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April 24, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Anxiety fading as a profitable Synovus gathers the shareholder faithful

Tony Adams reports that it's been a long road back from the brink of a financial crisis, a journey that at times angered shareholders of Synovus Financial Corp,, prompting some to be more vocal than others. On Thursday, Julie Werner, a Warner Robins, Ga., resident and investor of Synovus stock since the late 1990s, was back once again at the regional bank’s annual meeting podium, asking questions of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kessel Stelling.


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April 24, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Sports Desk: Masters Memories

Loran Smith writes, historically, The Masters has had enough high drama to warrant it being described as the classic sporting event – the ultimate in championship praise – but there is more to excite than the competition itself. If you’ve ever been there, you know what I’m talking about. The heart-thumping birdies and the costly bogeys, the come-from-behind finishes, the history and the traditions remind us that the Masters is an elite event that brings us back year after year with the keenest anticipation. 


April 24, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Local CEO discusses $2.1 billion deal as stock soars

Matt Kempner reports that f


April 24, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Bio teams with Innovation Crescent to promote Georgia’s life sciences sector

Staff reports that the Innovation Crescent Regional Partnership and Georgia Bio on Thursday agreed formally to work together to promote Georgia’s life science industry. The ICRP will serve as one of Georgia Bio’s economic development partners and Georgia Bio will support the ICRP in marketing the region to recruit, retain and expand life science companies in the state, the organizations said in a joint announcement.


April 24, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Cox to present free computers to Middle Georgia families

Staff reports that Cox Communications will present 70 Middle Georgia families with a free refurbished desktop computer Thursday at the Cox Capitol Theater in downtown Macon. In order to receive the computer, families had to show a commitment to their student’s education during the months of February and March by signing up for the Connect2Compete program, according to a news release. Connect2Compete is a K12 program run by EveryoneOn, a national, not-for-profit organization that connects low income families with reduced price high speed Internet, reduced priced computers and free digital training.


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April 24, 2015 Georgia Health News

Grady settles with state in overbilling case

Andy Miller reports that Grady Health System has agreed to pay $2.95 million to settle charges that it improperly billed Medicaid for treatment to neonatal intensive care (NICU) patients, the Georgia attorney general announced Thursday. The state of Georgia alleged that Grady inflated billings for certain services provided to these NICU patients, resulting in either unjustified or inflated payments from Medicaid.


April 24, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Second round of renovations starting soon at Partridge Inn

Jenna Martin reports that the second phase of construction at the historic Wal­ton Way hotel will begin May 4. Once completed, it will leave the bar, restaurant and front lobby entirely revamped with modern furnishings.


April 24, 2015 GPB

National Park Tourism In Georgia Generates Economic Benefit

Staff reports that a report released by the National Park Services shows that visitors to State Parks in Georgia spent $378 million in the state in 2014. The visitor spending supported over 6,000 jobs in the state and cumulatively benefited to the state economy of $531.7 million. According to the report, park visitors spent the most money on lodging. Other expenses accounted for included food, beverages, gas, admissions and souvenirs. 


April 24, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

"King" and "Queen" towers sold in a nearly $500 million deal

Douglas Sams reports that the “King” and “Queen” towers overlooking the Atlanta Perimeter have sold to Stamford, Conn.-based Building and Land Technology, a nearly $500 million deal that continues to show a resurgence of confidence in the region’s office market. Building and Land Technology (BLT) announced today that it had closed on the more than 2-million-square-foot Concourse Corporate Center development, which includes the “King and Queen” towers. 


April 24, 2015 Albany Herald

Georgia bald eagles reach some record numbers

Staff reports that four decades after bald eagles almost disappeared from Georgia, some of the American symbol’s numbers have reached all-time highs in the Peach State, Department of Natural Resources officials said Thursday. According to preliminary results of aerial surveys done in January and March, officials with the Georgia DNR’s Nongame Conservation Section counted 210 occupied nesting territories, 166 successful nests and 270 young fledged. 


April 24, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

Officials: Transportation bill could come up short $100M

Hilary Butschek reports that leaders in the county and state transportation departments said Thursday the widely reported $900 million number the state transportation bill was expected to collect every year may turn out to be $100 million off. The Transportation Funding Act of 2015, House Bill 170, approved by the Georgia General Assembly this year, was expected to bring in an annual $900 million to spend on improving roadways in the state. However, Kathy Zahul, a district engineer with the Georgia Department of Transportation, said at the Cobb Chamber’s Smyrna Area Council meeting Thursday, the predicted revenue the bill could bring in for the state is still in flux and could end up being lower than the original estimate.



April 24, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Sally Yates’ Deputy A.G. nomination clears committee

Daniel Malloy reports that former Atlanta U.S. Attorney Sally Q. Yates cleared an important milestone on her way to the No. 2 job at the U.S. Department of Justice. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 18-2 to clear Yates’ nomination, as chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, declared Yates to be a less controversial choice than Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch. Among the yes votes was Georgia Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue.




April 23, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

United Community Bank merging with S.C.’s Palmetto Bank

Christopher Seward reports that 


April 23, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Four for the future

Jerry Grillo and Lindsay Thomas Jr. report that, as Georgia continues to gain a solid economic foothold in these post-recession years, communities across the state are finding that by partnering together, a positive vision can lead to concrete change citizens are eager to support. For the third year in a row, the University of Georgia’s Public Service and Outreach (PSO) division and Georgia Trend magazine have recognized four communities that have worked across public-private sectors and nonprofit boundaries on challenging issues to improve the quality of life for their citizens.


April 23, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta Hawks sold to Ares’ Ressler for $850 million, group includes Sara Blakely and Grant Hill

Phil W. Hudson and Jacques Couret report the Atlanta Hawks have a new owner -- a group led by Ares Management LP’s billionaire co-founder Tony Ressler, a person familiar with the matter told Atlanta Business ChronicleRessler’s group paid nearly $850 million, Atlanta Business Chronicle has learned. The price is the second-most ever paid for a National Basketball Association team behind Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers.


April 23, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post 

Proposed $70 million hotel for Gwinnett Center closer to reality

Curt Yeomans reports that the Gwinnett Center is one step closer to gaining a 300-room, full-service Marriott hotel. The Gwinnett County Convention and Visititors Bureau's Board of Directors unananimously agreed to recommend approval of a proposed ground lease for a five-acre site at the center. Approval of the lease by commissioners would clear the way for construction of a headquarters hotel. County commissioners are expected to vote at their April 28 public hearing.


April 23, 2015 UGA

UGA, Food Bank of Northeast Georgia partner to increase access to local food, jobs

J. Merritt Melancon reports that the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia's food hub, housed in its Rabun County facility, will be the first in the country to leverage a regional food bank's supply chain to help farmers aggregate and preserve their produce. In partnership with University of Georgia Extension, the organizations will join forces to increase access to local food and local jobs. UGA Extension will provide food hub farmers with business and technical training needed to make the most of the new distribution system.


April  23 2015 Georgia Health News

Georgia fires back on nursing home payments

Andy Miller reports that the commissioner of Georgia’s Medicaid agency has written a sharply worded defense of nursing home payments now deemed improper by the federal government. A federal ruling saying Georgia should return more than $100 million in nursing home payments “is factually and legally incorrect,’’ Clyde Reese, commissioner of the Department of Community Health, wrote in a February letter to a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) official in Atlanta.


April 23, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

ARRIS acquiring British tech company for $2.1 billion

Christopher Seward reports that 


April 23, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

NCR considering strategic alternatives including sale of company

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that technology giant NCR Corp. (NYSE:NCR) is considering "strategic alternatives" as the Duluth-based technology giant pivots from hardware to software and services. NCR is considering options including the spinoff or sale of assets, or a return of cash to investors through a dividend or share buyback, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. A full sale of the company is also on the table, but some of the people cautioned that is a less-likely outcome.


April 23, 2015 WABE

Ga. League Of Women Voters Oppose Restricting Early Voting

Staff reports that former Secretary of State and former New York Senator Hillary Clinton, who just announced her second bid for the White House, is not the first woman to run for President of the United States. The League of Women Voters knows that fact firsthand. They have played a key role over the years, both in securing women’s right to vote, and encouraging women of all political stripes to run for public office. Karlise Grier is Vice President of Voter Services for the League of Women Voters of Atlanta-Fulton County.  The League monitors Georgia legislation and issues weekly reports during the legislative session.


April 23, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Sam Olens and the rapidly changing landscape of gay marriage

Jim Galloway reports that on Wednesday, Attorney General Sam Olens indicated that, should the U.S. Supreme Court rule the way many suspect it will this summer, Georgia’s formal, legal antipathy to same-sex unions will vanish as quickly as the flick of a light switch. High court arguments are scheduled for next week. A decision could come in late June. Georgia’s 2004 constitutional ban on gay marriage, which Olens is currently defending in federal court, will stand or fall with it.



April 22, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

Clear-cutting by St. Simons developers spurs call for more stringent tree ordinance

Mike Morrison reports that developers' clear cutting of old growth trees on St. Simons island upset residents and sewed the seeds for a stronger tree ordinance. The island's old live oaks and other indigenous trees need protecting, residents argue, and the Glynn County Commission is looking for ways to accommodate them. But some commissioners expressed reluctance during a work session Tuesday at doing anything that would interfere with private property rights "If the property belongs to me, by God, I'll cut down every tree on it if I want to," Commissioner Richard Strickland said.  


April 22, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Spotted in Georgia: Oakland Cemetery

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery is a peaceful, lovely spot no matter what time of year, but especially beautiful in the spring when flowers and flowering trees pay tribute to those who have passed and those who grieve. The grounds are an example of a garden cemetery of the 19th century, featuring winding paths and an abundance of greenery. Buried in the cemetery are notable Georgians Margaret Mitchell, Bobby Jones, and others including business leaders, Civil War soldiers and Civil Rights heroes. 


April 22, 2015

Deal signs Opportunity School District, education reform into law        

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal today signed legislation that would implement an Opportunity School District (OSD) to turn around failing schools. This law provides the framework for how the OSD would work should voters approve a constitutional amendment in 2016.  "By signing the Opportunity School District bill, we are promising better days ahead for students trapped in failing schools,” Deal said. "The power of positive change now rests in the hands of Georgia’s voters, and I know they share my belief that every child can learn and should have access to a high-quality education that prepares them for the workforce or for college.


April 22, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

GSMST again tops Georgia schools in national rankings

Keith Farner reports that the Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology should make room for more hardware. The Lawrenceville charter school remained on top of a ranking by the Washington Post's list of "most challenging" high schools across the country. GSMST was named the top school in Georgia on the list, 10th in the South and 26th in the country out of 2,300 schools.


April 22, 2015 GPB

Pipeline Hearing Draws Overflow Crowd, Mostly Opposed To Palmetto

Sarah McCammon reports that hundreds of coastal Georgia residents turned out Tuesday night in Richmond Hill for the first official public hearing on the Palmetto Pipeline proposal - most to say they don't want it here. The Houston-based energy company Kinder Morgan wants to build the 360-mile pipeline to carry oil and gas through South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. As a first step, the Georgia Department of Transportation is considering a request for a certificate that would allow the company to use eminent domain to acquire land.  


April 22, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Shepherd Center partners with Craig Hospital, Kindred Healthcare

Ellie Hensley reports that Atlanta-based Shepherd Center and Englewood, Colo.-based Craig Hospital, two of the nation’s leading rehabilitation hospitals, have teamed up with health care services company Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND). The goal of the partnership is to improve patient care across the health continuum by sharing their services. Gary Ulicny, president and CEO of the Shepherd Center, said it was a “win-win.”


April 22, 2015 Macon Telegraph

New, large development proposed for north Macon

Linda S. Morris reports that a new 314,000-square-foot development with a mix of big box and smaller retailers, restaurants and a hotel is planned off Macon’s Bass Road. The project with a proposed name of North Macon Promenade is the second large retail development recently planned for the same general area. The latest development would be built on a portion of a 38-acre site at 1625 Bass Road and 200 Starcadia Circle.

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April 22, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Update: Synovus reports $51.4 million profit in first quarter, up 12 percent

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Tony Adams reports that, doing what Synovus Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kessel Stelling has often called basic blocking and tackling — a football term — the Southeast regional bank reported a profit Tuesday of $51.4 million in the first quarter of this year, or 38 cents per share. That’s up 12 percent from common stock net income of $45.9 million, or 33 cents per share, recorded in the January-March period of 2014.


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April 22, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia-Pacific sues Aldi, 2 tissue makers over Angel Soft ‘imitation’

Christopher Seward reports that 


April 22, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

India's "Tractor Queen" buys another $18M of AGCO shares

David Allison reports that one of the best known women entrepreneurs in India is once again plowing millions of dollars into the stock of U.S. agricultural equipment maker AGCO Corp. Mallika Srinivasan, who Forbes described in 2012 as " the tractor queen" of India, has in recent weeks bought nearly 400,000 shares of AGCO (NYSE: AGCO) at a total cost of $18.6 million.


April 22, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Johnny Isakson will vote ‘no’ on Loretta Lynch for A.G.

Daniel Malloy reports that Georgia Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson will vote against confirming Loretta Lynch for Attorney General. Lynch’s nomination is finally expected to hit the floor in the coming days, after Senate leaders announced an agreement this morning on a human trafficking bill. Isakson’s delegation mate, Sen. David Perdue, also opposes Lynch and voted against her nomination in committee in February.



April 21, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Morehouse School of Medicine gets $1.2M grant

Ellie Hensley reports that Morehouse School of Medicine received $1.2 million in grant funding and in-kind support by the United Health Foundation and Optum. The funds will support Morehouse School of Medicine’s (MSM) Patient-Centered Medical Home and Neighborhood Project, which provides primary care and various community engagement programs to help improve health in and around Atlanta’s East Point area.


April 21, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Savannah - Room to Grow

Kevin Hogencamp reports that on the heels of the most successful year in Georgia seaport history, and after two painstaking decades of planning and politicking, Savannah’s harbor expansion is becoming a delectable reality in 2015. Indeed, the major sectors of Chatham County’s economy – ports and logistics, manufacturing, tourism, healthcare and government – advanced in 2014, largely in record-breaking fashion, says Trip Tollison, the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA) president and CEO.


April 21, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

Westin on Jekyll Island opens with Monday ribbon-cutting

Terry Dickson reports that the builders and operators of the new $41 million Westin hotel ceremonially cut a ribbon Monday marking the opening of the island's second new hotel in four decades. The new hotel with its 187 guest rooms and 13 suites is close to the centerpieces of revitalization on Jekyll Island. A short walk through a new retail center leads to the fairly new and increasingly popular convention center, and the beach and the Atlantic Ocean are just out the front door. 


April 21, 2015 Brunswick News

Jekyll Island faces disappearing beaches, again

Donna Stillinger reports that with new hotels and retail shopping spaces opening on Jekyll Island, more tourists will be drawn to the island for fun in the sun.  Because of future crowds, erosion on the north end of the island is becoming a greater concern to those in charge of managing the state park. There’s even talk by at least one expert about looking at a beach nourishment project. At a Jekyll Island Authority board meeting Monday, Kevin Bodge from Olsen Coastal Engineering said the island is getting smaller.


April 21, 2015 Saporta Report

Savannah port to handle more freight, but how will roads, rails handle extra load? 

David Pendered reports that one aspect of the Savannah Harbor deepening project has received scant attention: How is all that additional freight to get in and out of the port? New York’s answer to its growing volume is six-hour traffic jams at its terminals. Curtis Foltz doesn’t expect Savannah to follow New York’s lead. But Foltz, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, sees road and rail access to the port as an important issue the state and federal governments can’t afford to ignore.


April 21, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

CNN boosts political reporting with 40 new hires

Staff reports that CNN has hired nearly 40 political reporters in time for the 2016 election cycle in a attempt to bolster ratings, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood reporter said new hires include “ABC News’ Jeff Zeleny, Washington Post alum Nia-Malika Henderson, the L.A. Times’ Maeve Reston and Wall Street Journal veteran Sara Murray.”


April 21, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

UGA's Grady College honors distinguished alumni

Staff reports that the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication continued its centennial celebration Saturday night with a gala recognizing some of the school's most distinguished graduates. Among those honored Saturday at the Classic Center in downtown Athens were four Grady graduates who received Alumni Awards, which Dean Charles Davis said "serve as a vivid reminder of the excellence of our graduates. From the boardroom to the classroom, Grady graduates lead."


April 21, 2015 Cherokee Tribune

Rising stars: Universal Alloy named Boeing's Supplier of the Year

Michelle Babcock reports that a Canton-based corporation that builds airplane components earned a Supplier of the Year award from the Boeing aircraft manufacturing company, based on quality, on-time delivery, support, cost and the corporation’s ability to work with changing customer needs. Universal Alloy Corporation manufactures several components used to build airplanes, from the wings to the cabin floors, and officials said they were proud to earn the honor of being one of the 15 suppliers of the year for Boeing.


April 21, 2015 Georgia Health News

Feds want $100 million back in Medicaid flap

Federal officials want Georgia Medicaid to return more than $100 million in payments made to nursing homes. The feds say these payments were not permitted under the program’s regulations. The payments were made in fiscal years 2010 and 2011. But the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also asked Georgia to return any similarly inappropriate payments for more recent fiscal years as well.


April 21, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

​Another sign that ‘religious liberty’ is making a comeback in Georgia

Greg Bluestein reports that Georgia’s “religious liberty” effort got a ringing endorsement from the Republican base over the weekend. GOP activists gathered over the weekend for Congressional District gatherings across the state, and grassroots organizers in 11 of the 14 districts adopted resolutions embracing the stalled legislation. State Sen. Josh McKoon, the Columbus Republican who championed the legislation, noted that the resolution that passed in each district specifically called for the House to pass the legislation, Senate Bill 129, without any amendment. He said it was a “loud and clear message” that activists wanted that the Republican base wants action on the controversial legislation.





April 20, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Braves development team talks mixed-use plans

J. Scott Trubey reports that top decision-makers for the Atlanta Braves new ballpark and mixed-use development shared some of their ingredients for what they say will be a winning complex Thursday at an event for real estate professionals near the future SunTrust Park. There will be high-end retailers on par with J.Crew, Anthropologie and lululemon, but not ultra-luxury brands such as Gucci. Some will be new merchants never before seen in metro Atlanta. 


April 20, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Creating Opportunities

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that re-shoring isn’t a word that has been bandied about much in the United States over the past 20 years. In fact, as manufacturers moved production overseas, the word heard most often was off-shoring. All that is changing, however, as labor costs rise in China and manufacturing goes increasingly high-tech. Many companies are finding that it makes financial sense to bring production back home, and they are often moving to the Southeast, thanks to our history of manufacturing, a lower cost of living and the availability of skilled labor.


April 20, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Michelle Nunn to become next CEO of CARE

Maria Saporta reports that the next president and chief executive officer of CARE will be Atlanta’s own Michelle Nunn, who will begin her new job July 1. Nunn will succeed Helene Gayle, who has been CARE’s president and CEO since 2006.


April 20, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Watkinsville bakery's products coming to Whole Foods

Chris Starrs report that Kiki's Bakery in Watkinsville will commemorate its first anniversary with a pair of milestone events. Kirsten "Kiki" Bradford said earlier this week that on Saturday, April 25, the popular bakery will host Customer Appreciation Day. The bakery's other breakthrough occurance will come next month when three of the bakery's most popular items will find their way into the 33 Whole Foods stores in six Southeastern states. 


April 20, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

South Carolina-to-Jacksonville pipeline could use old eminent domain laws to take needed land

Mary Landers reports that energy giant Kinder Morgan plans to build its Palmetto Pipeline across 210 miles of Georgia to tie into an existing pipeline and bring gasoline and diesel from the Gulf Coast and ethanol from South Carolina to terminals in North Augusta, S.C., Richmond Hill, Ga., and Jacksonville. Petroleum pipelines have a peculiar past in Georgia. Their history was built on support of national defense in World War II and altered in the 1990s by angry and influential plantation owners. Now, a new chapter that's unfolded with a series of bureaucratic missteps is testing a 20-year-old Georgia law for only the second time.   


April 20, 2015 GPB

Beer/TV Studio Sets Up Shop In Gwinnett

Staff reports that Gwinnett County is now home to what county and state economic developers say is the largest television production studio under one roof in the United States: 690,000 square feet. Eagle Rock Studios Atlanta Tuesday announced the grand opening of four new sound stages in a former warehouse for Kraft Foods. 


April 20, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Aaron’s “spying” lawsuit moves forward

Leon Stafford reports that a 


April 20, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Amazon’s cloud biz blows into Atlanta

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Atlanta is about to land another technology whale. Internet services juggernaut (Nasdaq: AMZN) is expected to expand its cloud computing services business in Atlanta with a new office that would accommodate up to 200 people. Seattle-based Amazon, which did not return calls and emails, will join several West Coast companies including Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) and Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) who have put engineering and sales outposts in Atlanta, lured by the city’s low cost of living and abundant skilled talent.


April 20, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

30 Years of Music in Our Schools Month

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that the image of musician as slacker should now be a thing of the past. After all, studies show that kids who play music do better in other classes at school and have improved test scores. To celebrate the importance of music education, 30 years ago March was declared national Music in Our Schools Month. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Music in Our Schools Month, last month, Savannah Friends of Music, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support, sponsor and promote classical music programs and music education in the greater Savannah area, sponsored several events in area schools.


April 20, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Michelle Nunn named as head of Atlanta-based CARE

Jim Galloway reports that former U.S. senate candidate Michelle Nunn has been named president and CEO of CARE USA, the 70-year-old, Atlanta-based relief agency, the organization announced Sunday. Nunn replaces Helene Gayle, who is stepping down after nearly a decade at the helm of an organization that reported a 90-country reach and annual operating revenues of $410 million in 2013.




April 17, 2015 WABE

Georgia Introduces New Drought Rule

Molly Samuels reports that California will start to enforce new water restrictions in response to the drought that’s dragged on for four years. Georgia isn’t in a drought now, but state officials are preparing for the next one. Earlier this week, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources released updates to its drought rule that would dictate how droughts get declared and what happens when they do.


April 17, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Organizations: Wholesome Wave Georgia

Candice Dyer reports that estimated 30 percent of Georgians reside in “food deserts,” with little or no access to fresh groceries. When the only fare available is high in calories and low in nutrition, obesity rates soar and health suffers. Enter Wholesome Wave Georgia (WWG), a nonprofit that increases the availability of wholesome, locally grown food in a way that helps consumers, farmers and the economy. The group, based in Atlanta, doubles each dollar spent with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, more commonly known as “food stamps”) at farmers markets across the state, so shoppers increase their buying power with fruits and veggies while growers also reap rewards.


April 17, 2015 Greater Dalton Chamber 

Brian Anderson Resigns as President & CEO of the Greater Dalton Chamber 

Staff reports that the Board of Directors of the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce announced today that President & CEO Brian Anderson has resigned to accept the same position with the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber. Anderson has been the President & CEO of the Dalton Chamber since 2008. He will join the Greater Columbus Chamber in early June. "Although we are disappointed to lose Brian as our President & CEO, he has given fully of himself in leading our Chamber and our community.  I am confident he will be just as successful in Columbus.  We wish he and Heather our best in Columbus," said Robert Smalley of McCamy, Phillips, Tuggle & Fordham, LLP, and Chairman of the Greater Dalton Chamber Executive Board.


April 17, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Southern Co. expands solar power portfolio

Christopher Seward reports that 


April 17, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Acuity Brands adds to the fold with ByteLight acquisition

Staff reports that Acuity Brands Inc. bought ByteLight Inc., a Boston-based maker of indoor location software for LED lighting. Financial terms were not disclosed. Atlanta-based Acuity (NYSE: AYI) said ByteLight pioneered the use of Visible Light Communication and Bluetooth low energy technologies in combination with smart-phone Apps and Cloud services to transform LED lighting into indoor location waypoints.


April 17, 2015 Georgia Health News

Chief of nursing home groups steps down

Andy Miller reports that Jon Howell has resigned as president and CEO of the state’s powerful nursing home association, the group announced Thursday. The Georgia Health Care Association said Howell offered his resignation “to preserve the unity of the statewide association.” A spokesman for GHCA, Dan Curran, told Georgia Health News that there was “a difference of opinion on an internal policy matter.”


April 17, 2015 Albany Herald

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital consolidating surgical services to main campus

Jennifer Parks reports that Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital officials have announced that they will began taking steps toward refocusing the Phoebe North facility, starting with the temporary consolidation of surgical services while further evaluation is done concerning the hospital’s future. Phoebe officials say health care delivery, and the needs of the Southwest Georgia community, have changed over the five years since the acquisition of Phoebe North, formerly Palmyra Medical Center. Inpatient utilization has fallen, not just at Phoebe, but throughout all hospitals, Phoebe officials said.


April 17, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Fort Benning holds groundbreaking for $75 million solar panel farm

Ben Wright reports that a groundbreaking ceremony will be held Friday at Fort Benning on Georgia Power plans to build a $75 million solar panel farm, one of the largest renewable solar power projects in the state. The event is set for 9 a.m. at the Uchee Creek Campground with officials from the post, Georgia Power and the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives. The solar project at Fort Benning and two other installations in the state will provide a 30-megawatt, alternating current, solar photovoltaic array on each post, said Dave Foster, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon.


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April 17, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Virginia-based company buys solar facility in Twiggs County

Linda S. Morris reports that a Virginia-based company has acquired a 20-megawatt solar facility in Twiggs County. Dominion Resources Inc. has bought the Richland Solar Center near Jeffersonville from HelioSage Energy, according to a news release. The facility, which has a 20-year power purchase agreement and interconnection agreements with Georgia Power, is expected to enter service in 2015. An engineering, procurement and construction contract has also been signed.

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April 17, 2015 Brunswick News

Hotel could take the place of the county's old detention center

Donna Stillinger reports that a new waterfront hotel could be coming to downtown Brunswick. Glynn County commission chairman Dale Provenzano told commissioners Thursday night that a developer has made inquiry into using the former detention center at 1812 Newcastle Street as part of a two to three-story hotel.


April 17, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Benfield to head Atlanta Office of Sustainability

Dave Williams reports that former Georgia Rep. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield has been appointed director of Atlanta’s Office of Sustainability, Mayor Kasim Reed announced Thursday. Benfield, a longtime environmental advocate, succeeds Denise Quarles, who is leaving city government for the private sector.


April 17, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Silver Airlines to launch nonstop service between Savannah and Orlando

Mary Carr Mayle reports that Florida-based Silver Airways announced Thursday it will begin daily nonstop flights between Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport and Orlando International Airport on June 23. According to the airline’s website, flights begin at $99 one way. “We are thrilled to be bringing the airline of choice for Florida and the Bahamas to the Southeast,” said Silver Airways CEO Sami Teittinen. “We look forward to providing customers with our convenient and much-needed flights linking Savannah-Hilton Head and Orlando, as well as one-stop connections to other Silver Airways destinations in Florida and the Bahamas.”


April 17, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Governor signs bill making medical marijuana legal in Georgia

Greg Bluestein reports that 






April 16, 2015 WABE

Delta Sees Record Profit, Slower International Traffic

Jim Burress reports that Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines posted on Wednesday a record profit for the first three months of the year. Net income climbed to $746 million. After special items, Delta posted a profit of 45 cents per share, beating analysts' expectations. “The business on the whole is performing quite well," said Delta CEO Richard Anderson on an investor conference call. 


April 16, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Economic Development - April 2015

Christy Simo reports that a $200-million, 50-MW biomass plant will soon power Procter & Gamble’s facility in Albany. Developed in partnership with Constellation, the plant will supply 100 percent of the steam needed to run the P&G facility and up to 70 percent of the total energy used to make its Bounty paper towels and Charmin toilet tissue. The facility will provide up to 500 construction jobs and 50 to 70 permanent jobs once it is operating in 2017.


April 16, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Rallies in metro Atlanta, U.S. highlight pay gaps

David Markiewicz reports that l


April 16, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Kaiser Permanente to put "IT campus" in Midtown Atlanta; create 900 jobs

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente will plant a $20 million "information technology campus" in Midtown Atlanta — a project that will create about 900 jobs. In December, Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported that the health care provider and medical insurer was scouting Atlanta buildings for the 150,000 square-foot project. In March, the Chronicle reported Kaiser had zeroed in on Midtown's Pershing Point Plaza.


April 16, 2015

Georgia Ports record March could indicate 'Market Shift'

Trevor Williams reports that maybe he didn’t want to rub it in, but Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz didn’t point the finger at West Coast ports when describing the factors that led to a record March for the Port of Savannah’s container terminal. In his view, it wasn’t attributable only to the nine-month labor dispute that caused backlogs forcing shippers to find alternate routes for their cargo. It was a confluence of factors, including the challenge ports in Virginia and New York had in handling that displaced demand, combined with the recovery of the U.S. economy in general and the growth of manufacturing activity in the Southeast in particular.  


April 16, 2015 Saporta Report 

KSU’s school of culinary sustainability to be named for chief of Georgia Aquarium   

David Pendered reports that the burgeoning degree program of culinary sustainability at Kennesaw State University will be housed in a school named for Michael Leven, the president/CEO of the Georgia Aquarium who made a $5 million commitment to the program, the state Board of Regents decided Wednesday. “It is an honor for me to associate my name with Kennesaw State,” Leven said in a statement released by KSU.


April 16, 2015 Georgia Health News

Wellness now the watchword at many workplaces

Rebekah Ryan reports that Michael Tribbett’s blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol level were soaring when he signed up for free wellness classes offered at work. But Tribbett, a maintenance worker at a poultry processing facility, came away from the classes filled with energy and new resolve. “I’m not ready to die yet, I’m ready to live,” said Tribbett, 60, who works for Fieldale Farms Corp. in Cornelia. Fieldale Farms, which also has operations in Gainesville, is one of the largest independent poultry producers in the world. The company has nearly 5,000 employees.


April 16, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta plans to cut back international flying

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that 


April 16, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia’s unemployment rate at 6.3 percent in March

Carla Caldwell reports that Georgia’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate for March was 6.3 percent, unchanged from February, matching its lowest level since July 2008, the Georgia Department of Labor said early Thursday. The rate was 7.3 percent a year ago.


April 16, 2015 Macon Telegraph 

Georgia Power pulls plug on Plant Branch on Lake Sinclair

Liz Fabian reports that with its smokestacks rising up from the shores of Lake Sinclair, Plant Harllee Branch was once the shining star of Georgia Power’s electricity industry. What became the state’s first million-kilowatt power plant in 1969 is sputtering out of existence.


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April 16, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Craft brewers fall victim to the ‘Baptist-bootlegger’ connection

Jim Galloway reports that in Georgia, you can buy apples where they grow apples, and onions where they grow onions. You can buy rugs where they make rugs, and newspapers where they make newspapers. Sometimes, you can even buy laws where they make laws. But under no circumstances can you buy beer where they make beer.




April 15, 2015 Georgia Health News

Medicaid care coordination put back on hold

Andy Miller reports that the state has shelved its attempt to coordinate care of Medicaid beneficiaries who are elderly or disabled. The Georgia Department of Community Health said Tuesday that it was not proceeding “at this time’’ with soliciting bids from potential vendors to operate the program. The agency’s statement, made in an email to GHN, follows the General Assembly’s removal of $12 million in state funds, intended for the startup of the program, from the fiscal 2016 budget proposed by Gov. Nathan Deal.


April 15, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

South Metro: Start your engines!

Randy Southerland reports that the motto for South Metro Atlanta in recent years could very well be “Lights! Camera! Action!” With the emphasis on action. It’s true the Southside has attracted more than its share of film crews and film studios, but the action can also be found in nearly every aspect of the economy and economic development. Not only is the region – which includes the southern end of Fulton, along with Clayton, Coweta, Fayette, Henry and Spalding counties – coming back from the recession, but it’s finally coming into its own.


April 15, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

UMCOR moving HQ to Atlanta

Ellie Hensley reports that the United Methodist Committee on Relief will move its headquarters from New York to Atlanta by October 2016. UMCOR is a not-for-profit international humanitarian aid organization that focuses on hunger, disasters and peace. In 2013, UMCOR’s total revenue was $79 million, which would make it 19th on Atlanta Business Chronicle’s List of top nonprofits.


April 15, 2015 Georgia CEO 

Electronic Signature Company, AssureSign, Acquires 3PV; Relocates Headquarters to Atlanta

Staff reports that electronic signature company, AssureSign, today announced the acquisition of Third Party Verification, Inc. (3PV), an industry leader in third party verification (TPV) software, making AssureSign the first electronic signature software provider to offer verbal signature services. 3PV’s technology is currently used by telecommunications, utilities, service and insurance providers to secure verbal authorizations for transactions. The move accelerates AssureSign’s expansion of its services and its technology infrastructure as a response to increased business and customer demand for electronic and verbal signature capabilities.


April 15, 2015 WABE 

Georgia University System Approves Tuition Hikes

Elly Yu reports that tuition will go up again for Georgia’s public colleges and universities starting this fall. The Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the increases Tuesday. Students at Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia will pay 9 percent more in tuition, or about $400 per semester.


April 15, 2015 Macon Telegraph

478 Bibb Fund awards micro-grant to small business in downtown Macon

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Linda S. Morris reports that the owners of GeorgiaPallet recently were awarded a micro-grant from the 478 Bibb Fund, a group supporting new businesses. Mollie Davis and Andrew Eck, co-owners of GeorgiaPallent were awarded $2,000 after submitting plans to launch a website and expand their creative services, according to a news release.


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April 15, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

PrimeRevenue rings up $80M in funding, plans to add 100 jobs

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Atlanta-based PrimeRevenue Inc. has raised $80 million in a financing round led by private equity firm BBH Capital Partners. The supply chain finance firm plans to add about 100 jobs in the next several months. Created in 2003, PrimeRevenue enables suppliers of global Fortune 1000 companies, such as Volvo, Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) and Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR), to get paid faster, freeing up cash flow to make payroll and invest back into the business.


April 15, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Favorite places in Georgia

Karen Kirkpatrick writes, what started as one of those Facebook quizzes – you know the ones, “What breed of dog would you be?” or “Which Harry Potter character are you?” – evolved into a game of “What’s your favorite place in Georgia?” It’s a question that set our editor-at-large Susan Percy to thinking, which always results in a good column. She came up with her top 10, but managed to overlook a couple of my favorite Georgia spots.


April 15, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider 

A deeper look at Georgia’s fast-changing electorate

Greg Bluestein reports that Georgia’s electorate is morphing even faster than some experts predicted, according to a new analysis projecting the state’s demographic evolution through 2060. “I sometimes feel like Georgia flies under the radar,” said Ruy Teixeira of the Center for American Progress. “But things are changing there so quickly.” The analysis was done by the Center for American Progress, the American Enterprise Institute and William H. Frey from the Brookings Institute as part of a report on the demographic evolution of the American electorate. It shows that Georgia could become a majority-minority state in 2025 and that minorities could outnumber whites among eligible voters by 2036.



April 14, 2015 Georgia Health News

2 more hospitals closing baby delivery units

Andy Miller reports that Dr. Roslyn Banks-Jackson worries about what will happen to many women of Emanuel County when the local hospital shuts its labor and delivery unit. She’s the only ob/gyn currently practicing in the east-central Georgia county. And the practice, Emanuel OB/GYN Clinic, owned by the hospital, will soon be closing as well. Many of her low-income patients have no transportation, and they either walk or have to get rides from friends or relatives to get to their appointments.


April 14, 2015 Georgia Trend

Georgia View: An SEC we can agree on

Bill Crane writes,  there is yet another SEC in the formation stages, one I think most all Georgians will support. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp is the leading catalyst and primary proponent of moving up the date and staging of Georgia’s presidential preference primary along with a passel of other Southern states to Tuesday, March 1, 2016.


April 14, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Coke gets soccer, Pepsi gets basketball in new sponsorships

Leon Stafford reports that 


April 14, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

AT&T launches "gigabit" Internet service in metro Atlanta

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) said Monday it has launched ultra-fast Internet service — also known as gigabit Internet — in Atlanta. Dubbed GigaPower, the service will be available to subscribers of AT&T's U-verse television service in Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Decatur and Newnan. With its launch Monday, AT&T beat out Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), which has announced plans to light up metro Atlanta with gigabit Internet. Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has also said it is expanding gibgabit Internet service to business customers in metro Atlanta.


April 14, 2015 WABE

Ga. DACA Students File Supreme Court Appeal Over In-State Tuition

Elly Yu reports that a group of undocumented students has filed an appeal this week with the Georgia Supreme Court, challenging Georgia’s in-state tuition policy after losing their case in lower courts. In 2010, the Board of Regents adopted a policy that requires students to be “lawfully present” in Georgia to receive in-state tuition. A spokesman for the Board of Regents said in an email the policy was adopted to mirror a new state law.


April 14, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta homes sales and prices are climbing

Michael Kanell reports that m


April 14, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

New Falcons stadium cost ‘rises up’ -- again -- another $100 million

Maria Saporta reports that Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank does not know how to say “No,” and that is costing him another $100 million. During a panel discussion at the Rotary Club of Atlanta Monday on the rejuvenation of the westside neighborhoods, Blank let it slip out that he views the “$1.5 billion stadium” as an incredible investment.


April 14, 2015 Georgia CEO

Bauerfeind USA to Relocate and Expand in Midtown

Staff reports that orthopedic technology company Bauerfeind USA will relocate its headquarters to Midtown and expand. Bauerfeind, a subsidiary of Germany based Bauerfeind AG, develops orthoses, medical compression stockings and orthopedic supports used by athletes and others.


April 14, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

Georgia Rep. Ehrhart responds to critics calling for his ouster

Hilary Butschek reports that twice this month prominent voices have called for state Rep. Earl Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs) to be voted out of office.
 Ehrhart comes up for re-election in 2016, and Maria Saporta, editor of The Saporta Report, wrote Sunday he should be booted from office because he was disrespectful to Delta CEO Richard Anderson. Kennesaw Councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh also called for voters to oust Ehrhart two weeks ago after comments he made on the House floor about local control.



April 14, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Water wars chief shields Florida-Georgia settlement talks from a ‘relentless and ruthless media’

Greg Bluestein reports that the quiet efforts underway between Georgia and Florida to hash out a settlement over water rights are about to get more secretive. The attorney overseeing the latest round of litigation between the two states issued an order Monday that prevents the public from accessing records involving ongoing settlement negotiations between the two states. Ralph Lancaster’s order comes days after the Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed that Gov. Nathan Deal had arranged hush-hush meetings with his counterparts in Alabama and Florida to potentially hash out the decades-old water wars dispute.











April 13, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

Georgia, Florida among top 10 in ranking of economic momentum 

Staff reports that new report ranks Georgia and Florida among the best performing states in terms of economic momentum, outpacing both the rest of the country and other states in the South. The Index of State Economic Momentum released Thursday is compiled by Federal Funds Information for States, a Washington-based clearinghouse for policymakers. The Index of State Economic Momentum released Thursday is compiled by Federal Funds Information for States, a Washington-based clearinghouse for policymakers.


April 13, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Creating Opportunities

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that the growing need for skilled labor led Georgia Southern University (GSU) to add a manufacturing engineering degree program in its College of Engineering and Information Technology. It’s just one way the university is responding to the needs of industry. It’s also part of Georgia Southern’s DNA to anticipate the needs of area businesses and provide the educated workforce required.


April 13, 2015 Saporta Report

Delta Air Lines treated so badly by 2015 state legislature – we all should worry 

Maria Saporta reports, imagine if a Fortune 100 company were considering relocating its headquarters to metro Atlanta, and that company would employ 33,000 people in Georgia and generate $300 million a year in state and local taxes and fees. Just imagine how our elected leaders and economic developers would drool and fall all over themselves offering incentives to offer that company. Now consider this. Delta Air Lines is a Fortune 100 company that is the top private employer in Georgia – providing jobs for 33,000 people statewide.


April 13, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Feds to probe fraud in union drive, Delta says

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that a


April 13, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Department of Banking and Finance issues cease and desist order to Yale Mortgage Funding

Phil W. Hudson reports that Yale Mortgage Funding LLC was issued a cease and desist order by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance April 8. The Georgia Department of Banking and Finance reported it issued the order after it obtained evidence that Miami Beach, Fla.-based Yale Mortgage Funding engaged in residential mortgage lending activities without a license or under an applicable exemption in violation of O.C.G.A. § 7-1-1002.


April 13, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

This month in Georgia history 

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that as we at Georgia Trend celebrate 30 years of covering business, politics and economic development across this great state, we’re taking a look back at some of the events that brought us to where we are today. It may seem like the only news worth covering this April is the pollen count  6,000 and climbing  but there have been some important April events in our state’s past. 


April 13, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Veterans court provides former military a second chance

Wesley Brown reports that with more men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with mental and physical scars, courts exclusively for veterans are becoming widely popular on a national scale and Augusta is on the frontline of that trend. ith more men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with mental and physical scars, courts exclusively for veterans are becoming widely popular on a national scale and Augusta is on the frontline of that trend.  


April 13, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Coca-Cola scores 4-year MLS, U.S. Soccer deal

Phil W. Hudson reports that the Coca-Cola Co. inked a 4-year sponsorship deal with Major League Soccer and the United States Soccer Federation. The Atlanta-based beverage behemoth (NYSE: KO) replaces New York-based PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) as the official non-alcoholic beverage of MLS and the official governing body of U.S. soccer.


April 13, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The race for Kasim Reed’s job begins: Cathy Woolard, Margaret Kaiser say they’re in

Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim  Galloway report that this morning, we were the first to report that former city council president Cathy Woolard, who currently spends a great deal of time at the state Capitol battling “religious liberty” bills, has committed herself to the 2017 race for mayor of Atlanta. Within hours, state Rep. Margaret Kaiser confirmed to our AJC colleague Katie Leslie that she, too,  intends to join the race to follow Kasim Reed into the office. So more than two years out, we’ve got two candidates. At least three other potential candidates seriously mulling the contest:  Current City Council President Ceasar Mitchell, Councilman Kwanza Hall,  and former Reed deputy Peter Aman.





April 10, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Delta slams new U.S. DOT ruling as 'draconian,' 'extreme,' 'impermissible,' 'arbitrary and capricious,' and 'plainly unlawful'

David Allison reports that Delta Air Lines Inc. is slamming a new federal rule imposing a strict flight requirement on Delta's route between Tokyo and Seattle. Delta (NYSE: DAL) on April 6 told the U.S. Department of Transportation that the DOT's just-imposed requirement on Delta's Tokyo to Seattle route is "draconian," "extreme," "impermissible," "arbitrary and capricious," and "plainly unlawful."


April 10, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Federal open house discusses seismic exploration off Atlantic coast, Savannah

Corey Dickson reports that an effort to mitigate public concerns about the use of seismic exploration off the Atlantic coast in the search for oil and gas, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management held a pair of open house sessions Thursday in Savannah. an effort to mitigate public concerns about the use of seismic exploration off the Atlantic coast in the search for oil and gas, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management held a pair of open house sessions Thursday in Savannah.


April 10, 2015 WABE

Grady High’s Journalism Program Wins Triple Crown Of Awards

Rose Scott and Denis O'Hayer report that young journalists at Grady High School have something to crow about. The journalism program at the Atlanta public school won a 2015 Columbia Scholastic Press Association's (CSPA) Gold Crown Award for its student newspaper The Southerner and its pop culture magazine Nexus.


April 10, 2015 Georgia Health News

Teen suicide gets new priority in Georgia

Andy Miller reports that he was a solid student, loved sports, and was active in a youth group. But Jason Flatt, who lived in suburban Nashville, used his father’s gun to commit suicide at age 16. Since his 1997 death, his father, Clark Flatt, has helped raise awareness of youth suicide, including among educators. He created the nonprofit Jason Foundation, which works to prevent teenage suicide. The General Assembly recently passed a bill that would make Georgia the 14th state to pass the Jason Flatt Act.


April 10, 2015 Georgia CEO

New Mountain Capital Buying Zep Inc. for $692M, Taking Private

Staff reports that Zep Inc., a leading consumable chemical packaged goods company that manufactures a wide variety of high-performance maintenance and cleaning chemicals, and New Mountain Capital, a leading growth-oriented private equity firm, today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which a fund managed by New Mountain Capital, L.L.C. will acquire all outstanding shares of Zep Inc. common stock for $20.05 per share in cash. The transaction is valued at approximately $692 million, including net debt.


April 10, 2015 UGA

Video game-like software increases academic performance in low-achieving students

Molly Berg reports that low-achieving students who were allowed to teach a virtual class performed better in their own courses, according to a new University of Georgia study. The students taught a virtual class through tutoring software, which increased the low-achieving college students' motivation and engagement in the classroom. Students in the study were more likely to feel enjoyment-and less anger and boredom-after teaching reading assignments to avatars through virtual tutoring software created by ChanMin Kim, an assistant professor in the UGA College of Education, and her former doctoral student, Seung Won Park.


April 10, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta's rent isn't as expensive for millennials as these cities

Adam Carlson reports that 


April 10, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

$46M proposed to remake Centennial Olympic Park

Amy Wenk and Maria Saporta report that Centennial Olympic Park nears its 20th birthday, an effort is underway to raise $46.5 million to enhance downtown’s premier gathering space, one of the most catalytic legacies from the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. The Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA), the state agency that oversees the park as part of its 220-acre campus, is exploring the feasibility of the capital campaign to fund major improvements to the 21-acre green space.


April 10, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

St. Francis, amid financial trouble, enters talks with Tennessee's Community Health Systems

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Tony Adams reports that St. Francis Hospital said Thursday it has begun “exclusive discussions” with a subsidiary of Franklin, Tenn-based Community Health Systems, with an agreement of some sort between the two expected in the “near future.” The development, announced late Thursday afternoon by Richard Bradley, chairman of the St. Francis Board of Trustees, could lead to a full or partial acquisition by Community Health Systems or an operating agreement. The Tennessee health-care system is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

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April 10, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Tyrone Brooks’ farewell to the Legislature: ‘WE SHALL OVERCOME’

Greg Bluestein reports that State Rep. Tyrone Brooks’ 35 year career in the state Legislature came to an abrupt end Thursday just before he pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges. Our AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin has the backstory on the 30 charges of wire, tax and mail fraud related to his work with a pair of charities. Brooks had hinted that this session might be his last, but he made certain of it with the letter delivered Thursday to Deal’s office.




April 9, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Augusta VA reduces wait times for patients

Wesley Brown and Sandy Hodson report that Dr. Ladi Kukoyi, the acting chief of staff at the Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center, admits scheduling data has not always been a “friend” to the Augusta hospital. That’s why he said it was “very encouraging” to see the turnaround achieved in wait-time statistics at the Augusta VA. A review of five months of wait-time data at 940 VA facilities by The Associated Press found Augusta’s veteran hospital has improved significantly since Congress gave the agency an additional $16.3 billion last August to hire more staff, extend clinic hours and expand scheduling programs to see more patients.


April 9, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Business Casual: Georgia places on my mind

Susan Percy writes, I was intrigued by a question posed by a friend. His question was simply, “What are your favorite places in Georgia?”  I’ve come up with 10, happily mixing large geographical areas like cities, with very small specific sites. It’s a fun exercise, and I invite you to come up with your own list. In the meantime, here is mine.


April 9, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Development at Glenridge Hall, Mercedes HQ outlined

J. Scott Trubey reports that h


April 9, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coca-Cola partners with Dubai for consumer awareness campaign

Phil W. Hudson reports that the Coca-Cola Co. partnered with the Department of Economic Development in Dubai to place a consumer awareness logo on hundreds of thousands of Coca-Cola cans and delivery trucks. AGL Coca-Cola, a producer and distributer of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) products in the United Arab Emirates, placed the consumer awareness logo on its 355 millilitre cans to mark Consumer Rights Day.


April 9, 2015 Cherokee Tribune

Jones Building sold: Commissioners approve $1.77M deal on Canton landmark

Jessicah Peters reports that county-owned building in the heart of Canton is one step closer to having a new owner after the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners voted to approve the sale of the historic structure. The Jones Building, which has sat empty since 2008, grabbed the attention of film producer and Canton resident Sue Ann Taylor. She submitted an offer to purchase the building for $1.77 million, and commissioners expressed an eagerness to sell it Tuesday.


April 9, 2015 Brunswick News

Cumberland tourism improving

Gordon Jackson reports that after a long, cold and snowy winter, Fred Opalinski was basking in the warm sun Tuesday while waiting to board the ferry to Cumberland Island National Seashore. The Reading, Pa., native said he was looking forward to his first visit to Georgia’s barrier island. “We have had a brutal winter,” Opalinski said. “Even last week, they were forecasting snow.” Luckily, Opalinski’s reservations for the ferry ride were made online three weeks ago for what is the busiest time of year for tourism on Cumberland Island and for St. Marys businesses that depend on their business.


April 9, 2015 Gainesville Times

Mountain Fresh Creamery sees extensive growth in four years

Kristen Oliver reports that residents of Northeast Georgia want fresh, local dairy products. Scott Glover and his wife, Jennifer Glover, owners of Mountain Fresh Creamery in Clermont, can attest. “Folks know that our milk and our dairy products come from right here,” Scott Glover said. “…And our community wants that local product.” Glover is a fourth-generation dairy farmer. He and his wife started Glo-Crest Dairy in 2000, when they began building their herd. In July 2011, they started the creamery.


April 9, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

AT&T to pay $25M after data breach exposes 280,000 cellphone customers

Staff reports that AT&T Inc. will pay $25 million to settle a Federal Communications Commission investigation over three data breaches that exposed the personal information of about 280,000 customers. The violations happened at AT&T’s (NYSE: T) call centers in Mexico, Colombia, and the Philippines. The data breaches involved the unauthorized disclosure of customers’ names, full or partial Social Security numbers, and unauthorized access to protected account-related data, known as customer proprietary network information (CPNI).


April 9, 2015 WABE

Health Disparities Still A Focus For Former Surgeon General 

Staff reports that former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher is still focused on eliminating health disparities. Satcher, now the director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine, was the 16th surgeon general of the United States and the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Appointed by former President Bill Clinton and sworn in on Feb. 13, 1998, he served a four year term as U.S. surgeon general.


April 9, 2015 Saporta Report

Wonya Lucas to be new CEO of Public Broadcasting Atlanta   

Maria Saporta reports that Wonya Lucas will be the new president and CEO of Public Broadcasting Atlanta – the entity that oversees WABE-90.1 FM and -Channel-30. Lucas, an Atlanta native, will succeed Milton Clipper, who has been in that position since 1994. She was selected from a national search assisted by BoardWalk Consulting that ended up with 20 prospective candidates. Lucas has spent most of her career in the media and broadcasting industry, working for eight years at CNN and Turner Broadcasting System before going to the Weather Channel, where she served as executive vice president and general manager.


April 9, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider 

Nathan Deal hints support for legalizing fireworks sales in Georgia

Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy report that most of this legislative session’s most significant bills already have Gov. Nathan Deal’s stamp of approval. But the governor is hinting he may also support a proposal that has sparked years of debate under the Gold Dome. Georgia lawmakers gave final approval last month to a measure that would legalize the sale of consumer fireworks in Georgia. House Bill 110 would let Georgians buy bottle rockets, Roman candles and other launchers in Georgia.




April 8, 2015

Deal: March revenues up 9 percent         

Staff reports that Gov Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia’s net tax revenues for March totaled $1.43 billion, an increase of $118.5 million, or 9 percent, compared to March 2014. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled $13.85 billion for an increase of $794.8 million, or 6.1 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year, when net tax revenues totaled $13.05 billion through nine months. Year-to-date gross tax collections, before refunds and distributions to local governments, totaled $19.2 billion, which was an increase of $1.08 billion, or 6 percent, compared to the year-to-date total of $18.12 billion in March 2014.


April 8, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

LatestTrends’ New Look

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that LatestTrends, Georgia Trend‘s blog, has a new look. We listened to you, our readers, and redesigned LatestTrends with you in mind. The improved format has more photos, easier navigation and a place for reader comments. The flexibility means we’ll be able to provide more news, polls and information on topics such as sustainability, conferences, politics and the economy. If you had the previous LatestTrends blog bookmarked on your computer, tablet or phone, please update to the new location:


April 8, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Board of advisors created for Peabody Awards program

Staff reports that the 


April 8, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Tybee Island ranks as No. 6 most expensive spring destination in U.S.

Phil W. Hudson reports that if you’re looking for a last-minute Spring Break destination, Tybee Island, Ga., may not be the place to go if you're on a tight budget. Tybee Island ranks as the No. 6 most expensive destination for travelers in the United States this spring, according to the latest survey from The survey compared all U.S. destinations based on their cost of lodging during the month of April 2015.


April 8, 2015 Savannah Morning News

International delegates visit Liberty County industries

Staff reports that Liberty County Development Authority recently welcomed two business delegations as part of a World Trade Center Savannah event that coincided with the Savannah Music Festival. Representatives included Canadian and United Kingdom consuls, who specialize in trade and business development, as well as a Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce.


April 8, 2015 Athens Banner Herald

UGA's TV Station Set to Change Hands

Lee Shearer reports that the University of Georgia's TV station will get new call letters and new family-friendly programming when it changes hands later this year, said the president of the Maryland company that agreed to buy WUGA-TV. The new call letters will be WGTA, for "Greenville to Atlanta," two cities within the TV station's broadcast range, said Patricia Lane, president of Marquee Broadcasting of Brookville, Md., and co-owner of Marquee with her husband Brian Lane.


April 8, 2015 Georgia Health News

A historic goodbye at Good News Clinics

Andy Miller reports that Hall County in northeast Georgia, traditionally known as the gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains, has a high uninsured rate. One of every four Hall residents has no health insurance, slightly higher than the state average. But for many years now, a free health clinic has been giving thousands of these people primary care and medicines, as well as linking them to medical specialists when necessary. The Good News Clinics in Gainesville is the biggest free clinic in Georgia. Its executive director, Cheryl Christian, who guided its growth spurt, recently announced her retirement.


April 8, 2015 Georgia CEO

TechSquare Labs Announces 25K sq. ft. of Coworking, Startup, & Corporate Innovation Lab Space 

Staff reports that TechSquare Labs announced 25,000-square-feet of coworking space and corporate innovation labs at Technology Square in Midtown Atlanta near Georgia Tech. The group purchased the 15,000-square-foot building at 859 Spring Street that was formerly an Office Depot and the group leased 10,000-square-feet within the Square On Fifth apartment building at 848 Spring Street. Both spaces are currently pre-leasing and will be open this summer. “When you just have your laptop and a dream, you need a place to go,” said Paul Judge, cofounder of TechSquare Labs. “Too many people leave Atlanta or give up on their dream at the earliest stage because they do not have a place to go to be around other dreamers and doers. We started TechSquare Labs to fix that.”


April 8, 2015 UGA

UGA to host 2015 Georgia Water Resources Conference

Sandi Martin reports that the University of Georgia will host the 2015 Georgia Water Resources Conference, a biennial forum to discuss issues facing the state's water resources, on April 28-29 at the UGA Hotel and Conference Center. The conference was spurred by a 1984 statewide water forum led by Georgia State University and formed with funding from the Georgia Water Research Institute at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Held every other year since 1989, the open forum is a vital way for scientists, policymakers, students and other stakeholders to discuss the state's water resources, current water policies, research and water management.


April 8, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Energy regulators stand by schedule for ruling on Plant Vogtle overruns

Dave Williams reports that Georgia Power Co. has withdrawn its request that state energy regulators certify a higher price tag for the Plant Vogtle nuclear expansion amid assurances it may be able to recoup those additional costs later. The Atlanta-based utility asked the Georgia Public Service Commission in February to certify Georgia Power’s share in the $14.5 billion project at $5 billion, not including financing costs. Georgia Power was expecting to invest $4.4 billion in the construction of two additional nuclear reactors at the plant south of Augusta before delays set back the completion schedule.


April 8, 2015 Saporta Report

U.S. needs national strategy for seaports, says GPA director   

David Pendered reports that when Curtis Foltz looks to the future, the head of the Georgia Ports Authority sees a day when ports around the nation won’t be able handle the demand for moving freight. “Generally speaking, our ports are falling way behind in terms of modernizing, capacity, velocity, and utilizing capital,” said Foltz, GPA’s executive director since 2010 and head of the nation’s fourth largest, and fastest growing, container port. Foltz’s concerns go far beyond the disruption caused by recent labor strife at West Coast ports.


April 8, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A feud is born in the Senate

Jim Galloway reports that feuds are important things at the state Capitol, so it is often necessary to note when and how they arise. In the aftermath of the 2015 session of the General Assembly, state Sen. Bill Heath, R-Bremen, has posted an usually harsh criticism of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. We have seen such things ricochet around the House – witness state Rep. David Stover, R-Newnan, and his Facebook entries. But in the Senate, such polemics have been rare. Until now. On an unofficial website, Heath titles his treatise “Chicago” – a slur usually reserved for Democrats. 




April 7, 2015 Rome News Tribune 

Southeastern Mills Inc. acquires The Original Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce

Staff reports that Rome-based Southeastern Mills Inc. announced Monday it has purchased The Original Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce from Bruce Foods Corp. The acquisition includes all of the brands and intellectual property related to the hot sauce business, as well as the company’s facilities in New Iberia, Louisiana. “Hot sauces and bold flavors are rapidly growing in popularity and the Original Louisiana hot sauce products have helped drive that growth,” said Linda Owens, president of Southeastern Mills.


April 7, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia Logistics Summit

Ben Young reports, no April fooling, it was a good day at the Georgia Logistics Summit, Wednesday, April 1. The legislature had passed a transportation bill at midnight the night before, and Gov. Nathan Deal enthusiastically touted Georgia’s bright logistics future. Industry leaders expressed optimism as well. “It’s a big step forward,” Curtis Foltz, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority, said about the transportation bill’s passage. “It’s fantastic that it passed and speaks volumes that we’re serious about growth in the south,” added Charles Tarbutton, president of the Georgia Railroad Association.


April 7, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald 

Doctor's orders: Researchers at UGA analyze how physician advice influences weight loss

Kelsey Cochran reports that new research out of the University of Georgia shows just how much doctor’s orders matter in weight loss, with the revelation that patients who received personalized advice from their physician to lose weight proved more successful than those who weren’t advised to do so. Joshua Berning, an assistant professor of agricultural and applied economics in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, analyzed national data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and found that female patients told to lose weight dropped 10 pounds over a one-year period. Male patients lost 12 pounds during the same time frame.


April 7, 2015 WABE 

After Solar Power Bill Passes, Ga. Companies Prepare To Grow

Jonathan Shapiro reports that there's good news for those considering installing solar panels. The Georgia Legislature recently passed a bill that would make it easier for homeowners to secure financing and install solar panels with little to no upfront costs. Atlanta-based Hannah Solar has always focused on commercial and industrial-scale projects. Now CEO Pete Marte expects residential installations to become a bigger part of the business.


April 7, 2015 Newnan Times-Herald

Georgia settles in food stamp lawsuit

Sarah Fay Campbell reports that Georgia Department of Human Services has agreed to a settlement in a class-action lawsuit filed by Georgians who were incorrectly denied food stamps. The lawsuit was originally filed in March 2014, and it received class action status last week, on March 23. The suit was filed by attorneys with the National Center for Law and Economic Justice. Under the settlement, the state will pay retroactive benefits to Georgians who were incorrectly denied and later were approved, and will also pay one month’s worth of food stamp benefits to Georgians who were incorrectly denied and have not yet reapplied.


April 7, 2015 New York Times

Transgender Woman Cites Attacks and Abuse in Men’s Prison

Deborah Sontag reports that before she fell on hard times and got into trouble with the law, Ashley Diamond had a wardrobe of wigs named after her favorite divas. “Darling, hand me Aretha” or Mariah or Madonna, she would say to her younger sister when they glammed up to go out on the town. Ms. Diamond, 36, had lived openly and outspokenly as a transgender woman since adolescence, much of that time defying the norms in this conservative Southern city. But on the day she arrived at a Georgia prison intake center in 2012, the deliberate defeminizing of Ms. Diamond began. Ordered to strip alongside male inmates, she froze but ultimately removed her long hair and the Hannah Montana pajamas in which she had been taken into custody, she said.


April 7, 2015 Savannah Morning News, Morris News Service 

Resolution urges pipeline cooperation

Walter C. Jones reports that Georgia lawmakers, despite their rush to complete the 2015 legislative session on Thursday, passed a resolution urging the state’s utilities to share their right-of-way territory. Rep. Jon Burns, chairman of the House Game, Fish & Parks Committee, said he introduced House Resolution 885 with the proposed Palmetto Pipeline project in mind. It’s a planned $1 billion pipeline to link North Augusta, S.C., with Jacksonville designed to transport 167,000 barrels of refined petroleum daily. It would essentially parallel the Savannah River, cutting a path across Southeast Georgia.

April 7, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Delta plans Atlanta flights to Medellin, Cartagena

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that 


April 7, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Raytheon gives $5 million to Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Staff reports that defense contractor Raytheon Co. pledged $5 million to Atlanta-based Boys & Girls Clubs of America to create technology centers and support for after-school science, technology, engineering and math programming to children of military families. Waltham, Mass.-based Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) and Boys & Girls Clubs of America will start Centers of Innovation at BGCA-affiliated youth centers on U.S. military installations.


April 7, 2015 Wall Street Journal

At the Weather Channel, Gloomy Skies Linger

Shaline Ramachandran and Suzanne Vranica report that the storm clouds are gathering over the Weather Channel. The TV network, known for its round-the-clock forecasts and tracking of big weather events like hurricanes and blizzards, is facing a major threat to its core business—the fees it collects from pay-TV providers that carry its channel.


April 7, 2015 Macon Telegraph 

Companies looking to expand eyeing Bibb County

Linda S. Morris reports that eleven new projects have been brought to the Macon Economic Development Commission since last month. The projects include some companies looking to build and others planning to expand existing buildings in Bibb County, said commission Senior Vice President Pat Topping during Monday’s Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority meeting. The potential projects are at the beginning stage when company representatives are looking at various locations to potentially expand or locate new buildings.


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April 7, 2015 Saporta Report 

Atlanta’s sustainability proposal revives debate over carrots, sticks 

David Pendered reports that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s cabinet may characterize it as a fairly “innocuous” proposal, but the administration’s effort to create Atlanta’s first mandatory sustainability program for commercial buildings has sparked a fairly lively debate. Reed’s administration has pushed back vigorously against some critics who said at a recent Atlanta City Council committee meeting that they were blindsided by the pace at which the proposal moved through the legislative process. The city’s sustainability director penned a response that details the proposal and was published March 27 in


April 7, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider 

State settles whistleblower complaint against top Nathan Deal ally

Greg Bluestein reports that the state of Georgia has settled another whistleblower complaint that involved damaging accusations about a top official. Georgia agreed to pay $480,000 to MaryTherese Grabowski, who filed a lawsuit in 2014 alleging that she was forced from her job as a spokeswoman at the Georgia National Guard after she said she refused to cover for then-Adjutant General Jim Butterworth’s “unethical and inappropriate conduct.”



April 6, 2015 Georgia CEO

Emory and WellStar Health System to Begin Design Work on New, Unified Health System

Staff reports that Executive Committee of the Emory University Board of Trustees and the WellStar Health System Board of Trustees have each approved a resolution to begin the design process for a new, unified health system.  The new health system would be formed by combining Emory Healthcare, an entity owned by Emory University, and WellStar Health System into a new system.  The goal is to provide world-class healthcare to patients through the integration of education, discovery, and healthcare delivery.


April 6, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

A helping hand

Mary Anne Dunkin reports that when Debra Light of Winder was diagnosed with lung cancer for the second time in October 2014, she knew she was in for a struggle – not only physically and emotionally, but also financially. Surgery to remove the tumor on her lung was $117,000, and the biopsy was more than $9,000. She does not know yet how much the cost of radiation and chemotherapy will be or how much of the costs her insurance will cover.


April 6, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Delta improves domestic partner health benefits

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that 


April 6, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

OneWater Marine buys American Boat Brokers

Phil W. Hudson reports that OneWater Marine Holdings LLC bought American Boat Brokers for an undisclosed sum. Atlanta-based OneWater Marine reported Larry Sosnow, former owner of Buford, Ga.-based American Boat Brokers will continue to operate American Boat Brokers as a division of OneWater Marine. “American Boat Brokers is the largest reseller of used and consignment boats in the state of Georgia which perfectly compliments Singleton Marine’s four Georgia new boat stores and the Used Boat Super Center already in our dealership portfolio,” Austin Singleton, CEO of OneWater Marine Holdings, said in a statement.


April 6, 2015 WABE

Ga. Bicycling Bill Passes Legislature, Moves On To Gov. Deal

Michelle Wirth reports, if you own a motorcycle or bicycle you could soon have a shorter wait at some stoplights. A bill passed by the state legislature yesterday allows riders to make their way through some intersections before a red light changes. Whether you’re on your Harley or your Schwinn you still have to come to a complete stop at an intersection. But if you think your bike isn’t triggering the stoplight … you can go through the light as long there are no other vehicles within 500 feet.


April 6, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Warm Springs provides visitors with unique history lesson

Philip Ramati reports that when Franklin Delano Roosevelt first came to Warm Springs in 1924, it was simply for the waters. No one could have predicted the transformative effect he would have on the town, nor how the town would impact Roosevelt’s national policies during the New Deal. But visitors to this small town of just over 400 people in the western part of Georgia easily become immersed in the Roosevelt legacy with a visit to the Little White House, the home FDR built there, which is now a museum.


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April 6, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

Local company bringing fresh take on pet food to Gwinnett

Katie Morris reports, local USDA Grade A chicken, carrots, broccoli butternut squash, green kale, coconut oil, milled flax seed. These ingredients sound like everything you need to prepare a healthy, gourmet meal. Except the wholesome feast isn't for you, its for your furry friend. These are some of the ingredients Allprovide uses to make its Chicken with Vegetables Enhances Formula dog food.  

April 6, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Masters Week big money generator for Augusta area restaurants

Jenna Martin reports that for most in the local restaurant industry, Masters Week is hands down the biggest revenue generator of the year.  Any given night during the week beats out Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and other traditionally busy dining-out holidays at Chuck Baldwin’s French Market Grille in Surrey Center. “We’re open Monday through Saturday,” Baldwin said. “Our sales for that six-day period would be the same that we do for the entire month of September.”


April 6, 2015

Georgia Gwinnett College students encouraged to be global leaders

Phil Bolton reports, having just traveled for 22 hours from Nigeria where she had witnessed the country’s dramatic presidential election to Lawrenceville in Gwinnett County, it wasn’t surprising that she admitted being somewhat unsure of what time zone she was in. Robin R. Sanders, former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria and the Republic of the Congo, was standing in front of a conference hall full of Georgia Gwinnett College students. It was 11 a.m., April 2.  


April 6, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution   

New state budget will keep construction crews busy in Metro Atlanta    

James Salzer reports that n


April 6, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

QTS files plans for 360,000 square foot data center near downtown Atlanta

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that data center operator Quality Technology Services is plowing ahead with a major expansion near downtown Atlanta. The Overland Park, Kan.-based company (QTS) has filed plans with the city to build a 360,000 square foot data center at 1025 Jefferson St. Data centers, which can be as large as shopping malls, are stacked floor-to-ceiling with computer servers and other hardware that power websites, crunch data and store information. Demand for such facilities is being driven as the workforce becomes more mobile and corporate America shifts from desktop-based enterprise software to cloud-based applications.


April 6, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

The art, and limitations, of a transportation deal

Jim Galloway reports that the first rule of deal-making is to understand what you truly need out of the encounter. State Rep. Calvin Smyre was interested in the basics: The removal of a pair of 40-year-old handcuffs on MARTA that date back to the days of Lester Maddox, and state recognition of the legitimacy and need for transit in metro Atlanta.“Not just on the money side, but on the definition side,” Smyre said. That’s right. The Columbus Democrat wanted commuter rail included in the state’s legal definition of transportation.




April 3, 2015 Savannah Morning News

PortSide: 3PLs keep up with mercurial world of logistics

Mary Carr Mayle reports that while logistics has been around almost since the dawn of civilization, the term itself is slightly younger — the Oxford English Dictionary traces the earliest use of the word to an article published in 1898. Much younger still is the term “third party logistics,” most often abbreviated as 3PL. Defined as a company that works with shippers to manage logistics operations, the 3PL began to emerge in the 1980s. Today, 3PLs are essential to most shipping operations, encompassing elements of warehousing, transportation management software, freight rate negotiation, in-depth reporting, forecasting, freight bill auditing and much more.


April 3, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Neely Young: Quiet leadership, Long Shadow

Neely Young writes, the definition of leadership is the ability to take on the duties or act of leading; it is the art of directing and guiding; it is the ship that leads the way. This is the first in a series of columns on leaders in specific communities in Georgia. The state’s third largest city, Augusta, could be named the “Quiet Community.” Its leadership is collaborative and somewhat elusive, because no one person stands out in the crowd.


April 3, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia State facility projects on tracks

Doug Roberson reports that 


April 3, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Amazon’s Prime Now expands to Atlanta

Carla Caldwell reports that Inc. is expanding Prime Now to Atlanta beginning Thursday. The service offers Amazon’s Prime members one-hour delivery on tens of thousands of daily essentials through a mobile app, the company said. Prime Now is launching in select Atlanta zip codes and will expand quickly to more zip codes within the city, Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) said in a press release.


April 3, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald 

UGA will sell its TV station, WUGA-TV, to Maryland company

Lee Shearer reports that the University of Georgia is selling its television station to a Maryland company. Marquee Broadcasting will pay the university $2.5 million for WUGA-TV and plans to convert the station back to what it originally was, a commercial station. The sale frees the university from what had become a continuing money drain, and will expand viewing options for people in the station’s viewing area, says the buyer.


April 3, 2015 Valdosta Daily Times

VSU President to step down

Staff reports that Valdosta State University President William McKinney has resigned. McKinney confirmed his resignation Thursday afternoon. In a prepared statement the president said, “Today, I tendered my resignation as VSU’s president to Chancellor (Hank) Huckaby, and that resignation will be effective July 1, 2015. It is time for a new leader.”


April 3, 2015 Georgia Health News

Emory, Aetna create lastest ACO care model

Andy Miller reports that Emory Healthcare and Aetna are teaming up in a collaboration known as an “accountable care organization’’ (ACO), which aims to enhance patient care and reduce costs. ACOs are networks of hospitals and doctors — and sometimes insurers — that arose as a central feature of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Medical providers in ACOs typically are rewarded based on the quality of care they provide. Under a special Medicare program, the organizations get paid more for keeping their patients healthy and out of the hospital. Several ACOs have been formed in Georgia.


April 3, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Movie studio to anchor GM redevelopment

Maria Saporta and Ellie Hensley report that Metro Atlanta’s newest movie studio will be the first major project at the site of the former GM plant in Doraville — a development that now has a new name — “Assembly.” The Integral Group, which acquired the GM site last year, is partnering with Capstone South Properties to develop “Third Rail Studios” on a six-acre section of the 165-acre development.


April 3, 2015 Augusta Chronicle, Morris News Service

Georgia working to convince Volvo to build plant here

Walter C. Jones reports that Gov. Nathan Deal's legislative package showed part of his negotiating tactics to woo Volvo Cars to build its American plant in the Savannah area.  Company executives have said they will reveal the location in the next 30 days, following Monday’s formal announcement of the carmaker’s plans for its first American factory and confirming rumors that have circulated within the industry for weeks. 


April 3, 2015 Marietta Daily J0urnal

SESSION’S END: Analyst — Transportation, cannabis stand out as successes

Phillip Clements reports that the time the Georgia Legislature came to an end, many of the year’s biggest bills had already passed, such as a transportation funding bill and a bill legalizing cannabis oil for certain medical ailments. Thursday was Sine Die, the final day of the legislative session, and Kerwin Swint, chair of the department of political science and international affairs at Kennesaw State University, said he would consider it a successful session. I would say the transportation bill is probably the best single indicator of that, because that was a tough thing going in,” Swint said.



April 3, 2015 Atlanta Journal Constitution - Political Insider

Georgia leaders pull the plug on ‘religious liberty’ bill

Greg Bluestein reports that Georgia’s bid for a “religious liberty” measure has been on life support for days, but leaders pulled the plug on the legislation with just a few hours left in the legislative session. Gov. Nathan Deal, who has repeatedly said he would support legislation that mirrored the 1993 law, signaled the debate has become too toxic. He said in an interview that supporters ensure that anti-discrimination language is in the measure next year if they want to earn his signature.





April 2, 2015 WABE 

Delta Pursues $1.5B Partnership With AeroMexico 

Jim Burress reports that Delta Air Lines is asking the U.S. government for antitrust immunity so it can pursue a partnership with AeroMexico. The Atlanta-based carrier says Mexico is its most popular international destination, which is one reason the airline cites for pursuing a new $1.5 billion joint venture with the Mexican carrier.


April 2, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Macon’s Tubman Museum

Karen Kirkpatrick reports, take a look at the new home of Macon’s Tubman Museum, the largest museum in the Southeast dedicated to educating people about the art, history and culture of African Americans. Named for Harriet Tubman, who led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom, the Tubman Musuem’s new home is scheduled to open in June.


April 2, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Southern Co. plans Energy Innovation Center at Georgia Tech’s Technology Square

Christopher Seward reports that Southern Co. will open an Energy Innovation Center at Georgia Tech’s Technology Square in Midtown to develop ideas for electricity use. Southern said it will seek partnerships with universities in the Southeast to develop and test ideas. Employees’ ideas will be among the first tested as part of a companywide competition. The parent of Georgia Power and other utilities in the Southeast will join a growing number of major corporations that are setting up shop at the Midtown technology hub.


April 2, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

SalesLoft raises $10M in venture capital, will add 50 jobs

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Software startup SalesLoft has raised $10.15 million in a Series A round led by Emergence Capital, a Silicon Valley venture firm that was an early investor in The investment values Atlanta-based SalesLoft at about $40 million, according to multiple sources. SalesLoft enables sales reps to create targeted lists of prospects on the Internet. 


April 2, 2015 Cherokee Tribune

Cherokee unemployment drops to 4.9 percent

Michelle Babcock reports that  with seasonal summer jobs still on the horizon, local experts say Cherokee County’s economy is in good shape going into the second quarter of the year. Cherokee County’s unemployment rate fell slightly from 5 percent in January to 4.9 percent in February, and is down from 5.6 percent from February last year, seasonally unadjusted figures from the Department of Labor show.


April 2, 2015 Georgia Heath News

Settlement ends long fight over Phoebe merger

Andy Miller reports that the Federal Trade Commission and a South Georgia health system have reached a settlement in a four-year hospital antitrust case that drew national attention and was the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Under the agreement, Phoebe Putney Health System will not have to jettison the former Palmyra Medical Center, which it acquired in 2011 for $195 million. Palmyra was Phoebe’s sole hospital competitor in the Albany market. It now operates as Phoebe North.


April 2, 2015 Athens Banner Herald 

Business survival will depend on diversity, Thurmond says

Lee Shearer reports that more diverse University of Georgia will serve the economic interests of its students, DeKalb County School Superintendent Michael Thurmond told a UGA audience Wednesday. The white race is a majority of the United States now, but demographers say that will change in less than 30 years. “We’re all going to be minority,” said Thurmond, in Athens Friday to deliver the 15th annual Mary Frances Early lecture, named for the first African American to graduate from UGA.


April 2, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Mobinteg chooses Atlanta for North American HQ

Phil W. Hudson reports that Lisbon, Portugal-based mobile integration and app platform company Mobinteg will put its U.S. and North American headquarters in Atlanta. The company said the Atlanta location will serve its client base in the U.S. in financial services, energy, and mobile applications. “Atlanta gives us a unique presence in the U.S.,” Fernando Pinto, founder and CEO of Mobinteg, said in a statement. “Atlanta is a transportation hub, offers a low cost of living in an international and metropolitan city and has a great business environment.”


April 2, 2015 Augusta Chronicle 

Augusta-based vodka brand spreading across state

Jenna Martin reports that when Yuri Kato set out to build her peach-flavored vodka brand, she had no idea it would take her to Augusta. Kato wanted to align her business with Georgia’s birthplace of peach culture. After four years of research into the history of Georgia peaches, she found herself in Augusta – once home to Fruit­land Nurseries, which was among the largest horticulture sites in the Southeast from 1858 to 1918. Through her research, Kato discovered that Belgian horticulturist and nursery owner Prosper Julius Alphon­so Berckmans, dubbed the “father of peach culture,” put Georgia peaches on the map in the late 1800s and served as a central agricultural figure across the South. The nursery grounds now serve as Au­gusta National Golf Club.


April 2, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider 

No matter what happens to SB 129, religious liberty fight will rage on

Jim Galloway writes, it is worth remembering that decades ago, before Jerry Falwell brought them into the GOP fold, Southern Baptists were a standoffish people. As a denomination, they kept themselves separate. Baptists eschewed not just politics, but most ecumenical alliances – because of the compromise that collaboration could require. They personified the unscriptural phrase, “I’d rather be right than president.” And while today Southern Baptists are major players in national Republican politics, at bottom they haven’t changed much.




April 1, 2015 Newnan Times-Herald

Plant Yates to shut down coal units by mid-April

Sarah Fay Campbell reports that Georgia Power Plant Yates will officially stop burning coal no later than April 15. Units 1-5 have already stopped being used for “normal operational dispatch,” said John O’Brien, senior communications specialist for Georgia Power. However, the units are still available to produce power – if needed – until April 15, the compliance date for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule. According to O’Brien, Georgia Power began work earlier this month preparing units 1-5 for permanent retirement.


April 1, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Heading in the right direction

Susan Percy reports that in little more than two years, Keith Parker has overseen a turnaround in the metro region’s 35-year-old transit system – and not a minute too soon. In recent years, MARTA was perennially referred to as “beleaguered” or “troubled,” as though such descriptions were part of its name. No more. MARTA is on the upswing, with stable finances, improving service and increased ridership – up 9.4 percent in 2014 over the previous year.


April 1, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Metro Atlanta home prices march higher

J. Scott Trubey reports that 


April 1, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Southern Power to buy its first wind project

Staff reports that Southern Power will buy a 299-megawatt Kay Wind facility in Oklahoma from Apex Clean Energy for an undisclosed sum. The purchase is expected to close in late 2015, when the project is finished. The facility will be the Atlanta-based Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) unit’s largest renewable electric generating plant and first wind project.


April 1, 2015 Emory University 

Physicist's research of glassy materials nets NSF CAREER award

Carol Clark reports that Emory physics professor Justin Burton received a $625,000 award from the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. The five-year CAREER grants, among the NSF’s most prestigious awards, support scientists who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research integrated with excellence in education.


April 1, 2015 Georgia CEO 

AT&T Will Focus on Use Cases to Market Connected Cars, Smart Homes & Digital Lifestyle

Staff reports that AT&T Mobility has bet big on moving into new areas like connected cars, smart homes and the Internet of Things, banking on them to drive revenue growth for years to come. However, the company is still working on how best to market this connected lifestyle to consumers. The current goal, according to several AT&T executives who spoke to FierceWireless here at the company's headquarters, is to show specific use cases to consumers. That will let AT&T make high-concept terms like digital home automation more concrete and palatable for consumers.


April 1, 2015 Macon Telegraph 

Prospects dimming for MAGE Solar in Dublin

Maggie Lee reports that “Project Megan” was supposed to mean 350 new jobs for Laurens County -- in a factory worth $30 million -- by the end of this year. When Project Megan was inked in 2010, Laurens County and the city of Dublin dropped the code name and announced they had lured German manufacturer MAGE Solar to town. Then-Gov. Sonny Perdue said he expected the solar panel factory to be successful for years to come. The city, county and state rolled out tax breaks and other lures.


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April 1, 2015 GPB

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Increases Oversight Of Vogtle Plant

Staff reports that Nuclear Regulatory Commission is increasing its oversight of the Vogtle nuclear power plant in southeast Georgia after a violation related to the company's failure to use the proper shipping container for radioactive waste. The Vogtle plant is located about 26 miles southeast of Augusta. The NRC says employees at the plant loaded radioactive waste into a container approved and tested for waste with lower radiation levels, but not for the material that was actually loaded.


April 1, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

14 Georgia companies make Forbes’ first ‘America’s Best Employers’ list

Staff reports that Forbes named flooring manufacturer Shaw Industries Group Inc. the best employer in Georgia and one of the best in the nation in the inaugural “America’s Best Employers” list. The Dalton, Ga., company has 22,500 employees and recently added 70 new jobs in Georgia. Click for the Georgia companies that made the list of the 500 best employers with ranking.


April 1, 2015 Savannah Morning News 

Official hearing set for pipeline

Mary Landers reports that after sending Georgians to “open houses” that fell short of the legal requirement of a hearing, the Georgia Department of Transportation has scheduled a true public hearing regarding the proposed Palmetto Pipeline. The hearing will be April 21 in Richmond Hill. “At this time, only one hearing has been scheduled, and only one is required,” DOT spokeswoman Karlene Barron wrote in an email. 


April 1, 2015 WABE 

Lawmakers Strike Transportation Deal, Open Door For MARTA Expansion

Jonathan Shapiro reports that just before midnight Tuesday, Georgia lawmakers put the finishing touches on a major bill aimed at fixing the state’s crumbling network of roads and bridges.


April 1, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider 

‘Volvo hunt’ could add more intrigue to ‘religious liberty’ debate

Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway report that timing is everything in politics. Last year, the effort to pass “religious liberty” legislation stalled when lawmakers in Georgia saw the wringer that Arizona was being put through on the same issue. Sunday’s disastrous interview of Indiana’s Mike Pence on ABC’s “This Week” – in which the governor was asked six times whether the new law allowed discrimination against gays and lesbians – has likewise sent a shiver up Capital spines.



March 31, 2015 Georgia Health News

Grady, Blue Cross reach deal after long deadlock

Andy Miller reports that Atlanta’s biggest health contract dispute in years is over. Grady Health System and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia announced Monday that they have agreed to a new contract effective April 1. Their contract lapsed in late November, when they failed to negotiate a new one before the deadline. The collapse of the negotiations was a surprise, because payment disputes between insurers and hospital systems are almost always resolved before an existing agreement expires.


March 31, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Getting from A to B

Ben Young reports that the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics (COI) holds its 2015 Logistics Summit at the Georgia World Congress Center March 31 and April 1. Thousands are expected to attend, learn and share new logistics trends and technologies. The themes for this year are e-commerce, intermodal and perishables.


March 31, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tech student teams can get $20k to start business

Matt Kempner reports, p


March 31, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

More UPS business customers printing 3-D prototypes

Carla Caldwell reports that the UPS Store says it is seeing a big demand for 3-D printing, particularly from small business customers. Atlanta Business Chronicle reported in September 2014 that the retail arm of Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) planned to expand 3-D printing service from six to 100 stores. The company says it will add the stores by the end of 2015.


March 31, 2015 Macon Telegraph 

From roofing to missile fins, Robins may need some help

Mike Stucka reports that if your business can provide laundry service, painting, roofing or perhaps trailers to carry around bombs and missiles, Robins Air Force Base might have some opportunities for you. On Friday, Robins released a 73-page document listing potential opportunities for businesses, with most items measured in the millions of dollars. The move follows Thursday’s Program Executive Officer Review and Outlook, which the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce organized.


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March 31, 2015 Albany Herald 

Tyson Foods cutting Dawson shift, costing 70 jobs

Brad McEwan reports that in an effort to streamline operations, poultry giant Tyson Foods Inc. has announced that it would be cutting the third shift from its plant in Dawson, in addition to closing the company’s location in Buena Vista. The two moves, are expected to eliminate about 260 jobs, 70 in Dawson and 190 in Buena Vista, according to press release issued by the company. The cancellation of the third shift at the Dawson facility will occur on April 10 and the Buena Vista plant closure is expected by the end of May.


March 31, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post 

Familiar face to replace retiring Community Foundation director

Joshua Sharpe reports that after 40 years of service to Gwinnett County and many other parts of the state, Judy Waters announced plans to retire from the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia. The executive director will be replaced by longtime community leader and adept fundraiser Randy Redner, according to a news release from the Duluth-based nonprofit.

March 31, 2015 Georgia CEO 

Hartsfield-Jackson Opens New Entrance Off I-75

Staff reports that Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will open a new north-bound entrance Saturday in the form of a relocated access point from Riverdale Road that will be marked by a 35-foot-tall monument sign. “We’re excited to open a new entrance for travelers to the world’s busiest and most efficient airport,” said Aviation General Manger Miguel Southwell. “The Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal has a grand entryway coming off I-75 and we wanted to be able to provide the same experience for travelers coming to the domestic terminal, while also improving the safety for motorists.” 


March 31, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

90 employers seek to fill more than 2,000 jobs in Northwest Georgia

Phil W. Hudson reports that about 90 employers will look to fill more than 2,000 jobs being offered by employers at a career expo in Catoosa County April 2. The Northwest Georgia Career Expo will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Colonnade, which is located at 264 Catoosa Circle in Ringgold, Ga.


March 31, 2015 WABE 

Agnes Scott Commits To Developing Female Corporate Leaders

Shelby Lin Erdman reports that when it comes to women in leadership positions in corporate America, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer readily come to mind. They are two high profile examples of how women have made strides into the top positions in the male-dominated world of corporate executives. But they still have a long way to go.


March 31, 2015 Gainesville Times 

Retroactive change in grad tests called ‘a life-changer

Kristen Oliver reports that former students who met graduation requirements but did not pass the Georgia High School Graduation Test now can petition for their diploma. House Bill 91 was signed into law Monday by Gov. Nathan Deal, retroactively eliminating the Georgia High School Graduation Test as a requirement for graduation. “This is the legislation that will eliminate the requirement of passing the graduation test for individuals who have met all other requirements to receive a high school diploma,” Hall County Superintendent Will Schofield wrote in an email Monday. “This is a life-changer for thousands of Georgians.”


March 31, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

When Obamacare saves hospitals millions

Jim Galloway reports that while scoping out the Brunswick News piece on state Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, and the fight he’s picked with Catholics, another headline caught my eye. ‘Obamacare saving hospitals millions’ was the header for a look at Southeast Georgia Health System, operator of hospitals in Brunswick and St. Marys.



March 30, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

Georgia DOT to conduct its own public hearing on Palmetto Pipeline

Mary Landers reports that opponents of the proposed Palmetto Pipeline will get a state-conducted public hearing on the project as well as more scrutiny of how much the pipeline would benefit Georgia. The state Department of Transportation has reversed its earlier assertion that hearings could be conducted by Kinder Morgan, the sponsor of the $1 billion project, which is seeking the right to exercise eminent domain across a 210-mile long swath running from Augusta down the river to Savannah and south to Jacksonville.  


March 30, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Leading the Charge

John W. McCurry, K. K. Snyder and Lindsay Thomas Jr. report that Georgia is known for a lot of things – peanuts, peaches, beautiful coastlines, bustling cities and mountain retreats. It’s also known for having a lot of counties – with 159, it’s second only to Texas. And that makes for a lot of county commissioners. Georgia law requires that new commissioners undergo training before taking office – one of only a few states in the country to do so. Ross King, ACCG executive director, believes this strengthens the state.


March 30, 2015 Dallas Morning News

American Airlines loses bid for Tokyo route to Delta

Terry Maxon reports that American Airlines Inc. has lost its bid to wrest away one of Delta Air Lines’ routes into Tokyo’s desirable Haneda International Airport. In a decision Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation said Delta could keep the route between Seattle and Haneda. But it will require Delta to fly the route every day and not go long stretches without scheduled flights.


March 30, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Investigator: Home Depot not in compliance with some data security standards at time of breach

David Allison reports that a forensic investigator working for payment card networks claims Home Depot was not in compliance with some data security standards at the time of its data breach last year. The home improvement giant (NYSE: HD) reported March 26 in its 2014 annual report that while an independent third-party assessor found the portion of its network that handles payment card data to be compliant with data security standards in the fall of 2013, and the company was in the process of obtaining such certification for 2014 at the time of the data breach, "in March 2015 the forensic investigator working on behalf of the payment card networks alleged that we were not in compliance with certain of those standards at the time of the data breach."


March 30, 2015

Coke executive noted for innovation retires, goes homes to Belgium

Phil Bolton reports that, in view that his career with the Coca-Cola Co. is coming to an end on March 31, Guy Wollaert's presentation to the Belgian American Chamber of Commerce of the South at the local law offices of Burr & Forman LLP two weeks ago can be viewed as an “adieu” to the company for which he has worked since 1992 and to the city of Atlanta.


March 30, 2015 Georgia CEO

Hi-Rez Studios to Expand Alpharetta Headquarters, Adding 50 Jobs 

Staff reports that the Georgia Department of Economic Development today announced that Hi-Rez Studios, the Georgia-based developer of online games, will expand, creating 50 jobs at its headquarters in Alpharetta. “Georgia has become a hotbed for the digital entertainment industry,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “With a solid network of companies, a highly mobile start-up community and top talent from our universities and technical colleges, we hope to see forward-thinking gaming companies such as Hi-Rez find success and expand here.”


March 30, 2015 Saporta Report 

On the right side of history — how a modest experiment in interracial community leaves a lasting impression on Habitat for Humanity   

Jamil Zainalden reports, born in Talbotton, in central Georgia, in 1912, Clarence Jordan was part of a distinguished Georgia family of politicians, attorneys, community leaders, and years later, an advisor to a U.S. president. He attended the University of Georgia, where he majored in agriculture. During the Great Depression he completed seminary, earned a Ph.D. in New Testament, and began a career as a Baptist minister. A rising star, he had a reputation for distinction that was spreading throughout the state and the South. With time, any pulpit or university appointment could be his.


March 30, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Georgia House favors turtles, local control

Dave Williams reports that an alliance of environmental advocates and supporters of local control in the Georgia House of Representatives rejected legislation Friday that would have prohibited local governments from banning plastic bags. The state Senate passed the bill 32-19 last month to try to head off an effort by city officials in Tybee Island to ban plastic bags from grocery stores, restaurants and other retail businesses.


March 30, 2015 WABE

Georgia House Committee Tables 'Religious Liberty' Bill

Jonathan Shapiro reports that an Georgia’s "religious liberty" bill appears dead for the year. A key House committee tabled it Thursday. With only three days left in this year’s legislative session, the bill’s prospects look dim.  At a House Judiciary Committee meeting, supporters insisted the state needs to better protect religious expression from government overreach. They strongly denied critics’ assertions that it would provide a means to discriminate against gays and lesbians.


March 30, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta’s 2019 Super Bowl bid becomes a pawn in ‘religious liberty’ fight

Jim Galloway reports,  if you didn’t see this one coming, allow us to recommend a decent optometrist. These paragraphs are from a letter sent today from Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, to Roger Goodell, commissioner of the National Football League, address SB 129, Georgia’s “religious liberty” bill:…Atlanta is a top contender for the Super Bowl in 2019, but this law directly contradicts the NFL’s nondiscrimination policy and values of acceptance and inclusivity. Should this bill become law, Georgia will not be a welcoming place for LGBT people or many other minorities. 




March 27, 2015 Savannah Morning News 

Pipeline process gets partial do-over

Mary Landers reports that opponents of the proposed Palmetto Pipeline will get a state-conducted public hearing on the project as well as more scrutiny of how much the pipeline would benefit Georgia. The state Department of Transportation has reversed its earlier assertion that hearings could be conducted by Kinder Morgan, the sponsor of the $1 billion project, which is seeking the right to exercise eminent domain across a 210-mile long swath running from Augusta down the river to Savannah and south to Jacksonville.


March 27, 2015 WABE 

Opponents: Emory/WellStar Merger Talks Lack Transparency 

Jim Burress reports that if those behind the proposed merger of WellStar/Emory health systems are looking for a cheerleader, they won’t find one in Taryn Howard. The Smyrna resident says her family has interacted with WellStar doctors, hospitals, and even a hospice in the past year.  She’s not happy with the care, but says there aren’t many options. “It’s really very difficult to find a doctor in Cobb County that’s not a WellStar doctor,” Howard says.


March 27, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Pepsi takes Diet Coke’s No. 2 spot

Staff reports, time to open more sadness for The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO). The Associated Press reported the Atlanta-based beverage giant’s Diet Coke slipped behind archrival Pepsi in annual sales in 2014, a rough year already as Coca-Cola’s annual profit dropped 17 percent to $7.1 billion.


March 27, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Latvia-based Valmiera Glass cuts ribbon on Dublin facility

Staff reports that Latvia-based Valmiera Glass Group cut the ribbon on its North American headquarters in Dublin on Thursday. The new 80,000-square-foot manufacturing facility will bring 150 new jobs to Laurens County and a capital investment of $20 million over the next five years, officials have said. Valmiera will make fiberglass parts used in the oil and auto industries.


Read more here:

March 27, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

New UGA Animal Hospital open as veterinary college alumni gather in Athens

Lee Shearer reports that tails are wagging at the announcement of University of Georgia's new Veterinary Teaching Hospital opening this week in its new location. The well-timed opening occurs just ahead of the UGA College of Veterinary Conference and Alumni Weekend. Veterinarians at the new teaching hospital at 2200 College Station Road held their first appointments on Wednesday, beginning with a dog owned by the dean of UGA's Odum School of Ecology, who brought his 10-year-old Labrador retriever to exercise on one of the hospital's new underwater treadmills.


March 27, 2015 Augusta Chronicle 

Latest audit shows continuation of Paine's financial problems

Tracy McManus reports that Paine College continues an aggressive fundraising campaign to turn around years of decline, the school’s most recent financial audit shows climbing debt and more revenue loss over the last fiscal year.  Paine ended 2014 with a decrease of $2.9 million in net assets attributable to operations, a measure Paine’s accrediting body uses to determine if the institution has sufficient financial resources to support its mission. It’s the college’s fourth consecutive year of revenue loss.


March 27, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Cousins/Hines, Portman vie for huge Georgia Tech project

Douglas Sams and Maria Saporta report that two longtime Atlanta real estate companies known for some of the most recognizable buildings on the city skyline are competing to develop a $300 million mixed-use project for Georgia Tech — the next expansion of Midtown’s Technology Square. Cousins Properties Inc. is vying against Portman Holdings to develop the project. Cousins has also teamed with Houston-based powerhouse Hines.


March 27, 2015 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Georgia Republican introduces constitutional amendment that would legalize gambling at casino and horse racing

Walter C. Jones reports that a senior House Republican has introduced a constitutional amendment to expand legalized gambling to casinos and horse racing. The state’s take from the proceeds would shore up the HOPE Scholarship and Pre-K program with an estimated $250 million yearly from a single “destination casino.” The bill would allow the overseers of the Georgia Lottery to approve construction of up to six casinos. One major gaming company backing the legislation figures its $1 billion investment will generate 10,000 construction jobs and another 10,000 permanent jobs once it opens.


March 27, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Tip sheet: Speed traps and plastic grocery bags

Jim Galloway reports, number of working days left until the end of the 2015 session: Three. The House will step up its floor work tomorrow and tackle a handful of key bills, including SB 63, the beer and (and now liquor) bill. The House will also take up SB 134, which would tighten rules for law enforcement use of speed traps; and SB 139, which would prevent local governments from banning plastic bags.




March 26, 2015 Georgia CEO 

Atlantic Capital Bank to Buy First Security in Tennessee for $160M

Staff reports that Atlantic Capital Bancshares, Inc. and First Security Group, Inc. jointly announced today the signing of a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Atlantic Capital will acquire First Security. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of each company. Atlantic Capital is a bank holding company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and the parent of Atlantic Capital Bank. First Security is a bank holding company headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee and the parent of FSGBank, N.A.


March 26, 2015 Georgia Health News

Report slams state on lack of disabilities progress

Andy Miller reports that an independent monitor says Georgia is far behind in meeting its obligations for providing community services for people with developmental disabilities. A March 17 report by independent reviewer Elizabeth Jones criticized the state’s lack of progress in moving people with developmental disabilities out of state-run hospitals. A Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities spokesman said in an email statement to GHN on Wednesday that the agency is “carefully considering the findings and recommendations’’ in Jones’ report.


March 26, 2015 Augusta Chronicle 

Local leaders talk area growth

Jenna Martin reports that elected leaders of Augusta-Richmond County, Columbia County and North Augusta reflected on growth Wednesday during Leadership Augusta's "State of the Region" luncheon. elected leaders of Augusta-Richmond County, Columbia County and North Augusta reflected on growth Wednesday during Leadership Augusta's "State of the Region" luncheon.


March 26, 2015 Macon Telegraph 

Houston County population growth slows while much of midstate loses people

Mike Stucka reports that not long ago, Houston County was among the fastest-growing communities in the country. These days, it’s got a middling record even in Georgia, new U.S. Census Bureau population estimates suggest. But when it comes to attracting new residents, Houston County remains far ahead of most Middle Georgia’s counties, where population losses continue, according to the census bureau.


Read more here:

March 26, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

New hospital to open northeast of Atlanta

Carla Caldwell reports that Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton is scheduled to open April 1. The 100-bed hospital is the state's first net-new hospital, meaning not a relocation or replacement, in almost 20 years, according to the health system that manages the facility - - Gainesville, Ga.-based Northeast Georgia Health System, Inc.


March 26, 2015 WABE 

UGA Gets Grant To Investigate Rural Communities

John Lorinc reports that rural communities in Georgia are getting some attention from the University of Georgia. Researchers will be taking a look at more than 300 small towns throughout the state. Many of them are in rough shape. “Dilapidated housing, a lack of affordable housing, you know, access to home ownership can be an issue,” Kim Skobba, an assistant professor of financial planning, housing and consumer economics at UGA, says.


March 26, 2015 Georgia CEO 

AGL Resources Increases 2015 Earnings Guidance

Staff reports that AGL Resources Inc. today announced that it is increasing its 2015 earnings per share guidance driven by colder-than-normal weather across its distribution and retail businesses through the first two months of 2015, as well as stronger-than-expected results at its wholesale business. Subsequent to the company's issuance of original guidance on February 11, 2015, results improved in the distribution and retail businesses due to weather that was 36% colder-than-normal throughout February across the company's service areas.


March 26, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Metro Atlanta jobless rate declines to 6.1 percent

Staff reports that s


March 26, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Georgia lawmakers to look at legalizing casinos

Dave Williams reports that Georgia lawmakers could be taking a serious look this summer at legalizing casino gambling in Georgia. A constitutional amendment introduced into the state House of Representatives late Wednesday by Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, would ask Georgia voters to ratify the measure. Stephens chairs the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee.


March 26, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post 

Sen. David Perdue blasts proposed federal water authority rule

Curt Yeomans reports that Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) came out in opposition to a proposed Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rule that his office said expand federal authority over bodies of water in the country. In a statement released by his office, the freshman senator highlighted Gwinnett among a small number of counties that he said would be adversely affected by the new rule. The move has been in discussion for a year, and Perdue’s office said several farmers have voiced their opposition to the proposal.


March 26, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider 

How ‘failure’ led to the success of Nathan Deal’s school-rescue measure

Jim Galloway reports that success can be found in failure. Our governor proved it Wednesday. In their tinkering with Nathan Deal’s proposal to award himself the power to take over problem schools, House lawmakers employed some niceties to ease hard feelings. In the nitty-gritty legislation, the phrase “failing schools” was often changed to “qualifying schools” – as in, “qualified to be taken over.”



March 25, 2015 New York Times

Flurry of Freight Spurs New Commercial Building Construction in Georgia

Keith Schneider reports that the business of marine transport here at the nation’s fourth-largest container port is a study in numbers. Thirty-one oceangoing container vessels berth at the nearly 10,000-foot-long Garden City terminal each week. More than 8,000 trucks arrive and depart from the terminal daily. Garden City handled 3.3 million 20-foot containers last year, over 10 percent more container cargo than in 2013, and a record.


March 25, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive! 

Main Street USA

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that it's  hard to find anyone in the South who hasn’t watched — or at least heard of — The Andy Griffith Show. We all know that when somebody says, “That town was just like Mayberry,” they mean it was charming and filled with nice, hardworking folks and safe. While the Georgia Main Street program doesn’t aim to bring back the past, it does aim to bring more charm to our small towns, give our hardworking folks better places to work and make our downtowns safe — and fun — to visit.


March 25, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Newell Rubbermaid sells online shipping business Endicia

Leon Stafford reports that 


March 25, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Curant Health to expand headquarters

Ellie Hensley reports that Curant Health is adding 11,600 square feet to its metro Atlanta headquarters, the company announced March 24. The growing room, which will bring the company’s total square footage up to 26,000, is necessary to accommodate 28 additional employees added in 2014. The move is also response to Curant Health’s 2014 financial performance. The company’s revenue topped $100 million for the first time last year.


March 25, 2015 Newnan Times-Herald 

Has Coweta county’s housing market finally recovered?

Sarah Fay Campbell reports that home building in Coweta County has nearly fully recovered from the crisis and recession of 2008 and 2009. Permit numbers are rising and so are the frames of houses throughout the county. “We’ve definitely made a 100 percent recovery,” said builder and developer Todd Freeman. “We are actually seeing things a little bit better than they were in the first go round.”


March 25, 2015 Georgia CEO 

City of Atlanta Expands the Scope of Acculynk’s Payment Solutions to Municipal Courts

Staff reports that Acculynk, a leading technology driven payment processor, has expanded its payment services platform within the City of Atlanta to now include Municipal Courts. Acculynk will offer the Municipal Courts a fully functional technical platform that will have a unique set of payments functionality. Individuals will be able to make a payment to the Municipal Courts using their credit and “True” debit cards and ACH via a comprehensive and defined eCommerce, point-of-sale and a mobile payments platform. 


March 25, 2015 UGA 

UGA awarded USDA grant to study Georgia’s community revitalization needs

Sydney Devine reports that an  increased understanding of the housing and neighborhood revitalization issues facing Georgia's rural and small-town communities will help researchers at the University of Georgia address needs in these communities. Led by the College of Family and Consumer Sciences' Kim Skobba, an assistant professor of financial planning, housing and consumer economics, UGA is using a five-year, $474,998 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct the research.


March 25, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Sources: Boeing scouting sites in Atlanta for new research center

Greg Bluestein and J. Scott Trubey report that 


March 25, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Lenox Square's sales hit $1.6 billion in 2014

David Allison reports that sales at Lenox Square surpassed $1.6 billion last year, making the Atlanta mall one of the top 10 owned by Simon Property Group Inc. Lenox's sales figures, which apparently have never before been made public, were disclosed March 20 by Indianapolis, Ind.-based Simon (NYSE: SPG) as part of its $23 billion bid for the country's third-largest mall operator, The Macerich Co.


March 25, 2015 Georgia Health News

Medical cannabis proposal nears the finish line

Andy Miller reports that two-year quest for medical cannabis in Georgia has a successful end in sight. The state Senate passed legislation Tuesday to allow the use of medical marijuana for eight health conditions, after rejecting amendments that would have substantially changed or gutted the bill. The House is expected to agree Wednesday to the version revised by the Senate, and if so, it goes to the governor for his signature.


March 25, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Storm clouds gathering for Nathan Deal’s school takeover plan?

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal’s signature legislative proposal emerged relatively unscathed from a key House committee on Monday. But a day later, there were some ominous signs about its fate. Georgia House Democrats took a  position this morning against the measure, urging their caucus’ 60 lawmakers to unify against the proposal to give the state sweeping new powers over perennially failing schools. The Legislative Black Caucus heard from some the plan’s staunchest opponents in the afternoon.




March 24, 2015 Savannah Morning

News Growth surging in Georgia Ports

Mary Carr Mayle reports that February traditionally is a slow month for shipping, both because it has only 28 days and it’s in the seasonal lag between Christmas and Easter. So, when Georgia Ports Authority posted its fifth-highest month on record in February — with year-over-year increases in every reporting category, it surprised even Curtis Foltz. The GPA executive director said he knew from activity reports that it would be a better-than-average February. He just didn’t realize how much better.


March 24, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Dublin/Laurens County: Small town, broad reach

Scott Blusiewics reports that when Don Avery needed major surgery, he had the luxury of choosing from several top hospitals in Georgia and Florida. But rather than travel to Atlanta, Tampa or Jacksonville, Avery decided to undergo hip replacement surgery at Fairview Park Hospital, an HCA-owned facility in Dublin. “I have an uncle who’s an orthopaedic surgeon at the largest practice in North Florida,” says Avery, president and CEO of Fairview Park. “HCA’s got hospitals all over the country. I stayed here not because I had to, but because I felt like I was going to get the best care. We’re nationally certified. We’re an accredited joint replacement center.”


March 24, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Porsche’s Atlanta headquarters to open in May

Carla Caldwell reports that Porsche Cars North America, Inc. will on May 7 host the official opening of its 28-acre North American headquarters in Atlanta. The $100 million facility is at One Porsche Drive near the northeast corner of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The new headquarters is expected to house 400 employees -- 100 of which will be new to Georgia.


March 24, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Regulators meeting about SC, Georgia nuclear projects

Staff reports that f


March 24, 2015 Macon Telegraph 

Commercial construction in Middle Georgia inches toward recovery

Linda S. Morris reports that as the economy slowly edges toward improvement, the commercial real estate market is showing continued signs of recovery. In Middle Georgia during the past year, new apartment communities have been built, some new restaurants have opened, school construction is underway and new industries have located here.


Read more here:

March 24, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post 

Electronics distributor picks Duluth for Southeast hub

Staff reports that a Thursday grand opening is set for a massive distribution center in Duluth. The 55,000-square-foot warehouse, resulting in 10 to 12 new employees, will serve as the Southeast hub for Madison Electric Products and house more than 2,000 different products, according to a news release. As a result of the new location, the company anticipates faster turn around on orders and improved customer service.


March 24, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

AGCO lowers Chairman Richenhagen’s total compensation in 2014

Staff reports that AGCO Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Martin Richenhagen’s total compensation decreased for the third year in a row in 2014. In a proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Duluth, Ga.-based agricultural equipment maker reported it gave Richenhagen a total comp package worth about $10.7 million. 


March 24, 2015

Deal: Wells Lighting to create 200 jobs in Jenkins County        

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Wells Lighting, a Korea-based light manufacturer, will locate its first North American headquarters in Millen, creating more than 200 jobs and investing $30 million into the project over the next two years. “The state of Georgia has long valued our relationship with Korea, a partnership that has paid dividends for both Koreans and for Georgians,” said Deal. “Wells Lighting’s decision to establish its first North American headquarters in our state tells us that our qualified workforce, diverse business network and pro-business environment continue to attract investment from leading companies around the world.”


March 24, 2015 Georgia CEO

Mercer to be Designated Georgia’s First Purple Heart University

Staff reports that Mercer University will be recognized as Georgia’s first Purple Heart University in a ceremony on April 8, 11 a.m., in the second-floor auditorium of the Atlanta Administration and Conference Center on the Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus. The designation signifies the University’s recognition and honor of veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart, which was created by George Washington to be bestowed upon those wounded or killed in combat serving our country.


March 24, 2015 WABE 

Senate Says Cities Can’t Ban Pit Bulls, Other Dog Breeds

Michelle Wirth reports that some cities across the country have banned or restricted dogs like pit bulls after they’ve attacked children or others. On Wednesday, the Georgia Senate passed a bill, SB 184, that prohibits local governments from making laws about specific breeds of dogs. Only the state would be able to make laws about pit bulls or other specific breeds of dogs, under the bill sponsored by Sen. Ellis Black, R-Valdosta. 


March 24, 2015 Georgia Health News

Autism bill appears stalled in Georgia House

Andy Miller reports that the fight over autism treatment coverage continued in a House committee hearing Monday, pitting organizations concerned about costs against those advocating for the most effective services for children. Senate Bill 1 would require many health insurance plans to cover applied behavior analysis (ABA), a treatment designed to help young children with autism reach their full potential in learning ability. The issue is contentious. A similar bill was unable to win approval last year, stymied in a standoff between the Senate and the House. And the House Insurance Committee hearing concluded Monday with no vote taken on the bill.


March 24, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider 

Georgia Voice: Josh McKoon was a legal contact for anti-LBGT clergyman

Jim Galloway reports that on the eve of a crucial House committee hearing for the surviving “religious liberty” bill before the Legislature, Patrick Saunders of the Georgia Voice reports on a relationship between state Sen. Josh McKoon, the author of S.B. 129, and a clergyman known for his anti-gay views: McKoon [was] listed as the registered agent for Chaplain Paul Voorhees Ministries, Inc. Voorhees, the host of “Ranger Joe’s God & Country” radio show in Columbus, routinely posts racist and homophobic messages on his Facebook page, including an image of him with fellow speakers at a north Georgia college holding homophobic signs, another image of a heterosexual couple holding hands with the words “Straight Pride” and Voorhees commenting “gay life is like an acting role with a used barf bag”….



March 23, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

First day of spring brings gift for metro motorists: Falling gas prices

Christopher Seward reports that if you’re traveling Friday near a Shell or QuickTrip in the 4200 or 4300 block of Bells Ferry Road in Kennesaw or a RaceTrac in the same vicinity, you might want to pull in and filler ‘er up. Those stations were selling regular unleaded at $1.93 Friday, the lowest prices in the metro area on the first day of spring. Despite the switch over to summer gas blends, which normally would drive gas prices higher and keep them higher, the cost at the pump has fallen in recent days in metro Atlanta and across the state and nation, according to the latest data from GasBuddy and AAA.


March 23, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Southern Culture

Ben Young reports that after months of hibernation it feels good to get out and partake in some local culture — whether indoors or out, art is best seen in natural light. A number of new shows happen to feature this writer's favorite style: abstract painting. Chaos and Metamorphosis pretty much sums up this genre, so it's fitting that it's the title of a show of works by Italian artist Piero Lerda. 


March 23, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Tanger Outlets Savannah to open with 85 designer outlets

Carla Caldwell reports that Tanger Outlets Savannah will open April 16 with 85 designer outlets, the company announced this week. Tanger and Atlanta-based Ben Carter Enterprises are partners in the 176-acre development in Pooler, Ga.


March 23, 2015 Rome News-Tribune 

Farmer Jordan’s roots firmly planted west of Rome

Doug Walker reports that new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that family-owned farms remain the mainstay of the agriculture industry. Jamie Jordan, a fifth-generation farmer in Floyd County, is a classic example of what the USDA is talking about. Jordan’s ancestor George Washington Jordan came to Centre, Alabama, from South Carolina in 1846. The Jordan family still operates farms in Alabama, but they also have a large spread on the Coosa River in western Floyd County and a tree farm on the Oostanaula River north of Rome.


March 23, 2015 University of Georgia 

Harvard economist to speak at UGA about income inequality

Matt Weeks reports that Gregory Mankiw, department chair of economics at Harvard University, will speak on "Income Inequality: Facts, Hypothesis, and Policy Prescriptions" March 26 at 11 a.m. in the University of Georgia Chapel. The talk, which is open free to the public as part of the Terry College of Business' Spring Economics Seminar, will run for an hour, after which Mankiw will field questions during an extended question-and-answer session.


March 23, 2015 Saporta Report 

Georgia Tech awards Mike Dobbins for his students’ work with Atlanta’s blighted communities 

David Pendered reports that Mike Dobbins is the first non-scientist to win Georgia Tech’s Innovation and Excellence in Laboratory Instruction Award, which recognizes his work with the CityLabs program in the School of City and Regional Planning. Dobbins is best known these days for the reports and proposals his students have produced on sweeping urban redevelopments. Recent topics include Memorial Drive; Fort McPherson; West End; and Northside Drive (which influenced the debate over Atlanta’s provision of $200 million in bonds to build the Falcons stadium).


March 23, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Coca-Cola gives NBA’s LeBron James a makeover

Christopher Seward reports that Atlanta-based Coca-Cola has given “King James” a makeover. More accurately, a Sprite brand created for NBA star LeBron James has been repackaged to add more pop to the pop, including a new name. The previous limited-edition Sprite 6 Mix by LeBron James, introduced in March last year, is now Sprite LeBron’s Mix and it’s on store shelves. The mix refers to the combination of Sprite “with a splash of natural cherry and orange flavors,” the beverage company said.


March 23, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post 

Broker: Old BrandsMart property in Buford sold for nearly $11.4 million

Curt Yeomans reports that an old appliance superstore has a new lease on life — as a flooring superstore. The real estate broker involved with the sale of the old BrandsMart U.S.A. in Buford confirmed to the Daily Post on Thursday that the building has been sold for nearly $11.4 million. Atlanta Land Group partner Jay Leslie said the group brokered the sale of the property, which sits on Buford Drive near Interstate 85, to Brand Development Corporation.


March 23, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post 

U.S. secretaries visit Gwinnett to announce $15M grant for food stamp pilot program

Tyler Estep reports that with an automotive technology lab at Gwinnett Technical College as a backdrop, United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Friday that Georgia will receive a $15 million grant as part of a pilot program aimed at getting food stamp recipients back to work. The program will target approximately 2,500 food stamp recipients in 10 counties, including Gwinnett. 


March 23, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider 

Edward Lindsey’s way out of the ‘religious liberty’ fight

Jim Galloway reports that during his tenure in the General Assembly, Edward Lindsey proved himself one of the body’s more thoughtful members, which is perhaps what handicapped him as a Republican candidate for Congress last year. The Atlanta attorney is free to speak his mind now, and was present at the Atlanta Press Club on Thursday when House Speaker David Ralston unburdened himself – unloading on a certain talk radio host in the process – on the topic of S.B. 129, the “religious liberty” bill now before the House Judiciary Committee.




March 20, 2015 

Deal: Applied Systems to create 150 jobs in Atlanta

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Applied Systems, a Chicago-based software company focused on the insurance industry, will expand its Atlanta operations, creating 150 jobs in the Buckhead area. Applied Systems is a leading provider of software to the insurance industry and the world’s largest provider of agency and brokerage management systems. The company employs 1,200 people in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Applied Systems first opened its Atlanta location in 2011.


March 20, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

40 Under 40 Nominations Now Open

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that each year Georgia Trend honors 40 of the state’s best and brightest under the age of 40. Whether you know someone who’s making a difference on the national stage or is a mover and shaker in his or her corner of the state, if they are under 40 years old as of Oct. 1, 2015, we want to hear about them. The ideal candidate is someone who is successful in his or her profession and is passionate about community service. There are a few cases in which a day job alone is enough of a qualification, but the state is filled with people who excel from 9 to 5. We’re looking for those whose involvement and commitment goes well beyond what they are paid to do.


March 20, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Aflac CEO Dan Amos’ total comp cut to $15.5 million in 2014

Staff reports that Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL) reduced Chairman and CEO Daniel P. Amos' total compensation 17 percent to about $15.5 million in 2014. According to the Columbus, Ga.-based insurance giant's annual proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the drop is due mostly to an $8.7 million decline in stock awards.


March 20, 2015 Savannah Morning News 

PortSide: This week's huge ship a harbinger of things to come

Mary Carr Mayle reports that dwarfing other ships moored along the riverfront — and blocking a good portion of River Street from the view of those watching from Hutchinson Island — the largest ship ever to call on the Port of Savannah sailed upriver Wednesday without a hitch. Master River Pilot Robert T. “Trey” Thompson III made it look easy as the massive container vessel ZIM Tianjin passed under the Talmadge Bridge with just a little over 6 feet to spare — a visible reminder of the need to deepen the Savannah River.


March 20, 2015 Rome News-Tribune 

Rome Paper Co. bought by PaperPack; Wilson Burgess also sells commercial sites in online auction

Doug Walker reports that Wilson Burgess was looking to sell some of his non-business assets at auction this month. Turns out, the longtime Rome businessman also sold his business, Rome Paper Co. Randy Smith, owner of PaperPack Inc., 605 Turner Chapel Road, has purchased the business from Burgess and will fold Rome Paper Co. into PaperPack.


March 20, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Service 

House speaker prefers higher state gas tax over per-vehicle fee to fund transportation

Walter C. Jones reports that a higher gas tax is preferable to an annual fee on every vehicle to fund transportation, House Speaker David Ralston said Thursday, because out-of-state drivers would pay with every fill-up. Ralston was comparing the thinking behind a house version of a sweeping transportation funding bill to what a Senate committee proposed Wednesday. The two versions differ in many ways, mostly with the Senate setting a nickel lower per-gallon tax than the House but making up the difference with a $25 fee on private cars.


March 20, 2015 Augusta Chronicle 

GRU found in violation of Animal Welfare Act

Tracy McManus reports that Georgia Regents University was found this year to have committed five violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act in its research labs, several of which are repeat offenses from previous U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections. Georgia Regents University was found this year to have committed five violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act in its research labs, several of which are repeat offenses from previous U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections.


March 20, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Coke CEO sticks with plan to sell more soda as consumer tastes change

Carla Caldwell reports that the Coca-Cola Co. Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent has what The Wall Street Journal says is a 'risky strategy' for addressing changing consumer tastes. Kent is eying selling more Coca-Cola. Kent, 62, says he has a number of plans that include more spending on marketing and an overhaul of the company's U.S. distribution network to help the Atlanta-based beverage giant return to high-single-digit earnings growth in 2016, the paper reports.


March 20, 2015 Saporta Report 

Georgia’s middle class shrinks even as household income plummets, Pew reports   

David Pendered reports that a eport released today by Pew Charitable Trust shows that Georgia’s middle-class has shrunk since 2000 – even as the benchmark, which is median household income, plummeted by 18 percent during the period. The analysis produced by Pew’s Stateline shows the middle class shrank in all 50 states. The median household income declined during the period in most states. Pew’s report speaks to a growing discussion over job growth and wages.


March 20, 2015 Georgia Health News

Medical cannabis bill scores key victory

Andy Miller reports that Georgia’s medical marijuana proposal took what its chief sponsor called “a giant leap’’ forward Thursday by passing a Senate committee after a long, emotional hearing. A divided Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved House Bill 1, sponsored by Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), after hearing testimony on issues ranging from medical treatment and patients’ pain to drug addiction and a lack of research data.


March 20, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider 

David Ralston on ‘religious liberty’ bills: ‘Closing the door to anyone is closing the door to all’

Jim Galloway reports, our AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin has the juicy details on House Speaker David Ralston’s remarks before the Atlanta Press Club this afternoon. He ran down the list of issues facing the Legislature, including transportation funding, transit, and the budget. And then he came to the topic of “religious liberty” legislation – specifically S.B. 129, authored by state Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus.





March 19, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia jobless rate declines to 6.3 percent

Staff reports that s


March 19, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Organizations: Girls Rock Camp ATL

Candice Dyer reports, every girl should feel like a rock star, and most campers do after a week of creative expression, social harmonies and a standing ovation. Stacey Singer started Girls Rock Camp ATL in 2008 to offer education and “empowerment programming” to girls between ages 10 and 16, with no previous training required. “If a girl doesn’t have an instrument, we provide one,” she says.


March 19, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Grady eyes $20M women's and infants' center renovations

Ellie Hensley reports, good news for future "Grady babies" and their mothers: Grady Memorial Hospital has nearly $20 million in renovations planned for its women's and infants' center. On Feb. 17, the health system filed a Certificate of Need request to Georgia's Department of Community Health (DCH) for almost $20 million in renovations. Under CON law, applicants wishing to build a new medical facility or provide new health-care services in Georgia must demonstrate to DCH the project is needed.


March 19, 2015 Georgia Health News

Key panel gives doctors a pay raise for Medicaid

Andy Miller reports that a state Senate panel gave Georgia primary care doctors a potential financial boost Wednesday, putting millions of dollars into the state budget for a pay raise to deliver services to Medicaid patients.  The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a budget that awards $5.9 million in state funds for a Medicaid pay raise to ob/gyns, and $13.6 million to internists, pediatricians and family medicine physicians. 


state Senate panel gave Georgia primary care doctors a potential financial boost Wednesday, putting millions of dollars into the state budget for a pay raise to deliver services to Medicaid patients.

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a budget that awards $5.9 million in state funds for a Medicaid pay raise to ob/gyns, and $13.6 million to internists, pediatricians and family medicine physicians.

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March 19, 2015 Georgia CEO 

ITC Security Partners Adding 90 Jobs in Georgia

Staff reports that Georgia Department of Economic Development today announced that ITC Security Partners LLC, a professional expert security services provider, will locate its headquarters to West Point, creating 90 jobs over the next three years. “Nearly 2,000 jobs have been announced from headquarter expansions or re-locations to Georgia just since last October,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “Today’s news is an indicator that Georgia’s thriving business community is the right place for this kind of growth. ITC Security Partners will continue to take advantage of a vast network of companies and a skilled workforce to fuel growth.”


March 19, 2015 Albany Herald 

Procter & Gamble biomass plant a team effort

Brad McEwen reports that community and business leaders gathered Wednesday to celebrate the development of a new biomass plant at Albany’s Procter and Gamble that will provide much needed renewal energy for the plant as it strives to make its operations more environmentally friendly. The addition of the $200 million energy co-generation plant will allow Procter and Gamble (P&G) to move toward it’s goal of becoming more energy efficient and reduce it’s environmental footprint.


March 19, 2015 Savannah Morning News 

Gulfstream's G650 wins 2014 Collier Trophy

Mary Carr Mayle reports that the National Aeronautic Association has named Gulfstream Aerospace the winner of the 2014 Robert J. Collier Trophy for development of the G650 business jet. The Collier Trophy is awarded annually “…for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year.”


March 19, 2015 Brunswick News

Tourism on the rise in Isles, state

Lindsey Adkison reports that tourism figures for Brunswick and Golden Isles are up and climbing even higher. “Last year, we attracted 2.4 million visitors to the region who had an economic impact of $1.1 billion, and there was a record $5.3 million in lodging tax collections,” Scott McQuade, executive director of the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau, told representatives of the local and regional tourism industry who were gathered in the Dubignon Room of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel Wednesday.


March 19, 2015 Macon Telegraph 

Regents approve university status for Middle Georgia State College

Maggie Lee reports that Middle Georgia State College’s elevation to a state university Wednesday could not have come on a better day for the school’s president, Christopher Blake. It happened to be his 54th birthday. By a unanimous vote, the state Board of Regents approved a change in name, mission and course offerings at Middle Georgia State, which will become Middle Georgia State University effective July 1.


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March 19, 2015 GPB

What Georgia Is Doing About Elder Abuse

Bobbie Battista reports that the state of Georgia has one of the strongest elder abuse laws in the country. Nonetheless, according to Kathy Floyd, the Executive Director of the Georgia Council on Aging, between 2008 and 2012 there was a 65% increase in reports of elder abuse in our state. Partly as the result of a particularly horrific incidence of abuse at an elder care facility in Commerce, Georgia in 2013, lawmakers in this year's legislative session are seeking to make Georgia's law even stronger. 


March 19, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider 

The Catholic absence in this year’s ‘religious liberty’ fight

Jim Galloway reports that we are in the second year of a fight over religious liberty and who needs protection from what at the state Capitol. But this year is not a replay of last year, because no two political confrontations are alike. Alliances change. Circumstances, too. Most would say the biggest difference is a U.S. Supreme Court that has edged ever closer to constitutional protection for gay marriage. Pending high court arguments, plus a decision likely this summer, have lent a certain air of desperation to both sides of the cultural struggle.




March 18, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

Comcast to bring 1,000 jobs to Braves' SunTrust Park development 

Ricky Leroux reports that the Atlanta Braves and Comcast announced Tuesday the media and cable company will be the sole occupant of a proposed nine-story office building adjacent to the ballclub’s new stadium in Cumberland. The office will become the headquarters of Comcast’s central division — which stretches from Chicago to Key West, Florida — and will house more than 1,000 Comcast employees, most of whom will be new hires for the company.


March 18, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Economy - A positive outlook

Jeffery Humphries reports that as the economy picks up around the country, folks in cities across Georgia will find life a little bit sweeter in 2015. In Columbus, employment will rise by 1.2 percent in 2015, or by 1,500 new jobs, which is a slight improvement over 2014. The regional economy derives a larger-than-average share of economic activity from three industries: financial activities, government, and leisure and hospitality. Improving conditions for financial activities will help Columbus in the coming year.


March 18, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Aaron’s founder Loudermilk surprises employees at national meeting

Leon Stafford reports that 


March 18, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Delta bests Hawaiian Airlines to top on-time airline list for 2nd month in a row

Jason Ubay reports that Delta Air Lines Inc. had the highest on-time arrival percentage in January, surpassing Hawaiian Airlines for the second consecutive month, according to data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Atlanta-based Delta (NYSE: DAL) had 86.1 percent of its flights on-time in January, compared to Honolulu-based Hawaii's 85.5 percent.


March 18, 2015 Brunswick News

Sea Island, environmental groups reach agreement on spit development

Michael Hall reports that Sea Island Co. will build the eight houses it has planned for its Cloister Reserve development on the island’s spit but will submit the remaining 80 acres at the south end of the island to a conservation easement under an agreement with environmental groups announced Tuesday. The agreement means the dispute will not wind up in court, which Atlanta firm GreenLaw, the organization that negotiated on behalf of three environmental groups, said was likely to happen had a compromise not been reached. GreenLaw represents the Altamaha Riverkeeper, Center for a Sustainable Coast and the Georgia chapter of the Surfrider Foundation in the matter.


March 18, 2015

PGi in the forefront of Atlanta's quest as a global technology hub

Phil Bolton reports that President Obama’s visit to Atlanta and the Georgia Institute of Technology last week was still on the top of Mayor Kasim Reed’s mind Tuesday when he came to the heart of Buckhead for a ribbon cutting at the PGi Innovation Lab. He told Boland T. Jones, the founder, chairman and CEO of PGi, that he had reviewed for the president the city’s efforts to boost its technology sector through such efforts as competing for the installation of Google Fiber.  


March 18, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer 

Woods to become chairman of TSYS board on April 28

Tony Adams reports that Troy Woods, who took the helm of high-tech Columbus firm TSYS last August, becoming its chief executive officer, will now add chairman of the board to his duties in late April. That was the major piece of news delivered Monday via the company’s proxy statement filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The global credit-card and payments processor — headquartered in downtown Columbus — said Woods will succeed longtime TSYS Chairman Phil Tomlinson effective April 28.


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March 18, 2015 Georgia Health News

Ga. exchange rates hold the line, beat U.S. average

Andy Miller reports that premiums in Georgia’s insurance exchange showed only a slight increase in 2015, as compared with the South overall and the nation as a whole, according to a new analysis released Tuesday. The Urban Institute study found that nationally, the average premium increase in the lowest-cost “Silver” plan was 2.9 percent. The Silver plans are the most popular among consumers, and the rates studied pertain to a 40-year-old individual who does not use tobacco. The Georgia increase in the lowest-cost Silver plan was just 1.8 percent in 2015, rising from $255 to $260 a month.  The national average premium for the low-cost plan was $264.


March 18, 2015 Georgia CEO

Southern Company CEO Receives National Award for Leading Nuclear Development

Staff reports that the National Labor and Management Public Affairs Committee has named Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning as a recipient of the 2015 John D. Dingell Award. Fanning and North America's Building Trades Unions President Sean F. McGarvey will be presented the award at a reception in Washington, D.C. this evening. Fanning and McGarvey were recognized for their shared commitment to new nuclear development and partnership in building two of the nation's first nuclear units in more than 30 years at Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power's Plant Vogtle.


March 18, 2015 Augusta Chronicle 

Jack Craig named new manager for Savannah River Site

Meg Mirshak reports that the U.S. Department of Energy has named a new manager for Savannah River Site, according to the site’s public affairs office.. Jack Craig will replace Dave Moody who is retiring from the Energy Department in June and was manager at SRS for five years. Craig has served as director of the environmental management consolidated business center in Cincinnati, Ohio since 2004.


March 18, 2015 WABE 

Being A Woman in Georgia Not Great, Studies Find

Lisa Hagen reports that a couple of reports came out this week comparing women’s quality of life in different states. Georgia remains way behind in key areas. The first report comes from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. They gave Georgia a C, for employment and earnings for women. Ariane Hegewisch is one of the study’s directors. Sure, she said, technically a C is passing.  


March 18, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Tip sheet: Civics lessons for everyone

Jim Galloway reports, number of working days left until the end of the 2015 session: 10. After an extra-long weekend to recover from a surprisingly uneventful Crossover Day, lawmakers will begin the final slog to the finish line. They’ll be starting slow. The House will start at 1 p.m., with four resolutions on the calendar, including H.R 303, which urges the state Department of Education to implement a “comprehensive civics education curricula.”  The Senate calendar is even lighter, with one bill HB 211, relating to the definition of “dangerous drugs,” and a resolution designating December 10 “Georgia’s Day of Coding.”




March 17, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Pike Nurseries employees become owners of business

Leon Stafford report that 


March 17, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia View: New rules for schools

Bill Crane writes, Georgia’s Quality Basic Education Act (QBE) turns 30 this year. At his State of the State address in January, Gov. Nathan Deal compared the law to a couple of other ’80s-era relics. “Just as most of us wouldn’t dress our children in parachute pants and jelly shoes and we wouldn’t teach them about computers on a Commodore 64, neither should we educate them under a 1980’s funding formula,” Deal said. “Our students are now using iPads and Androids. Why tie them to a desk when technology can take them to the moon and back?”


March 17, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Comcast Corp. strikes deal with Braves at SunTrust Park

Douglas Sams reports that the Atlanta Braves and Comcast Corp. have struck a deal that would include the media and technology company anchoring a new office tower at SunTrust Park. The move was confirmed by a source familiar with the project. Braves officials could not immediately be reached for comment.


March 17, 2015 Georgia CEO

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. Announces Plans to Increase Technician Workforce

Staff report sthat Asbury Automotive Group, Inc, one of the largest automotive retail and service companies in the U.S., is announcing an initiative to hire between 200 and 400 technicians over the next twelve to twenty-four months to meet potential growth opportunities in our parts and service business. We expect to have opportunities to expand both our quick service offerings as well as our traditional service offerings across all of our stores and collision centers to better serve the needs of our customers.


March 17, 2015 UGA

Yik Yak founders to headline Thinc. Entrepreneurial Week at UGA

Staff reports that Thinc. Entrepreneurial Week, which will be March 23-27, will once again bring an array of innovators to the University of Georgia to stimulate entrepreneurial thinking.This is the third year that Thinc. has sponsored a weeklong celebration of entrepreneurship with events organized by the university's colleges and programs as well as community organizations. Throughout the week, workshops, panel discussions, competitions and networking events promise to engage, inspire and build the confidence in attendees to take ideas from concept to reality.


March 17, 2015 Georgia Health News

Ordinary folks on the health care front lines

Sydney Devine reports that Barbara Ellington, a health care volunteer, is helping her Athens neighbors live healthier lives. She gives them sound advice on how to take care of themselves and when to seek medical treatment. Ellington received special training from nurses and health educators in Athens as part of the Community Health Partner Program. Through that program, she and others have become a resource for people who have little access to health advice or medical care, as well as for those whose worlds are limited by lack of transportation or infirmity.


March 17, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Metro Atlanta foreclosure notices rise in March

J. Scott Trubey reports that f


March 17, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

FOCUS Brands moving HQ to Perimeter

Staff reports that FOCUS Brands Inc. leased the 63,000-square-foot MidCity Plaza building for a new headquarters in Atlanta's Perimeter submarket. Financial terms were not disclosed. FOCUS plans to move its HQ later this year. The building is the former home of Crawford & CO. (NYSE: CRDa). MidCity Real Estate Partners bought the property at 5620 Glenridge Dr. in mid-2013, and converted it to Class A space over two years.


March 17, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Unisys finalizes Port Royal lease

Jenna Martin reports that Unisys announced that it has finalized a lease to occupy much of the former Fort Discovery space along Riverwalk Augusta. Unisys announced that it has finalized a lease to occupy much of the former Fort Discovery space along Riverwalk Augusta. “This will be one of three Unisys service centers in the United States delivering innovative solutions for our clients’ mission-critical requirements,” said Ron Frankenfield, president of Unisys Enterprise Solutions. “We look forward to being part of the Augusta business community and contributing to the growth of the region.”


March 17, 2015 Newnan Times-Herald

Hackers attack paper’s website

Clay Neely reports that a group of purported Muslim hackers took over website on Thursday. is part of the The Citizen newspaper in Fayette County. Along with deleting crucial software files and crippling the site, the group also posted a pro-Muslim, anti-Israel rant, accompanied by animated flags of Algeria and Palestine. The purported hacker, Admirale_Mouh, stated, “I hack you Because I Want To Shar(sic) My Message.”


March 17, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

The ‘religious liberty’ poster child you haven’t heard much about

Jim Galloway reports that in the fight over “religious liberty” legislation in the state Capitol, much of the individual attention has focused on Kelvin Cochran, the Atlanta fire chief sacked by Mayor Kasim Reed after publishing a religious book that condemned homosexuality. Far less attention has devolved Dr. Eric Walsh, a Pasadena, Cal., health department official who, last year, was about to be hired by the state Department of Public Health to run its operations in northwest Georgia.



March 16, 2015 WABE

Georgia Leads Nation In Average Student Loan Debt

Elly Yu reports that Georgia has the highest average debt per student among the 50 states, according to numbers released by the White House this week. There are more than 1.4 million borrowers in Georgia, with the average debt per borrower at $30,443. Only the nation's capital, Washington D.C., has a higher average per borrower of $40,885.


March 16, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Eat, Drink, Enjoy

Susan Percy reports that Karen Bremer has had a long career in the restaurant industry, starting as a teenage S&S Cafeteria checker in Florida, where she walked the line to make sure food was properly displayed and priced. She was a restaurant manager and then president of the Peasant Restaurant Group, which helped change the way Atlantans dine out; and she owned and ran two fine dining establishments of her own, which closed in 2009.


March 16, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Citi Trends names new CEO, posts $9 million profit in 2014

Staff reports that urban fashion retailer Citi Trends Inc. promoted Chief Merchandising Officer Jason Mazzola, to CEO to replace the retiring Ed Anderson. Chief Financial Officer Bruce Smith will become the Savannah, Ga.-based company's chief operating officer.


March 16, 2015 GeorgiaCEO

Georgia-Pacific Concludes Deal for Alabama Lumber Facility

Staff reports that Georgia-Pacific today announced it has concluded an agreement with RoyOMartin for the transfer of RoyOMartin's Mexia, Alabama, Rocky Creek lumber operations to Georgia-Pacific. The Rocky Creek lumber facility employs approximately 110 employees. Terms of the agreement are undisclosed. Closing of the transaction is expected shortly.  


March 16, 2015

Lanier Islands looking for another 500 workers as busiest times of year draw near

Staff reports that as Georgians thaw out from the latest rounds of winter storms, Lake Lanier Islands already has its sights firmly focused on Spring and Summer 2015. To prepare for its two busiest seasons of the year, the South Hall resort plans to fill up to 500 positions over the course of the next couple of months.


March 16, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Mississippi-based regional bank OK'd to buy Georgia bank

Staff reports that o


March 16, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Cox Media brings comedy network LAFF to WSB-TV

Staff reports that Cox Media Group will bring comedy TV network LAFF to stations in Atlanta and six other markets when the network debuts on April 15. In Atlanta, LAFF will be carried by WSB-TV On Channel 2.3.


March 16, 2015 Georgia Health News

Health IT is big, and Georgia is its epicenter

Andy Miller reports that Chris Hooper and his startup firm, Emergence, are betting on the boom in health information technology. Launched last year as an “accelerator,’’ Emergence will take fledgling health IT companies and get them ready to pitch investors for funding. It will also help medical device companies get their new products established. “One of the only good things’’ about the Affordable Care Act, CEO Hooper says, is its push for cost savings in health care, and for data derived from electronic medical records. “Health IT is a high-growth area,” he says.


March 16, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Critics say governor's proposed new name for tech colleges would hurt reputation

Lee Shearer reports that Gov. Nathan Deal's proposal to change the name of the Technical College System of Georgia to "Georgia's Career College System" might actually damage the state's technical college system, according to critics that include 20 former Georgia technical college presidents. Deal announced the name change at a Georgia Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting shortly before the state legislature convened in January. Deal praised technical colleges in his speech to the chamber, but said they needed a new name.


March 16, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Capitol Events

Ben Young reports, the Garden Club of Georgia and the Georgia Water Coalition joined several other environmental groups in Atlanta on Feb. 18, for Capitol Conservation Day. Some 150 gathered at the Capitol after a breakfast briefing on environmental issues at Central Presbyterian Church, across the street from the Statehouse. The current legislative session includes a mixed bag of environmental policy in the works. Senate Bill 101 would clarify and sustain Georgia's buffer rules for rivers and streams, but some groups are concerned the bill has too many loopholes in its current state. Clarification of Georgia's buffer rules have been sorely needed for years, but not if a compromised version makes it difficult to enforce them. 


March 16, 2015 Cherokee Tribune

Crossover Day: Local reps give update on which bills made the cut

Jessicah Peters reports that as Friday marked Crossover Day for the Georgia General Assembly, Cherokee County’s representatives pushed for support in order to move their bills out of the House and into the Senate. Rep. Mandi Ballinger (R-Canton) successfully carried two pieces of local legislation through the House this session, which then also passed in the Senate. Two other representatives are working to have local bills passed.


March 16, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Georgia’s gun culture as a work of science fiction

Jim Galloawy reports, take the city of Kennesaw, which officially requires heads of households to own a gun. Add a pinch of Claxton, the south Georgia town famous for its annual roundup of serpents, and perhaps a dash of sawdust Pentecostalism. Stir thoroughly in the head of a science-fiction writer appalled by his experience with gun politics in the state Capitol, and the result is a just-published novelette called “Rattlesnakes and Men,” the tale of a Georgia community that requires homeowners to own pit vipers for self-protection.



March 13, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Cherokee employers looking to hire 600-plus at March 25 job fair

Christopher Seward reports that e


March 13, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Sustainable Georgia: Filling up the tank

Ben Young writes, a transportation bill, HB 170, was introduced in January, and there’s been much debate over how to find transportation funding. The bill follows a study and report by the State Senate and House that gave tax-policy wonks a lot to chew on. The report did a good job of explaining Georgia’s transportation problems – our current funding structure leaves a $74-billion “funding gap” over the next 20 years – and outlining the need for a minimum of $1 billion to $1.5 billion each year dedicated to transportation funding. 


March 13, 2015 Georgia CEO

Valspar to Contribute $36 Million to Habitat for Humanity

Staff reports that the Valspar Corporation today announced a five-year pledge of $36 million in paint and funding to Habitat for Humanity. The pledge includes a $2 million contribution from the Valspar Corporation Foundation. Valspar donated more than $6 million in paint and $350,000to support Habitat's affordable housing work in 2015, and anticipates maintaining this level of support through 2019.


March 13, 2015 Atlanta Magazine

Atlanta’s German Influx

Jerry Grillo reports that five years ago, Doreen Eitel left Germany and ended up in Columbus, Ohio, where she worked as an au pair. She married and moved to Tampa. Two years ago, the couple moved to Atlanta, and Eitel was pleasantly surprised. “I have discovered things that make Germany feel a little closer, and Atlanta feel more like home,” says Eitel, 28, who works for Novem, a German-owned business in Austell that provides car interior parts to companies like Mercedes-Benz, which in January announced it would move its U.S. headquarters from New Jersey to Atlanta. Mercedes joins upwards of 250 other German-owned firms—think Siemens and Porsche—with Atlanta outposts. 


March 13, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

First Look: Proposed Cobb County office tower for Synovus

Douglas Sams reports that an Atlanta developer hopes a proposed Cobb County office tower could become the new Atlanta office of Synovus Financial Corp. Atlanta Business Chronicle reports Friday in its March 13-19 print edition Atlanta developer TPA Group has proposed building a 154,000-square-foot, class A tower at the intersection of Akers Mill Road and Cumberland Boulevard near Cobb Galleria in hopes of winning Synovus (NYSE: SNV) as its anchor tenant.


March 13, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Status of pipeline 'hearings' questioned

Staff reports that hundreds of Georgians have attended five meetings this month from Sylvania to Brunswick about a proposed petroleum pipeline planned to run 210 miles along the Savannah River and the Georgia coast. But state officials have been unable to confirm whether citizens were attending an official public hearing about the Palmetto Pipeline and whether the concerns they aired constituted official public comment.


March 13, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Unemployment rates rise in Macon, Warner Robins in January

Linda S. Morris reports that the unemployment rates in metro Macon and Warner Robins rose slightly in January. The rate in Macon was 7 percent, up from 6.7 percent in December, according to a news release from the Georgia Department of Labor. The rate in January 2014 was 8 percent. The area lost 2,200 mostly temporary and part-time jobs related to the holiday season. The number of jobs in metro Macon declined to 101,200, down from 103,400 in December, the release stated.


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March 13, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Chick-fil-A CEO plans Atlanta wellness resort

Ellie Hensley reports, does Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy want you to eat less chikin? Cathy, whose company makes billions of dollars each year dishing out fried chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, is starting an upscale fat camp for companies' workers and their families. It's called "The Atlanta Wellness Resort project." Cathy aims for it to be "the most stellar wellness center in the world," he told Atlanta business leaders in announcing it. 


March 13, 2015 GPB

National Recognition for a Macon Golf Course With a Civil Rights History

Michael Caputo reports that a municipally-owned golf course in Macon has made the National Register of Historic Places list. The nearly 75-year-old Charles L. Bowden Golf Course has history reaching back to the Depression-era. But perhaps its real place in history is as one of the first public places in Macon to integrate. In June 1961, black golfers in Macon did not play on Bowden. That despite years of petitioning by dozens of black players for equal access. They did caddie at Bowden. Maconite Nathanial Veal was a caddie when four black players took matters in their own hands.


March 13, 2015 UGA

UGA researchers develop technology to find rotten onions, prevent spread of disease

Molly Berg reports that onions, one of the biggest vegetable crops in Georgia, risk disease when they are harvested and stored. To solve this issue, University of Georgia researchers have developed new technologies, including a gas sensor and imaging methods, to detect diseases in onions. Their study was published recently in the journal Sensors. As part of a three-year grant, Changying "Charlie" Li, an associate professor in the College of Engineering, sought to find latent diseases in onions, ones not easily detected by the human eye. These diseases can spread to other onions in close vicinity, sometimes damaging half of the supply in storage.


March 13, 2015 WABE

Bicyclists Could Have Shorter Waits At Stoplights Under Bill Clearing Georgia Senate

Michelle Wirth reports that if you ride a bicycle or motorcycle, you could soon be able to make your way through intersections without waiting for a red light to change. That’s because of a bill passed by the Georgia Senate yesterday. Before going through an intersection, riders would have to come to a complete stop and make sure there are no other vehicles within 500 feet. But they could only go if they believe their bicycle or motorcycle wasn’t triggering the stoplight. Currently, like cars, bicyclists can turn right on red, but they’re not supposed to go straight or turn left.


March 13, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

An unusual voice enters the ‘religious liberty’ debate

Jim Galloway reports that if this is a hoax, it’s an elaborate one. And if it’s real, just remember that the Wiccan lobby at the state Capitol has always been a tad weak. Nonetheless, the website of the Aquarium Tabernacle Church, an apparently legal, 501(c)3 outfit based in Washington state, has endorsed S.B. 129, the “religious liberty” bill now under consideration by the House Judiciary Committee.



March 12, 2015 Georgia CEO

"Buy From Georgia" Proclamation and Georgia Manufacturing Day a Huge Success

Staff reports that March 4th was a great day for Georgia manufacturers at the State Capitol. The "BUY FROM GEORGIA" Proclamation and the Georgia Manufacturing Day was a huge Success. Governor Nathan Deal presented the proclamation to a group of more than 70 manufacturing and business leaders from around the state. The “BUY FROM GEORGIA” Proclamation is designed to bring awareness of the many great products that are manufactured in Georgia. Both general consumers and businesses are encouraged to buy more locally manufactured goods year-round. 


March 12, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Business Casual: The kids are just fine

Susan Percy writes, if you are trying to make a millennial’s eyes glaze over, you can’t do much better than, “When I was your age …” It’s foolproof, but somehow we aging baby boomers just can’t help ourselves. Nor can we get past the idea that we are special – more interesting, smarter, savvier than any previous generation. Who wouldn’t want to hear – over and over and over – what we have to say?


March 12, 2015 WABE

Half A Million Georgians Enrolled In Obamacare

Michell Eloy reports that more than a half million Georgians have signed up for health care through the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, with the vast majority qualifying for financial help from the federal government. According to the latest numbers from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, released earlier this week, 541,080 Georgians have signed up for coverage over the program’s two open enrollment periods, making it the state with the fourth most signups.


March 12, 2015 Emory University

Michael J. Mandl named president and CEO of Emory Healthcare

Staff reports that Emory University President James Wagner today announced the appointment of Michael J. Mandl to the position of president and CEO of Emory Healthcare. Mandl has served Emory University as executive vice president for business and administration since joining Emory in 2003. In this capacity, he has served on the Emory Healthcare Board of Directors, and was appointed chair in September 2014. He is also a member of the Board of the Emory Saint Joseph’s Joint Operating Company.


March 12, 2015 Rome News-Tribune

Floyd County home sales spike in February

Doug Walker reports that Rome real estate agents closed on the sale of 70 single-family homes in February, an increase of 18 from February of a year ago. The Georgia Multiple Listing Service reports that the average sales price for Floyd County homes in February was $95,243. That’s well below the $119,781 average sales price for homes sold in February 2014.


March 12, 2015 Albany Herald

Thrush Aircraft looking for ways to diversify and increase market share

Terry Lewis reports that as prices for agricultural products have waned over the past two years, officials with Thrush Aircraft of Albany, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of agricultural airplanes, have been actively pursuing different ways to diversify and grow the company’s business. “We’ve been looking to diversify our market share,” Thrush Vice President of Sales Eric Rojak told the Dougherty County Rotary Club. “We are a major exporter of aircraft. Ag is slowly coming back, but that, coupled with a strong dollar, makes it difficult to sell aircraft that cost $1 million each on average.”


March 12, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Metro Atlanta jobless rate rises to 6.2 percent

Staff reports that s


March 12, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Five TV pilots filming in Georgia

Ellie Hensley reports that late February into March is pilot season in the television industry, and five productions have set up shop in Georgia. According to, pilots being filmed in Georgia include ABC's "Quantico" and "The Kingmakers," NBC's "Game of Silence" and HBO's "Brothers in Atlanta." Various casting websites and also claim The CW is filming its pilot "Cordon" here.


March 12, 2015 AccessNorthGeorgia

Vanguard Truck Center bringing jobs to Banks County

Rob Moore reports that the Banks County Commission has cleared the way for a new business to bring about two dozen jobs to the county. Tuesday night, the commission heard from Frank Fulton of Vanguard Truck Group, who said the company plans to expand its operations to a vacant complex near Atlanta Dragway on East Ridgeway Road.


March 12, 2015 Augusta Chronicle, Morris News Service 

Augusta economy poised to outgrow state

Walter C. Jones reports that the Augusta area is set to create jobs and grow its economy faster than the rest of the Georgia economy, according to a forecast released Wednesday by Georgia State University. Augusta area is set to create jobs and grow its economy faster than the rest of the Georgia economy, according to a forecast released Wednesday by Georgia State University.


March 12, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Georgia Senate expands P3s

Dave Williams reports that the Georgia Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to let state agencies and local governments go to the private sector to finance and construct public buildings. The so-called P3 bill, which now moves to the state House of Representatives, would expand the state law governing public-private partnerships to vertical construction. Georgia already allows P3s in the financing and construction of highway projects and reservoirs.


March 12, 2015 GPB

Speaker Ralston On Risk-Taking And The Transportation Bill 

Bill Nigut reports that last week, the Georgia House passed a billion dollar transportation package. It passed 123 votes to 46 through multiple revisions and last minute changes and pressure from conservatives groups to vote against it as they considered the bill a tax hike. As a result, some of the members who voted in favor of the bill could face reprisals come election time . That possibility is not lost on Speaker David Ralston. 


March 12, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

A remarkable House revolt against the Georgia Chamber

Greg Bluestein reports that Georgia House lawmakers were approving one proposal after another in a lightning-fast litany when action suddenly ground to a halt late Wednesday evening. State Rep. Dusty Hightower, a second-term Republican from Carrollton, strode to the podium and nodded to the papers being circulated on lawmakers’ desks. They were warnings that the Georgia Chamber and the National Federation of Independent Business fiercely opposed his House Bill 303 proposal and that their “yes” votes would be recorded on their feared scorecard.



March 11, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

Georgia Agriculture Commissioner: Agriculture is More Than $72B Industry

Brittini Ray reports that Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black spoke to the Marietta Business Association on Monday, boasting of the state agricultural industry’s economic and social impact, including the department’s partnership with local schools. Black also spoke on the importance of purchasing food locally, touting the abundance of the state’s agriculture opportunities.  


March 11, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Growing Businesses

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that as the economy continues to grow and Georgia remains the No. 1 state to do business, entrepreneurs are increasingly seeking out business incubators to help get their fledgling companies soaring. From mentoring to funding to managerial support to regulatory navigation, Georgia’s business incubators in universities and technical colleges or those run by economic development entities and private individuals have a successful track record with companies as diverse as biotech enterprises, a creamery, a home healthcare business and high-tech startups.


March 11, 2015 UGA

A&A Alta Cucina Italia balsamic vinegar wins 2015 Flavor of Georgia contest

J. Merritt Melancon reports that Adriana Coppola, a native Italian now living in Marietta, won the grand prize in the University of Georgia's 2015 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest with her A&A Alta Cucina Italia Balsamico al Mirtillo, a blueberry balsamic vinegar reduction. The annual contest, conducted by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, is a chance for food businesses to showcase their new products.


March 11, 2015 New York Times

At White Oak Pastures, Grass-Fed Beef Is Only the Beginning

Kim Severson reports that if the Southern organic crowd were made up of teenage fan girls, he would be their Justin Bieber. With two of his three daughters and about 100 cowboys and meat cutters, William Harris III operates White Oak Pastures, the largest organic farm in Georgia and the South’s most diverse. He grows vegetables and raises 10 species of animals, most of which roam around in a model of farming based on the way animals graze on the Serengeti plains.


March 11, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

CTCA withdraws bill that would amend CON law

Ellie Hensley reports that Cancer Treatment Centers of America is dropping its bid to amend Georgia's Certificate of Need law until next year. On Feb. 24, Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs, introduced House Bill 482 into Georgia's General Assembly, which would have allowed it to accept more in-state patients.


March 11, 2015

Deal: Varian Medical Systems to create 100 jobs in Atlanta         

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Varian Medical Systems, the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and a premier supplier of X-ray imaging components, will expand its operations in Fulton County, creating up to 100 new high-paying technical jobs over the next five years.


March 11, 2015 Crain's New York Business

Three-story Chick-fil-A to open in New York City this summer

Adrianne Pasquarelli reports, why did the chicken cross the Hudson? To open the first stand-alone Chick-fil-A in New York City. The Atlanta-based restaurant chain will debut a three-level eatery at 1000 Sixth Ave., at the corner of West 37th Street, in late summer. The 5,000-square-foot space marks the 48-year-old company’s first foray into the Big Apple market, though it has operated a tiny outpost within the food hall of New York University’s campus for years. The closest location is 15 miles away in Paramus, N.J.


March 11, 2015 Saporta Report

Metro Chamber VP to lead Cobb County’s new Georgia Business Success Center   

David Pendered reports that the Metro Chamber’s vice president of entrepreneurial development has resigned to become executive director of the new Georgia Business Success Center, in Cobb County. Nancy Wright Whatley’s appointment was announced Tuesday by Kennesaw State University. KSU partnered with the Cobb Chamber to form the new center. Whatley is to report directly to KSU President Daniel Papp.


March 11, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Delta tweaks 2015 SkyMiles program

Phil W. Hudson reports that Delta Air Lines Inc. is updating the SkyMiles program with several changes, including new one-way Award tickets beginning as low as 10,000 miles. The Atlanta-based airline (NYSE: DAL) said the new one-way Award tickets will be available through Dec. 31, for travel in select U.S., Mexican and Caribbean markets. Customers also can now fly to several Award destinations with a 21-day minimum advance purchase.


March 11, 2015 WABE

GSU Constitutional Scholar Sees Unintended Problems with Religious Freedom Bill

Denis O'Hayer reports that most of the debate surrounding the controversial "religious freedom" bill (SB 129) has centered around whether or not it would clear the way for discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.  But one constitutional scholar says there are other big--and unintentional--problems with the legislation as it is now written. L. Lynn Hogue is Professor of Law Emeritus and Director of the Master's Program for Foreign-Trained Lawyers at the Georgia State University College of Law.  He says the bill has no clear definition of the term "religious exercise," and that could open the door to all kinds of problems for the state.


March 11, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Teachers group lines up against Nathan Deal’s school-rescue plan

Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy report that the Georgia teachers group sparked into existence by changes to state insurance policies has taken aim at Gov. Nathan Deal’s effort to rescue troubled schools in Georgia. From the Facebook page of TRAGIC: Having Washington dictate a top-down approach for Georgia’s local schools doesn’t work, and it won’t work coming from Atlanta, either. Every school within every district has its own student and parent population, and this means every school has individual needs and issues, which its community will understand better than an Atlanta bureaucrat.



March 10, 2015 Georgia CEO

Leading Window Manufacturer Creates 50 Jobs in Swainsboro

Staff reports that the Georgia Department of Economic Development today announced that Vista Window Company, a window manufacturer owned by JP Capital Management, will expand its operations in Swainsboro, Ga., creating 50 jobs and investing $2 million into the project over the next year. “Projects like this truly represent how Georgia’s business environment enables company growth,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr.


March 10, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Macon/Bibb County: It's better in Bibb

Randy Southerland reports that it's been a long time coming, but Macon is back. From a resurgent business community to a fast-developing and now trendy downtown, this Middle Georgia city is on the upswing. Economic developers like Pat Topping, senior vice president of the Macon Economic Development Commission, measure the upswing in numbers. In 2014, the level of development rose by 20 percent after a similar increase from the previous year.


March 10, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Fuji adds to its Savannah plant

Mary Carr Mayle reports that Fuji Vegetable Oil on Monday celebrated the completion of its third refinery at the Fuji plant on Brampton Road, an addition that will allow Fuji to double its annual production of specialty oils and fats from 5,000 truckloads to 10,000. The high-tech refinery removes fatty acids and impurities from vegetable oil, allowing Fuji to customize the product to each client’s specifications.


March 10, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Tesla Motors could get greenlight to expand in Georgia

Dave Williams and Urvaksh Karkaria report that Tesla Motors Inc. could be catching a break soon in its national battle with traditional automotive dealers. Compromise legislation that would let California-based Tesla sell an unlimited number of its all-electric sedans in Georgia at five locations cleared a legislative committee Monday.


March 10, 2015 Saporta Report

Homebuilders say market flat; wages forecast to rise 2-3 percent: Latest report from Federal Reserve   

David Pendered reports that two sectors of the economy of special importance in metro Atlanta present a mixed bag of indicators in the Federal Reserve’s latest “beige book.” The picture becomes even murkier once the state’s unemployment rate is counted. Overall, business leaders in metro Atlanta and across the south continue to report moderate economic growth and forecast similar growth in the near future, according to the Fed’s March 4 beige book. The report covers Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and portions of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.


March 10, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Acuity Brands buys Distech Controls for $252.8 million

Staff reports that Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE: AYI) will buy Canadian automation and energy management company Distech Controls Inc. for $252.8 million. Quebec, Canada-based Distech's products are used for the integration of lighting, HVAC, access control, closed circuit television, and related systems. It generated $55.7 million in sales last year.


March 10, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Car dealers back revised Tesla bill

Matt Kempner reports that with 


March 10, 2015 Georgia Health News

Devil's in the budget details for state workers

Andy Miller reports that the budget issue that has most rattled the General Assembly this year involves the proposed elimination of health insurance for 11,500 part-time school employees, mainly bus drivers and cafeteria workers. Gov. Nathan Deal, defending the insurance cut for these “non-certificate” school workers, argued that it’s a matter of fairness to other state employees who work part time but don’t qualify for benefits. The Georgia House, feeling the heat from the public over the unpopular proposal, put the benefits for the non-certificate workers back into the budget. But the legislators shifted that cost – more than $100 million – to the local school districts. That sparked a new outcry.

budget issue that has most rattled the General Assembly this year involves the proposed elimination of health insurance for 11,500 part-time school employees, mainly bus drivers and cafeteria workers.

Gov. Nathan Deal, defending the insurance cut for these “non-certificate” school workers, argued that it’s a matter of fairness to other state employees who work part time but don’t qualify for benefits.

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March 10, 2015 WABE

Georgia House Votes To Legalize Fireworks

Jonathan Shapiro reports that the Georgia House Monday approved a bill that would legalize fireworks statewide. Currently, only sparklers are allowed. Supporters complain Georgia is losing out on business to neighboring states. They say selling fireworks would create more than 1,000 jobs. Opponents, however, have safety concerns. Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, referred to it as the "blow the child's hand off" bill.


March 10, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

President Obama to meet with Nathan Deal during his Atlanta swing

Greg Bluestein reports that President Barack Obama will have a rather surprising visitor in the audience when he addresses Georgia Tech students about access to quality higher education in Atlanta on Tuesday. Gov. Nathan Deal will attend the speech and plans to speak briefly with the president. Deal spokesman Brian Robinson would not say what will be discussed, but expect funding for the dredging of Savannah’s port to be among the topics. Deal steered well clear of Obama’s policy speech on improving access to early childhood education in February 2013. And top politicians from both parties were very visible no-shows in September when Obama landed in Atlanta to talk about his administration’s plans to halt the spread of Ebola.




March 9, 2015

Deal: February revenues up 12.6 percent

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia’s net tax collections for February totaled $943.7 million, an increase of $105.6 million, or 12.6 percent, compared to February 2014. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled $12.41 billion for an increase of nearly $676.4 million, or 5.8 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year, when net tax revenues totaled $11.74 billion through eight months.


March 9, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Going to town

Lori Johnston reports that it's no secret that across Georgia and the nation, people are flocking to downtown city centers once again, drawn by historic architecture, walkability, and unique and creative small businesses. But what you may not know is that for more than 30 years, the Georgia Main Street program, a Department of Community Affairs program with design assistance provided by The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, has been quietly supporting and encouraging these downtown centers to become vibrant once again.


March 9, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

UPS launches ‘United Problem Solvers’ campaign

Carla Caldwell reports that United Parcel Service is launching a new campaign with the tagline "United Problem Solvers." The campaign replaces the Atlanta-based company's "We Love Logistics" campaign that launched in 2010. Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide created both campaigns. The newest campaign - which includes TV, print and online components - debuted Sunday during the NCAA men's basketball tournament, reports AdAge. Print ads are running in general business publications and select trade magazines, the publication said.


March 9, 2015 Gainesville Times

Appalachian Regional Commission has pumped $66.5 million into N. Georgia

Jeff Gill reports that Gainesville’s Fleming Weaver knows firsthand how Appalachian Regional Commission dollars have benefited North Georgia. The Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center in Union County has gotten some $100,000 in grant money from the agency, said Weaver, a Byron Herbert Reece Society member.


March 9, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Residential sales ‘slowly but steadily’ trending upward in midstate

Linda S. Morris reports, if the phrase “slow and steady wins the race” is true, then the residential real estate market is on the right track. For the most part, the number of home sales and the value of those sales trickled upward for 2014 in Macon-Bibb and Houston counties, following a trend since 2010.


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March 9, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

NTSB downloading cockpit voice recorders from Delta LaGuardia accident

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that d


March 9, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

This Month in Georgia History, March 2015 

Christy Simo writes, as we at Georgia Trend celebrate 30 years covering business, politics and economic development across this great state, we’re taking a look back at some of the events that brought us to where we are today. March is known for coming in like a lion and out like a lamb – an observation that seems all to true as we remember some of the March happenings that have shaped our state.


March 9, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Equifax, Experian and TransUnion launch National Consumer Assistance Plan

Carla Caldwell reports that Equifax, Experian and TransUnion announced early Monday the companies are launching a program called National Consumer Assistance Plan. The companies say the program "will enhance their ability to collect complete and accurate consumer information and will provide consumers more transparency and a better experience interacting with credit bureaus about their credit reports."


March 9, 2015 Saporta Report

Atlanta creates $1 million tax break for new tech firms, joins tech-based health campaign

David Pendered reports that Atlanta’s efforts to promote the technology industry now include a $1 million tax exemption for new and emerging businesses and an innovation campaign sponsored by the National League of Cities. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Friday commended a tax exemption the Atlanta City Council approved overwhelmingly at its meeting Monday.


March 9, 2015 Newnan Times-Herald

Food entrepreneur ready to go all in

Clay Neely reports that he was somewhere around Katahdin on the edge of the Appalachian Trail when the idea began to take hold. Chris Cage’s love of the outdoors began early. During his travels, Cage realized that this rare opportunity to experience life also revealed a major discrepancy. “Everything I was eating wasn’t all that great,” Cage said. “Dehydrated food is slammed with preservatives. Protein bars were small and didn’t really suffice as a meal."


March 9, 2015 Gainesville Times

Crossover Day: Make-or-break time looms for state legislation

Joshua Silavent reports that Crossover Day at the state Capitol in Atlanta is fast approaching. Legislation must pass out of the House or Senate, wherever it originates, by midnight Friday, or else it will die this year. While big-ticket items, such as a $1 billion transportation bill and education reform, have dominated the news, several other proposals deserve attention.


March 9, 2015 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Race, party, gender and other usual predictors didn't hold up on House transportation funding bill

Walter C. Jones reports that egislators who often side with one another chose different positions on the transportation-funding bill that just came out of the House of Representatives. Thursday's vote on House Bill 170 showed how hard it was to predict the outcome because the usual divisions by party, race, gender and geography didn't hold up. For instance, the bill has the support of the Republican speaker but not the majority leader or majority whip. On the other hand, the Democratic leader supported it. 


March 9, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Lessons that David Ralston might offer to John Boehner

Jim Galloway reports that David Ralston is no John Boehner. And for that, supporters of a $1 billion boost to transportation spending in Georgia are breathing a sigh of relief. On Thursday, there was every reason to fear that H.B. 170, the “big and bold” effort to address road and bridge repair and open the way for state support of commuter rail, would be whittled down to something tiny and inconsequential.



March 6, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Coke, Delta tell Supreme Court to back gay marriage

Leon Stafford reports that a handful of Georgia businesses signed on Thursday a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of gay marriage. Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines and Cox Enterprises were among 379 companies and organizations around the country urging the court to strike down bans restricting same-sex unions. AT&T, whose mobility unit is based in Atlanta, also signed the brief.


March 6, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia grown, Georgia served

Karen Kirkpatrick reports, think the chef at your favorite restaurant sits around dreaming up exotic dishes that will land her a spot on Hell's Kitchen or Top Chef? Think again. These days, many restaurant chefs are saying no to the exotic and focusing on Georgia Grown fresh ingredients instead. The Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) recently named four 2015 Georgia Grown Executive Chefs to its growing roster of chefs who are committed to using local ingredients and products and helping educate consumers on the importance of eating locally sourced food.


March 6, 2015 Georgia Health News

Computer technology with a storied history joins fight against cancer

Judi Kanne reports that IBM’s Watson computer technology made headlines with a victory over human contestants on the game show “Jeopardy!” in 2011.
Now the artificial intelligence computer system is winning over scientists with its other potential applications, including health care.


March 6, 2015 GeorgiaCEO

Southeast Manufacturing Sees Highest Levels in Nearly a Year

Staff reports that Southeast manufacturing activity continued its upward climb for the second consecutive month in February, seeing its biggest numbers since April 2014, according to the Southeast’s Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report released today by Kennesaw State University’s Econometric Center in the Michael J. Coles College of Business. The Southeast PMI increased 4.9 points to 60.5, powered by new orders, production and employment.


March 6, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Source: Cisco looks to expand Atlanta workforce with up to 150 jobs

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that networking giant Cisco Systems Inc. is hiring in Metro Atlanta, potentially adding as many as 150 jobs, Atlanta Business Chronicle has learned.
The jobs include a mix of finance, operations and advanced network services positions, including networking engineers, iOS engineers, and software developers, according to a source briefed on Cisco's plans. A second source confirmed Cisco is hiring in Atlanta.


March 6, 2015 WABE

Georgia Senate Approves Controversial 'Religious Liberty' Measure

Michelle Wirth reports that a controversial bill supporters say is needed to protect the religious rights of Georgians gained the approval of the state Senate. But the "religious freedom" bill passed over the objection of Senate Democrats. Democrats argued the measure could lead to unjust treatment of gays and lesbians. Senator Curt Thompson, D-Tucker, worries it could be used to deny marriage licenses to gay couples if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down gay marriage bans.


March 6, 2015 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

More Georgia voters oppose than favor plan to fund transportation with gasoline excise tax

Walter C. Jones reports that Georgia voters oppose the House’s transportation-funding plan than favor it, according to a poll released Thursday. In the survey for Morris News Service and Fox5 by InsiderAdvantage and Opinion Savvy, 45 percent of those questioned said they were against the plan while just 26 percent favored it. Another 29 percent couldn’t make up their minds.


March 6, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A last word from Grover Norquist’s group — and many, many others

Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy reports that as the House prepares to vote today on the $1 billion transportation bill today, Grover Norquist’s Americans For Tax Reform is steaming from the attacks leveled at it from the bill’s Republican supporters.ATR state affairs manager Paul Blair takes to the Daily Caller to compare the group’s GOP accusers to — gasp! — liberals.



March 5, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

WellStar CEO talks future, Emory merger

Ricky Leroux reports that WellStar Health System’s CEO updated state lawmakers on the possible merger between his company and Emory Healthcare Wednesday, saying it was brought on by changes in the health care industry. The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and an aging population require a redesign in how health care is delivered, said Reynold Jennings, CEO of WellStar.


March 5, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Neely Young: Immigration reform a must

Neely Young writes, immigration reform is on the table in the U.S. Congress. Now that Republicans have control of Congress, they may actually try to fix the repressive rules that have for years plagued the undocumented immigrant population in the U.S. In past congressional races, we have elected people to Congress who have more interest in partisan bickering and derailing the legislative process. In the recent election, voters elected those who have promised they would be more interested in governing and solving our nation’s problems.


March 5, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia's unemployment rate drops to 6.4 percent

Staff reports that s


March 5, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta bike-sharing program to launch with 500 bikes

Carla Caldwell reports that Mayor Kasim Reed has signed a contract to start the city's bike-sharing program with 500 bicycles and 50 rental stations throughout the city. The contract is with CycleHop, the bike share operator, and its partners Social Bicycles and local firms Center Forward and Iconologic, according to a press release issued by the city's Department of Planning & Community Development.


March 5, 2015 Georgia CEO

SunTrust CMO Named Among Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America

Staff reports that Susan Somersille Johnson, corporate executive vice president and chief marketing officer of SunTrust Banks, Inc., was named one of the Top 50 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America by Black Enterprise Magazine. Johnson will be honored at the Black Enterprise "Women of Power Conference" on March 4. Honorees are female African-American C-Suite executives selected from the top 1,000 publicly traded US corporations. These executives manage significant lines of business or serve as a representative on the executive leadership team.


March 5, 2015 Emory News 

$25 million donation to target Alzheimer's early detection at Emory

Staff reports that Emory University's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center will receive a transformational donation to support advanced research into early detection of Alzheimer's disease. The Goizueta Foundation is committing $25 million toward research aimed at fundamentally changing the way Alzheimer's disease is detected and treated. 


March 5, 2015 Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech joins hunt for gravitational waves as a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration

Staff reports, with ith the arrival of associate professor Laura Cadonati, the Georgia Institute of Technology is now part of another major international scientific research project: the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO). LIGO will for the first time directly detect gravitational waves, the ripples in the fabric of space-time predicted a century ago by Einstein with his theory of general relativity. Detecting and characterizing gravitational waves will unveil a new perspective of the cosmos, complementing the view provided by electromagnetic waves such as visible light, X-rays, radio, infrared and gamma rays.


March 5, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta Technology Angels funding, syndication tops $13.3 million in 2014

Phil W. Hudson reports that Atlanta Technology Angels ended the year with a total of $13.3 million in funding and formal syndication, up 66 percent over last year. The member-led investment network said the success was a result of ten new deal investments and five follow-on funding rounds, spurring the organization's growth in the Southeastern United States. The group also witnessed the exit of two of its portfolio investment companies—Silverpop, a digital marketing software company, and Verdeeco, a smart grid data analytics provider.


March 5, 2015 Cartersville Daily Tribune

Plans revealed for futuristic theme park in Emerson

Staff reports that a California-based company has plans to build a digital-age theme park near Paga Mine Road in Emerson.
The city of Emerson submitted a Development of Regional Impact form to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs on Monday that included details about a plan by Avatron USA Development LLC to construct the Avatron Smart Park. The park, according to a business plan provided by the city of Emerson, will reportedly be similar to the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando. 


March 5, 2015 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

More recent office-holders couldn't remove monuments they disagree with, House bill says

Walter C. Jones reports that new generations of politicians would be prohibited from removing monuments they disagree with under legislation approved by a House committee Wednesday. Local-government groups complained that it would prevent their officials from representing the wishes of the people who elect them. 


March 5, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Changes to teacher retirement system might reduce benefits, teachers say

Lee Shearer reports that a proposed bill that intends to overhaul the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia is drawing fire from teachers but praise from a Georgia conservative think tank. "Overall, this bill represents a significant reduction in benefits for anyone participating in the new plan," according to a post on the Professional Association of Georgia Educators web page.


March 5, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Horse racing in Georgia? All bets are off

Greg Bluestein reports that a new strategy to legalize horse racing in Georgia is gaining traction. But it still faces long odds to overcome opposition from Gov. Nathan Deal and other Republican leaders. A Senate committee Wednesday narrowly approved a proposal to legalize pari-mutuel wagering after about an hour of debate. Senate Resolution 135, sponsored by state Sen. Brandon Beach, takes a different tack than previous attempts to allow betting on horse racing.



March 4, 2015 Georgia CEO 

Georgia-Pacific Receives Incentive to Support Muskogee Mill Improvements

Staff reports that Georgia-Pacific is upgrading its Muskogee bath tissue and towel manufacturing operations, and The Muskogee City-County Port Authority is supporting that effort through the Strategic Investment Program. The Port Authority approved a SIP incentive application connected to the mill’s planned investments across its operations.


March 4, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Valdosta/Lowndes County: Keeping the home fires burning

David Shivers reports that when Myrna Ballard and her husband first came to Valdosta, they expected they would probably stay four or five years, then move on. That was in 1985. This year Ballard begins her 20th year as president of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce. “We just fell in love with the place,” Ballard says while showing a visitor around the city’s bustling downtown, a mixture of renovated historic buildings, modern government structures, residential lofts, retail and restaurants fronting tree-shaded streets.


March 4, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta adding seats to planes to boost margins

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that 


March 4, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Home Depot gets $200 million from Cobb County

Carla Caldwell reports that the Home Depot Inc. on Tuesday landed $200 million in bond money - plus tax breaks for the next 10 years - after a 6-0 vote by The Cobb County Development Authority. Michael LaFerle, vice president of real estate and construction for The Home Depot, said the home improvement giant wants to stay in Cobb County, but that the tax breaks were key to staying put, the Marietta Daily Journal reports.


March 4, 2015 Georgia CEO

Worldpay Makes $1 Million Gift and Mentorship Pledge to Accelerate FinTech Innovation in Georgia

Staff reports that Worldpay will expand its commitment to accelerating payments technology innovation with a $1 million gift and mentorship commitment to Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center, company and university officials announced today. Worldpay will fully fund a new Financial Technology accelerator at the ATDC for the next three years, which will include hiring a FinTech expert to serve as an entrepreneur-in-residence to mentor start-ups. Worldpay executives are also mentoring entrepreneurs at the center, providing both payments expertise and Worldpay’s global resources to support companies within the new program.


March 4, 2015 Brunswick News

Pipeline an environmental threat to some, a reasonable idea to others

Michael Hall reports that Altamaha Riverkeeper Jen Hilburn has already marked the March 12 public hearing on the public benefit and necessity of a proposed pipeline to carry refined petroleum products from South Carolina to Jacksonville on her calendar. Hilburn will be there to state her organization’s opposition to Kinder Morgan Energy Partners’ Palmetto Pipeline Project that she said is a threat to the sensitive coastal environment and the property rights of area residents.


March 4, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

Feds want Gwinnett to repay Georgia some funds from assistance grant

Curt Yeomans reports that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security wants Gwinnett County to repay Georgia nearly $1 million to account for recovery funds the state overpaid after major floods struck the county in September 2009. An audit released by Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General Monday shows the Georgia Emergency Management Agency overpaid Gwinnett by $871,129 for 50 projects undertaken after the flood.


March 4, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

California company plans Avatron Smart Park in Bartow

Staff reports that Avatron USA Development LLC wants to build a technology-focused theme park on about 713 acres in Bartow County, Ga. Avatron USA is led by Dave Garrett, the former CEO of Atlanta-based Airis Corp., which invested heavily in U.S. airports, including Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, and Newark, N.J. Avatron USA executives are primarily from the West Coast, Garrett said.


March 4, 2015 WABE

Georgia House OKs Bill To Add Transparency At Parole Board

Jonathan Shapiro reports that state parole board has always decided cases largely in secret, but that would change under a bill approved Tuesday by the Georgia House. Before the vote, Rep. Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville, urged House members to support his bill. “Send a message that the days of operating behind closed doors and behind a veil of secrecy is over in Georgia," said Tanner.


March 4, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Georgia House passes bill to regulate car hailing firms such as Uber

Staff reports that the first of a slew of bills that would regulate popular car hailing services such as Uber has passed the Georgia House, and several more are under discussion. Officials of the high-tech car service, which requires apps to be used both by drivers and passengers, say they aren’t happy with the measure.


March 4, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Supporters of ‘religious liberty’ bills claim persecution

Jim Galloway reports that scores of supporters came to the state Capitol this afternoon for an hour-long rally in support of S.B. 129 and H.B. 218, the two religious liberty bills before the Legislature. Kevin Cochran, the sacked Atlanta fire chief, and state Rep. Sam Teasley, R-Marietta, author of H.B. 218, were in attendance. State Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, sponsor of S.B. 129, was out with the flu.



March 3, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

WorldPay to announce innovation center at Midtown Atlanta's ATDC

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that WorldPay US CEO Tony Catalfano is expected to make an "economic development announcement" Tuesday morning with Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and other state leaders. That announcement will be about WorldPay's plans to open an innovation center at the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) in Midtown Atlanta, according to a source. Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported the innovation center plans on Feb. 10.


March 3, 2015

Dutch automaker to expand again, create 300 more jobs

Phil Bolton reports that Dutch maker of car sunroof systems is set to expand once again in Cherokee County, adding 300 additional jobs over the next four years to become one of the county's largest employers just a year after opening its $17.1 million plant. The announcement by Inalfa Roof Systems comes on top of a 100-job expansion announced last year just a month after the initial 165,000-square-foot facility had been in operation, promising 300 jobs at the outset.The company is now on its way to creating a full-fledged manufacturing campus in the Cherokee 75 Corporate Park, where it is the anchor tenant.


March 3, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Fayette movie complex adding big mixed-use project

Russell Grantham reports that 


March 3, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Braves complex to cost $1.1 billion

Mark Meltzer reports that Atlanta Braves will spend $452 million to develop their new mixed-use project adjacent to SunTrust Park, team owner Liberty Media said, putting the total cost of the ballpark and mixed-use project at $1.124 billion. "The expected cost for mixed-use development will be $452 million of which affiliated entities will be responsible for approximately $363 million of development cost," Liberty said in a regulatory filing.


March 3, 2015 Macon Telegraph

State Bank launches insurance division

Staff reports that State Bank & Trust Co. has launched an insurance division, the company announced Monday. The new personal and commercial insurance offerings were made possible following State Bank’s acquisition of “substantially all of the assets” of Boyett Agency LLC, a privately owned independent insurance agency based in Dalton, according to a news release. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


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March 3, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Carmike Cinemas posts $2.2 million quarterly loss; concession revenue continues to climb

Read more here:

Tony Adams reports that Carmike Cinemas pointed with pride Monday at the money it earned by charging more for soft drinks, popcorn and candy during the fourth quarter of 2014. But the increase in concession and admissions revenue wasn’t able to offset rising expenses, with the movie-theater chain continuing to grow its 41-state footprint with new locations and upgrades of existing complexes.


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March 3, 2015 Saporta Report 

Freedman's Bank finds life 150 years later in Operation Hope

Maria Saporta reports that listening to John Hope Bryant, one word comes to mind – destiny. The myriad of coincidences and serendipitous encounters in Bryant’s life have led to this moment – the 150th anniversary of Freedman’s Bank. For many, Freedman’s Bank is a footnote in history. But for Bryant, Freedman’s Bank is the biggest unfinished business left over from the presidential administration of Abraham Lincoln, who he calls the greatest president in America’s history.


March 3, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Herty Center selected to national research institute

Mary Carr Mayle reports that Savannah’s Herty Advanced Materials Development Center, an applied research center of Georgia Southern University, has been named by the U.S. Department of Energy to be a founding member of the newly created Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation. The institute will work to develop better composite materials and technologies for rapid deployment within the automotive, wind turbine and compressed gas storage industries.


March 3, 2015 UGA

Link identified between virus recognition, destruction in bacterial immune system

Alan Flurry reports that an immune system that helps bacteria combat viruses is yielding unlikely results such as the ability to edit genome sequences and potentially correct mutations that cause human disease. University of Georgia researchers Michael and Rebecca Terns were among the first to begin to study the bacterial immune system. They now have identified a key link in how bacteria respond and adapt to foreign invaders.


March 3, 2015 WABE

Committee Once Again Approves Transportation Bill

Jonathan Shapiro reports that Georgia’s House Transportation Committee Monday voted once again for a billion dollar plan to fix the state’s road and bridges. The bill, which has been revised several times, was sent back to the committee after opponents said it would hurt local governments. Supporters of the plan had hoped for a full House vote last week, but protests from fiscal conservatives within the Republican caucus, as well as city and county leaders, forced more concessions.


March 3, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

A sudden, state Capitol fight over plastic bags

Greg Bluestein reports that the ubiquitous plastic bag used by retailers across the country may be the surprise issue of the 2015 session of the Legislature. Our AJC colleague Kristina Torres noted the first shot fired last week: The Georgia Senate on Thursday voted to prohibit cities and towns from banning plastic bags, saying it would be too expensive and “confusing” for local retailers to worry about. Savannah appears to be ground zero in the battle. The Morning News has taken exception to the whims of “Atlanta bullies.”



March 2, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Data breach affects 3.7M Georgia Blue Cross members

Christopher Seward reports that more than 3.7 million members of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia may have had personal information exposed in a recent data breach, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens disclosed Friday. The breach occurred at Anthem Inc., the parent of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, sometime after Dec. 10 and before Jan. 27. Anthem said hackers evaded several security layers to reach a database containing information on about 80 million people, including current and former policyholders in Georgia.


March 2, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Moving the world

Randy Southerland reports that most people never give a thought to how all those products – from hairdryers to lawn mowers – get to their local Walmart or Home Depot. Yet to travel from factories that may be thousands of miles and dozens of countries away to a hometown store requires a vast and complicated network of warehouses, ships, trucks and trains.


March 2, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

SunTrust buys DreamWorks Animation's Glendale campus

Staff reports that DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. has sold its campus in Glendale to an investment arm of Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI). The studio behind the movies "Shrek" and "How to Train Your Dragon"said in a regulatory filing that SunTrust Equity Funding LLC had signed an agreement to buy the DreamWorks' headquarters facility for $185 million.


March 2, 2015 Brunswick News

Company planning to build gas pipeline through coastal Georgia

Michael Hall reports that a 360-mile pipeline carrying gasoline, diesel and ethanol could stretch across the length of Coastal Georgia by 2017, connecting an existing pipeline running through South Carolina to Jacksonville. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, the third largest energy company in North America, has been sending notices to property owners along the proposed path for its Palmetto Pipeline Project telling them to familiarize themselves with Georgia’s laws on eminent domain.


March 2, 2015 UGA

UGA receives $1.7 million USDA grant to improve nutrition in Georgia

Cal Powell reports that a team of University of Georgia researchers, led by a faculty member in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, has received a $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to improve the nutritional habits of low-income Georgians. The researchers' goal is to help Georgians eligible for SNAP benefits—the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—establish healthy eating habits and a physically active lifestyle through evidence-based, behaviorally focused and culturally appropriate nutrition education and obesity prevention interventions.


March 2, 2015 Cherokee Tribune

Inalfa expansion to bring 300 jobs to county

Jessicah Peters reports that one company in the Cherokee 75 Corporate Park brought in several new jobs last year, and now promises to generate 300 more jobs in Cherokee County by 2019. Inalfa Roof Systems Inc. is expanding its industry base and the first phase is set to start in 2016, with the promise of adding at least 50 jobs ranging from management to workers.


March 2, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Power submits Plant Vogtle delays to PSC

Dave Williams reports that Georgia Power Co. asked state energy regulators Friday to approve delays in completion of the planned nuclear expansion at Plant Vogtle the Atlanta-based utility announced last month. In its latest semi-annual construction update on the $14.5 billion project, Georgia Power officials reported to the state Public Service Commission (PSC) spending $169 million during the last half of 2014 building two additional nuclear reactors at the plant south of Augusta.


March 2, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Selma Hero Honored in Atlanta

Staff reports that on the 50th anniversary of the March on Selma, and in the middle of Black History Month, a local hero has been honored whose activism helped change the nation. The Hyatt Regency Atlanta honored Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian with its 2015 Crystal Customer Award for his decades of work championing equality. Dr. Vivian, a hero of the Civil Rights era, participated in the march on Selma, Ala., with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others in 1965, which led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, a breakthrough in Civil Rights, months later.


March 2, 2015 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

GOP proposal would reduce income tax rate, but raise sales tax rate

Walter C. Jones reports that Republican legislative leaders feel they have a surefire way to stimulate job creation: tax reform. They’ve introduced a bill that will lower the rate on income taxes for individuals and businesses that their economists estimate will result in 14,000 or so jobs. To keep paying for government services, they are raising the sales tax and expanding it to groceries and digital downloads like songs, video games and movies while also closing some business tax breaks and hiking the cigarette tax. 


March 2, 2015 WABE

Bond Referendum’s Fate Likely To Hang In A Few Voters’ Hands

Michell Eloy reports that Atlantans don’t have to look very hard for signs of the city’s infrastructure problems, like big potholes, crumbling sidewalks or bridges in disrepair. That’s because the city is nearly a billion dollars short on funding these kinds of projects, according to the mayor’s office.


March 2, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

How to save health care in rural Georgia — without Obamacare

Jim Galloway reports that unless the U.S. Supreme Court decides to upend the entire apple cart this summer, America will soon find itself divided into two separate health care systems. One will be a place where the Affordable Care Act is embraced with all its cost and complexity. The other America wants no truck with Obamacare, and so must find another way to provide health care for those who can’t afford it.







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