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Sept. 12, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta hiring to go up, 22 percent of execs say

Michael Kanell reports that about one-fifth of metro Atlanta companies will be adding workers in the next months, according to a survey of the executives who manage the money. Twenty-two percent of chief financial officers say their companies will be creating new jobs while 67 percent say they will hold personnel steady, filling only empty slots, according to the Atlanta Professional Employment Forecast From Robert Half.


Sept. 12, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Political Notes: September 2014

Susan Percy writes, Georgia lost three Republican congressmen in the primary and runoff elections for U.S. Senate. Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey failed in their primary bids to be the Republican candidate replacing retiring U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss; Jack Kingston lost the runoff to David Perdue.


Sept. 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Poll: Atlanta investors more confident in economy, concerned about college costs

Carla Caldwell reports that a poll of Atlanta-area investors conducted by Morgan Stanley about the economy, finances and college costs found that high net-worth investors ages 25 to 75 with $100,000 or more in investable household financial assets, are more optimistic about the economy, but concerned about financing a college education.


Sept. 12, 2014 Saporta Report

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s Sally Bethea to be saluted at 20th anniversary gala on Oct. 14 

Maria Saporta reports that a pillar of Atlanta’s environmental leadership will be getting her send-off in style. Sally Bethea, who founded the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper 20 years ago, will be retiring as its executive director, and a new leadership team will be taking over at the beginning of 2015. Bethea’s leadership of the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) and the transition to a new team will be celebrated at an elegant gala on Oct. 14 at the InterContinental Buckhead.


Sept. 12, 2014 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Georgia's homegrown carmaker sees promising roads ahead

Walter C. Jones reports that Georgia may be the site of Kia Motors' assembly plant and the North American sales office for Porsche, but the one homegrown carmaker is Panoz LLC, and its founder sees open roads ahead. Don Panoz located his car company in Hoschton, Ga., on the site of the Road Atlanta racetrack he developed and near the Chateau Elan winery resort and residential development he owns. He said 200 cars is his annual limit but that his 70-person workforce is up to the job because of the other automotive talent in the area.


Sept. 12, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Income and wealth down for typical families

Michael Kanell reports, maybe it’s depressing, maybe it’s comforting in a sort of depressing way: the numbers confirm that typical American families took a beating during the three years after the official end of the Great Recession. Adjusted for inflation, media family incomes and net worth both declined, according to the Survey of Consumer Finances by the Federal Reserve, released this week.


Sept. 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Software maker MemberSuite raising $4.5M to automate association management

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Atlanta-based software maker MemberSuite has raised $3.5 million in venture capital. The startup develops software that helps trade associations manage fundraising, event planning, accounting, dues-collection and other functions. MemberSuite delivers its web-based, back-office software on a subscription basis.


Sept. 12, 2014 GPB

Elections and Education: A Love Story?

Jeanne Bonner reports that education has taken center stage in Georgia’s gubernatorial race. Gov. Nathan Deal and his Democratic opponent Jason Carter will speak at an educational forum on Friday. Each fancies himself the education candidate. But educators are sometimes wary when politicians here in Georgia or in Washington wade into the debate on schools. That’s because they say schools – and students – often get left behind.


Sept. 12, 2014 WABE

Civil Rights Leaders Accuse Secretary Of State Of Voter Suppression

Michelle Wirth reports that Georgia State NAACP and several other civil rights organizations are accusing Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp of trying to suppress voter rights. The organizations delivered a letter to Kemp today saying a subpoena issued by his office to a voter registration group is an attempt to keep minorities from voting.


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

What Brian Kemp really said about Democratic voter registration efforts

Jim Galloway reports that this morning, we told you of an audio clip provided to us by Better Georgia, the Democratic-leaning group, of remarks made by Secretary of State Brian Kemp to a group of Gwinnett Republicans in July. This was the total content of the 19-second clip: “In closing I just wanted to tell you, real quick, after we get through this runoff, you know the Democrats are working hard, and all these stories about them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there and others that are sitting on the sidelines, if they can do that, they can win these elections in November.”



Sept. 11, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

HIV/AIDS still increasing in Georgia

Lee Shearer reports that the number of people in Georgia with HIV/AIDS is on the rise and is likely to keep increasing, researchers and public health officials said at a conference on the University of Georgia campus Wednesday. The increase could be dramatically slowed if people who contract the virus are diagnosed, and if more dianosed people get regular medical treatment to suppress HIV, according to Tanjina Shabu, a biostatistician working with the Georgia Department of Public Health.


Sept. 11, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Growing Gwinnett’s Newest City

Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy reports that Peachtree Corners, Gwinnett County’s newest city (incorporated in 2012) is creating a central business district. On Sept. 8, local leaders invited residents and the business community to an open house to add their two cents on this new area that will also serve as the heart of the city. Citizens were asked to weigh in on issues including redeveloping aging strip malls, incorporating walking and biking paths into the new district, and creating safe ways for pedestrians to cross Peachtree Parkway.


Sept. 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Turner in line for Fulton tax breaks even as layoffs planned

Matt Kempner reports that Turner Broadcasting, which is expected to make significant job cuts this fall, is in line for additional tax breaks from officials hoping to retain local jobs and corporate spending. The deal comes with some twists. The Atlanta-based home of CNN, TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network is projecting that it will have 7,000 employees in Fulton County by the end of 2018, according to county development authority documents tied to the deal. That’s about 500 jobs more than what Turner currently has locally.


Sept. 11, 2014 Cherokee Tribune

Georgia Department of Labor recruiting for Belnick Inc. with job fair

Staff reports that the Georgia Department of Labor will help Belnick Inc., a company that manufactures office chairs and other furnishings, recruit a number of warehouse workers for its Canton plant Thursday.


Sept. 11, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

"eBay for shipping" Atlanta startup raises $2.5M

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Efreightsolutions LLC — which dubs itself as the “eBay of shipping” — has raised $2.5 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The Atlanta-based transportation management software startup has developed technology that matches small and midsized businesses with shipping carriers, and automates shipment tracking and processing.


Sept. 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta taxicab drivers sue Uber ride-sharing service

Christopher Seward reports that Atlanta taxicab drivers are suing Uber, a popular ride-sharing service that connects passengers with drivers through a smartphone app, claiming the company is operating as a taxicab service without a license. In the Fulton County Superior Court lawsuit, the drivers say Uber is violating a city ordinance that makes it illegal for a taxicab to operate without a city-issued certificate of public necessity and convenience.


Sept. 11, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Bastille Networks secures $1.5M to target "Internet-of-Things"

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Bastille Networks, backed by Atlanta cybersecurity royalty, is on the front lines of securing an emerging technology infiltrating the enterprise. The Internet of Things (IoT) — a mish-mash of converging operating systems, wireless protocols and embedded processors — has turned heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, photocopiers, printers and scanners into “smart devices,” able to transmit data to smartphones and amongst themselves.


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

Georgia lawmakers want to clarify state's adding regulations on alcoholic beverages

Walter C. Jones reports that the laws governing the sale of alcohol in Georgia never define what constitutes beer, describe a “standard case” in milliliters but establish limits in ounces, and empowers the revenue commissioner to control the lettering on store signs, bottles and cans although none have exercised that authority in decades. These are some of the 122 outdated provisions, inconsistencies and omissions in the alcohol laws. Some were ruled unconstitutional years ago by courts.


Sept. 11, 2014 WABE

Deal Backs Voter Fraud Investigation, Open To Sunday Voting Ban

Jonathan Shapiro reports that Gov. Nathan Deal Wednesday weighed in on a state investigation into alleged voter fraud and a plan to allow Sunday voting in DeKalb County. Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp has subpoenaed the New Georgia Project, one of the state’s largest voter registration groups. Kemp says he’s received complaints from several counties of faulty registration forms.


Sept. 11, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Cannabis oil hearing held in Macon

Phillip Ramati reports that advocates for legislation that would allow medical cannabis oil in the state testified Wednesday at Mercer University in front of a legislative committee tasked with examining the viability of a law change. More than a dozen people who suffer from various health issues or have a loved one who suffers offered anecdotal evidence that cannabis oil with low levels of THC -- the substance in marijuana that causes a “high” -- has made a positive impact in lowering the number of seizures for some children in Georgia.


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Sept. 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Republican governors group to Nathan Deal: Help is on the way

Greg Bluestein reports that Republican Governors Association sent an emissary to Georgia this week with a clear message for Gov. Nathan Deal and his supporters: Help is on the way. It won’t surprise many that the RGA, which has already invested $1.6 million this year to back Deal’s re-election, is poised to pour money into the contest. But Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ensured there was no wiggle room.



Sept. 10, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta at epicenter of Apple's next industry disrupting quake

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that for Apple, the road to its next billion-dollar market connects through Atlanta. The consumer electronics leviathan has trained its lasers on the financial payments market — one in which Atlanta is a global hub. About 70 percent of all U.S. payments processed annually run through companies based in Georgia. Four of the top 20 American Banker FinTech 100 companies are headquartered in the Peach State.


Sept. 10, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

2014 Higher Education Directory

Christy Simo reports that Georgia’s collection of higher education institutions runs the gamut, from the 31 public colleges of the University System of Georgia (USG) that serve 309,000 students and the 23-school Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) that serves more than 150,000 students to the private and for-profit schools scattered throughout the state.


Sept. 10, 2014 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

University regents adopt budget that would require $46 million more in taxes

Walter C. Jones reports that taxpayers will be paying an additional $46 million for public colleges and universities, or 2.4 percent more, if the legislature approves a request that the Board of Regents unanimously authorized Tuesday. The total appropriation would come to $2 billion and represent one-quarter of the annual budget for Georgia’s 31 schools. Tuition, fees and research grants makes up the rest.


Sept. 10, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Go back to drawing board on grading teachers, Lanoue tells lawmakers

Lee Shearer reports that a new teacher evaluation system prescribed by Georgia lawmakers is expensive, time-consuming and won't accurately measure how well teachers perform, Clarke County school Superintendent Philip Lanoue recently told a pair of Athens legislators. In fact the testing routine the new law requires will even suck hours of teaching time for music, art and many other subjects out of the school year, he said.


Sept. 10, 2014 Gainesville Times

Gainesville crowd debates Common Core's merits

Jeff Gill reports that an English professor told a Gainesville audience Tuesday night that educators, including herself, were heavily involved in the development of Common Core standards but they also were “passionate” about their work. “Part of the reason we believe in what we’re doing is because these standards are an opportunity for us ... in a lot of different ways,” said Jennifer Wunder, who spoke for nearly an hour during a public hearing at Gainesville High School.


Sept. 10, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Gulfstream to build $33 million paint facility, add 100 jobs

Mary Carr Mayle reports that Gulfstream Aerospace announced Tuesday it will build a $33 million state-of-the-art paint facility on property in the southwest quadrant of the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. The facility, which will be one of the most advanced high-tech paint hangars ever built, will be located near the company’s 680,000-square-foot-plus maintenance building, the largest business aviation maintenance facility in the world. 


Sept. 10, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Fracking jobs benefit Georgia, report says

Dan Chapman reports that commercial natural gas drilling takes place in Georgia, but that hasn’t kept the industry from touting the economic benefits to the state. The American Petroleum Institute released Tuesday a survey listing the 18,505 “jobs supported by these (fracking) activities.” Fracking refers to hydraulic fracturing, a process to extract hard-to-get oil and gas from shale fields in Pennsylvania, Texas, North Dakota and beyond.


Sept. 10, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Amazon, Twitter seeking options for new Atlanta office space

Douglas Sams reports that Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has been focused on Buckhead office towers, and it’s contacted Parkway Properties (NYSE: PKY), the owner of the 50-story 3344 Peachtree tower, according to commercial real estate executives and developers familiar with the deal. Amazon may have targeted the current office space of shapewear company Spanx Inc., which is supposed to relocate to the new Buckhead Atlanta mixed-use project early next year. 


Sept. 10, 2014 Georgia Health News

Has rare enterovirus strain arrived in Georgia?

Andy Miller reports that Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is reporting an unusual surge of respiratory illnesses in children. Public health officials say it’s not yet known whether a rare enterovirus that has struck elsewhere is to blame. Enterovirus D68 is linked to two clusters of respiratory illness among children and teenagers in Kansas City and Chicago, the CDC says. Health officials there have reported a spike in emergency room visits for severe respiratory illnesses. There have been no reported deaths. 


Enterovirus D68 is linked to two clusters of respiratory illness among children and teenagers in Kansas City and Chicago, the CDC says. Health officials there have reported a spike in emergency room visits for severe respiratory illnesses. There have been no reported deaths.

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Sept. 10, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

D.C. to David Perdue: Keep talking about Reid and Obama

Daniel Malloy reports that Republican U.S. Senate hopeful David Perdue, back on the TV airwaves and looking to stay there, is making the rounds in the nation’s capital this week at a series of fundraisers, meetings and candidate training put on by national Republicans. In an interview here Tuesday afternoon, Perdue said GOP senators and other leaders are closely following the goings-on in Georgia, given its importance to securing a Republican majority next year. And they are telling him to keep doing what he’s doing




Sept. 9, 2014

Deal: August revenues up 3.5 percent

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia’s net tax collections for the month of August totaled $1.39 billion for an increase of $47 million, or 3.5 percent, compared to the month-ended August 2013. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled $2.88 billion, an increase of $125 million, or 4.5 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year when net tax revenues totaled $2.75 billion through August.


Sept. 9, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Gwinnett County: The community of tomorrow

Randy Southerland reports that the sounds of hammers building new homes and corporate deals being signed are evidence that Gwinnett County is making a strong and sustained comeback. That’s the word from business people, elected officials and civic leaders alike in this bustling county on Atlanta’s eastern perimeter.


Sept. 9, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Georgia schools still in funding squeeze

Tracey McManus reports that school districts across Georgia are in the midst of another bleak year of furlough days, high class sizes and underfunded classrooms despite a slight restoration of state education funding added this fiscal year. A report from the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute released Thursday shows the state is still shortchanging districts an average of $439 per student compared to $633 per student last year.


Sept. 9, 2014 WABE

First Lady, Education Secretary Visit Atlanta High School Students

Martha Dalton reports that First Lady Michelle Obama joined Education Secretary Arne Duncan on a leg of his annual Back to School Bus Tour Monday. This year, the tour started at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta. The message to students was: Aim for college. Speaking at the first high school in Atlanta that offered secondary education to African-American students, Duncan stressed the importance of higher education.


Sept. 9, 2014 New York Times

Home Depot Data Breach Could Be the Largest Yet

Nicole Perlroth reports that Home Depot confirmed on Monday that hackers had broken into its in-store payments systems, in what could be the largest known breach of a retail company’s computer network. The retailer said the exact number of customers affected was still not clear. But a person briefed on the investigation said the total number of credit card numbers stolen at Home Depot could top 60 million. By comparison, the breach last year at Target, the largest known attack to date, affected 40 million cardholders.


Sept. 9, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia credit unions report healthy growth

Russell Grantham reports that Georgia’ s credit unions reported a significant jump in loan growth in the first half of the year as consumers cut their credit card balances but took out more loans to buy new and used cars. The volume of new vehicle loans grew 14.4 percent and used vehicle loans increased 6.5 percent in the first six months of 2014, according to Duluth-based Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, which represents the state’s 138 credit unions.


Sept. 9, 2014 Saporta Report

Bio-pharm research company expands plasma facility in Norcross, bolsters Innovation Crescent 

David Pendered reports that New Jersey-based company involved in the high stakes world of biopharmaceutical research has just expanded an important subsidiary in Norcross – a blood plasma collection center.The parent company conducts research with plasma. If the research is successful, the resulting product could help countless suffers of chronic diseases and provide enormous revenues to ADMA Biologics, Inc. 


Sept. 9, 2014 Georgia Health News

2 nonprofits share $3.3 million in 'navigator' grants

Andy Miller reports that two nonprofit organizations will divide $3.3 million in federal money to provide “navigators” to help consumers enroll in the Georgia health insurance exchange this fall, the federal government announced Monday. Navigators provide face-to-face, in-person help for consumers seeking information about the exchanges. SEEDCO (Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation) will receive nearly $2.2 million, roughly the same as it received last year as a navigator grantee. 


Sept. 9, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Georgia Ports latest to take ice bucket challenge

Staff reports that Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz and staff wrapped up their week Friday afternoon by taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, issued to the Port of Savannah by the Port of Brunswick. Foltz and 15 other GPA staffers raised $1,800 for the privilege of being doused with freezing water and ice. Before they were even dry, they challenged Trip Tollison and the staff at Savannah Economic Development Authority to join them in raising money and awareness for ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. 


Sept. 9, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Kasim Reed on Atlanta Hawks turmoil: ‘Let’s not make it about race’

Greg Bluestein reports that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he was “offended” by the inflammatory email sent by Hawks owner Bruce Levenson that led him to put his piece of the franchise up for sale. But the mayor said the franchise’s attendance woes have a lot more to do with performance on the court than any other outside factor.




Sept. 8, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

​Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy dead at 93

Leon Stafford reports that Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, a Southern icon for the company he created and for the religious principles that kept the chain’s stores closed on Sundays, has died at 93. According to The Associated Press, Cathy died at home near family members, Chick-fil-A spokesman Mark Baldwin said early Monday. Funeral plans were not finalized, he said.


Sept. 8, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Share your vision for a better Metro Atlanta

Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy reports that the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) recently reported that Atlanta grew by 52,700 people between April 1, 2013 and April 1, 2014, a sign that the growth that once overwhelmed the 10-county metro region is returning. All of the counties in the region experienced growth, with Gwinnett, Fulton and Cobb taking the top three spots.


Sept. 8, 2014 New York Times

Bruce Levenson Will Sell Atlanta Hawks After Racially Charged Email Is Revealed

Andrew Keh reports that for the second time this year, the owner of a professional basketball team will sell his controlling interest of a franchise after his racially insensitive views were made public. Bruce Levenson, who has led the ownership group of the Atlanta Hawks since 2004, informed N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver on Saturday that he intended to sell the team, effectively cutting short a league investigation into an email that Mr. Levenson sent two years ago to fellow Hawks executives detailing his thoughts on how the team could attract more white fans.


Sept. 8, 2014 WABE

Toxic Vapor Discovered In Homes Near Fort Gillem

Michelle Wirth reports that toxic vapor has been found in dozens of homes near Fort Gillem, a former U.S. Army Base in Clayton County. The Army discovered the vapor during testing tied to redevelopment at Fort Gillem. Susan Morgan lives in a brick one-story home near Joy Lake. It’s about a mile from Fort Gillem. Morgan was recently told her house contains hazardous chemicals that seeped into groundwater beneath her home.


Sept. 8, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Intercontinental Exchange buying SuperDerivatives for $350M

Staff reports that IntercontinentalExchange Inc. plans to buy risk management analytics financial market data and valuation services provider SuperDerivatives for $350 million. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014. New York-based SuperDerivatives has 12 offices around the world and more than 300 employees.


Sept. 8, 2014 Albany Herald

Kansas company to buy Camilla ethanol plant

Staff reports that Flint Hills Resources in Wichita, Kan., has announced an agreement with Southwest Georgia Ethanol LLC to acquire its ethanol plant in Camilla. Flint Hills Resources officials said in an email announcement that the transaction was expected to close after customary closing conditions had been satisfied, including regulatory approvals. The purchase price was not disclosed.


Sept. 8, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

For 173 years, Mott house withstood the test of time

Chuck Williams reports that for 173 years, the Calhoun-Griffin-Mott house along the Chattahoochee River survived multiple threats and, in its early years, was the home of some of Columbus' most prominent entrepreneurs. After a decade of the house sitting in mothballs, TSYS had begun a nearly $4 million renovation of the home for a conference center and board room. The project started almost a year ago and was scheduled to be completed in April 2015. That all ended Sunday. The likely end for what has long been called the Mott House came early Sunday morning when a fire gutted it.


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Sept. 8, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Athens company selected for startup competition

Staff reports that Athens based Vitamin C has just been selected in a regional start-up competition called Spark. The company was selected because it exemplifies a technology-driven, scalable and disruptive company fromt the South. Vitamin C's team, led by Chief Product Officer Osama Hashmi, CTO Jordan Burke and CFO Kim Tri Cao seeks to provide simple patient-doctor connections.


Sept. 8, 2014 GPB

Meet Andrew Hunt, Libertarian Candidate For Governor Of Georgia

Jeanne Bonner reports that two of Georgia’s gubernatorial candidates, Republican Governor Nathan Deal, and Democrat Jason Carter, have made national headlines. But there’s also a third candidate, Libertarian Andrew Hunt. Hunt has received much less publicity but may play a critical role. He is an Atlanta engineer with 50 patents who was CEO of a nanotech firm. Hunt says there’s not enough diversity among elected officials. Occupational diversity, that is.


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

Why criminal justice reform could play big role in final weeks of governor’s race

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal’s criminal justice overhaul is one of the Republican’s rare policies not under attack by Democrat Jason Carter or his allies. And in the final weeks of the race, some voters can expect to hear even more about it from the incumbent’s campaign. The three legs of Deal’s package have sought to keep more nonviolent adult and juvenile offenders out of jail and reduce stubborn recidivism rates. Parts of it have already taken root:  An AJC analysis showed the number of blacks entering the prison system in 2013 was at its lowest level since 1988.



Sept. 5, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Proposed new EPA pesticide rules are toxic, say Georgia agriculture leaders

David Allison reports that Georgia agricultural leaders say a proposal by the EPA to implement a lot of new rules for handling pesticides could be toxic to the state's farms. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed the new regulations in February, saying they are "expected to lead to an overall reduction in incidents of unsafe pesticide exposure and to improve the occupational health of the nation's agricultural workers and pesticide handlers."


Sept. 5, 2014

Deal: American Textile to create more than 100 jobs in Tifton

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that American Textile Company (ATC), a leading provider of innovative sleep solutions, will expand operations in Tifton, creating more than 100 new jobs and investing $10 million over the next three years. “It comes as no surprise that American Textile Company would choose Georgia to expand its operations,” said Deal. “Our state’s No.1 business climate and strong network of textile manufacturing companies make it easy for industry leaders to grow. In a relatively short time, American Textile has proven to be a true team player for economic development in Tifton, and we look forward to its continued success.”


Sept. 5, 2014 Moultrie Observer

For farmers, rain may be too little, too late

Alan Mauldin reports that farmers finally got the rain that’s been discussed for weeks -- a huge amount of rainfall that covered much of the county. But for some dryland farmers, it looks to be a case of “too little, too late,” Colquitt County Extension agent Jeremy Kichler said. “We do have some dryland peanuts that have been severely affected by the drought,” he said. “We are suffering from some drought conditions. This has hurt our dryland production.”


Sept. 5, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Firm acquires $13.5 million in financing for Tybe Island resort

Staff reports that HFF, a nationally known company that helps arrange financing for commercial real estate projects, has announced that it has secured $13.545 million in acquisition financing for the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort on Tybee Island. Working on behalf of Linchris Hotel Corporation, HFF secured the floating-rate loan with M&T Bank. Linchris plans to spend approximately $1.5 million in the first year for property upgrades.


Sept. 5, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Virgin Atlantic will fly from Atlanta to Manchester

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Virgin Atlantic will begin flying from Atlanta to Manchester next summer. The British carrier will take over the route from its partner, Atlanta-based Delta. Delta last year bought a minority stake in Virgin Atlantic and the two carriers formed a strategic alliance.


Sept. 5, 2014 Albany Herald

PDA approves biomass plant at Albany Procter & Gamble campus

Carlton Fletcher reports that a partnership united to bring a $230 million combined heat/biomass renewable energy facility to the Procter & Gamble Albany campus is, according to P&G Global Business Development Manager Bob Bourbon, at “first-and-goal and pushing toward the end zone” after the Albany-Dougherty Payroll Development Authority approved an inducement resolution and agreement in support of the project Thursday morning.


Sept. 5, 2014 GPB

Ebola Stops Mercer University Outreach

Grant Blankenship reports that educational mission work sponsored by Mercer University has been suspended in the wake of the West African Ebola crisis. The Mercer on Mission program has worked for years with the Ricks Institute, a K-12 school in the Liberian capital of Monrovia. Mercer education majors have been working on shoring up teaching efforts at the school in the years since a Mercer alumnus took the helm of the school following the Liberian Civil War.


Sept. 5, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Opening date set for Alpharetta’s Avalon

J. Scott Trubey reports that Avalon, the massive mixed-use project in Alpharetta, will kick off its grand opening Oct. 30 with four days of events. North American Properties, developer of the closely-watched $600 million project, said weekend festivities will include live music, open houses of shops and restaurants, fireworks, trick-or-treating and a viewing party for the Georgia-Florida football game.


Sept. 5, 2014 WABE

College Officials Rethink Approach to Remediation

Martha Dalton reports that educators, business leaders, and lawmakers say students should leave high school “college and career ready”. But in 2011, 20% of Georgia’s college freshmen were not ready. They had to take remedial classes or Learning Support. Officials are now trying to reduce the need for Learning Support and help those students catch up faster.


Sept. 5, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn lays out 8-point plan to help small business

Walter C. Jones reports that Democratic Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn rolled out an eight-point plan for strengthening small business Thursday while touring an incubator for start-ups. Most of the items have been part of her campaign for months, such as providing infrastructure like the Port of Savannah deepening, building the Keystone Pipeline across the Midwest for energy security, a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution and lowering the corporate income-tax rate.


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

Whoops! Nathan Deal accidentally invites Jason Carter to fundraiser

Greg Bluestein reports "This really happened." That's the message from Jason Carter’s campaign, which was surprised – to say the least – to find this invite from his GOP opponent in the mailbox this week.





Sept. 4, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta hotel rates, destination popularity rising

Staff reports that Atlanta remained the 11th most-popular destination for domestic travelers, but rose four spots to 21st most-popular for international travelers in the first half of 2014. A new report from shows Atlanta was the No. 3 most-affordable domestic destination after Las Vegas ($116) and Orlando, Fla., ($103).


Sept. 4, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Proud to be number one

Neely Young writes  Site Selection magazine named Georgia No. 1 in the nation for its business climate and No. 1 for its competitiveness among the states. Our state beat out last year’s winner, Texas, for the award. Sadly, what should have been a point of pride became a political football, because the honor was announced during the Republican and Democratic primaries earlier this year.


Sept. 4, 2014 WABE

Delta Exec Predicts Income of $4 Billion

Jim Burress reports that Delta CFO Paul Jacobson says the airline expects to earn $4 billion in pre-tax income this year. That’s a billion and half more than last year, which was the best in Delta's history. Speaking Wednesday from Boston via webcast, Jacobson inserted some long-term caution with his optimism. “Clearly, a level of growth that long-term may not be sustainable,” he said.


Sept. 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Coca-Cola’s Honest Tea to be sold in Keurig ‘K-cups’

Christopher Seward reports that Honest Tea, an organic tea beverage from Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co., now will be available in “K-cups” from Keurig Green Mountain Inc., the two companies announced Wednesday. The product will be among a line of Keurig offerings that brew hot over ice. Honest Tea will be available starting Thursday on in two selections: unsweetened Just Green and Just Black iced teas.


Sept. 4, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

AGCO and India's TAFE reach agreement governing any buyout deal

David Allison reports that AGCO Corp., one of the world's largest makers of agricultural equipment (NYSE: AGCO), reported Wednesday that it's reached an agreement with its largest shareholder, India's Mallika Srinivasan, governing any potential acquisition of AGCO. Srinivasan's Chennai, India-based company, Tractor and Farm Equipment Limited, or TAFE, now owns more than 8 million shares, or 8.6 percent, of AGCO's stock. 


Sept. 4, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Norcross company celebrates $1.5 million expansion

Kristi Reed reports that a Norcross company specializing in the collection of human plasma is expanding in size and adding staff. ADMA BioCenters will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 4, to celebrate a $1.5-million, 15,000-square-foot expansion at their Jimmy Carter Boulevard facility. The company is also adding 20 new positions.


Sept. 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Oglethorpe University, Gables to partner on apartments

J. Scott Trubey reports that Oglethorpe University and Atlanta-based Gables Residential plan to develop an apartment project with classroom space on land the university owns in Brookhaven. The project, to be known as Gables Oglethorpe at Hermance Drive and Peachtree Road, is expected to open in August 2015 with 374 apartment homes in two buildings.


Sept. 4, 2014 GPB

Green Zone Program Helps Vets On Campus

Emily Jones reports that America’s military prepares to downsize, many are trading in barracks for college dorms. Some are coming home with trauma from life in war zones. And even veterans without complications like post-traumatic stress disorder can feel out of place on campus. That's why some schools are creating “Green Zones” where vets can turn for support.


Sept. 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Decoding a key question: Is Georgia’s economy on the rebound?

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal’s sunny economic pitch hit a new crescendo this week with an optimistic re-election ad that declared “people now have hope.” Democrat Jason Carter, meanwhile, warned that the middle class is being left in the lurch. On one hand, Georgia’s 7.8 percent jobless rate in July is the nation’s second-highest. On the other, Georgia State’s economic forecasting director Rajeev Dhawan says that “the Peach State job engine is indeed humming.”



Sept. 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta notched record $19 billion exports last year

Dan Chapman reports that the Atlanta metropolitan region exported $18.8 billion in goods last year, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported Tuesday. The four percent surge over 2012 positioned Atlanta as the nation’s 18th largest metropolitan area for exports. The manufactured goods shipped beyond U.S. borders supported 202,000 jobs last year too, according to the feds.


Sept. 3, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Back to the business of banking

Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy reports that as the economy continues to pick up speed around the state, Georgia banks are also picking up new customers, making new loans and generally improving right along with other businesses. This comes as no surprise to Rob Braswell, president and CEO of the Community Bankers Association of Georgia (CBA). “Any bank is closely aligned to the health of its community,” he says. “If you see a thriving community, I guarantee you there’s a thriving bank.”


Sept. 3, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Report: Home Depot suffers credit card breach

Phil W. Hudson reports that the Home Depot Inc. may be the most recent retailer to have suffered a major credit card breach. Krebs on Security reported Sept. 2 a large cache of stolen data had appeared on black market sites.  The breach was discovered after a new batch customer’s credit cards labeled “American Sanctions” and “European Sanctions” went on sale Sept. 2, 2014 on the underground store – and were repurchased by the issuing banks.


Sept. 3, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Tourism 'grand slam' fueling area economy

Mary Carr Mayle reports that the next time you find yourself crawling around a square behind one of those horse-drawn carriages or buses filled with tourists, take a deep breath. Smile. Wave. They may be frustratingly slow at times, but those tourists– some 13 million last year alone – are a major reason Savannah’s economy fared better than most in the last decade.It’s the proverbial domino effect.


Sept. 3, 2014 WABE

Still Facing Skepticism, Atlanta Business Community Gradually Re-engaging With APS 

Jonathan Shapiro reports that Atlanta’s business community has been gradually re-engaging with Atlanta Public Schools, raising big sums for APS board candidates and the new superintendent. It follows several years of lying relatively low, and comes as APS leaders increase efforts to rebuild trust with parents.


Sept. 3, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Gwinnett BOC approves $21.9M health care contract

Kristi Reed reports that plan changes in employer-provided health care coverage will save county taxpayers more than $5 million next year according to Gwinnett County Human Resources Director Scott Fuller. On Tuesday, the Board of Commissioners approved a $21.9 million contract with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia to provide a HMO program for eligible employees. The contract, the third of four possible renewals, includes a 14.1 percent rate decrease for coverage under the new silver HMO plan and a 4.2 percent decrease under the new gold plan. The cost during the previous contract period was $27.5 million.


Sept. 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

AGCO cuts jobs in Kansas

Christopher Seward reports that AGCO, the Duluth-based farm equipment maker, said it is laying off 24 workers at a plant in Kansas and said more layoffs may occur in the weeks ahead. The company behind the Massey Ferguson, Challenger and other equipment brands said workers at its Hesston plant will be affected by the initial layoffs. The plant, which employs about 1,500 workers, makes combines, balers and mowers sold in the U.S. and exported around the world.


Sept. 3, 2014 GPB

Emory Researchers Look To Stem Cells For Possible ALS Treatment 

Bradley George reports that Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $100 million for research into Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. It’s an always fatal disease, attacking the body’s nervous system and robbing patients of their ability to walk, talk, and eventually breathe on their own. Major research on ALS is happening right here in Georgia, at Emory University’s ALS Center. The center’s director, Dr. Jonathan Glass, says one possible treatment involves injecting millions of stem cells into the spinal cords of patients.


Sept. 3, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

AGL Resources sells Tropical Shipping

Staff reports that AGL Resources Inc. closed the sale of its Tropical Shipping and Seven Seas Insurance businesses to a unit of Seattle-based freight transportation and distribution company Saltchuk Resources Inc. for $220 million. Atlanta-based AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) has said it expects to incur $60 million in income tax expense and a $19 million impairment loss related to the sale.


Sept. 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

New poll shows Georgia governor, Senate races neck-and-neck

Daniel Malloy reports that Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn have slight leads in their respective races within the margin of error of a new statewide poll out today, commissioned by Columbus-area news outlets. The key findings for governor: – Deal: 43.6 percent – Democrat Jason Carter: 41.5 percent – Libertarian Andrew Hunt: 6.6 percent  For U.S. Senate: – Nunn: 44.7 percent – Republican David Perdue: 43.1 percent – Libertarian Amanda Swafford: 7.4 percent.



Sept. 2, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

September events in Augusta expected to generate $9 million in spending

Tim Rausch reports that September is going to be an almost $9 million month for visitor spending in Augusta. The combination of cyber network discussions, triathletes competing and a downtown international festival will generate $8.97 million in direct visitor spending reported the Augusta Visitor's Bureau and the Augusta Sports Council.    


Sept. 2, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Q&A with Jere Morehead: Expecting excellence

Susan Percy reports, it's hard to imagine anyone better prepared to lead the state's flagship university than Jere Morehead. He's a 1980 UGA Law School graduate who became president in July 2013, after serving time as senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.


Sept. 2, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Part-time questions, full-time jobs the answer, Fed says

Michael Kanell reports that roughly 7.5 million American work part-time even though they want full-time jobs. As the economy has gotten stronger, more part-timers have been sliding back into full-time jobs – but the shift back to full-time has been much slower than the flow into part-time work when the economy went bad.


Sept. 2, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta in Top 20 for tech industry job growth

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that the technology industry is powering the Atlanta job market — and, it seems, quickly filling the city’s office towers. Atlanta ranked 14th among the top 20 metro areas in high-tech job growth, according to real estate firm CBRE Group Inc. Tech employment in Atlanta rose nearly 11 percent between 2011 and 2013; and nearly 15 percent between 2010 and 2012, according to CBRE’s U.S. Tech-Twenty: Measuring Office Market Impact research report.


Sept. 2, 2014 WABE

Local Economists Weigh In On Georgia's Job Market

Michell Eloy reports that earlier this summer, Georgia posted the nation’s second highest unemployment rate, sparking a lot of debate about the health of the state’s job market. So what’s the outlook for Georgia’s job growth? Don Sabbarese, who heads the Econometric Center at Kennesaw State University, says despite Georgia’s high unemployment, he’s optimistic the state’s job growth.


Sept. 2, 2014

Report: Atlanta among leading cities for Seoul student spenders

Trevor Williams reports that China may reign in sending students to Georgia, but broken down by metro area, Atlanta’s connections to the South Korea's capital could prove most productive economically.  A new analysis of F-1 student visa data by the Brookings Institution shows that Atlanta attracted 1,715 students from Seoul, three times as many as from Beijing. That made Atlanta the fifth largest metropolitan magnet for Seoul scholars behind Los AngelesNew YorkBoston and San Francisco.                 


Sept. 2, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Time Warner, Vice end talks regarding HLN venture

Matt Kempner and J. Scott Trubey report that Time Warner, the parent company of Turner Broadcasting, and Vice Media have ended talks about a partnership, the head of HLN said in a memo to staff Thursday. Albie Hecht sent a note to staff saying “negotiations with Vice have ended,” adding that “I want to thank each of you for your passion, patience and support over the past few months.”


Sept. 2, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia moves to forefront of cyberwar

Dave Williams and Urvaksh Karkaria report that the U.S. Army is putting Georgia at the center of its 21st century war-fighting. The Army plans to locate its new Army Cyber Command Headquarters at Fort Gordon near Augusta, consolidating cybersecurity functions for the first time and generating nearly 4,000 jobs.


Sept. 2, 2014 Georgia Health News

Another insurance deadline only days away

Andy Miller reports that   than 20,000 Georgians have until next Friday to provide missing information or they will lose their insurance exchange coverage Sept. 30.The regional administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told GHN on Friday that most of the data discrepancies involve immigration or citizenship issues.



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Sept. 2, 2014 GPB

Georgia Peanut Farmers Hope For More Rain Ahead Of Harvest

Bradley George reports that heat and a lack of rain are causing problems for Georgia peanut farmers. Scott Monfort, peanut agronomist for UGA Extension in Tifton, says most farmers were getting along okay until last week...when temperatures soared into the upper 90s in much of South Georgia. “For the most part, the guys that can water, the crop is probably going to be as good as it has been in the last couple of years. But this other issue, this non-irrigated acres and the drought has caused this crop to really go another way in a hurry," Monfort says. 


Sept. 2, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

World is on brink of unprecedented wave of extinctions, says UGA's Farmer

Lee Shearer reports that the world is on the brink of one of the greatest die-offs of animals and plants in the planet's history, a University of Georgia professor said in the first lecture in a series about the impacts humans are having on the world. Rapid environmental change underlies extinctions; habitat loss, pollution, temperature change and the introduction of non-native plants, said Mark Farmer, an evolutionary biologist and head of UGA's Biological Science Division.


Sept. 2, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Jimmy Carter: No peace without justice for Palestinians

Jim Galloway reports that as advertised, former President Jimmy Carter on Saturday addressed the Islamic Society of North America, the largest Muslim organization in this part of the world. From the Detroit News: “You can’t bring peace to the Middle East without justice and human rights for the Palestinians,” Carter told a packed hall at Cobo Center. “When my prayers are answered and we have peace in that Holy Land then the Israelis and all their neighbors will be blessed to live in peace and prosperity.”




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.