in Georgia have chosen to do by forming Community Improvement Districts, or CIDs.


Aug. 18, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Silver Airways to discontinue Macon service

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Silver Airways plans to discontinue its flights to Macon, saying traffic has fallen far short of its forecasts. The Fort Lauderdale-based carrier told the U.S. Department of Transportation it wants to discontinue its federally-subsidized flights from Macon to Atlanta and Orlando effective Nov. 5.


Aug. 18, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Byrd Cookie Co. expanding retail reach

Mary Carr Mayle reports that Byrd Cookie Co., the family-owned Savannah bakery best known for its jars and tins of tasty cookies, will celebrate its 90th anniversary this year by opening the first of what will be six new retail stores up and down the Eastern seaboard.


Aug. 18, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Yallywood vs. Hollywood: The battle for TV and film production

Phil W. Hudson reports that California is looking for ways to prevent filming from moving outside of Hollywood and into places like Atlanta. California legislators approved a 5-0 vote by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Aug. 14 that will quadruple tax subsidies for location shooting to $400 million a year and eliminate the lottery system that awards tax credits to TV and film produtions, despite its economic impact. Gov. Nathan Deal announced Aug. 5 Georgia’s movie and TV industries generated $5.1 billion in economic impact during the last fiscal year, up from $3.3 billion in fiscal 2013.


Aug. 18, 2014 GPB

For Food Start-Ups, Incubators Help Dish Up Success

Allison Aubrey reports that if you want to get in shape, you can join a gym. But if you want to start a food business, where do you go? Try a culinary incubator. Just as gym members share workout equipment, members of many food incubators share commercial kitchen space. Incubators also offer business support and technical assistance like branding, sales and distribution to help "foodpreneurs" get off the ground.


Aug. 18, 2014 Rome News Tribune

Tucker Farms creating market for greenhouse greens

Doug Walker reports that at first glance, one might think Craig Tucker is the kind of guy who likes to play in the dirt. But most of his Tucker Farms operation involves very little dirt. Tucked away in the northeast corner of Floyd County, overlooking the Oostanaula River, the family-owned and operated agri-business at 289 Thomas Bluff Road offers fresh produce to individuals and corporate clients across North Georgia.


Aug. 18, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

King and Queen may go on market for record-setting price

Douglas Sams reports that less than two years after selling for more than $300 million, Concourse Corporate Center and its landmark “King and Queen” towers may be heading back on the market, a deal that could fetch one of the highest prices ever paid for a metro Atlanta office project. Regent Partners LLC and its investment partners, including GEM Realty Capital Inc., would list the more than 2 million-square-foot property late this year or in early 2015, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the strategy.


Aug. 18, 2014 Newnan Times-Herald

Carter says education must be top priority

W. Winston Skinner reports that Jason Carter, Democratic candidate for governor, says the current administration is “trading in the future” by short-changing education – something he pledged to stop, if elected. Carter was the keynote speaker for the annual Atkinson-Arnall Dinner at the Newnan Centre on Friday night. The Coweta County Democratic Party is named for the two Democratic governors from Coweta County, William Yates Atkinson and Ellis Gibbs Arnall.


Aug. 18, 2014 WABE

Plaintiffs in Georgia Same Sex Marriage Ban Lawsuit Keep Close Watch on Recent Rulings

Rose Scott reports that a 2004 amendment, approved by voters through a referendum, makes it unconstitutional for Georgia to recognize or perform same-sex marriages and civil unions. But a recent surge of court rulings, finding other state laws to be unconstitutional, could mean Georgia is the next state to have its same-sex marriage ban invalidated. At least that’s what Beth Littrell is hoping for involving Georgia's law. Littrell is the senior attorney for Lamdba Legal.



Aug. 15, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Coke buys minority stake in Monster energy drinks

Leon Stafford reports that Coca-Cola has bought a minority stake in energy drink giant Monster, the company announced late Thursday. Atlanta-based Coke will pay $2.15 billion for a 16.7 percent of Monster, the leader in the energy drink market. Coke will also get two directors positions on Monster’s board.


Aug. 15, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Power to build solar project at naval base

Dave Williams reports that the U.S. Navy is working with Georgia Power Co. to build a solar energy project at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base near St. Marys, a Georgia Power executive announced Thursday. The solar project would be the fourth built by the Atlanta-based utility in partnership with the military.


Aug. 15, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Unclear if Cisco cuts will affect Gwinnett

Joshua Sharpe reports that Cisco Systems representatives are not saying if the global giant’s plans to cut 8 percent of its workforce will be felt in Gwinnett County. The networking company, which has hundreds of employees in Lawrenceville, confirmed Thursday that “limited restructuring” would impact up to 6,000 workers worldwide in the next year. What isn’t clear is where the affected employees are based.


Aug. 15, 2014

Savannah entrepreneurs eye greater slice of cake icing market

Mary Welch reports that without the help of a Georgia Institute of Technology program that assists manufacturers, Laura Darnall and Lois Judy might still be churning out fondant in a building in Ms. Darnall’s Savannah backyard.  But today, Fondarific has a 10,000-square-foot factory and ships internationally. The company in 2011 sold $2.5 million worth of fondant, a creamy confection mostly used in decorating cake.


Aug. 15, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Spirit Airlines adding Atlanta routes in October

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Spirit Airlines announced it will add routes from Atlanta to Chicago O’Hare and Detroit starting Oct. 24, as it adds planes to its fleet. The airline is moving up the launch date for the two new routes due to early deliveries of new aircraft. Miramar, Fla.-based Spirit also added a route from Atlanta to Houston Bush Intercontinental this month.


Aug. 15, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

DraftServ Technologies expands, will add 50 jobs

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that draft beverage service provider, DraftServ Technologies is expanding its point-of-sale beverage system operations into the cruise, hospitality and sports venue industries. As part of the expansion, DraftServ will double its 2,500-square-foot facility in Suwannee and add 50 jobs in the next several months, according to a statement.


Aug. 15, 2014 WABE

Deal Denies Link Between Tyler Perry Campaign Contribution And Land Deal

Jonathan Shapiro reports that Gov. Nathan Deal Thursday dismissed any link between a campaign contribution from Atlanta-based filmmaker Tyler Perry and the recent announcement that Perry will purchase two-thirds of Fort McPherson. Deal said the combined $12,600 donation from Perry and his film company had nothing to do with the deal.


Aug. 15, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Service

Poll: Deal and Carter tied in governor's race, Perdue on top in Senate battle

Walter C. Jones reports that the governor’s race is essentially tied, and the Senate contest has Republican David Perdue ahead, according to a survey released Thursday. Republican Gov. Nathan Deal has a small numerical lead over Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter and Libertarian Andrew Hunt, but the difference between Deal and Carter essentially falls within the survey’s margin of error. Deal has 43 percent, Carter 39, and Hunt 7, with 11 percent undecided.


Aug. 15, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Zell Miller endorses Michelle Nunn for Senate, but Nathan Deal for governor

Jim Galloway reports that former governor and U.S. senator Zell Miller on Thursday endorsed Democrat Michelle Nunn in the U.S. Senate race, citing her bipartisan approach as an antidote for Washington gridlock. But lest you Democrats get too excited: Miller said he fully intends to vote for Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, who is locked in a tough re-election bid with Democrat Jason Carter, grandson of the former president.



Aug. 14, 2014 WABE

Organization Raises Concerns About Possibility Of Atlantic Offshore Drilling

Michelle Wirth reports that a Georgia environmental organization is concerned about including the Atlantic ocean from Florida through Delaware in a federal lease program for oil and natural gas. The eastern seaboard has been closed to offshore drilling for more than 30 years. If it becomes part of the program, it could lead to drilling off Georgia’s coast.


Aug. 14, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Business Casual: Summer games and fans

Susan Percy writes, if a warm summer morning and a sweet-smelling grassy field of young athletes wearing brand new jerseys and caps, holding onto their gloves and checking out their teammates doesn’t get your blood flowing, then open another bag of Tostitos, head to the couch and find a Law And Order rerun to watch.


Aug. 14, 2014

Deal announces AmeriCorps grants for Georgia organizations

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Georgia organizations will receive $3,437,917 in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to engage 690 AmeriCorps members with 15 nonprofit organizations and meet education, health, environmental and other local needs.


Aug. 14, 2014 Newnan Times-Herald

Sequoia Golf to be sold to ClubCorp for $265M

Clay Neely reports that Newnan-based Sequoia Golf will sell its stock and assets to Dallas-based ClubCorp for $265 million, the companies announced Wednesday. Sequoia currently owns or operates 50 private clubs, semi-private and resort golf facilities located across the U.S. Among those in the area include Canongate I Golf Club, White Oak Golf Club, Flat Creek, Planterra Ridge, and Braelin golf clubs in Peachtree City.


Aug. 14, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

Red Lobster sold; restaurant and land goes for more than $2 million

Doug Walker reports that Arizona based real estate investment trust has purchased Red Lobster, 700 Shorter Avenue, for more than $2 million, well over twice what the land and existing building were on the local tax books for. Real estate transfer records filed at the Floyd County Courthouse show that the property was sold by GMRI, Inc. a Florida Corporation to ARCP RL Portfolio VI, LLC, 700 Shorter Ave., for $2,305,200.


Aug. 14, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Urban Institute: Georgia residents struggling with debt

Jacques Couret reports that Georgia ranked sixth in the nation for the highest percentage of residents with delinquent debt at 42 percent in 2013, according to a recent Urban Institute study. Georgia also ranks 20th lowest in the nation for median household income and has the sixth-highest poverty rate.


Aug. 14, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

MedAssets acquires healthcare market analytics firm Sg2

Christopher Seward reports that Alpharetta-based MedAssets Inc. said it is acquiring Skokie, Ill-based Sg2 LLC, a provider of healthcare market analysis and forecasting services, for $142 million. MedAssets said the acquisition will complement its analytic services, which help clients with strategic planning.


Aug. 14, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Houston company expansions to add 225 jobs, $86 million investment

Mike Stucka reports that two Houston companies are committed to big expansions that would add more than 200 jobs, while the county also is a finalist to become the American headquarters for another manufacturer. Angie Gheesling, executive director of the Houston County Development Authority, told the Telegraph on Wednesday that the first two committed projects will bring "combined, probably 225 jobs and a combined investment of $86 million."


Aug. 14, 2014 GPB

Georgia State University Researchers Working on Ebola Vaccine

Jeanne Bonner reports that four years ago, researchers at Georgia State met with U.S. Army officials. The military wanted their help fighting a host of infectious diseases, including Ebola. Microbiology Professor George Pierce is one of the researchers who met with the Army. He says, at the time, he and his team’s focus was on flu vaccine research.


Aug. 14, 2014 Athens Banner Herald, Morris News Service

Georgia lawmakers consider standard payouts for people wrongfully convicted

Walter C. Jones reports that looking to set a standard payout for people released from prison after being wrongfully convicted, state lawmakers heard Wednesday from experts on the range of past payments. All eight of the Georgians who have received compensation since 2000 were exonerated on the basis of DNA analysis in rape cases. None claimed that prosecutors did anything improper to put an innocent person behind bars, even though one of the exonerated men had pleaded guilty as part of a plea bargain.


Aug. 14, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Georgia Republicans duck sequel to the fight over Common Core

Jim Galloway reports that a sequel to the national war over Common Core, aimed at top history classes in public high schools across the country, is about to break out. But Georgia’s ranking Republicans have decided to give this particular fight a miss. You can blame, or credit, the hot race between Gov. Nathan Deal and Jason Carter, the Democrat who would overthrow him. Consider it more proof that elections can make a difference in your life – even before the final votes are cast.






Aug. 13, 2014 Albany Herald, Georgia Health News

Federal and state numbers differ on Medicaid, PeachCare enrollments in Georgia

Andy Miller reports that Federal figures show Georgia’s Medicaid and PeachCare enrollment jumped 16 percent since October – the highest percentage increase among states that have rejected the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Yet Georgia Medicaid officials Monday released figures that showed a much smaller percentage hike in Medicaid and PeachCare enrollment since October – 5.6 percent, rising by more than 100,000 to almost 1.9 million members.


Aug. 13, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Driving the Dream

Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy reports that the High Museum's Dream Cars exhibit, open through Sept. 7 in Atlanta, features 17 innovative concept cars from across Europe and the U.S., including incredibly rare designs from Ferrari, Bugatti, GM and Porsche. To complement the exhibit, Table 1280, the Woodruff Arts Center’s restaurant, is featuring a selection of Dream Car-tails.


Aug. 13, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Grady enters contract with IT company

Ellie Hensley reports that Grady Memorial Hospital Corporation has entered a three-year contract with CareView Communications Inc., an information technology provider to the health-care industry. The Lewisville, Texas-based company will install its entire line of products and services for 402 of Grady's beds.


Aug. 13, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Geico celebrates four decades in Macon

Linda S. Morris reports that August 1974, Geico opened a regional office in Macon with just 150 employees. Now as the insurance giant celebrates 40 years in the city, the number of workers has swelled to more than 5,400.


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Aug. 13, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Program to help underwater homeowners Thursday

Staff reports that Home Affordable Refinance Program, a government sponsored effort to help homeowners refinance their homes, will host a meeting at Ebenezer Baptist Church Thursday, Aug. 14, at 11 a.m. The church is at 407 Auburn Ave. in Atlanta. It is one of four stops on the current tour, hosted by the Federal Housing and Finance Agency. 


Aug. 13, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Qcept Technologies raises $3M

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Qcept Technologies Inc. has raised $3 million, according to a Securities & Exchange Commission filing. The Atlanta-based company plays a critical role in the development of the tiny chips that power smart phones and computers. 


Aug. 13, 2014 WABE 

WonderRoot Announces Move to Building 14 Times its Current Size

Kate Sweeney reports that the arts organization WonderRoot has announced a significant expansion. The nonprofit arts and service organization has occupied its current space, a 4,000-square-foot house on Memorial Drive, since 2008. Next year, it plans to move across the street into the 52,000 square-foot building that was formerly Tech High Charter School. The group plans to call the new space the WonderRoots Center for Arts and Social Change.


Aug. 13, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Public gets closer look at Port Wentworth transportation project

public was given a close look Tuesday evening at a Georgia Department of Transportation project that officials hope will unclog traffic in Port Wentworth. Plans and interactive displays of a planned diverging diamond interchange on Ga.


Aug. 13, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Republicans begin $2.5 million TV assault on Michelle Nunn

Jim Galloway, Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein report, we told you about Democrat Michelle Nunn’s first TV slap at Republican rival David Perdue in the U.S. Senate race. Her theme: “David Perdue’s real world doesn’t include you.”Nunn is trying to get in front of – or at least mitigate – a $2.5 million air assault by the National Republican Senatorial Committee that also starts today.




Aug. 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Study: Georgia opting out of Medicaid expansion carries heavy price tag

Dave Williams reports that Georgia would lose $33.7 billion during the next decade by not expanding Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to a nonprofit social and economic research organization. The Washington, D.C-based Urban Institute released a study Monday examining the potential impacts of not expanding Medicaid in the 24 states that have opted out of the expansion since a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision on Obamacare gave states that choice.


Aug. 12, 2014 GPB

Charting The Future Of Atlanta's Airport

Bradley George reports that the new General Manager of Atlanta's airport wants to lure more international visitors to the city. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the world's busiest, serving around 95 million passengers every year. But only 10 million or so arrive from foreign destinations. General Manager Miguel Southwell is keen to offer direct flights to cities in China and India. (Delta offered non-stop service to Shanghai, but suspended the flights in 2011, citing high fuel prices and low demand).


Aug. 12, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Coke sues ex-vending machine partner

Christopher Seward reports that a court battle is under way between Coca-Cola and a company that makes it possible for you to use a debit or credit to buy a soft drink out of a vending machine. Coca-Cola Refreshments wants USA Technologies Inc. to return nearly $1 million in fees collected from Coke vending machines after the two parted ways two years ago, according to a lawsuit filed recently in federal court in Atlanta.


Aug. 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia chamber calls for end to off-shore drilling ban

Dave Williams reports that continuing a federal ban on drilling off the Atlantic seaboard would cost up to 280,000 jobs and $23.5 billion a year in economic activity, the head of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce warned in a recent letter. Chris Clark, the chamber’s president and CEO, responded late last month to a request by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management for input on the next five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program.


Aug. 12, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

County residents decry new tax increase at public hearings

Susan McCord reports that a few hundred Augusta residents held back little in voicing their displeasure with a 1.75-mill property tax increase city commissioners are proposing to fill a deficit and provide employees a $500 salary boost. Citing their own fixed incomes, evidence of rampant government waste and the loss of residents to other counties, few showed any support for Augusta’s first tax hike in seven years.


Aug. 12, 2014 Gainesville Times

Hall County moving forward on health clinic for workers

Joshua Silavent reports that Hall County officials are finally moving forward on plans to turn the old East Hall library branch, shuttered as a result of budget cuts in July 2011, into a health clinic for employees. “There’s a number of advantages to all this,” Human Resources Director Bill Moats told the Board of Commissioners on Monday during a work session. “We can lower our health care costs. We can lower costs to the employees that are covered by our medical plan.”


Aug. 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia the No. 6 most expensive state to drive

Staff reports that driving isn’t cheap in the Peach State. Georgia is the sixth-most expensive state to operate a motor vehicle at $2,408 annually, according to a new report. The figure includes an average of $385 for car repairs, $927 for gas prices and $1,096 for insurance.


Aug. 12, 2014 WABE

Reed Facing Criticism Over Cash Payouts To Police Chief, Senior Officials

Jonathan Shapiro reports that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is defending the big cash payouts given to senior officials in his administration for unused sick and vacation time, despite some city council members raising concerns the payments were improper. Police chief George Turner, whose annual salary is about $240,000, received a one-time cash payment of $79,000 last year for 700 hours of unused vacation time.


Aug. 12, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Michelle Nunn takes her first televised swings at David Perdue

Daniel Malloy reports that Democrat Michelle Nunn is up with her first negative ad of the campaign, taking aim at Republican David Perdue on his business career and reviving some of the attacks lobbed his way during the lengthy GOP primary.




Aug. 11, 2014 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Solutions needed for road funds in Georgia

Walter C. Jones reports that most motorists can see that the grass along Georgia's highways stays pretty shaggy and rush-hour congestion is getting worse. Rough pavement and potholes are visible enough, too. So when state transportation officials and business groups say there is a need for road improvements, it isn’t hard to be convincing. And that’s even with the less obvious needs like the 16 percent of interstates falling below state maintenance standards or the 11 percent of state-owned bridges due for major rehabilitation.


Aug. 11, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Not your Ma's Bell

Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy reports that communications behemoth AT&T unshackled telephones from the wall years ago. Now the company is working to integrate connections of all kinds back into the home – and into our cars – at two state-of-the-art technology studios in Atlanta.


Aug. 11, 2014 Valdosta Daily Times

Trail 37: Gayla’s Grits and Georgia Olive Farms

Stuart Taylor reports that just Georgia Grown Trail 37 stretches east from the Alabama line to Homerville. Just before you get to Homerville, you’ll go through Lakeland. There, you’ll find Georgia Olive Farms, which has made a name by doing something completely new and different, and Gayla’s Grits, which has taken a southern tradition back to its roots.


Aug. 11, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Midstate rail backers watching Clayton County closely

Maggie Lee reports that passenger rail service between Macon and Atlanta vanished in 1971 with the last journey of the train called the Nancy Hanks. Voters south of Atlanta are set to decide in November if they want to try to put a new train back on some of her old tracks. Rail in Clayton County is still far from settled -- and far from Macon, but rail advocates want it to be the first step in resurrecting the Nancy Hanks.


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Aug. 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Expecting a pay raise? Southeast lags a bit.

Matt Kempner reports that U.S. workers are expected to get slightly higher pay raises next year, marking the fourth increase in five years, according to the latest annual compensation survey by corporate advisor Mercer. The survey found average raises expected to rise to 3 percent in 2015. That compares to 2.9 percent this year, 2.8 percent in 2013 and 2.7 percent in each of 2012 and 2011. The survey covers more than 1,500 large and medium employers.


Aug. 11, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Hints of activity at Savannah River Landing as economy improves

Julie Ritchey reports that it's been referred to as stalled and stagnant, but the fact remains that the 54-acre Savannah River Landing site is still one of the most valuable development parcels in the region and some developers are taking notice. "I think it remains the most exciting piece of real estate in Savannah,” said Ashley Smith, a local broker at commercial firm Colliers International. “I would even say it’s one of the most exciting pieces in the Southeast — you’re talking about waterfront, fully entitled property contiguous to downtown Savannah.”


Aug. 11, 2014 Saporta Report

Tensions mount on both sides of federal lawsuit opposing Tyler Perry's studio plans at Fort McPherson

Maria Saporta reports that war of words has escalated between opposing sides of a federal lawsuit over Tyler Perry’s plans to build a major movie studio complex on 330 acres of what used to be Fort McPherson. As Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Tyler Perry announced on Friday, Aug. 8 that they had reached an agreement for the film-maker to buy 330 acres for about $30 million, the mayor reacted aggressively when he was asked about the federal legal proceedings objecting to the deal. 


Aug. 11, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Beer dispensing system lands Suwanee company in national spotlight

Kristi Reed reports that all it took was years of hard work and a mention on a major television network for a Suwanee company to find itself the subject of a “viral” story. Last month, DraftServ’s point-of-sale beverage dispensing system debuted at Major League Baseball’s All-Star game in Minneapolis. ESPN took notice of the innovative way for fans to buy and pour their own beer as did Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman, Fox and Friends and scores of others.


Aug. 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Nathan Deal goes to Vegas as rumors of Sheldon Adelson meeting swirl

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal is in Las Vegas Sunday to address Republican National Lawyers Association. Left unsaid is whether he will also meet with one of his party’s biggest benefactors, Sheldon Adelson. His team won’t confirm or deny whether the governor will huddle with the casino magnate or his representatives while at the conference at the Venetian Hotel, which Adelson owns.


Aug. 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jason Carter’s delicate dance on his grandfather’s Hamas position

Greg Bluestein reports that you could almost hear the groans from Democrat Jason Carter’s camp last week when his grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter, co-authored an op-ed arguing that Hamas should be recognized as a legitimate political actor. Gov. Nathan Deal has since tried to tie his November opponent to his grandpa’s views of Hamas, the militant faction which the U.S. considers a terrorist group. Others, including some Democratic supporters, have questioned why Carter didn’t come out strongly against his grandfather’s position.



Aug. 8, 2014

Social projects add to Cokes $5 billion investment in Africa

Trevor Williams reports that Coca-Cola Co. chose this week’s U.S.-African Leaders Summit to announce that the company and the Coke system would up their planned investment on the continent by $5 billion, adding to $12 billion it pledged in 2010 to invest by 2020. Some 50 African heads of state gathered in Washington Aug. 5-6, where officials announced a raft of commercial deals totaling more than $30 billion.


Aug. 8, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

New strategies for job creation

Susan Percy reports that Hala Moddelmog, a veteran of the corporate and nonprofit worlds, became president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber this year. A Georgia native, Moddelmog is the first female to head the organization, which traces its beginnings back to 1859 and the establishment of the Mercantile Association by a dozen local businessmen. She has a strong business background, including stints as president of Church’s Chicken and Arby’s Restaurant Group and as president and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. 


Aug. 8, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

UPS makes AT&T’s Stankey director

Phil W. Hudson report that United Parcel Service Inc. appointed John T. Stankey to its board of directors. The Atlanta-based package shipper and logistics giant (NYSE: UPS) said Stankey will serve on the nominating and corporate governance committee. His appointment expands the UPS board to 14 directors. He will stand for election to a regular one-year term at UPS’ annual shareholders’ meeting in May 2015.


Aug. 8, 2014 Gainesville Times

Ag commissioner: Diverse poultry market will soften Russian ban’s blow

Jeff Gill reports that Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black said he’s “saddened” by Russia placing a one-year ban on U.S. food imports but believes the move could backfire, with Russian consumers being the ones hurt the most. “I don’t want to downplay it because whenever you have these serious policy issues taking place, you hate to see that happen,” he said. “But the diversity of our market now makes this not as much an impact as it would have in the past.”


Aug. 8, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Valet-concierge service shuts down at Atlanta airport

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that a valet parking and concierge service at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is shutting down Friday, as airport officials plan for valet service under a new parking contract in the future. AmeriPark’s GreenCoat Auto Concierge started last year, offering curbside valet parking and services like oil changes and car washes for extra fees while travelers are on their trips. GreenCoat had been parking the cars in a remote parking facility.


Aug. 8, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Expert at UGA answers questions about Ebola, says outbreak in the U.S. unlikely

April Burkhart reports that the recent Ebola outbreak in west Africa and the transport of two American citizens with the virus back from Africa to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta has many U.S. citizens worried about the potential for an Ebola outbreak in this country. With that in mind, Dr. Christopher Whalen, interim head of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Georgia's College of Public Health, answered the following questions posed by the Athens Banner-Herald/


Aug. 8, 2014

Georgia National Guard Unveils Memorial Wall

Claire Simms reports that they gave their lives for our country and now their sacrifice has been memorialized at Clay National Guard Center in Marietta. 42 members of the Georgia National Guard have been killed since the Global War on Terror began in 2003.  Thursday, guardsmen and their families dedicated a new memorial wall to the fallen.


Aug. 8, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Georgia Democrats hope to ratchet up ethics pressure on Nathan Deal

Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy report that Georgia’s Democrats are poised to put even more emphasis on the ethics questions trailing Gov. Nathan Deal. The party’s top leaders will gather in Dublin over the weekend, and among their duties will be a quartet of resolutions aimed at solidifying the party’s message. The wording is still under wraps, but the most significant proposal calls on Deal to dip into his own wallet to pay nearly $3 million the state agreed to spend to settle whistleblower lawsuits from former ethics staffers.



Aug. 7, 2014 Cartersville Daily Tribune

Surya breaks ground on Bartow facility

Jason Lowery reports that Surya took another step in its plans to move from Calhoun to Bartow County Tuesday morning as company officials hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for its 1-million-square-foot warehouse and headquarters facility. Expected to employ up to 200 new hires, the facility will house Surya’s American operations, including design, sales and online services in addition to supply chain management.


Aug. 7, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Neely Young: Capital Plans

Neely Young writes, from time to time, a person with remarkable talents comes along who can change history with the written word. Is such a person named Thomas Piketty? The young professor at the Paris School of Economics has written a book that has taken the world by storm. On a recent visit to the U.S., he was treated like a rock star.


Aug. 7, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hotel Indigo to open in Vinings in 2015

Leon Stafford reports that the Marriott Courtyard Vinings is being reflagged as a Hotel Indigo, InterContinental Hotels Group said Wednesday. The 150-room property at 2857 Paces Ferry Road is expected to open under its new banner in the third quarter of 2015.


Aug. 7, 2014 Saporta Report

Ron Allen, 72, to retire as CEO of Aaron’s at the end of August

Maria Saporta reports that serving 30 months as CEO of Atlanta-based Aaron’s, Ronald W. Allen will retire from the lease-to-own retailer on Aug. 31, the company announced Wednesday morning. Allen, 72, an Aaron’s board member since 1997, had first been named interim CEO in November 2011 during a change of leadership when Robin Loudermilk, the son of the company’s founder Charlie Loudermilk, abruptly left the company as president and CEO. 


Aug. 7, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Global Payments signs up with BitPay

Phil W. Hudson reports that Global Payments Inc. inked a referral agreement with BitPay Inc. that will allow it to offer bitcoin payment acceptance to its merchants. Atlanta-based-Bitpay, a payment service provider that specializes in bitcoin digital currency, said the partnership will allow Global Payments’ (NYSE: GPN) ecommerce and retail merchants to easily accept cryptocurrency payments.


Aug. 7, 2014 The Economist

What a shortage of workers on film sets in Georgia says about America

Staff reports that the recent arrival of aliens and murderous youth in suburban Atlanta might seem like cause for concern. But they are merely characters in films shot at the Atlanta Media Campus and Studios, the largest complex of its kind outside California. What ought to worry local residents is Georgia’s inability to produce workers who can build the sets, run the wires or manage the sound for such films. This skills shortage may endanger the $4 billion or so that Jim Jacoby, whose firm plans to redevelop the complex, reckons the film industry could bring to the state this year.


Aug. 7, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Decatur-born Alex Parker to oversee AT&T Georgia/South Carolina

Staff reports that AT&T tapped Alex Parker as the new general manager for its Georgia/South Carolina region. Parker will oversee the sales and operations for more than 1,300 employees, 82 AT&T-owned retail locations, and more than 650 national retail partners and authorized resellers across both states.


Aug. 7, 2014 Savannah Morning News

SCAD amends plans to replace older dorms

Julia Ritchey reports that the Savannah College of Art and Design is forging ahead with plans for an $85 million makeover of its underclassmen dorms located off West Boundary Street, a complex of repurposed hotels with Spongebob yellow doors more commonly known to students as the Weston and Dyson residence halls. 


Aug. 7, 2014 GPB

Minority Voters Still Face Hurdles In Georgia, South

Jeanne Bonner reports that a year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a part the Voting Rights Act, freeing Georgia from having to seek federal approval for election changes. A new report on minority voting rights, however, finds African American, Latino and Asian voters still face significant discrimination at the polls in Georgia and other Southern states.


Aug. 7, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

A stark message from Ray LaHood on Georgia’s cloutless D.C. position

Jim Galloway reports that the Rev. Ray LaHood delivered brimstone in Atlanta this week. Strictly speaking, he is not ordained. LaHood is a former Illinois congressman and, until recently, was the token Republican in the cabinet of President Barack Obama, serving as secretary of transportation. But he is now a traveling evangelist, preaching against the sin of skin-flintery – or, more specifically, the current attitude that someone else should pay for our use of American roads, bridges and rail.




Aug. 6, 2014

Deal: Film industry generates $5.1 billion in economic impact 

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Georgia-lensed feature films and television productions generated an economic impact of $5.1 billion during Fiscal Year 2014. The 158 feature film and television productions that shot in Georgia spent $1.4 billion during that time. “Not only has this industry created jobs and investment opportunities for Georgians, it also has revitalized communities, established new educational programs, tourism product and more,” said Deal.


Aug. 6, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia’s getting greener

Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy reports that Georgia’s environmental successes – from water conservation in Metro Atlanta and recycling across the carpet industry to solar farms that are becoming as common as peach orchards – are impressive and growing. Thanks to a variety of organizations across the state that measure, report on and educate about our collective environmental impact, we can all find more ways to reduce our footprint.


Aug. 6, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

New presidents named for, Kelley Blue Book

Christopher Seward reports that, an online marketplace for buying and selling vehicles, has named Jared Rowe as president, the Atlanta-based company announced Tuesday. Rowe, former president of Kelley Blue Book, a print and online resource for valuing vehicles, replaces Alan Smith, who is leaving to pursue personal interests, said.


Aug. 6, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coca-Cola commits $5 billion to Africa initiatives

Phil W. Hudson reports that the Coca-Cola Co. and its African bottling partners will donate another $5 billion for long-term sustainable growth in Africa. The Atlanta-based beverage behemoth (NYSE: KO) said the investment will be made over the next six years and will increase its total investment in Africa to $17 billion from 2010 to 2020.


Aug. 6, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post, Georgia Health News

Time of change — and crisis — in the hospital world

Andy Miller reports that the financial turmoil rocking Georgia’s hospitals shows no signs of fading. Just this past week, Emory-Adventist Hospital announced it would close by the end of October. By doing so, the Smyrna hospital would become the fifth Georgia hospital to close within the past two years. And unlike the previous four, it is in the affluent Atlanta suburbs, not a struggling rural area.


Aug. 6, 2014 Savannah Morning News

More than 100 firefighters battle Jesup blaze

Derby Waters and Drew Davis report that six businesses and a storefront church in the Whaley Center were destroyed by a raging fire in downtown Jesup Monday night. More than 100 firefighters from Wayne and surrounding counties fought for four hours to bring the flames under control.


Aug. 6, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta warns health concerns may affect West Africa travel

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Delta Air Lines has notified passengers that health concerns may affect travel to and from West Africa. Atlanta-based Delta in a notice on its website said passengers flying out of Roberts International Airport in Monrovia, Liberia may be required to go through health screenings before entering the airport. 


Aug. 6, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Theatre sold to Agon Group, investors

Staff reports that Agon Group and a team of investors on Tuesday closed their purchase of the iconic music venue Georgia Theatre in Athens from Wilmot Greene, Scott Orvold and Randy Smith. Financial terms were not reported. The new owners plan to host more concerts and events.


Aug. 6, 2014 WABE

State Lawmakers Grapple With Georgia's Infrastructure Needs

Michelle Wirth and Jonathan Shapiro report that state lawmakers charged with examining Georgia’s critical transportation infrastructure needs sat down for the first time Tuesday. During the joint House and Senate committee meeting, Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Keith Golden told lawmakers the state has the 10th largest transportation system in the country. But he said Georgia spends less on capital expenses and routine maintenance than several states of similar size such as Ohio and Florida.


Aug. 6, 2014 GPB

Dad Says New Medical Marijuana Bill Isn’t Enough

Claire Simms reports that Sebastien Cotte and his wife take turns caring for their 3-year-old son Jagger around the clock. Jagger has a condition called Leigh’s Disease, which is a neurological disorder than impacts almost every facet of his life.  “It’s a terminal disease, so he’s currently on hospice,” explained Cotte, who lives in Stone Mountain. “He has a heart condition. He has a lot of GI tract condition(s). He cannot eat on his own. He’s 100 percent fed with a tube.”


Aug. 6, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Jimmy Carter: ‘Hamas can’t be wished away’

Jim Galloway reports that given that we dinged Gov. Nathan Deal for coming close to labeling Jimmy Carter as an anti-Semite, it’s only fair to note that anything the former president says or does at this point can reflect on grandson Jason Carter’s Democratic campaign for governor. That includes these paragraphs from a Foreign Policy article that Jimmy Carter has co-authored with Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland – and a former U.N. high commissioner for human rights.




Aug. 5, 2014 GPB

Napa Valley, Sonoma...Hiwassee Highlands? Georgia Gets Its First "American Viticultural Area"

Bradley George reports that Georgia’s wine industry took a step forward last month, when the federal government recognized the state’s first American Viticultural Area, or AVA. There are over 200 such areas in the US (California’s Napa Valley is probably the best known). The Upper Hiwassee Highlands AVA covers nearly 700 square miles in north Georgia and southwest North Carolina. “There are so many growers in the area, and we’re all growing different types of grapes and doing things a little bit differently,” said Travis Green. 


Aug. 5, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Report: Georgia giant ranks low in alternative energy

Matt Kempner reports that when it comes to energy efficiency and use of solar, wind and other alternative energy, Georgia Power’s parent ranks low in a report on utilities nationally. Atlanta-based Southern Co. includes Georgia Power with its 2.4 million customers, as well as Alabama Power, Mississippi Power and Gulf Power in Florida.


Aug. 5, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Report: Georgia No. 9 for cheapest closing costs

Phil W. Hudson reports that Georgia’s average mortgage closing costs are the ninth cheapest in the nation, according to a new report from Bankrate Inc. In Georgia, lender’s origination fees average $1,766 and third-party fees average $667 on a $200,000 loan, according to Bankrate (NYSE: RATE). Nationally, mortgage-closing costs rose 6 percent over the past year and now average $2,539.


Aug. 5, 2014 WABE 

Audit Shows Lucrative Airport Contract Lacks Enforceable Performance Standards

Jonathan Shapiro reports that a lucrative agreement between Atlanta’s airport and its contractor in charge of parking lacks basic customer service incentives and penalties, according to a recently released audit by the city of Atlanta. Hartsfield-Jackson Airport signed the contract with Chicago-based Standard Parking in 2009. It’s a big contract: Standard Parking manages 33,000 parking spaces and is responsible for nearly a quarter of the airport’s revenue – roughly $117 million.


Aug. 5, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Free I.T. Athens provides computer and tech help to those in need

Lee Shearer reports that nearly a decade after starting, Free I.T. Athens is still going strong. Founded in 2005 by three Athens men to try to bridge the so-called "digital divide" between the poor and more affluent of Athens, the all-volunteer nonprofit has much to accomplish that goal. However, in some ways, the divide might be growing, fears Free I.T. board president Joel Izlar.


Aug. 5, 2014 Rockdale Citizen

Manufacturer to bring 150 jobs to Conyers

Alice Queen reports that a specialty glass manufacturer in Madison has announced it will move approximately 150 manufacturing jobs to Conyers. Marty Jones, executive director of the Conyers-Rockdale Economic Development Council, said the company, Anthony International, will move some operations to a former Hill-Phoenix plant location on Sigman Road. Jones said Anthony and Hill-Phoenix are both owned by Dover Corporation.


Aug. 5, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Apartment developer to buy grocery centers, spin-off new firm

J. Scott Trubey reports that Preferred Apartment Communities, an Atlanta-based apartment company, said Monday it plans to acquire nine grocery-anchored shopping centers across the Southeast in a move designed to diversify its holdings. The moves are also a precursor to Preferred’s plan to spin off the retail centers into a new real estate investment trust, the company said.


Aug. 5, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Carmike posts $3.2 million profit amid record $183 million revenue

Tony Adams reports that a strong lineup of movies a year ago "challenged" the latest second-quarter financial picture of Carmike Cinemas, even with the company's revenue continuing a stead rise due to a string of movie theater acquisitions.


Aug. 5, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia-Pacific to invest more than $375 million in Alabama mill

Phil W. Hudson reports that Georgia-Pacific LLC will invest more than $375 million in an energy improvement project at its Brewton, Ala., mill. The Atlanta-based pulp and paper company said construction will begin in the next few months and the project will take about two years to complete. The energy improvement project will contribute to more efficient processes and operations by modernizing and streamlining the equipment in the mill’s recovery boiler system, G-P said.


Aug. 5, 2014 Macon Telegraph

‘Seismic change’ needed at federal level on medical cannabis, Peake says

Maggie Lee reports that a proposal to exempt some compounds from a federal ban on marijuana is a “game changer,” but more needs to be done, Georgia’s top legislative advocate of medical cannabis said. State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, said he is asking -- and is willing to beg -- Georgia’s congressional representatives to support HR 5226 by U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa.


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Aug. 5, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Butch Miller to run for state Senate majority leader

Jim Galloway reports that we have it on excellent authority that state Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, a two-term ally of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, is in the running to become the next state Senate majority leader. The position is an open one, given the departure of Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone, who chose not to run for re-election this year. We’re told that Miller will be releasing the identities of his top supporters in the chamber within a matter of days, which should tell us whether he should be considered the immediate frontrunner for the post.



Aug. 4, 2014 WABE

Gov. Deal: I Support Decision to Treat Ebola Patients in Georgia

Jim Burress and Aleck Ragsdale report that even before the first of two American citizens stricken with the deadly Ebola virus arrived at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital for medical treatment, some are challenging the decision to bring Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writbol  onto U.S. soil. There's never been a documented case of Ebola in the Western Hemisphere.


Aug. 4, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Play ball!

Stan Awtry reports that Hank Aaron’s pursuit of Babe Ruth’s home run record didn’t start at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. It began years earlier in Eau Claire, Wis., and Jacksonville, Fla., in small minor-league stadiums. The locker rooms were typically tiny – a nail usually served as the hanger in the locker stall – and the lighting on the field was less than adequate.


Aug. 4, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

Economist says future looks good for Southern forest industry

Doug Walker reports that at least one economist and a local timber products manufacturer see a bright future for the Southern forest industry. Lynn Michaelis, president of Strategic Economic Analysis, told participants at the Georgia Forestry Association conference last month that the next 10 years could be the decade of forestry in Georgia.


Aug. 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

People Express name returns to Atlanta

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that an airline name of yore has returned to Atlanta: People Express. A start-up operation that acquired the 1980s-era People Express name launched its first flight from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Friday. The low-cost carrier’s only flights from Atlanta go to its mini-hub at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in Virginia six times a week.


Aug. 4, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Travelport increases stake in eNett

Staff reports that Travelport Worldwide Ltd. boosted its stake in eNett International, its five-year-old joint venture with PSP International to provide payment services for the travel industry. Atlanta-based Travelport acquired an additional 16 percent from PSP International, raising its holding to 73 percent in a transaction that values the eNett business at $450 million.


Aug. 4, 2014 Cherokee Tribune

Making a comeback: Cherokee County sees increase in residential building permits

Jessicah Peters reports that the sounds and sights of new homes being built in the county are becoming more common these days. Cherokee County is seeing an upswing in building permits issued compared to 2013, said Ana Silbernagel, Cherokee’s director of Development Services. In June, 329 permits were issued, an increase of 58 permits compared to May. Out of the 259 residential permits issued, 94 of those permits were for new single-family houses, Silbernagel said.


Aug. 4, 2014 Moultrie Observer

Canadian company buying Beadles, Balfour lumber companies

Staff reports that Beadles Lumber Company of Moultrie and Balfour Lumber Company of Thomasville announced Friday they have entered into a strategic partnership agreement with Canfor Corporation. The transaction involves the phased purchase by Canfor Corporation of these mills over a two-year period.


Aug. 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta pulling 747 from Atlanta route

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Delta Air Lines will pull the iconic Boeing 747 from its Atlanta-Tokyo route as it rejiggers its fleet and flight schedule. The move comes as the Atlanta-based carrier retires four of its 16 747 jumbo jets. Delta inherited the 747s through its 2009 merger with Northwest Airlines.


Aug. 4, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

BrandsMart USA closing Gwinnett location

Keith Farner reports that employees at a major electronics store in Gwinnett were told this week the store is closing. BrandsMart USA, which at one time had four stores in Georgia, including one at 2918 Buford Drive in Buford south of Interstate 85, announced it would close that location within 60 days. Spokesman Harlan Russo said the size of the store is too big, and the distance from the distribution center in Ellenwood is too far to remain open.


Aug. 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia’s Republican ticket targets Democratic out-of-state money

Greg Bluestein reports that the full slate of Republican candidates visited Atlanta’s vote-rich suburbs this weekend as part of a grassroots tour. And one of their top targets was the out-of-state money financing the campaigns of Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn and gubernatorial contender Jason Carter. Both Gov. Nathan Deal and GOP Senate nominee David Perdue referenced the sums of cash raised by rivals with name-brand political legacies. 



Aug. 1, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

West Coast software firm plans 200 jobs in Buckhead

Staff reports that California-based Marketo, which officially opened its East Coast hub in Buckhead this week, blogged about lessons it learned in the hunt for a new location. The provider of marketing software now has about 40 employees locally, including engineering and sales people. But the company is predicting it will grow to 200 jobs in Buckhead over the next two years.


Aug. 1, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Growing Green

Mary Anne Dunkin reports that from water conservation and reducing our use of petroleum-based fuels to recycling and finding renewable energy sources, Georgia’s environmental successes are impressive. As green practices continue to become more standard in the construction and development industries, Atlanta is ahead of the pack. 


Aug. 1, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Mohawk Industries Q2 profit soars

Staff reports that the Calhoun, Ga.-based carpet and flooring giant, Mohawk Industries Inc. reported its profit was up nearly 81 percent in the second quarter as the U.S. housing and remodeling markets continued to approve.


Aug. 1, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Aflac stocks take it on the chin a second day

Tony Adams reports that, to be clear, it was a brutal day on Wall Street. But that was little consolation for Aflac investors, who saw the company's shares take a major hit Thursday for the second day in a row. 


Aug. 1, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Georgia Southern, Coca-Cola agree on 10-year, $3 million deal

Donald Heath reports that Georgia Southern University and Coca-Cola have connections in the Sherman household. John Sherman, the senior vice president and chief commercial officer at the Coca-Cola Company, often made the drive from Birmingham, Ala., to Statesboro to see his son Jack, a defensive lineman, play with the Eagles football team during the early 2000s. On Thursday, John Sherman surfaced again in Statesboro — this time to help announce a partnership between Coke and Georgia Southern at the Eugene M. Bishop Alumni Center.


Aug. 1, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Invesco profits up 36 percent in second quarter

Russell Grantham reports that Atlanta-based Invesco Ltd. reported a 36 percent jump in its second-quarter income, to $275 million, over the previous year. The money manager said Thursday that its revenues during the three months increased 14 percent compared to a year earlier, to $1.29 billion.


Aug. 1, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Prosys to relocate warehouse and integration center to Forsyth County

Phil W. Hudson reports that ProSys Information Systems Inc. will expand and relocate its warehouse and integration center to Forsyth County. The Norcross, Ga.-based IT services company said moving to the larger facility will consolidate three ProSys integration centers into one, 138,000-square-foot location.


Aug. 1, 2014 WABE

Emory University Hospital Prepares to Receive Ebola Patient

Lisa George reports that Emory University Hospital confirms that it is preparing to treat a patient with the Ebola virus. The hospital has a specially-built isolation unit set up with the CDC. A statement from the hospital says that unit is physically separate from other patient areas and has special equipment and infrastructure to provide a high level of isolation.


Aug. 1, 2014 GPB

ACLU calls Georgia Immigration Enforcement Overzealous

Jeanne Bonner reports that the American Civil Liberties Union in Georgia is taking aim at state and federal immigration measures, which the group says tear apart immigrant families and unnecessarily tie up local police. The left-leaning group says Georgia’s three-year-old immigration law and two federal programs, 287g and Secure Communities, have transformed the role of local law enforcement in detaining undocumented residents. 


Aug. 1, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

The story behind Gov. Nathan Deal’s suddenly expanded newsletter

Greg Bluestein reports that Bertis Downs was surprised to open his inbox one morning a few weeks ago and see Gov. Nathan Deal’s newsletter staring back at him. The longtime R.E.M. manager is a Democratic donor and supporter of Deal’s opponent, state Sen. Jason Carter. He’s not the only one we heard from, so we figured we’d track down an answer. It turns out, Deal’s office has dramatically expanded its official newsletter list in recent weeks. Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said the office added thousands of email addresses from people who contacted Deal through his official website or sent an email to the governor’s office.




July 31, 2014 WABE

Is Georgia Seeing Effects Of Positive US Growth?

Michell Eloy reports that the U.S. Economy grew by 4 percent in the second quarter according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, exceeding expectations for the months between April and June. Don Sabbarese, who directs the Econometric Center at Kennesaw State University, said the gains on a national scale weren’t much of a surprise. But is Georgia seeing any of those gains?


July 31, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

The SweetWater Look

Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy reports that artist John Dunn's work for SweetWater Brewing Co. became so synonymous with the brand that they brought him on staff full time. Now, the images for their promotions and new beer lines flow as freely as the brews. 


July 31, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Effingham County’s first solar farm up and supplying Georgia Power network

Carla Caldwell reports that Effingham County’s first solar farm – a 5-acre farm with 4,500 solar panels – is up and running, reports Savannah Morning News. The farm, near Savannah, was built by Inman Solar of Atlanta. The power is distributed to customers through Georgia Power’s network.


July 31, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

First Data Corp. buys mobile gift card player

Russell Grantham reports that Atlanta payment processor First Data Corp. said Wednesday that it struck a deal to acquire Gyft, a Silicon Valley firm that allows consumers to load retailers’ gift cards into virtual “wallets” on their cell phones.


July 31, 2014 GPB

Georgia Small Businesses Hope Tax- Free Weekend Will Give A Much Needed Boost

Ellen Reinhardt reports that this weekend is the state’s sales tax holiday. On Aug. 1 and Aug. 2, sales tax won’t be charged on clothing, school supplies and some computers. Small businesses are hoping it will provide the boost they need. Kyle Jackson, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, says 13 percent of small business owners surveyed this month say poor sales is their greatest concern.


July 31, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Study predicts urban “megalopolis” stretching from Raleigh to Atlanta

Carla Caldwell reports that without major changes in land development, urban areas in the Southern United States will likely double in size by 2060 and create an urban “megalopolis” that stretches from Raleigh to Atlanta, according to a new study by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Southeast Climate Science Center and North Carolina State University.


July 31, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

First Bank of Georgia holding reports $963,000 profit

Tim Rausch reports that the parent company of First Bank of Georgia reported Wednesday a second-quarter profit of $963,000, which would have been higher except for charges related to a pending merger. The net income for Augusta-based Georgia-Carolina Bancshares Inc. without the merger expenses would have been $1.4 million.


July 31, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

Smyrna eyes same-sex couple benefits

Sarah Westwood reports that a policy that would allow the same-sex partners of city employees to receive the same benefits as their heterosexual counterparts is under consideration by Smyrna officials. Council members discussed the proposal at a work session Monday before agreeing to review the policy further, with some expressing support for the idea and others raising concerns.


July 31, 2014 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Committee taking look at Common Core in Georgia

Walter C. Jones reports that the controversial Common Core multi-state education standards and federal funding came under the microscope Wednesday as part of the job of a temporary committee looking at Washington’s role in public education. Georgia House Speaker David Ralston instructed the panel of legislators, parents and educators to keep an open mind.


July 31, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

New poll: David Perdue 49, Michelle Nunn 40

Daniel Malloy reports that Republican firm Vox Populi polling is out with a new survey showing Republican David Perdue claiming 49 percent of the vote in Georgia’s U.S. Senate race, compared to 40 percent for Democrat Michelle Nunn. The poll was conducted Sunday and Monday. The news started to spread about the Nunn campaign’s internal memo Monday afternoon



July 30, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Mustard Seed Dental Studio to see impact of university's Small Business Development

Tim Rausch reports that Dr. Geoffrey Sheen’s Augusta dental implant lab would not have 18 employees on its way to 50 without the free advice of a University of Georgia program. His business was on display Tuesday as an example of the work being done by the Small Business Development Center for UGA President Jere Morehead, who was in Augusta as part of his tour to see how university programs are impacting the state.


July 30, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Home prices rise, but more slowly

Michael Kanell reports that home prices continue climbing in Atlanta and around the nation, but the rate of the rise is slowing, according to a widely watched survey. The S&P Case-Shiller housing index for May shows metro Atlanta prices staying ahead of the national trend, with prices up 11.2 percent from a year ago, compared to a 9.3 percent increase for all 20 cities in the index.


July 30, 2014 Cherokee Tribune, Marietta Daily Journal

All geared up: Cabela’s preps for grand opening next month

Michelle Babcock reports that Cabela’s employees were busy training and setting out merchandise Tuesday, as the new store gears up for its grand opening next month. At 100,000 square feet, when the store opens Aug. 21, it will be the largest Cabela’s in the state and the second of three planned for Georgia. Cabela’s bills itself as the world’s foremost outfitter and sells hunting, fishing and outdoor gear.


July 30, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

NCR posts $91M profit, confirms restructuring

Staff reports that the Duluth, Ga.-based maker of electronic kiosks and ATMs reported its second-quarter profit rose nearly 5 percent due in part to software-related revenue growth and organic software-related revenue growth. It also confirmed a restructuring first reported by Atlanta Business Chronicle last week. “As we enter the second half of our fiscal year we are implementing a restructuring plan focused on reallocating our resources to our highest growth, highest margin opportunities; in essence, aligning our resources to the realities of our transformed revenue."


July 30, 2014 WABE

EPA Holds First Of Two Hearings In Atlanta On Proposed Carbon Rule

Jonathan Shapiro reports that hundreds of advocates from across the Southeast descended on Atlanta Tuesday. They came for the first of two hearings on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to dramatically cut carbon emissions from existing power plants. Multiple rallies and marches were held near the Omni Hotel in downtown Atlanta where the hearing took place. The day took on a convention-like feel, with stakeholders from all sides of the debate ready to make their case.


July 30, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

UPS works to avoid holiday shipping delays

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that for UPS, Christmas preparations come in July. The Sandy Springs-based shipping giant announced it will bolster its operations for the day after Thanksgiving to better handle online orders in the days to follow. “Over the past three or four years, Cyber Monday has become a [cyber] week unto itself,” said UPS CFO Kurt Kuehn.


July 30, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

New corporation formed to coordinate study on affiliation of Baptist, Flagler and Southeast Georgia health systems

Terry Dickson reports that a feasibility study on an affiliation between Southeast Georgia Health System, Flagler Hospital of St. Augustine and Baptist Health should be complete around Thanksgiving, said Carlton DeVooght, the former Southeast Georgia Health vice president who now heads a newly created entity. DeVooght, who also served as the health system's senior council, is senior vice president of Coastal Community Health in Jacksonville, said Gary Colbert, president and CEO of Southeast Georgia Health System.


July 30, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

KBS Real Estate to buy Atlantic Station tower for almost $133 million

Douglas Sams reports that KBS Real Estate Investment Trust has agreed to buy Atlantic Station’s 171 17th Street — the Wells Fargo tower — for about $133 million. A KBS affiliate entered a purchase and sale agreement July 24 to acquire the 22-story tower, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


July 30, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Aflac reports $810 million quarterly profit; shaking up U.S. sales operation

Tony Adams reports that reporting a second-quarter profit of $810 million Tuesday, down 8.8 percent from a year ago, Aflack said it intends to apply intense pressure on its U.S. operation to sell more insurance policies. Specifically, the company is making a dramatic change in its sales heirarchy, switching from the longtime use of "state sales coordinators" - independant contractors paid strictly on commission - to Aflac employed market directors who will receive salaries with possible sales-related bonuses.


July 30, 2014 WSB

Mayor Reed supports unaccompanied, illegal immigrant kids in Atlanta

Staff reports that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says there should be no debate – unaccompanied, undocumented immigrant children who cross the border into the U.S. should have a home in the city of Atlanta. Reed held a news conference on the issue Tuesday afternoon at City Hall. He said the city of Atlanta will be a safe place for the unattended children. Reed’s comments came after Gov. Nathan Deal recently sent a letter to President Obama, asking him to stop sending unaccompanied illegal children to Georgia.


July 30, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

On Super PACs, ‘firewalls,’ Nick Ayers and David Perdue

Daniel Malloy reports that the OpenSecrets Blog is out this week with a winding tale of dark money, consultants and the Georgia U.S. Senate race. The article from the follow-the-money nonprofit website looks particularly at Nick Ayers, the wunderkind who helped Sonny Perdue to his gubernatorial victories. Ayers went on to be the executive director to the Republican Governors Association and into the GOP consulting world, with a stint working for Tim Pawlenty’s brief presidential campaign.



July 29, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Glass company to create 150 jobs in Dublin

Jim Gaines reports that Georgia’s first factory from the former Soviet Union is headed to Dublin, Gov. Nathan Deal and other officials announced Monday afternoon. Valmiera Glass, a Latvian-based manufacturer of fiberglass parts, will hire 150 people and invest $20 million during the next five years, Deal told a packed room at the McGrath Keen Sr. Conference Center, attached to the Dublin-Laurens County Chamber of Commerce.


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July 29, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Kellogg's to close Victory Drive snack plant

Tony Adams reports that food manufacturer Kellogg Co. is closing its snack plant on Victory Drive in Columbus by the end of next year as part of a massive corporate restructuring. The move eliminates 325 jobs.


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July 29, 2014 Savannah Morning News

A record-setting year for ports

Mary Carr Mayle reports that hitting on all cylinders, the Georgia Ports Authority on Monday reported its best year ever in fiscal 2014, setting records for containers, tonnage and auto/machinery units. GPA moved more than 29 million tons of cargo, 3 million twenty-foot equivalent container units — or TEUs — and more than 700,000 auto and machinery units, wrapping up the fiscal year June 30 with records in each of those three segments.


July 29, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Manufacturing jobs up modestly, report says

Michael Kanell reports that jobs in Georgia manufacturing have increased for the fourth consecutive year – albeit, modestly, according to an industry report. Georgia manufacturing employment added 3,833 jobs – up 1 percent, according to the 2015 Georgia Manufacturers Register, which is published by Manufacturers’ News, Inc.


July 29, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Zep debuts Blue Energy Shower Gel

Staff reports that Zep Inc., maker of cleaning chemicals for home and industrial uses, has turned its attention to the body. Atlanta-based Zep (NYSE: ZEP) has unveiled Blue Energy Shower Gel for men, which is says is “perfect for guys who shower at work, including guys who are first responders, military personnel, drilling and oilfield service personnel, fishermen, utility workers, farmers, and for a refreshing clean at health clubs and gyms.”


July 29, 2014 GPB

EPA Holds ‘Clean Power Plan’ Hearings in Atlanta

Claire Simms reports that an estimated 400 people will officially weigh in on the EPA’s proposed “Clean Power Plan” in Atlanta over the next two days. But even more people will make their voices heard in an unofficial capacity. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the proposal last month. It’s designed to cut down on carbon pollution from power plants by 30 percent by 2030. 


July 29, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

AAMCO opening training facility in Newnan

Christopher Seward reports that transmission repair chain AAMCO plans to open a training facility in Newnan in January, the company announced Monday. AAMCO University will train the company’s technicians, customer service managers and new and existing franchisees. The center is about 30 miles southwest of Atlanta.


July 29, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

UGA team researchers awarded $7M from NIH

Ellie Hensley reports that a research team in The University of Georgia’s Center for Family Research got $7 million from the National Institutes of Health to study Georgia’s youth. NIH awarded two grants to the team to study the health and well-being of young rural African-Americans in Georgia. 


July 29, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

When tech workers are in demand, companies will do their own training

Michael Kanell reports that in high-tech hiring, training is more important than a degree, according to a survey to be released Tuesday. Many information technology professionals can be trained to the specifics of a job and a company – whether they have experience in that niche or a degree focused on that corner of tech, according to a majority of 1,300 Atlanta IT area hiring managers polled by MDI Group.


July 29, 2014 WABE

Senate Study Committee On Child Protection Begins Work On Next Legislative Session

Michell Eloy reports that a state Senate study committee on child protection is scheduled to meet today to start crafting an agenda for the next legislative session. Division of Children and Family Services interim commissioner Bobby Cagle and Office of the Child Advocate head Ashley Wilcott are scheduled to speak at the meeting, to be held at the State Capitol.


July 29, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Gov. Nathan Deal makes a (very limited) exception to his stance against Medicaid expansion

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal has gone to great lengths to assure his supporters that he’s against the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. But he carved out one exception this week. It has to do with the more than 1,100 unaccompanied immigrant children transferred by the feds this year to the care of sponsors living in Georgia. The influx comes amid a surge of Central American children fleeing instability and violence at home to illegally cross the southwest border.




July 28, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Home Depot CEO Frank Blake joining Delta Air Lines' board of directors

Christopher Seward reports that Home Depot Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank Blake is joining Delta Air Lines’ board of directors, the carrier announced Friday. Blake, a former deputy secretary of the U.S. Energy Department, has been chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based Home Depot since January 2007. Before that time, he served as vice chairman at the home improvement retail chain, the world’s largest, and executive vice president for business development and corporate operations.


July 28, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Wayne County: Green industry, local partnerships

David Shivers reports that   John Riddle returned home to Wayne County in 2008, the year that begat the Great Recession. He had enjoyed a rewarding tenure in Gwinnett County as director of the Gwinnett Hospital Foundation, but he wanted his three sons to know what life was like in a more close-knit community with a slower lifestyle. The pace of life in Jesup, the county seat, may be slower, but the town and county are definitely not asleep.


July 28, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Meritage Homes CEO focused on metro Atlanta, not sweating competition

Phil W. Hudson reports that Meritage Homes Corp. CEO Steven Hilton told Wall Street analysts the company plans to focus most of its future efforts building its metro Atlanta business. Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Meritage (NYSE: MTH), the ninth-largest homebuilder in the United States, recently reported it would establish a South Region based in Atlanta. Metro Atlanta was the second-largest homebuilder market in the United States based on permit activity in 2013 and competition in the city continues to heat up.


July 28, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald, Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Georgia Milestones to challenge students, teachers

Walter C. Jones reports that students and teachers heading back to school after the summer break can expect a new type of test called Georgia Milestones designed to guage how each is doing. The new testing series is to replace Criterian Referenced Competency Tests and the end-of-course tests. It should better tie what students need to know to succeed once they pass to the next grade level while giving teachers and parents an ongoing  signal of how well a student is doing. 


July 28, 2014 Cherokee Tribune

Cherokee foreclosure rate declining as job market improves

Jessicah Peters reports that the rate of foreclosures in Cherokee County is progressively down in July compared to the triple digits reported in 2013. In July, 87 foreclosures were advertised in the Tribune, the county’s legal organ. It was a 52 percent decrease from the same month in 2013 when 166 foreclosed homes were reported.



July 28, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Aaron’s Inc. profit falls 67% to $8.5 million

Staff reports that Atlanta-based electronics, furniture and appliances rentals retailer’s profit plummeted due to the poor performance of its core business. It also was negatively impacted by $9.7 million in amortization expense, $5.5 million in estimated transaction costs related to the Progressive acquisition, $12.4 million in financial advisory and legal costs related to addressing strategic matters, including proxy contests, and $2.3 million in restructuring charges related to the store closures.


July 28, 2014 GPB

Advocate Critical Of Governor Deal's Response To Child Immigrants

Claire Simms reports that the apparent crisis at the southern U.S. border finally hit home this week. According to state and federal officials, 1,154 unaccompanied alien children (UAC) are now staying in Georgia while they await immigration hearings.  In a letter Thursday, Governor Nathan Deal requested information from President Barack Obama about the children the federal government has placed in homes in Georgia since January.


July 28, 2014 New York Times

Grandson Proudly Squirms in Carter’s Footsteps

Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports that like many candidates, Jason Carter, the Democratic nominee for governor in Georgia, is courting the Jewish vote. But when Mr. Carter, a state senator, declared his “powerful connection” to Israel, it was more than a campaign sound bite. It was a not-so-subtle attempt to distance himself from a man he has loved and admired since boyhood: his grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter.


July 28, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Jimmy Carter: Battle for governor’s office will not hinge on ethics

Greg Bluestein reports that Jason Carter’s campaign has eagerly seized on every development on the ethics front, and the candidate has called for an independent investigation at least three separate times. But he’s also kept a broader effort to hammer Deal over education funding; Deal points toward a K-12 increase of more than $300 million he signed into law this year.










July 25, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Worst of recession over, outlook bright, Morris CEO tells UGA audience

Lee Shearer reports that economic skies are brightening, both for Morris Communications and the national economy, according to the chairman and CEO of the family-owned media company. "The Great Recession touched us all, but I think the worst of it is behind us," William S. "Billy" Morris III told a small group that included local business leaders on the University of Georgia campus.


July 25, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Report ranks Southern Co. low on clean energy

Dave Williams reports that Atlanta-based Southern Co. ranks near the bottom among major U.S utilities in developing clean energy, according to a new report from two clean-energy advocacy groups. The study ranks Southern 31st among 32 of the nation’s largest utilities in renewable energy sales and 28th in annual savings from new energy efficiency programs.


July 25, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

Ga. BoE works to amend snack food law

Hilary Butschek reports that the state Board of Education said it will work to make changes to new federal food regulations two local school districts have denounced. This decision comes after the Marietta and Cobb school boards sent letters denouncing the new food regulations nicknamed the Smart Snack Law.


July 25, 2014 Georgia Health News

Insurers to pay $11 million in Georgia rebates

Andy Miller reports that a federal rule on health insurers’ spending will bring $11 million in rebates to Georgia individuals and employers this summer. Federal figures released Thursday show that 304,000 Georgians will benefit from the refunds, with an average rebate of $53 per family, as a result of the “Medical Loss Ratio” (MLR) rule on 2013 insurance plans. 


Federal figures released Thursday show that 304,000 Georgians will benefit from the refunds, with an average rebate of $53 per family, as a result of the “Medical Loss Ratio” (MLR) rule on 2013 insurance plans.

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July 25, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta resumes flights to Israel

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines said it is resuming its daily flights to Israel, after “careful internal consideration and input from high levels in government.” Delta said it will restart its service from New York to Tel Aviv on Thursday evening, following Tuesday’s suspension of service.


July 25, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coca-Cola Enterprises posts $198M profit

Staff reports that Atlanta-based Coke products marketer and distributor reported its second-quarter profit went up 8.8 percent as volume grew 3.5 percent. Sales: $2.3 billion, up 8%, Net Income: $198 million, up 8.8%, Earnings Per Share: 78 cents, up 18.2%.


July 25, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Partridge Inn on Walton Way one step closer to new owners

Jenna Martin reports that the historic Partridge Inn is one step closer to new ownership. A $4.25 million online bid was approved by the seller, Miami-based LNR Partners LLC, a commercial mortgage special servicer.  The closing date has been tentatively set of August 18 said Hunter Hotel Advisers Chief Operating Officer Lee Hunter, who is handling the listing for LNR Partners.


July 25, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Gray Television acquires stations in Michigan, Ohio

Christopher Seward reports that Atlanta-based Gray Television Inc. said it will acquire television stations in Michigan and Ohio from affiliates of SJL Holdings LLC for about $128 million in cash. The deal includes WJRT-TV, which serves the Flint-Saginaw-Bay City region in Michigan, and WTVG-TV in Toledo, Ohio.


July 25, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

IntercontinentalExchange sheds Wombat Financial Software

Staff reports that IntercontinentalExchange Inc. closed the sale of Wombat Financial Software, a unit of NYSE Technologies, to SR Labs for an undisclosed amount. Wombat provides high-performance financial market data management software focused on electronic trading and connectivity management.


July 25, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Ethics complaint claims Jason Carter held an ‘illegal’ star-studded fundraiser

Greg Bluestein reports that a former Republican lawmaker filed an ethics complaint claiming a star-studded fundraiser boosting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter is “grossly unethical and illegal.” The July 17 complaint contends that Carter, a state senator, violated rules barring lawmakers and statewide officers from accepting contributions or pledges for campaign cash while the Legislature is in session. It was filed by John Douglas, a former state senator.




July 24, 2014 Rome News Tribune

Entire region shares in Bartow’s growth; local leaders say reinvestment, regional cooperation critical to success

Doug Walker reports that Bartow County is enjoying a tremendous boom right now with LakePoint Sporting Community and Town Center, voestalpine, Surya Rug, Beaulieu International Group and the Toyo Tire expansion promising more than 2,400 jobs within the next three years. And the LakePoint project alone could add close to 20,000 jobs by the time it is built out over the next five to six years.


July 24, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Organizations: Bubba and friends

Candice Dyer reports that around Christmas, a gunshot wound broke the bald eagle’s wing, so his caregivers named him “Buckshot.” They painstakingly treated the injury and recently released the bird back into the wild. “He started soaring on those thermals, heading due east, where he was from, and there was no doubt he was fine,” says Steve Hicks, a master falconer and director of Bubba and Friends, a Zebulon-based nonprofit that recovers, rehabilitates and releases injured and orphaned birds of prey.


July 24, 2014

Atlanta increased tech jobs 9% since 2010

Staff reports that Atlanta has become one of the hottest emerging tech hubs in the U.S., adding more than 8,000 technology jobs from 2010 to 2013, a 9 percent increase. But, what does this larger tech footprint really mean for the local economy and job market? It means higher job creation in other industries and a positive impact on wages, according to new research from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists Intl (EMSI).


July 24, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate rises to 7.6 percent in June

Henry Unger reports that Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in June from 7.2 percent in May, primarily because of summer layoffs of some school employees, as well as students and graduates looking for summertime or permanent jobs, the state labor department said Thursday.


July 24, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

NCR said to plan 200 sales-and-IT job cuts in Atlanta

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that financial technology firm NCR Corp. is planning to cut 200 jobs, Atlanta Business Chronicle has learned. The Duluth, Ga.-based maker of electronic kiosks and ATMs , is transforming into a technology and services company. It’s a pivot many industrial giants, including IBM and GE are making, to stay relevant in the digital age.


July 24, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

In second year, Chattahoochee course could see 20,000 rafters

Chuck Wiliams reports that business was brisk in the Whitewater Express store on Bay Avenue Wednesday. The lone outfitter on the Chattahoochee River whitewater course was preparing to put more than 200 rafters down the river on a mid-week day. One of those was Melody Harper of Pelham, Ga, 122 miles southwest of Columbus. This year, Whitewater Express has put more than 13,100 rafters on the river and should surpass last season's mark of 16,300 in the next few weeks.


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July 24, 2014 Saporta Report

A $10 million gift by Lloyd and Mary Ann Whitaker led to Cyclorama moving to Atlanta History Center 

Maria Saporta reports that Lloyd and Mary Ann Whitaker were reading the Sunday paper on Jan. 27, 2013 before going to church when they read a story about the deteriorating condition of the panoramic painting depicting the Battle of Atlanta housed at the Cyclorama. By that night, they had decided they wanted to help spark an effort to restore the Cyclorama painting. 


July 24, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Equifax faced ‘headwind’ in second quarter; earnings up 2.5 percent

Russell Grantham reports that Equifax said Wednesday that second-quarter earnings rose 2.5 percent compared to the year-earlier period, to $92.8 million, as a slow-down from last year’s boom of mortgage refinancings impacted parts of its business.


July 24, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

F-35 sales help Lockheed beat analysts' estimates in Q2

Lance Murray reports that Lockheed Martin beat analysts' estimates in the second quarter, bolstered by the performance of its Lockheed Martin Aeronautics unit. Lockeed (NYSE: LMT) said its net income rose 3.5 percent to $889 million, of $2.76 per share. That compares to $859 million, of $2.64 per share in the same quarter a year ago.


July 24, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

The Michelle Nunn diet: Grit, but no red meat

Jim Galloway reports that early Wednesday morning, hours after Republicans had crowned David Perdue as their U.S. Senate nominee, Democrat Michelle Nunn was working the Silver Skillet breakfast crowd on 14th Street in Atlanta. Journalists were there to feed, too. But Nunn had them on a strict diet. Grit, but no red meat. She called for more collaboration in Washington. She refused to speak ill of her new GOP foe.



July 23, 2014 WABE

Perdue Tops Kingston In GOP Senate Runoff

Michell Eloy and Michelle Wirth report that businessman David Perdue came out on top against Congressman Jack Kingston in Tuesday night’s tight runoff race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, making the Savannah congressman the third and final sitting House member to fall to the political newcomer.


July 23, 2014 WSB, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Loudermilk, Hice win GOP primary runoffs for Congress

Jeremy Redmon reports that former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk convincingly defeated former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr Tuesday in their bruising Republican primary runoff for the Atlanta area’s 11th Congressional District seat. Also Tuesday evening, Jody Hice, a former Baptist minister who ran with substantial tea party backing, bested Jackson trucking company executive Mike Collins in the GOP primary runoff for Georgia’s 10th Congressional District, a vast territory that stretches from eastern Gwinnett County to the Savannah River.


July 23, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Recount looks likely in Republican superintendent race

Wayne Washington reports that the race between Mike Buck and Richard L. Woods, the two Republican candidates for Georgia school superintendent, appears to be headed for a recount. Woods, a longtime educator from Irwin County making his second bid for superintendent, held a paper-thin edge over Buck, the chief academic officer for the Georgia Department of Educator.


July 23, 2014 WABE

Valarie Wilson Wins Democratic Runoff In Superintendent Race

Jonathan Shapiro reports that former Decatur school board chief Valarie Wilson scored a decisive win Tuesday night over state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan by a vote of 54 percent to 46 percent. Wilson rode a wave of support from Democrats who were deeply uncomfortable with her opponent’s openness to charter schools and other school choice options.


July 23, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Buddy Carter wins 1st congressional district Republican runoff

Marcus E. Howard reports that Pooler state Sen. Buddy Carter grasped victory Tuesday night in a bitterly contested Republican runoff for the 1st Congressional District. Carter won 53 percent of the votes, while his opponent, Bob Johnson, garnered 46 percent.


July 23, 2014 Cherokee Tribune

House District 22 goes to Cantrell

Michelle Babcock reports that the state House of Representatives will welcome a new face in January, as candidate Wes Cantrell took the District 22 seat by a landslide in the primary runoff election, unofficial results following Tuesday’s election show.With 22,633 active registered voters in Cherokee County eligible to vote in the House District 22 race, a total of 4,835 people made it to the polls in the county to cast their votes for a new state representative, a more than 21 percent voter turnout.


July 23, 2014 Albany Herald

Darrel Ealum upsets Rep. Carol Fullerton in Georgia House 153 runoff

Terry Lewis reports that early voting was the difference as Darrel Ealum upset state Rep. Carol Fullerton to claim the Georgia House District 153 seat.


July 23, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta suspends service to Israel; FAA orders US flights to Tel Aviv halted

Christopher Seward reports that the threat of a rocket hitting one of their planes flying over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict prompted Delta Air Lines and other carriers Tuesday to suspend flights to Israel. The Federal Aviation Administration followed just after noon Tuesday with a total ban on U.S. flights to Israel for 24 hours.


July 23, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Suniva to move overseas production to new 350-employee Michigan solar plant

Urvaksh Karkaria reports, better late than never. Solar cell-maker Suniva, Inc. will open a second manufacturing plant in the fourth quarter — four years after first announcing plans.


July 23, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

TSYS posts profit of nearly $110 million in second quarter

Tony Adams reports that the TSYS financial machine picked up steam in the second quarter, with the credit-card and payments processor topping $600 million in quarterly revenue for the first time in history.


July 23, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Manhattan Associates grows business, adds staff

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that with growing profits, Atlanta-based logistics software firm Manhattan Associates is adding about 300 employees around the world this year. As Manhattan Associates on Tuesday reported record profitability in the second quarter with $20.6 million in net income and a record $122.5 million in revenue, CEO Eddie Capel said the company continues to grow its workforce.


July 23, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

BB&T CEO: ‘North Atlanta is booming now’

Phil W. Hudson reports that BB&T Corp. is benefiting from new development in Atlanta and the bank's CEO has taken notice. The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based bank’s (NYSE: BBT) CEO Kelly S. King told Wall Street analysts on a July 21 conference call builders are borrowing money again for the development of lots in Atlanta. 



July 23, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Savannah Bee Company featured in Google economic report

Julia Ritchey reports that Savannah Bee Company is getting some, if you'll excuse the pun, national buzz thanks to its thriving e-commerce business. The company, founded in 2002 by Ted Dennard, was recently featured in Google’s Annual U.S. Economic Impact Report, which looks at web savvy companies who use Google Analytics and other web tools to grow their online business.





July 22, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta-owned refinery strikes oil supply deal

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that a Delta Air Lines subsidiary is boosting the supply of domestic crude oil at its refinery to reduce the carrier’s fuel costs. Jet fuel is Delta’s No. 1 expense. When airlines raise fares, they often place the blame on high jet fuel prices. Atlanta-based Delta bought the refinery in 2012 to gain more control over its fuel costs.


July 22, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Deloitte plans 400-job ‘iLab’ in Atlanta

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Deloitte LLP has picked Atlanta as the site of a technology development center — a first of its kind for the global professional services firm. New York-based Deloitte will invest “tens of millions” of dollars," and create up to 400 high-tech jobs over the next few years at the Atlanta “iLab,” where it will develop software and analytics products for its Fortune 250 clients. 


July 22, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

Brewster moving on plans for Etowah Grove with 600 apartments, offices, shops

Doug Walker reports that the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission has determined that a Development of Regional Impact study is appropriate for a proposed mixed-use project called Etowah Grove being put forward by Mark Brewster, president of Garden Lakes Realty. “We are very, very early in the process,” Brewster said Monday.


July 22, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Genuine Parts hits record Q2 sales, but profit down

Leon Stafford reports that automotive parts distributor Genuine Parts Company had record sales of $3.9 billion in the second quarter of 2014, but profit dropped more than 8 percent. Net income for the Atlanta-based owner of NAPA auto parts and Motion Industries was $198 million compared to the $216.4 million recorded in the same period in 2013. 


July 22, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Newell Rubbermaid gains Contigo and Avex beverage container brands

Jacques Couret reports that Newell Rubbermaid Inc. plans to buy Ignite Holdings LLC from North Castle Partners for $308 million. Chicago-based Ignite makes the Contigo and Avex water bottle and travel mug brands. It is expected to generate $125 million in sales in 2014.


July 22, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Jekyll Island eyes organized hunt to halt overgrazing

Mike Morrison reports that  island’s deer population, said to be burgeoning and problematic, may be culled by sharpshooters if its governing authority follows the advice of a committee of experts.


July 22, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

State asks for dismissal of gay marriage suit led by Snellville couple

Tyler Estep reports that Georgia’s attorney general has filed a motion to dismiss the civil lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on gay marriage. The motion was filed in the U.S. District Court in Atlanta on Monday, the final day defendants had to officially respond to the suit launched in April. Snellville residents Christopher Inniss and Shelton Stroman are the lead plaintiffs in the case, which asks the court to make the performance and recognition of same-sex marriages legal in Georgia.


July 22, 2014 GPB

Michelle Nunn: Georgia's Hillary?

Jeanne Bonner reports that a lot of attention will be focused Tuesday on the Republican U.S. Senate runoff. Whoever wins -- Jack Kingston or David Purdue -- will face Democrat Michelle Nunn in November. Many think Nunn, a political newcomer – and the daughter of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn – could be the Democratic Party’s first victory on the road back to relevance in Georgia. But for the women volunteers who Nunn has mobilized, something else is spurring them on.


July 22, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

5 Things to Watch in the U.S. Senate Race

Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein report that throughout the day, keep tabs on these five things we’ll be watching as Republicans decide which one of the candidates will be their U.S. Senate nominee. Overall turnout: Will the rain and the negativity of the race depress turnout that was already dismal in the May primary?



July 21, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Conyers bank becomes 1st Georgia bank failure this year

Russell Grantham reports that Conyers-based Eastside Commercial Bank was closed Friday by bank regulators, becoming the first Georgia bank to fail in more than a year. The small bank, which has two branches in Rockdale and Gwinnett counties, had long been on bank regulators’ watch list of troubled banks.


July 21, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Q&A with A.J. Robinson

Susan Percy reports that this is an exciting summer for Downtown Atlanta and its citizens. Within a few short weeks, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Atlanta Streetcar and the College Football Hall of Fame are all opening. There’s activity around the BeltLine, the energizing presence of more students downtown – and sufficient talk of new initiatives to soften the blow of the Atlanta Braves impending departure for Cobb County.


July 21, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Georgia school officials want loopholes in federal nutrition guidelines for fund-raisers

Kathleen Foody reports that Georgia officials who call new federal nutrition standards an over-reach want to give schools plenty of loopholes to sell sweet treats during fundraisers. The state’s Board of Education has proposed up to 30 exemption days per school every year. School officials can allow fundraisers to sell food no longer allowed in schools under a federal law passed in 2010 that is part of first lady Michelle Obama’s anti-childhood obesity effort.


July 21, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

NGMC heart failure unit gets $1 million

Staff reports that Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s future Woody Stewart Heart Failure Treatment Unit has received more than $1 million. The money was gifted by the family, friends and colleagues of Woody Stewart, a long-time foundation board chairman. It will be used to provide additional beds for cardiac patients and a teaching center with a demonstration kitchen to educate patients living with heart failure.


July 21, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Upper-level jobs harder to come by following recession

Jenna Martin reports that while the labor market continues on an upward trend, job seekers looking for an upper-level position might find themselves left out in the cold. In the years following the latest recession, the business climate and what employers expect from their workers have changed. Those in search of managerial or corporate roles likely will find those jobs more difficult to land, according to local staffing experts.


July 21, 2014 Newnan Times-Herald

Three Rivers plans to relocate development office

W. Winston Skinner reports that officials with Three Rivers Regional Commission are looking at locations in Coweta County for the regional workforce development office. “Monday we looked at some properties and plan on looking at more,” said Lanier Boatright, Three Rivers director. Three Rivers also is looking for companies to provide training and support for young people entering the workforce. An estimated $850,00-$985,000 will be available for programs in the area between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016.


July 21, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

UGA researchers get $1.9M NIH grant

Ellie Hensley reports that a research team at The University of Georgia have received a five-year, $1.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study pneumonia persistence. The team’s goal is to understand how Mycoplasma pneumoniae, the leading cause of pneumonia in older children and young adults, evades the immune system and resists antibiotic treatment.


July 21, 2014 Valdosta Daily Times

Trail 37: Sparkman’s Cream Valley and Bruce’s Honey Shack

Stuart Taylor reports that along Trail 37, the first of many Georgia Grown trails to come, you’ll find businesses that are fairly new, and you’ll also find businesses that have been around for decades. But just because a business has been around for awhile doesn’t mean it’s not changing. Take Sparkman’s Cream Valley in Moultrie.


July 21, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

Sandy Springs company may be offered a grant by Cobb Development Authority

Hilary Butschek reports that the Development Authority of Cobb County will offer money to an unnamed business if it agrees to move to the county. The group’s grants committee, chaired by Bob Morgan, met Friday to discuss three different incentive options it will offer a company, whose name was not released, if it agrees to move from Sandy Springs to Cobb.


July 21, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Jack Kingston’s Marietta show of force; David Perdue tries to rally religious conservatives

Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway report that the show of force for Team Kingston at Marietta Square on Sunday afternoon left the stage practically groaning by the end. Kingston first called up his wife, mother and four children. Then he brought back Karen Handel and Phil Gingrey — his former Republican primary foes who introduced him to the crowd — and a cavalcade of other local officials. 




July 18, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Possible deal including Turner rattles Atlanta’s cage

Matt Kempner, Rodney Ho and Ariel Hart report that the media house Ted Turner built is being shaken again, raising questions about will happen to the Atlanta upstart that helped shape the area’s international image and became one of its largest employers. The latest rattling comes after Time Warner, parent of Atlanta-based Turner Broadcasting, confirmed this week that it rejected an $80 billion takeover bid by 21st Century Fox.


July 18, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia View: Georgia's Talented Trio

Bill Crane writes, when you hear the phrase political dynasty in Georgia, you might conjure images of the Talmadge, Russell, Ray, Carter or even the Kidd family (with predominantly male elected heirs). Nationally, names like Kennedy, Bush, Dailey, Long and Roosevelt are but a few of the better-known political powerhouses, with the women in these families generally playing less visible, supporting roles. Not so with the Denson clan. Athens Mayor Nancy Denson has been a public servant and leader in Athens-Clarke County for more than 34 years.


July 18, 2014 WABE

Children's Hospital of Atlanta Considering New Clinical Services at I-85 and North Druid Hills Road

Lisa George reports that Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) plans to expand its clinical services, and it is tearing down a hotel to do it. The 19-story Executive Park Motor Hotel, near the intersection of Interstate 85 and North Druid Hills Road, has sat empty for years. Last year, CHOA paid $9.6 million for the hotel and will start tearing it down this fall.


July 18, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Report: Recovery short on mid-wage jobs in Georgia

Dave Williams reports that Georgia’s economic recovery has been good at generating low- and high-paying jobs but not so much jobs for middle-class wage earners, according to a new study. While mid-wage industries in Georgia suffered 52 percent of the private-sector job losses from 2007 to 2010, roughly the period of the Great Recession, only 15 percent of employment gains during the recovery from 2010 through last year came in that sector, the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI) reported Thursday.


July 18, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Court decision revives Georgia coastal marsh buffer

Mary Landers reports that the Georgia Court of Appeals on Wednesday ruled that all state waters are protected under Georgia law by a 25-foot vegetative buffer, effectively reversing an Earth Day directive from Environmental Protection Division Director Jud Turner that stripped the protective buffer from the salt marsh.


July 18, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Teavana leaving Atlanta for Seattle, city losing 99 jobs

Leon Stafford reports that Teavana, which grew as a national brand out of Atlanta before being bought in 2012 by coffee giant Starbucks for $620 million, is moving its headquarters to Seattle. A portion of the company’s 99 employees will go with the brand when it leaves its Buckhead digs for its new home in October, said Annie Young-Scrivner, who became Teavana president about four months ago. Another portion will continue to work in Atlanta for one or two years before making the transfer.


July 18, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

E-Pellets buys Athens mill for $13 million

Phil W. Hudson reports that E-Pellets Group LLC bought the Louisiana Pacific OSB mill in Athens, Ga., for $13 million. Waycross, Ga.-based E-Pellets said it plans to convert the mill into a wood pellet production facility, producing about 450,000 metric tons annually. The wood pellets will be exported to the European Union to be used as an alternative to coal as fuel in power plants.


July 18, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

UGA fundraising sets record at $126 million

Lee Shearer reports that donors loosened up their purse strings to set a record in new University of Georgia President Jere Morehead's first year in office. Morehead's inaugural year proved to be the best fundraising year in UGA history, the university announced Thursday. 


July 18, 2014 GPB

Voters To Choose Democratic Superintendent Candidate Tuesday

Claire Simms reports that candidates only have a few more days to sway voters their way ahead of Tuesday’s primary run off for State School Superintendent. Despite Georgia’s status as a red state, Democrats Alisha Thomas Morgan and Valarie Wilson both believe they have a good shot at winning in November. 


Juy 18, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Deal defends staff’s contact with ethics chief, comparing her to ‘prosecutor’

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal issued the liveliest defense yet to the bombshell ethics memo rocking his campaign for re-election. The remarks came in an interview with Erick Erickson, a conservative talk show host on WSB Radio, as he faces mounting pressure to explain why his aides contacted the commission’s chair, Holly LaBerge, days before a key hearing. In the interview, he compared LaBerge to a prosecutor and the commission’s five members to judges.




July 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia’s jobless rate rises to 7.4 percent in June

Henry Unger reports that Georgia’s unemployment rate rose to 7.4 percent in June from 7.2 percent in May, primarily because of summer layoffs of school employees, the state labor department said Thursday.


July 17, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Forsyth/Monroe County - Location, schools and downtown development

Scott Blusiewicz reports that to officials in the city of Forsyth and Monroe County, the opening of a Tractor Supply retail center this summer means more than just having a place to buy lawn equipment, pet products, tools and more. The project, announced in October of last year, has provided local leaders with a strong dose of optimism about the prospects for further economic development in the area.


July 17, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Analyst: Chick-fil-A may grow faster than McDonald's

David Allison reports that Chick-fil-A is a “serious and growing competitive threat” to McDonald’s Corp., a national restaurant stock analyst says. In a report published July 15, Mark Kalinowski of Janney Capital Markets says McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) “faces a growing long-term threat to its domestic business” from fast-growing Chick-fil-A Inc. And he envisions a Chick-fil-A with more than $11 billion in sales just a decade from now.


July 17, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

Georgia calling: Subscription gift box company brings local food, goods to your door every month

Sally Litchfield reports that Georgia Crafted brings local fare to your doorstep. The company, owned by Smyrna resident Erin Zwigart, promotes products of local artisans through monthly subscriptions or selected gift boxes. “The whole idea behind Georgia Crafted is to allow people to experience and to try out products made by local Georgia artisans. The products are in a variety of categories. We do everything from gourmet food to bath and body products to handmade stationary to art in some form and even local music,” Zwigart said.


July 17, 2014 GPB

CDC Director Calls Safety Lapses 'Unacceptable'

Jeanne Bonner reports that the  head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention went to Capitol Hill Wednesday to testify about what he called an “unacceptable” series of safety breaches. Dr. Tom Frieden, who heads the Atlanta-based federal health laboratories, was in Washington to address the mishandling of potentially lethal anthrax spores in June. Since that episode, the agency has revealed there have been other occasions in which scientists at the CDC have mishandled small pox and avian flu virus samples.


July 17, 2014 WABE

UPS Officials Say Drone Usage is Possible in the Future

John Lorinc reports that as controversy over the use of drone aircraft continues, the new head of Atlanta-based UPS made comments recently about the commercial use of drones. David Abney, the CEO-elect of UPS, said there’s a  chance drones will deliver shipments in the future. Abney made that statement at a Rotary Club of Atlanta luncheon on Monday. But, on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the carrier would only issue a written statement that says, in part: “The commercial use of drones is an interesting technology and we’ll continue to evaluate it.  UPS invests more in technology than any other company in the delivery business, and we’re always planning for the future.”


July 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Paulding airport board approves terms for bonds

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Paulding County airport officials are moving forward with plans to issue bonds for taxiway work, while acknowledging the airport likely won’t be able to launch commercial airline service until next year. The Paulding County Airport Authority on Wednesday approved terms for $3.6 million in bonds for the taxiway expansion aimed at helping the airport prepare for commercialization. 


July 17, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Highway trust fund bill promises short-term relief for Georgia

Dave Williams reports that when you can’t fix a sticky problem permanently, put a temporary patch on it. That’s where Congress appears to be headed with Tuesday’s vote in the House of Representatives to put $10.8 billion toward keeping the federal Highway Trust Fund afloat through next May.


July 17, 2014 Augusta Chronicle, Morris News Service

Legislators look at simplifying Georgia alcohol rules

Walter C. Jones reports that a committee met Wednesday to begin updating the state’s laws dealing with alcohol production, sales and consumption in an effort to simplify commerce, but some in the industry hope it will go further. “We just want to make it easier on people,” said Rep. Howard Maxwell, the temporary committee’s chairman and the head of the House Regulated Industries Committee that deals with alcohol issues. The point is to clean up confusing terminology and consolidate some provisions that are scattered throughout various sections of the legal code as a result of years of individual law changes that weren’t necessarily coordinated with one another.


July 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

The ‘scheduling problem’ that led Nathan Deal’s aides to contact ethics chief

Greg Bluestein reports that the now-famous memo penned by former ethics head Holly LaBerge’s offers an idea of what Gov. Nathan Deal’s aides said to her ahead of a major hearing. But a lingering question is why  Chris Riley, the governor’s chief of staff, and Ryan Teague, his executive counsel, reached out instead of a campaign attorney.




July 16, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Aaron’s to shutter 44 stores

Staff reports that Aaron’s Inc. plans to close 44 underperforming stores in the third quarter due to a weaker-than-expected performance of its core business. The Atlanta-based electronics, furniture and appliances rentals retailer also revised its earnings guidance downward to 9 cents to 12 cents a share for the second quarter.


July 16, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Japanese chemical company breaks ground near Griffin

Staff reports that executives from Otsuka Chemical Co. gathered with local officials and Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday to break ground on the company’s North American headquarters. The firm is building a plant at The Lakes at Green Valley, an industrial park outside of Griffin. The facility, which will employ more than 30 people, will make materials for automotive brake pads.


July 16, 2014 Macon Telegraph

YKK's window plant in Macon to double capacity

Linda S. Morris reports that YKK’s window plant in Macon plans to double its production capacity by January 2015. YKK AP America Inc., a subsidiary of Japan-based YKK Corporation of America, plans to relocate its production lines into a larger building on its Macon campus and add two new production lines dedicated to vinyl window and multi-layered glass production, according to a news release.


July 16, 2014 Rockdale Citizen

New film and music studio for GPTC

Ryan McKenzie reports that Georgia Piedmont Technical College will cut the ribbon on its new Design and Media Production Technology Studio and Labs on July 24 and join the growing entertainment industry in the metro Atlanta area. The new studio facility will accommodate students interested in the fields of music production, television, 3D animation, visual graphics and broadcast writing. 


July 16, 2014 Moultrie Observer

Tifton grower Philip Grimes named Ga. Farmer of the Year

John Leidner reports that a meticulous, high-yield crop farmer, Philip Grimes of Tifton, Ga., is admired as one of the best farmers in South Georgia. He has been recognized on the state level for producing high peanut yields for more than 20 consecutive years. A conservation farmer, he uses cover crops and has installed grassed waterways, terraces, and ponds on his land.


July 16, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Athens airport to lose commercial passenger air service subsidy

Jim Thompson reports that Athens-Ben Epps Airport is losing the $1.6 million in federal funding that supports the commercial passenger air service provided by Oregon-based SeaPort Airlines, according to a Tuesday news release from the Athens-Clarke County government. The announcement notes that SeaPort, which provides flights from Athens to Nashville, where passengers can connect with other airlines, “is expected to end its service to Athens” as funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Essential Air Service program ends on Sept. 30.


July 16, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

Axiom Laboratories acquires Metaugus Inc. in Cedartown

Staff reports that Axiom Laboratories, a subsidiary of Axiom Nutraceuticals, announced it has acquired Metaugus, Inc., a supplement manufacturing facility located in Cedartown. The purchase will better serve the needs of Axiom Nutraceuticals’ customers both local and abroad.


July 16, 2014 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Middle, West Georgia see promise from Savannah harbor upgrades

Walter C. Jones reports that the Savannah harbor expansion project is expected to bring so much new business that community leaders in Macon and West Georgia aren't willing to wait patiently for improvements in the highway corridor connecting them to the port. They are pushing state transportation officials and lobbying politicians to begin the initial studies into how the existing roads between Macon and LaGrange, where Kia Motors has a plant, can be enhanced so the communities along the way won't miss out on the benefits of port expansion.


July 16, 2014 Gainesville Times

Poultry lab now looking at fall opening

Jeff Gill reports that the new Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network headquarters in North Hall County now appears headed for completion in midfall. Construction and weather issues have delayed work on the 38,000-square-foot building, which had been set to finish this month, officials said during a tour of the lab Monday.


July 16, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Sam Olens explains a ‘frustrating,’ explosive memo — and an opposing view

Greg Bluestein reports that Attorney General Sam Olens just released his explanation of why the bombshell memo from ethics chief Holly LaBerge claiming that Gov. Nathan Deal’s aides pushed her to make complaints go away only emerged in public yesterday. Take note of the last line, where he rejects Democrat Jason Carter’s call for an independent probe into the claims. We also have a serious opposing view.



July 25, 2014 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Georgia revenue up 5.2 percent over previous year

Walter C. Jones reports that when the state's fiscal year wound up last month, tax collections were 5.2 percent above those of the previous year, according to figures released Monday by the Governor's Office. An 11.5 percent increase in June's monthly collections over the same month of 2013 provided the final boost to the fiscal year that ended June 30. Total tax collections for the year reached $17.9 billion, which is about $200 million more than the revised revenue estimate included in the budget for the last fiscal year.


July 15, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

Beaulieu to create 350 jobs with $200 million Cartersville plant

Brande Poulnot reports that a Belgium-based company is bringing its manufacturing operations to the United States with a Cartersville facility. Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday at Tellus Science Museum that textiles company Beaulieu International Group will establish its U.S. headquarters inside the city limits, make a $200 million investment and create 350 jobs in the next five years.


July 15, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Coke probes claims bottled water caused soldier’s illness

Leon Stafford reports that Coca-Cola said Monday that it continues to investigate reports that one of its bottled water brands may have made at least one soldier in Afghanistan sick. Channel 2 Action News reported Friday that it had confirmed the U.S. Army was testing a batch of Coke’s Kinley bottled water after at least one soldier at Bagram Airfield became ill.


July 15, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia is 2014’s fourth ‘Most Energy-Expensive State’

Jacques Couret reports thata Georgians pay the fourth-most for their energy needs in 2014, according to a new study from WalletHub. The average Georgian spends $403 a month on energy, including $123 for electricity, $63 a month for natural gas and $217 a month for fuel.


July 15, 2014 Gainesville Times

New hospital in Braselton seeks employees

Jeff Gill reports that Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton is “on track” to filling 500-600 positions needed to staff the new South Hall hospital, which is set to open next spring, a hospital official said Monday. Some key positions have been filled already, but the hiring process will continue until a few weeks before the opening, depending on the job, said Robin Daniel, human resources manager for the Braselton hospital.


July 15, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post, Georgia Health News

Cancer care in Georgia marks milestone with MD Anderson affiliation

Andy Miller reports that Greg Foster is looking forward to the end of his long medical commute. Foster, who lives in Marietta, has been regularly shuttling back and forth to Texas for a couple of years. Now Foster’s travel schedule looks a lot less complicated. That’s because Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta, where he and his family already go for most care, announced Friday that it has joined the MD Anderson Cancer Network. 


July 15, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Berwick Marketplace sold for $5.9 million

Julia Ritchey reports that South Carolina firm Ziff Properties Inc. has sold Berwick Marketplace, a 38,000-square-foot shopping plaza on Ogeechee Road. The property sold to a private investor from South Florida in a deal worth $5.9 million, according to a press release.


July 15, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

UPS CEO-elect speaks out for free trade agreements

Maria Saporta reports that global trade is becoming more essential to the economic viability to the United States and its companies, which is why UPS is strongly supporting two pending free trade agreements, the incoming CEO of United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS), Dave Abney, told the Rotary Club of Atlanta Monday.


July 15, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Major economic development site in Barrow County purchased by land management company

Staff reports that a major land acquisition along the Georgia Highway 316 corridor near Statham, geared toward economic development, was announced Monday by Barrow County officials. The 86-acre tract, located a mile from downtown Statham, was purchased by the Atlanta office of Walton Development and Management, a land management and land development company with offices across the United States and Canada. 


July 15, 2014 WABE

Fresh Questions For Deal and Others In Light Of LaBerge Memo

Jonathan Shapiro reports that Gov. Nathan Deal and the attorney general's office face new questions in an ongoing saga involving the state ethics commission. The commission chief Monday alleged a top Deal aide threatened her and her agency in order to settle an investigation into Deal’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.


July 15, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Brian Kemp: Guns and run-off ballots won’t mix

Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy report that over the weekend, the New York Times had a piece on the dispute in Alabama, where the state’s sheriffs association had urged the state’s 67 counties to ban the open carry of weapons at polling places, fearing that such a display would discourage some voters. Which prompted us to make a phone call this morning to Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office. It seems the matter had already come up. Below is a June 25 note sent to county election officials throughout Georgia, in anticipation of the July 1 effective date of our new “guns everywhere” bill.




July 14, 2014 WABE

Financial Institutions Claim Georgia Consumer Confidence Is Rising

Marylee Williams reports that Georgia financial institutions are remaining cautious about the economy, but spokesmen agreed from their perspectives that consumer attitudes are looking up. Kennesaw State University professor Mark Patterson said in the last year and a half, he’s noticed the economy has gotten better.


July 14, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Community building in college towns

Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy reports that one of the first things you notice when you start talking to people about affordable housing is that it’s not about the housing. People who are passionate about helping low-income, working families find quality, affordable housing are really about building communities – and housing is just one piece, albeit an essential piece, of community development.


July 14, 2014 GPB

50 Years After The Civil Rights Act, Andrew Young Says Progress Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

Ellen Reinhardt reports that Friday, the King Center in Atlanta hosted a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. Civil rights leader and former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young says while there is still racism in America, a lot has changed. “Though we feel now that we still have problems, the truth of it is if Martin Luther King had known 50 years ago that we would be where we are today, he would be very, very pleased,” said Young. “I think if I had said to him ‘I think I’m going to be the Mayor of Atlanta, and I’m going to be an Ambassador to the United Nations. And I’m going to help a Georgia Governor get to the White House’ he would say ‘Boy, you are sick!’ ”


July 14, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Business execs warn of job losses without gridlock cure

Greg Bluestein and J. Scott Trubey report that the Metro Atlanta Chamber plans to push for more state spending on transportation, wading back into charged political waters two years after metro voters sunk a regional penny sales tax that business leaders backed. The chamber’s new president and CEO, Hala Moddelmog, has joined a study committee including top state House and Senate lawmakers tasked with finding ideas for new transportation revenue sources.


July 14, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Briggs & Stratton to close McDonough plant, cut 475 jobs

David Allison reports that Briggs & Stratton Corp. will close its McDonough, Ga., plant, affecting about 475 employees in coming months. The Wauwatosa, Wis.-based company (NYSE: BGG) said the plant, which makes pressure washers, snow throwers, zero-turn lawn mowers and smaller lawn and garden tractors, will be consolidated into other plants in Wisconsin and New York. The shutdown is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2015.


July 14, 2014 Gainesville Times

Syfan Logistics to expand, add 50 jobs

Greg Breazeale reports that Gainesville-based Syfan Logistics is in expansion mode, planning to hire about 50 people and spend about $2 million more by the end of this year. Jim Syfan, founder of the business on Old Candler Road, said the jobs would pay $35,000 to $50,000. “(Workers) have to be computer literate,” he said. “It’s fairly complicated. We handle a lot of freight for a lot of people.”


July 14, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Foreclosure notices jump, but trend is down

Michael Kanell reports that foreclosure notices in metro Atlanta jumped 20 percent in the past month, mostly because of a longer reporting period. There were 2,430 foreclosure notices in metro Atlanta in July, up from 2,054 in June and 2,104 in May, according to a report to be released this morning by Equity Depot. Yet the overall trend in the 13-county area continues to be toward a healthier and more balanced housing market after years of painful and jarring readjustment, said Barry C. Bramlett, president and CEO of the Kennesaw-based research firm.


July 14, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

RockTenn offers lump sum payment to thousands of former workers

Staff reports that paper and packaging giant RockTenn will offer a one-time lump sum payment to about 9,000 eligible former employees vested in company pension plans but not taking monthly payments. The company said distributions to eligible former employees will be made out of existing plan assets in its fiscal fourth quarter. RockTenn will not be required to make additional contributions into these plans as a result of the proposed transaction.


July 14, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Plant Vogtle expansion workforce continues to grow

Meg Mirshak reports that Workforce numbers continue to rise at Plant Vogtle’s construction site as new nuclear reactors and cooling towers take shape. About 4,200 workers are employed at the Plant Vogtle expansion project where the first two reactors built in the U.S. in more than three decades are rising from the red clay.


July 14, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Kasim Reed: In a future ATL, ‘we’ll be able to know where you are 80 to 85 percent of the time’

Jim Galloway reports that Friday afternoon, longtime Atlanta newsman Bill Nigut debuted his weekly 3 p.m. current events show, “Political Rewind,” on WRAS (88.5FM). Front and center was Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, riffing off his recent Wall Street Journal piece on the future of cities and what Atlanta might look like in 2050. Many national outlets focused on Reed’s analysis of the electoral chances of Democrats Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter, and the importance of voter registration.



July 11, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Advanced Power & Lighting settles civil claims in wage underpayment case

Staff reports that Advanced Power & Lighting will pay $780,000 to settle allegations it underpaid workers on several federally funded projects in Georgia and then submitted false and fictitious payroll records. In late 2010, Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Advanced Power & Lighting (APL) won a Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program subcontract to assist with broadband projects in North Georgia.


July 11, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Sustainable Georgia: On common ground

Ben Young reports that Georgia's environmental scene is crowded with players from the trenches of public works to the ivory towers where futuristic sustainability solutions are hatched.  Many of those people will be attending or speaking at the Georgia Environmental Conference, which is being held Aug. 20-22 on Jekyll Island.


July 11, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Hercules putting down more monitoring wells in area of polluted groundwater in Georgia

Staff reports that environmental contractors are back in Brunswick this week putting down more test wells to determine how far contamination from Hercules Inc.'s former operation has spread. The groundwater beneath the sprawling chemical plant a few hundred yards from the marsh has been found to contain a number of pollutants, most notably benzene.


July 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta homebuilder sold for $130 million

Arielle Kass reports that Legendary Communities, an Atlanta-based homebuilder, was sold to an Arizona company for $130 million. The purchase of Legendary allows Meritage Homes Corp. to add a presence in Atlanta and Greenville, S.C. as well as expand its presence in Charlotte, N.C.


July 11, 2014 WABE

Atlanta Housing Market Bucks National Trend

Jim Burress reports that hot real estate market is cooling across the nation, as buyers are becoming less willing to engage in bidding wars for available property. That’s according to real estate company Redfin. But Atlanta? “Atlanta actually is different," says Nela Richardson, Redfin's Chief Economist. "We’re seeing big differences.” Unlike most of the US, it’s still a sellers’ market here.


July 11, 2014

Feds turn to Ga. to relieve immigrant overcrowding

Jaclyn Schultz reports that the federal government has tapped local charities to help house children from the border crisis. The federal government asked the Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes if they would help house some of the thousands of undocumented children.


July 11, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

Southeastern Mills shares tips with small business owners

Doug Walker reports that essentials of customer service that helped grow Southeastern Mills of Rome into a powerhouse in the food service industry were discussed during Wednesday’s meeting of the Small Business Action Council at the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce. Kelly Hill, a food technologist at SEM, explained her company’s efforts to develop and service its customers.


July 11, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Developer chosen for Edgewood/Candler TOD project

Dave Williams reports that Invest Atlanta has selected Columbia Ventures LLC to serve as the developer of MARTA’s transit-oriented development project on five acres surrounding the Edgewood/Candler Park station. The Atlanta-based company has worked in the neighborhood for a decade, building more than 400 housing units including market-rate and affordable housing.


July 11, 2014 Georgia Health News

Medicaid change on long-term care delayed

Andy Miller reports that state health agency Thursday delayed approval of a change in the Medicaid eligibility system for people in long-term care whose incomes are above the government program’s thresholds. The Department of Community Health’s board had been set to approve a switch for some lower-income Georgians — who now use “Qualified Income Trusts” (QITs) to qualify for Medicaid — to a “medically needy” eligibility program. 


July 11, 2014 GPB

Mayor Kasim Reed: Carter And Nunn Need To Reach Out To Minority Voters Sooner

Ellen Reinhardt reports that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says in order for Democrats Jason Carter and Michelle Nunn to win in November, they will have to spend campaign funds reaching out to the 600,000 to 900,000 minority voters in Georgia. “And if they haven’t invested, I would say somewhere between three to five million in their registration efforts and in their voter contact efforts, I don’t believe they are going to prevail,” Reed told GPB’s Bill Nigut. 


July 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Savannah set to be next U.S. Chamber-Club For Growth battleground

Daniel Malloy reports that Eileen Braden of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce did not come bearing a big check along with the Chamber’s endorsement of Buddy Carter in the First Congressional District runoff. Decisions on whether to launch an advertising buy, Braden said, have not yet been made. But the Chamber has taken notice that its frequent foil, the arch-conservative Club For Growth, has plunked down  $358,000 on ads that are blanketing the airwaves here pillorying Carter as a “liberal” — a label Carter finds absurd



July 10, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Bank analysts expect slow housing market growth

Christopher Quinn reports that after a slow start in 2014, the national housing market has picked up, but is still only slightly ahead of where it was at this time last year, according to a report by Wells Fargo Securities. Sales of new homes were up nearly 19 percent in May, and existing home sales rose 5 percent.


July 10, 2014 Georgia Trend

Battle lines, punch lines

Susan Percy writes, fellow Georgians, it’s a done deal. As of the first day of this month, we have the most permissive and most ridiculous gun law in the nation. Gun owners – responsible and otherwise – can carry practically anywhere they like. In a state where Second Amendment rights have not been seriously threatened in recent memory, the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of ordinary citizens are endangered.


July 10, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Castle Harlan acquires Tensar

Staff reports that Castle Harlan Inc. bought Atlanta-based geosynthetic site development technology company Tensar Corp. for an undisclosed amount. The seller was global investment firm Arcapita Inc., which bought Tensar in 2005.


July 10, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Savannah Trade Center finishes year in black

Mary Carr Mayle reports, in a feat rare for the convention industry, the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center projects it will finish fiscal 2014 nearly $1 million better than budgeted, bolstered by higher than expected hotel/motel tax revenues. Encouraged both by its numbers and requests from larger convention groups, the trade center authority, meeting Wednesday, also commissioned a feasibility study to look at expansion of the center, a new convention hotel and develop an overall strategic plan for convention business in Savannah.


July 10, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

$2 million grant to help UGA math department attract, train more students

Staff reports that behind every facet of digital communication is a well-trained mathematician, and the University of Georgia mathematics department is on the front lines of training for this ever-increasing field of employment. One recent grant award will ensure that mathematics education advances at the university. Thanks to a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, UGA will continue its efforts to educate math majors at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.


July 10, 2014 Georgia Health News

Plan for new trauma center not welcomed by all

Andy Miller reports that hospital chain HCA’s push to have its Augusta hospital designated as a trauma center has unsettled leaders in the state’s hospital industry. A trauma center is a medical facility that’s specially equipped and staffed to treat seriously injured people. Georgia authorizes four levels of such centers, depending on their capabilities. 


A trauma center is a medical facility that’s specially equipped and staffed to treat seriously injured people. Georgia authorizes four levels of such centers, depending on their capabilities.

- See more at:

July 10, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hartsfield-Jackson rebidding advertising contract

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that after years of legal challenges and delays, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is rebidding its advertising contract. Clear Channel Airports has held the contract for advertising at the Atlanta airport since 2002. But Corey Airport Services, which lost out in the competition for the contract, filed a federal suit in 2004 claiming the city and the airport steered the contract to a competitor with political connections.


July 10, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Clearleap stays in the 'burbs, completes 50,000-square-foot lease in Duluth

Douglas Sams reports that for some tech companies, the ‘burbs still work. Consider technology company Clearleap, which recently completed the lease for its Duluth headquarters, choosing to grow in the suburbs rather than come intown. Clearleap is relocating from a single story office complex on Sugarloaf Parkway. It’s moving to 3100 Breckinridge Blvd., where it will occupy 50,000 square feet, with options for more space as it continues to expand. It plans to relocate in August.


July 10, 2014 Gainesville Times

Gainesville woman sues Ga. GOP alleging discrimination

Staff reports that a Gainesville woman who was fired from her job as executive assistant to the chairman of the Georgia Republican Party has filed a federal lawsuit claiming race discrimination. Qiana Keith of Gainesville filed the lawsuit against the Georgia GOP on Tuesday, saying she was subjected to racial slurs and discrimination from co-workers because she is black.


July 10, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

The Plan B Committee: Two years later, Republicans gear up for a transportation re-match

Jim Galloway reports that two years after the humiliating, tea party-driven defeat of a penny sales tax for transportation, Republicans in the state Capitol are gearing up for a rematch. It is a mere study committee, but one that includes top House and Senate lawmakers, including those who control the state budget, plus Georgia’s top business leaders.




July 9, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta leads nation in foreclosures

Michael Kanell reports that Americans have continued to lose their homes to foreclosure, but at a slower pace than in the past few years, according to a report this morning from CoreLogic. And while the overall picture has improved, Georgia remains among the nation’s foreclosure leaders and metro Atlanta was number one among metro areas.


July 9, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Economy - recruiting retirees

Jeffrey Humphries reports that one way to move Georgia’s economy onto a higher growth path is to focus on the recruitment of retirees. We are already a retiree magnet and only need to do more of what we currently do fairly well. Of course, our appeal to retirees varies considerably by county. Approximately 1 million retirees live in Georgia, but their share of Georgia’s population (10.6 percent) is lower than their share of the U.S. population (13.1 percent).


July 9, 2014 GPB

Ports Authority Leader Says Truck Drivers Should Take Their Concerns To Their Employers

Sarah McCammon reports that the leader of the Georgia Ports Authority says he’s listening to the concerns of truck drivers at the Port of Savannah. But he says workers protesting at the port Tuesday should take their concerns to their employers. Truck drivers are asking GPA Executive Director Curtis Foltz to meet with them to discuss their concerns. Foltz says it’s not his place to get involved in labor discussions. 


July 9, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

CatchMark to boost timberland holdings

Phil W. Hudson reports that CatchMark Timber Trust Inc. will buy 55,671 acres of timberlands in two transactions for $106 million. The Atlanta-based REIT reported about 95 percent of the acreage is in Middle and South Georgia and North Florida. The two transactions, known as Oglethorpe and Satilla River, are expected to close during the third quarter.


July 9, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

South Korean native Steve Stirling to take helm at MAP International

Terry Dickson reports that MAP International has named Steve Stirling, former executive vice president of ChildFund International, as its new president and CEO. He replaces Michael Nyenhuis who left the Christian relief organization earlier this year after 14 years as its CEO. Stirling told the Times-Union that contracting polio as a child in his native South Korea and being abandoned at an orphanage prepared him to lead MAP on its mission of providing badly needed medicine to developing countries.


July 9, 2014 WABE

Early Education Teachers Could Qualify for Bonuses

Martha Dalton reports that teachers of Georgia’s youngest students could soon be eligible for bonuses if they choose to go back to school. State education officials are offering one-time bonuses for preschool teachers who earned higher degrees. The success of early education programs often hinge on teacher quality. That’s why Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning is using part of a federal grant to reward teachers who boost their credentials. Kristin Bernhard is DECAL’s deputy commissioner for system reform.  She says the amount of a bonus will depend on the degree a teacher pursues.


July 9, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia agriculture leaders blast new federal water rule

David Allison reports that two of Georgia's top agriculture leaders are blasting a new federal water rule that they say could hurt Georgia farmers. The Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Corps of Engineers introduced the rule in March and it went into affect on April 3. The agencies said the rule is intended to enhance water quality. (Read more about it here and here.) The rule was the topic of a heated hearing with members of a House Agriculture subcommittee on June 20.


July 9, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Gov. Nathan Deal pushes for marijuana drug trials at Georgia Regents University

Tom Corwin reports that Georgia children with difficult to treat seizures will get access to a marijuana-derived oil in a clinical trial through Georgia Regents University perhaps as soon as this month, or at least by the end of the year, Gov, Nathan Deal said.    


July 9, 2014 Savannah Morning News, Morris News Service

Patriotism, pat-downs, pensions become topics in GOP runoff 

Walter C. Jones reports that Republican runoff opponents Bob Johnson and Buddy Carter found new sources of mud to fling at one another after the Independence Day holiday as they contend for the First District congressional nomination. Carter's campaign resurrected comments Johnson made in a pair of forums in October and February in which the Savannah surgeon argued congressional pensions should be paired with term limits to discourage career politicians.


July 9, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Jason Carter out-raises Nathan Deal in latest fundraising report

Greg Bluestein reports that Democrat Jason Carter’s campaign was hoping to stay in the ballpark against Gov. Nathan Deal’s donor network. Instead, the Atlanta state senator outpaced the Republican incumbent’s fundraising machine in the three months between April and June.




July 8, 2014 GPB

Port Of Savannah Truck Drivers Plan Protest For Better Working Conditions

Sarah McCammon reports that truck drivers who haul goods in and out of the Port of Savannah are planning their second protest in several months for Tuesday morning. This time, they’re calling on Georgia Ports Authority officials to meet with drivers to discuss their requests for better working conditions, including better pay and benefits.


July 8, 2014 Saporta Report

Clayton’s yes vote for MARTA sales tax ‘a turning point’ for regional transit 

Maria Saporta reported that year 2014 easily may be the year that MARTA and transit gains significant new ground in metro Atlanta. The first solid indication that the times, they are a changing came Saturday morning when the Clayton County Commission, at specially-called meeting, voted 3-to-1 to place a full-penny MARTA tax on the Nov. 4 ballot.


July 8, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Georgia highways unaffected by federal funding shortfall

Meg Mirshak reports that Georgia road planners acted ahead of federal transportation funding shortfalls to keep construction projects moving forward, unlike those in other states now faced with halting highway work. A congressional stalemate over highway spending won’t affect Georgia road projects, said Natalie Dale, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Transportation. Georgia sold $130 million in previously authorized bonds in May to continue letting projects for construction bids through the summer.


July 8, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constition

Home sales seen falling this year

Michael Kanell reports that more than seven years after the collapse of the housing bubble, American confidence in housing has been rising fitfully, according to Fannie Mae, the national home lender. Things aren’t back to normal, and a “pause” in sales is likely this year, although responses to a June survey show a generally upward trend in consumer outlook, according to the national home lender.


July 8, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Corinthian Colleges to sell schools, including four in Atlanta

David Allison reports that Corinthian Colleges Inc., one of the country's largest for-profit universities, will sell 85 of its schools under a deal announced July 3 with the U.S. Department of Education. Four of the campuses are in Atlanta. The move came after the Department of Education on June 12 placed California-based Corinthian (Nasdaq: COCO) under greater financial oversight after it failed to provide records concerning enrollment and job placement data required by federal law, and failed to fully address concerns about its practices, including faulty job placement data used in marketing claims to prospective students and allegations of altered grades and attendance.


July 8, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

Tax revenue increase may be on the horizon in Cobb

Sarah Westwood reports that Cobb commissioners will collect $1.5 million more in property taxes this year than they did last year due to rising property values throughout most of the county, despite a drop in the millage rate. Jim Pehrson, the county’s finance director, said the projected jump in tax revenue reflects growth in the county’s real estate market. He said the general fund millage rate — the multiplier used to calculate the amount of one’s property tax that will go toward the county general fund — will be lowered from 7.52 mills to 7.32 mills, pending approval by the Board of Commissioners July 22.


July 8, 2014

Atlanta Beltline: Global awards, local disputes for revitalization project

Chris Freiberg reports that despite its recent international recognition, the ambitious Atlanta BeltLine project still faces a variety of local hurdles on its long and winding path to reshaping the city’s transit infrastructure. The BeltLine’s renovation of the 17-acre Historic Fourth Ward Park and Eastside Trail won the award for the Best Rehabilitation Project in the world in May at the World Congress of the International Real Estate Federation, or FIABCI, in Luxembourg.


July 8, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Medient Studios working to get stock relisted amid suspension

Effingham County entertainment company Medient Studios is working to get its stock in acceptable shape as a temporary suspension by the Securities and Exchange Commission is due to be lifted later this week, according to its investor relations firm.


July 8, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Gander Mountain opening Newnan store

Staff reports that Gander Mountain will open its fifth Georgia store in Newnan. The St. Paul, Minn.-based sports and outdoors retailer said the new 52,000-square-foot store at 361 Newnan Crossing Bypass will open in fall. It will join existing stores in Albany and Valdosta, a recently-opened store in McDonough, and a new store in Augusta that will also open in the fall.


July 8, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

South Georgia withers on the vine: We’ve got three of nation’s top 10 shrinking cities

Greg Bluestein, Jim Galloway and Daniel Malloy report that if you want to know why both David Perdue and Jack Kingston see north Georgia as the key to their U.S. Senate races, just look at the drain that is south Georgia. According to both Vox and Bloomberg, the Rust Belt doesn’t have anything on us. Based on 2012-13 estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Georgia has three of the top 10 shrinking cities in the United States.



July 7, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta: no longer the King of Sprawl

Mark Elliot reports that the biggest, the very biggest, thing you notice about this real estate recovery in Atlanta is the type of real estate leading the charge — multifamily housing. Just as important is the location of that multifamily development: Midtown, Buckhead, and north continuing up the major road conduits through Dunwoody.


July 7, 2014 Georgia Trend

Ready for take off

Mary Anne Dunkin reports that when Porsche announced in 2011 it was moving its headquarters south to a parcel of land near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, it was an unusual move. Most of Atlanta’s big corporations are located along a business corridor running from downtown through Buckhead and up to the Perimeter district. Yet Porsche was moving to an area known more for its industrial warehouses than Fortune 500 international companies.


July 7, 2014 Georgia Health News

Albany hospital appeal key ruling on CON laws

Andy Miller reports that another regulatory twist has emerged in the FTC vs. Phoebe Putney saga. Phoebe and its local Albany hospital authority said Thursday that they have appealed a state agency’s ruling that a certificate-of-need (CON) approval would not be necessary if they were ordered to sell a hospital they acquired in 2011. The acquisition of Palmyra Medical Center, which had been Phoebe’s only competitor in the Albany region, drew vigorous opposition from the Federal Trade Commission, which sued to stop the deal. 


Phoebe and its local Albany hospital authority said Thursday that they have appealed a state agency’s ruling that a certificate-of-need (CON) approval would not be necessary if they were ordered to sell a hospital they acquired in 2011.

- See more at:

July 7, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Growing new jobs: high-tech servants

Nicholas Fouriezos reports that Marcus Amison pushes his grocery cart through a cavernous Costco aisle stocked with bulk cleaning supplies and faces the typical shopper’s problem — he can’t find what he’s looking for. But Amison isn’t your typical shopper. He wears the green, branded T-shirt of Instacart, a San Francisco-based grocery service that arrived in Atlanta June 25 and promises home delivery in as little as an hour.


July 7, 2014

Macon's Bright Spot After The Flood Of 1994

Leah Fleming reports that this holiday weekend, communities all over South and Middle Georgia are marking the 20th anniversary of the worst natural disaster in the state’s history. In Macon, Tropical Storm Alberto hit on July 5th 1994 causing the Ocmulgee River to overflow. Macon’s water plant was completely submerged by the flood. But out of that storm came a new facility on higher ground.


July 7, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Arboris at forefront of food technology

Mary Carr Mayle reports that as the debate over foods containing genetically modified organisms - or GMOs - continues to ramp up across the country, one Savannah company has quietly taken the lead in developing a non-GMO plant product that is also heart healthy.


July 7, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Caught between the FAA and Navy, St. Marys looking for help in moving its airport

Jared Keever reports that efforts by city officials to close the lightly used St. Marys Airport continue to battle headwinds, but the Navy may provide some needed support. That help could either get the airport closed for good or it may result in an airport at a new location.


July 7, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Aflac co-founder Paul Amos has died

Phil W. Hudson reports that one of the three brothers who founded Aflac Inc. died late Wednesday night after a lengthy illness. The Columbus, Ga.-based insurance giant (NYSE: AFL) reported he was 88 years old.


July 7, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Foreign-owned companies responsible for nearly 10,000 jobs in Augusta

Tim Rausch reports that the Augusta metro area is slightly ahead of the nation in having jobs provided by direct foreign investment. A report by the nonprofit Brookings Institution said the metro area had nearly 10,000 jobs, representing 5.7 percent of its total private employment, supported by foreign firms in 2011. The national average for the largest 100 metro areas was 5.5 percent.


July 7, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Joe Lowery urges Clayton County voters to swamp Saturday meeting for MARTA

Jim Galloway reports that ninety-one year old Joseph Lowery, still an influential voice in metro Atlanta, is urging Clayton County residents to swamp a special Saturday morning meeting of the county commission, to persuade it to approve a referendum for a penny sales tax that would promise both bus and rail service in the transit-starved county.



July 3, 2014 Georgia Health News

An early, encouraging glimpse of 2015 rates

Andy Miller reports that at least three health insurers plan to offer insurance statewide in Georgia’s exchange for 2015. This year, only one health plan – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia – went statewide in the exchange.And the proposed Blue Cross rates for next year’s exchange will decrease by an average of 7 percent. 


This year, only one health plan – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia – went statewide in the exchange.

And the proposed Blue Cross rates for next year’s exchange will decrease by an average of 7 percent.

- See more at:

July 3, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Summer musings

Neely Young writes, several times a year I present to you, our readers, a column made up of sayings and quips. Many of these are sent to me by our readers, and I welcome them. They all show a bit of truth, wit and whimsy I hope will bring a smile to your face.


July 3, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Veritiv begins trading on New York Stock Exchange

David Allison reports that executives from Veritiv Corp. today rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange, signaling the newly formed company's public launch. The company currently has dual headquarters in Atlanta and Loveland, Ohio.


July 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Education part of inequality story, Fed post says

Michael Kanell reports that education is partly to blame for the rise in inequality, according to Atlanta Fed economists. That’s not a reason to discourage schooling, they wrote this week, but it might be helpful in figuring out what to do about the yawning economic gap between Americans at the top and those farther down the chain.


July 3, 2014

Country’s Newest Citizens Hope For Immigration Reform

Claire Simms reports that more than one thousand new Americans raised their right hands and pledged their allegiance to the United States Wednesday at a naturalization ceremony at Turner Field in Atlanta. The new U.S. citizens came from 120 different countries including Afghanistan, Jamaica and Columbia.


July 3, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Locals, tourists, find fault with Savannah's spot on World's Best poll

Kim Wade reports that Travel + Leisure released the results from its annual World’s Best Awards 2014 on Wednesday, and Savannah ranked No. 3 on the list of the top 10 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Charleston took top honors and New Orleans took second. The World’s Best Awards allows readers to rate their favorite hotels, cities, islands, spas, cruise lines and more.


July 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Stocks of big Georgia firms outperform market

Russell Grantham reports that Georgia’s largest public companies have been beating the record stock market so far this year, but mostly with the help of a few muscular performers. A rosier global outlook for manufacturers helped propel the Dow Jones Industrial average to record territory Tuesday, and the S&P 500 index has risen almost 6.8 percent so far this year, after jumping 30 percent last year.


July 3, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

PSC gives up on cellphone fee for low-income customers

Dave Williams reports that the Georgia Public Service Commission is planning to abandon an initiative imposing a $5 monthly fee on low-income Georgians for basic cellphones provided through a federal program. Commissioners voted unanimously this week to repeal a rule the PSC adopted last fall levying the monthly charge on participants in the Lifeline program, subject to a 30-day public comment period.


July 3, 2014 Newnan Times-Herald

Georgia students improving in EOCT scores

Celia Shortt reports that Georgia students improved in more than half of the 2014 End of Course Tests and are showing significant improvement over last years’ results. “Students and teachers are getting more and more comfortable with our standards and the results are showing it,” said Dr. John Barge, school superintendent for Georgia. “The comparable EOCTs demonstrate a positive trend.”


July 3, 2014 WABE

Deal Delays Drug Testing For Welfare Recipients

Michell Eloy reports that Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will delay enforcement of a controversial law that allows for drug testing of some welfare recipients. House Bill 772 went into effect Tuesday, but Deal’s spokesperson Brian Robinson said the state won’t enforce it until a Federal Appeals Court rules on a related Florida law.


July 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Into the weeds: Exploring the edges of Georgia’s new gun law

Jim Galloway reports that we are 72 hours into Georgia’s new concealed-carry law, and questions that were once theoretical are sprouting like weeds. All of us have a steep learning curve in front of us, including the firearms enthusiast in Valdosta who wasn’t sure that the fellow in front of him at the local convenience store was, in fact, a good guy with a holstered gun.



July 2, 2014 Boston Globe

Rivals to biotech sector sprout all over

Priyanka Dayal McCluskey reports that Massachusetts has made its way over the past half-dozen years to being an undisputed leader in biotechnology and life sciences research. Now it faces an entirely different challenge: staying there. Newer but fast-growing players such as Florida and Georgia are also offering programs to lure life sciences companies — on top of business costs that are lower than in Massachusetts and California. At the just concluded BIO convention, Georgia cut a particularly high profile, leasing an aircraft carrier to host a lavish party with food, cocktails, and entertainment. But in addition to the free drinks, Georgia, home to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pledges to offer one of the most valuable commodities to the industry: skilled workers.


July 2, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

EV's Help Businesses Go Green

Ben Young reports that Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce (MAC) presented a panel on electric vehicles at the Clean Tech Leadership Council lunch on June 13. According to panelists, the greatest surge in users may come as big area employers grow infrastructure and incentive programs Coca-Cola Co. transportation planner Eric Ganther says their average company employee drives a 90-minute commute. To help offset employee costs and make getting to work more convenient, the company now offers shuttles, bikes, MARTA/Express incentives, and 85 charging stations for 100 electric vehicle drivers, at no cost to employees – and a cost to Coke of only $.88 per vehicle per day.


July 2, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jackson Healthcare acquires Sullivan Healthcare Consulting

Christopher Seward reports that Alpharetta-based Jackson Healthcare, a staffing service for the healthcare industry, said it has acquired Sullivan Healthcare Consulting, a Michigan firm that specializes in helping hospitals improve patient care management before, during and after surgery. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sullivan specializes in perioperative services that include management of scheduling, staffing, sterile processing and surgery IT.


July 2, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Vonage will relocate from Midtown

Douglas Sams reports that Vonage Business Solutions is relocating to Cobb County, where it will lease almost 80,000 square feet at the Towers at Wildwood Plaza. Vonage has maintained an office at Midtown’s 1375 Peachtree. Vonage is taking over a sublease for Alere (formerly Matria Healthcare) at Towers at Wildwood. Earlier this year Atlanta Business Chronicle reported the telecommunications provider was planning an expansion of 200 jobs and scouting for up to 200,000 square feet of office space.


July 2, 2014

Rug, Accents maker Surya at home in Georgia

Mary Welch reports that when Satya Tiwari became president of his family company in 2004, Surya Inc. had built a respectable $2.7 million in sales.  A decade later, revenues for the provider of rugs and home furnishings have rocketed to $80 million per year, earning Surya a spot in Inc. magazine’s list of fastest-growing private companies for three years running.    


July 2, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Snyder’s-Lance sells some assets, plans ‘aggressive’ expense cuts

Read more here:

Tony Adams reports that snack maker Snyder’s-Lance, which owns a plant in Columbus, said Tuesday it has sold off its private brands and two facilities, with an overall plan to “aggressively” restructure itself. The Columbus operation, with its main office at 900 8th St., and formerly known as Tom’s Foods, was not one of the properties sold. Those were in Burlington, Iowa, and Ontario, Canada. Charlotte, N.C.-based Snyder’s-Lance said it sold the assets to Massillon, Ohio-based Shearer’s Foods for $430 million, netting about $300 million after taxes. The deal was disclosed in early May and just completed.


Read more here:

July 2, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Small businesses in the Southeast see brighter outlook

Michael Kanell reports that optimism is the coin of the realm. Well, that and coin. And, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the optimism side of the economy — which tends to lead the transaction side of things — is looking up for small businesses in the region. The Fed’s semi-annual pulse-taking of companies in the Southeast shows that, while companies don’t report a boost to business, more of them do expect to hire staff over the next 12 months.


July 2, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

More than 70-acre Glenridge Hall site hits the market

Douglas Sams reports that the perimeter hasn’t seen a potential land deal this big since Gerald D. Hines developed Ravinia in the 1980s. Roughly 76 acres at Georgia 400 and Abernathy Road in Sandy Springs will hit the market today, becoming the largest development site available in the central Perimeter. The land, owned by the Mayson family, is currently zoned residential and known best for its historic Glenridge Hall mansion. 


July 2, 2014 Georgia Health News

State announces new choices for 2015 benefits plan

Andy Miller reports, addressing months of controversy and protests, state officials Tuesday announced that state employees and school personnel will get a wider array of insurers and choices in their 2015 health plan. Some employees and teachers have been vocal in their criticism of their current plan options since Jan. 1, when the plan took effect. The changes made for 2014, plus the use of just one insurer, sparked widespread complaints about a lack of choice of insurance providers and higher health care costs. 


July 2, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Kasim Reed declares city of Atlanta property to be gun-free

Jim Galloway reports that seventeen hours into Georgia’s new gun law, Mayor Kasim Reed has declared city of Atlanta facilities to be gun-free zones. From the press release: “As Mayor, I have made public safety the top priority of my administration. Accordingly, in response to a new statewide gun law that took effect today, the City has taken extra security measures to keep employees and citizens safe at our facilities. Effective today, City recreation centers with extensive summer programming will be staffed with security officers to screen entrants and prevent firearms from entering the buildings.With the exception of certain public safety officials and employees, there is no place for firearms in a city facility."




July 1, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Court rules in favor of Paulding airport for bonds

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the Paulding County airport’s right to issue bonds for a taxiway expansion, the latest legal decision in a fight over commercialization of the airport. The Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport wanted to expand its taxiway to prepare for an effort to attract airline flights, but residents filed a legal challenge to the $3.4 million in bonds for the taxiway work.


July 1, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Ready for take off

Mary Anne Dunkin reports that when Porsche announced in 2011 it was moving its headquarters south to a parcel of land near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, it was an unusual move. Most of Atlanta’s big corporations are located along a business corridor running from downtown through Buckhead and up to the Perimeter district. Yet Porsche was moving to an area known more for its industrial warehouses than Fortune 500 international companies.


July 1, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Worst-case scenario: 16,000 soldiers, civilians cut from Fort Stewart

Corey Dickson reports that just a year after the U.S. Army announced Fort Stewart would lose one of its three combat brigades, a new study shows as many as 16,000 soldiers and Defense Department civilians could be cut from the Coastal Georgia installation in the coming six years. The report released last week by the U.S. Army Environmental Command spelled out that worst-case scenario for Fort Stewart where about 20,000 soldiers are currently stationed alongside about 3,000 military civilians.


July 1, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Regents amend University System retirement plan to include same-sex spouses

Lee Shearer reports that the state Board of Regents voted Monday to amend its Optional Retirement plan to include legally married same-sex partners in the plan's definition of "spouse" and "surviving spouse." The change, enacted to be in complaince with federal tax law, affects minimum distribution rules and rollovers, which can affect the federal liability when a spouse dies, according to an announcement from the University System of Georgia. 


July 1, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Delta, Alaska Air slug it out in Seattle

Carla Caldwell reports that Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE:DAL) is slugging it out with longtime partner Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK) in Seattle in what has become one of the country’s nastiest turf wars in years, reports The Wall Street Journal. Each airline is adding flights and pouring money into improvements at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in a fight for market share, the paper reports.


July 1, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

DS Services acquires California bottled water company Sequoia

Christopher Seward reports that Atlanta-based DS Services of America Inc., a bottled water company, said it has acquired a California bottled water and filtration service company. Financial terms of the deal to acquire Sequoia Spring Water of Compton were not disclosed. In addition to bottled water under the Crystal Springs, Deep Rock and Sparkletts brands, DS Services provides brewed beverages, water coolers and filtration services.


July 1, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Hussmann bringing 50 jobs to Gwinnett

Keith Farner reports that a company that makes, sells, installs and services display equipment and refrigeration systems for retail food is bringing 50 jobs to Gwinnett. Hussmann, Corp. has announced the new skilled trade jobs, and will have a career fair from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday at Gwinnett Technical College. The company will conduct on-site interviews for brazers (pipers), mechanical testers, electrical testers, welders and painters. Email resumes to


July 1, 2014 Atlanta Business Journal

Coastal Bank finalizes merger with Ameris Bank

Carla Caldwell reports that Coastal Bank, a 60-year-old bank based in Savannah, has finalized its merger with Ameris Bank following approval of the deal by the Savannah bank’s board of directors, reports Savannah Morning News. Jim LaHaise, the chief executive officer of Coastal, will become an executive vice president at Moultrie, Ga.-based Ameris, the paper said.


July 1, 2014 WABE

Hobby Lobby Ruling: A Look at Whether It Changes Anything, with Emory's Dr. Mark Goldfeder

Denis O'Hayer reports that on Monday, June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of family-owned and other closely-held for-profit businesses that want to opt out of part of the Affordable Care Act for religious reasons.  Oklahoma-based store chain Hobby Lobby had challenged a provision in the law, which requires companies to provide contraception coverage in their workers' health insurance plans.  At this point, even legal experts can't seem to agree on how much--if anything--will change in American workplaces because of this ruling. 


July 1, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Jack Kingston aims to become the next Sam Nunn

Jim Galloway reports that Jack Kingston, one of two Republicans remaining in the race for U.S. Senate, said Monday he would pursue a seat on that chamber’s Armed Services Committee should he win the nomination in July and the November election. The announcement is a significant one: If Kingston beats David Perdue on July 22, he’ll face Democrat Michelle Nunn, whose father, Sam Nunn, was the longtime chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee – and one of the foremost defense experts of his period.



June 30, 2014 WABE

Business Leaders Gather To Consider Proposed New Carbon Regulations

Jonathan Shapiro reports that an effort to help the state comply with newly proposed federal clean air regulations brought local business leaders to downtown Atlanta Thursday. A national coalition of environmental groups called the Climate Action Campaign organized the meeting.


June 30, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Popping the cap on Georgia's craft brew industry

Christy Simo reports, the brewing and distillery industries are exploding, but without new legislation, innovation and economic development could be stifled across Georgia.


June 30, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Survey: Atlanta No. 3 for July 4 road rage

Carla Caldwell reports that a recent survey of drivers in 10 large U.S. cities shows that aggressive driving behavior increases during the summer, and particularly during the July 4 holiday. It also says Atlanta is No. 3 among the cities surveyed when it comes to discourteous drivers. The survey shows that during the holiday, an average 30 percent of drivers are more likely to tailgate, use their horn, and yell or gesture at other drivers.


June 30, 2014 Augusta Chronicle, Morris News Service

Georgia praised for export effort

Walter C. Jones reports that the  soon-to-be-expanded Port of Savannah gets a boost as the nation’s fastest-growing port from three entities helping additional businesses to sell overseas that have won national recognition. The Savannah Port is one of the few major ports in the country with balanced trade, exported as much as it imports.


June 30, 2014 Albany Herald

Feral hogs destroying farmland in Southwest Georgia

Clint Thompson reports that feral hogs may be prime prey for hunters, but to Georgia farmers they’re the ultimate predator. They destroy farmland, eat away at a farmer’s crops and drastically reduce potential profits. Jay Porter, the University of Georgia Extension agent in Dooly County, says feral hogs cause about $1 million in agricultural loss each year. A 2011 survey conducted by UGA wildlife specialist Mike Mengak, revealed that more than $84 million was lost in the 41 counties that comprise the 41counties in southwest Georgia.


June 30, 2014 GPB

New Report Calls Savannah River Third Most Toxic In America       

Emily Jones reports that a new report ranks the Savannah River third in the country for the amount of toxic discharge released into its water. More than 5 million pounds of waste were discharged into the river in 2010, according to the report from Environment Georgia. Tonya Bonitatibus of Savannah Riverkeeper says officials have been working on a pollution reduction plan for several years. But she says little has changed in the meantime.


June 30, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hitachi completes work on third Walton County plant

Christopher Seward reports that Hitachi Automotive Systems Americas said it has completed work on a third production plant in Walton County that will expand the company’s ability to supply the industry with new components. The new plant, which will begin operations in 2016 and will produce electric power steering systems and variable displacement pumps, will add up to 250 jobs by March 2017. Existing operations employ about 350 workers.


June 30, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Albany Road looks to expand Atlanta portfolio

Douglas Sams reports that Albany Road Real Estate Partners is expanding its Southeast portfolio and has Atlanta pegged as one of its targets for growth. The Boston fund, which put its Southeast headquarters in Nashville, recently closed on its second acquisition in the music city, a 420,000 office portfolio it bought from KBS REIT for $33.5 million. 


June 30, 2014 Saporta Report

Pierre Howard to keep fighting for environment after Ga. Conservancy 

Maria Saporta reports that in early 2009, former Georgia Lt. Governor Pierre Howard was not convinced he wanted to make a five-year commitment to the Georgia Conservancy as its president and CEO. So he took his name out of the hat until his close friend – attorney Clay Long – convinced him that as president, he would have “the latitude to do what was right thing for the environment” – free of undue pressure from the board or major donors. 


June 30, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Service

Perdue embraces role of outsider

Walter C. Jones reports that, tapping into the widespread disapproval of Congress, David Perdue campaigns as a candidate from the outside with fresh ideas and perspective. It makes a stark contrast between him and his GOP Senate runoff opponent, Jack Kingston, a 22-year veterans of the House of Representatives from Savannah.


June 30, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Deal on economy: ‘We know there are areas we can improve’

Greg Bluestein reports that the rankings that put Georgia as the top state to do business are likely to play an even greater role in Gov. Nathan Deal’s re-election campaign. But he said he won’t be presenting the state’s economy as a perfect package. The governor said in an interview that two clear signs his economic policies are working are an unemployment rate that’s dropped and a rainy day fund that has swelled since he took office in 2011. But he concedes there’s a ways to go on other metrics, such as graduation rates and poverty levels.





June 27, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Optimism about the economy

Christopher Quin reports that Grant Thornton, the Chicago audit, tax and advisory firm, released results of its biannual survey of business executives and found improved confidence about the economy. The company talked to 1,038 top financial officers to find: 51 percent believe the state of the U.S. economy will improve during the next six months. That is up from 40 percent last fall. Optimism was higher in Georgia, with 60 percent of Georgia financial officers saying the state of the economy will improve or significantly improve during the next six months.


June 27, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Turning on the tap

Jerry Grillo reports that earlier this year, the Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority finished a $14-million sprint. They installed about 89,000 linear feet of pipe, creating a 14-mile sewer line to serve the $1-billion Baxter International manufacturing facility being developed at Stanton Springs, the industrial park on the border of Morgan, Newton and Walton counties.


June 27, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Wood storks tell conservation success story in Coastal Georgia

Mary Landers reports that to get a better view of Georgia's largest nesting colony of wood storks, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell scaled a ladder straight to the top of a 60-foot observation tower at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge on Thursday. Spread out below her in a man-made pond, hundreds of the gawky, bald-headed wading birds fussed with their nests in the tops of squat cypress trees, feeding their still-fuzzy young chicks and keeping a watchful eye on teenagers getting ready to fledge.


June 27, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Ten (more) cool Georgia companies you’ve probably never heard of

David Allison reports, here are 10 more Atlanta companies creating important new technology (broadly defined). How do I select these companies? All of them have recently applied for, or received, patents on new technologies. So they’re on the cutting edge. They're creators. 


June 27, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Bill aims to move Ocmulgee National Monument closer to national park designation

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Phillip Ramati reports that a new bipartisan bill could help the Ocmulgee National Monument move significantly closer to becoming a national park. The proposed legislation, called the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act of 2014, would expand the park’s acreage from about 700 acres to more than 2,000 acres and would change the name of the monument to the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park.


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June 27, 2014

Coke and partners to give 10 African countries $21 million of medical aid

Phil Bolton reports that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has joined Project Last Mile’s partners to include Mozambique and nine other African countries in their efforts to supply medicines and medical supplies. USAID joins the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Coca-Cola Co. and its foundations in the public-private partnership that has promised an investment of more than $21 million over the next five years.  


June 27, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

CNH Industrial to cut 150 jobs in Georgia

Staff reports that U.K. agricultural equipment maker CNH Industrial will close its assembly plant in Calhoun, Ga., and cut 120 jobs in the third quarter of 2015. The facility makes construction equipment for CNH Industrial’s brands. CNH Industrial (NYSE: CNHI) said the closure is necessary as it adjusts its construction operations based on current volumes and market demand.


June 27, 2014 WSBRadio, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Speaker David Ralston faces investigation, possible disbarment

Aaron Gould Sheinin reports that Georgia House Speaker David Ralston faces legal trouble after the Georgia Bar Association on Thursday asked the state Supreme Court to investigate whether he violated multiple rules of conduct for attorneys. The charges, which include violations of nine Bar Association rules, could lead to a public reprimand or possible disbarment if the Supreme Court rules against the Blue Ridge Republican. 


June 27, 2014 Atanta Journal-Constitution

Democrats try to poke holes in Georgia’s ‘top biz’ ranking from CNBC

Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway report that within hours of CNBC’s announcement that Georgia was its pick as the best state for business in 2014, Democrats began probing the decision for weaknesses. Consider it a sign of how important these rankings could become in a fall campaign for governor. Late Wednesday, the progressive group Better Georgia – a pro-Democratic policy/attack group headed by Bryan Long – produced some paragraphs that attempted to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the ranking.


June 27, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

David Perdue: GOP contest for U.S. Senate is still a horse race

Jim Galloway reports, grab your salt-shakers people, but pay attention, too. We’ve got hold of a polling memo being sent around to supporters by David Perdue, the U.S. Senate candidate in a GOP runoff with Jack Kingston. You have every right to your skepticism, but you can also bet this is what the Fortune 500 exec is telling potential donors over the phone – what with a June 30 fund-raising deadline approaching




June 26, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Israeli banking firm plans 100 jobs in Atlanta hub

Greg Bluestein reports that a recent overhaul of Georgia’s banking licensing rules is paying dividends. Executives with Credorax, an e-commerce firm based in Israel, credited the changes for locating a new hub in Atlanta. Credorax told Gov. Nathan Deal on Tuesday during a stop on his Israeli trade mission that it would eventually create more than 100 jobs at a banking center in Atlanta.


June 26, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Albany/Dougherty County: Stability and growth

David Shivers reports that the terminal building that recently opened to the flying public at Southwest Georgia Regional Airport is an apt symbol of the way the economy of Albany and Dougherty County is poised to take flight. “Having a brand-new terminal as your gateway to your community is a great asset for us,” says Justin Strickland, interim president of the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission (EDC). “I think that makes for a great first impression.”


June 26, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Haifa Group opening plant in Savannah

Staff reports that Haifa Group will invest $12 million into building a new controlled release fertilizer manufacturing facility in Savannah, Ga. The plant will create 20 jobs. The news comes as Gov. Nathan Deal wraps up a five-day mission to Israel that included a delegation Georgia officials and business leaders.


June 26, 2014 WABE

Delta, Boeing on Opposite Sides of Export-Import Bank Debate

Jim Burress reports that the Federal Export-Import Bank is in place to finance international buyers' purchases of U.S. Goods.  Its charter is before Congress for re-authorization, which is proving to be a polarizing and politicized process. It's also put Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines sqarely against Boeing, the airline's largest aircraft supplier. 


June 26, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate jumps to 7.3 percent in May

Henry Unger reports that Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate jumped to 7.3 percent in May from 6.5 percent in April as new graduates entered the labor force seeking full-time work and other students searched for summer jobs, the state labor department said Thursday. The total labor force — those working or looking for work — increased by 24,421 to reach 2,752,814 in May.


June 26, 2014 GPB

Pro Hockey Returns To Macon, Is The Third Time A Charm?

Grant Blankenship reports that the owners of the team formerly known as the Augusta Riverhawks are betting that the third time out will be the charm for pro hockey in Macon. Team owners Bob and Diane Kerzner joined Macon-Bibb County officials and others Tuesday to formerly introduce the Macon Mayhem. The team follows the Macon Trax and the Macon Whoopee in the annals of professional hockey in Middle Georgia.


June 26, 2014 Cartersville Daily Tribune

Cartersville ranked best Ga. city to live in

Jason Lowry reports that according to CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison website, Cartersville is the best city to live in the state of Georgia. The study, published on, based its rankings on the odds of being a victim of a violent crime, commute time, average income, residents who attended some college and restaurants per capita. According to the study, Cartersville residents have odds of 1 in 392 of being the victim of a violent crime, a commute time of 21.1 minutes, an average income of $45,280, 22.6 percent of residents attended some college but had no degree and the restaurant to inhabitant ratio is 1 per 198.1.


June 26, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Instacart grocery delivery service launches in metro Atlanta

Caitlin Hendee reports, forget monotonously marching up and down aisles tossing food into your cart one cereal box and frozen dinner at a time. A new delivery service lets you do it from home. Beginning Wednesday, people in metro Atlanta can use Instacart, an online grocery delivery service, to order their groceries from Kroger and Costco and have them delivered in as little as one hour.


June 26, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

David Perdue on his ‘outsider’ status — and licking envelopes

Jim Galloway reports that the month of May was good to David Perdue. He was the cool but non-threatening rebel, a Fonzie who predicted happy days if only Republicans would elect an outsider to the U.S. Senate. He was the top vote-getter in a seven-candidate field. But a funny thing has happened on the nine-week road to a July runoff. GOP rival Jack Kingston and his allies have given Perdue – he of the turned-up, denim-jacketed collar – an involuntary makeover.







June 25, 2014

Atlanta Metro Area Sees Monthly Home Price Gains

Marylee Williams reports that Atlanta was among the few U.S. cities with strong, home price growth in April.  Today’s S&P/Case-Shiller report shows the rate of home price gains lowered. The 10-City and 20-City Composites annual gains are 10.8 percent, which is down from previous months. 


June 25, 2014

Deal: Leading vehicle processor will create 30 jobs in Glynn County

Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that International Auto Processing (IAP) will expand in St. Simons Island, creating 30 jobs and investing $3 million into the project. “It’s a great day when a Georgia-based company announces it is expanding its current operations to meet the demand of our growing automotive industry,” said Deal. “Our comprehensive network of air, sea, rail and highway infrastructure make our state the perfect location for an automotive industry processor.”


June 25, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Study: Atlanta a top “green” buildings city

J. Scott Trubey reports that Atlanta is one of the top cities in the U.S. for “green” office buildings and other commercial properties, according to a study by a European university and a major U.S real estate firm. Atlanta ranked No. 5 in the 2014 Green Building Adoption Index, a study of federal and U.S. Green Building Council data on buildings that meet certain environmental sustainability standards, according to a report Tuesday by CBRE Group and Maastricht University in the Netherlands.


June 25, 2014 Macon Telegraph

State Bank to acquire Augusta bank in $82 million deal

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Linda S. Morris reports that Atlanta-based State Bank Financial Corp., the holding company for Macon-based State Bank and Trust Co., has signed an agreement to acquire an Augusta-based bank for about $82 million, which is $22.35 a share. State Bank plans to acquire Georgia-Carolina Bancshares and its subsidiary First Bank of Georgia in a cash and stock deal that is expected to close the first quarter of 2015, according to a news release. First Bank is headquartered in Augusta with seven branches in the area plus mortgage offices in Augusta and Savannah.


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June 25, 2014 GPB

Water Worries: Georgia Wells Show Signs of Potential Trouble

Chris Riker reports that nearly two million Georgians in rural parts of the state get their water from private wells. Sometimes, that poses a serious risk.   The Georgia Department of Public Health says that in its most recent tests, 23 percent of the wells it checked showed signs of potential trouble.


June 25, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Anderson backing away from Delta lawsuit against Ex-Im Bank

Dave Williams reports that Delta Air Lines Inc. CEO Richard Anderson is softening his stand on the U.S. Export-Import Bank facilitating sales of jets to competitor Air India, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. As Atlanta Business Chronicle previously reported, Delta filed a lawsuit last January challenging the federal agency’s approval of $3.4 billion in loan guarantees and other financing supporting the sale of 30 jets manufactured by The Boeing Co. to Air India. 


June 25, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Medient Studios ex-CEO files lawsuit to dissolve company

Julia Ritchey reports that Medient Studios former CEO Manu Kumaran has filed suit seeking to dissolve the entertainment company he founded, exactly two weeks after he was fired in an abrupt leadership overhaul. In the suit filed Monday in a Reno, Nev., state court, Kumaran is asking the court to appoint a receiver and disband the corporation in addition to seeking monetary damages in excess of $10,000. He is also asking for attorneys’ fees.


June 25, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

CNBC names Georgia top state for biz – and gives Nathan Deal new fodder for campaign

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal has taken plenty of heat for frequently citing a little-known niche magazine’s ranking of Georgia as the nation’s top place to do business. Now he has another credential from a brand-name media outlet to back it up. CNBC on Tuesday declared Georgia the No. 1 place in the nation to do business. Deal, on the middle of a trade mission to Israel, went to the broadcaster’s Tel Aviv studios to acknowledge the award. 









June 24, 2014 Saporta Report

Georgia leading with its investments in nuclear and renewable energy

Maria Saporta reports that when it comes to reducing greenhouse gases to meet future federal standards, Georgia is ahead of the game. That was the message that Carol Browner, a distinguished senior fellow at American Progress who most recently served as assistant to President Barack Obama and director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, gave Monday to the Rotary Club of Atlanta. 


June 24, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

Deal: Shaw to create 70 jobs, invest $17 million in Ringgold

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Shaw Industries Group, Inc. will expand its reclamation and recycling program to include a new Evergreen facility in Ringgold, creating at least 70 new jobs and investing more than $17 million into the facility. “Shaw’s expansion is another testament to why Georgia is the No. 1 place for business,” said Deal.


June 24, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Macon Beer Co. owners share frustrations with secretary of state

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Phillip Ramati reports that as part of his efforts to learn about issues that small businesses across Georgia face, Secretary of State Brian Kemp visited Macon Beer Co. Monday afternoon. Co-owners Cory Smith and Jeremy Knowles gave Kemp a tour of the company, showing how the beer is brewed and how much effort they’ve put into reclaiming the old building on Oglethorpe Street -- especially the red tape involved.


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June 24, 2014 GPB

Former CEO Manu Kumaran Asks Judge To Dissolve Medient 

Sarah McCammon reports that ousted CEO of Medient Studios in Savannah is suing the film company and asking a judge to dissolve it. In a lawsuit filed Monday in Nevada's Second Judicial District Court, Manu Kumaran asks a Nevada judge to dissolve the corporation; appoint a receiver to settle the company’s affairs; and issue an injunction preventing Medient from conducting business. The suit accuses Medient’s current leadership of fraud and “gross mismanagement."


June 24, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Report: Metro Atlanta’s economy bigger than Iran's

Staff reports that Metro Atlanta has the 10th largest economy in America and 44th largest in the world, according to a report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The Big Peach is projected to have a $321.1 billion gross metropolitan product in 2014 and $339.9 billion gross metropolitan product in 2015. That’s larger than Iran and just behind Malaysia and Denmark. And it also represents 68 percent of Georgia’s gross state product.


June 24, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia’s latest solar plant to power 3,000 homes

Christopher Quinn reports that Green Power EMC, which supplies energy for 28 Georgia electric membership corporations, will buy all the electricity produced by a solar project to be built near Hazlehurst in southeast Georgia. The new solar generating plant will cover 135 acres with solar panels and will generate 43,000 megawatts of electricity annually, which could power about 3,000 homes.


June 24, 2014 Rockdale Citizen

Snapping Shoals EMC partnering with Green Power EMC to provide solar power

Ryan McKenzie reports that in an effort to provide a cleaner form of energy, Snapping Shoals Electric Membership Corporation is taking part in one of Georgia’s largest solar energy projects to date. Along with 26 other electric cooperatives throughout the state, Snapping Shoals will purchase a portion of the output of a planned solar project for a 25-year period through Green Power EMC. Established in 2001, Green Power is the first eco-friendly power provider in the state and is a renewable energy supplier for 38 Georgia Electric Membership Corporations, with its headquarters located in Tucker.


June 24, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

TSYS announces retirement of CEO Tomlinson at end of July

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Tony Adams reports that credit-card and payment processor TSYS said Monday that longtime Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Philip W. Tomlinson is retiring at the end of July, with M. Troy Woods, the company’s president, succeeding him. Woods will remain president and add the title of CEO, while Tomlinson keeps executive chairman of the board duties until the next annual meeting of shareholders in April of next year, the firm said.


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June 24, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

IntercontinentalExchange to sell NYFIX and Metabit

Staff reports that IntercontinentalExchange Inc. will sell NYSE Technologies units NYFIX and Metabit to electronic trading and connectivity firm ULLINK for an undisclosed amount. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter and follows Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange’s (NYSE: ICE) announcement last week it will sell NYSE Technologies unit Wombat Financial Software to SR Labs.


June 24, 2014 WABE

National Center For Civil and Human Rights Officially Opens

Rose Scott reports that the National Center for Civil and Human rights is officially open. The morning’s ceremony featured several speakers as they all talked about the importance of Atlanta’s newest downtown attraction. Musical selections that underscored the civil rights movement were sung by the Community Choir.


June 24, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Scorched earth in Senate race: Kingston proclaims ‘stranger danger,’ Perdue names earmark names

Jim Galloway reports that we are entering the scorched-earth period of the Republican runoff for U.S. Senate – perhaps in honor of the 150th anniversary of this modern style of warfare. Jack Kingston is celebrating by grabbing every endorsement in sight, starving rival David Perdue of support.  Today it’s state Rep. Ed Lindsey, R-Atlanta, recently ousted from the 11th District congressional congress. Like his predecessors, Lindsey goes with the “stranger danger” motiff.





June 23, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Service

Georgia is prepared to be a player when the drone industry takes off

Walter C. Jones reports that Georgia businesses and universities are revving their engines and prepared to soar the moment the Federal Aviation Administration approves the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles, although other practical hurdles could be as significant. That was the message from experts meeting last week in an international conference of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics meeting in Atlanta.


June 23, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Partnering for patient care

Mary Anne Dunkin reports that hospitals have never faced tougher times. While reimbursement rates by both public and commercial insurers are decreasing, demands for quality and technology continue to increase. The Affordable Care Act and Georgia’s decision to opt out of expanding Medicaid challenge all healthcare organizations to do more with less.


June 23, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Metro Atlanta world’s 44th biggest economy

Dan Chapman reports, behold the Kingdom of Metro Atlanta, an economic colossus muscling its way onto the global stage. Need proof? If, indeed, the metropolitan area were a country it would constitute the world’s 44th largest economy, according to a report released Friday by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Bye, bye Nigeria (No. 45). Watch out Malaysia (No. 43). Make room Iran (also No. 44, based on a comparison of economic output performed by IHS Global Insight.)


June 23, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Georgia tobacco might be rebounding from low point

Terry Dickson reports that J. Michael Moore was in a caravan of about 20 cars that had made four stops in Florida and was closing in on Valdosta.    Moore, the tobacco expert for the University of Georgia Extension Service, was on the annual tour of tobacco farms in which growers and others see the latest methods of battling disease, processing the flue-cured crop and discuss some business issues. The tour isn’t the chore it once was.


June 23, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

OSHA fines California Cereal Products in Macon

Staff reports that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined California Cereal Products Inc. $40,600 for allegedly exposing workers to electrical, fall and noise hazards at its cereal production facility in Macon, Ga. California Cereal Products is an organic, gluten-free and rice flour products producer.


June 23, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

With local college out of the deal, Jekyll Island looking for restaurant operator

Terry Dickson reports that there's a beachfront restaurant setting empty on this state-owned barrier island, and the governing authority wants - actually needs - it to be open and serving others. The College of Coastal Georgia was supposed to be operating the facility, Fins, as a teaching restaurant but advised the authority about two weeks ago that it was backing out of the agreement it signed last year. The college said it was so immersed in five-year continuing reaccreditation process and curriculum review of its culinary arts program it could not carry out the agreement.


 June 23, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Airport to open sleep suites on international concourses

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that international travelers will soon be able to pay for a quiet place to take a nap at the world’s busiest airport, when Hartsfield-Jackson opens sleep units in international concourses E and F. The Minute Suites will be the first on the international concourses, and the first sleep units at the Atlanta airport to offer shower service. 


June 23, 2014 Saporta Report

Business community steps up to support the Atlanta Public Schools 

Maria Saporta reports that hen it comes to the Atlanta Public Schools, the Atlanta business community is staying engaged both with financial and leadership support. The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta announced Thursday that Atlanta’s corporate donors have committed $200,000 so far to support the transitional phase of incoming Atlanta Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen. 


The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta announced Thursday that Atlanta’s corporate donors have committed $200,000 so far to support the transitional phase of incoming Atlanta Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen.

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June 23, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Green Power EMC launching solar project

Dave Williams reports that the renewable energy supplier for Georgia’s 38 electric membership corporations has reached an agreement to purchase the full output of a new 20-megawatt solar project to be built in rural Jeff Davis County. The ground-mounted project will be one of the largest solar-generating facilities in Georgia, occupying 135 acres near Hazlehurst, Ga. It will generate enough electricity to serve about 3,000 households.


June 23, 2014 WABE

A Look at the Complex Crisis in Iraq, with Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)

Denis O'Hayer reports that on Thursday, June 19, 2014, President Obama announced the U.S. will send up to 300 special forces members to Iraq, in an effort to increase intelligence about the advance of extremist forces there.  Georgia Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss is the ranking GOP member of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee.  


June 23, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Gov. Deal arrives in Israel at a testy moment

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal and dozens of members of a state trade delegation arrived in Jerusalem Saturday to find a city on edge. The kidnapping of three Israeli teens and the sweeping response by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has prompted fears of escalating cycles of violence. The news media here are openly worrying that a third Palestinian uprising, or intifadah, could wrack the Holy Land




June 20, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Keurig bringing 550 jobs to Douglasville

Jacques Couret and Dave Williams report that Keurig Green Mountain Inc. will invest $337 million over five years to open a plant in Douglasville, Ga., and create 550 new jobs, Gov. Nathan Deal announced Thursday. The new 585,000-square-foot manufacturing center will support the production of pods for the company’s new Keurig Cold platform, an in-home cold beverage system that will give consumers a way to produce their favorite cold beverage brands.


June 20, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Sustainable Georgia: Charging up

Ben Young writes, electric cars have been around a long time but are still associated mostly with golf carts. Now that even some of the big oil companies are strategizing to switch from fossil to alternative fuels sooner rather than later, alternative fueled vehicles (AFVs) are set to dominate, and the shift is gaining momentum.


June 20, 2014 Augusta Chronicle, Morris News Service

Georgia Economic Developers Association drafts former Augusta chamber executive

Staff reports that the trade group of industrial recruiters picked a new president who’s been in their shoes in attempting to woo employers to Savannah and Augusta. The Georgia Economic Developers Association announced it selected Kevin Shea to serve as president and CEO after an extensive search.


June 20, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia-Pacific acquires Dallas paper products supplier SPG

Christopher Seward reports that Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP, an Atlanta-based paper products company, said it will acquire paper packaging supplier SPG Holdings LLC. Dallas-based SPG supplies packaging to the foodservice industry. The company produces bags, wraps, napkins, towels and tissue and bundling products.


June 20, 2014 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Georgia outpaces nation in tech jobs growth

Walter C. Jones reports that high-technology jobs are growing in Georgia at a faster rate than the U.S. average, according to a report released Thursday by the Technology Association of Georgia. And average pay for those jobs has increased for the third consecutive year to $83,000, topping the pre-recession peak by 2.4 percent. And average pay for those jobs has increased for the third consecutive year to $83,000, topping the pre-recession peak by 2.4 percent.


June 20, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Lawyers claim Aaron’s computers snooped

Christopher Seward reports that months after settling with the government over claims it secretly installed software on leased products to monitor and collect data on customers, Atlanta-based Aaron’s faces a lawsuit over similar allegations. Colorado lawyers Michael Peterson and Matthew Lyons filed an invasion of privacy suit Thursday in federal court in Atlanta.


June 20, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Report: Obamacare slashing insurance premiums in Georgia

Dave Williams reports that Georgians are benefiting from the Affordable Care Act about as much as residents of any state in the country, according to a new federal report. The average monthly health insurance premium for Georgians who selected a coverage plan through a federally run health-insurance exchange fell to $54 after the application of tax credits, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reported June 18. That’s the second-lowest average premium in the nation, above only Mississippi’s average premium of $23 per month.


June 20, 2014 GPB

Tyrone Brooks: There Are Too Many Attempts To "Turn Back The Tide" On Voting Rights

Ellen Reinhardt reports that the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials is worried about efforts in the state to suppress minority voting. The association is meeting in Savannah this weekend to talk about how to protect voters’ rights. President Tyrone Brooks says voter suppression is one of the biggest challenges facing minorities in Georgia. Since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key section of the Voting Rights Act last year, Brooks says there have many attempts in Georgia to turn back the clock.


June 20, 2014 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Gov. Deal denies raising education spending to boost re-election chances

Walter C. Jones reports that Gov. Nathan Deal denied re-election opponent Jason Carter's charges Thursday that he boosted education spending in the new state budget to win votes. The budget was approved by the legislature in March for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The Republican governor said that it was the Democratic challenger Carter,  a state senator, who plays politics by voting for all of Deal's budgets until this year. 


June 20, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

From Jan Jones: A counterpoint on Medicaid expansion

Jim Galloway reports that earlier this month, this space featured a post on whether H.B. 990, which gave the Legislature the final say-so over Medicaid income thresholds, was in fact the final word on expansion. Specifically, whether a workaround – perhaps like the ones adopted in Arkansas and elsewhere – might be possible. This morning, House Speaker pro tem Jan Jones, R-Milton, sent over a thoughtful response that is well worth your time.



June 19, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Only one state has hiked tuition more than Georgia

Lee Shearer reports that only one state has jacked up tuition and fee costs for college students more than Georgia did in the five-year period from 2008 to 2013, according to a recent study conducted by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. Net tuition and fees for students in Georgia’s public colleges and universities nearly doubled in that time, noted the “State Higher Education Finance” report issued by the nationwide nonprofit association of higher education chief executive officers. 


June 19, 2014 Georgia Trend

Georgia View: Keeping score on Common Core

Bill Crane writes, hot on the back of Obamacare comes Obamacore, the blaming of President Barack Obama for creating that new and feared set of public education standards known as Common Core. But President Obama didn’t do it. This wound, perhaps self-inflicted, came from within GOP ranks. The Common Core initiative grew out of a 2010 National Governors Association panel headed up by Georgia’s former Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue. Other early ardent supporters included former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.


June 19, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia commission talks about $14 billion nuclear plant

Matt Kempner reports that Georgia Power has wrestled with delays and increased construction expenses, which is being paid for by Georgia customers, in its nuclear expansion underway at Plant Vogtle. This week, staff of the state’s Public Service Commission files comments on progress at the $14-billion-plus project.


June 19, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Intercontinental Exchange divests Wombat Financial Software

Staff reports that IntercontinentalExchange Inc. will sell Wombat Financial Software, a unit of NYSE Technologies, to SR Labs for an undisclosed amount. The sale is expected to close in the third quarter. Wombat provides high-performance financial market data management software focused on electronic trading and connectivity management.


June 19, 2014 GPB

Macon-Bibb Commissioners Vote To Change Georgia’s New Gun Law

Leah Fleming reports that Governor Nathan Deal will soon receive a resolution from the Macon-Bibb County government that the state’s new law on where guns can be carried needs to be changed. Tuesday night, Macon-Bibb commissioners voted unanimously to oppose Georgia’s new gun law as it is written.


June 19, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Jekyll Island drops building height limit to 45-foot max

Terry Dickson reports that when it is complete, the Westin hotel will be the tallest building on Jekyll Island, likely forever. The Jekyll Island Authority board voted this week to lower the maximum height limit for buildings from 72 feet to 45 feet. The latter height limit equals the restrictions that Glynn County has in place, but is 10 feet higher than that of Tybee Island.


June 19, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia’s jobless rate rises to 7.2 percent in May

Henry Unger reports that Georgia’s unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent in May from 6.9 percent in April as college students seeking jobs entered the work force, the state labor department said Thursday. “This is a seasonal rate increase that is typical for May,” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a statement. “In fact, we haven’t had a rate decrease in May since 1999. This time of year, we have new jobseekers coming into the labor force, led primarily by college graduates looking for full-time work and students searching for summer jobs.”


June 19, 2014  Atlanta Business Chronicle

Doraville GM plant redevelopment gains momentum

Douglas Sams reports that city officials have made a key zoning change that should add momentum for the redevelopment of the former Doraville GM plant. The city has replaced the previous zoning on the 165-acre site with new guidelines that allow for an urban mixed-use project. It opens the door for any developer vying for the site to create a master plan with a mix of uses, including office and residential. The previous zoning would not have allowed mixed-use.


June 19, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Bidding for Partridge Inn ends at $4.25 million

Jenna Martin reports that Partridge Inn regular Denise Moore can’t imagine the historic Augusta hotel transforming into anything other than what it is now. The bright yellow hotel that sits atop the hill at 2110 Walton Way underwent a two-day online auction this week, with the highest of 16 bids coming in at $4.25 million Wednesday. There’s still some red tape before the sale is complete, though.


June 19, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Sprouts Farmers Market opens first metro Atlanta store in Snellville

Emily Clance reports that sky was still dark as customers lined up outside the new Sprouts Farmers Market grocery store at The Shoppes at Webb Ginn Wednesday morning. Many had coffee mugs in hand as they waited for the store to finally open the doors of its first Atlanta-area location.


June 19, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Peake named co-chairman of medical cannabis study panel

Maggie Lee reports that State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, will be co-chairman of an official study committee that over the next six months plans to come up with a comprehensive medical cannabis proposal that has a good chance of getting legislative approval next year. Peake's appointment came from the office of House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge.


Read more here:

June 19, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Nathan Deal, Jason Carter trade blows over education with nasty attack ads

Greg Bluestein reports that the ad you see is Jason Carter’s most biting attack yet on Gov. Nathan Deal’s education policy, claiming the governor shorted schools out of billions of dollars to help his “big corporate friends.” “I’ll be a governor who cares about education every year – not just election year,” the Democratic state senator intones. The spot, which was released online this morning, is a speedy response to a pair of attack ads from Deal’s campaign that will hit the airwaves today and continue through the month.



June 18, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgians to get $63 million in mortgage relief

Arielle Kass reports that Georgia homeowners who encountered mortgage and foreclosure abuses from SunTrust Mortgage will be eligible for part of a $63 million state pot as part of a national settlement. Georgia’s piece is the second-largest settlement, behind Florida’s, said Nels Peterson, the state’s solicitor general. In all, Atlanta-based SunTrust agreed Tuesday to a $968 million deal that addresses problems with mortgage origination, servicing, and foreclosure.


June 18, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Brunswick-Golden Isles: Booming Business

Randy Southerland reports that the Golden Isles are living up to their name. Set amidst the shores of Glynn County on Georgia’s Atlantic coast, this region of temperate climates and sandy beaches has long been a destination for travelers. Bisected with one of the nation’s most heavily traveled interstates and gifted with two airports and major rail lines, this is a place that thrives on its ability to move people and things.


June 18, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Money manager: Buffett could want to take Coca-Cola private

Jacques Couret reports that The Coca-Cola Co.’s biggest investor, billionaire Warren Buffett, could be looking at taking Coke private, says a money manager who’s also a big investor in the soft drink giant. David Winters, CEO of Wintergreen Advisers, a Milwaukee, Wis., money management firm which owns 2.5 million shares in Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), sent a letter June 16 to the company’s independent directors who chair the Audit, Compensation, and Governance Committees. He encourages them to address possible conflicts of interest at the company amid media speculation 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway may be planning a transaction to take Coca-Cola private.


June 18, 2014 Saporta Report

Delta Flight Museum reopens – reaffirming airline’s home in Atlanta 

Maria Saporta reports that nearly 1,000 people were drawn to the historic hangars of Delta Air Lines Tuesday morning for the grand re-opening of an improved and expanded Delta Flight Museum. Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Deal gave their official proclamations and awards in Delta’s honor, which was celebrating its 85th anniversary of offering passenger service. Its first passenger flight was from Dallas to Jackson, Miss. on June 17, 1929. But Tuesday’s real celebration was more than symbolic. It was another solid sign by Delta to show how deeply rooted the airline is in Atlanta and at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. 


June 18, 2014 GPB

Watchdog Group Calls For Termination Of Georgia Ethics Commission Executive Secretary

Ellen Reinhardt reports that watchdog group Common Cause Georgia is calling for the resignation or termination of Holly LaBerge, the executive secretary of the state ethics commission. William Perry with Common Cause says four whistleblower lawsuits are costing taxpayers $3 million. He says LaBerge was the one who decided to terminate two of the whistleblowers, and the leadership needs to be held accountable for retaliating against former ethics commission employees.


June 18, 2014 Georgia Health News

Many Georgians pay bargain ACA rates, report says

Andy Miller reports that Georgia’s average premium for insurance through the Affordable Care Act exchange is the second-lowest among the 36 states using the federally run marketplace, according to a report released Wednesday. Georgians who qualified for subsidies or discounts for coverage are paying an average of $54 per month, the report said. Their average premium is $341, but they also get the immediate subsidy or tax credit of $287.


June 18, 2014 Rome News Tribune

New technology at treatment plant at the heart of $2.4 million water plant upgrade

Jeremy Stewart reports that officials hope the inclusion of two new processes at the Rome water treatment plant will improve the quality and longevity of the city’s water system. An upgraded rapid-mix system has come online at the Bruce Hamler Water Treatment Facility on Blossom Hill in the last three weeks, along with a carbon dioxide feed system. “This is something we’re doing to prolong the life of our water system,” Rome Water and Sewer Division Assistant Director Mike Hackett said.


June 18, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Study: Georgia No. 7 in ‘check engine-related’ car repair costs

Carla Caldwell reports that a CarMD analysis of more than 145,000 vehicles across the country needing check engine repairs in 2013 found that drivers in Georgia paid the seventh-highest repair bills. Drivers in North Carolina paid the most to have the check engine light diagnosed and repaired, at an average cost of $426.45. From 2012 to 2013, drivers in North Carolina saw at 9.37 percent jump in repair costs, including a 4.76 percent increase in parts and 17.53 percent increase in labor costs


June 18, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Most walkable city? Atlanta cracks top ten

Christopher Quinn reports that is metro Atlanta the poster child for spawl or a star in walkability and live-work-play urban centers? Well, it’s both, Christopher Leinberger said Tuesday. Leinberger is a research professor and land-use expert at George Washington University who helped birth the idea of Atlanta as “Sprawlanta” 20 years ago. Today, as the university’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis released a report about best U.S. cities for walkable urbanism, Leinberger said Sprawlanta is not what it used to be.


June 18, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Debunking a Jason Carter sound bite

Jim Galloway reports that last Friday, Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for governor, addressed the Georgia School Board Association as it held its annual gathering in Savannah. Someone over at has helpfully provided a 15-second clip from Carter’s 45-minute appearance – which the Georgia Republican party jumped on this afternoon. The bad thing about modern politicking is that everything is recorded — as Carter himself recently discovered. The good thing is that everything is recorded — and that misleading edits can be exposed as the bone-headed attempts at propaganda they are.



June 17, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Georgia banks perform well at the start of the year

Tim Rausch reports that the Georgia Bankers Association was excited about the first three months of 2014. The association added up the financial performance for 219 state-based banks for the first quarter and it turns out it was better than 2013. The exciting part was that it was the best since 2007. Remember that Georgia was a wasteland of banking in the recession with more bank closings every year than David Ortiz home runs. So when Georgia banks are doing better than before the recession, it is cause for balloons and cake.


June 17, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Commercial real estate market sees more steady improvement

Mac McCall reports that the commercial real estate market in Atlanta continues steady improvement in the first half of 2014. Along with Seattle, Atlanta led the nation in vacancy declines at a drop of 60 basis points with technology and health care firms leading the demand for space. With new construction and vacancy rates remaining low, our growth momentum should continue throughout 2014 as the region reaps the benefits of an improving economy and employment growth.


June 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Bank tries biometrics, robotics for safe deposit boxes

Staff reports that in a small branch in its downtown Atlanta headquarters, SunTrust became the first U.S. bank to install a robotic safe deposit box vault that allows customers to store and retrieve their valuables at an ATM-like device without having to wait for a bank employee. “It’s really high-tech [including a biometric hand scan]. We’re the only bank in the U.S. that’s testing it,” said Tom McDermott, SunTrust’s senior vice president in charge of its retail banking strategy.


June 17, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Savannah tourism industry shows gains, 13 million visitors in 2013

Julia Ritchey reports that Savannah’s tourism industry is in growth mode and apparently not only by the bustling waterfront, packed trolleys and new trendy hotels and restaurants. An annual visitor volume and spending study released this week shows just how much muscle this sector can flex. According to the Longwoods International TravelUSA study for 2013, the total number of visitors to Savannah increased by 5 percent, from 12.4 million in 2012 to 13 million in 2013, while total visitor spending increased by nearly 11 percent from $2.07 billion to $2.29 billion.


June 17, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

HD Supply announces fiscal 2014 1Q results

Staff reports that on June 10, Cumberland-based HD Supply Holdings Inc., one of the largest industrial distributors in North America, reported that net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 ending May 4 were $2.2 billion, an increase of $113 million, or six percent, as compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2013. The first quarter performance represents the 16th consecutive quarter of year-over-year average daily sales growth. The company believes its sales performance represents growth of approximately 400 basis points in excess of its market growth estimate.


June 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Metro Atlanta home sales lower in May; prices still rising

Arielle Kass reports that Metro Atlanta home sales continued to fall from the previous year, as inventory stays low and houses remain hard to find. But strong demand continues to push prices higher. In May, sales were down 9.6 percent from the previous year in an 11-county region, according to the Atlanta Board of Realtors. Prices rose 13.6 percent.


June 17, 2014 Athens Banner Herald

UGA researchers discover new method to reduce disease-causing inflammation

Staff reports that researchers at the University of Georgia report in the Journal of Biological Chemistry that an enzyme known as Tumor Progression Locus 2, or Tpl2, plays a key role in directing and regulating several important components of the body's immune system. Their discovery may one day lead to new treatments for many common autoimmune diseases.


June 17, 2014 WABE

New Tests Will Affect Teacher Evaluations

Martha Dalton reports that public school students will be held to higher standards next year under the Georgia Milestones assessments. But teachers will also receive a score based on the test results. The Teacher Keys Effectiveness System, or TKES, is the state’s new teacher evaluation system. It was developed as part of Georgia’s federal Race to the Top grant. Under TKES, half of a teacher’s annual evaluation will be based on student progress. 


June 17, 2014 Georgia Health News, Athens Banner-Herald

Sex question still taboo on state teen survey

Andy Miller reports that a CDC-sponsored survey, Georgia high school students answered questions on smoking cigarettes, wearing bicycle helmets, carrying a weapon, drinking alcohol, having suicidal thoughts and trying marijuana. But the state’s students, once again, did not answer questions about their sexual behavior. They didn’t get the chance. For more than a decade now, Georgia has deleted the questions on sex. So unlike most of their counterparts nationally, the state’s students were not asked about whether they have ever had sexual intercourse, and whether they wore a condom during intercourse. 


But the state’s students, once again, did not answer questions about their sexual behavior. They didn’t get the chance.

- See more at:

June 17, 2014 Cherokee Tribune

Loudermilk, Barr square off

Haisten Willis reports that the two remaining hopefuls in the race for Georgia’s 11th congressional District traded blows during a Saturday night forum at Kennesaw State University’s Bailey Center. Former U.S. Congressman Bob Barr of Smyrna and former State Sen. Barry Loudermilk of Cartersville each took a round of questions in front of about 300 people during the forum, which was organized by the 11th District Republican Party.


June 17, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Former Georgia Democratic chairman loses law license

Dave Williams reports that the other shoe dropped on Michael Berlon Monday. The Georgia Supreme Court accepted a petition from the former Georgia Democratic Party chairman to voluntarily surrender his law license, tantamount to being disbarred. The justices acted one year after reprimanding Berlon for violating legal ethics for failing to pursue a child custody case on behalf of a client he had agreed to represent and then misinforming that client on the status of the case.



June 16, 2014 WABE

Georgia Tech Gets $40 Million+ Gift

Lisa George reports that the Georgia Institute of Technology has just gotten one of the largest gifts in its history: $43.6 million. The money, most of which is an endowment, is going to Tech’s Renewable Bioproducts Institute. Until last month, it was called the Institute of Paper Science and Technology, but now the research focus on how to use trees, grasses, and all their components is changing. It is no longer just about pulp and paper.


June 16, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Commemorating the past

Neely Young reports it was a strange war that gave us Dixie, the South’s fight song written by a Yankee, and the North’s anthem, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, based on a Southern plantation chant. Stranger still, to this day, Americans have not been able to agree on the name for our Civil War, much less on why it happened. In Vermont they call it the War of Rebellion. I grew up in Cedartown, Ga., where we called it the War Between the States.


June 16, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Report: Manufacturing key to middle-class health

Michael Kanell reports that the health of the American middle class depends on a revival of manufacturing, a commission headed by two former governors — one Republican, one Democrat — has concluded. The sector has shrunk since the 1950s and some industries have gone entirely overseas, according to the report issued Friday by the University of Virginia Miller Center commission.


June 16, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Georgia tobacco may be rebounding from low point

Terry Dickson reports that J. Michael Moore was in a caravan of about 20 cars that had made four stops in Florida and was closing in on Valdosta. Moore, the tobacco expert for the University of Georgia Extension Service, was on the annual tour of tobacco farms in which growers and others see the latest methods of battling disease, processing the flue-cured crop and discuss some business issues. The tour isn’t the chore it once was. “It got shorter. We’ve got fewer people,’’ he said.


June 16, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

Suhner Manufacturing marking its 100th anniversary

Doug Walker reports that Suhner Manufacturing Inc. at 43 Anderson Road is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Otto H. Suhner, president of Suhner Holdings, said his great-grandfather owned the electrical cable and wire rope company in Brugg, Switzerland, but lost majority in 1908 when it became a public corporation. Six years later, in 1914, Otto Suhner Sr. decided to re-enter the wire business, manufacturing flexible shaft drives to transmit rotary power.


June 16, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

PodPonics raises $3.4M to feed "locavore" hunger

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that PodPonics LLC, a startup that developed a high-tech way of growing produce in shipping containers, has raised $3.4 million to satiate "locavore" demand. The Series A investment, led by Connecticut-based New Ground Ventures, will be used to double growing capacity over the next three months, PodPonics’ Vice President Connor Seabrook said.


June 13, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Planner: Macon-LaGrange highway more important with Savannah Harbor upgrades

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Mike Stucka reports that the deepening of Savannah’s harbor and a planned expansion at Georgia’s Kia automobile plant could be the keys to a new highway study, says an advocate for the road. Lanier Boatwright, executive director of the Three Rivers Regional Commission in Griffin, said he thinks his organization’s proposal for a $1.5 million study for a better Macon to LaGrange highway has a better chance now.


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June 13, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

SunTrust rolling out cards with new EMV chip to enhance security

Christopher Seward reports that Atlanta-based SunTrust said it is offering newly-issued credit cards with embedded microchips to enhance security, a move embraced by an industry that hopes to complete a full transition to the new cards by October 2015. The EMV chips store and protect cardholder data, making them harder to counterfeit and numbers harder to capture. The cards, which don’t have a magnetic strip, are inserted into a terminal and the user follows prompts to complete transactions.


June 13, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

AT&T suffers data breach allowing theft of personal information

Bill Hethcock reports that attackers have compromised the personal information of an undisclosed number of AT&T Mobility wireless customers, the Dallas-based telecommunications giant has confirmed. AT&T confirmed the data breach today, saying outside attackers — allegedly employees of one of AT&T's service providers — stole personal information on Atlanta-based AT&T Mobility customers. The company would not disclose the number of affected users.


June 13, 2014 Saporta Report

The Coca-Cola Co. unveils its new IT division offices in downtown Atlanta 

Maria Saporta reports that transformed open and airy office environment has welcomed nearly 2,000 Coca-Cola employees to SunTrust Plaza’s “Garden Offices” in the heart of downtown. The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) invited members of the board of Central Atlanta Progress to visit the company’s new home for its information technology division. The move came as Coca-Cola consolidated seven offices into five, The move of about 2,000 workers to downtown is viewed as a major boost to downtown.


The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) invited members of the board of Central Atlanta Progress to visit the company’s new home for its information technology division. The move came as Coca-Cola consolidated seven offices into five, The move of about 2,000 workers to downtown is viewed as a major boost to downtown.

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June 13, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

A Southern rift revealed by House leadership scramble

Jim Galloway reports that perhaps it is the humidity, or maybe the surplus of people eager to serve as undertakers, but bodies tend to be buried quickly up in Washington. Republican members of the U.S. House on Thursday are scheduled to elect a new majority leader to replace Eric Cantor, the Virginia congressman who only five days ago was soundly defeated by a little-known college professor with a tea party resume.



June 13, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card: Georgia needs improvement

Staff reports that sluggish manufacturing growth and low levels of education if it is to be a successful producer, according to the 2013 “Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card” from Ball State University. “Georgia earned an ‘A’ grade in relative sector diversification, up from last year’s ‘B,’” said Michael Hicks, director of Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research. 


June 13, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Political Notes - June 2014

Susan Percy writes, Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D-Atlanta) is the winner of EMILY’s List’s Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award, given to recognize “courageous women who demonstrate commitment to community, dedication to women and families, and civic engagement.”


June 13, 2014 Georgia Health News

Georgia exchange may get another player

Andy Miller reports that UnitedHealthcare says it’s considering offering health plans in Georgia’s insurance exchange for 2015. The giant insurer’s potential entry into the state’s exchange could increase competition in terms of premiums and choice of medical providers. State exchanges, required under the Affordable Care Act, are designed to help consumers find and purchase health coverage. They can be run by either the individual state or the federal government. Georgia, like most other states, has opted for federal administration. 


The giant insurer’s potential entry into the state’s exchange could increase competition in terms of premiums and choice of medical providers.

- See more at:

June 13, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Report: “Coca-Cola Life” set for U.S. launch

Leon Stafford reports that a mid-calorie soda Coca-Cola launched in Argentina last year, which ditches high fructose corn syrup for sugar and the sweetener stevia, soon will come stateside. Beverage Digest reported Thursday that Atlanta-based Coke will introduce “Coca-Cola Life” in September or October, about the same time Coca-Cola has said it plans to launch the product in England.


June 13, 2014

Governor: Kroger will create 120 jobs in Clayton County

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), one of the world's largest grocery retailers, will relocate to a new distribution center in Forest Park, creating 120 new jobs and investing more than $175 million over the next five years. Kroger will open a state-of-the-art distribution center on the nearly 1,000-acre Fort Gillem property, a former U.S. Army base. 


June 13, 2014 GPB

Georgia Eighth Graders Improve Scores On CRCT        

Ellen Reinhardt reports that the percentage of Georgia’s eighth graders exceeding standards in the CRCT tests increased this year, according to results released Thursday. Results for third through seventh graders were mixed. State School Superintendent John Barge says the score increase is good news, especially as the state prepares to face a new, tougher program next year. 


June 13, 2014 WABE

Deal Announces DFCS Shakeup

Michell Eloy reports that Gov. Nathan Deal is shaking up the Division of Family Children Services, both in the leadership and structure of the state's child welfare agency. Deal Thursday announced Bobby Cagle, currently commissioner of the Department of Early Care and Learning, will serve as interim director of DFCS, effective Monday.


June 13, 2014 Saporta Report

Robert Ramsey to be new president of Georgia Conservancy starting July 1

Maria Saporta reports that afterconducting a national search for a new leader, the board of the Georgia Conservancy has selected one of its own to be its new president. Robert Ramsay, currently the Georgia Conservancy’s vice president of development, has been tapped to succeed former Georgia Lt. Gov. Pierre Howard as the president of the statewide environmental organization on July 1. Howard, who had announced his retirement earlier this year, has been the Conservancy’s president since 2009.


June 13, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Tom Price bows out of Southern fight for House GOP leadership

Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway report, take a look at the current, soon-to-be juggled GOP leadership of the U.S. House: Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California.




June 12, 2014

Deal: Korea-based auto supplier creates 80 jobs in LaGrange

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Hanil E Hwa Interior Systems Georgia Inc. will expand its existing LaGrange facility, creating 80 jobs and investing $5.5 million over the next two years. “The international automotive industry has repeatedly chosen Georgia because of our highly skilled workforce, competitive infrastructure and pro-business environment,” said Deal. “Hanil E Hwa’s decision to expand here is indicative of our firm partnership with South Korea, and I am proud to welcome this company to our state.”


June 12, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Business Casual: Teachers Rule

Susan Percy writes, it’s easy to understand the appeal of being a teacher – opening minds and hearts to the world of literature or science or music or history, helping students learn and discover what is special and valuable in themselves. But it’s harder to understand the appeal of being a teacher in a school system where teaching takes a backseat to so-called test preparation, to form-filling-out, to busywork handed down from on high, to trying to make one size fit all – whether it actually does or not. 


June 12, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Report: Atlanta leads nation in LGBT-friendly businesses

Christopher Seward reports that Atlanta has the nation’s highest number of businesses that are friendly to the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender community, according to a new study by Vocativ, a New York-based media company. Vocativ estimates Atlanta has 685 such businesses, “over three times more than the next highest city”, which is Chicago.


June 12, 2014 Rome News-Tribune, Morris News Service

Georgia seeking entry-level employees to fill openings

Staff reports that the state is looking to fill about 45 positions at Hays State Prison, according to a Georgia Department of Corrections representative at the Goodwill job fair Tuesday in Rome. But, despite the current unemployment rate, the hiring isn’t always easy, said Lt. Christopher McAlister.


June 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

BEA: Georgia GDP up 1.8% in 2013

Staff reports that Georgia’s real gross domestic product slowed to 1.8 percent growth in 2013, matching the national GDP. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Wednesday ranked the Peach State 25th for GDP growth last year and valued Georgia’s GDP output at $424.6 billion (or 2.7 percent of the national GDP).


June 12, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Shareholder seeks sale of AdCare Health Systems

J. Scott Trubey reports that a major shareholder of a Roswell-based long-term care provider wants the company to put itself on the market. Chris Doucet, the CEO of Doucet Asset Management, said in a letter to the board of AdCare Health Systems that the company is well undervalued. Though he said he welcomed AdCare’s announcement in May that it was evaluating strategic alternatives, he added such an analysis “is long overdue.”


June 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coke battling lawsuits over unsolicited text messages

David Allison reports that the Coca-Cola Co. is battling lawsuits from consumers who say they haven't found happiness in unsolicited text messages that Coke allegedly sent them. One lawsuit filed at the beginning of 2014 in California has just been moved to federal court in Atlanta. Another lawsuit filed in California at the beginning of 2013 is being fought out in federal court in San Diego.


June 12, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Gulfstream donates business jet to Savannah Technical College

Staff reports that Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. has donated a Gulfstream G100 and several other items to Savannah Technical College. The aircraft, which was retired from the company fleet in May 2013, will be used as a training tool in the college's aviation programs. 


June 12, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Lifting the lid on the debate over Medicaid expansion

Jim Galloway reports that early this week, a small panel assigned the task of saving rural health care in Georgia gathered to take a first crack at the problem. Four rural hospitals have closed since 2012, eight since 2000. The finances of another dozen or so balance on a razor’s edge, the panel was told. A bit of Malthusian arithmetic for you: Jimmy Lewis, CEO of HomeTown Health, a Georgia collection of health care facilities, says a community of 40,000 is required for the independent operation of a hospital.


June 12, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Tom Price tight-lipped on post-Cantor leadership struggle

Daniel Malloy reports that as Rep. Tom Price of Roswell spoke on austerity at the conservative Heritage Foundation this afternoon, the news alert arrived: Eric Cantor will step down as Majority Leader at the end of July after losing his primary last night. Price is one of the House Republicans who could benefit from the falling dominoes, but he was not revealing much about his thinking.




June 11, 2014 GPB

President Obama Signs Bill Greenlighting Savannah Harbor Expansion 

Sarah McCammon and Emily Jones report that Savannah’s harbor expansion is moving forward following the signing of a key bill Tuesday. President Obama signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, or WRRDA green lighting the deepening of the Port of Savannah. The Savannah Harbor project is one of 34 water infrastructure projects covered by the bill that Obama said will be key for the economy.


June 11, 2014 Saporta Report

Aaron’s annual meeting has former rivals showing a spirit of togetherness 

Maria Saporta reports that Aaron’s annual meeting Tuesday morning, one shareholder observed: “If you can’t beat them, join them.” The newest director elected to the board was Brian Kahn, 40, investment manager of Vintage Capital Management, who tried unsuccessfully to buy the lease-to-own retailer earlier this year with an unsolicited $2.3 billion offer. Vintage is the second largest shareholder of Aaron’s, owning 10 percent of the company. The largest shareholder is Boston-based FMR LLC, which owns 15.75 percent of the company. 


The newest director elected to the board was Brian Kahn, 40, investment manager of Vintage Capital Management, who tried unsuccessfully to buy the lease-to-own retailer earlier this year with an unsolicited $2.3 billion offer.

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June 11, 2014 Rome News Tribune

Mohawk Industries rises in the ranks of Newsweek's top 500 green companies

Staff reports that Mohawk Industries’ commitment to sustainability once again has been recognized by Newsweek in the magazine’s fifth ranking of the 500 “greenest” U.S. companies. The company has been the highest ranked flooring manufacturer during each year the rankings have been released. The Newsweek rankings use key indicators to measure environmental performance of large publicly-traded companies that are delivering solid business results while minimizing their environmental impact.


June 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Coke's Kent joins push to overhaul immigration

Jeremy Redmon reports that the head of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company and the chief executives for 10 other businesses from across the country are urging Congress to revamp the nation’s “broken immigration system.” In a letter to Congress Tuesday, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent and the others said Congress should create a visa program for “less-skilled foreign workers seeking year-round jobs.”


June 11, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia federal student loan debt more than $39 billion

David Allison reports that Georgia college students have the ninth-highest federal student loan debt, according to a report issued Tuesday by the White House. President Barack Obama on June 9 announced an executive action which would allow millions of student borrowers to cap their monthly student loan payments. On Tuesday the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers and Domestic Policy Council released a new report showing outstanding federal student loan debt by state.


June 11, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Anonymous donor gives $1 million to Memorial Health Foundation scholarship fund

Staff reports that a $1 million anonymous donation has been made to Memorial Health Foundation's Medical School Education Endowment, the second time the donors have contributed to the program in three years. The same donors established the endowment in 2011.


June 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

AMF BakeTech to increase Gwinnett hiring

Christopher Seward reports that a manufacturer of industrial bakery equipment is investing $4 million to expand operations in Gwinnett County, which will also lead to 65 new jobs. AMF BakeTech said it will consolidate three existing Atlanta facilities into a new 63,000-square-foot building on Royal Woods Parkway in the Royal Atlanta Business Park in Tucker. The location will house the company’s engineering, operations, procurement, sales, and accounting departments.


June 11, 2014 WABE

Georgia Sees Surge in Unaccompanied Minors

Martha Dalton reports that there’s been a recent surge in unaccompanied minors coming to the U.S. from Central America. Many of those children end up in Texas and Arizona, but Georgia has also seen a spike in numbers. Jessica Daman is a staff attorney with Atlanta’s Latin American Association. Two years ago, about 25% of her cases involved unaccompanied minors. Now, she says, it’s the majority of what she does.


June 11, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

NCR offers lump sum payment to some company pensioners

Staff reports that NCR Corp., which has been fighting since 2010 to permanently reduce its pension liability, reported Tuesday it will offer a voluntary lump sum payment option to some 20,000 former employees or beneficiaries who get a monthly benefit from its U.S. pension plan. The lump sum payment represents the present value of an individual’s current monthly pension plan benefit, Duluth, Ga.-based NCR said. Eligible participants have from July 2 until Aug. 22, 2014 to accept the offer. 


June 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

A quiet beginning to the campaign for a cap on state income tax rate

Jim Galloway reports that come the November general election, voters will be asked to answer this question: Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to prohibit the General Assembly from increasing the maximum state income tax rate?” The campaign for this proposed constitutional amendment quietly began today, with a press release from the bill’s sponsor, Senate President pro tem David Shafer, listing 17 Georgia economists who have endorsed the measure.



June 10, 2014

Deal: May revenues up 3.1 percent

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia’s net tax collections for the month of May totaled $1.39 billion for an increase of nearly $42.25 million, or 3.1 percent, compared to the month-ended May 2013. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled $16.1 billion for an increase of nearly $697 million, or 4.5 percent, compared to the same point last year when net tax revenues totaled $15.4 billion through the end of May 2013.


June 10, 2014 WABE

Forest Park's "Project Jasper" to be Revealed Tuesday

Lisa George reports that after almost a decade of planning and negotiations, the City of Forest Park will sign the closing papers tomorrow to purchase nearly 800 acres of Fort Gillem. That is when the City will finally reveal the name of its tenant. It has been called “Project Jasper” for the last couple of years. In order to buy the property from the U.S. Army, Forest Park needed a developer -- a big one.


June 10, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

AT&T grant to DeKalb schools targets graduation rate

Dave Williams reports that at-risk high-school students in DeKalb County will receive focused tutoring and counseling through a grant announced Monday aimed at increasing that school system’s graduation rate. AT&T Inc., which has contributed $1 million to expand a nationwide school-to-work initiative run by the non-profit Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG), is giving $30,000 to establish the program at the five DeKalb high schools with the lowest graduation rates.


June 10, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Panel begins work on ways to bolster rural health care

Maggie Lee reports that David Lucas is lucky that the worst thing that’s happened to him out in the country lately is a catfish-related injury that required a long drive to the hospital for removal of a fishhook from his thumb. "If I’d been hunting in Hancock County and I got shot, I’d be dead,” the Democratic state senator from Macon said Monday during the first meeting of Georgia’s Rural Hospital Stabilization Committee. It’s a blue-ribbon panel meant to come up with ways to provide triage health care in underserved rural communities.


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June 10, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

eFolder acquires Sweden’s Cloudfinder

Christopher Seward reports that Atlanta-based eFolder, a provider of software that protects cloud-stored data, said it has acquired Cloudfinder of Sweden, a company that provides business-to-business cloud data backup and text searches. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


June 10, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

VA audit: Augusta needs 'further review'

Wesley Brown reports that Charlie Norwood Veteran Affairs Medical Center is one of 112 VA facilities nationwide that require "further review" after a federal audit released Monday found 134 patients who have enrolled at the Augusta hospital in the past 10 years have never had appointments. Overall, 15 percent of the 731 hospitals and outpatient clinics visited in the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Access Audit need additional inspection based on answers provided by front-line staff to questions related to scheduling and management practices, according to the audit.


June 10, 2014 WABE

Audit: Atlanta VA Flagged For Further Review

Michell Eloy reports that the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center has been flagged for further review in light of growing national concern over long wait times for primary care, according to an internal audit released by the Department of Veterans Affairs Monday afternoon. According to the audit, 180 patients have waited 90 days or more for an initial medical appointment at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, and roughly 7,000 have requested an appointment in the last 10 years, though have not yet had one scheduled.


June 10, 2014 GPB

Atlanta Panel Looks At Ethics Of Conducting Research On People With Serious Brain Injuries

Ellen Reinhardt reports that a presidential commission is in Atlanta looking at the ethical implications of neuroscience research. Monday participants discussed whether it’s ethical to conduct research on someone who’s suffered a serious brain injury. President Barack Obama has charged the panel with developing a set of core ethical standards for neuroscience researchers.


June 10, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Athens doctors perform surgery to insert new, small cardiac monitor

Allie Jackson reports that Athens doctors recently began performing an outpatient surgery to a new cardiac monitor that is 87 percent smaller than a traditional monitor. Amit Shah, director of the electrophysiology lab at St. Mary's hospital, said the process is such a minor one, the patient is in and out of surgery within 30 minutes. The monitor, a Metronic Reveal LINQ, is used to monitor a patient's heartbeat and rhythm, and is injected under the patient's skin.


June 10, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Pro-Jack Kingston Super PAC hits Perdue on taxes

Greg Bluestein reports that businessman David Perdue’s campaign hinges on his appeal as an outsider. A new wave of attack ads from Jack Kingston’s supporters, though, pitches him as the “outsider who would raise our taxes.” The Southern Conservatives Fund, a group set up by David Dove, has already shelled out nearly $200,000 on ads targeting Perdue ahead of the July 22 runoff.



June 9, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Foreclosures low in metro Atlanta

Staff reports that foreclosures in metro Atlanta continued easing downward in June, dropping to levels not seen since 2002. There were a mere 2,054 foreclosures in 13 counties stretching from Hall in the north to Rockdale in the south, and from Douglas in the west to Gwinnett County in the east. During June 2010, at the height of the housing crisis, there were 11,016 listed in the same counties, according to numbers from Kennesaw’s Equity Depot.


June 9, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Striking at the heart of Georgia

Jerry Grillo reports that this year marks 150 years since the war struck the heart of Georgia – the opening of Camp Sumter, the military prison at Andersonville; the grueling Atlanta Campaign, including the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain (which happened 150 years ago this month); and, after Atlanta was burned (mostly by evacuating Confederate troops), Sherman’s infamous March to the Sea and subsequent capture of Savannah.


June 9, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Augusta startups forge ahead despite U.S. entrepreuneurial decline

Jenna Martin reports that faced last year with an evolving market threatening his cellphone-repair startup business, Dylan Mckerchie knew he had a decision to make. Amid rising mobile device and repair costs, new influx of competitors and wireless carriers offering customers attractive upgrade plans, the entrepreneur needed to find something to supplement his income.


June 9, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia pet treat processor to open 20,000 square foot facility, add 25 jobs

Phil W. Hudson reports that a  Gainesville, Ga.-based pet treat processor will add 25 jobs to its new processing facility and plans to double that job number within three years. Big Creek Foods will soon open its new, 20,000-square-foot facility in Gainesville that will manufacture and distribute pet treats that contain Georgia raised chicken.


June 9, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

United Renewable Energy looking to do business in Floyd County

Doug Walker reports that a Alpharetta-based firm hopes to build a solar farm in Floyd County, but first has to jump a hurdle presented by the Unified Land Development Code. United Renewable Energy President Bill Silva said the company is looking at several potential sites in Floyd County.


June 9, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Florida web security firm AppRiver opens software and engineering center in Midtown

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that a Florida-based web security software provider plans to open a software and engineering operation in Midtown Atlanta. Gulf Breeze, Fla.-based AppRiver software helps businesses secure email communications and provides malware protection. Launched in 2002, AppRiver serves more than 8.5 million mailboxes for nearly 47,000 businesses.


June 9, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald,  Morris News Service

Georgia-based company offers small investors access to alternatives

Walter C. Jones reports that globalization is the most powerful economic trend today, famed investor Wilbur Ross said last week. But until recently, small investors haven't had access to the types of alternative investments that can exploit that trend. Ross, who became a billionaire turning around distressed companies, is now a portfolio managers for Atlanta-based Invesco, which began offering a handful of mutual funds that package alternative investments like derivatives, energy, currencies, commodities and real estate.


June 9, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

UPS CEO Scott Davis to retire, David Abney to succeed him

Kelly Yamancouchi reports that UPS announced Chief Operating Officer David Abney will rise to the position of chief executive officer. Abney, 58, started at UPS in 1974 as a part-time package loader and will step into the position of CEO Sept. 1. Current CEO Scott Davis, 62, will retire from the Sandy Springs-based shipping giant on the same date and become non-executive chairman of the company, the company said.


June 9, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

New organic grocery store to open near Snellville

Emily Clance reports that Sprouts Farmers Market is opening its first Atlanta-area location on June 18 in the Snellville area at The Shoppes at Webb Gin. Headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., Sprouts offers fresh, natural and organic foods and caters to consumers interested in health and wellness. It was recently named one of the top five supermarket chains by Consumer Reports and, with the Snellville opening, will operate more than 175 stores in 10 states.


June 9, 2014 GPB

Georgia Attorney General: State Cannot Enforce New Food Stamp Law

Jeanne Bonner reports that Georgia’s Attorney General says the state cannot enforce some provisions of a new law requiring food stamp recipients to submit to drug testing before receiving benefits. In a letter sent Friday, Sam Olens said that’s because federal law prohibits states from adding their own requirements to the Food Stamp program.


June 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

How to tell if Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter have a chance

Jim Galloway reports that in Georgia politics, the only real question hanging between now and November, like an excruciatingly slow curveball, is this: Do Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter have a chance of leading Democrats out of their 12-year drought? A numerical answer to this question exists. Or at least, it will. But you won’t find it in any poll. We will let the new Dad explain himself further below, but Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed would simply point you to this figure: 5,048,825.





June 6, 2014

Study: Atlanta at top of list for most urban sprawl

Michael King reports that a new report from Reid Ewing and Shima Hamidi with the University of Utah examined the largest 162 urbanized areas in the United States and measured them on a "Sprawl Index" based on data from the 2010 Census. As in 2000, Atlanta has the top spot on the list. Many of the other areas in the top ten on the list are in the South and Southeast – including Hickory, NC at number two, Winston-Salem at number four, Charlotte at number five, Nashville at number six, Greenville at seventh, Chattanooga at eighth, Fayetteville, NC at ninth and Baton Rouge rounding out the top 10.


June 6, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Columbus: Roaring Ahead

Karen Rosen reports that “Up” is the operative word in Columbus, and not just because of the new zip line that will whisk brave souls across the Chattahoochee later this year. A desolate area on a bluff overlooking the river is ripe for revitalization as a “creative village.” And Columbus is pitching an ambitious plan to increase the number of flights taking off from its airport with high-speed passenger rail service to Atlanta’s airport.


June 6, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Former Nike exec to lead Spanx

Phil W. Hudson reports that a former big time Nike exec will takeover as CEO of Spanx. Atlanta-based shape wear giant Spanx Inc. said Thursday that former Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) exec Jan Singer will become its new CEO, replacing former CEO Laurie Ann Goldman, who stepped down in February.


June 6, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Metro Atlanta dogged by ‘underwater’ mortgages

Christopher Seward reports that despite a rise in home values, metro Atlanta remains one of the top areas of the country where, for many, the value of the home is less than the amount of money owed on the mortgage, according to new report on “negative equity.” CoreLogic’s first-quarter report shows 19.5 percent of metro homebuyers are underwater on their mortgages, presenting a challenge if they’re trying to sell their home without taking a major financial hit.


June 6, 2014 GPB

Sprint Is Reportedly Close To Deal To Buy T-Mobile For $32 Billion 

Bill Chappell reports that in a deal that's sure to face scrutiny from U.S. regulators, Sprint is reportedly close to sealing a deal with T-Mobile to buy the company for around $40 a share. If the sale goes through, T-Mobile would join Sprint as the second U.S. wireless company acquired by Japan's Softbank. It would unite the third- and fourth-ranked carriers in their fight against the industry's two dominant leaders, Verizon and AT&T.


June 6, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

Glock execs indicted in bribery scheme

Sarah Westwood reports that an Acworth couple was among a group of five indicted Wednesday on federal charges in Kansas after authorities say they were involved in a firearms distribution scheme that netted Glock executives more than $1 million in bribes.


June 6, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Alpharetta's Neenah Paper makes $72 million acquisition

Phil W. Hudson reports that Neenah Paper, Inc. has acquired a subsidiary from Crane & Co., Inc. for $72 million. The Alpharetta, Ga.-based company (NYSE: NP) will pay $64 million for Crane Technical Materials, Inc.'s business and $8 million related to future cash tax benefits it will receive as a result of the transaction.


June 6, 2014

Georgia firms, officials sing praises of China's Shandong province

Trevor Williams reports that when the governor of China's Shandong province came to town to pitch Georgians on investment, the locals made his jobs a whole lot easier. During a Shandong Investment Cooperation Forum at the Omni Hotel, a string of testimonials from some of Georgia’s largest companies and the state’s top salesman made it clear that Shandong, a province of nearly 100 million people with a vibrant port and a relatively open investment climate, is a crucial entry point into the Chinese market.              


June 6, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

Deal: Carpet Manufacturer creates 200 jobs in Bartow

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Surya will create 200 new jobs and invest $30 million into its corporate office and distribution facility in Cartersville. “Surya’s decision to expand in Georgia is an indicator of the strength of our competitive business climate,” said Deal. “With a highly effective logistics infrastructure that includes the busiest passenger airport in the world, the fourth-busiest container port in the nation and an interconnected highway and railway system, it is clear that Surya made the right choice.”  


June 6, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Local angst over Georgia’s new concealed-carry law bubbles up

Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway report that a city hall is a city hall is a city hall. Unless it’s also a courthouse, in which case it becomes exempt from HB 60, Georgia’s new concealed-carry law — which goes into effect on July 1. HB 60, which expands the places where permitted owners can carry concealed, is also creating some angst in Macon, where authorities say they may have to allow weapons inside the city-owned Macon Centreplex and Macon City Auditorium.



June 5, 2014

Deal: Initiative will make college more affordable, save taxpayers millions

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia was one of three states chosen to receive a $1 million grant to lead an education initiative, Guided Pathways to Success (GPS), focused on making college more affordable, boosting college completion and saving taxpayers millions. The grant is funded by the Lumina Foundation in partnership with Complete College America.


June 5, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Neely Young: A Good Hook

Neely Young writes, Griffin and Spalding County are going green. The community between Atlanta and Macon has a new idea called an eco park. Companies looking to move to Georgia can come to The Lakes at Green Valley, a 570-acre light in-dustrial site that will be green, or eco-friendly. For effective economic development, every community needs a “hook,” something different to offer prospective contacts.


June 5, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Travelport files for $100M initial public offering

David Allison reports that Travelport Worldwide Limited on Wednesday filed for an initial public offering of up to $100 million in stock. The Atlanta-based company connects airlines and hotel chains with online and traditional travel agencies. Last year Travelport processed $85 billion of travel spending.


June 5, 2014 Albany Herald

Georgia drops CRCT, EOCT tests for a new student progress assessment system

Terry Lewis reports that the Georgia Department of Education announced Wednesday that it will implement a new testing system for students, the Georgia Milestones Assessment System (Georgia Milestones), which be used in the coming 2014-15 academic year. The new system will replace both the CRCT (Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests) and the EOCT (End of Course Tests).


June 5, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Few answers, lots of spin on carbon rules

Matt Kempner reports that many organizations are still trying to quantify the potential impact in Georgia from Monday’s announced federal proposal for carbon limits on power plants. An official with Georgia Power, the state’s largest electric producer, said it could take the company months to fully comb through the documents. But the announcement continues to feed a wave of press releases from business and environmental groups, elected officials and others.


June 5, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Tech startup accelerator Flashpoint raises second $1M fund

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that an  Atlanta venture aimed at launching the next generation of tech startups has raised its second $1 million fund. In the past three years, Flashpoint at Georgia Tech has helped seed three dozen startups who have collectively raised more than $65 million from blue-chip venture firms such as Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Andreessen Horowitz.


June 5, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

SEC drops insider trading case against Pete Petit

Christopher Seward reports that the  U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has dropped a civil complaint against Parker “Pete” Petit that accused the prominent Atlanta biotech entrepreneur and philanthropist of providing insider information in 2007 to a friend that allowed the other man to profit from two stock trades. The friend, Earl Arrowood, a retired Delta Air Lines pilot, settled with the securities enforcement agency, according to its Atlanta office.


June 5, 2014 GPB

Macon Officials Say New Gun Law Is Driving Performers Away From Public Venues

Adam Ragusea reports that new Georgia law expanding where guns may be carried won't take effect until July 1, but it's already having one unintended effect. Officials in Macon say at least one performer is threatening to pull out of an upcoming concert at one of two city-owned venues because there could be guns in the crowd.


June 5, 2014 WABE

Gingrey Endorses Kingston in U.S. Senate Race

Lisa George reports that another Republican U.S. Senate candidate who failed to make the run-off has thrown support behind Congressman Jack Kingston. Kingston is running against businessman David Perdue for the party nomination. Phil Gingrey came in fourth in the Republican primary. He said on primary night he wasn’t sure whether he would endorse anyone in the Kingston / Perdue run-off. 


June 5, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

A burned toddler revives a rare ‘no-knock’ alliance

Jim Galloway reports that it doesn’t matter whether you credit God or Charles Darwin. The looks that babies give us are designed to bring out our most protective instincts. And so the image of 19-month-old Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh, with his face burned away by a flash-bang police grenade hurled into his playpen, has done more than wring a few hearts. In little more than a week, the injured toddler has sparked a rare alliance of Georgia’s disparate political factions: rural Republicans and urban blacks, tea partyers and liberal Democrats — all out to rein in the use of “no-knock” search warrants.



June 4, 2014

Georgia's Manufacturing Slumped In May, But Outlook Still Positive

John Lorinc reports that manufacturing activity in Georgia dropped in May, but analysts still see the glass as half-full. Kennesaw State University reports Georgia's Purchasing Managers' Index, or PMI, was 56.8 last month. That's down about six points from the prior month.


June 4, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Pack Your Cannons – Sherman’s Coming Again

Staff reports that one hundred fifty years ago this month, Union and Confederate forces faced off across Cobb County in battles large and small, including Kennesaw Mountain, one of the most important battles of the Atlanta Campaign. A number of commemorative events are happening in the Cobb area this month, and events continue in Georgia over the next year as the Civil War sesquicentennial winds down. 


June 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

GE shifts work to Florida affiliate

Michael Kanell reports that GE Distributed Power is shifting its field service work to a Florida-based GE affiliate. The GE business unit, which is headquartered in Cincinnati, will be moving the work to Granite Systems in Jupiter, which is wholly owned by General Electric, according to Atlanta-based GE spokeswoman Sophia Marshall.


June 4, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

GRU researcher finds liver cancer vaccine that works in mice

Ellie Hensley reports that a researcher at Georgia Regents University has developed a vaccine effective at preventing liver cancer in mice. The vaccine, created by Dr. Yukai He, immunologist at the Medical College of Georgia and Georgia Regents University Cancer Center in Augusta, Georgia, blocked cancer about 90 percent of the time when tested on mice that were exposed to liver cancer.


June 4, 2014 Rome News Tribune, Morris News Service

Ga. Power executives testify Vogtle expansion is progressing

Walter C. Jones reports that executives from Georgia Power Company testified Tuesday that construction of two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle is progressing as planned and remains on the revised schedule and budget. The daylong testimony was the first in an ongoing hearing before the Public Service Commission to certify the $389 million the company spent on construction during 2013. 


June 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta airport finally gets free Wi-Fi

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that at long last, free Wi-Fi is finally arriving at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The lack of free wireless Internet access has been the top complaint at the world’s busiest airport for years. Now, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and airport officials plan to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of the amenity at the airport Wednesday.


June 4, 2014 Savannah Morning News

The race never ends, says GSU dean

Raymond Monasterski reports that the problem for Allen Amason is that people think about business as sports. And for Amason, dean of the College of Business Administration at Georgia Southern University, sports metaphors translate poorly into business. “We talk about winners, we talk about losers,” said Amason, “as if they meant anything.”


June 4, 2014 Saporta Report

Emory’s new business dean – Erika James – gaining national attention 

Maria Saporta reports that Emory University’s new dean of the Goizueta Business School – Erika James – is attracting national attention. James, who will be starting in her new role later this month, is coming to Atlanta from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business., where she has served as the senior associate dean and led the school’s executive education programs. BloombergBusinessweek published an extensive interview with James on May 30th with a headline declaring her as the “First Black Woman to Lead a Top Business School.” 


June 4, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Pasaquan will be restored then gifted to Columbus State

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Mark Rice reports that an effort to preserve Pasaquan, the internationally renowned visionary art site in Marion County, has received a huge boost that will result in a gift to Columbus State University. The Kohler Foundation Inc., based in Wisconsin and dedicated to preserving art environments, has announced plans to restore the seven acres and six buildings to the colorful glory created six decades ago by the late Eddie Owens Martin, known as St. EOM.


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June 4, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Gov. Deal calls off state gasoline tax hike

Dave Williams reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced Tuesday that he is canceling an increase in Georgia’s gasoline tax that would have taken effect July 1 otherwise. Deal cited pump prices, which have risen from $3.21 per gallon on average to $3.66 a gallon since January.


June 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Jason Carter’s two-pronged response to GOP ad assault

Greg Bluestein reports that Jason Carter’s campaign this morning unleashed a double-barreled response to the first wave of attack ads aimed at derailing his gubernatorial bid. The Atlanta Democrat released a pair of statewide ads this morning that seek to position him as an education-minded politician and a ready alternative to Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, stocked with plenty of pictures of his young family to burnish that image.



June 3, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

More than 1,000 call center jobs heading for Clayton County

Douglas Sams reports that more than 1,000 call center jobs appear headed for Clayton County. The company behind the jobs expansion is Chime Solutions Inc., an outsourcing firm led by Shelly Wilson. The call center will create at least 1,120 jobs, Gov. Nathan Deal's office said. Chime's leadership spent much of the previous decade building a major call center company. Shelly Wilson was a former principal and her husband, Mark Wilson, was the founder and former CEO of RYLA Teleservices Inc., a company that grew to more than 5,000 employees.


June 3, 2014 Augusta Chronicle, Morris News Service

Debate on how to create Georgia jobs

Walter C. Jones reports that Friday's announcement that Georgia is one of 12 states to receive extra federal help in stimulating manufacturing jobs comes in the midst of elections when job creation is a major issue.   The Obama administration targeted the Dalton region as one of the dozen spots that will split $1.3 billion and get special attention from 11 federal agencies and a network of state and local partners, from Georgia Tech to trade groups, to produce 2,623 new jobs in 10 years.


June 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Asbury Automotive gives Georgia a Fortune 500 bump

Christopher Seward reports that Georgia now has 17 companies among the Fortune 500, the annual list of the nation’s top publicly traded businesses based on revenue. Duluth-based Asbury Automotive Group, which owns auto dealerships around the country, including more than a dozen in metro Atlanta under the Nalley brand, moved into the No. 472 spot on the Fortune list, giving the state one more company than it had last year.


June 3, 2014

Georgia Hiring 175 New Caseworkers To Aid Troubled Division Of Family And Child Services

Ellen Reinhardt reports that the State Division of Family and Children Services, or DFCS, is currently hiring an additional 175 case workers to help relieve an overburdened system. Two Georgia children died last year, leading to calls for changes in the child protection system. DFCS Spokeswoman Ravae Graham admits that some workers in metro Atlanta have been dealing with as many as 100 cases.


June 3, 2014

Gainesville awarded $1 million for new housing

Marc Eggers reports that “We got notice Tuesday that we’ve got a million dollars coming to the city,” said Chris Davis, Gainesville’s Housing Program Manager, as he stood before the City Council at Thursday morning’s work session. Gainesville and the City of Atlanta are the only two successful applicants to be chosen for the $1 million allocation.


June 3, 2014

How Will Proposed Carbon Emission Rules Affect Georgia? Views from Both Sides of the Battle

Denis O'Hayer reports that on June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed new rules aimed at cutting carbon pollution from existing coal-fired power plants over the next 15 years.  Environmental advocates called the proposal an important step in addressing how pollution contributes to climate change.  Utility industry leaders said the new rules will cost jobs and raise consumer costs.  WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with former DeKalb State Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, now the executive director of the non-profit environmental law firm GreenLaw, and with Stan Wise, a member of the state Public Service Commission.


June 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia already ahead on new federal carbon cuts

Matt Kempner reports that Georgia already has sliced carbon emissions from power plants more than the 30 percent national target being announced this morning by federal environmental regulators. But each state will have specific mandated percentage cuts that could be below or above that national average, according to news reports. So while Georgia has already made substantial progress, it’s not yet clear whether it is already in compliance with what its specific goal will be.


June 3, 2014 Augusta Chronicle, Morris News Service

Research center broadens focus beyond pulp, paper

Walter C. Jones reports that a multidisciplinary research center at Georgia Tech is the latest to expand its focus beyond the pulp and paper industry, but industry insiders say it’s not a sign of economic weakness in the digital era. "It speaks more to where forest-fiber products are headed in the future," said Norman Marsolan, director of the center.


June 3, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Jason Carter says Democratic turnout key to governor's race

Marcus E. Howard reports that Georgia may be dominated by Republicans in virtually every top political office, but Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter of Decatur believes 200,000 previously uncounted votes will be crucial to winning back the governor's mansion. The prevailing theory among political analysts is that as red as the Peach State is today, it’s ripe for Democratic victories in the next two to three election cycles, when demographics changes favoring the party will make it a true swing state. 


June 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

New carbon limits put David Perdue’s utility ties in spotlight

Greg Bluestein reports that Obama administration’s announcement today that it wants to fight climate change by slashing carbon pollution will undoubtedly rile up GOP candidates for office. But it also puts one high-profile Georgia contender’s ties to a utility in the spotlight. Both businessman David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston, who square off in a July 22 GOP runoff for the open Senate seat, have vowed to oppose more regulations for carbon dioxide by arguing that the red tape will hamper business.




June 2, 2014

Top Georgia Leaders React to Shinseki's Resignation

Michelle Wirth reports that several members of Georgia’s Congressional delegation say embattled U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki’s decision to step down is the right move to help fix the ailing department.   Shinseki’s resignation comes after a growing scandal over long wait times at a number of VA hospitals, which sometimes resulted in death.


June 2, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

When powers combine

Susan Percy reports that Laura Turner Seydel is chairperson of the Captain Planet Foundation, which was inspired by the groundbreaking Captain Planet and the Planeteers cartoon series and provides funds for learning gardens and other environmental projects in schools. Like her father, media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner, who helped start the series and the foundation, she is a committed conservationist.


June 2, 2014 Macon Telegraph

One Macon targets jobs, education and sense of place

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Linda S. Morris reports that when it comes to a new push for a common vision for Macon-Bibb County, the name says it all: One Macon. “One Macon, just in the name, symbolizes so much,” said Cliffard Whitby, one of three chairmen of the One Macon initiative that aims to address some of the city and county’s most pressing problems. “We are finally recognizing that we must work together to make this a better place for every constituency, every political group, every social group, every economic group.”


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June 2, 2014 Rome News Telegraph

GNTC president: Tech school graduates in demand for industry, manufacturing

Doug Walker reports that with close to a quarter of all jobs in the region connected to the manufacturing sector, Georgia Northwestern Technical College President Pete McDonald said a traditional four-year degree is no longer automatically the best choice for young people preparing to enter the workforce.


June 2, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Thousands of Georgia doctors lack malpractice insurance

Staff reports that more than 2,500 doctors in Georgia do not have malpractice insurance, and their ranks include dozens who have been disciplined by the state medical board for sexual misconduct, illegal drug use, patient deaths and other serious transgressions, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation has found. Experts in the fields of law and medicine called the number of uninsured doctors — just under 8 percent of those licensed in the state — surprising and disturbing.


June 2, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

State, federal agencies investigate possible contamination from Marietta chemical fire  

Rachel Gray reports that officials from the county’s hazmat unit and Marietta’s water department say the state is investigating a “fish kill” in Sope Creek that might be linked to a May 23 fire at a chemical plant. AmRep’s manufacturing center on Industrial Park Road near Cobb Parkway and Allgood Road in Marietta, which makes professional-grade chemical products, broke out in a two-alarm fire more than a week ago.


June 2, 2014 Newnan Times-Herald

Educational resources attracting new business to Coweta

Clay Neely reports that many with local industries expanding and new companies now calling Coweta County home, it’s no secret why our community is experiencing such a unique period of economic growth. According to a recent article in Development Magazine, the availability of skilled labor was ranked as the number one factor in determining site selection for new businesses. 


June 2, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Sports complex near Lake Allatoona coming to life

J. Scott Trubey reports that a  team including metro Atlanta developers and Major League Baseball heavyweights Bobby Cox, Fredi Gonzalez and Ned Yost are opening the first phase of the youth sports complex LakePoint Sporting Community near Lake Allatoona. The 1,200-acre-plus compound is starting with baseball, lacrosse, volleyball and wakeboarding, but the project will add facilities for about 30 sports over the next few years. That will include an indoor arena and an Olympic-scale track and field complex.


June 2, 2014

Georgia outperforms at Presidential Exports Award Ceremony

Trevor Williams reports that Georgia had the largest contingent of companies and organizations honored in Washington this week with presidential awards for exports and export service.  Among those U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker dubbed “beacons of exporting” were Albany chemical company Sasco Chemical and Nordson Swainsboro, the Georgia factory of adhesives manufacturer Nordson Corp. 


June 2, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta is No. 42 in study of 60 city park systems

Carla Caldwell reports that a new survey from a national organization that studied park systems in the country's 60 biggest cities shows Atlanta tied with Tucson, Arizona, for the No. 42 spot. The Trust for Public Land’s third annual ParkScore Index considers factors that include services, investments, park size and park access.


June 2, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Jason Carter to counter GOP TV assault on Medicaid expansion

Greg Bluestein reports that Democrat Jason Carter’s campaign faced a crossroads last week when the Republican Governors Association unleashed the first wave of attack ads aimed at subverting his gubernatorial bid. The question was whether to try to counter the television blitz for a few weeks in the summer or conserve the cash for ads closer to November, when more voters tune in.