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Dec. 22, 2014 WABE

Google Fiber Delays Metro Atlanta Debut

John Lorinc reports that computer users in metro Atlanta won’t be getting any “Fiber” in their tech diets this Christmas. Earlier this year, Google announced its “Fiber” gigabit internet service would be coming to parts of Georgia, by December. But now Google says it’s delaying its debut here because it still has “a bit more work to wrap up.”


Dec. 22, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

In Transition

Mary Anne Dunkin reports that healthcare in the U.S. and Georgia has seen radical changes over the past few years, including a number of treatment and technology advances, the advent of the Affordable Care Act, and the consolidation or closure of hospitals. And there is no sign that things will settle down soon. Since 2010, there have been several changes for Georgia hospitals and health systems (and in most cases elsewhere), with more major trends that doctors and hospital officials say are likely to play a major role in the next four years and beyond.


Dec. 22,  2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

UPS faces test with record 34M deliveries expected Monday

Carla Caldwell reports that Atlanta-based United Parcel service expects to deliver 34 million packages on Monday, the most delivered on a single day in the company's history. Meanwhile, UPS is working to avoid the disaster the company experienced last year when millions of packages did not arrive in time for Christmas.


Dec. 22, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

After 8-month delay, St. Marys plans February vote on seismic air gun testing for oil in Atlantic

Jared Keever reports that as coastal communities have gone on record opposing seismic air gun testing for oil along the Atlantic Coast, St. Marys will take at least eight months to reach a decision. It came up first in June, when Councilman Bob Nutter asked the City Council to adopt a resolution opposing the use of the air guns. The council asked for six months because it didn’t have enough information.


Dec. 22, 2014 Rome News Tribune

Authorities: PILOT fees promote economic growth in Floyd

Doug Walker reports that two agencies responsible for putting together deals to bring new jobs to Rome and Floyd County struck a historic deal this year. The Rome-Floyd County Development Authority agreed to share payment in lieu of taxes fees with the Development Authority of Floyd County for the next three years. Companies pay PILOT fees to a bond-issuing authority instead of paying property taxes. The program is used as an inducement to attract industries to the community.


Dec. 22, 2014 UGA

UGA College of Veterinary Medicine to host annual shelter medicine symposium

Kat Gilmore reports that the seventh annual Shelter Medicine Symposium will be held at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine on Jan. 11. The daylong event is focused on the best management and medicine practices for local and regional animal shelters. Veterinary professionals and others who work in animal control facilities and humane societies, or with animal rescue groups in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, are encouraged to attend.


Dec. 22, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia real estate investors opt for renting over flipping

Christopher Seward reports that lipping houses in metro Atlanta and other parts of the country was once the rage. The idea: Buy a fixer-upper on the cheap, make repairs, sell it for a quick profit and move on to the next property. Some experts argue that the practice helped send the housing market into a tailspin in the late 2000s, a period preceded by easy money from lending institutions to investors and to the buyers who purchased the properties.


Dec. 22, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Russia's Putin says Coca-Cola may be harmful for children to drink

Phil W. Hudson reports that Vladimir Putin lashed out against the Coca-Cola Co. Dec. 18 at his annual press conference on the state of Russia in Moscow.The Russian president suggested that Coke could represent a health threat. "[I] did not know whether Coca-Cola is a harmful drink, but many experts say it is [harmful] for children," the former KGB officer said. ""The thing is we have our own national drinks."


Dec. 22, 2014 Georgia Health News

Report faults Ga., other states on fighting disease

Andy Miller reports that alf the states — including Georgia — scored a 5 or lower on 10 key indicators for preventing, detecting and responding to disease outbreaks, according to a new report. The response to Ebola was a central theme in the report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Ebola crisis in the United States this year showed that “some of the most basic infectious disease controls failed when tested,” Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the Trust for America’s Health, said in a statement Thursday.


Dec. 22, 2014 Gainesville Times

Wage growth returning as job market expands

Joshua Silavent reports that the road to economic recovery has not exactly been paved in gold — or even silver, for that matter. While corporate profits and productivity have soared since the depths of the recession, workers have continued to feel the pinch. Even after 57 straight months of private sector job growth across the nation, and corresponding decreases in the unemployment rate, wages and salaries have not rebounded as quickly.


Dec. 22, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hank Johnson, David Scott to President Obama: Don’t renominate Michael Boggs

Daniel Malloy reports that now that the Senate has gaveled out for the year without voting on controversial Georgia judicial nominee Michael Boggs, the focus turns back to the White House. In order to fill the state’s remaining U.S. District Court judge vacancy President Barack Obama must re-nominate Boggs — the former conservative Democratic state legislator who might face a more sympathetic crowd in a Republican Senate — or move on. Georgia Democratic U.S. Reps. Hank Johnson and David Scott hope he does the latter.




Dec. 19, 2014 WABE

Atlanta's Cuban Community Mixed On Obama's Policy Shift

Michell Eloy reports that Cuban restaurant Papi’s in Midtown Thursday, the staff is buzzing about changes to U.S. relations with the island nation after decades of isolation.Among them is co-owner Yenia Regalado, who came to Atlanta from Cuba 15 years ago. “I’m so happy,” she beams.


Dec. 19, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia View: Learning from others

Bill Crane writes, emerging from the ruins of one of America’s greatest industrial empires is a leaner and hopefully cleaner Detroit. Currently finalizing its reorganization from Chapter 9 bankruptcy under the supervision of federal bankruptcy court, the Motor City has been on the racks being fine-tuned and having its motor and transmission rebuilt over the past 18 months by a court-appointed emergency manager.


Dec. 19, 2014 GPB

Carter Applauds New Cuba Relations Policy

Ellen Reinhardt and Sean Powers report that former President Jimmy Carter says he is delighted with President Obama's move to improve relations with Cuba. He says he hopes the U.S. Congress will take steps to remove the economic sanctions against the Cuban people. Carter believes those sanction have proven to be ineffective in furthering democracy and freedom. 


Dec. 19, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

City to fund Valencia Way extension if 'major manufacturer' builds plant in Augusta

Jenna Martin reports that a commitment by city officials to extend a road in Augusta Corporate Park could help pave the way for a new manufacturer interested in Augusta.The Augusta Commission approved the construction of a 1-mile extension of Valencia Way if the interested, unidentified industrial company announces its intent on or before Feb. 1 and begins construction on the plant on or before Sept. 1.


Dec. 19, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Kia supplier Hyundai Glovis to build logistics center in Northwest Harris Business Park

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Tony Adams reports that a major Hyundai and Kia auto parts supplier is planning a 310,080-square-foot logistics center in Northwest Harris Business Park in Harris County. The project by South Korea-based Hyundai Glovis Georgia, announced Thursday by Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s office, is a relocation of the company’s “parts consolidation center.” Expectations are that up to 190 people will be employed at the new site within four years.


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Dec. 19, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

UPS buying Polish health care logistics company

Phil W. Hudson reports that United Parcel Service Inc. came to terms with the Poland-based investment fund ORTIE to acquire its pharmaceutical logistics company Poltraf Sp. z o.o. for an undisclosed amount. The Atlanta-based package shipper (NYSE: UPS) said the acquisition will add three facilities with advanced warehousing management systems, full quality assurance services, and an experienced workforce to UPS's existing European healthcare network, now totaling 14 healthcare facilities.


Dec. 19, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Nominations sought to recognize people who work in manufacturing

Linda S. Morris reports that the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership at Georgia Tech is looking for nominations of people who work in or support manufacturing for the launch of the Faces of Manufacturing. The yearlong campaign is designed to showcase “the unsung heroes of Georgia manufacturing and highlight the important role they and the industry play in the state,” according to a release.


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Dec. 19, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Container growth continues at GPA

Mary Carr Mayle reports that container traffic continues to increase at Georgia Ports Authority, with 271,357 twenty-foot equivalent container units — or TEUs — moved in November, an increase of nearly 12 percent over the same month last year. “Continued growth — without delays or congestion — highlights Georgia’s ability to strategically expand both capacity and market share,” said Curtis Foltz, GPA executive director.


Dec. 19, 2014 Emory University

National Academy of Inventors elects Emory chemist Huw Davies as fellow

Staff reports that Huw Davies, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Organic Chemistry at Emory University, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Election to NAI fellow status is a high professional distinction accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.


Dec. 19, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Braves to purchase Genuine Parts site

Phil W. Hudson reports that the Atlanta Braves agreed to purchase the land that currently houses the headquarters of Genuine Parts Co., which neighbors SunTrust Park and the Braves' mixed-use development site. The club said the 9.5-acre parcel sits to the north of the land purchased by the organization in 2013 and brings the total land controlled by the club to more than 90 acres. 


Dec. 19, 2014 New York Times

Shooting Spurs Debates Over Race and Guns in a Gingerbread Town

Richard Fausset reports that the blast from Glenn Lampien’s handgun echoed through the streets of this faux Alpine town. Then May Araim, a Muslim tourist in a headscarf whom Mr. Lampien had never met, fell dead in front of a store selling Tyrolean hats and cuckoo clocks. Four months into a state investigation, there are loose ends and questions that may never be answered. But for Helen, a German-themed tourist town that lures visitors with an affordable simulacrum of a Bavarian village, the death of Ms. Araim has proved to be a very American tragedy.


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

‘Religious liberty’ supporters invoke embattled Atlanta fire chief

Greg Bluestein reports that at every twist of the growing debate over the “religious liberty” bill that’s sure to come up next year, critics question whether there’s a compelling reason to add the controversial new language. Trey Childress, an establishment GOP figure who raised alarms about the legislation yesterday, echoed that by saying “broad piece of legislation couched in sound bite [that] names no evil” in an email to every legislator.





Dec. 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia jobless rate drops to 7.2 percent

Staff reports that state officials say Georgia's unemployment rate has dropped to 7.2 percent. The Georgia Department of Labor on Thursday announced the new figure, which is the seasonally adjusted jobless rate for November. State officials say the new rate represents what they call a significant drop. State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said it's the largest monthly rate decline seen in Georgia since 1976.


Dec. 17, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

2015 Economic Forecast

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business unveiled the 2015 Economic Outlook Friday, Dec. 12, at a luncheon at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta. Douglas Handler, chief U.S. economist for IHS Global Insights, spoke about the national outlook, and Benjamin Ayers, dean of the Terry College, presented the Georgia forecast. In a break from recent tradition, there was pretty good news all the way around.


Dec. 17, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Flint Energies joins huge solar project in Taylor County

Linda S. Morris reports that Reynolds-based Flint Energies is one of three electric membership cooperatives that will buy energy credits from a huge solar project to be developed in Taylor County. Flint Energies, Cobb EMC and Sawnee EMC will buy the entire power output of a 131-megawatt photovoltaic solar project to be constructed outside of Butler, according to a news release. The electric membership cooperatives signed the deal with Southern Co. subsidiary Southern Power.


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Dec. 17, 2014 WABE

Atlanta Nonprofit Helps Keep Ebola Out Of Ivory Coast

Michell Eloy reports that if you’ve had a piece of chocolate recently, chances are the cocoa came from beans grown in West Africa, specifically Ivory Coast. The country is the largest producer of cocoa beans in the world, making about half the crop. It also shares a large border with Liberia and Sierra Leone, two of the countries hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak.


Dec. 17, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta among nation's top, most affordable travel spots

Phil W. Hudson reports that Hotlanta is a term that most Atlantans hate, but according to a new report from, it may be appropriate. According to the Norwalk, Conn.-based website, Atlanta is the No. 8 most affordable destination and the No. 9 hottest travel spot for 2015.


Dec. 17, 2014

Duct Doctor finds Nigerian franchisee

Trevor Williams reports that a Norcross-based provider of air duct cleaning services in commercial buildings and homes has found a franchisee to take its brand into NigeriaDuct Doctor provides its business partners with trucks mounted with a proprietary vacuum that drives agitation devices through ducting systems. The goal is to free up air flow, helping building operators save on heating and cooling bills.


Dec. 17, 2014 UGA

UGA’s Grady College climbs to second place in top journalism school ranking         

Sarah Freeman reports that the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication was named one of the top two journalism schools in the country according to an annual survey by and the Radio Television Digital News Association. Last year, the Grady College was ranked third in this survey. 


Dec. 17, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Federal poultry lab in Athens gets $45 million appropriation

Jim Thompson reports that a $45 million federal outlay will get the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory in Athens on the road toward matching its facilities with its mission — a mission that has expanded significantly since the College Station Road facility was built in the 1960s.


Dec. 17, 2014 Atlanta Businesss Chronicle 

Alpharetta lens-maker QSpex raising $40M

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Alpharetta lens technology firm QSpex Technologies Inc. is raising $40 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. QSpex has developed a process involving a liquid plastic that, when exposed to certain wavelengths of light, is converted into a hard plastic lens.


Dec. 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Another pre-emptive strike on Georgia’s ‘religious liberty’ bill

Greg Bluestein reports that Georgia lawmakers opening their emails this morning found a note from an establishment voice warning about the “disservice” of the so-called religious liberty bill that’s sure to come up next session. The Georgia Chamber and Metro Atlanta Chamber have both already raised alarms about the legislation. This time, the warning shot came from Trey Childress, who was Sonny Perdue’s budget director and Nathan Deal’s chief operating officer.



Dec. 17, 2014 Georgia Health News

Hospitals cuttings payrolls to cope with hard times

Andy Miller reports that a recent series of job cuts shows that tough financial times remain for the state’s hospitals – and may get worse next year, experts say. - The biggest cuts have come in two hospital systems in Columbus. Columbus Regional Health eliminated 219 positions in a cost-reduction move in November. The cuts came after a $17 million operating loss in fiscal 2013 and a similar loss in fiscal 2014, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported. The job cuts included 99 terminations. 


Dec. 17, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Southwest Georgia: Reloading and Rebranding

Kevin Hogencamp reports that economic developers in Southwest Georgia, which boasts some of the richest, most biologically diverse ecological systems in the United States, seem to be drinking the same water. Throughout the area, communities of all sizes are undertaking bold new efforts to pitch their stories beyond their borders to attract business, industry and visitors.


Dec. 17, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Mercedes-Benz eyes Atlanta for U.S. headquarters, could bring 800+ jobs

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that German luxury automaker Mercedes-Benz is considering relocating its U.S. headquarters to Atlanta from New Jersey, Atlanta Business Chronicle has learned. MBUSA is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. The company is likely to have considered Texas and Virginia for the relocation.


Dec. 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Coca Cola dumps “American Idol” as a sponsor after 13 seasons

Rodney Ho reports that in yet another sign of the show’s waning influence and reach, Atlanta-based Coca Cola is ending its 13 season relationship with “American Idol” as a sponsor, according to an exclusive story in Variety magazine. “After 13 years, we feel it is the right time for the Coca-Cola brand to venture into new spaces and pursue other opportunities to connect with teens and leverage music as a passion point,” the company sent Variety in a statement. If Coca Cola is seeking the youth audience, “Idol” is no longer it. The show’s audience season one averaged 32 years of age. Now the average age is well over 50.


Dec. 17, 2014

Atlanta ranked best in US for foreign investment strategy

Trevor Williams reports that when it comes to putting their heads together to attract foreign investors, Atlanta’s economic development community does it better than any other U.S. city, according to a new report by fDi Intelligence.  The “Global Cities of the Future 2014/15” report ranked Atlanta No. 13 globally in the "FDI Strategy" category, but all the other cities eclipsing it were outside the U.S. Miami, notably, was down at No. 24, and no other cities from the region cracked the top 25. Dubai came out as the world leader in FDI recruitment.    


 Dec. 17, 2014 Saporta Report 

Underground Atlanta to be sold for $25.75 million to S.C.-based WRS Inc. 

Maria Saporta reports that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is planning to make an “important economic development announcement” Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m. – reportedly to announce the sale of Underground Atlanta, according to people close to City Hall.The buyer is WRS Inc., a real estate investment firm based in Mount Pleasant, S.C. near Charleston. It is thought that the city has the property under contract for $25.75 million. The iconic property that is adjacent to the Five Points MARTA Station. 


Dec. 17, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Loan growth continues in 3Q for Georgia's credit unions

Phil W. Hudson reports that loan growth in Georgia's 136 credit unions experienced its highest third quarter jump in more than a decade -- growing by 4.2 percent. According to Duluth, Ga.-based Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, the first nine months of 2014 generated loan growth of 8.9 percent (11.9 percent annualized). Since October of 2013, credit unions have recorded a 10.2 percent increase in loans.


Dec. 17, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

California firm purchases Acute Care Express in Columbus

Tony Adams reports that the city’s first urgent-care center has been gobbled up by a large California company. Valencia, Calif.-based U.S. HealthWorks said Tuesday it has purchased Acute Care Express, 7901 Veterans Parkway, from Inphynet Contracting Services Inc., a south Florida company. Terms of the transaction were not released.


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Dec. 17, 2014 UGA

UGA, Emory collaborate to leverage strengths in infectious disease research

Sam Fahmy and Holly Korschun report that the University of Georgia and Emory University are strengthening their collaborations to elevate the position of the Atlanta-Athens corridor as a national hub for infectious disease research. The two institutions are currently working together on grant and contract-funded projects totaling more than $45 million, including a Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance and a malaria research consortium, both funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 


Dec. 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

White clout buoyed Georgia’s Republican wave

Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy report that the Georgia Secretary of State’s office just released a racial breakdown of November’s voters, and the numbers tell how whites came out in disproportionate numbers to fuel the Republicans’ statewide sweep. Overall some 1.5 million African-Americans registered to vote, making up 30 percent of the electorate. About half of them, or 743,414, voted. That’s about 28.6 percent of the vote, meaning Democrats failed to make this year’s electorate more resemble 2012 (30 percent black) than 2010 (28 percent).



Dec. 16, 2014 Georgia Health News

Even in SW Georgia, momentum for ACA signups

Andy Miller reports that Alice Jaye has not had health insurance for years. Though the Colquitt resident has a restaurant job, it does not pay that much and does not offer coverage.Jaye has high blood pressure, and recently went to a hospital emergency room to get care. Now she’s stuck with a big ER bill that she’s paying off at the rate of $10 a month. But with the help of a navigator, or insurance counselor, Jaye, 52, has signed up for coverage in the ACA exchange’s second year, with a Jan. 1 start date. 


Alice Jaye has not had health insurance for years.

Though the Colquitt resident has a restaurant job, it does not pay that much and does not offer coverage.

- See more at:

Dec. 16, 2014 WABE

State Inspector Says Vogtle Nuclear Project Will Be Delayed Further

Jonathan Shapiro reports that the nuclear expansion project at Plant Vogtle near Augusta appears headed for further delay, which could result in higher electric bills for ratepayers. The state's independent construction monitor, William Jacobs, said last month he expects the two new reactors to take longer to build than Georgia Power's current projections. 


Dec. 16, 2014 Rome News-Telegraph

Nashville company buys Spears Mattress

Doug Walker reports that a Nashville, Tennessee, company has acquired Rome’s Spears Mattress Co. Spears took the business name Advanced Sleep Concepts a number of years ago but has continued to operate a retail showroom at 195 Chatillon Road, part of the old Celanese complex, still using the name Spears Mattress.


Dec. 16, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

UPS expands four distribution facilities

Phil W. Hudson reports that United Parcel Service Inc. announced the addition of three buildings and the expansion of another in four North American locations. The Atlanta-based package shipper (NYSE: UPS) said the moves will increase its supply chain services network size by nearly 1.2 million square feet. The company attributes the demand for new or expanded facilities in Mira Loma, Calif.; Hebron, Ky.; Louisville, Ky.; and Toronto, Canada due to rapid growth of customers in the high-tech, industrial manufacturing and retail industries.


Dec. 16, 2014 Saporta Report

A reinvented Sustainable Atlanta joins forces with Center for Civic Innovation 

Maria Saporta reports that ever since it was founded in 2009, Sustainable Atlanta has been trying to do what all nonprofits try to do – become sustainable. Its track record over nearly six years has been mixed. And now its reconfigured board hopes it has come up with a winning – and yes – sustainable solution. Sustainable Atlanta is joining forces with the Center for Civic Innovation – a relatively new nonprofit that is seeking change the equation in the level of public engagement and participation in the community as well as work on creative and entrepreneurial ways to make the city a better place to live and work.


Dec. 16, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Birch expands in Detroit

Carla Caldwell reports that Atlanta-based Birch Communications Inc. is opening a new sales office in Detroit. Birch said in a press release it selected Detroit "because it lies on the backbone of the private Birch IP-Network, which extends to 41 strategic markets in 22 states." Birch Communications, Inc. is a technology service provider of IP-based communications, broadband, cloud and IT services to small, mid-sized, enterprise and wholesale businesses.Birch serves all 50 states, Washington D.C., Canada and Puerto Rico.


Dec. 16, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

Mosque approved in 5-0 Kennesaw City Council vote

Hilary Butschek reports that a unanimous 5-0 vote Monday, the Kennesaw City Council approved a permit allowing an Islamic prayer center to open in a retail center, reversing its decision earlier this month to deny the request. The controversial vote came despite protests from a crowd of about 20 people outside City Hall holding signs with the words “Ban Islam” and “No Mosque” and waving American flags before and after the meeting.


Dec. 16, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

David Perdue gets desired Agriculture committee slot

Daniel Malloy reports that U.S. Senate freshman David Perdue will keep Georgia’s decades-long tradition of holding a slot on the Senate Agriculture Committee, one of five committees Perdue will sit on next year. Senate Republicans’ announcement of committee positions today also showed soon-to-be senior senator Johnny Isakson atop the Veterans Affairs and Ethics committees, though the committee members still must confirm his expected pair of chairmanships for the 114th Congress.



Dec. 15, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Strong business, government ties link Israel, Savannah

Mary Carr Mayle reports that Opher Aviran is bullish on Savannah. So is the country he represents. Aviran is the Israeli Consul General to the Southeastern United States. He was in Savannah last week to give a public lecture sponsored by the Savannah Jewish Federation, tour Caesarstone, the Israeli custom quartz surfaces manufacturer that is building a plant in Richmond Hill, and visit with Savannah Mayor Edna Jackson, with whom he has developed a fast friendship.


Dec. 15, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Sherman's march to the sea

Neely Young reports that this December marks the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War’s surrender of Savannah, where in 1864 Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman ended his infamous March to the Sea. His scorched-earth tactics changed the history of warfare and are still studied and taught in military institutions all over the world.


Dec. 15, 2014 WABE

MARTA To Lose Millions Due To 'Birthday Tax' Change

Jonathan Shapiro reports that MARTA has been on a roll lately. More riders. Higher revenues. Expansion to Clayton County. But Friday MARTA laid out some bad news. The transit agency just discovered it stands to lose $46 million over the next five years due to a recent change in state law.


Dec. 15, 2014 GPB

Will Solar Power's Surge in Georgia Make It To Homeowners?

Michael Caputo and Grant Blankenship report that early adopter Creighton Rosental of Macon is what you’d call a solar pioneer. The early adopter said that he had the 4-kilowatt panels installed on the backyard side of his roof about five years ago. Two-thirds of the upfront cost - about $30,000 - was covered by a federal tax credit and a Georgia state credit.  They built a frame and mounted it to the roof, which was a substantial fairly substantial enterprise." Rosental said.


Dec. 15, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Lawsuits against Home Depot consolidated

Christopher Seward reports that federal panel is consolidating some of the lawsuits filed against Home Depot in connection with a massive data breach this year, moving the cases to the federal court in Atlanta. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation, in a ruling this week, said the lawsuits filed by credit and debit card customers are similar enough that consolidating them will make proceedings more efficient and convenient for both sides since Home Depot is based in Atlanta and relevant documents and witnesses are more likely to be in the area.


Dec. 15, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Delta: Low fuel prices to help boost pretax profit by 11 percent

Carla Caldwell reports that Delta Air Lines Inc. says it expects to increase pretax profit by at least $5 billion - or 11 percent - in the coming year. Atlanta-based Delta said Thursday at its investor conference it projected a net $1.7 billion benefit in 2015 from fuel-price declines, but said that includes a loss of $1.2 billion on its fuel hedges caused by the recent sharp drop in fuel prices, reports Reuters.


Dec. 15, 2014 Georgia Health News

Grady says figures prove Blue Cross is unfair

Andy Miller reports that Grady Health System has released financial data that it says buttresses its argument that it has been paid unfairly by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia. It's the latest salvo in the contract battle between the major Atlanta safety-net provider and the state’s biggest health insurer. 


Grady Health System has released financial data that it says buttresses its argument that it has been paid unfairly by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia.

It’s the latest salvo in the contract battle between the major Atlanta safety-net provider and the state’s biggest health insurer.

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Dec. 15, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Georgia-made products can be found in midstate

Linda S. Morris reports that anyone looking for a unique Christmas gift doesn’t have to look beyond the Peach State. A number of Georgia-made products are sold by Middle Georgia retailers or from the maker’s website. Some of these products are made in homes by small start-ups and sold in specialty shops, others are made in large wholesale facilities and sold in national retail stores.


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Dec. 15, 2014

Korean consul cites rumors that Hyundai to build new plant in the U.S.

Phil Bolton reports that after only 40 days representing his country in the Southeast, Seong-Jin Kim, Korea's consul general based in Atlanta, knows how to capture his audience here. During the 2014 Annual Dinner of the Korea Southeast U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mr Kim let it be know that he had heard the Hyundai Motor Co. was considering building a new plant in the U.S.


Dec. 15, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

AGCO names new South America head

Staff reports that AGCO Corp.'s North America unit general manger is heading South. Robert Crain, will take over responsibility for Duluth, Ga.-based AGCO's South America region from André Carioba on Jan. 1, 2015.


Dec. 15, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Unterman prefiles ‘Safe Harbor’ legislation

Staff reports that on Thursday, State Sen. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) hosted a press conference and candlelight vigil in Atlanta in support of her “Safe Harbor” bill. The bill — Senate Bill 8 — would create several directives regarding child sex trafficking victims and their captors including extending the statute of limitations and incorporating federal guidelines passed by Congress earlier this year.


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

Johnny Isakson backs spending bill, sides with Ted Cruz on failed immigration vote

Daniel Malloy reports that the U.S. Senate late Saturday night cleared the $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund almost all of the government through September, sending it to President Barack Obama’s desk. Georgia Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson voted in favor of the measure, which passed 56-40, with a mix of Democrats and Republicans. In a prepared statement, Isakson said omnibus spending bills are “never a good way to do business” and pledged the Republican majority will conduct a more transparent appropriations process next year.




Dec. 12, 2014 Georgia Health News

Georgia, South still low on health rankings

Andy Miller reports that Georgia retained its ranking of 38th in a newly released 2014 state-by-state health report card. Southern states generally ranked at the bottom in the annual report by America’s Health Rankings. The report says Georgia has strengths that include a low prevalence of binge drinking; a low rate of drug deaths; and a low occupational fatality rate. 


Dec. 12, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Political Notes - December 2014

Susan Percy reports on the Republican sweep at the polls, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project gets underway, and Gov. Deal establishes the Georgia Ebola Response Team.


Dec. 12, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

AT&T rebrands Alltel retail locations

Christopher Seward reports that AT&T said it has rebranded former Alltel retail locations in Georgia under the AT&T name a year after the company completed its acquisition of the wireless service provider. AT&T announced plans in January 2013 to acquire Alltel for $780 million. AT&T gained 585,000 subscribers in mainly rural areas of six states, including more than 100,000 in Georgia, where AT&T Mobility is based, in Atlanta.


Dec. 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coca-Cola expands board of directors by two

Staff reports that Coca-Cola Co. elected Marc Bolland and David Weinberg to its board of directors. The two will join the Atlanta-based beverage giant's board on Feb. 18, 2015. Bolland, 55, is CEO of retailer Marks & Spencer Group PLC. Since becoming CEO at Marks & Spencer in 2010, Bolland has led an ongoing program to transform the company from a traditional British retailer to an international, multi-channel retailer. 


Dec. 12, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Financially strapped St. Francis to 'explore potential partners'

Chuck Williams reports that as it deals with a significant financial crisis discovered last month, the St. Francis Hospital Board of Trustees said Thursday it will “explore potential partners to sustain this valuable community asset,” according to a statement from Chairman Richard Y. “Bo” Bradley. The board was not clear in the statement what it meant by partners.


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Dec. 12, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Composting now measured in tons on UGA campus

Lee Shearer reports that ost of us think of composting as a nice little thing we can do for the environment in our backyards, but when an entire major college campus gets involved in converting food waste into soil amendments, composting takes on a very different meaning, with surprisingly big numbers. UGA workers have been composting yard waste such as leaves and tree trimmings since 1983. 


Dec. 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia DOT breaks ground with chief engineer choice

Dave Williams reports that the Georgia Department of Transportation is getting its first woman chief engineer. The State Transportation Board Thursday appointed veteran DOT executive Margaret "Meg" Pirkle the agency's chief engineer, succeeding Russell McMurry. Pirkle has spent more than 25 years with the DOT, currently serving as division director of permits and operations. 


Dec. 12, 2014 WABE

State Lawmaker Pushes To Legalizes Fireworks

Michell Eloy reports that Georgia lawmaker is looking to make a bang during this year’s legislative session with a bill that would legalize the sale of most fireworks. Right now, it’s against the law for the average person to buy, sell or even use fireworks other than sparklers in Georgia. “Making fireworks illegal is probably one of those things that I just think is a dumb law,” says Holly Springs Republican Rep. Scot Turner. He’s pre-filed a bill ahead of the upcoming legislative session that would legalize the use and sale of most fireworks.


Dec. 12, 2014 Gainesville Times

Legislators say road funding will be big issue in 2015

Jeff Gill reports that fixing Georgia’s roads and bridges will be a top priority for the General Assembly when it reconvenes Jan. 12, Hall County delegation members said Thursday morning. “We are losing jobs to other states because of gridlock,” said Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Eggs & Issues Breakfast at the Gainesville Civic Center.


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

Most Georgians back $1.1 trillion spending bill as it clears House

Daniel Malloy reports that after a day of drama, the U.S. House cleared a $1.1 trillion spending package to fund almost all of the government through September. In the Georgia delegation, 10 of 14 members voted in favor of the bill — despite clamoring from the left and the right to take it down. Georgia’s “no” votes were Reps. Paul Broun, R-Athens; Hank Johnson, D-Lithonia; John Lewis, D-Atlanta; and Austin Scott, R-Tifton. The overall tally was 219-206, with 67 Republicans voting against it and 57 Democrats voting for it.



Dec. 11, 2014

Deal: Germany-based Häring to create 800 jobs in Hart County

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Germany-based Häring, a leading global manufacturer of precision components and subassemblies for the automotive industry, will locate its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Hartwell, creating 800 jobs by 2025 and investing $54 million into the project over the next five years.


Dec. 11, 2014 Georgia Trend

Business Casual: The ethics beat goes on

Susan Percy writes, I cringe when I hear people characterize elected officials with a glib, “They’re all a bunch of crooks,” because a) it’s not true; b) it’s unfair to those who behave; and c) it lowers voters’ expectations. People turned off by reports of ethical lapses in the political process tend to stay away from the polls. 


Dec. 11, 2014

Atlanta firms see opportunity through Brazil's complexity

Trevor Williams reports that many look at Brazil and see an opaque wall of red tape; Scott Lewin saw opportunity.  The CEO of Invoiceware International is making the country’s infamous complexity work for his company, which helps multinationals make sense of often-convoluted compliance processes in Latin American countries.


 Dec. 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Business people rally behind OK Cafe     

Charles Gay writes, you've read about the fire Sunday that trashed Atlanta’s home of the power breakfast, the OK Cafe, and hopefully you have read our story about how local business people were devastated. But something else is going on now, as PR executive Tony Wilbert points out on his blog, Skyline Views. Folks who were hit hardest were the OK Cafe’s hundred workers, who at least temporarily lost livelihoods right before the holidays


Dec. 11, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

CDC Foundation gets $4.6M from Gates Foundation

Ellie Hensley reports that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will give the CDC Foundation nearly $4.6 million to track tobacco use and tobacco control measures in sub-Saharan Africa. In partnership with the World Health Organization's Regional Office for Africa, the foundation will use the four-year grant to increase tobacco use surveillance and research capacity in the area.


Dec. 11, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

New $4.4 million bridge planned for rural Coffee County

Staff reports that the Georgia Department of Transportation will spend $4.4 million to build a new bridge over Seventenn Mile River in rural Coffee County. The current bridge on Georgia 64 northeast of Pearson was built in 1959 and is a school bus route, said Juanita Birmingham, spokeswoman for the DOT’s district office in Tifton. “It’s old. It’s narrow. It was built to the standard of that day and time,’’ Birmingham said.


Dec. 11, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Monroe County Hospital forms clinical partnership with Macon’s Coliseum Health System

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Linda S. Morris reports that Hospital Authority of Monroe County, doing business as Monroe County Hospital, has formed a clinical partnership with Coliseum Health System of Macon. “The affiliation between our two organizations will facilitate the on-going delivery of health care services in a local setting to Monroe County and surrounding residents”, Tony Ussery, chairman of the Hospital Authority, said in a news release.


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Dec. 11, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

Firm brokers $27M sale of Smyrna Mission Galleria Apartments

Staff reports that Berkadia Real Estate Advisors, one of the nation’s largest and most active multifamily investment banking and research companies, recently brokered a $27 million sale of the 416-unit Mission Galleria apartment community at 5000 South Lincoln Trace Ave. NE in Smyrna.


Dec. 11, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

SunTrust Park development sparking retail demand

Douglas Sams reports that just months after breaking ground on SunTrust Park and its adjacent mixed-use project, the Atlanta Braves are already talking expansion. In a conference call with Atlanta media today, Braves executive Derek Schiller said the first phase of the project — which is slated to open in 2017 — has generated greater than anticipated demand.


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

Why Democrats and transit will be relevant in 2015

Jim Galloway reports that two years ago, the concept of expanding fixed rail to move more commuters through metro Atlanta was declared dead – staked through the heart by the defeat a sales tax referendum. One month ago, Democrats in Georgia, swamped again by a red wave, were considered an irrelevant sideshow in a GOP-dominated state Capitol. Neither condition is true today. 




Dec. 10, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

10,000 Georgia workers impacted by 2014 layoffs, plant closures

David Allison reports that layoffs and plant closures announced or implemented in Georgia during the past year have impacted just over 10,000 workers. Figures from the Workforce Division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development show that just over 100 employers notified the state of plans to conduct layoffs or facility closures during 2014. Some of those events will happen in the first quarter of 2015.


Dec. 10, 2014 Savannah Morning News

SEDA pursuing German business ties

Mary Carr Mayle's reports that when the Savannah Economic Development Authority established the World Trade Center Savannah in late 2011, one of the first goals for the new organization was to identify countries with the potential for strong business and economic ties to the Savannah region. WTC’s yearlong in-depth and ongoing analysis used more than 20,000 points of data and covered a wide range of factors, including existing trade agreements, regional businesses with partnerships abroad and relationships the city of Savannah and other regional partners had been cultivating.


Dec. 10, 2014 Georgia Health News

State putting together Ebola hospital network

Andy Miller reports that Georgia public health officials are assembling a tiered system among the state’s hospitals for identifying and treating Ebola patients. And they hope to have it in place this month, with the hospitals publicly identified as treatment facilities in the state. The plan was outlined by Dr. Patrick O’Neal, director of health protection for the Georgia Department of Public Health, at the agency’s board meeting Tuesday.


Dec. 10, 2014 Saporta Report

Fort McPherson-Tyler Perry deal back in business with help from his friends 

Maria Saporta reports that Tyler Perry’s plans to build a movie studio complex at Fort McPherson is proceeding after all. In a dramatic on-again, off-again, on-again week that had all the elements of a staged performance, the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a resolution and a map of the boundaries of the 330 acres that would be owned and controlled by Tyler Perry Studios and the 145 acres that would be owned by MILRA. 


Dec. 10, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

'A good handle’: Cobb Braves stadium questions addressed at open house

Ricky LeRoux reports that Vinings resident Bassem Toukan said the Atlanta Braves moving to Cobb is a positive step for the county and was reassured by information presented by county officials at a public information meeting Tuesday. Toukan owns the Corporate Plaza building near the intersection of Spectrum Circle and Windy Hill Road, a little more than a mile from the stadium site.


Dec. 10, 2014 Athens Banner Herald

U.S. moving to join rest of world with credit-card technology

Jim Thompson reports, say good-bye to the swipe. by the time next Christmas shopping season comes around, Americans will have joined much of the rest of the world, moving from the magnetic-stripe financial transaction cards ubiquitous in this country to computer-chip-based cards. The cards only recently appeared in American wallets as credit-card issuers send out new and renewal cards equipped with the new technology.


Dec. 10, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

UPS, FedEx doing a better job with deliveries this time around

Christopher Seward reports, are your UPS and FedEx packages arriving on time? According to an analysis by researchers at ShipMatrix, both package delivery services greatly improved their delivery performances over the Thanksgiving holiday, compared with last year, when they received a drubbing for deliveries that did not arrive in time for holiday gift-giving.


Dec. 10, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Comcast plans to expand SE HQ in metro Atlanta; add up to 200 corporate jobs

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Comcast Corp. is doubling down on Atlanta with plans to expand its Southeastern headquarters. The Philadelphia-based media and technology company is considering relocating and expanding its regional headquarters in the Norcross, Ga., area. Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) could be scouting for about 150,000 square feet of office space, with plans to add up to 200 administrative jobs, according to sources. 


Dec. 10, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Columbus Regional sells medical office buildings for $34.5 million

Chuck Williams reports that Columbus Regional Health has sold a dozen medical office buildings to a Milwaukee-based company in a $34.5 million real estate transaction. Physicians Realty Trust, a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange, purchased the property in Columbus and Phenix City late last month. The sale of a 13th building is pending before the end of the year, according to Columbus Regional officials.


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Dec. 10, 2014 Douglas County Sentinel

Man told to remove NRA hat at polling place files civil rights lawsuit in federal court

Staff reports that Douglas County resident Bundy Cobb is suing the county and elections officials after he says they forbid him from wearing his National Rifle Association Instructor hat to vote on Oct. 24. The Southeastern Legal Foundation is representing Cobb and filed the civil rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Atlanta on Monday.


Dec. 10, 2014 UGA Today

Lawmakers explore 2014 legislative agenda during 29th Biennial Institute

Roger Nielson reports that members of the Georgia General Assembly convened in Athens Dec. 7-9 for the 29th Biennial Institute for Georgia Legislators, coordinated by the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government to help lawmakers prepare for the next legislative cycle. More than 200 members of the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate attended presentations at the UGA Hotel and Conference Center covering economic development and other significant issues. The three-day event culminated with an address by Gov. Nathan Deal, who outlined his policy priorities for the coming year.


Dec. 10, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Nathan Deal hedges on gas tax hike; Casey Cagle says ‘we cannot avoid the issue of transit’

Jim Galloway reports that in an afternoon of winks and nods, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s unspoken messaging was stronger than the signaling from Gov. Nathan Deal. The Georgia Transportation Summit held here on Tuesday was billed as the biggest gathering of transportation advocates in state history – nearly 700.



Dec. 9, 2014

Deal: Castellini Group to create 300 jobs in Clayton County        

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Castellini Group of Companies, one of the largest fresh produce distributors in the United States, will develop a large-scale fresh-cut fruits and vegetables processing and produce distribution center in Conley, creating 300 jobs and investing $52 million into the project over the next several years.


Dec. 9, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Up in the air

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that from Phoenix Air, a Cartersville company with flying emergency rooms that deliver Ebola patients to life-saving treatment in the United States, to a variety of companies working on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS – also known as UAV, unmanned aerial vehicles, but never called drones by those in the biz), a growing crop of Georgia businesses are on the cutting edge of the aerospace industry.


Dec. 9, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Asbury Automotive acquires Sandy Springs Ford dealership

Christopher Seward reports that Duluth-based Asbury Automotive Group, which owns dealerships locally and around the country, is adding Sandy Springs Ford to its roster. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Asbury said the Ford dealership on Roswell Road has about $110 million in revenue annually. n June, Asbury became the 17th publicly traded company listed among the Fortune 500. The company had $5.3 billion in sales last year.


Dec. 9, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Intercontinental Exchange exiting Euronext

Staff reports that Intercontinental Exchange plans to sell its remaining stake in Euronext. The Atlanta-based network of regulated exchanges and clearing houses said Monday it will sell about 4.2 million shares, or about 6 percent of Euronext's share capital, through an accelerated book-building to institutional investors. ICE said it expects 119.2 million in gross proceeds.


Dec. 9, 2014 UGA

Georgia Economic Outlook series opens Dec. 12 in Atlanta

Matt Weeks reports that the 2015 Georgia Economic Outlook, hosted by the University of Georgia Terry College of Business, will take place Dec. 12 at noon at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta. Benjamin C. Ayers, dean of the Terry College, will deliver the Georgia economic forecast. The former head of the college's J.M. School of Accounting, Ayers holds the Earl Davis Chair in Taxation.


Dec. 9, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Service 

Caterpillar exec tells lawmakers of need to teach teens about manufacturing jobs

Walter C. Jones reports that the manager of one of Georgia’s newest, large manufacturers told state lawmakers on Monday that there is a need to convince students that factory jobs are attractive. Todd Henry, operations manager for the Athens-based plant of Caterpillar Inc., also praised the state’s job-training program, Quick Start, as helping prepare unskilled workers.


Dec. 9, 2014 WABE

A Talk with Outgoing U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, Part 1

Denis O'Hayer reports that Georgia's senior U.S. Senator, Republican Saxby Chambliss, will leave office at the end of 2014.  Chambliss decided not to seek re-election.  In part 1 of a conversation with WABE's Denis O'Hayer, Chambliss talked about the reasons for his decision, his frustration with the last few years of gridlock in Congress, and the controversial ad that was part of his successful 2002 campaign to unseat then-Senator Max Cleland.


Dec. 9, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Nathan Deal on transportation: ‘We should be looking at everything’

Greg Bluestein reports that the debate over raising more transportation revenue could well define the upcoming legislative session, and few at a legislative training conference here are willing to rule anything out. At least for now. The ideas range from lower-hanging fruit such as shifting the fourth penny of a motor fuel sales tax back to transportation projects to the more difficult prospect of increasing that tax or imposing new fees on car owners.



Dec. 8, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Woodruff Arts Center gets ‘phenomenal’ $38 million gift

Maria Saporta reports that as an ultimate endorsement of its recent changes in governance and leadership, the Woodruff Arts Center is receiving the largest gift in its 46-year history–$38 million – from its top benefactor, the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. The grant will kick-start a fundraising campaign of at least $82 million aimed at boosting the Art Center's endowment by more than $50 million as well as investing $32 million in capital improvements – largely to completely transform the Alliance Theatre.


Dec. 8, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

MAC's annual meeting

Susan Percy reports that a big helping of optimism was served up along with lunch at Tuesday’s (Dec. 2) annual meeting of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Transportation may be the chamber’s No. 1 issue for 2015, but outgoing chair Richard Anderson, Delta’s CEO, cautioned against too much negativity.


Dec. 8, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

‘Fight for $15’ protests include Atlanta

Dan Chapman reports that Phyllis Jackson is paid $7.25 an hour, plus tips, pushing wheelchair-bound passengers between terminals at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. She wouldn’t have been demonstrating for more money Thursday outside West Atlanta fast-food joints if city officials had successfully raised the minimum wage a decade ago.


Dec. 8, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Uber-like moving service comes to Athens

Chris Starrs reports that it is estimated that some 50 million Americans move each year and about 38 million of those movers choose to take the do-it-yourself route. With the advent and growth of Chattanooga-based Bellhops, DIY movers in more than 120 cities in 42 states, including Athens, can call on college students ready and waiting to lend a helping hand.


Dec. 8, 2014 Georgia Health News

Feds clear Augusta facility after safety problems

Andy Miller reports that Augusta facility for the developmentally disabled has been certified by the feds after the state corrected significant problems with patient safety there. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a federal agency, has notified the state that the Gracewood Developmental Center is now in “substantial compliance’’ with U.S. regulations. 


Dec. 8, 2014 Brunswick News

Professor examines Glynn County economic trends

Lindsey Adkison reports that since moving to Glynn County two decades ago, Don Mathews has witnessed a variety of economic trends. And as an economist and a professor at the College of Coastal Georgia, it’s something he’s always found intriguing. “When I moved here in 1993, our local economy was relatively poor but with great potential,” he said. “Today, 21 years later, it is still relatively poor but with great potential. So the question is: why are we in the same basic situation after a generation? It’s an enormous question with no easy answers.”


Dec. 8, 2014 GPB

Jellyfish Industry Meets Resistance In South Carolina

Emily Jones reports that if you’ve ever been to the beach in Georgia or South Carolina, you’re familiar with the large, round globs called cannonball jellyfish - or jellyballs. You’ve probably also noticed there are a lot of them. That abundance has helped spur an industry in Georgia and Florida for years - catching, processing, and shipping millions of pounds of jellyballs to Asia for food. Now a company in South Carolina wants in on the action. But the jellyball operation is meeting local resistance.


Dec. 8, 2014 Newnan Times-Herald

Lovell Tree Farm continues to harvest tradition

Clay Neely reports that when the Lovell family started planting and farming Christmas trees over ten years ago, they never expected to see the business grow to the extent which it currently enjoys. The Lovell Tree Farm, located on 291 Crawford Rd. in Senoia, was founded in 2003 by Doyle and Jackie Lovell, son Jerry Lovell and his wife Stacy, daughter Cheryl Martin and her husband Scott, and their grandchildren. 


Dec. 8, 2014  Augusta Chronicle

Georgia-Carolina Bancshares shareholders approve acquisition by State Bank Financial Corp.

Tim Rausch reports that one of Augusta's oldest locally owned banks will belong to an expanding Atlanta-based financial institution in January. Shareholders of Georgia-Caro­lina Bancshares, the owner of First Bank of Georgia, on Thursday approved the merger acquisition by State Bank Financial Corp. First Bank will remain a stand-alone bank in the corporation, which also owns banks in Macon and Warner Robins, Ga.


Dec. 8, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Sears announces 235 stores to close as its future remains cloudy 

David A. Arnott reports that Sears Holdings Corp. said it plans to close 235 stores this year as part of ongoing efforts to revamp its operations. The retailer has dozens of stores in Georgia. The Chicago Tribune explained that the parent of Sears and Kmart stores said it posted a loss of $548 million for the most recent quarter, which was slightly greater than the loss it posted in the same period last year.


Dec. 8, 2014 WABE

How Are Georgia Colleges Responding To Sexual Assault Claims?

Martha Dalton reports that Rolling Stone magazine has retracted parts of a recent story on sexual assault at the University of Virginia. The victim’s credibility has been called into question. But, the issue is an important one for Georgia colleges. Two women have sued Georgia Tech’s Phi Kappa Tau fraternity for shrugging off rape allegations. Their attorney, BJ Bernstein, says the organization encouraged its members to sexually assault women.


Dec. 8, 2014 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Services

Boot camp in session before the Georgia legislative session

Walter C. Jones reports that Georgia’s new and veteran lawmakers arrived at the University of Georgia Sunday for a three-day education on some of the biggest issues they’ll face in the legislative session that begins Jan. 12. Freshmen legislators got some basic training in the morning before their seasoned colleagues joined them after lunch for a confidential briefing on the state’s finances. The evening wound up with a cocktail reception hosted by the university and a free concert by the Kinchafoonee Cowboys at the Georgia Theatre.


Dec. 8, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political lnsider

In wake of Brown, Garner decisions, Kasim Reed says ATL will move quickly to cop cameras

Jim Galloway reports that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was part of a panel on NBC’s “Meet The Press” this morning that discussed the grand jury decisions in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police. Reed was asked how Atlanta police stack up – and in the process said the city’s police force would be moving quickly to put cameras on all officers.



Dec. 5, 2014

Deal: November revenues up 4.3 percent

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia’s net tax collections for November totaled nearly $1.46 billion, an increase of approximately $60.5 million, or 4.3 percent, compared to November 2013. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled $7.7 billion, which was an increase of $359 million, or 4.9 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year, when net tax revenues totaled $7.34 billion after five months.


Dec. 5, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Neely Young: Summer chapel songbook

Neely Young writes, each summer my wife and I attend the Summer Chapel, a church in Western North Carolina. Located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains between Cashiers and Highlands, it becomes a must-visit for Georgia natives and others during the hot summer. Every Sunday for 12 weeks beginning in June, the church hosts a service that includes sermons by the Rev. Jim Theus plus an old-fashioned sing-along with bluegrass music and hymns from the good old days in small-town America.


Dec. 5, 2014 WABE 

Schedule Is Speeding Up In The Latest Water Wars Battle

Molly Samuel reports that the state of Florida is suing Georgia over water, including over how much water metro Atlanta can take from Lake Lanier. When the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, officials expected it to take more than five years to be decided, but now, the case is expected to move much faster. States don’t sue other states that often. When they do, the case goes straight to the Supreme Court. So the process is different.


Dec. 5, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Southern Telecom expands Atlanta network

Staff reports that Southern Co.'s Southern Telecom unit added 43 miles of dark fiber to its Atlanta network as part of an expansion in the Southeast. Southern Telecom said its Atlanta system has doubled the number of on-net buildings to 40. The Atlanta-based company also added 127 miles of dark fiber and 42 on-net buildings to its Birmingham, Ala., network.


Dec. 5, 2014

Delta flight reconnects Barbados with Atlanta and beyond

Trevor Williams reports that Barbados is expecting a new wave of U.S. tourism thanks to a recovering American economy and the return of a nonstop Delta Air Lines flight to the capital city of Bridgetown from Atlanta starting Dec. 4.   Not only is Atlanta a key source market, air links between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and 90-plus U.S. cities make it an unrivaled connecting point for other travelers, Alvin Jemmott, chairman of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., told Global Atlanta at a dinner on the eve of the flight’s relaunch. 


Dec. 5, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

UGA agricultural economists to give 2015 forecast

Staff reports that agricultural economists from the University of Georgia plan to hold a series of seminars to talk about what 2015 will hold for the state's agriculture industry. The 2015 Georgia Ag Forecast seminars will be held around the state Jan. 14-23. The annual seminar series is organized and hosted by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.


Dec. 5, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

IT firm EDTS CEO Charles Johnson named Augusta-Metro Chamber of Commerce's Entrepreneur of the Year

Jenna Martin reports that the head of a Broad Street-based information technology firm grabbed the title of the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneur of the Year on Thursday. The chamber awarded EDTS CEO Charles Johnson with the honor during its member economic luncheon at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center. EDTS is a networking and security technology consulting firm for businesses.


Dec. 5, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

New convention hotel could be largest in the city

Amy Wenk reports that Atlanta could be on the verge of getting a downtown mega hotel with up to 2,000 rooms, which would be by far the city's largest. The proposed hotel, which would be next to the new Atlanta Falcons stadium, could be bigger than the 1,663-room Marriott Marquis that opened in 1985. The Georgia World Congress Center Authority (GWCCA) has been planning a high-end convention hotel adjacent to the stadium for about a year. 


Dec. 5, 2014 GPB

Peake Advocating Medical Cannabis Bill In Upcoming Session

Sean Powers reports that Republican state representative Allen Peake says he’s hopeful his bill to allow for the limited use of medical cannabis will make it through the legislature. A study committee that traveled the state this summer holding hearings on the issue wrapped up its work on Wednesday at the state Capitol in Atlanta. Peake is advocating the growing, processing and distribution of cannabis oil with a chemical composition so low it would not cause the sensation of feeling high.


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

Gay marriage could come to Florida in January

Jim Galloway and Greg Bluestein report that Gay marriage could be coming to a state next to yours as soon as Jan. 6. From Buzzfeed: In a two-page opinion issued on Wednesday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denied Florida’s request to issue a stay in the federal case challenging the state’s ban on same-sex couples’ marriages. A federal district court judge in that case ruled the ban unconstitutional in August, and the state has appealed the case to the 11th Circuit.



Dec. 4, 2014 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Bills aplenty prefiled for Georgia General Assembly

Walter C. Jones reports that marijuana, horse racing, driving with cellphones, child sexual abuse, the minimum wage and college athletics are some of the topics of pre-filed legislation in the General Assembly so far. With campaigns concluded, Georgia lawmakers are filing bills ahead of the legislative session that starts Jan. 12. As of Wednesday, 17 general bills and one constitutional amendment had been filed in the House of Representatives while senators have only filed two bills and one amendment.


Dec. 4, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia Writers Inducted into Hall of Fame

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that the  Georgia Writers Hall of Fame hosted induction events and a ceremony in early November to honor 2014 inductees Olive Anne BurnsMary Hood and Alfred UhryThe hall of fame, housed at the University of Georgia, inducts writers – both living and posthumously – who are either native Georgians or have produced a significant work while in the state or about Georgia.


Dec. 4, 2014 WABE

Gov. Deal To Focus On Education Funding With New Advisory Board

Candace Wheeler reports that earlier this week, Gov. Nathan Deal announced the new members of his education advisory board. It’s made up of superintendents, principals, school board members and other educators. In his second term, Gov. Deal wants to look at amending the grade school funding formula.


Dec. 4, 2014 Brunswick News

Southeast Georgia Health system finances looking up

Mary Starr reports that it was 15 months ago that the Southeast Georgia Health System announced it was tightening its belt in order to cope with a significant financial shortfall. At the time it said the hospital’s finances were stable, but a number of challenges had resulted in officials having to work to reduce costs.


Dec. 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta high in million-dollar home sales

Michael Kanell reports that when it comes to million-dollar home sales, the city of Atlanta this year ranks in the top 5 percent — but it’s far short of the leaders. The city this year has had 118 sales of homes in at least seven figures, putting it 17th out of 384 cities on the list, according to a report from Redfin, a national real estate brokerage based in Seattle. 


Dec. 4, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Intercontinental Exchange closes Holland Clearing House deal

Staff reports that Intercontinental Exchange Inc. will buy a majority stake in the Holland Clearing House to support its clearing strategy for financial products. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Dec. 4, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

J. Alvin Wilbanks tells Gwinnett legislators to embrace Common Core

Keith Farner reports that along with the familiar tune about restoring funding to local school districts, J. Alvin Wilbanks asked Gwinnett legislators on Monday morning to embrace Common Core standards. The CEO/Superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools made his annual remarks in a pre-General Assembly meeting with the lawmakers at the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse. In a presentation, Wilbanks said he was in favor of Common Core standards in Georgia. 


Dec. 4, 2014 Georgia Health News

Grady using tough ads in Blue Cross dispute

Andy Miller reports that starkly worded ads call it an issue of fairness. With full-page advertisements in newspapers and through TV commercials, Grady Health System has ramped up its media campaign to bring attention to what it says are unfair payments from Georgia’s largest insurer. “Blue Cross Blue Shield pushed Grady out of its network,’’ say the ads in the Wall Street Journal and the AJC, which appeared in editions this week. 


Dec. 4, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta retail analytics software maker Predictix rings up $15M investment

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Atlanta-based software firm Predictix has raised $15 million — capital the company will use to keep pace with customer demand. The Series A investment was led by Marlin Equity Partners and included funding from Kinetic Ventures and ITC Holding Co.


Dec. 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Court ruling deals blow to welfare drug-testing law

Greg Bluestein reports that an Atlanta federal appeals court struck down a Florida law mandating the blanket drug-testing of all welfare recipients, raising fresh legal doubts about a similar Georgia law. A three-judge panel for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday concluded that Florida failed to prove any “concrete danger” justifying the need for suspicion-less drug testing for poverty aid recipients.



Dec. 3, 2014 Saporta Report

New Atlanta Falcon's stadium will 'rise up' to $1.4 billion

Maria Saporta and Amy Wenk report that the price of having the country’s most state-of-the-art football stadium is “rising up” by an estimated $200 million. The Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s board of governors approved a resolution to raise the cost of the new Atlanta Falcons stadium from $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion. The extra $200 million will be covered by “StadCo” — an entity the Falcons set up for the project — not the state or city. The Falcons are seeking financing through Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC).


Dec. 3, 2014 Albany Herald, Georgia Health News

Georgia's Medicaid chief stepping down

Andy Miller reports that Jerry Dubberly is leaving his position as Georgia’s Medicaid director, effective Jan. 2. He’s stepping down from what experts consider a vitally important job in Georgia health care. As Medicaid chief, Dubberly oversees the services for about 1.9 million Georgians in Medicaid and PeachCare, with a state budget of more than $2.5 billion.


Dec. 3, 2014 WABE

Power Plant Emissions Battle Enters New Round: A Talk with PSC Member Stan Wise

Denis O'Hayer reports that  June, 2014, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency proposed the Clean Power Plant Rule--some tough new standards for pollutants from power plants.  The overall goal is to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases--like carbon dioxide--from power plants by 30% from their 2005 levels, with a deadline of 2030.  The Georgia Public Service Commission, the elected body that regulates utilities in the state, submitted comments calling for the EPA to scale back the Clean Power Plant Rule.  


Dec. 3, 2014 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Regulators file formal objection to EPA plan, say it's unfair to Georgia

Walter C. Jones reports that Georgia's utility regulators filed a formal objection to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Clean Power Plan, and legislators are expected to propose other roadblocks making the federal rule a state issue.  Tuesday, the Georgia Public Service Commission released a copy of comments it filed the day before on the deadline for public input on the EPA proposal. The commission, composed of five Republicans elected statewide, warned that more stringent air-quality standards would be costly for consumers and difficult for power companies to meet. 


Dec. 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta aims for Atlanta-China flights

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Delta Air Lines aims to eventually restart flights from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to China, after discontinuing its Atlanta-Shanghai route a few years ago. “We really have to reconnect Atlanta to China,” said Delta CEO Richard Anderson during comments before a Metro Atlanta Chamber luncheon in Atlanta on Tuesday. “Over the long run we will,” he said, noting that will be enabled by the airline’s order of wide-body Airbus jets announced last month. The new long-range jets will be delivered starting in 2017.


Dec. 3, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Dublin-based hospice company to pay $581,504 to settle false claims case

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Amy Leigh Womack reports that a Dublin-based hospice company and an affiliate corporation have agreed to pay the federal government $581,504 to settle allegations that the hospice company submitted or caused the submission of false Medicare claims for patients ineligible for hospice care under Medicare regulations.


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Dec. 3, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

AT&T's "gigabit" Internet rollout back on track

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that AT&T appears to be backtracking from its threat to delay installing its high-speed Internet infrastructure in 100 cities until the Federal Communication Commission's rules regarding net neutrality have been mapped out. In a recent letter to the FCC, Dallas-based AT&T confirmed that it will continue rolling out its new high-speed fiber network despite claims to the contrary last month.


Dec. 3, 2014

Airport's economic impact grows, backs Southwell's priority list

Trevor Williams reports that less than a year after taking the reins of the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson General Manager Miguel Southwell has a new set of numbers to back up a priority list that includes investing in cargo operations and developing new routes to spur foreign investment and attract visitors.  An updated study of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s economic impact released in November showed that while its passenger totals dipped slightly to 94 million in 2013, the region’s main gateway is more important than ever to its success.  


Dec. 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Coca-Cola rolling out no-lactose milk product

Christopher Seward reports that Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. has the largest-selling soft drink brand around the globe and now it’s “got milk.” Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America, recently said at a Morgan Stanley Global Consumer Conference that Coca-Cola will roll out a no-lactose milk product that will be in stores in late December.


Dec. 3, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Aflac finds itself in excellent company on Fortune’s year-ender list

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Tony Adams reports, simply put, it’s a list of firms that have made the most lists. Still, Aflac has some pretty hefty company on Fortune magazine’s year-ending list of large businesses that found themselves ranked in at least four of five categories in 2014. “As 2014 draws to a close, we took a look over Fortune’s lists and noticed a few names that kept appearing throughout the year,” the publication’s editors write in the online posting Tuesday. “These 10 all-stars made appearances in Fortune’s Best Companies to Work For, Most Admired Companies, Fastest Growing Companies, Fortune Global 500, and, of course, the Fortune 500 itself.”


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Dec. 3, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Small businesses in Georgia eager to get contract work at Fort Gordon Cyber Center

Meg Mirshak reports that eager small business owners flocked to the Fort Gordon Cyber Center of Excellence on Tuesday hoping to capitalize on upcoming government contract work at the growing military installation. Telecommunications companies, landscaping businesses, office furniture distributors and a variety of other disadvantaged businesses attended a forum intended to educate small businesses on the process of contract bidding. Large government contractors that work at other military posts also attended the event, allowing business owners to network and promote their work.


Dec. 3, 2014 Gainesville Times

Flowery Branch facility gets ball rolling for Tesla 

Nick Watson reports that Flowery Branch plant is getting the motor running for Tesla Motors, a producer of electric cars increasing in popularity. SKF, which has a plant on McEver Road, manufactures the hybrid ball bearings for Tesla drivetrains in its Model S sedan. 


Dec. 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta business leaders back push for transportation funding

Greg Bluestein reports that if state lawmakers make a push to raise gas taxes during the upcoming legislative session, some of Atlanta’s most influential business leaders have their back. At today’s Metro Atlanta Chamber’s meeting, a traditional bastion of GOP support, incoming chair Larry Gellerstedt talked up a need to spend an additional $1.5 billion a year on infrastructure. The cost of not making such investments is “much, much more” said the CEO of Cousins Properties.



Dec. 2, 2014 WABE

What Grady Not Taking Blue Cross Blue Shield Means For Patients

Molly Samuel reports that Grady Hospital is no longer accepting insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, after the two sides couldn’t agree on a new contract last week. But what that means for patients depends on the treatment. Grady is one of only two level-one trauma units in Atlanta. It’s one of two burn units in the state. And it recently opened a special unit for stroke care. Blue Cross Blue Shield will still cover emergencies in those centers.


Dec. 2, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Unbroken Circle

Susan Percy reports that the Atlanta BeltLine is the city’s – and likely the country’s – largest urban redevelopment project. But it’s a great deal more. There are brownfield remediation, historic preservation and public art components. The project will create 30,000 permanent jobs and 48,000 temporary construction jobs. 


Dec. 2, 2014 Georgia Health News

State Medicaid Chief Stepping Down

Andy Miller reports that Jerry Dubberly is leaving his position as Georgia’s Medicaid director, effective Jan. 2. He’s stepping down from what experts consider a vitally important job in Georgia health care. As Medicaid chief, Dubberly oversees the services for about 1.9 million Georgians in Medicaid and PeachCare, with a state budget of more than $2.5 billion. 


He’s stepping down from what experts consider a vitally important job in Georgia health care.

As Medicaid chief, Dubberly oversees the services for about 1.9 million Georgians in Medicaid and PeachCare, with a state budget of more than $2.5 billion.

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Dec. 2, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

Delta Community Credit Union presents a $32K check to Children’s Miracle network

Staff reports that Delta Community Credit Union, which has three Cobb County locations, presented a check for $32,100 to Children’s Miracle Network to help young patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The money was raised during the seventh annual Delta Community Tees Up “Fore” Kids Golf Tournament, held at the Marietta Country Club in Kennesaw on Oct. 27. Donations made to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in 2014 are earmarked to help provide care to all patients, regardless of their ability to pay.


Dec. 2, 2014 Albany Herald

Nevada family donates $1 million to Fuller Center

Danny Carter reports that the Americus-based Fuller Center for Housing nonprofit housing ministry has received a donation of $1 million from Doug and Jill Miller of Henderson, Nev. The Millers have been long-time donors to The Fuller Center’s work and have volunteered on multiple builds in the United States and internationally.


Dec. 2, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Macon-Bibb commissioners reluctantly OK new Kumho deal

Phillip Ramati reports that still smarting from the Bibb County school board’s reworking of a proposed contract that’s key to Kumho Tire building a tire plant here, the Macon-Bibb County Commission begrudgingly agreed to a plan that gives the school board more money. Commissioners had previously approved a deal that would have equally split Kumho’s $27 million in payments over 20 years -- which would be in lieu of taxes -- among the commission, school board and Industrial Authority.


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Dec. 2, 2014 Gainesville Times

Maine lawyer to oversee ‘water wars’ suit

Staff reports that the U.S. Supreme Court has appointed a Portland, Maine, lawyer to oversee a Florida lawsuit alleging Georgia’s water consumption has drained flows into the Apalachicola Bay, home of Florida’s oyster industry. Ralph I. Lancaster will serve as special master with authority to set the time and conditions for the filing of additional pleadings, direct proceedings, summon witnesses and issue subpoenas.


Dec. 2, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

WorldPay moving HQ to Atlanta

Staff reports that Sandy Springs, Ga.-based financial technology company WorldPay will move its U.S. headquarters to Atlanta, bringing more than 1,200 jobs with it. The Atlanta City Council on Monday approved $1.5 million from the Invest Atlanta Economic Opportunity Fund to assist with relocation. The relocation is expected to create 1,266 new jobs for the city.


Dec. 2, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Deere produces milestone millionth tractor

Tim Rausch reports that a million tractors have come out of John Deere in Grovetown. It took 22 years to do it. The milestone tractor was a 100-horsepower 5100M, which is an agriculture tractor, that came off the production line on Nov. 6, said Mary Pat Tubb, factory manager.


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

Kennesaw City Council rejects mosque at shopping center

Jim Galloway reports that on a final 4-1 vote, the Kennesaw City Council on Monday rejected a land-use permit for a storefront mosque, inviting a federal lawsuit from a group of Islamic worshippers attempting to establish a prayer center. The vote dashed a settlement in the works that would have limited the center to 80 congregants at any one time, amid other stipulations, in return for dropping the threat of the lawsuit.



Dec. 1, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Uncertainty making year-end tax planning difficult

Jenna Martin reports that, as has been the case in recent years, uncertainty swirling in Congress is making end-of-the-year tax planning more difficult. “Congress has gotten into some kind of habit of changing these rules at the last minute, between government shutdowns and inability for compromise,” said Ameriprise financial adviser Will Rogers. “Nobody loves taxes, but almost everybody hates not knowing what the rules are throughout the year.”


Dec. 1, 2014 WSB-TV

Grady will not accept BCBS after months of negotiations

Staff reports that ad news for Grady Health System patients who use Blue Cross Blue Shield. The hospital system says it no longer accepts the health insurance.
Grady says it's not being paid enough by Blue Cross Blue Shield, which says Grady is asking for too much in reimbursement. Now policy holders will have to pay out of pocket for treatment at Grady's facilities.


Dec. 1, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

New hotel eyed for Tech Square

Amy Wenk reports that a veteran Atlanta developer could lure a new boutique hotel to Midtown's Technology Square, an area already bustling with office and residential development. Bob Voyles, principal and CEO of Seven Oaks Co., envisions a mid-rise urban campus at Centergy North, a roughly 4-acre site at Spring and 8th streets the company has owned in a joint venture since 2005.


Dec. 1, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Doctors go digital, develop apps for patients

Andrea Six reports that Dr. Sidney Smith is a Savannah dermatologist; Stacey Roach is a software developer. When they got together, they came up with what they call the Complete.MD software suite. It allows patients to use the Complete.MD Connect smartphone application to schedule doctor’s appointments, make referrals, watch recorded video consultations with their doctor and manage their prescriptions.


Dec. 1, 2014 WABE

Consumers Reveal the Stress of Holiday Overspending

Rose Scott and John Lorinc report, there was a time when I just had to have a certain pair of jeans for Christmas. Those Jordache jeans were pretty expensive, at least, according to my father. Decades later, it appears consumers are still worried about spending too much this holiday season. A recent survey found nearly forty percent of people said they feel pressured to spend more than they can afford.


Dec. 1, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

Delta Community Credit Union presents a $32K check to Children’s Miracle network

Staff reports that Delta Community Credit Union, which has three Cobb County locations, presented a check for $32,100 to Children’s Miracle Network to help young patients at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The money was raised during the seventh annual Delta Community Tees Up “Fore” Kids Golf Tournament, held at the Marietta Country Club in Kennesaw on Oct. 27.


Dec. 1, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

2015 may be the year to untie Georgia’s gridlock

Dave Williams reports that lawmakers in charge of the latest effort to find new revenue to untie traffic gridlock and expand an inadequate transit network are vowing 2015 will be different. "We can't keep passing the buck," said state Rep. Calvin Smyre, D-Columbus, a member of a legislative study committee on transportation funding that held hearings throughout Georgia this fall.


Dec. 1, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Companies reap big tax savings from executive stock awards

Russell Grantham reports that Georgia’s biggest companies saved at least $2.1 billion on federal taxes over the last five years by awarding their top executives and other employees billions of dollars of stock awards, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis.



Nov. 28, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia No. 5 in U.S. in job creation

Carla Caldwell reports that Georgia moved up to fifth in the nation and second in the Southeast in over-the-year job creation in October, compared to sixth and third respectively in September, State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler said in a press release issued early Thursday. The state gained 96,000 non-seasonally-adjusted jobs between October 2013 and October 2014, for a growth rate of 2.4 percent.


Nov. 28, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Metro Atlanta jobless rate falls to 7 percent

Staff reports that the jobless rate in metro Atlanta has fallen to 7 percent. That's down from 7.3 percent in September. The new unemployment rate for October was announced Thursday by the Georgia Department of Labor. The 7 percent October jobless rate is also down from 7.6 from October 2013.


Nov. 28, 2014 New York Times

Toyota Widens Recall of Cars With Takata Airbags

Jonathan Soble reports that Toyota widened a global recall on Thursday of vehicles containing potentially dangerous airbags made by the Takata Corporation, announcing its first recall of cars to fix problems with driver’s-side airbags. Problems with driver’s-side airbag inflaters have been found in units made in a Takata plant in LaGrange, Ga., that is now closed.


Nov. 28, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Houston schools superintendent: Economy behind hiring woes

Jeremy Timmerman reports that Houston County schools Superintendent Mark Scott believes the nation’s economic recession still impacts the pool of teaching candidates.Even though the county came through the worst of its lean times budget-wise in 2008, Scott said an expected deficit in science and math teachers could have its roots in the recession.


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Nov. 28, 2014 Brunswick News

Veterinarian opens store to help nonprofit save endangered animals

Bethany Leggett reports that walking into the storefront at Silent Heroes Foundation, 1 Retreat Place, St. Simons Island, residents are transported across the ocean from the shores of the Golden Isles to the villages throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Large photos of mountain gorillas and Maasai warriors line the walls as tables across the store showcase handmade crafts and fair trade items from Africa.


Nov. 28, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Buckhead Beef sues former executives over competing meat company

Amy Wenk reports that a longtime Atlanta meat company has a big beef with a new venture that two former executives just launched. The Buckhead Beef Co., a more than 30-year-old meat purveyor now based in College Park, on Nov. 24 filed a compliant in federal court in Atlanta against the newly-opened Revere Meat Co. in Forest Park and its owners Chad Stine and Jason Lees.


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

As the region is carved into cities, Atlanta is offered a rare chance to grow

Jim Galloway reports that the carving up of DeKalb County into cities, already a complicated puzzle bound for the state Capitol, has now graduated to wheels-within-wheels status. On one hand, things have gotten simpler. The effort to create three new cities in northern DeKalb has been culled to two: A city of Tucker and a city of LaVista Hills. Negotiations over boundaries remain hung up on who gets the cash cow that is Northlake Mall.




Nov. 26, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia banks post $810 million profit in third quarter

Phil W. Hudson reports that Peach State's 213 state-based FDIC insured banks earned $810.1 million during the third quarter -- more than three times as much as they did in the same quarter of 2013, according to the Georgia Bankers Association. For the quarter, 62 percent of the state's banks posted increased earnings for the quarter, and 87 percent were profitable overall.


Nov. 26, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Thinking ahead

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that the United States, once a shining example of higher education attainment, now trails behind 15 other countries in the percentage of college graduates. And within that dismal figure, Georgia remains in the bottom five among the states. Increasing access to post-secondary institutions in the state has become a priority, not just to raise our standing in the U.S. and the world, but also as an economic imperative. 


Nov. 26, 2014 University of Georgia, Moultrie Observer

Laura Perry Johnson named director of UGA Extension

Faith Peppers reports that J. Scott Angle, dean and director of the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, announced today that Laura Perry Johnson has been named the director of UGA Extension beginning Jan. 1. "We are confident Laura will take UGA Extension in new and exciting directions," Angle said. "Her wealth of experience and deep understanding of the state and the needs of those we serve will be invaluable."


Nov. 26, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

New rules require Georgia to rate teacher-prep programs

Jaime Sarrio reports that Georgia and states across the nation will be required to develop a system to measure teacher-training programs in the latest attempt by the Obama administration to address teacher quality. The U.S. Department of Education announced regulations Tuesday that will require states to rate teacher-preparation programs by 2016, both those at colleges and universities and non-traditional kinds such as Teach for America.


Nov. 26, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

UGA Professor John Knox named state's top professor

Lee Shearer reports that University of Georgia professor John Knox has been named the Georgia Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, becoming the first UGA professor to win the award since 2004. Knox is richly deserving, according to former students such as Matt Daniel, who took courses with Knox in the geography department's atmospheric sciences program. 


Nov. 26, 2014 Saporta Report

Atlanta BeltLine Partnership names Chuck Meadows its new leader 

Maria Saporta reports that the private, fund-raising arm for the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership has named Atlanta native Chuck Meadows as its new executive director. Meadows, who served as vice president of public policy for the Metro Atlanta Chamber, where he worked for seven years until this past August when he became co-founder and president of Jim Adams LLC, an urban agriculture social enterprise. He now will become board chairman of Jim Adams. 


Nov. 26, 2014 Georgia Health News

Arthritis: An all too common and costly disease

Andy Miller reports that roughly one in four Georgians are estimated to have a form of doctor-diagnosed arthritis, according to the Atlanta-based Arthritis Foundation. More than 800,000 of them are “limited’’ by the condition, the CDC says. Thousands of Georgia children have a form of juvenile arthritis. Georgia’s prevalence of arthritis is about average. But with the aging of America, the rate is expected to double in the state by 2030, said Amanda Niskar, national scientific director for the Arthritis Foundation. 


Nov. 26, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

North Georgia water plan to get major update

David Allison reports that the plan that guides water supply, wastewater management and water conservation in the 15-county metro area is going to get a major update. The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District plans to spend up to $1.1 million to hire consultants to update the water management plan that was adopted in 2009. 


Nov. 26, 2014 Gainesville Times

State legislators working on transportation funding suggestions

Jeff Gill reports that after hearing largely from constituents for the past few months, a state legislative committee now is ready to huddle over ways Georgia could boost transportation spending. “We haven’t had a whole lot of discussion on it outside the committee, so a lot of members are anxious to see what we can come up with,” said state Sen. Steve Gooch, R-Dahlonega.



Nov. 25, 2014 GPB

Elect More Women in Georgia? Not This Year

Jeanne Bonner reports that Georgia Democrats hoped to win big on Election Night. They also aimed to elect a woman to a top political post. Instead, the Democrats lost the Governor's race, and in the U.S. Senate race, Michelle Nunn fell to Republican David Perdue. There are still no women in any of Georgia’s Constitutional officers and no women representing Georgia in Congress. GPB's Jeanne Bonner spoke with statehouse Minority Leader, Stacey Abrams, about what the election means for Democrats and female candidates.


Nov. 25, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Creative State

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that Georgia’s literary heritage includes the likes of Margaret Mitchell, Erskine Caldwell, Flannery O’Connor and even those who may not be thought of primarily as writers, but whose words have touched millions, like Martin Luther King Jr. These authors have inspired generations of readers and writers, including a strong pack of current Georgia literary luminaries, such as former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, novelists Pat Conroy and Anne Rivers Siddons, short-story writer Mary Hood and Pulitzer Prize winner Alfred Uhry. With a pool of talent this deep, the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame (GWHF) – all of the writers listed above are members – is overflowing with words to stir every soul.


Nov. 25, 2014 Business Insider

Coca-Cola Is Betting Big On A New Kind Of Milk That Costs Twice As Much As Regular

Hayley Peterson reports that Coca-Cola is launching a new kind of milk nationwide that the company says will "rain money." The product is called Fairlife and it will sell for twice the price of regular milk when it hits store shelves nationally in December, Coca-Cola's North American chief Sandy Douglas said at Morgan Stanley's Global Consumer Conference last week.


Nov. 25, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Roberts Realty gets warning from NYSE

Christopher Seward reports that the New York Stock Exchange has informed Atlanta-based Roberts Realty Investors Inc. that it is no longer in compliance with NYSE listing rules and could be delisted for not filing a quarterly financial report. The announcement from the company comes days after Roberts Realty announced a $12 million investment that would give the common stock purchaser a 46 percent stake in the real estate investment trust. Quarterly financial reports detail any profit or loss, revenue and other financial information used by investors and others in assessing a publicly traded company’s financial health.


Nov. 25, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Supreme Court puts limits on private probation industry

Dave Williams reports that the Georgia Supreme Court issued essentially a split decision Monday on a 14-year-old law that allows state courts to hire private companies to oversee misdemeanor offenders serving probation. In a unanimous ruling, the justices upheld the private probation industry as constitutional. However, the court sided with a lower court's decision prohibiting private probation companies from lengthening a probationer's sentence beyond what the court ordered.


Nov. 25, 2014

Atlanta firm to consult on $100 million-plus sales 

Phil Bolton reports that Mike Gomez, a recipient of the Metro Atlanta Chamber's Global Impact Award in 2010, has launched a new company titled the Motum Group that is to provide consulting services for deals involving sales of more than $100 million. Joined by Steve Krause, who along with Mr. Gomez has experience in the sale of military aircraft, the company is to provide sales campaign assessment, strategy development and follow-on advisory services for firms trying to win large, complex sales orders.


 Nov. 25, 2014 Georgia Health News     

Grady, Blue Cross at impasse as contract expires

 Andy Miller reports that contract standoffs between hospital systems and health insurers typically have a way of being resolved — often right before a deadline - But high-stakes negotiations between Grady Health System and Georgia’s biggest insurer failed to produce a new contract before the midnight deadline Sunday. That means Grady Memorial Hospital is now “out of network” for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia members. Patients with Blue Cross insurance will face higher out-of-pocket costs at the Atlanta hospital and its clinics.


ntract standoffs between hospital systems and health insurers typically have a way of being resolved — often right before a deadline.


- See more at:

ontract standoffs between hospital systems and health insurers typically have a way of being resolved — often right before a deadline.

But high-stakes negotiations between Grady Health System and Georgia’s biggest insurer failed to produce a new contract before the midnight deadline Sunday.

- See more at:

ontract standoffs between hospital systems and health insurers typically have a way of being resolved — often right before a deadline.

But high-stakes negotiations between Grady Health System and Georgia’s biggest insurer failed to produce a new contract before the midnight deadline Sunday.

- See more at:

Nov. 25, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

Gov. nominates Gretchen Corbin as commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia

Staff reports that Rome’s Gretchen Corbin has been nominated by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve as the commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia, the governor announced Monday. The nomination is pending TCSG board approval. Corbin is currently commissioner for the state Department of Community Affairs.


Nov. 25, 2014 WABE

GEMA Head English To Step Down 

Michell Eloy reports that Georgia Emergency Management Head Charley English is stepping down as the agency’s leader, moving down the ranks to deputy director starting at the beginning of next year. In a press release, Gov. Nathan Deal Monday announced the shakeup as part of a larger staff reorganization in his upcoming second term. 




Nov. 24, 2014 WABE

Obama's Immigration Action Expected to Affect Thousands in Georgia

Martha Dalton reports that ollowing President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration, some local organizations are bracing for a flood of inquiries. The Latin American Association, for one, will hire extra attorneys to guide people through the process. The president’s policy provides deportation relief to more people and will allow some to receive work permits. The LAA was prepared for a rush of phone calls from people to see if they qualify for the program or how to find an attorney.


Nov. 24, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Screven County: Bringing jobs back

Scott Blusiewicz reports that when Dr. David Pickrell was looking for a new location to house the manufacturing unit of Omega Piezo Technologies, Screven County, in Georgia's mid-coastal region, was not initially on his radar. Fortunately for the county and its residents, a combination of advantageous geography and an online search of available facilities led Pickrell, president of the Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of piezoelectric and alumina components for alarm systems and medical devices, to Sylvania.


Nov. 24, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Economist: Labor, housing markets turn the corner in Savannah

Mary Carr Mayle reports that there was good news for several sectors of the Savannah area economy, most notably construction employment, in the latest Coastal Empire Economic Monitor, released today by Armstrong State University. Michael Toma, professor of economics and director of the school’s Center for Regional Analysis, said the region’s economy continued to improve in the third quarter, easing somewhat from the surging growth of the last three quarters to a more moderate, sustainable pace.


Nov. 24, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Global Payments' No. 3 exec quits to join competitor Evertec

David Allison reports that the No. 3 executive at Global Payments Inc., one of Georgia's largest companies, quit suddenly to become CEO of a competitor, Evertec Inc. Evertec (NYSE: EVTC) said Nov. 21 that Morgan "Mac" Schuessler will become its president and CEO and member of its board effective Jan. 1. Schuessler will succeed Evertec CEO Peter Harrington, who will depart the company at the end of the year for personal reasons. 


Nov. 24, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Service

Georgia lawmakers wants schools to go digital by 2020

Walter C. Jones reports that early 30 eighth graders bend over laptops during Karen Farnsworth's Thursday morning math class, raising their hands for help as the teacher moves around pointing to their screens or providing video links. In the second row, 13-year-old Yocelin Rodriguez glances at a question about finding the height of a shape before grabbing her pencil and making calculations on a sheet of paper. 


Nov. 24, 2014 Georgia Health News

State panel meets over ailing rural hospitals

Andy Miller reports that sruggling to stay afloat financially, a northwest Georgia rural hospital has opted to file for bankruptcy protection from its creditors.Officials at Hutcheson Medical Center in Fort Oglethorpe said Wednesday evening that the filing would allow it to continue operations, restructure debt, and help protect it from a Chattanooga system’s effort to foreclose on the hospital’s property. 


Nov. 24, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Suwanee company a leader in virtual training for military, law enforcement

Tyler Estep reports that  internationally, Suwanne-based Meggitt Training Systems provides services for the British Ministry of Defense, Italy, Australia and New Zealand, among others. Locally, the Gwinnett County Police Department, Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office and Suwanee Police Department use the technology.


Nov. 24, 2014 Albany Herald

White Oak Pastures continues to grow its business

Brad McEwan reports that Jenni Harris, Southwest Georgia farmer and marketing manager for White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, says one of her father’s favorite sayings is “nature abhors a monoculture.” And it’s that mindset that drove Will Harris III’s decision in 1995 to change the direction of the family farm. He had no idea that it would grow into not only the largest organic farm in Georgia and the only one of its kind in the United States, but into a thriving, multifaceted business venture.


Nov. 24, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Norton named to National League of Cities leadership board

Carla Caldwell reports that Lamar Norton, the executive director of Georgia Municipal League, has been named to the National League of Cities 2015 leadership board of directors. The appointment was made Saturday at the annual Congress of Cities and Exposition in Austin, Texas, the organization said in a press release. 


Nov. 24, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta has Obama’s back on ‘much-needed’ immigration reform

Jim Galloway reports that if you are a Republican office-holder in Georgia, you have condemned President Barack Obama’s unilateral effort at immigration reform as illegal, unconstitutional and crassly political.You can’t afford not to. But perhaps surprisingly, this act also puts you opposite one of this state’s most important businesses: Delta Air Lines.



Nov. 21, 2014 Gainesville Times

House Study Committee voices support of Common Core

Kristen Oliver reports that parents, teachers, superintendents and state legislators are warily supportive of Common Core standards. Such was the consensus at the end of a meeting of the House Study Committee on the Role of the Federal Government in Education. The committee held its final meeting at the state Capitol on Thursday, when it discussed Common Core Performance Standards and heard a presentation from Helen Odom Rice, 3rd Congressional District member of the State Board of Education.


Nov. 21, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Organizations: The Pentorship Program

Candice Dyer reports, four years ago, Kristen Daniel launched The Pentorship Program, a nonprofit that uses career-development training to reduce prisoner recidivism, which hovers around 67.5 percent within five years of release. Pentorship uses secure technology to pair inmates with business leaders who act as mentors, providing real-world feedback on startup ideas and strategies. “It took a little time for me to learn my way around the re-entry field and figure out the right channels for our resources,” she says.


Nov. 21, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta emphasizing, creating more high-paying jobs

Dan Wagner reports that Metro Atlanta recently made headlines for its uncharacteristically high unemployment rate, which stood at 7.3 percent in September. This places metro Atlanta 45th on the list of the 49 U.S. metro areas with more than 1 million in population. Put in perspective, the average unemployment rate for large metropolitan areas is 5.7 percent, with the top 10 healthiest metros all clocking in at rates under 5 percent.


Nov. 21, 2014 GPB

When It Comes To Solar Industry Jobs, Georgia Adds The Most

Bradley George reports that Georgia added more jobs in the solar energy industry than any other state last year. According to a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the number of people employed in solar power jobs jumped from 800 in 2012 to 2,600 in 2013. The definition of “solar jobs” is broad. It includes everything from workers who install solar panels to factories that make those panels.


Nov. 21, 2014 Rockdale Citizen

Acuity Brands expansion in Rockdale County back on track

Alice Queen reports that the Acuity Brands expansion, which was in doubt earlier this month due to a disagreement over tax incentives, appears to be back on track, although the tax incentive offer remains unchanged. City, county and economic development officials have been working to shore up a deal announced last month in which Acuity, one of Rockdale’s oldest industries, would invest $5 million in retrofitting existing facilities on Lester Road and hire about 350 salaried employees at an average annual salary of $80,000.


Nov. 21, 2014 WABE

Why You'd Never Know Atlanta is Tops for Data Centers

Jim Burress reports that big data needs big closets. Turns out, Atlanta’s among the best when it comes to storing the stuff. Real estate giant CBRE recently looked at the top 23 markets for data hubs, and found Atlanta is among the most cost-effective.


Nov. 21, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

$30 million accounting oversight at St. Francis leads to layoffs

Chuck Williams reports that St. Francis Hospital is eliminating 80 jobs effective immediately as it wrestles with a $30 million accounting inaccuracy it discovered last month, President and CEO Robert Granger said on Thursday. Former Chief Financial Officer Matt Moore, who had been with the hospital for nine years, was suspended on Oct. 27 and “permanently relieved of his duties” Nov. 14, Granger said.


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Nov. 21, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

New leader chosen for Atlanta economic development agency

Staff reports that a new CEO has been chosen to take the helm of Atlanta's economic development agency. Mayor Kasim Reed has named Craig J. Richard as president and CEO of Invest Atlanta and says he brings more than 16 years of economic development and chamber of commerce experience.


Nov. 21, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Grady contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia ends

Ellie Hensley reports that Grady Memorial Hospital will no longer be in Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia's network when the current contract ends Nov. 24 at midnight due to a contract dispute. Grady has not returned requests for comment, but let its feelings be known on the Grady Health Twitter account. Slideshow of its Tweets and BCBSGa's on the right.


Nov. 21, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Manufacturer breaks ground on Buford facility

Staff reports that a manufacturer of thermoplastic elastomers celebrated the expansion of its Gwinnett location during a Nov. 20 groundbreaking ceremony in Buford. Kraiburg TPE, based in Germany, is building a 65,000-square-foot facility representing an investment of $15 million. The project is expected to create more than 20 jobs over the next five years.


Nov. 21, 2014 Saporta Report 

Genuine Parts moving its home base to Wildwood Office Park and away from new Braves stadium in Cobb 

Maria Saporta reports that Genuine Parts, one of Atlanta’s Fortune 500 companies, will be moving to a new headquarters building at Wildwood Office Park next to its existing Operational Support Facility, according to its CEO Thomas Gallagher. Genuine Parts, best known for its NAPA stores, has been headquartered at Circle 75 since 1979, but it just so happens that its headquarters is right next door to the new Atlanta Braves stadium and development. Gallagher was careful to say that he did not hold the Braves responsible for the company’s move.


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

Tom Graves will control Legislative Branch spending subcommittee

Daniel Malloy reports that U.S. Rep. Tom Graves will chair the Appropriations subcommittee on the Legislative Branch in the next Congress, becoming a “cardinal” in just his third full term in office. Graves, a Republican from Ranger, is the most junior cardinal, and his rapid rise on the money-disbursing committee is a sign of how much turnover there has been in the House lately — and a side benefit to beating the 2010 wave by a few months. Graves won a 2010 special election to fill Gov. Nathan Deal’s vacated seat.



Nov. 20, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia's jobless rate declines to 7.7 percent

Staff reports that Georgia's unemployment rate has dropped to 7.7 percent. The Georgia Department of Labor early Thursday morning announced the new October jobless figure. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 7.7 percent is down from 7.9 percent in September. It's also slightly below the 7.8 percent rate from a year ago.


Nov. 20, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Saying Good-bye to Two Georgia Giants

Christy Simo and Karen Kirkpatrick report that Georgia lost two men this week whose important contributions to the state will continue to be felt for decades to come. Businessman Herman Russell passed away Saturday, Nov. 15. He was 83. Former Gov. Carl Sanders died Sunday, Nov. 16. He was 89.


Nov. 20, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

GM to expand Atlanta technology development center; add up to 400 jobs

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that General Motors Inc. plans to add 200-to-400 IT jobs in metro Atlanta, a year after opening a 1,000-employee technology development center in the region, Atlanta Business Chronicle has learned. The Detroit-based automaker is said to have reached capacity at the 228,000 square foot IT center in Roswell, Ga. and is scouting North Fulton for additional space, according to a source. The center employs software developers, project managers, database experts and business analysts.


Nov. 20, 2014 Rome News Tribune

Hutcheson Medical Center filing for Chapter 11 protection

Mike O'Neal reports that a new chapter was added to the saga of Hutcheson hospital on Nov. 19.Chapter 11, that is.After meeting for more than two hours in executive session Wednesday evening, Nov. 19, the board of trustees for Hutcheson Medical Center unanimously voted to file for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Georgia.


Nov. 20, 2014 Georgia State University News

Georgia State Economic Forecaster Predicts Growth in 2016

Staff reports that second and third quarter GDP growth has led to optimism for acceleration in growth, but Rajeev Dhawan of the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business is expecting much of the same until 2016. “Human nature encourages us to dream about better days that are just around the corner and makes us overlook the real problems,” Dhawan writes in his Forecast of The Nation, released today. Problems Dhawan points to include second and third quarter GDP numbers skewed by anomalies in defense spending and exports, a lack of real income growth and economic trouble in Europe and China.


Nov. 20, 2014 WABE

Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Experiences Growth In Revenue, Jobs

Michelle Wirth reports that in the past four years, Atlanta’s airport has seen a boost in revenue and a growing number of jobs. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed touted the increases today during the release of a 2013 economic impact study released by the airport. Mayor Reed said last year, Hartsfield-Jackson International generated more than $34 billion in direct business revenue to metro Atlanta. That includes money from airlines, concessions and local hotels. 


Nov. 20, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coca-Cola inks deal with Great Lakes Coca-Cola Distribution

Staff reports that Coca-Cola Co. will gain Great Lakes Coca-Cola Distribution LLC's distribution territories in the greater Chicago area from Reyes Holdings LLC for an undisclosed amount. The deal is expected to close in 2015. Reyes Holdings is one of the largest global providers of food and beverage distribution services. Its operations span North, Central and South America, as well as Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Annually, the company delivers more than 800 million cases of well-known beer and food products. 


Nov. 20, 2014 Georgia Health News

Big doings in state's health IT industry

Andy Miller reports that Greenway Health may not be a household name outside of Carrollton, its headquarters city, though many sports fans may have noticed that professional golfer Jason Dufner wears its logo on his golf shirts. But in the medical field, Greenway Health has created a major profile. It’s among the leaders in the business of electronic health records and digital services for physicians. The company announced Wednesday that it is establishing an IT development center in Cobb County in metro Atlanta that will create 150 new jobs. Also Wednesday, other health IT companies in Georgia announced expansions and other major corporate news, during a media tour preceding the Health IT Leadership Summit in Atlanta on Thursday. 


Greenway Health may not be a household name outside of Carrollton, its headquarters city, though many sports fans may have noticed that professional golfer Jason Dufner wears its logo on his golf shirts.

But in the medical field, Greenway Health has created a major profile. It’s among the leaders in the business of electronic health records and digital services for physicians.

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

As you watch Ferguson, Mo., think about Savannah

Jim Galloway reports that cable news channels of all stripes and colors have directed your attention to Ferguson, Mo., where the gap between cops and the people they’re paid to protect has been distilled into a caricature-laden morality play. There is a certain satisfaction that comes with witnessing a tragedy from afar. Distance allows us to form up along bright, clearly drawn lines. We become detached cheerleaders for this side or that, for Fox News or CNN.



Nov. 19, 2014 WABE

State Lawmaker Continues Push For Medical Marijuana Law In Georgia

Michelle Wirth reports that efforts to legalize medical marijuana are back again this legislative session. A state lawmaker has pre-filed a bill that would allow for the limited use of cannabis oil. The actual details of the bill are still being worked out. But State Rep. Allen Peake said it would legalize cannabis oil for those who suffer from conditions like seizure disorders, cancer and glaucoma.


Nov. 19, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Economy: Keep on Trucking

Jeffrey Humphreys writes, more spending by consumers, increases in industrial production and larger shipments via Georgia’s ports will cause total statewide cargo volumes to outpace state and U.S. GDP growth in 2015. That’s quite an accomplishment for an industry that typically moves in lockstep with the overall economy.


Nov. 19, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia Power dangles rebates to businesses to add EV chargers

Christopher Seward reports that Georgia Power has launched a $500 rebate program for businesses that install chargers for electric vehicles. Businesses that sign up for the two-year program are required to install 240-volt Level 2 EV chargers. The circuit for the chargers is similar to the one used for home clothes dryers and can fully recharge most electric cars in four to five hours.


Nov. 19, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Sharecare to add 150 jobs; relo HQ to Capital Grille building in Buckhead

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Atlanta-based Sharecare will add 150 jobs and expand into new digs as the health information startup preps for growth. Sharecare will lease 30,000 square feet in the Capital Building near Buckhead Atlanta, a recently opened mixed-use development. The company, which employs 700, will relocate from Terminus 100.


Nov. 19, 2014 Georgia Times Union

Nurses, doctors, EMTs, other caregivers are roughed up on the job, witnesses tell legislative committee

Walter C. Jones reports that nurses, doctors, emergency medical technicians and other healthcare workers get punched, bit and slammed into walls while doing their jobs, and a legislative panel is considering whether to increase penalties in order to protect them. The attacks come from patients, their family and even gangs seeking revenge, according to testimony various witnesses gave Tuesday to a House-Senate committee conducting a study on violence against healthcare workers. Trade associations for hospitals and nurses requested the legislative inquiry. 


Nov. 19, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

SunTrust adds Apple Pay

Phil W. Hudson reports that SunTrust Banks Inc. is now offering Apple Pay. The Atlanta-based bank (NYSE: STI) said Apple Pay will work in stores with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch, upon availability. When paying for goods and services within apps, Apple Pay is compatible with iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3.


Nov. 19, 2014 WABE

A New Effort to Legalize Betting on Horse Racing: A Talk with Rep. Harry Geisinger

Denis O'Hayer reports that despite several failed attempts in recent years, supporters of legalizing horse race betting in Georgia have already filed legislation for the upcoming 2015-16 session of the General Assembly.  A proposed constitutional amendment would make pari-mutuel wagering legal, while a companion bill would set up the structure to administer and supervise the industry. 


Nov. 19, 2014 GPB

Carter Reflects on Election Loss

Jeanne Bonner reports that despite great excitement on the campaign trail and a famous political name, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter was unable to pull out a win. He lost decisively to Republican incumbent Nathan Deal on Nov 4. Carter gave up his state Senate seat to run for Governor. Some expect he will run again in 2018 when experts predict the state will lean more Democratic.



Nov. 18, 2014 WABE

Lawyers Say Quick Deportation Proceedings Of Central American Minors Risk Due Process

Elly Yu reports that on a recent Saturday morning, a couple of dozen teens and their families attend a “Know Your Rights” session in Atlanta. Jessica Daman, a lawyer with the Latin American Association in Atlanta, stands at the front of the room, going over the basics of immigration court. She tells the guests that it’s important to show up on time, to wear nice clothing and address the judge in a formal manner. “This day is to try to reach out to all the unaccompanied minor children in Georgia and Alabama,” Daman said.


Nov. 18, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta seeking funds to study future uses for Turner Field area

Dave Williams reports that the city of Atlanta is starting to plan the future of the neighborhoods around Turner Field after the Braves move in 2017 to a new stadium in Cobb County. The city council voted Monday to apply for a grant of up to $200,000 from the Atlanta Regional Commission to craft a redevelopment plan for the Summerhill, Peoplestown, Mechanicsville, Pittsburg and Grant Park neighborhoods.


Nov. 18, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Large-scale infill developments filling out Savannah's edges

Julia Ritchey reports that infill development shows no sign of slowing down along the edges of Savannah's historic district with the future addition of a six-story boutique hotel and two multi-story apartment complexes. At last week’s Historic Board meeting, the agenda was packed with petitions for several new large-scale, $1 million-plus construction projects. Some projects got their first vetting, like a six-story infill for West Broughton Street, while others were given final approval for design. 


Nov. 18, 2014 Brunswick News

Health system backs out of Jekyll Island Authority deal

Sarah Lungren reports that another major potential mainland-based tenant is backing out of its deal with the Jekyll Island Authority, and the Westin Hotel says it will now be February before it’s fully open for business. Southeast Georgia Health System informed the authority that it is no longer considering opening a medical facility in the new retail village that’s now under construction.


Nov. 18, 2014 GPB

Georgia Receives Low Rank For Protection Of Records For Young Offenders

Tasnim Shamma reports, say you were convicted of shoplifting a couple of times when you were 13. Fifty years later, you would hope that wouldn’t still be on your record. But in some states, like Georgia, it probably is. And anyone can access it. "Everyone assumes that these records are confidential and I think that’s because the public also wants them to be confidential,” says Lourdes Rosado with the Juvenile Law Center. 


Nov. 18, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

International enrollment rising at UGA

Lee Shearer reports that the University of Georgia is going international this week with events meant to show the university's global reach. About a fifth of UGA students now take at least one short UGA course abroad, and the university's student body includes students from more than 100 countries.


Nov. 18, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

AT&T pulls 'supercookie' tracking code after backlash

Sebastian Martinez reports, well, that didn't take long — AT&T has pulled a secret ID code it used to track people's Internet activity on their phones less than a month after the code's existence came to light. They're known as "supercookies," and they basically let the carriers see all of the places a user went online, and there wasn't really anything users could do to stop it. Verizon also uses them.


Nov. 18, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Sandy Springs-based WorldPay could relocate HQ to Atlanta, bring 1,200+ jobs in-town

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that the City of Atlanta hopes to lure the headquarters of a Sandy Springs-based financial technology company — a move that could bring more than 1,200 jobs intown. That company is payment processor WorldPay, according to public documents filed in connection with Invest Atlanta's planned board meeting Thursday. (The document, included with the agenda for the Invest Atlanta meeting, misspelled the company's name as WorldPlay US.)


Nov. 18, 2014 Saporta Report

Former Metro Chamber President Sam Williams joining GSU faculty 

Maria Saporta reports that ormer Metro Atlanta Chamber President Sam Williams is joining the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Williams, who retired as Atlanta Chamber president at the end of last year after 17 years at the helm, will be involved in helping the university connect with the broader civic and business community. He will start teaching in January. 


Nov. 18, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

Gold Dome bill would block licenses for illegals


Joe Kirby, Otis Brumby III and Lee B. Garrett report that Republicans leaders in Washington are mulling how best to respond to President Obama’s bare-knuckle threat to grant legal status to millions of illegal aliens in coming days. But in Georgia, a bill was pre-filed in the state Legislature on Monday that would prevent any of those newly amnestied from obtaining drivers’ licenses from the state. “The Georgia Road Safety and Driver’s License Integrity Act,” now known as SB 6, was sponsored by state Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus), with substantial input from MDJ immigration columnist D.A. King of east Cobb.



Nov. 18, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Peake bill on medical cannabis is first in the hopper

Maggie Lee reports that when the state Legislature meets in January, House Bill 1 will be a proposal to legalize a form of medical cannabis. The bill’s author, state Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, showed up earlier than any other lawmaker Monday morning, the first day the House clerk accepts bills for next year’s calendar, and he got the symbolic number.


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Nov. 18, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

David Shafer re-elected to No. 2 Senate job; Bill Cowsert is new majority leader

Jim Galloway reports that after they tied on a first ballot, we’re told that David Shafer, R-Duluth, beat Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, in his bid for re-election as president pro tem of the state Senate. This is the No. 2 leadership position in the chamber, just below Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. Miller had originally announced for majority leader, but in the days following the Nov. 4 election, he had decided to aim higher.



Nov. 17, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Barge port planned for former paper mill site in St. Marys

Jared Keever reports that a developer group said it plans to buy the former Durango-Georgia paper mill site on the North River and build a barge port with rail connections, officials said. Worldwide Group/Knights of the Green Shield will provide a preliminary look to the City Council next week at its proposal to develop what is being called the Port of St. Marys Industrial and Logistics Center, City Manager John Holman said in a release.


Nov. 17, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Thinking Ahead

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that United States, once a shining example of higher education attainment, now trails behind 15 other countries in the percentage of college graduates. And within that dismal figure, Georgia remains in the bottom five among the states. Gov. Nathan Deal, in conjunction with the University System of Georgia and the Technical College System of Georgia, launched the Complete College Georgia initiative in 2011. The goal is to graduate 60 percent of young people in Georgia by 2020.


Nov. 17, 2014 WABE

MARTA Workers Pleased Tentative Deal Includes Long-Awaited Pay Raise

Jonathan Shapiro reports that a ore than a year of talks between MARTA management and its workers have resulted in a tentative deal on a new contract. Union workers Friday expressed relief that a new contract with pay raises was close to being finalized. Both sides say they don’t want to elaborate on details until the deal is finalized. But according to several MARTA employees, it includes an across-the-board 13 percent pay increase staggered over a three year period.


Nov. 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta No. 2 for home affordability

Michael Kanell reports, affordability. It’s not just the price of a home and it’s not how much you make: it’s mostly how those two things compare. And when those two factors are linked, Atlanta has the second-most affordable set of homes among the nation’s 25 largest metro areas, according to a report out Friday from


Nov. 17, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Synovus targets Orlando, continues restructuring

Tony Adams reports that Synovus Financial Corp. has put the initial pieces in place for an increasing presence in the Orlando, Fla., market, even as it continues to restructure companywide with branch closures and fewer employees. The Columbus-based regional bank, parent company of Columbus Bank and Trust, announced last week that it has hired Donald Gaudette as chief executive officer of its Synovus Bank division in Orlando.


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Nov. 17, 2014 Moultrie Observer

Meeting set on new federal rules for vegetable marketing

Staff reports that almost one third of Colquitt County’s farm revenues come from vegetable production. These are delicate crops that require incredible timing, labor force and sometimes just plain good luck. Along with the production issues are federal regulations that are established to protect the consumer. As issues come up, regulations often change and producers must stay on top of these regulations.


Nov. 17, 2014 Savannah Morning News

JCB to build backhoes here again

Mary Carr Mayle reports that as JCB prepares to celebrate the 15th anniversary of its North American manufacturing headquarters in Savannah early next year, the world’s third-largest construction equipment maker is growing again. This time, it’s adding a line of backhoe loaders to its manufacturing plant here. To support the new line, JCB will add 100 jobs to its current workforce of 500-plus.


Nov. 17, 2014 Saporta Report

Legendary Atlanta Business Leader Herman J. Russell passes away

Maria Saporta reports that ationally prominent business leader Herman Russell, 83, passed away Saturday morning after a brief illness, according to people close to the family. Russell was the founder and retired CEO of H.J. Russell & Co., a construction company he founded in 1957 and grew into one of the largest minority-owned companies in the United States.


Nov. 17, 2014 Athens Banner Herald, Morris News Service

Georgia lawmakers consider motoring future, driverless cars

Walter C. Jones reports that in September, General Motors CEO Mary Barra announced that her company would put on the road in two years vehicles that communicate with each other and "highly automated driving technology." These cars use an array of camaras, radar, sonar and radio transmissions to sense their surroundings and Georgia lawmakers are getting advice from auto manufacturers on how to get the state ready.


Nov. 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Hank Johnson compares immigration executive order to Emancipation Proclamation

Daniel Malloy reports that the big news ricocheting around Capitol Hill on Thursday was an early leak of the outline of a long-awaited executive action granting legal status to millions of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. It was a welcome chance to throw the rhetoric machine into overdrive. A bunch of House Democrats had a press conference to cheer President Barack Obama, and more than one compared the coming order to the Emancipation Proclamation.



Nov. 14, 2014 WABE

Winter Weather Task Force Sets Mock Snow Drill For Next Week

Michell Eloy reports that with tonight’s freeze warning ushering the start of the cold season, officials with Georgia’s Winter Weather Task Force say they’ve been readying the state for the colder months. That preparation will culminate in a dry-run snowstorm exercise scheduled for early next week, just after a second round of cold weather descends over the weekend. Georgia Emergency Management Agency spokesperson Ken Davis says the state has worked hard to put in place the dozens of recommendations that came out of the task force.


Nov. 14, 2014 Georgia  Trend - Exclusive!

Sustainable Georgia: Tackling homelessness

Ben Young writes, however you slice the turkey, you’ve got to save a piece for the millions of Americans who otherwise wouldn’t eat this Thanksgiving. Thankfully, in Georgia, like the rest of the country, homelessness is falling, but we have a ways to go.


Nov. 14, 2014 Georgia Health News

What to expect in year 2 of the ACA Exchange

Andy Miller reports that the Affordable Care Act exchange, which begins its second open enrollment period this Saturday, will offer many Georgians lower prices this time around. Bill Custer, a health insurance expert at Georgia State University, said Thursday that the average premium statewide for a 40-year-old nonsmoker for the second-lowest “silver” plan will rise by 2 percent from the 2014 figure. 


Affordable Care Act exchange, which begins its second open enrollment period this Saturday, will offer many Georgians lower prices this time around.

Bill Custer, a health insurance expert at Georgia State University, said Thursday that the average premium statewide for a 40-year-old nonsmoker for the second-lowest “silver” plan will rise by 2 percent from the 2014 figure.

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Nov. 14, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Nearly 1 million Georgians gain from higher minimum wage, report says

Michael Kanell reports that a higher minimum wage will help nearly one-in-four of the state’s workers, according to a new report from the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. An estimated 910,000 employees would get larger paychecks if the legislature were to lift the lowest wage to $10.10 an hour, said the analysis from the institute, a left-of-center think tank.


Nov. 14, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

State picks Corvias for $517M student housing deal

David Allison reports that Georgia's Board of Regents has selected a developer for the initial phase of the University System's on-campus student housing privatization project.The University System of Georgia has selected Corvias Campus Living for a $517 million agreement to develop 3,683 new beds and manage 6,195 existing beds of on-campus housing for nine institutions with the University System for the next 65 years. The new beds are scheduled to be ready for students in fall 2016.


Nov. 14, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Dooley: Mercer football program likely to have significant economic impact

Linda S. Morris reports that Vince Dooley, the University of Georgia’s legendary former football coach and athletic director, drew a big crowd as the keynote speaker at the annual Business & Industry Awards luncheon Thursday. Dooley discussed several events that happened during his decades at UGA, often drawing laughter from the 200 attendees gathered at the Emerson Ballroom in downtown Macon.


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Nov. 14, 2014 Newnan Times-Herald

UWG project on pace for early 2015 completion

W. Winston Skinner reports that work is proceeding rapidly on the Newnan Hospital-University of West Georgia project – with the building scheduled for completion next month and remaining work done early in 2015. The historic Newnan Hospital property on Jackson Street is being reworked to be the local campus for the University of West Georgia. Hasco Craver IV, business development director for Newnan, gave an update on the project at Wednesday’s Downtown Development Authority meeting at city hall.


Nov. 14, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Cricket Wireless hiring 125-plus at Atlanta headquarters

Christopher Seward reports that Atlanta-based Cricket Wireless said it is looking to fill more than 125 openings in information technology, sales, marketing and other positions at its Lindbergh Center headquarters. The no-annual-contract wireless phone service provider anticipates hiring even more people to staff 16 additional stores in metro Atlanta by the end of the year and more across the nation.


Nov. 14, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

UPS projects revenue to grow 6% in 2015

Staff reports that United Parcel Service Inc. expects its revenue to grow up to 6 percent in 2015. United Parcel Service Inc. Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn spoke Thursday in an investor conference in New York and said the Atlanta-based package delivery and logistics giant projects revenue growth 5 percent to 6 percent higher than 2014.


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

Rob Woodall loses leadership bid

Daniel Malloy reports that Lawrenceville Republican U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall fell short today in his campaign to lead the Republican Policy Committee, the fifth ranking post in House GOP leadership.Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., won the three-man race over Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., on the second ballot. Woodall was knocked out in the first round.



Nov. 13, 2014

Georgia prepares for more Chinese visitors expected under new visa rules

Trevor Williams reports that Delta Air Lines Inc. CEO Richard Anderson welcomed a reciprocal agreement between the U.S. and China to extend validity of tourist and business visas from one year to up to 10 years, paving the way for growth in travel between the two countries.  The agreement, announced by President Barack Obama after meeting with to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing, also allows students to gain visas for up to five years depending on the length of their study program.


Nov. 13, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

State of the Metro Atlanta Region

Ben Young reports that the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) State of the Region Address brought transportation back to the forefront of local issues with the results of a new survey that showed support for transit in all 10 Metro Atlanta counties. According to the region-wide poll, 92 percent of those surveyed favor improving public transit across the region, up from 88 percent in 2013. Transit displaced the economy as residents’ biggest concern.


Nov. 13, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Verizon partners with Georgia Tech on "connected car", wearables research

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Verizon Wireless is teaming up with Georgia Tech on a multi-year research partnership to tap into the engineering powerhouse's talent pool. The deal will include hardware and software research in several emerging technologies including wearables, the "connected car" and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.


Nov. 13, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delays for proposed faster Internet service in Atlanta?

Matt Kempner reports that Metro Atlanta communities in line for super-fast Internet connections promised by AT&T may have to wait longer. AT&T’s chief executive said Wednesday that the company will delay deployment of the gigabit-per-second speeds until it clarifies the ramifications of President Obama’s call for regulation of how Internet providers manage online traffic, according to Reuters.


Nov. 13, 2014 Rockdale Citizen

Acuity Brands expansion in Rockdale County still in the works

Alice Queen reports that an expansion at Acuity Brands in Rockdale County that hit a roadblock last week may still be forthcoming. Marty Jones, executive director of the Conyers-Rockdale Economic Development Council, said Wednesday that all parties involved in working out the deal are still communicating.


Nov. 13, 2014 Brunswick News

Possible buyer for mill site

Gordon Jackson reports that a potential buyer for the Durango-Georgia Paper Co. industrial site could be announced at Monday’s St. Marys City Council meeting. City officials say confidentiality agreements prevent them from saying anything until after Monday’s presentation by Michael Newsom, trustee for the mill site and a representative for a port development company in Staten Island, N.Y.


Nov. 13, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Forbes: Georgia No. 16 for business

Staff reports that Site Selection magazine has ranked Georgia No. 1 for business two years in a row, but Forbes has a slightly less flattering opinion about the Peach State's business environment. In its annual ranking of the 50 states by business climate, Forbes puts Georgia at No. 16 in the United States based on a Gross State Product worth $455 billion and rankings in the following specific business categories: No. 27 in Business Costs, No. 21 in Labor Supply,No. 4 in Regulatory Environment, No. 38 in Economic Climate, No. 13 in Growth Prospects, No. 38 in Quality of Life.


Nov. 13, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Dupont trying to sell Wayne County residents on new mining plan

Terry Dickson reports that with the election over, the Michelle Nunn and David Perdue campaign signs are mostly gone from the sides of Wayne County roads. There are still, however, an abundance of "No Dupont Mine" signs in opposition to the giant company's plans to mine titanium oxide, zircon and other minerals on 2,254 acres there.


Nov. 13, 2014

Deal: Program to help inmates earn high school diplomas

Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) and the Mountain Education Center Charter School (MEC) have partnered together to offer high school courses at Arrendale State Prison in Habersham County, which will help inmates complete their high school educations and receive diplomas. “With seven out of every 10 Department of Corrections inmates lacking a high school diploma or GED, it is of the utmost importance that while individuals are in our criminal justice system, we do a better job of raising their education and skills to an adequate level,” said Deal.


Nov. 13, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Newell Rubbermaid stock buy-back expanded by $500M

Staff reports that Newell Rubbermaid Inc.'s board of directors granted a nearly three-year extension and $500 million expansion to the consumer products maker's ongoing share buy-back program.Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE: NWL) said Wednesday it got the OK to buy back up to $500 million of its outstanding shares through the end of 2017. The $500 million is in addition to the nearly $37 million remaining under its previous $300 million share buy-back program as authorized in February 2014.


Nov. 13, 2014 WABE

Finding, Convincing Uninsured a Focus as Obamacare Open Enrollment Begins

Jim Burress reports that a year ago, Michael Lappin and husband John West were among the first to sign up for coverage through Georgia’s federally-run insurance marketplace. And they’re pretty happy. “We’ve both been to the doctor. We’ve both used our dental. We’ve both used our prescription coverage," said Lappin. "We’ve had absolutely no issues with it at all."


Nov. 13, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Cannabis oil clinical trial at Georgia Regents University might not be only option

Tom Corwin reports that Joint Study Committee on the Prescription of Medical Cannabis for Serious Medical Conditions met at GRU to hear about progress in getting clinical trials started on a drug from GW Pharmaceuticals called Epidiolex that is a highly purified form of cannabidiol, one of the main active compounds in marijuana.  



Nov. 12, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Home Depot, PulteGroup reach housing goals for veterans

Christopher Seward reports that Atlanta-based companies, Home Depot and PulteGroup, reached milestones this year in either renovating or building homes for veterans and their families. Home Depot announced employee volunteers had renovated 2,500 homes for veterans as part of the home improvement retailer’s “Celebration of Service” campaign, which began Sept. 11. The campaign is in its fourth year and the company more than doubled its original goal of transforming 1,000 homes during the two-month period.


Nov. 12, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Business Casual: When violence comes close

Susan Percy writes, it took me a while to realize that the two black eyes on a woman I worked with many years ago weren’t really the result of the sudden stop in her car that caused her to hit her head against the steering wheel. Besides, I’d met her husband. He was a little boorish, but didn’t come across as someone given to violence. It was after they were divorced and long after I had lost contact with the woman that someone told me how the black eyes came about. 


Nov. 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta launching study of air cargo at Hartsfield-Jackson

David Allison reports that the city of Atlanta is launching a study of how to enhance air cargo at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The city is seeking to hire a consultant to prepare a comprehensive cargo air service market analysis with a focus on emerging international markets, to include niche markets that the Atlanta metro region should target.


Nov. 12, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

TSYS makes list of ‘100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces’

Tony Adams reports that the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption believes helping employees adopt children makes good business sense. A listing of the “100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces” finds credit-card and payment processor TSYS is doing its part. The company, headquartered in Columbus, is No. 71 on the list, tied with Advent Software, Cornell University and Dow Corning.


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Nov. 12, 2014 Georgia Health News

27% of state hospitals earn top safety rating

Andy Miller reports that one four Georgia hospitals earned an “A’’ grade in recently released ratings on patient safety.The 27 percent figure put Georgia hospitals roughly in the middle of the pack among states, according to the Leapfrog Group’s safety scores report. The ratings measure the ability of hospitals to prevent errors, injuries and infections. The report on the ratings is intended to help consumers as they choose a facility for health services. 


Nov. 12, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

GA health officials refuse to name Ebola hospitals

Staff reports that Georgia health officials say they won't identify six hospitals that are preparing to install specialized Ebola treatment units. The move has prompted some health care workers and state lawmakers to call for more transparency in the way state officials prepare for the possibility of additional patients being treated in Georgia.


Nov. 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

AGCO’s Richenhagen added to Obama’s Africa business council

Staff reports that U.S. Department of Commerce named AGCO Corp. Chairman President and CEO Martin Richenhagen to the President's Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa. The metro Atlanta executive is one of 15 named to the council, which will advise President Barack Obama on strengthening commerce between the United States and Africa, with a focus on advancing the president's Doing Business in Africa Campaign as described in the U.S. Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa of June 14, 2012.


Nov. 12, 2014 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service, Athens Banner-Herald

Marker commemorating start of Sherman's march to Savannah to be unveiled Wednesday in Atlanta

Walter C. Jones reports that a new monument commemorates the start, 150 years ago this week, of a powerful army's sweep across Georgia, bringing liberation to slaves and devastation to the families of rebellious soldiers. The Georgia Historical Society is to unveil its latest monument Wednesday in a small ceremony on the grounds of the Carter Presidential Library, a quiet, tree-studded sanctuary that was the site of Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s departure from Atlanta along a nearby road.


Nov. 12, 2014 WABE

Isakson Announces 2016 Re-Election Bid

Michell Eloy reports that just a week after the midterm elections, Georgia’s soon-to-be Senior Senator Johnny Isakson announced his re-election bid for 2016. Isakson said in a statement he’ll make his formal announcement next week at the state Capitol, but analysts are already speculating on what this means for Republicans and Democrats.



Nov. 11, 2014 WABE

ASO Players, Woodruff Reach Labor Agreement; Season To Start This Week

Michell Eloy reports that the Woodruff Arts Center and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra players announced over the weekend that they’ve reached a new labor agreement, with their much-delayed 70th season slated to begin this week. The new four-year contract gives musicians a six percent pay increase over the time of the deal, though it includes a pay freeze this year. It also includes a commitment to return the orchestra to 88 players by the end of those four years.


Nov. 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Aaron’s names John Robinson III as CEO

Christopher Seward reports that Aaron’s Inc., the Atlanta-based rent-to-own company, has named John W. Robinson III as its new chief executive officer. Robinson had been CEO of Utah-based Progressive Finance Holdings LLC, which Aaron’s announced in April that it had acquired for about $700 million. After the acquisition Robinson joined Aaron’s as executive vice president and CEO of Progressive Leasing.


Nov. 11, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

AGL Resources posts $8 million Q3 loss

Staff reports that Atlanta-based energy services holding company was in the red in the third quarter after lower commercial activities in its main operating areas and charges related to the sale of Tropical Shipping. Revenue: $589 million, up 2.6%, Net Loss: ($8 million), N/M, Loss Per Share: (6 cents), N/M. "While we continue to expect strong operational performance for the remainder of the year, we have modified our full-year 2014 earnings per share guidance to reflect accounting changes primarily related to the timing of income recognition for some of our infrastructure replacement programs," said John W. Somerhalder II, chairman, president and CEO of AGL Resources Inc.


Nov. 11, 2014 UGA

UGA scientists receive $3 million NIH grant to develop infectious disease outbreak warning system

Beth Gavrilles reports that John Drake, an associate professor in the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology, will use a five-year, $3.18 million grant to develop an early warning system that could help public health officials prepare for—and possibly prevent—infectious disease outbreaks. Funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, the research is part of the Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study, a coordinated network of scientists who use computer models to study infectious disease dynamics. 


Nov. 11, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Georgia Gwinnett College leads state in enrollment growth

Keith Farner reports that growth continues at Georgia Gwinnett College, and the Lawrenceville school leads the state in enrollment increase from last fall. GGC recorded an 11.4 percent enrollment spike this fall compared to fall 2013 as 10,828 students were enrolled. For full-time enrollment, which accounts for 69.5 percent of students at GGC, that number jumped 10.8 percent from last fall.

Nov. 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Brian Beazer steps down as Beazer Homes chairman

Christopher Seward reports that Atlanta-based homebuilder Beazer Homes USA said Brian Beazer is stepping down as chairman and will be succeeded by Stephen Zelnak Jr. Zelnak, who has been on the board of directors since 2003, is chairman and majority owner of the investment firm ZP Enterprises. Beazer Homes’ roots extend back to 1890, when the Beazer family built its first home for sale in England. The company began building multiple homes and communities in the 1930s.


Nov. 11, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Dendreon files Chapter 11, plans to restructure

Ellie Hensley reports that struggling biotech Dendreon Corp. reached a settlement to financial restructure and filed petitions under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code on Nov. 10. The company has no plans to go out of business. Seattle-based Dendreon (NASDAQ: DNDN) opened a 155,000-square-foot cancer treatment manufacturing plant near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Aug. 2011.


Nov. 11, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Dan, Kathelen Amos donate $100,000 to black art initiative at Columbus Museum

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Alva James-Johnson reports that when the Columbus Museum opened an exhibit documenting the Great Black Migration three months ago, the opening reception attracted a diverse group of about 500 people. Aflac CEO Dan Amos and his wife, Kathelen, were so impressed with the turnout and the quality of the work presented by artist Najee Dorsey that they decided to fund an initiative to help the museum expose the community to more art by African-American artists.


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Nov. 11, 2014 Newnan Times-Herald

Grantville hosts MEAG/ECG tour

Clay Neely reports that while Grantville residents might not always agree politically, they’re united in their desire to see development and growth come back to their town. Recently, project managers from across the state of Georgia visited Grantville during their two day tour of small towns throughout the Southeast. 


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

Butch Miller to challenge David Shafer for No. 2 state Senate spot

Jim Galloway reports that at the state Capitol, House Republicans on Monday smoothly re-elected their current slate of officers. But on the Senate side, GOP trouble has just erupted. We mentioned several weeks ago that Butch Miller of Gainesville had announced his candidacy for majority leader, to replace the exiting Ronnie Chance of Tyrone.



Nov. 10, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

To cut carbon from their power plants, Europeans cutting trees in the South, sparking environmental dispute  

Steve Patterson reports that southern forests are drawing uncounted millions of dollars in foreign spending to help utilities overseas meet carbon-emission rules that this country is still debating as tools to limit climate change. What those rules will mean for the environment is in dispute, and will doubtless be contested again based on findings the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released this month.


Fighting back against back pain

Mary Anne Dunkin reports that fom replacing damaged discs to placing supportive hardware with CT-guided technology, Georgia spine centers offer increasingly high-tech – and, in many cases, minimally invasive – treatment options for back pain, a problem that affects as many as 80 percent of us at one point or another.


Nov. 10, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

AT&T buying Mexico wireless provider Iusacell for $2.5B

Christopher Seward reports that AT&T announced late Friday that it plans to buy Mexican wireless provider Iusacell for $2.5 billion, the company’s second major acquisition this year. The deal will create what AT&T calls the first ever North American Mobile Service area, covering both Atlanta-based AT&T Mobility’s reach in the U.S. and Iusacell’s reach of 70 percent of Mexico’s population.


Nov. 10, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Jacoby could spark office development in Gwinnett

Douglas Sams reports that years ago it housed 5,000 Western Electric workers and later it symbolized the telecom meltdown. Now, a more than 100-acre plant along Interstate 85 finds itself in the spotlight once again — this time planned as a $1 billion Atlanta media campus, possibly the largest redevelopment in Gwinnett County's history.


Nov. 10, 2014 Georgia Historical Society

Georgia Historical Society receives Four Star Charity Navigator rating 5th year in a row

Staff reports that the Georgia Historical Society has been awarded its fifth consecutive 4 Star Rating from Charity Navigator, the largest charity evaluator in America, for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency, a distinction that places The Society among an elite 4% of charities in America.


Nov. 10, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Problem-solving court in Macon Judicial Circuit links troubled veterans with VA services

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Amy Leigh Womack reports that while in the U.S. Army, a Macon woman badly injured her leg in a Humvee accident and was medically discharged. In the time that followed, she got hooked on pain medication. “She began taking things from people and selling it or just stealing people’s debit cards, so she could fuel her drug habit,” prosecutor Craig Neprud said. Instead of being sent to prison, the veteran was placed in an inpatient substance abuse treatment program at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Dublin. When she’s released, she’ll go to an aftercare facility in Decatur, Neprud said.

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Nov. 10, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta leaders want Millennials to have greater say about regional issues

Douglas Sams reports that Millennials, also known as Generation Y, will soon have an even greater say about how Atlanta deals with its most important regional issues such as transportation and development. The Atlanta Regional Commission will form a Millennial advisory committee to tap into the ideas of Generation Y, whose roughly 80-million members generally prefer to live within intown neighborhoods with a mix of housing types, access to public transit, restaurants and shopping.


Nov. 10, 2014 WABE

Are More Georgia Latinos Looking To The GOP?

Michell Eloy reports that exit polls from Tuesday’s Midterm Election show while nationally Latinos are still voting mostly Democrat, Republicans are cutting into the party’s stronghold. And while Georgia was no exception, some groups dispute the results. National exit polls show Republican Governor Nathan Deal took 47 percent of Latino votes, while Republican Senator-elect David Perdue got 42 percent.


Nov. 10, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Politics: A running game

Ben Young writes, the election Tuesday sent a clear signal that Georgia is still a red state, echoing broad cross-country sentiment tied to global crises and our nation's seeming inability to handle them. It reminded me of the 1994 midterms when President Bill Clinton saw both the House and Senate go red. You can't blame politicians for playing against a president in the midterms; however, it's a populist ploy that perpetuates partisanship.


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

State lawmakers willing to consider increase in state gasoline tax

Jim Galloway reports that the problem with security, any Social Darwinist will tell you, is that it often breeds lethargy. A good crisis is what’s needed to stir the blood and change the tableau, whether political or economic. On Tuesday, voters handed Republicans in the state Capitol a thick, downy security blanket. They gained no seats in the House or Senate, but the margins of victory were definitive. The GOP hold on power in both chambers may be unassailable well beyond 2020.



Nov. 7, 2014 Brunswick News

Nonprofits gear up for Georgia Gives Day

Brittany Tate reports that Leigh Ann Stroud knows it’s not an easy job to ask people for money. When it comes to raising funds to aid in the administration, restoration and maintenance of the A.W. Jones Heritage Center, the St. Simons Lighthouse and the Coast Guard Station, the public relations director for the Coastal Georgia Historical Society says identifying who to reach out to and how much to ask for can be a challenge.


Nov. 7, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Sustainable Georgia: Tackling Homelessness

Ben Young writes, hoowever you slice the turkey, you’ve got to save a piece for the millions of Americans who otherwise wouldn’t eat this Thanksgiving. Thankfully, in Georgia, like the rest of the country, homelessness is falling, but we have a ways to go.  


Nov. 7, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

WellStar, Deloitte, Northside, Grady, Piedmont doing most hiring

Christopher Seward reports that if you’re looking for a job or know someone who is, there were 96,834 openings in metro Atlanta last month, according to Simply Hired, an independent job search engine. Job postings were up nearly 2 percent in metro Atlanta in October with the financial services, healthcare, technology, retail, manufacturing and hospitality industries doing the most hiring.


Nov. 7, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Cox pays $2 million for placing limits on employee preventive care claims

Staff reports that the U.S. Department of Labor made Cox Enterprises Inc. pay $2 million to employees for placing annual limits on the dollar amount of benefits participants and beneficiaries of adult preventive care could claim in plan 2011, 2012 and 2013. The DOL said Atlanta-based Cox violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which prohibits companies from placing annual limits on health benefits.


Nov. 7, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Gwinnett company to launch bottled cocktail

Kristi Reed reports that Karan Raturi is ready to bring mixology to the masses. Early next month, Raturi's company, Elixir Craft cocktails, will launch its first product – a bottled luxury cocktail named Moscai. The vodka-based beverage is flavored with a mixture of ginger, honey, green tea and lime and is expected to be available at bars, restaurants, hotel sand liquor stores by the end of the year.


Nov. 7, 2014 WSB Radio

Hundreds losing jobs in Alpharetta office closure

Jon Lewis reports that it is a closing that will mean hundreds of layoffs in the metro Atlanta area.AIG has announced it will be shutting down its office on Northwinds Parkway, in Alpharetta.  That will lead to the loss of about 400 jobs. No timetable for the closing has been announced and there is no word on when the job cuts will start.


Nov. 7, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Ex-UPS Chairman and CEO Eskew resigns from board

Staff reports that former United Parcel Service Inc. Chairman and CEO Mike Eskew will step down from the package shipping and logistics giant's board of directors at the end of the year. He joined the board as a director in 1998. Eskew, 65, retired from UPS (NYSE: UPS) at the end of 2007 after serving six years as the company's chairman and CEO.


Nov. 7, 2014 WABE

Georgia Prepares for A New Water Wars Battle: A Talk with the ARC's Katherine Zitsch

Denis O'Hayer reports that on Monday, November 3, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear Florida's appeal in the long-running water war with Georgia.  In agreeing to hear Florida's case, the Court injected a new note of uncertainty into Georgia's position that it can use Lake Lanier as metro Atlanta's primary source of drinking water.  A good chunk of the state's legal bills so far have been paid by the Atlanta Regional Commission. 


Nov. 7, 2014 GPB

Election Over, What Issues Await Georgia's Elected Candidates?

Rosemary Jean-Louis reports that Republican candidates snapped up offices across the state of Georgia. The election over and victory celebrations finished, they will need to settle into the business of governing. What are the issues the newly elected officials will need to face once they begin their jobs?


Nov. 7, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

On the GOP’s ‘huge’ 10 percent of black vote

Daniel Malloy reports that Leo Smith, the perpetually upbeat director of minority engagement for the Georgia GOP, was still fired up this afternoon following his party’s big wins the other night. A lot of the instant analysis focused on Republicans’ runaway with the white vote, but Smith also pointed to the party’s noticeable gains with minority voters, where he toiled for a year.



Nov. 6, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Researcher says new Coca-Cola Life is enormous hit

Carla Caldwell reports that a market research specialist with no ties to Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Co. says new Coca-Cola Life, released nationally on Tuesday, is an enormous hit in its very limited distribution. Proprietary research by Haynes & Co. shared with USA Today says people like the taste and the look of the product. They also say they would buy it again. The 60-calorie, 8-ounce cola is sweetened with cane sugar and stevia leaf extract.


Nov. 6, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Wishful Thinking

Neely Young writes, we are just a few months away from the 2015 state legislative session, and while it is unusual in today’s conflict-style government system for leaders to share ideas and come up with a workable plan of action, it can happen. Here are three important ideas for them to consider. The first concerns changes to the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative that aims to encourage economic growth by increasing solar capacity and solar power usage.


Nov. 6, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Defense contractors continue to look at Augusta

Jenna Martinr reports that nearly early a year after the Army announced plans to relocate its Cyber Command headquarters, the metro area continues to attract defense contractors, though it’s hard to peg just how many.  “There’s no recruiting the contractors,” said Thom Tuckey, the executive director for the CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon. “We don’t have to invite them because they’re coming. We just don’t know when they’re coming.


Nov. 6, 2014

Newell Rubbermaid CEO: Global ambition hinges on adapting brands

Mary Welch reports that as Newell Rubbermaid Inc. seeks future growth in international markets, the company is considering how to make proven products resonate across national and cultural borders, CEO Michael Polk told Global Atlanta last week. A lot of research is going into the localization of products, from upscale pens to carseats, in markets like Brazil and China, which are similar in their potential but very different from a regulatory and product acceptance perspectives.


Nov. 6, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Developers revive plan for Roswell mini-city

Scott Truby reports that a development team plans to build a more than $500 million mixed-use gateway to the city of Roswell that would rank among the largest redevelopment projects pitched in metro Atlanta since the Great Recession. Dunwoody-based Duke Land Group said Tuesday they will seek rezoning of 104 acres near the intersection of Holcomb Bridge Road and Ga. 400 where a different development team once pitched a mini-city known as Roswell East.


Nov. 6, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Home Depot planning delivery-from-store service

David Allison reports that the Home Depot Inc. is planning to expand its delivery services to include home delivery. The home improvement giant (NYSE: HD) has filed to trademark the name "Home Depot Delivers." The trademark application was filed Oct. 14. Home Depot is working on the ability to take orders online and have them delivered from local stores to customers.


Nov. 6, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

Isakson development decision delayed again

Ricky Leroux reports that the the Cobb Planning Commission decided again to delay making a decision on a controversial rezoning request for a senior living facility in east Cobb after the commissioners decided the proposal was lacking. The development proposed by Isakson Living would have a total of 498 units spread among 84 single-family houses, 316 villas in three-story, apartment-style buildings and 98 assisted living units in a health care building on a 54-acre tract on Lower Roswell Road adjacent to East Cobb Park.


Nov. 6, 2014 WABE

Transit Rolls Back Into Clayton County

Rose Scott reports that public transportation will be rolling into Clayton County again. Residents overwhelmingly voted to approve a one cent sales tax increase that will bring MARTA to the area. Seventy-five percent of voters said yes to the referendum. As for how much how the plan will cost to get buses on the road, MARTA Chairman Robbie Ash says the full penny sales tax increase takes care of the expense.



Nov. 5, 2014 WABE

Gov. Nathan Deal Claims Decisive Win Over Jason Carter

Jonathan Shapiro reports that Republican Gov. Nathan Deal Tuesday handily won re-election over Democrat Jason Carter. For Deal, it's affirmation of his first four years and a vote of confidence for the next four.


Nov. 5, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Getting to Gigabits

Susan Percy reports that it's safe to say “connectivity” is one of Larry Brooks’ favorite words. In fact, Brooks, director of the Walker County Development Authority, probably has a hard time not smiling when he hears the word. His county, just south of Chattanooga and the Tennessee state line, is busy welcoming a $54-million investment from Audia International Inc., in the form of a plastics manufacturing plant that is locating in the county industrial park on U.S. 27 north of LaFayette.


Nov. 5, 2014 Savannah Morning News, Morris News Service

Perdue bests Nunn in Senate contest

Walter C. Jones reports that David Perdue captured the majority to win Georgia’s Senate seat Tuesday, keeping it in Republican hands and adding to his party’s power in the U.S. Senate. Despite recent polls predicting a close race and possible runoff, when the actual returns came in, he took one and a half votes to every one garnered by Democrat Michelle Nunn, giving him a clear majority.


Nov. 5, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

Newell Rubbermaid announces 3Q financials

Staff reports that Newell Rubbermaid, which has offices at 1600 Wilson Way SE in Smyrna, announced its third quarter 2014 financial results Oct 31.
Net sales in 3Q were $1.48 billion, compared with $1.47 billion in the prior year. Core sales grew 2.7 percent, excluding 200 basis points of negative foreign currency impacts and 60 basis points from the Ignite acquisition.


Nov. 5, 2014 Brunswick News

Buddy Carter takes U.S. House District 1 seat

Michael Hall reports that for the first time since 1993, the U.S. House of Representatives District 1 will be represented by someone other than Jack Kingston. State Sen. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, defeated his opponent, Brian Reese, a Savannah Democrat, with 61 percent of the vote in the 17-county district that includes Glynn and Camden counties. Reese received 39 percent of the vote district-wide.


Nov. 5, 2014 Gainesville Times

Cagle earns 3rd term in state’s No. 2 post

Staff reports that Hall County Republican Casey Cagle won re-election as the state’s lieutenant governor by a wide margin, and will again lead the state Senate as one of Gov. Nathan Deal’s top legislative leaders. Cagle defeated one of his former colleagues in the state Senate, Connie Stokes of Decatur, in the midterm elections Tuesday, earning 60 percent of the vote.


Nov. 5, 2014 Gainesville Times

Collins earns 2nd term in US House

Jeff Gill reports that Gainesville Republican Doug Collins won a second two-year term to Congress on Tuesday night, soundly defeating Democrat David Vogel of Hull. Collins won by taking 80 percent of the vote in the 9th District U.S. House race. The Hall County share in the 20-county district was 82-18 percent.


Nov. 5, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Allen wins 12th District for Republicans

Wesley Brown reports that he predicted, Augusta construction company owner Rick Allen defeated Democratic Rep. John Barrow on Tuesday to reclaim Georgia’s 12th Congressional District for the Republican Party for the first time in 10 years.


Nov. 5, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

U.S. Rep. Bishop wins 12th term in 2nd Congressional District

Ben Wright reports that U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop Jr. cruised to a victory over Republican challenger Gregory P. Duke in the 2nd Congressional District. With unofficial reporting from all 29 counties, Bishop, a Democrat, had 96,165 or 59 percent of the vote while Duke has 66,450 or nearly 41 percent.


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Nov. 5, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia PSC re-elects Eaton chairman

Dave Williams reports that members of the Georgia Public Service Commission Tuesday unanimously re-elected Commissioner Chuck Eaton to another two-year term as chairman. A law the General Assembly enacted two years ago gave commissioners the power to select their own chairman. Before that, the chairmanship rotated among the five members.


Nov. 5, 2014 GPB

Middle Georgia Voters Seeking Change Commanded Candidate Attention

Michael Caputo reports that Colleen Giffin of Macon sat in a coffee shop a little while after having cast her vote in south Bibb County. When asked what motivated Giffin to vote, she pointed to her parental duty to make sure her kids understand the importance of participation. Two of her three children went with her to the voting booth.


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

Four reasons why Nathan Deal won re-election

Greg Bluestein reports that what was long expected to be a tight gubernatorial election turned into a resounding victory for Gov. Nathan Deal. Even before polls closed, the Republican’s aides predicted a convincing victory over Democrat Jason Carter. Here’s a look at four key factors that helped him win a second term: The base came home. Deal’s staff said they detected a noticeable shift in their internal polling last Monday, after the final debate against Carter and Libertarian Andrew Hunt. 



Nov. 4, 2014 Gainesville Times

Supreme Court to hear Florida-Georgia water suit

Jeff Gill reports that water “wars” between Georgia and Florida are sure to continue, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has accepted a lawsuit filed by Florida over Georgia’s water consumption in the shared river basin that includes Lake Lanier.


Nov. 4, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Transportation on the ballot

Ben Young reports that certainly a large share of the national and local focus is on whether Georgia will go blue or stay red come election day, Nov. 4. But for many communities, there is also a lot of transportation money at stake. Georgia has no secure, reliable source of transportation funding, and, in fact, spends less on transportation than almost any other state in the country. To address the need for transportation money, communities have put forth local tax referenda to help leverage federal dollars, which make up the majority of our transportation funding.


Nov. 4, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Mobile home manufacturer to create 200 jobs with expansion in Broxton, Ga.

Terry Dickson reports that a Waycross, Ga., mobile home manufacturer will open a new facility in Coffee County that will employ 130 in its first year and 200 by 2016, officials said. The $1.4 million Broxton plant will be the Live Oak Home’s second in Georgia, and it will build homes that will be sold under the Live Oak, Mossy Oaks and Plantation brands, the company said.


Nov. 4, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Investment group buys downtown Savannah hotel

Mary Carr Mayle reports that Carey Watermark Investors Inc. has purchased the 104-room Staybridge Suites in Savannah's Historic District for $22.8 million with the intention of investing another $2 million-plus in renovations, the group has announced. “The acquisition of the Staybridge Suites Savannah Historic District represented the opportunity to invest in a high quality, select-service property in a top tourist location,” said Michael Medzigian, CEO of Carey Watermark, a publicly registered, non-traded Real Estate Investment Trust that was formed to make investments primarily in the lodging and lodging-related sectors.


Nov. 4, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal 

Red Hare Stick Stout is Ga.’s first stout in cans

Staff reports that on Nov. 5, a limited quantity of Marietta-based Red Hare Brewing Company’s Sticky Stout Oatmeal Stout cans will hit package and grocery store shelves in Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. This will be the first Georgia brewed canned Stout. Sticky Stout cans will only be available for a limited time, but the beer will be widely available on draught at growler stores, restaurants and bars.


Nov. 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ingo Money acquiring Fuze Network

Christopher Seward reports that Ingo Money Inc., an Atlanta-based company that cashes checks that a customer loads into an app and sends via a smartphone, said it is acquiring Fuze Network Inc., a payments technology company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. An Ingo Money app allows customers to cash checks using their smartphone. The customer downloads the app, creates a customer profile, takes pictures of the front and back of the check and sends the images to Indigo Money. 


Nov. 4, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Salesforce plans to expand Atlanta hub; add 300+ jobs

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Salesforce will double its office footprint in Atlanta — a "regional hub" for the Silicon Valley tech giant. The enterprise software maker plans to add more than 300 jobs in Buckhead, according to sources familiar with the deal. Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) is expected to lease more than 50,000 square feet in Atlanta Plaza, a 34-story building where it employs more than 250 people on two floors. Following its expansion, Salesforce will be the largest tenant in the Buckhead office tower.


Nov. 4, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Unisys bringing 700 jobs to Richmond County, governor says

Walter C. Jones reports that Unisys, a $3.5 billion global provider of information technology and services, plans to locate a new service center in Augusta, creating up to 700 jobs over five years. Gov. Nathan Deal said during the announcement that the idle Fort Discovery on Reynolds Street will be the location, and Mayor Deke Copenhaver also acknowledged that, but Unisys officials later said that the site hasn’t been made final yet.


Nov. 4, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post 

Beer distribution company entering movie business

Kristi Reed reports that Eagle Rock Distributing Company CEO Steve Economos is a big fan of the "The Hunger Games" franchise – but not for the reasons you might think. When the "Catching Fire" sequel was filming in Atlanta, the production required a large amount of sound dstage space, so much so that another production – ABC's "Resurrection" – was forced out of Screen Gems Studios in Atlanta. The displacement led to a serendipitous encounter between Economos and "Resurrection" producer Gideon Amir. 


Nov. 4, 2014 WABE

Critics Question Georgia's Participation in Crosscheck Voter System

Martha Dalton reports that system used by 27 states, including Georgia, to check voter registrations has flagged thousands of ‘double voters’.  That is, voters who’ve registered in more than one state. But some critics say the system is unreliable. The intent of the Crosscheck system is to safeguard against voter fraud. But advocacy groups say there are problems.


Nov. 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

The 5 keys to Georgia’s top races

Greg Bluestein reports that almost two years of strategizing, posturing and campaigning ends Tuesday when millions of Georgians cast their ballots. The outcome of the bruising battle for Georgia’s open U.S. Senate seat and a bitter fight for the governor’s mansion hinges on a few very big ifs. Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and GOP Senate nominee David Perdue hope they’ve done enough to galvanize their base of conservative and mostly white supporters who, despite demographic changes, could still land the decisive blow.



Nov. 3, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Farmers harvesting cotton in 'good average year'

Meg Mirshak reports that snow white, cotton-covered fields appeared to melt away as a mammoth cotton picker thrust through the fields. In the height of cotton harvesting, Burke County farmer Rick Stewart manages his crop to maximize the yield and profits. The first weeks of harvest season – 20 percent to 30 percent complete – have seen ideal weather conditions for picking, but Stewart only expects an average batch to take to market.


Nov. 3, 2014 Georgia Trend

2014 Silver Spoon Awards

Krista Reece reports that suddenly, it seems like old times: Red dirt construction sites everywhere, with brand-new developments blossoming, fully formed, overnight. Atlanta, at least, seems back on track after our long winter of economic discontent, once again displaying its familiar boomtown hustle. Increasingly, restaurants are both a symbol and spearhead of the city’s revival.


Nov. 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Weather, visitors pump life into ATL restaurants sales

Leon Stafford reports that good weather and lots of out-of-town visitors helped Atlanta restaurants hit sales volume of $61 million, up 5.6 percent in the third quarter of this year compared to same period in 2013, a survey says. About three-fourths of the 94 independent restaurants surveyed by NetFinancials — which studies transactions in the Atlanta dining market — had positive sales gain in the quarter, which ended in September, said Robert Wagner, NetFinancials president.


Nov. 3, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

GM sold Doraville plant for $50 million

Douglas Sams reports that General Motors sold its Doraville plant to an Atlanta-led team of developers for $50 million, less than what the automaker had originally asked for the property. The acquisition price of the 165-acre plant along the Atlanta Perimeter was confirmed by Fulton County records and Databank, a market research firm.


Nov. 3, 2014 GPB

Home Depot Data Breach Costs Credit Unions

Staff reports that credit unions are taking the brunt of fiscal problems caused by the data breach at the Cobb County-based Home Depot back in September. The Credit Union National Association said more than 7.2 million credit union cards were affected. Nearly 135 thousand of those breaches came from Georgia. 


Nov. 3, 2014 Saporta Report

Southface – finding an energy efficient way to employ veterans in Georgia 

John Kane reports that the most recent employment numbers show that opportunities are improving across the nation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the September 2014 national unemployment rate of 5.9 percent is the lowest it has been since the beginning of the Great Recession. However, this downward trend is not distributed equally across the states. Georgia has the highest unemployment rate of any state in the nation, tipping the scales at 7.9 percent. This presents an added challenge for veterans in Georgia, who make up 10 percent of the state’s population – a fact that hits close to home around Veterans Day. 


Nov. 3, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Teachers group opposes Georgia income tax cap

Dave Williams reports that the Georgia Association of Educators is urging voters to defeat a constitutional amendment on next week's statewide ballot that would freeze Georgia's income tax at 6 percent. The Republican-controlled General Assembly passed the amendment last March with some help from Democrats after supporters argued capping the income tax would help Georgia compete for jobs with neighboring states that either don't tax income at all or at a lower rate.


Nov. 3, 2014 WABE

Voters Will Decide Whether to Cap Income Tax

Martha Dalton reports that as voters head the polls Tuesday, they’ll cast ballots for governor and U.S. Senate. But they’ll also be asked to weigh in on some state and local initiatives. One measure is a proposed constitutional amendment that would cap the state’s income tax rate. The question seems like a no-brainer: who wouldn’t want to stop their taxes from going up?  But is it good economics?  “I think this amendment is much more to do about politics than economics,” says Jeff Rosensweig, an economics professor at Emory’s University Goizueta Business School. “No economic study has actually proven what its supporters claim, which is that it’s going to attract business and create jobs.


Nov. 3, 2014 New York Times

Senate Control May Be Decided by Runoff Votes in Louisiana and Georgia

Campbell Robertson and Sheryl Gay Stolbert reports that the 2014 midterm elections barrel toward a close and Democrats brace for losses around the country, operatives in both parties are already preparing for likely runoff elections in Louisian and Georgia — and the chance that control of the Senate will not be determined until next year. In Georgia, a Libertarian candidate threatens to draw enough votes to force a runoff between the Democrat Michelle Nunn and the Republican David Perdue.


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

Nathan Deal again wields the power of incumbency

Greg Bluestein reports that being the governor comes with perks beyond the cushy Buckhead mansion. And Gov. Nathan Deal has put the power of incumbency to use in the final stretch before the election. The governor this morning is set to make a splashy economic development announcement at the statehouse before a bank of television cameras. He’s expected to deliver the news that a firm is bringing at least 700 new jobs to Georgia.



Oct. 31, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia can’t say if farmers abuse tax exemptions

Dan Chapman reports that the farm boys came to pay the bill for their daddy’s funeral. They whipped out a sales tax exemption card hoping to save 7 percent on the embalming, coffin and burial. The card, though, is supposed to be used solely for farm-related products. Jason Holt didn’t accept it. “I said to them that, even though we are planting something here, it is not agricultural,” said Holt, a funeral home director in Fitzgerald, 185 miles south of Atlanta. “It was said kind of in jest. But it makes you wonder where else that card had been used.”


Oct. 31, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Superfast Internet a great step for Atlanta

Mark Elliot reports, we were selected. This selection may not have the same immediate impact of announcing the Olympics were coming to Atlanta. But, it will bring our region infrastructure — and longer-lasting benefits. What were we selected for? Earlier this month, AT&T announced it will provide high-speed gigabit Internet service to Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Decatur and Newnan. It should roughly be 50 to 100 times faster than the average, fixed high-speed connection.


Oct. 31, 2014 WABE

​Tesla Expanding Georgia Presence; Facing Court Battle from Georgia Automobile Dealers Association

Lisa George reports that Tesla, known as the electric car to the stars, is getting ready to open its second store in Georgia. At the same time, the car company is getting push-back from the state’s automobile dealers. With entry-level pricing upwards of $70,000, not everyone is in the market for a Tesla -- even with Georgia’s $7,500 electric car incentive. But Tesla Motors already has a showroom and service center in Marietta and is gearing up to open another one next week on Church Street in Decatur.


Oct. 31, 2014

Deal: Mannington Mills to create 200 jobs in Morgan County        

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Mannington Mills, the world’s leading manufacturer of luxury vinyl tile, will further expand in Morgan County, creating an additional 200 jobs and investing $50 million into the project over the next four years. ”Flooring companies such as Mannington Mills are a driving force behind our state’s economy,” said Deal. “Georgia's interconnected logistics infrastructure, highly skilled labor and critical mass of customers have provided Mannington Mills with the resources and support it needs to grow and remain competitive."


Oct. 31, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Paulding airport issue prompts calls for federal investigation

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Paulding County and Delta Air Lines, adversaries in a battle over a second commercial airport for Atlanta, have each asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to investigate the other. Paulding county commission chairman David Austin and Propeller, the county’s development partner for the commercialization of the Paulding airport, wrote in an Oct. 21 letter that Atlanta-based Delta’s “sharp-elbowed anticompetitive conduct” is designed to prevent a second airport from being developed, to intimidate potential competitors and to ensure that low-cost competition doesn’t enter the market.


Oct. 31, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

State incentive program to boost electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that more public electric vehicle chargers are headed to Georgia — which leads the nation in EV adoption. Forty-four electric vehicle charging stations will be installed across Georgia thanks to funding from Charge Georgia, a state incentive program designed to boost public EV charging stations at universities; state agencies; and cities and counties.


Oct. 31, 2014 GPB

In Historic Ballot, Five Black Women Seek State Offices In Georgia

Rosemary Jean-Louis reports that five black women are on the November ballot for statewide offices in Georgia. That is a record number in a state that just 11 years ago featured a Confederate battle emblem on its flag. The candidates, all Democrats, have come to be known as the "Georgia Five."


Oct. 31, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

In ethics probe, Broun says consultant volunteered for campaign work

Jim Thompson reports that Rep. Paul Broun told an independent ethics review panel that he neither looked at an initial proposal from a “strategic communications” firm that eventually received nearly $44,000 from his office, nor did he see the final agreement with the firm, which indicated that its work would include “consulting services associated with media interview/public speaking/messaging/debate preparation” for the Georgia Republican.


Oct. 31, 2014 Washington Post

How influential will Latinos be in Georgia and Kansas?

David Damore writes, despite the favorable political environment for the GOP heading into the 2014 midterms, races in a number of states that were expected to be easy Republican wins earlier in the cycle are proving to be anything but. In this post, I examine two such contexts, Georgia and Kansas, to assess how Latino voters may affect gubernatorial and U.S. Senate outcomes in these states.


Oct. 31, 2014 New York Times

Early Voting Numbers Look Good for Democrats

Nate Cohn writes, Democratic efforts to turn out the young and nonwhite voters who sat out the 2010 midterm elections appear to be paying off in several Senate battleground states. More than 20 percent of the nearly three million votes already tabulated in Georgia, North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa have come from people who did not vote in the last midterm election, according to an analysis of early-voting data by The Upshot.


Oct. 31, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Donald Trump, and a vampire, line up behind David Perdue

Jim Galloway and Daniel Malloy report that all right, maybe Michelle Nunn has former NBA great Dikembe Mutombo on her side. Chump change. We know for a fact that Republican Senate hopeful David Perdue has allied himself with the great Donald Trump. “The Donald,” who flirted with a presidential bid in 2012, has recorded a robocall for the former Fortune 500 CEO.



Oct. 30, 2014 Gainesville Times

Tri-state water management group being explored

Jeff Gill reports that private group trying to positively influence a protracted water war is edging forward with plans for a possible “transboundary” water management institute. The Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Stakeholders, meeting mostly in secret this week at Lanier Islands resort in South Hall, voted Wednesday during a public portion to accept a report by an academic group, The University Collaborative, that looks at options for the transboundary group.


Oct. 30, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Engaged Innovation

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that Valdosta State University President Dr. William McKinney cited Engaged Innovation as his inaugural theme when he was named president in 2012. It’s a theme that resonates to this day with a new strategic plan that includes engagement as one of it’s five pillars and a growing number of creative – even innovative – award-winning partnerships and programs designed to engage students, faculty, staff and the community. 


Oct. 30, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta-based ad-targeting firm gets $70 million

Matt Kempner reports that Cardlytics, an Atlanta company that targets ads based on consumers’ recent buying behaviors, said it has closed on a $70 million round of financing. That puts the company’s total funding from venture firms at $170 million.


Oct.30, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Kemper charges cut Southern Co.’s Q3 profit

Staff reports that Atlanta-based energy company reported its third-quarter profit dropped 15.7 percent after $258 million in c harges related to increased cost estimates for the construction of Mississippi Power's Kemper County integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) project and another $93 million in charges related to the IGCC project.


Oct. 30, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Selling Savannah to Hollywood

Staff reports that Savannah Economic Development Authority has retained veteran moviemaker Ralph Singleton to market and sell the Savannah region as a location for film, television and other productions, SEDA officials announced Wednesday. n award-winning producer of film and television, Singleton has worked on more than 40 motion pictures and a number of television series.


Oct. 30, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

FMC fiscal picture improves; hospital provides more than $28 million in indigent care between July 1 and Sept. 30

Doug Walker reports that the financial snapshot of Floyd Healthcare Management Inc., the agency, which manages Floyd Medical Center, improved significantly from fiscal 2013 to 2014, board members heard Monday. Cash assets of $47.9 million were up 21.6 percent and unrestricted net assets of $145.6 million were up 19.1 percent. The hospital’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.


Oct. 30, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Nordstrom to close Mall of Ga. store in February

Leon Stafford reports that the luxury retailer Nordstrom said it is pulling out of the Mall of Georgia next year as sales have not met expectations at the location. “We have a great team at the Mall of Georgia store and we’ve enjoyed serving our customers here, but despite our team’s best efforts, the bottom line is that we simply don’t do enough business here to continue operating the store into the future,” Jamie Nordstrom, the Seattle-based company’s president of stores said in a release.


Oct. 30, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Cardlytics closes $70M funding round, preps for IPO

Ellie Hensley reports that Atlanta payment software firm Cardlytics has raised $70 million in a round led by Discovery Capital as the company preps for an IPO. Cardlytics' software helps retailers, restaurants and service providers deliver ads to specific consumers, via banking websites. The Series F investment will be used for marketing.


Oct. 30, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Perry’s Frito-Lay plant to get $105 million expansion

Mike Stucka reports that Frito-Lay plans to pour millions of dollars into its Perry manufacturing plant, expanding the company’s largest producer.  The Houston County Development Authority approved a $105 million bond issue Wednesday to add new production lines there. The changes are expected to result in no net increase in jobs but will lead to more training for the roughly 1,346 employees at the facility, said Cynthia Baker, a Frito-Lay spokeswoman.


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Oct. 30, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

DSM announces plans to build new plant in Augusta, open 200 new jobs

Jenna Martin reports that Royal DSM announced Wednesday that a polymer plant will be built next to its existing Augusta facility on Columbia Nitrogen Drive.  The plant will employ about 20 operators involved in producing a plastic film used for packaging foods and medical devices, said DSM North America CEO Hugh Welsh. The engineering and construction phases will require about 200 more workers, he added.  


Oct. 30, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Women voters likely to decide Georgia elections

Lindsey Johnston reports that this year’s midterm election seems all about the women. More campaign ads than ever feature women or focus on women’s issues. It’s a strategy that makes sense when you consider there are 29,426 registered female voters in Athens-Clarke County alone. They’ll likely be the deciders in precincts here in Athens. 


Oct. 30, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

On David Perdue, Dollar General and recalls of Chinese-made toys

Daniel Malloy reports that the chief item on Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue’s resume is his four-year stint as CEO of Dollar General. His success in growing the company has been his rebuttal recently to the “outsourcing” drumbeat from the campaign of Democrat Michelle Nunn.



Oct. 29, 2014 Gainesville Times

State receives mixed review on election improvements

Joshua Silavent reports that a new report out this week gives Georgia a mixed grade on its implementation of recommendations made by the Presidential Commission on Election Administration earlier this year to improve the voting experience of Americans. Common Cause, a nonprofit liberal advocacy group, analyzed the performance of 10 states with hotly contested local and national races and found none has fully embraced the commission’s advice.


Oct. 29, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Athens-Clarke County: Diversifying an insulated economy

Randy Southerland reports that in Athens-Clarke County, local officials will sometimes say they have an insulated economy thanks to the presence of the University of Georgia and its nearly 35,000 students. While that’s not exactly true, there is much to be said for having the state’s biggest and oldest center of higher education right in your backyard.


Oct. 29, 2014 New York Times

Georgia Judge Dismisses Lawsuit on Voter Registration

Alan Blinder reports that acting one week before Election Day in a state with closely contested races for governor and a seat in the United States Senate, a Georgia judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit that accused election officials of failing to fully process thousands of pending voter registration applications. Judge Christopher S. Brasher, of the Fulton County Superior Court, said in a 14-page ruling that he believed state and county officials were complying with the Georgia elections standards that govern voter registration.


Oct. 29, 2014 GPB

Ebola Protocol For Africa Bound Fort Stewart Soldiers Not Set

Gabrielle Ware reports that Fort Stewart soldiers are preparing to deploy to Liberia with the task of helping to contain the spread of Ebola. Early next month 32 soldiers from the 82nd Civil Affairs Battalion will act as liaisons between the military and government organizations worldwide, as a part of Operation United Assistance. The U.S. governmental agency assists in disaster relief and humanitarian efforts.


Oct. 29, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia ranks No. 36 in business tax climate

Dan Chapman reports that, in the oft-arbitrary world of business climate rankings, Georgia comes in No. 36 nationwide for overall tax-friendliness, according to a report released Tuesday by the Tax Foundation. A year ago, Georgia ranked No. 35. The anti-tax, pro-business foundation, collects data from five categories — corporate, individual income, sales, property, and unemployment insurance taxes — and throws them into a blender to come up with the rankings.


Oct. 29, 2014 Marietta Daily Journal

WellStar Health System in Top 10 on Working Mother Magazine's 100 Best Companies List

Staff reports that Working Mother magazine presented the Working Mother Award to WellStar Health System at its 2014 Work Life Congress at the New York Marriott Marquis this month. WellStar Health System was one of the Top 10 Companies on the 2014 Working Mother 100 Best Companies list. WellStar was recognized for outstanding leadership in establishing policies, programs and corporate culture that supports working moms, including child care, flexible work arrangements, paid parental leave and advancement of women.


Oct. 29, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Northside to spend $51 million on two expansions

Ellie Hensley reports that Northside Hospital has notified the state of its desire to spend $48 million on upgrades to Northside Hospital-Forsyth and $3.3 million on Northside Hospital-Cherokee. On Oct. 1, the hospital filed a letter of intent to Georgia's Department of Community Health for the addition of shared operating rooms at Northside Hospital-Forsyth in Cumming, Ga. The project is expected to cost $10.3 million.


Oct. 29, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

TSYS reports $616.9 million in revenue in third quarter

Chuck Williams reports that a change in leadership produced the same positive results for Columbus-based TSYS on Tuesday when third-quarter earnings were announced. Phil Tomlinson stepped down chief executive officer in June and his top lieutenant Troy Woods, who was president, assumed the duties Aug. 1. Tomlinson remained as chairman. The company had total revenues for the third quarter of $616.9 million, up 8.1 percent from the same period a year ago. In the second quarter, they had $602 million in revenue, which marked the first time the credit-card and payment processor topped $600 million in quarterly revenue.


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Oct. 29, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Aflac sales flat as earnings exceed analysts' expectations

Chuck Williams reports that Aflac reported a $706 million third-quarter profit on Tuesday as policy sales in the United States and Japan were basically flat, reversing sharp sales declines in the first two quarters. The Columbus-based supplemental insurance company reported operating earnings of $1.51 per diluted share, higher than the $1.43 per share Wall Street analysts had projected.


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

Jason Carter stumps in Nathan Deal’s backyard, governor heads to Dem territory

Greg Bluestein reports that Democrat Jason Carter and his famous grandfather made incursions into Gov. Nathan Deal’s backyard, signaling they wouldn’t concede any part of Georgia in the race to lead the state. The governor, meanwhile, trekked deep into Democratic territory to mine for votes with a message that the economy was on the rebound



Oct. 28, 2014

Deal: Schools statewide awarded $37 million technology grant

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal today announced 103 local education authorities will be awarded more than $36.7 million from the Connections for Classrooms, a collaborative funding effort between the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA), the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) and the One Georgia Authority (OGA) to help ensure classrooms across the state have the high-speed broadband access required for digital and blended learning.


Oct. 28, 2014 WABE

Deal Announces Tiered Ebola Monitoring, Quarantine Policy

Michell Eloy reports that following moves by a handful of states late last week, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal Monday announced a new monitoring and quarantine policy for travelers coming from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three West African countries hardest hit by the Ebola virus. “We’re going to try to be as mindful of [travelers’] privacy and their own necessity to move about,” he said, “but by the same token, if they pose a potential threat to the health of the citizens of the state of Georgia, we believe a quarantined will be appropriate.”


Oct. 28, 2014 Georgia Dept. of Labor

Georgia continues to rank among leading states for job creation

Staff reports that Georgia continues to rank sixth in the nation and third in the Southeast in over-the-year job creation. The state gained 80,000 non-seasonally-adjusted jobs between September 2013 and September 2014, for a growth rate of 2.0 percent. The comparable national job growth rate for the same period was also 2.0 percent. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released the state rankings. 


Oct. 28, 2014 Gainesville Times

Kubota expanding, plans to create 650 jobs

Jeff Gill reports that Kubota Manufacturing of America plans to expand its headquarters in Gainesville, creating 650 jobs and investing $100 million into the project over the next several years. As part of the expansion, the company will buy 180 acres at Gateway Industrial Centre off Ga. 365 in North Hall, according to a Monday news release. The Gateway property “will support additional manufacturing for its current operations.”


Oct. 28, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Delta CEO Richard Anderson sells $3.9M of stock

David Allison reports that Delta Airs Lines Inc. CEO Richard Anderson has sold $3.9 million of his shares, as Delta's shares are soaring on the stock market. Anderson sold 100,000 shares at $39.38 per share, according to a Oct. 27 company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Following the Oct. 24 sale, Anderson and his wife still own more than 1 million Delta shares.


Oct. 28, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Film studio to be built at former Shannon Mall

J. Scott Trubey reports that development firm plans to hold a ceremony today in Union City to mark the start of demolition of the former Shannon Mall and to announce the first phase of the project’s redevelopment — including a new movie studio facility. Union City officials and Atlanta-based industrial developer Rooker will hold an event at 2 p.m., according to a news release. In addition to a movie and television facility, the mall’s redevelopment is expected to include a 1.1 million-square-foot distribution center.


Oct. 28, 2014 GPB

Virgin Atlantic Lands In Atlanta

Bradley George reports that starting this weekend, passengers at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport will have another option for traveling to Europe. Virgin Atlantic will offer nonstop service to London’s Heathrow Airport. It’s part of a swap deal with Delta, which owns 49 percent of the British airline. Virgin takes over one of Delta’s daily flights from Atlanta to London. In turn, Delta gets Virgin's Los Angeles to London route.


Oct. 28, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Feds taking bids for new airline in Macon

Jim Gaines reports that the call is out for a new airline to serve the Middle Georgia Regional Airport, but Macon-area passengers may see a gap in flights of weeks or even months. A Friday order from the U.S. Department of Transportation requests passenger carriers to bid on flying from Macon, with or without help from a federal subsidy. It’s unclear when responses are due; the order gives both Nov. 12 and Nov. 24 as due dates. But Silver Airways, which gets a $2 million annual subsidy for its flights from Macon to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Orlando, Florida, will be gone before either date.


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Oct. 28, 2014 Gainesville Times

Local priorities for 2015 General Assemby taking shape

Joshua Silavent reports that the Georgia Municipal Association, a lobbying group for the interests of Georgia cities, laid out several priorities for the 2015 session of the state General Assembly during a meeting Monday night in Buford with local government officials.Tom Gehl, director of governmental relations for the GMA, said legislation is likely to be introduced that will provide more accountability to how the state collects and distributes tax revenue.


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

Whether Nathan Deal or Jason Carter wins, campus carry loses

Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein reports that one side note of last night’s debate between Gov. Nathan Deal and Democrat Jason Carter was about the controversial expansion of gun rights both supported. Both candidates explained why they were reluctant to support legislation that would give more leeway for permitted gun owners to carry their weapons on college campuses.



Oct. 27, 2014 GPB

"Pecan Scab" An Expensive Headache For Georgia Farmers 

Bradley George reports that it's harvest time at pecan orchards in southwest Georgia. We’re the nation’s leading pecan producing state, but farmers are dealing with a serious threat to their crops. It’s a fungus called Pecan Scab. Pecan Scab. The fungus is worse this year, due to an unseasonably wet spring. Tim Brenneman, a plant pathologist at the University of Georgia, says Pecan Scab is a major headache for farmers as they begin to harvest their crops.


Oct. 27, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

40 Under 40: Recognizing Georgia's Best & Brightest

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that on Oct. 21, bestselling author Becky Blalock challenged some of Georgia's best and brightest to get out of their comfort zones, take more risks and dare to do more at Georgia Trend's annual 40 Under 40 banquet. Held in the beautiful Egyptian Ballroom at Atlanta's Fox Theatre, the event recognized this year's honorees, who were named to the list because of their impact on Georgia through their work and community service efforts. 


Oct. 27, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Farmers see opportunity in drones

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that the next big thing for Georgia farmers could be drones. State economic developers say Georgia’s agricultural industry could be one of the areas with the most promising potential for the launch of a commercial drone usage, and they’re intent on showing farmers why.


Oct. 27, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Power will invest $12M to drive electric vehicle sales

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Georgia leads the nation in electric vehicle adoption — one of out about every 60 new cars registered in the Peach State, in the first six months, was an all-electric vehicle. Now, the state's electric utility, Georgia Power Co., will invest $12 million to accelerate that momentum by adding EV charging infrastructure.


Oct. 27, 2014

Roswell takes cycling to new heights with "Gran Fondo Italia"

Phil Bolton reports that in 2006, the League of American Bicyclists designated Roswell as a “Bicycle Friendly Community,” the first in Georgia to receive this honor. On Sunday, Oct. 19, the city along with the Southern Bicycle League grandly boosted its reputation as a community that welcomes cyclists by providing safe roadways and encourages people to bike for transportation and recreation by hosting the “Gran Fondo Italia.”  


Oct. 27, 2014 Saporta Report

Clayton’s Nov. 4 MARTA vote could shift metro growth to the south side

Maria Saporta reports that for decades, metro Atlanta’s center of gravity has grown to the north – creating a lopsided region. But one vote on Nov. 4 could do more to reverse that trend than any development since the expansion of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. That vote? Clayton County’s likely approval to join MARTA by passing a one-cent sales tax. 


Oct. 27, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

UPS forecasts growth in holiday packages

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Sandy Springs-based UPS reported a $1.2 billion quarterly profit, and said it expects 11 percent growth in December shipments during this year’s holiday shipping season. UPS has spent much of the year working on improvements to recover from last holiday season’s shipping delays, and plans to put an extra $175 million in operating expense and $500 million in capital expenditures to prepare for the holiday shipping season and expand.


Oct. 27, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Monro Muffler/Brake enters Georgia market, buying nine stores

David Allison reports that Monro Muffler Brake Inc. has entered the Georgia market with the acquisition of nine Wood & Fullerton tire stores in Atlanta. The move continues a nationwide expansion by Rochester, N.Y.-based Monro (Nasdaq: MNRO), which operates more than 1,000 stores in 24 states, making it the largest chain of company-operated "undercar care" facilities in the United States.


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

Georgia Voice snubs Jason Carter, Michelle Nunn

Jim Galloway reports that we try to stay away from newspaper endorsements, unless they are of the man-bites-dog variety. The editorial published Friday by the Georgia Voice, a newspaper and website directed at gays and lesbians in Atlanta, may fall into that category. The newspaper advises its readers that neither Nathan Deal, the Republican incumbent governor, nor David Perdue, the GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, is worth their ballots. But the newspaper also specifically refused to endorse Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for governor, or Michelle Nunn, that party’s U.S. Senate candidate





Oct. 24, 2014 WSB

Study accuses Home Depot of 'price-steering'

Judd Hickinbotham reports that Atlanta-based Home Depot is accused of some dirty sales tricks aimed at smartphone users. It's called price-steering, and the Wall Street Journal quotes a Northeastern University study that says Home Depot is guilty of it. It found Home Depot would steer mobile device users to products that are about $100 more expensive than what it shows on searches made from regular computers and laptops.


Oct. 24, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Finalists named to lead Invest Atlanta

J. Scott Trubey reports that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Thursday announced three finalists to lead the city’s economic development agency. The candidates include a former corporate executive, an internal candidate with experience with development agencies at the local, state and federal level and the former chamber of commerce chief from Louisville, Ky. The position opened earlier this year after former Invest Atlanta CEO Brian McGowan left to join the Metro Atlanta Chamber as its No. 2 officer.


Oct. 24, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Georgia making strides to lessen childhood obesity, but more still to do

Lee Shearer reports that Georgia is making slight progress in the fight against childhood obesity, but is expected make more headway, said University of Georgia food and nutrition expert Caree Cotwright. School lunch programs, controversial now because of a federal mandate to serve healthier food choices, aren’t the problem, said Cotwright. But school nutrition can make a big difference, she said, especially with low-income children whose main source of nutrition may be breakfast and lunch at school.


Oct. 24, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Southern Power boosts California solar holdings

Staff reports that Southern Co.'s Southern Power unit bought a 150-megawatt Solar Gen 2 solar facility in California from First Solar Inc. for an undisclosed amount. The Solar Gen 2 project spans three sites -- each of which is about a 50-MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) system -- on a combined 1,451 acres in Imperial County, California. The project will consist of more than 1 million thin-film PV solar modules mounted on single-axis tracking tables manufactured by First Solar.


Oct. 24, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Foot-dragging on fish ladder cuts power from Juliette dam

Jim Gaines reports that federal officials have ordered a hydroelectric plant on an Ocmulgee River dam shut down by Sunday, following a 12-year effort to get the operator to build an access route for migrating fish. The East Juliette dam, about 20 miles north of Macon, blocks fish -- especially American shad -- from returning to their spawning grounds. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order Oct. 16 for Eastern Hydroelectric Corp. to permanently disable its powerhouse at the dam within 10 days.


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Oct. 14, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Coke chief marketing, commercial officer Tripodi to retire

Leon Stafford reports that Coca-Cola’s Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer Joe Tripodi plans to retire from the company at the end of February next year, the Atlanta-based beverage giant said Thursday. Tripodi, who held the chief marketing position for more than seven years, helped launch the brand’s “Open Happiness” campaign and was a member of the American Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame. Under his guidance, Coke was named the Cannes Lions Creative Marketer of the Year in 2013.


Oct. 24, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia entrepreneurs having to hustle to raise venture capital

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that venture funding in Atlanta companies was as sluggish as a Georgia summer. Georgia companies drew $50.20 million in venture funding in the third quarter, compared with $51.34 million a year earlier, according to the MoneyTree report, published by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association, based on data from Thomson Reuters. Georgia ranked 18th out of 43 states that received VC dollars in Q3.


Oct. 24, 2014 Georgia Health News

Is Georgia's medical access law too weak?

Andy Miller reports that state insurance department is looking at possible ways to strengthen a Georgia law that requires health insurers’ networks to give consumers adequate access to doctors and hospitals. “Georgia is not alone: The feds and all the states are looking at the issue,’’ Trey Sivley, director of the Division of Insurance and Financial Oversight for the Georgia agency, told GHN recently. 


Oct. 24, 2014 WABE

Barge Endorses Wilson in State Schools Superintendent Race

Martha Dalton reports that Republican State Schools Superintendent John Barge Thursday endorsed Democratic candidate Valarie Wilson. Barge decided against a second term as superintendent to challenge Gov. Nathan Deal in the Republican gubernatorial primary last spring. Deal won by a wide margin. Barge announced his support for Wilson outside Tucker High School in DeKalb County. He said she supported education policies implemented under his watch, like new tests and teacher evaluations. 


Oct. 24, 2014 GPB

Concern Over New Voter Registration In Georgia Ahead Of Election

Hansi Lo Wang reports that this election season is proving to be tough for Democrats, but many believe they can turn the red state of Georgia blue with the help of new voters. One voter registration campaign led by the New Georgia Project, a "nonpartisan effort" according to its website, has targeted black, Latino, and Asian-American residents.


Oct. 24, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Trio of Nathan Deal aides arrives in London

Greg Bluestein reports that a trio of Gov. Nathan Deal’s top aides has landed in London with less than two weeks until the election.Deal’s spokesman Brian Robinson, his executive council Ryan Teague and his chief operating officer Bart Gobeil arrived across the pond on Thursday and are set to return next week, in time for the Nov. 4 election. Of the three, only Robinson is on the campaign payroll.




Oct. 23, 2014 Gainesville Times

Annual ‘Dirty Dozen’ report calls out governor’s Water Supply Program

Jeff Gill reports that environmental watchdog group’s annual “Dirty Dozen” report criticizes Gov. Nathan Deal’s $300 million Water Supply Program, which includes an undetermined amount for the proposed Glades Reservoir in Hall County. “Since its inception, the program has distributed $196.3 million for dams and reservoirs, with most of those funds going toward projects of questionable need,” states the report, issued Wednesday by the Georgia Water Coalition.


Oct. 23, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Gainesville/Hall County: Ready to Roar

Karen Rosen reports that one of the newer residents of Gainesville lounges quietly near the intersection of Academy and Green streets. Her name is Lucile. She weighs 2,200 pounds, is 14 feet long and nearly 8 feet high. Believed to be the world’s largest bronze sculpture of a golden tiger, the feline mascot of Brenau University, Lucile assumed her prime position at the new front entrance to the 135-year-old campus last October.


Oct. 23, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

IEDC: Georgia No. 3 for business

Staff reports that U.S. corporate executives hold the Peach State in high regard.Georgia tied with North Carolina for having the third-best business climate, according to a new survey of U.S. corporate executives released earlier this week at the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Annual Conference. Georgia was identified by 17.6 percent of the 356 respondents to the 2014 survey as having the most favorable business climate.


Oct. 23, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitition

Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate falls to 7.3 percent in September

Henry Unger reports thatMetro Atlanta’s unemployment rate fell substantially to 7.3 percent in September from 8.0 percent in August, the state labor department said Thursday.Atlanta’s jobless rate is significantly lower than Georgia’s 7.9 percent rate, which was the highest among all the states in September. The U.S. rate is 5.9 percent.


Oct. 23, 2014 WABE

Atlanta Debuts Non-Emergency Service Program

John Lorinc reports that Atlanta residents now have a more direct way of touching base with local government officials. It’s called ATL 311 and it’s the city of Atlanta’s first non-emergency customer service program. This gives residents the ability to make requests and report issues like potholes, meter leaks and downed trees.


Oct. 23, 2014 GPB

Healthcare "Navigators" Gear Up For A Second Round Of Open Enrollment

Bradley George reports that enrollment in Georgia's federally–run health insurance marketplace starts in less than a month. The Department of Health and Human Services says more than 316,000 Georgians signed up for coverage during the first enrollment period, which ended in March. Those looking for help can turn to "navigators." They are people who are especially trained to help consumers find the right health plan and check if they're eligible for tax credits to offset the cost.


Oct. 23, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Equifax profit up 10 percent in third quarter

Russell Grantham reports that Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit information providers, said its profits rose 10 percent in the third quarter, to $92.7 million, with the help of growth in most of its business units in the U.S. and overseas.Excluding the cost of a $7.9 million legal settlement with a software company during the quarter and extra expenses from acquisitions earlier in the year, Equifax said it earned $1.01 a share during the quarter, exceeding Wall Street analysts’ estimates of 98 cents a share. Without those adjustments, Equifax’ third-quarter profit was 75 cents a share.


Oct. 23, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

Times-Journal Inc. offers purchase of News Publishing Co.’s papers; deal would have to be approved by bankruptcy judge

Staff reports that Marietta-based Times-Journal Inc. has offered to purchase the Rome News-Tribune and News Publishing Co.’s weekly products if the proposal is approved by a bankruptcy judge. The petition, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, comes after News Publishing Co. filed a petition for Chapter 11 reorganization Jan. 1, 2013.


Oct. 23, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Roll Call: Isakson, Price among Congress’ most wealthy

Staff reports that ith the U.S. Congress' approval ratings already in the tank, its members couldn't be disliked more, right? This news may put them in the cellar for some of you. Washington, D.C.-based Roll Call just published its annual list of the top 50 richest members of the much disliked legislative body. And two from Georgia are on the list: U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) is No. 43 with an estimated net worth of $8.93 million and U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) ranked No. 44 with an estimated net worth of $8.87 million.


Oct. 23, 2014 Washington Post

In Georgia and across the country, GOP modernizes its voter outreach

Ed O'Keefe reports that standing toward the back of the Cobb County Republican Party headquarters, chairman Joe Dendy marvels at the scene. A clutch of volunteers is handwriting postcard messages to would-be voters — one of the most intimate ways to reach supporters. But he is more intrigued by the other group — young, old, white and black — using new phones that automatically dial numbers from a database and can leave prerecorded voice mails for people who don’t pick up. Another group is out in the neighborhood using a phone app that feeds back information to a database that will keep county and state party officials updated on potential voters.


Oct. 23, 2014 New York Times

To Prevent Another Ferguson, Vote in Georgia

David Firestone reports that Georgia Republicans are furious about a flyer just released by the state Democratic Party that invokes the shooting in Ferguson, Mo., as a new incentive for black voters to cast a ballot in the midterm election.“If you want to prevent another Ferguson in their future — vote,” the flyer says, over a photo of black children holding “don’t shoot” signs. “It’s up to you to make change happen.”


Oct. 23, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

The Georgia Chamber draws a line in the sand on ‘religious liberty’ bills

Jim Galloway reports that week, in the far-away Vatican, a gathering of Catholic bishops very nearly declared a truce in the war against gay marriage. At the last minute, they balked. Though it was far less conspicuous, we had our own synod in Georgia last week, which took up the same topic. The participants weren’t bishops, but vicars of the Georgia Chamber — this state’s high church of free enterprise. They did not balk.



Oct. 22, 2014 GPB

Making Real The Promise Of The Digital Economy

Michael Caputo reports that most people agree that technology has reshaped the economy. But how can you make practical use of digital tools and approaches? Bill Price manages the Digital Georgia Program. He said that Georgia sits in the middle of the pack nationwide when it comes to high-speed broadband accessibility.


Oct. 22, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Making Cities Successful

Karen Kirkpatrick writes, do you have an idea to make the cities of Columbus, Macon or Milledgeville more successful? If you do, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation might just pay you to put your idea in play. In the first-ever national Knight Cities Challenge, the foundation is looking for ideas that will make the 26 cities – including three here in Georgia – where Knight invests more vibrant places to live and work. 


Oct. 22, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

UGA restricts travel to Ebola countries

Lee Shearer reports that the University of Georgia won’t approve school-related travel to three West African countries gripped by an Ebola virus epidemic. The new rule is in keeping with guidance issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said UGA spokesman Tom Jackson. According to the CDC advice, education-related travel to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone should be postponed “until further notice.”


Oct. 22, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

We’re No. 1 — in blueberries

Dan Chapman reports that Georgia leads the nation in blueberry production, surpassing long-time berry boss Michigan. The Peach State produced 96 million pounds of blueberries this year, according to the North American Blueberry Council. Michigan grew 91.5 million pounds. Georgia planted 20,000 blueberry acres this year, most scattered across South Georgia and able to withstand the state’s sandy soils and hot summers. 


Oct. 22, 2014

Deal: Badcock to locate new distribution center to LaGrange

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that W.S. Badcock Corp., one of the largest privately held furniture retailers in the United States, will construct a new regional distribution center in LaGrange, investing $22 million and employing more than 100.“Badcock’s new regional distribution center is an excellent addition to Troup County,” said Deal. “This expansion is a testament our state’s top-ranked business climate, and I have no doubt that Georgia’s skilled workforce and globally recognized logistics infrastructure will support future growth and success.”


Oct. 22, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Ridgeline and Hillwood partner on more than 1-million square foot Braselton project

Douglas Sams reports that Ridgeline Property Group and Hillwood Investment Properties will partner on more than 1-million-square-foot project in Braselton, as more developers begin to loosen the reins for new speculative warehouses. Ridgeline and Hillwood will jointly develop the nearly 1.1-million-square-foot spec building on 114 acres along Highway 124 near Interstate 85.


Oct. 22, 2014 Columbus Ledger Enquirer

Synovus posts $44.2 profit, to buy back $250 million in stock

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Tony Adams reports that Synovus Financial Corp., parent company of Columbus Bank and Trust, on Tuesday reported a profit of $44.2 million in the third quarter, up nearly 19 percent from the same July-September period a year ago. The regional bank, headquartered in downtown Columbus, posted a profit, or net income, of $37.2 million in the third quarter a year ago.


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

Georgia had the nation’s highest jobless rate in September

Greg Bluestein reports that Georgia’s 7.9 percent unemployment rate for the month of September was again ranked highest in the nation, according to a federal report released this morning.The state’s jobless rate has been thrust into the center of Gov. Nathan Deal’s re-election campaign, and his opponents were eagerly awaiting the latest numbers. Democrat Jason Carter contends the metric is a sign that Deal’s jobs plan isn’t working, while the governor calls the statistic an “outlier” that doesn’t accurately gauge the state’s economic health.




Oct. 21, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Three Atlanta federal judges recuse themselves from Home Depot data breach lawsuits

David Allison reports that some of the lawsuits hitting The Home Depot Inc. over its recent data breach are apparently hitting too close to home for some federal judges in Atlanta. Home Depot (NYSE: HD) is facing at least 21 lawsuits stemming from the data breach, which reportedly may affect 60 million customers.


Oct. 21, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Home sales slip in September

Michael Kanell reports that home sales dropped in September, but are roughly the same as during the same month a year ago, according to the monthly report from The Atlanta Board of Realtors, which was released late Monday morning. Last month, metro Atlanta saw 3,601 homes sold, down 15 percent from August, but the sales level was just 1.5 percent below that of September, 2013, according to the report.


Oct. 21, 2014 Rockdale Citizen

Acuity Brands to expand in Rockdale County

Alice Queen reports that Acuity Brands will spend $16 million over the next five years and create 700 new jobs as it expands operations in Rockdale and DeKalb counties. Gov. Nathan Deal announced the expansion Monday morning. “When a successful Georgia operation such as Acuity Brands decides to expand its facility and its employment roster, it’s a win for all concerned, especially for our workforce,” said Deal. “I have no doubt that our top-ranked business climate and cutting-edge logistics sector will continue to support Acuity Brands for many years to come, and we look forward to its continued success.”


Oct. 21, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Researchers, shrimpers look for black gill shrimp in Georgia

Mary Landers reports this wasn't your typical cruise. For starters, the day-long journey around Chatham County waterways on the 92-foot R/V Savannah on Thursday was focused on a tiny parasite on shrimp that turns their gills an unsightly and unmarketable black. And instead of scientists researching the problem by themselves and reporting their results in a scientific journal years from now, they invited along shrimpers, fisheries managers and outreach workers, even a pathologist from Mercer medical school who had been studying the parasite in her lab.


Oct. 21, 2014 Brunswick News

Encapsulation Building opens at Kings Bay

Gordon Jackson reports that submarines at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay are considered among the most technologically sophisticated machines on the planet. The lifeblood is an extensive cable system that links the electronic components vital to keep the boats running. One strand of broken or frayed wire or a broken connection pin can affect the boat’s ability to go on patrol or complete a mission.


Oct. 21, 2014 Albany Herald

Albany utilities officials ready to move on rural technology plan

Carlton Fletcher reports that interim City Manager Tom Berry gave the Albany Water, Gas & Light Commission board an overview of a proposed agreement through which the Albany utility authority would take on operation and management of mobile and fixed wireless broadband services in rural Baker, Calhoun, Early, Miller and Mitchell counties. Berry said at a special called meeting of the board Monday that he will present the $13.3 million South Georgia Regional Informational Technology Authority loan/grant proposal to the Albany City Commission today.


Oct. 21, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Middle Georgia home builders group to celebrate merger

Linda S. Morris reports that the Home Builders Association of Middle Georgia will celebrate the merger of its members from Macon and Warner Robins during its annual meeting Tuesday. While the merger of the Warner Robins Home Builders Association and the Home Builders Association of Macon, which did business as Home Builders Association of Middle Georgia for years, was officially effective in January, the meeting is the first time new officers and directors will be installed for the combined group.


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Oct. 21, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Azziz is finalist for Vegas school's presidency

Tom Corwin reports that Georgia Regents University President Ricardo Azziz is one of the finalists for the presidency of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, announced the Nevada System of Higher Education on Monday. Azziz, who has been mentioned in the past for other open university positions in Florida and Texas, is one of three finalists for the position.


Oct. 21, 2014 GPB

DeKalb County Schools Not Admitting New Students From Ebola-Stricken Areas 

Rosemary Jean-Louis reports that DeKalb County School officials have decided not to admit new students from Ebola-stricken countries in West Africa unless proper medical documentation is presented and the superintendent approves. The district has notified all principals and administrators of the policy, which includes new students from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and other areas.


Oct. 21, 2014 WABE

Voter Registration Group Questions Kemp on Transparency

Martha Dalton reports that leaders of a voter registration group said Monday they’re confused by recent comments made by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.  The group, called the New Georgia Project, sued Kemp’s office and five counties over thousands of voter registration forms they say are missing. Kemp denied that last week, saying officials have added 40,000 new voters to the rolls.


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

Obama’s Ebola czar was a Michelle Nunn campaign adviser

Ron Klain starts work tomorrow as President Barack Obama’s Ebola “czar,” or point person to coordinate various agencies involved in containing the outbreak. That means the longtime Democratic hand no longer has time to help out Michelle Nunn’s U.S. Senate bid. Klain, a former chief of staff to vfice presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden and frequent debate prepper, was to lead Nunn’s preparation for her debates against Republican David Perdue, according to the infamous internal campaign memo.




Oct. 20, 2014 GPB

Two-Way: Georgia Ports Authority Chief Discusses Savannah Harbor Expansion

Sarah McCammon reports that the head of the Georgia Ports Authority announced double–digit growth in the total weight of freight moved at the Port of Brunswick Tuesday. The increase includes a record number of auto and machinery units moved compared to last year.


Oct. 20, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Biotech Boom

Randy Southerland reports that Georgia is attracting attention for its thriving biotech scene. Could we be the next hub? James Ross was still a Georgia Tech grad student when he began work on what would one day become Axion Biosystems. He and a couple of fellow students were developing an instrument to measure the nerve activities of brain and heart tissues in the body.


Oct. 20, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Newell Rubbermaid acquiring bubba brands

Christopher Seward reports that Sandy Springs-based Newell Rubbermaid said it is acquiring bubba brands Inc., a maker of durable beverage containers, the company’s second such sale since July. The purchase price was not disclosed, but Newell Rubbermaid expects bubba brands to generate more than $50 million in net sales this year. The seller in the deal is In Zone Holdings Inc.


Oct. 20, 2014 The Produce News

Is Bill Gates buying up farms in Vidalia? Documents and growers link Microsoft founder to recent sales  

Chip Carter reports that it has been rumored and discussed on the streets here for months that the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation or Cascade Investment LLC, the Gates' private trust located in Kirkland, WA, is actively seeking to purchase producing farms in the Vidalia area, renowned for its sweet onions and the center of that industry. Already, two entities — Coggins Farms in Lake Park, GA, and more recently Stanley Farms and its subsidiaries in Lyons, GA — have been sold and, while the trail is murky, documents and interviews with other Vidalia-area growers link the purchases to Kirkland and seemingly to Gates.


Oct. 20, 2014 WABE

Atlanta VA Plans to Expand Women's Healthcare At Fort McPherson

Michell Wirth reports that Atlanta VA Medical Center says it plans to expand healthcare services for women at its Fort McPherson Campus. The expansion comes as some female veterans express concerns about the types of services available to women at the Atlanta VA. On Friday, a crowd gathered to celebrate the expansion of veterans’ services at Fort McPherson. One of the newer services is a center focusing on reproductive care, mental health and other medical services for female veterans.


Oct. 20, 2014 Washington Post

Phone Hackers Dial and Redial to Steal Billions

Nicole Perlroth reports that the Bob Foreman’s architecture firm ran up a $166,000 phone bill in a single weekend last March. But neither Mr. Foreman nor anyone else at his seven-person company was in the office at the time.“I thought: ‘This is crazy. It must be a mistake,’ ” Mr. Foreman said. The firm, in Norcross, Ga., was the victim of an age-old fraud that has found new life now that most corporate phone lines run over the Internet.


Oct. 20, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Furniture retailer Havertys back inside Perimeter

Christopher Seward reports that furniture retail store Haverty's opened its first store inside the Perimeter this week after a six-year absence. The retailer, founded in Atlanta by J. Clarence Haverty in 1885, located the store in Buckhead, which is seeing a resurgence of apartment construction and mixed-use developments.


Oct. 20, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

SunTrust Q3 profit rises to $576 million

Staff reports that SunTrust Banks, the Atlanta-based banking company, reported a big surge in profit following a $130 million tax benefit from the completion of a tax authority examination.


Oct. 20, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Peake’s new medical marijuana proposal taking shape

Maggie Lee reports that halfway through a months-long series of hearings on medical marijuana in Georgia, Macon’s chief Republican lawmaker says he’s starting to get clearer ideas on a road map to therapeutic cannabis in Georgia -- and who would be able to take it. Among other things, it would require in-state cannabis growth in facilities as secure as a jail, state Rep. Allen Peake said.


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

Nathan Deal to form Ebola response team in Georgia

Greg Bluestein reports that the specter of Ebola threatens to shake up Georgia’s top political races, Gov. Nathan Deal said today he would sign an executive order to create a team to craft the state’s response to the deadly virus. The governor said the team would assess state health and emergency management procedures and devise recommendations for Georgia’s health workers and political leaders.



Oct. 17, 2014 Georgia Health News

Health data thefts a continuing problem 

Andy Miller reports that a state agency says Georgia consumers’ personal data has not been compromised so far in the wake of a theft of a laptop computer that contained some people’s health information. The computer was stolen from the vehicle of an employee of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities who was attending a Clayton County conference in August. The laptop contained health information on 3,397 individuals who receive services from the agency. 


Oct. 17, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Sustainable Georgia: Two decades and change

Ben Young writes, I'm thrilled as a dad to be able to take my son Holden out on the Chattahoochee River. I can remember “shooting the Hooch” as a kid myself, and I have long envied cities that have made good use of their rivers for recreation. For awhile there, the Hooch was off limits as a result of runaway water pollution. Sally Bethea, who is stepping down this year as Chattahoochee Riverkeeper founding director, can be credited with the turnaround.


Oct. 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia-Pacific expanding Arkansas operation

Christopher Seward reports that Georgia-Pacific will invest $37 million in an Arkansas lumber operation to expand capacity by about 60 percent.The project in Gurdon, in the southwest part of the state, is expected to be completed in third quarter 2015. Atlanta-based Georgia-Pacific is also considering investing $20 million to expand a nearby plywood mill to increase its capacity and improve efficiency to reduce emissions.


Oct. 17, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Suwanee company inks $99 million deal with U.S. Army

Phil W. Hudson reports that Meggitt Training Systems will once again be the supplier of the US Army's next generation virtual small arms trainer, Engagement Skills Trainer II. The Suwanee, Ga.-based supplier of integrated live-fire and virtual weapons training systems, unmanned land and sea vehicles, aerial targets and electronic scoring systems closed a five-year Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract for $99 million from the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation and Training that will include more than 1,000 new and upgraded systems and simulated weapons for U.S. Army facilities.


Oct. 17, 2014 Newnan Times-Herald

GigaPower network coming to Newnan

Clay Neely reports that AT&T confirmed it will expand its ultra-fast AT&T GigaPower network to Newnan. AT&T’s fiber network will deliver AT&T U-verse with GigaPower service, allowing businesses and consumers to have broadband speeds up to 1 gigabit per second and AT&T’s most advanced television services.


Oct. 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Google: Suwanee among top digital cities

Christopher Seward reports that Suwanee has landed on Google’s map as one of 50 cities with the strongest digital communities. The 2014 Google eCity Award recognizes cities that embrace the web to attract newcomers, connect with existing residents and build local economies through job creation.


Oct. 17, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

City seeks proposals to redevelop Atlanta Civic Center

Douglas Sams and Maria Saporta report that city officials are seeking proposals to redevelop the 20-acre Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, with goals of turning the campus into the heart of a "24-hour urban environment" featuring a mix of housing, stores, offices and film and TV studios. The city's economic development arm, Invest Atlanta, issued the request for proposals, or RFP. It plans to pick a finalist to buy and redevelop the Civic Center in December. It wants to reach an agreement to sell the site by next April.


Oct. 17, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Brian Kemp fires back at 'frivolous' voter lawsuit

Tim Chitwood reports that in a Thursday visit to Columbus, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp had some questions for the voter-registration groups now suing him and five counties, including Muscogee, for allegedly failing to register new voters for the Nov. 4 General Election. One question: "Who is 'R' in Fulton County?" Kemp asked, referring to a list of registration applicants submitted by lawyers allied with the nonprofit New Georgia Project, which amassed thousands of voter applications in its drive to register more African-Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos.


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Oct. 17, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Democrats Max Cleland, David Poythress accuse Nathan Deal of appointing cronies to Georgia National Guard

Walter C. Jones reports that fellow Democrats David Poythress and Max Cleland gave Jason Carter a little help Thursday in criticizing Nathan Deal. Surrounded by historic military planes, the men attacked Deal over his appointments to the Georgia National Guard for basing them on cronyism instead of credentials. Poythress, a former head of the state guard, said the appointments hurt the state’s relations with Pentagon officials, which could result in shortchanging the state on missions and equipment and possibly harm Georgia’s chances in avoiding future closures of military bases.


Oct. 17, 2014 Washington Post

Legal action — and mass voter confusion — looms in Georgia as Election Day nears

Hunter Schwarz reports that fight over alleged voter registration fraud in Georgia appears headed to the courts as early voting begins in the state, amid concerns that tens of thousands of Georgians who show up to vote may learn instead that their registration forms were never processed. More than 81,000 new voters were registered during this campaign cycle by the New Georgia Project, which targets unregistered African-Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans. Increased minority turnout in November could make the difference for Democrats in the state’s tight gubernatorial race between Gov. Nathan Deal (R) and Jason Carter (D) and the increasingly competitive U.S. Senate race between David Perdue (R) and Michelle Nunn (D).


Oct. 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Jason Carter goes Copart on Nathan Deal

Greg Bluestein reports that Democrat Jason Carter’s campaign let loose one of the most scathing attacks yet in the governor’s race with a 30-second ad that questions Gov. Nathan Deal’s financial turnaround in the four years since his election. The ad, which begins airing this week, claims the “middle class has fallen further behind” as the governor revived his personal bank account. Deal came into office facing millions in debt, but has paid much of it off while increasing his net worth by about $1 million.



Oct. 16, 2014 Gainesville Times

State poultry industry gets good news in trade ruling

Joshua Silavent reports that the World Trade Organization has ruled against India in its yearslong ban on U.S. poultry imports, including meat and eggs, a first step toward reopening access to the subcontinent’s lucrative market. The ruling is good news for the local poultry industry.


Oct. 16, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Andrews Moonshine Festival

Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy reports that first it was wine, then it was beer, now moonshine is having its day in the sun. This Saturday, Oct. 18, is the first Andrews Moonshine Festival in the Andrews Entertainment District in Atlanta.


Oct. 16, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia’s jobless rate falls to 7.9 percent in September

Henry Unger reports that Georgia’s unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August as employers laid off fewer workers, the state labor department reported Thursday. While breaking the recent string of monthly increases, September’s jobless rate has dropped only one-tenth of a percentage point from a year ago and is two percentage points higher than the 5.9 percent U.S. unemployment rate.


Oct. 16, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta No. 4 largest housing gap for baby boomers

Phil W. Hudson reports that Atlanta has the fourth-highest housing gap for baby boomers, according to a recent study by the Dublin, Ohio-based homebuilder Epcon Franchising Inc. The study found there is an expected volume growth for baby boomer housing in certain U.S. markets over the next five years, which could potentially leave baby boomers without the ability to move into the type or location of home they desire.


Oct. 16, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Greater Gwinnett Championship generates $8.77 million for local economy

Keith Farner reports that the Greater Gwinnett Championship generated more than $8.77 million for the local economy, the tournament announced this week, according to a report compiled by Georgia Gwinnett College. The April Champions Tour tournament played at TPC Sugarloaf has averaged 30,000 spectators per year since it started two years ago. Te economic impact incudes money spent by out-of-town visitors and Gwinnett and metro Atlanta residents.


Oct. 16, 2014 The Brunswick News

Solar farm coming to Glynn County

Lindsey Adkison reports that at least one solar farm is coming to Glynn County, it was announced Wednesday during a meeting of the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce. The Israeli firm Energiya USA was awarded a 20-year contract for electrical energy output by Georgia Power and will open a solar farm on property owned by the development authority.


Oct. 16, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Walmart to hire 400 for S. Fulton facility

Christopher Seward reports that Walmart plans to open a fulfillment center near Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to process online orders, and the retailer will hire 400 people. The 1.2-million-square-foot facility will be at the Majestic Airport Center IV Industrial Park in Union City at South Fulton Parkway and Stonewall Tell Road, about six miles from the Atlanta airport. The center is scheduled to open in mid-2015.


Oct. 16, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Menlo Logistics expands by Atlanta airport to serve Google

Douglas Sams reports that Silicon Valley-based Menlo Logistics will occupy more than a half million square feet near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, where it would serve the regional logistics needs of Google Inc. Menlo Logistics, based in San Mateo County, Calif., leased roughly 560,000 square feet in a new building in Union City, Ga. The lease, completed last quarter, was confirmed by real estate sources familiar with the companies.


Oct. 16, 2014

'Emory had the courage to be first' University atty. says of Ebola patient care

Phil Bolton reports that Emory Hospital receives Ebola patients in Atlanta, “We should be proud of Emory,” said Jane Jordan, deputy general counsel and chief council for health affairs at Emory University. “Emory had the courage to be first,” she added during an evening seminar Oct. 14 at the Emory University School of Law. “We can fear, or we can care.”      


Oct. 16, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Muscogee among 5 counties named in voter registration lawsuit

Tim Chitwood reports that Muscogee is among five Georgia counties that voter-registration groups are suing on claims its board of elections is not processing registration applications the groups submitted. Filed Oct. 10 in Fulton County Superior Court, the lawsuit asks a judge to order Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp and the county election boards to approve the eligible applicants’ registrations and add them to the voter rolls before the Nov. 4 General Election.


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Oct. 16, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Rep. John Barrow holds campaign cash advantage, but the outside money is tilting Rick Allen’s way

Daniel Malloy reports that U.S. Rep. John Barrow, an Augusta Democrat, revealed today that he had $1.5 million in his campaign bank account as of Sept. 30, while Republican challenger Rick Allen had just $118,000. Georgia’s 12th Congressional District is the only competitive House race in the state and has seen a flood of outside money, but Barrow holds the sizable edge in candidate funding.



Oct. 15, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Port of Brunswick auto processing facility to expand after record year, Georgia Ports Authority director says

Terry Dickson reports that the Port of Brunswick is second only to Baltimore in auto and machinery shipping, and the Georgia Ports Authority will begin expanding to grow even more, the agency's executive director said. The record 673,327 units that rolled on or off ships at the Colonel’s Island Terminal was an 8 percent increase over the previous year, Executive Director Curtis Foltz said in a State of the Ports address on Jekyll Island, and that occurred even though Georgia's ports had to turn away business.


Oct. 15, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia View: Thanks for your service

Bill Crane writes, a walk through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is almost impossible without witnessing folks thanking our men and women in uniform, also in transit, for their service to our nation.


Oct. 15, 2014 Georgia Health News

Is Georgia doing enough on Ebola?

Andy Miller reports that state’s public health agency says it has boosted its outreach efforts to Georgia health workers and hospitals on dealing with the potential of Ebola infection here. The effort – involving disseminating information and CDC protocols about handling a potential Ebola case – comes amid mounting national concern about the virus, which has led to the recent death of a man in Texas and the infection of a nurse who treated him.


Oct. 15, 2014 Gainesville Times

Fla., Ga. again attacking each other in water wars

Jeff Gill reports that both Florida and Georgia are again firing shots at each other in a 1-year-old water wars case before the U.S. Supreme Court. In briefs filed last week, the states responded to U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli’s Sept. 18 recommendation that justices reject the suit until the Army Corps of Engineers completes a document managing water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin, which includes Lake Lanier.


Oct. 15, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

AT&T picks Atlanta and three other cities for super fast Internet

Matt Kempner reports that AT&T said Tuesday that it will bring super fast Internet connections to Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Decatur and Newnan, giving metro Atlanta the first broad commitment to offer residents and small businesses speeds 100 times faster than the average for American homes. But in its initial announcement, AT&T didn’t offer any details about when it will offer the local service or how much it will charge. Nor did it indicate whether it will go into any of the eight other communities it had announced in April that it was considering for the service.


Oct. 15, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

AGL, Tallgrass developing 140-mile Prairie State Pipeline

Staff reports that AGL Resources Inc. will pair with Tallgrass Development LP to develop the Prairie State Pipeline, a new natural gas pipeline that aims to move gas from supply connections in central Illinois to the Chicago Market Center and points in between. The 140-mile pipeline is expected to have a total capacity between 1.2 billion and 1.5 billion cubic feet per day. It would run in a generally north-south orientation connecting interstate pipelines in Douglas County, Ill., to gas distribution systems, natural gas storage fields and interstate pipeline companies in the Chicago Market Center.


Oct. 15, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Gulfstream introduces new aircraft family

Mary Carr Mayle reports that Savannah-based Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. on Tuesday pulled out all the stops to introduce a pair of all-new business jets, the G500 and G600. “This is another extraordinary day in the storied history of Gulfstream,” said Larry Flynn, Gulfstream president. “I could not be more pleased to announce the next generation of Gulfstream aircraft. The G500 and G600 build upon the technology present in our G650 and our latest aircraft, the G650ER.”


Oct. 15, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Four decades of zippers, and much more, from Macon’s YKK

Linda S. Morris reports that Margaret Mimbs was 26 years old when she began working at the YKK zipper plant in Macon. It was less than a month after the company and the community celebrated the grand opening of the $15 million manufacturer Oct. 18, 1974. She is one of several longtime employees at YKK’s fastener plant, which employs about 600 workers.


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Oct. 15, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Turner Broadcasting relaunches Boomerang kids network

Christopher Seward reports that days after announcing a new Cartoon Network service for streaming content to mobile devices, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. on Tuesday said it is re-launching its Boomerang kids brand as a global all-animation network. Boomerang will feature content from Warner Bros., Hanna-Barbera, Cartoon Network and MGM studios. The network will also rely on content produced by studios in other parts of the world.


Oct. 15, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

U.S. wins trade dispute over poultry products

Dave Williams reports that the World Trade Organization has sided with the United States in a challenge of India’s ban on imports of American poultry products, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman announced Tuesday. A WTO dispute settlement panel found that the ban was imposed without sufficient scientific evidence, breaching numerous international trade rules.


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

HOPE scholarship becomes flashpoint in Georgia governor's race

Walter C. Jones reports that the popularity of the HOPE Scholarship has made it a recent topic of heated accusations in the Georgia governor’s race. The campaigns of Democrat Jason Carter and incumbent Republican Nathan Deal have traded attacks all fall on a variety of issues, from leadership ability to economic development, but it’s only been in the final three weeks when a debate about the scholarship that emotions have seemed to boil over.



Oct. 14, 2014 Georgia Health News

Poll: Georgians like expansion, but not ACA overall

Andy Miller reports that a new poll finds 60 percent of Georgians disagree with the state’s decision not to expand the state’s Medicaid program, a key provision of the Affordable Care Act.The health reform law overall, though, fares less well in popularity. According to the survey, conducted by the Schapiro Group in August and sponsored by Healthcare Georgia Foundation, 42 percent of Georgians approve of the ACA and 46 percent disapprove. 


Oct. 14, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Farm to Fork

Christy Simo reports that Georgia’s agriculture community is bridging the gap between consumers and farmers, with an interest in bringing everyone to the table. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, just 20 years ago, there were only 1,755 farmers markets nationwide. Today, there are more than 8,200 – and more than 130 here in Georgia alone.


Oct. 14, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Foreclosure notices fall to 13-year low

Michael Kanell reports that foreclosure notices in metro Atlanta fell this month to their lowest level since 2001. The 13-county region saw 2,066 foreclosure notices in October, the second lowest number this year, according to a report released Monday from Kennesaw-based Equity Depot.


Oct. 14, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coke shares soar, cost-cuts coming?

Phil W. Hudson reports that Coca-Cola Co.'s shares are surging. The Atlanta-based beverage behemoth's stock (NYSE: KO) has jumped 7.6 percent this year. The company’s stock reached a record of $44.87 on Oct. 10, the highest its been since July 15, 1998, when it was $44.47. The shares closed Oct. 13 at $44.07.


Oct. 14, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Columbus State taps retired TSYS CEO to lead capital campaign

Tony Adams reports that Phil Tomlinson may have retired as chief executive officer of TSYS in July, but that doesn’t mean his leadership skills aren’t still in demand in the community. Columbus State University said Monday that Tomlinson — who remains chairman of the board at TSYS until next spring — will lead its crucial fund-raising campaign to the finish line.


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Oct. 14, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Gulfstream set to unveil newest business jet

Mary Carr Mayle reports that although Gulfstream executives still aren't talking, most everyone else in business aviation is buzzing about today's much-anticipated debut of the company's newest large-cabin design. It’s a business jet that, according to the Wall Street Journal, “has been developed with the kind of secrecy typically reserved for a military spy plane or the latest smartphone.” Savannah-based Gulfstream, as a policy, doesn’t comment on any aircraft in development until it has been announced.


Oct. 14, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Home Depot VP to become JCPenney CEO

Leon Stafford reports that Marvin Ellison, who was rumored to be on the bubble as a possible replacement for outgoing Home Depot CEO Frank Blake, has been named president and chief executive officer-designee of retail giant JCPenney. Ellison, executive vice president of Home Depot stores, moves to JCPenney on Nov. 1, though he won’t become CEO until Aug. 1, 2015 when Myron “Mike” Ullman, the company’s current leader, steps down.


Oct. 14, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Boston company applies to become Georgia’s first merchant acquirer limited purpose bank

Phil W. Hudson reports that an online payment processing and acquiring bank service company applied to become a merchant acquirer limited purpose bank (MALPB), the first of its kind in Georgia. Southborough, Mass.-based Credorax Inc. filed an application with the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance in late September to charter Credorax Bank North America to accept merchant deposits through the payment networks for its client merchants.


Oct. 14, 2014 Saporta Report

GEEARS makes sure early childhood education wins at the polls on Nov. 4 

Maria Saporta reports that arly childhood education advocates in Georgia showed their political chops Monday when they invited candidates for Governor, U.S. Senate and State School Superintendent to a forum at Georgia Public Broadcasting It was a strategic way to get exposure, and even commitments, from the elected leaders in Georgia three weeks before the General Election on Nov. 4. The three candidates for governor showed up in person — Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, Democrat Jason Carter and Libertarian Andrew Hunt.


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

An India-sized hole in David Perdue’s resume

Daniel Malloy reports that after he left as CEO of Dollar General, Republican David Perdue worked between 2007 and 2009 with a textile conglomerate in India to build up a new retail line. The enterprise did not work out for Gujarat Heavy Chemicals — and Perdue scrubbed it from his online bio in the months before he entered the race for U.S. Senate.



Oct. 13, 2014 WABE

​How Will Savannah's Port Deepening Benefit Atlanta?

Michell Wirth reports that the deepening of the Savannah port is expected to start later this year. The project comes as East Coast ports throughout the U.S. prepare to handle larger cargo ships expected to arrive from the Panama Canal in 2016. One person who’s excited about Savannah’s port expansion is Darrel Penn. He’s a manager of business development for C.H. Robinson, an international third party logistics company with two offices in the Atlanta metro area.


Oct. 13, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

A legacy lives on

Ray Anderson, the founder of Interface, the Atlanta-based modular carpet manufacturer, left behind a legacy far greater than his company. Anderson set Interface on its Mission Zero path, a company-wide promise to eliminate any negative impact it has on the environment by the year 2020. Today Interface is recognized around the world for its commitment to build environmental considerations into its business decisions.


Oct. 13, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Clarkesville’s Scovill Fasteners sold

Staff reports that Morito bought Clarkesville, Ga.-based Scovill Fasteners from The Gores Group for an undislcosed sum. Founded in 1802, Scovill makes apparel fasteners and specialty fasteners for the apparel, medical, military, and sporting goods industries.


Oct. 13, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta hikes requirements for elite frequent flier level

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines announced it is raising the requirements to reach its elite frequent flier levels, in a bid to increase the “exclusivity” of the program. Delta had already announced last year it would require a certain amount of dollars spent on Delta tickets annually to reach the elite silver, gold, platinum and diamond levels. It also announced earlier this year that it would begin awarding free flights based on dollars spent, rather than miles flown.


Oct. 13, 2014

Wetlands: Coca-Cola helps China tackle water pollution

Trevor Williams reports that business is booming for Xiong Qiaorong’s family guesthouse.  Nestled under a canopy of trees beside a flowing stream, it’s one of many places where Chinese urbanites can come to shake off the hustle and bustle of Chengdu, the capital city of 11 million people in the western Sichuan province. Some weekends, thousands have passed through the area, which now offers a network of bike trails and pavilions where visitors can enjoy outdoor refreshments.


Oct. 13, 2014 Saporta Report  

CARE President Helene Gayle to step down as its CEO by July 1, 2015 

Maria Saporta reports that after serving as president and CEO of CARE since April 2006, Helene Gayle has informed her colleagues that will be stepping down on July 1, 2015 – at the end of the international organization’s fiscal year. Gayle wrote an email to her staff late last week explaining that she wanted to give the board enough time to begin a search “and avoid any long lapses in leadership for CARE.” 


Oct. 13, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Luckie & Co. expands in Gwinnett, plans to add 40 jobs

Carla Caldwell reports that Luckie & Company has opened a new office in Duluth that will serve as the Atlanta headquarters for the Birmingham-based advertising and marketing solution agency. The company already had an office in Gwinnett. Luckie’s move to 3100 Breckinridge Blvd. more than doubles its 3,600-square-foot footprint in the county. Luckie plans to grow from its current seven employees in Gwinnett to 50, the company said.


Oct. 13, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

Production resumes at Daiki plant in Adairsville after Jan. 30, 2013 tornado

Doug Walker reports that it was an unusually warm day. Adairsville Daiki plant employee Greg Ogle recalls that he knew something was wrong the morning of Jan. 30, 2013, when he got dressed to go to work. A couple of hours later he was huddled under a table in the break room as half of the huge plant was being flattened by a tornado. This past Thursday, though, Daiki officials had ribbon-cutting ceremonies to formally re-open the plant 20 months after the storm. The Adairsville plant is a joint venture of primary shareholders from Daiki Industrial, Komatsu America, and Nittetsu Shoji.


Oct. 13, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Michelle Nunn raises $4.15 million in third quarter

Daniel Malloy reports that Michelle Nunn’s prodigious fundraising reached new heights with a $4.15 million third quarter haul, according to the Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful’s campaign. Fundraising reports through Sept. 30 are due this week. The Nunn campaign did not reveal how much it spent — it’s bound to be a lot, given her heavy television advertising pace — or how much cash it had on hand at the beginning of the month.




Oct. 10, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta hitting home equity lines again

Michael Kanell reports that Metro Atlanta homeowners are again starting to hit the home ATM – but nothing like the heyday of the housing bubble. The number of home equity lines of credit being “originated” – or opened – in Atlanta jumped 38.7 percent during the past year to a total of 10,674, according to a study released Thursday by RealtyTrac, a real estate data company.


Oct. 10, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Political Notes - October 2014

Susan Percy reports that the Republican National Committee (RNC) has named Georgia State Rep. B.J. Pak (R-Lilburn) to its Rising Stars Program. He was one of four individuals selected. The RNC began the Rising Stars Program last year to recognize conservative leaders throughout the country who are making a name for themselves within the Republican Party.


Oct. 10, 2014 GPB

High Tides And Sea Level Rise Threaten Georgia's Coast

Gabrielle Ware reports that a report released Wednesday by the Union of Concerned Scientists examines how rising sea levels threaten to disrupt coastal communities. The report, called "Encroaching Tides," says that high tides plus rising sea levels can be a dangerous combination. Flooding on some scale occurs about ten times a year in the Savannah area, according to the report.


Oct. 10, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Gentiva Health Services sold to Kindred, moving HQ to Louisville

Staff reports that Kindred Healthcare Inc. will buy Atlanta-based home health, hospice and community care services company Gentiva Health Services Inc. in a $1.8 billion deal. As part of the sale, Gentiva’s (NASDAQ: GTIV) headquarters will move to Kindred’s home base in Louisville, Ky. The company said it will keep a “significant, regional presence” in Atlanta.


Oct. 10, 2014 Saporta Report

Georgia Tech's graduate planning program ranked no. 5 nationally

Georgia Tech’s graduate planning program ranked No. 5 nationally - See more at:
Georgia Tech’s graduate planning program ranked No. 5 nationally - See more at:

Maria Saporta reports that Georgia Tech’s Master of City and Regional Planning is building its national stature. Planetizen, an online publication that caters to urban and regional planning professionals  has just released its top schools for urban planners. 


Oct. 10, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

People Express unsure when flights will resume

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that People Express is unsure when it will resume flights, after suspending operations late last month. The start-up operation, which had launched flights from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to its mini-hub at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in Virginia in August, had initially planned to resume flights Oct. 16.


Oct. 10, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Sources: Atlanta healthcare tech firm Ingenious Med to sell for $110M

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Ingenious Med, an Atlanta health care technology firm, is expected to sell for about $110 million. The acquirer is said to be North Bridge Venture Partners, a growth equity firm with more than $3.2 billion in capital under management, and offices in Menlo Park, Calif. and Waltham, Mass.


Oct. 10, 2014 WABE

​What Do Turner's Layoffs Mean For Atlanta?

Michell Eloy reports, Turner Broadcasting has been synonymous with Atlanta for decades, with stations like CNN, HLN and TNT all based here. But with the announcement of more than 900 job cuts in Atlanta, preceded by plans to move more anchors to New York, what does Turner’s reorganization mean for the area?


Oct. 10, 2014 New York Times

Why Georgia May Be Bluer Than It Appears

Nate Cohn reports that for all the hype about “Purple Texas,” the real front in the Democratic demographic offensive is Georgia. No other plausibly competitive state has seen a more favorable shift for Democrats in the racial composition of eligible voters over the last decade. The pace of demographic change is so fast that Michelle Nunn, a Democrat, is locked in a tight race against the Republican David Perdue for an open Senate seat — even with an off-year electorate that is favorable for the G.O.P.


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

Ending Spending to drop another $2 million against Michelle Nunn

Daniel Malloy reports that Ending Spending Action Fund is back for the final stretch. The conservative Super PAC that has pounded Democrat Michelle Nunn for much of the year is putting up another $2 million on a two-week television and radio advertising buy, The Washington Post reports today. The group told the Post that it will stay active through Election Day.




Oct. 9, 2014

Deal: September revenues up 5 percent 

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia’s net tax collections for the month of September totaled $1.81 billion for an increase of $86.25 million, or 5 percent, compared to the month-ended September 2013. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled $4.69 billion, an increase of $211.25 million, or 4.7 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year when net tax revenues totaled $4.48 billion through September.


Oct. 9, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Business Casual: Falling Back - Gladly!

Susan Percy writes, hello, October. A hearty welcome to Real Fall – much better than the Faux Fall that starts officially on the first University of Georgia football Saturday but can still feel tired and sticky. Glad to have this best-of-all months back. I love its jam-packed schedule, its energy and its cool, slightly crisp mornings likely to be followed by turn-the-AC-back-on-right-this-minute afternoons. 


Oct. 9, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Deal: 'It's time to move dirt'

Mary Carr Mayle reports that $706 million Savannah Harbor Expansion Project cleared its last major hurdle Wednesday morning, as Gov. Nathan Deal played host in Atlanta to federal and state partners for the signing of the cost-sharing agreement to deepen the Savannah River channel from 42 to 47 feet.


Oct. 9, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

FTC hits AT&T with $105 million fine for unlawful billing

Jamal Andress reports that Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday that AT&T will pay a $105 million fine for what it calls mobile cramming. Mobile cramming is defined by the FTC as "a longtime scam in which consumers' phone bills are used as a vehicle for unauthorized charges placed by third parties." The FTC alleges that AT&T charged its customers millions of dollars in monthly fees – usually $9.99 per month – for ringtones, horoscopes, fun facts and the like without those customers' authorization.


Oct. 9, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

CDC to start enhanced Ebola screening at Atlanta airport, four others

Staff reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that it and the Department of Homeland Security will launch enhanced entry screening for Ebola at five U.S. airports, including Atlanta. New York's JFK International Airport will begin the new screening on Saturday. The enhanced entry screening at Washington-Dulles, Newark, Chicago-O'Hare, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will be implemented next week.


Oct. 9, 2014 WABE

Wait, Why Is the CDC in Atlanta?

Stephannie Stokes reports, while the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa hasn't spread anywhere near Atlanta, it still has brought our city into the headlines.  That's because organizations in our region have become leaders in the fight against it. One of these is, of course, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – or the CDC.


Oct. 9, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Former Google exec, UGA graduate to head Vonage

Christopher Seward reports that Alan Masarek, a former Google executive and University of Georgia graduate, is joining Internet phone service provider Vonage as chief executive officer. Masarek, also will join Holmdel, N.J.-based Vonage’s board of directors. He is replacing Marc Lefar, who is retiring.


Oct. 9, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta startup Voxa raises $2.5M to make e-mail "smarter"

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that an Atlanta startup wants to make email smarter for businesses. Voxa is developing software that helps separate the signal from the noise by measuring, monitoring and controlling email activity. By doing so, Voxa hopes to make employees more efficient and responsive, identify customer problems early and help sales team work more deals in less time.


Oct. 9, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Huntsman starts to hire for Augusta plant

Tim Rausch reports that the Georgia Department of Labor said Wednesday that it will aid Huntsman Pigments recruit about 100 workers for its new manufacturing facility. Georgia Department of Labor said Wednesday that it will help Huntsman Pigments recruit about 100 workers for its new manufacturing facility under construction near the Augusta Regional Airport.


Oct. 9, 2014 Saporta Report

Georgia Tech’s graduate planning program ranked No. 5 nationally 

Maria Saporta reports that Georgia Tech’s Master of City and Regional Planning is building its national stature. Planetzin, an online publication that caters to urban and regional planning professionals  has jus released its top schools for urban planners. Georgia Tech has climbed from No. 8 to No. 5 in the country since the last edition was published in 2012. 


Georgia Tech’s Master of City and Regional Planning is building its national stature.

Planetzin, an online publication that caters to urban and regional planning professionals  has jus released its top schools for urban planners.

Georgia Tech has climbed from No. 8 to No. 5 in the country since the last edition was published in 2012.

- See more at:

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

A bitter feud over ethics — and other hard-of-hearing stories from Perry

Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway report that in between the boos and cheers at the Perry wrasslin’ — er, gubernatorial — match, there was a particularly brutal exchange between Gov. Nathan Deal and Democrat Jason Carter over the ethics complaints dogging his first term. It started when Deal was asked why voters should trust him to overhaul the ethics commission.



Oct. 8, 2014 Wall Street Journal

Rising Jobless Rates Are a Southern Mystery

Cameron McWhirter and Ben Leubsdorf report that a sharp uptick in jobless numbers across a slew of Southern states has baffled economists and rattled at least one big political race. It has also raised an unusual question: Is the trend real? When the Labor Department last month said Georgia’s unemployment rate had jumped to 8.1% in August, making it the worst state for joblessness in the country, Democratic gubernatorial challenger Jason Carter seized on the news.


Oct. 8, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

40 Under 40

Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy reports that it takes more than a commitment to a job, more than a willingness to work hard from 9 to 5, more even than phenomenal career success to make it onto Georgia Trend's list of 40 Under 40. To be recognized as one of our state's best and brightest, you must demonstrate a commitment to improving the lives of people in your community and making your corner of the world a better place to live.


Oct. 8, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta fighting to stay at Love Field

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that an attorney for Delta Air Lines has fired off a strongly-worded letter to Dallas, Texas objecting to its ouster from Dallas Love Field. Kenneth Quinn, an attorney for Pillsbury representing Delta, wrote to the city of Dallas that denying Delta access to the airport “violates the City’s obligations” and other commitments. The letter also raised the possibility of legal action by Delta.


Oct. 8, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Tech entrepreneur speaks at GRU Innovation Summit

Jenna Martin reports that five years ago, Dirk Brown – the CEO of a digital media technology company – started looking for a big problem in the marketplace to solve. The dilemma: viewers didn’t want to pay for content, nor did they like ads. That resulted in diminishing revenue streams for online publishers and advertisers. But if the content became tailored and more relevant to an individual, the problem could be solved.


Oct. 8, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Floquip plans $7 million expansion in Midway Industrial Park 

Staff reports that Liberty County's largest private employer, SNF Floquip, has announced plans for a $7 million expansion that will double its manufacturing facility in the Midway Industrial Park to 160,000 square feet. Floquip manufactures water-soluble polymer feed equipment used to optimize delivery of the SNF chemical polymers produced in Riceboro. 


Oct. 8, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Home price rise fourth-fastest in Atlanta

Michael Kanell reports that Atlanta area home prices tied for the fourth-largest rise during the past year, according to a report issued Tuesday.Metro Atlanta prices were up 9 percent in August, compared to the same month a year ago, despite a 0.1 percent decline during August of 2014, said CoreLogic, a California-based real estate data and analysis company.


Oct. 8, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia gets $1.78M in Shire Pharmaceuticals settlement

Staff reports that Shire Pharmaceuticals LLC will pay $56.5 million, including $1.78 million to Georgia Medicaid, to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act as a result of its marketing and promotion of several drugs. Shire, a Dublin, Ireland-based company that has its U.S. headquarters in Wayne, Pa., makes and sells pharmaceuticals, including Adderall XR, Vyvanse, and Daytrana, which are approved for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and Pentasa and Lialda, which are approved for the treatment of mild to moderate active ulcerative colitis.


Oct. 8, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Gwinnett SAT scores fall, but still top state, national averages

Keith Farner reports that SAT scores are down across the board in Gwinnett, Georgia and the nation, while participation in the college entrance exam is up, according to scores release on Tuesday by the College Board. In Gwinnett County Public Schools, SAT results were down eight points, while the state dropped seven points and scores across the country were down one point for the class of 2014. Yet the Gwinnett average was well above the Georgia avera of 1,445 and the national average of 1,497.


Oct. 8, 2014 Athens Banner Herald

Athens OKs Sunday voting

Kelsey Cochran reports that Athens-Clarke County is the latest county in Georgia to schedule Sunday voting. The Athens-Clarke County Board of Elections voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of opening the election headquarters downtown on Sunday, Oct. 26, from 1-5 p.m.


Oct. 8, 2014 Macon Telegraph 

Enthusiastic crowd flocks to hear Nunn, Perdue spar

Mike Stucka reports that U.S. Senate candidates Michelle Nunn and David Perdue seemed to feel right at home in Tuesday’s debate in Perry, but that didn’t stop them from dishing out insults and attacks.The debate at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter brought Perdue, a Republican, and Nunn, a Democrat, back to Houston County, a home turf of sorts. There was little evidence of support for Libertarian Amanda Swafford who, polls suggest, could force the race into a runoff election.


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Oct. 8, 2014 GPB

Non-Partisan Group Calls for Stepping Up Processing of Voter Registration Applications

Claire Simms reports that members and supporters of The New Georgia Project are calling on the state to process voter registration applications in the next seven days. The non-partisan organization formed last fall to register voters all over the state. But they say the state has not processed nearly half of the more than 80 thousand applications they've turned in.


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

Nathan Deal out raises Jason Carter in third quarter

Greg Bluestein reports that Democrat Jason Carter’s campaign for governor raised more than $3 million in the last three months, and he has about $2.8 million left in the tank for the final stretch in his race against Gov. Nathan Deal. The governor’s campaign reported raising $5.1 million this quarter but had less money on hand than the Democrat. He reported $2.6 million in his campaign coffer. 



Oct. 7, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Turner Broadcasting cutting about 1,475 jobs

Christopher Seward reports that Turner Broadcasting Systetms Inc. will cut its workforce by about 10 percent, or 1,475 workers, in the coming weeks through layoffs, buyouts and other measures, the company announced Monday. Atlanta-based Turner, which is owned by Time Warner, said 975 of the job reductions will be in metro Atlanta, which is taking the brunt of the cuts. In addition to TNT, Turner’s holdings include CNN, TBS, Cartoon Network, truTV, HLN and other networks and online sites.


Oct. 7, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Jet operating under Delta name bumped by plane at JFK

Carla Caldwell reports that a  jet operating under the Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) name was bumped from behind by a Royal Jordanian flight Sunday while waiting on the tarmac at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, CBS News is reporting. The incident involved a Royal Jordanian flight from Amman, Jordan, which had 159 passengers, and a Chautauqua Airlines flight (owned by Republic Airways and operating under the Delta name) that had 50 people on board, CBS News said.


Oct. 7, 2014 Georgia Health News

Grady appeals to public in battle over contract

Andy Miller reports that Charles Armbrust had severe headaches from what was eventually diagnosed as a brain aneurysm. He received surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. “Grady saved my life – that’s the bottom line,’’ said the former patient. A video of a tearful Armbrust expressing his gratitude for his medical care is posted on a Grady web page describing problems that the health system says it’s experiencing in reaching a new contract with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia. Armbrust’s insurer is Blue Cross. 


Charles Armbrust had severe headaches from what was eventually diagnosed as a brain aneurysm. He received surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

“Grady saved my life – that’s the bottom line,’’ said the former patient.

A video of a tearful Armbrust expressing his gratitude for his medical care is posted on a Grady web page describing problems that the health system says it’s experiencing in reaching a new contract with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia. Armbrust’s insurer is Blue Cross.

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Oct. 7, 2014

Deal: PolyTech Fibers to create 114 jobs in Murray County

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that PolyTech Fibers LLC, a Georgia-based polyester fiber manufacturer, will create 114 jobs and invest more than $12 million into its first manufacturing facility over the next three years in Murray County.  “PolyTech Fibers is an excellent addition to our state’s manufacturing sector, an industry that employs more than 360,000 Georgians,” said Deal.


Oct. 7, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Impact of split on Hewlett-Packard’s metro Atlanta operations unrevealed

Christopher Seward reports that just how Hewlett-Packard’s metro Atlanta operations will be affected by the decision to split its business was not immediately known hours after the company’s announcement Monday. The company said it was creating two publicly traded companies: HP Inc., which will comprise its personal computers and printing businesses; and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, which will comprise its enterprise technology infrastructure, software and services business.


Oct. 7, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Local hospitals make preparations for Ebola

Kristi Reed reports that a week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States, local hospital officials say they are ready should the virus make its way to Gwinnett. "Our associates are in a constant state of readiness and preparedness when it comes to treating and caring for patients impacted by infections diseases," Gwinnett Medical Center spokesperson Beth Hardy said.


Oct. 7, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Old Academy of Richmond County to serve Augusta's

Jenna Martin reports that after sitting mostly vacant for 20 years, the old Academy of Richmond County on Telfair Street will soon be revived as a learning institution for innovators. On Nov. 1, tech hot spot the will move from its Broad Street storefront into the structure at 540 Telfair St., which opened as a school in 1802 and has served as gallery space during the Westobou Festival.


Oct. 7, 2014 WABE

Campaign Targets Korean American Voters in Gwinnett

Martha Dalton report that Monday was the last day to register to vote before next month’s election. With some tight races in Georgia this year, voter registration groups have ramped up their efforts. One group tried to sign up thousands of Korean Americans in Gwinnett County. Volunteers stand outside a Korean supermarket in Duluth. They’re trying to catch the attention of potential voters. “Are you registered to vote?” They ask in Korean and English. “Are you 18 or older?” A lot of shoppers avoid eye contact and keep walking. But a few dozen do sign up. It’s all part of a campaign by a group called Asian Americans Advancing Justice.  Their goal is to register 10,000 Korean American voters in Gwinnett. 


Oct. 7, 2014 Saporta Report

If the U.S. Senate race and the governor’s race end up in run-offs, Georgia will be in nation’s spotlight 

Maria Saporta reports that group of well-respected political observers said Monday there was a strong possibility that both Georgia’s U.S. Senate race and governor’s race could end up in run-offs after the Nov. 4 election. And if that happens, it could become a totally confusing situation for voters. Now if Georgia’s U.S. Senate race ends up in a run-off and control of the Senate is on the bubble after the Nov. 4 election, Georgia could end up being the most closely watched state in the nation until the Jan. 6 run-off.


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

Four thoughts at the four-week mark until Election Day

Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein report that today oday marks four weeks until Election Day, and the final day to register to vote in order to participate. So we thought it was a good opportunity to step back and give four thoughts on the state of play for Georgia’s heated governor and U.S. Senate races. 1. The governor’s race is proving to be closer than the Senate race. A series of polls have shown the governor’s race within the margin of error, while Republican David Perdue has a small but steady edge in the Senate contest.



Oct. 6, 2014 GPB

Georgia Searches for Ways to Reduce Healthcare Provider Shortage

Gabrielle Ware reports that the Georgia House Study Committee on Medical Education is searching for ways to address a shortage of healthcare professionals. Georgia is expected to rank 50th in primary physician care per capita by the year 2020. Medical experts met at Mercer University Thursday to discuss how to keep medical students in Georgia after graduation and the lack of primary care physicians.




Oct. 6, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Starting Early

Susan Percy reports that child’s play is actually hard work – and important work at that. Playing with blocks? Fun, sure, but also good for building crucial math skills. Playing dress-up and make-believe? A key part of early literacy. “What we know about young children is that their work is to play,” says Patsy Ward, director of early learning at the Children’s School in Atlanta’s Midtown. 


Oct. 6, 2014

Alana Shepherd and Paula Wallace Named 2015 Georgia Trustees

Staff reports that the Georgia Historical Society announced that Alana Smith Shepherd and Paula S. Wallace will be the latest inductees to the Georgia Trustees at the annual Trustees Gala in February 2015. Alana Shepherd is co-founder of Shepherd Center, a world-renowned rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta, specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury and other neurological conditions. Paula Wallace is the president and co-founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), an accredited, nonprofit, degree-granting university established in 1978. 


Oct. 6, 2014 Georgia Health News

Narrow networks: Many upset as insurers exclude favorite providers

Andy Miller reports that months after she first read it, Vera Brown of Augusta is still upset about a letter she received from her health insurer.UnitedHealthcare wrote to notify her that it was dropping Dr. Sean Lynch, her physician, from its Medicare Advantage doctor network. “I’ve been with Dr. Lynch for years,’’ says Brown, 67, a registered nurse. “He treats me like his mother.”


Oct. 6, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

GeoVax developing two Ebola vaccines

Staff reports that GeoVax Labs Inc., an Atlanta company developing an HIV vaccine, has turned its attention to Ebola. The company announced a program to develop vaccines to prevent Ebola infection, and it plans to make them available by 2016. GeoVax (OTC QB: GOVX) will collaborate with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and its experts and Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) facilities for testing vaccine responses against lethal hemorrhagic viruses. It noted Ebola naturally infects animals including bats, creating a reservoir of Ebola that, like rabies, cannot be eradicated completely.


Oct. 6, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

4 Gwinnett auto dealerships included in Berkshire buyout

Christopher Seward reports that four Gwinnett auto dealerships soon will be under new ownership. Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the investment company founded by billionaire Warren Buffett, announced Thursday it will acquire Van Tuyl Group, the nation’s largest privately-owned auto dealership group.


Oct. 6, 2014

Gainesville, Braselton, Suwanee among communities tapped by state for PlanFirst designation

Ken Stanford reports that Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) says ten Georgia communities - including Gainesville, Braselton and Suwanee - have received statewide distinction in a new program recognizing excellence in community planning. Athens-Clarke County, Coweta County, Johnson County, Jones County and the cities of Madison, Vienna and Woodstock are also included. DCA says each have each achieved the state's first-ever "PlanFirst" designation, which acknowledges communities that have a proven track record of implementing their plan and a history of good plan development.


Oct. 6, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Global shipping company opens Gwinnett facility

Staff reports that on Friday, local officials, business leaders and industry experts celebrated the opening of the North American headquarters of United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) in Peachtree Corners. The global shipping company’s Gwinnett facility is expected to create 160 new jobs, representing a more than $10 million investment in the local community.


Oct. 6, 2014

Talking and driverless cars around the corner

Phil Bolton reports that auto industry is developing so quickly that he expects cars to talk with each other to avoid accidents in the near future, Don Laking, production manager at Mando Corp. in the Meriwether County Industrial Park, told members of the Korea Southeast U.S. Chamber of Commerce Inc.’s board of directors during a recent tour of company’s facilities.    


Oct. 6, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Indian tractor giant amasses more stock in AGCO

David Allison reports that one of India's most influential business women is continuing to boost her ownership in agricultural equipment maker AGCO Corp. In the past few days, India's Tractor And Farm Equipment Ltd., or TAFE -- the third-largest tractor maker in the world -- has plowed another $44 million into the stock in Duluth, Ga.-based AGCO (NYSE: AGCO), the eighth-largest public company headquartered in Georgia. 


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

What to watch as state fundraising figures roll in

Greg Bluestein reports that campaign disclosures for state candidates began trickling in this week, offering a glimpse of their bank accounts in the final weeks of the race. Here’s a few things we’re watching as the latest numbers roll in. (The federal disclosures, we should note, are expected next week.) Can Gov. Nathan Deal bounce back? Democrat Jason Carter stunned Georgia’s political world when he raised more than $2 million in the second quarter, outpacing the Republican incumbent’s fundraising machine, which had collected roughly $1.3 million. 



Oct. 3, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Athens ranks high in tourism, notes UGA professor

Kelsey Cochran reports that tourism generated more than 2,500 jobs and $50 million in payroll last year, according to figures from the U.S. Travel Association cited at the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau's annual meeting on Thursday. The tourism industry also contributed $7.11 million and $9.53 million in local and state tax revenue, respectively, noted the figures.


Oct. 3, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Economy: Picking up speed

Jeffrey Humphreys writes, in the first decade of the new millennium, Georgia lost nearly 200,000 – or four out of every 10 – manufacturing jobs. Since 2010, however, there have been some major project announcements in Georgia, bolstering prospects for job growth in aircraft (Gulfstream), automobile (Kia and its growing roster of suppliers), construction equipment (Caterpillar), flooring (Engineered Floors, Beaulieu International Group, Surya), chemical (Southern Ionics, Otsuka Chemical) and appliance manufacturing (Keurig Green Mountain).


Oct. 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Survey finds Atlanta business owners cautiously optimistic

David Markiewicz reports that small and midsize Atlanta business owners expect relatively modest gains in hiring and take a cautious view on their near-term sales and profits, according to a new survey from PNC.One in six businesses here plans to add new full-time workers in the next six months, according to the biannual survey done by the bank.


Oct. 3, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Tokyo-based company bringing 170 jobs to Gwinnett

Staff reports that a Tokyo-based manufacturer of personal use cleaning products has announced the opening of its U.S. manufacturing operations in the City of Peachtree Corners. “When internationally-based businesses such as Haso USA choose Georgia, it shows the strength of our No. 1 business climate’s reputation on a global scale,” Gov. Nathan Deal said in a released statement.


Oct. 3, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Gwinnett car dealerships part of Berkshire Hathaway purchase

Staff reports that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. bought the Van Tuyl Group, the nation’s largest privately-owned auto dealership group whose local holdings include Gwinnett Place Ford, Gwinnett Place Lincoln, Gwinnett Place Nissan and Mall of Georgia Ford. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Oct. 3, 2014 Covington News

General Mills Covington layoffs unknown

Bryan Fazio reports that no announcements have been made from General Mills concerning layoffs at the Covington plant. The Minneapolis based company, which employs about 43,000 full-time and part-time employees, announced it will cut approximately 700-800 jobs. In a Sept. 18 form 8-K filing, which is a form used to notify investors of an event important to shareholders or the SEC, General Mills announced several multi-year restructuring initiatives, including Project Catalyst.


Oct. 3, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Custom-made corrections buses roll off Blue Bird line in Fort Valley

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Linda S. Morris reports that a number of state and Middle Georgia officials gathered Thursday at the Blue Bird plant to help celebrate the company’s recent completion of five custom-made buses for the Georgia Department of Corrections. The “Georgians supporting Georgians” event included a partial tour of the enormous bus manufacturing plant on Ga. 49. It was attended by several elected officials including Gov. Nathan Deal, who made several stops Thursday in Houston and Peach counties.


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Oct. 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Weather Channel sheds 40 workers in creating division

Christopher Seward reports that the Weather Channel has reduced its staff by about 40 employees across several cities after consolidating some operations to create a product and technology division. The new division will be responsible for providing the company’s commercial and individual users with the latest weather-centered products and technologies, according to internal communications.


Oct. 3, 2014 Georgia Health News

Commentary: A state in poor health

Andy Miller reports that Georgia ranks near the bottom in various health measurements nationally. And the state also doesn’t fare well on its rates of poverty, high school graduation and unemployment. In a new Commentary, Dr. Harry Heiman of Morehouse School of Medicine says the state’s leaders must adopt new policies to improve these statistics – and improve the health of vulnerable Georgians. 


And the state also doesn’t fare well on its rates of poverty, high school graduation and unemployment.

In a new Commentary, Dr. Harry Heiman of Morehouse School of Medicine says the state’s leaders must adopt new policies to improve these statistics – and improve the health of vulnerable Georgians.

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And the state also doesn’t fare well on its rates of poverty, high school graduation and unemployment.

In a new Commentary, Dr. Harry Heiman of Morehouse School of Medicine says the state’s leaders must adopt new policies to improve these statistics – and improve the health of vulnerable Georgians.

- See more at:

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

Libertarian Andrew Hunt to pick up a Nathan Deal rival’s support

Greg Bluestein reports that Libertarian Andrew Hunt’s campaign for governor is set to receive the endorsement of former Dalton Mayor David Pennington, who tried to rally tea party supporters to his side in a failed GOP primary challenge against Gov. Nathan Deal in May. Pennington plans to announce his support for Hunt at a press conference scheduled Friday in a move that could bolster the third-party candidate’s plan to play spoiler in this year’s race for governor.



Oct. 2, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Lawsuits over alleged Plant Scherer contamination dismissed

Oby Brown reports that lawsuits filed on behalf of dozens of Monroe County residents over the alleged release of toxic contaminants have been dismissed. The suits were filed in DeKalb County last year by attorneys representing more than 100 current or former Monroe County residents.


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Oct. 2, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Neely Young: Ether and other myths

Neely Young writes Andrea Barrett’s Archangel is a short story in which a popular science writer in the 1920s tries to explain Einstein’s new theory of relativity. That theory contradicted the belief in what was called the “ether of space,” which caused many disruptions in the spiritural world.


Oct. 2, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Pope & Land pitches industrial project in Coweta County

J. Scott Trubey reports that development firm has submitted plans for a massive industrial campus near the Newnan-Coweta County Airport, about 40 miles southwest of downtown Atlanta. Pope & Land Enterprises, a long-time player in metro area mixed-use development, has proposed a project called Bridgeport Industrial, a more than 1,000-acre complex for manufacturing, research and design, warehousing and offices.


Oct. 2, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

$140M hotel and water park planned in Jasper

Staff reports that Mount Vernon, N.Y.-based developer Port Royal Holdings LLC plans a $140 million hotel and family entertainment development in Jasper, Ga. “Port Royal Resort” would include a 400-room hotel, 25,000-square-foot conference center and 75,000-square-foot water park and family entertainment center on the southbound side of APD Highway 515.


Oct. 2, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

$750,000 grant will be used to recruit airline to Columbus

Tony Martin reports that marking the first anniversary of his arrival as director of Columbus Airport, Richard Howell acknowledged the “nice present” he received Wednesday in the form of a $750,000 federal grant. That money, he said, will be used to recruit a new airline to the city, with a portion of the cash acting as a carrot of sorts. The airport will offer a “revenue guarantee” that will fund any shortfall a carrier experiences in its passenger loads as it gets up and running.


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Oct. 2, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Visitors expected to spend $4 million in October in Augusta

Jenna Martin reports that visitors to Augusta are expected to spend more than $4 million in October. The 800 people attending the Georgia After School & Youth Development from Oct. 6-10 is expected to bring in $922,000 in direct visitor spending. 


Oct. 2, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Notre Dame to name first school in a century after ex-Coke exec Keough

Christopher Seward reports that the University of Notre Dame announced Wednesday it is establishing its first college or school in nearly a century and naming it for Donald Keough, former president and chief operating officer of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. The Donald R. Keough School of Global Affairs will conduct research on international development, peace, human rights and governance. The school will offer a master’s degree in global affairs and support dual-degree programs and undergraduate programs.


Oct. 2, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Huge industrial development planned for Coweta

Staff reports that Pope & Land Enterprises Inc. units P&L Bridgport I LP and P&L Bridgport II LP want to develop 1,064 acres in Coweta County into a massive industrial complex that will include 7 million square feet of manufacturing space. It also would include 294,000 square feet for research and design, 120,000 square feet for training, 736,000 square feet for warehousing and 100,000 square feet for corporate offices, according to a filing with the state.


Oct. 2, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Political Notebook: Congressman calls for repeal of franking privilege

Kristi Reed reports that Rep. Rob Woodall said it is time Congress plays by the same rules as the people they represent. Woodall, along with Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) has introduced legislation to repeal the congressional franking privilege which allows members of Congress to send mail with a signature in lieu of postage and reimburse the Postal Service at a later date. 



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

Democrats buy a TV edge in Georgia races for U.S. Senate, governor

Daniel Malloy reports that Democrats seized the broadcast television ad spending advantage in Georgia’s U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races in mid-September, according to a new analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project. The raw numbers from Kantar Media/CMAG go like this: From Sept. 12-25, there have been 4,945 total ads in the Senate race. Of that sum, 2,780 favored Michelle Nunn and 2,165 favored David Perdue.



Oct. 1, 2014 GPB

Georgia Campuses Go Smoke Free October 1

Claire Simms reports that all 33 campuses under the University System of Georgia will be smoke free starting October 1, 2014. The smoking ban includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes and even e-cigarettes.


Oct. 1, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

40 Under 40

Christy Simo and Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy report that for the 18th year, Georgia Trend presents a group of 40 outstanding Georgians under the age of 40 - the state's best and brightest. The honorees represent business, government, politics, nonprofits, science, conservation and education. 


Oct. 1, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta Air Lines directed to leave Dallas Love Field

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Delta Air Lines has been told it must leave Dallas Love Field, after months of efforts to expand at the airport long dominated by Southwest Airlines. A letter from the director of aviation for Dallas said the city “has acknowledged that Delta cannot be accommodated at Dallas Love Field after the expiration of the current sublease with American Airlines.” Delta had been seeking to use gate space from United Airlines.


Oct. 1, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Asama adding Georgia jobs

Phil W. Hudson reports that Asama Coldwater Manufacturing Inc. will expand in Warrenton, Ga., creating 40 jobs at a new machining and painting facility.The new 80,000-square-foot facility will be adjacent to ACM’s 203,000-square-foot foundry. The new jobs will specialize in robotics, CNC Machining and precision inspection, as well as other manufacturing and machinery operations.


Oct. 1, 2014

Ireland the launch pad for Don Panoz's 'Fairy Tale'

Phil Bolton reports that success stories of Irish immigrants to the U.S. abound. But Don Panoz’s emigrant tale of how he quit the U.S. to realize his dream in Ireland is a one-of-a-kind “fairy tale,” as he calls it. In the decidedly Irish pub atmosphere of Ri Ra in midtown, Mr. Panoz recounted his tale at a Sept. 11 luncheon of Atlanta's Irish Chamber opposite a stern portrait of Flannery O’Connor, a Georgia writer with decidedly Irish roots, looked on.    


Oct. 1, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

​New Georgia law lures potential employer

Russell Grantham reports that a young Boston payments processor has become the first company to apply for a new type of bank charter in Georgia that the state hopes will bolster one of its key industries: the companies that run the financial pipelines behind all those zillions of credit card transactions. 


Oct. 1, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Global Payments buys FIS gaming business   

Staff reports that Global Payments Inc. will buy Fidelity National Information Services FIS’ gaming assets from Certegy Check Services Inc. for an undisclosed amount. The deal expected to close during the fourth quarter of Atlanta-based Global Payments’ 2015 fiscal year.


Oct. 1, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Corps of Engineers, state of Georgia to sign harbor deepening agreement Oct. 8

Mary Carr Mayle report that after more than a decade and a half, the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project will finally move into its construction phase next week when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state of Georgia sign the last document needed to proceed — the Project Partnership Agreement (PPA) that details how the project costs will be shared.


Oct. 1, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Aflac promotes Teresa White to president of U.S. operations

Tony Adams reports that Aflac, shuffling its U.S. leadership once again after key changes a year ago, said it has promoted Teresa White to president of Aflac U.S. She succeeds Ken Janke, who returns “full time” to his position as deputy chief financial officer. White, 47, rises from chief operating officer of the supplemental health and life insurance firm, which is headquartered on Wynnton Road in Columbus. It sells policies in the U.S. and Japan, the latter comprising about 80 percent of its business.


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

It’s Sandra time: Nathan Deal’s campaign features wife in new ad

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign is re-introducing voters to his wife Sandra in a major way.The campaign’s new ad, “Driven,” features images of the former schoolteacher reading to students and crisscrossing Georgia to visit classrooms.  Her takeaway line: “I’ve shared Nathan Deal’s heart for 48 years. And he cares about the education for Georgia’s children.”




Sept. 30, 2014 Georgia Health News

Marcus Foundation gives big gift to Grady

Andy Miller reports that Grady Health System has received $30 million from the Marcus Foundation to help expand its hospital’s emergency department and its stroke and neuroscience center. t’s the second huge gift to Grady from the foundation, created by Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus. Grady said Monday that $20 million of the donation would go toward building its new emergency center, while the remainder would help expand the stroke center.


Sept. 30, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Waycross/Ware County: Redirecting Progress

Kevin Hogancamp reports that while local sales tax referendums are just about as familiar in Georgia as hot summers, there was something extraordinary about a tax question posed to Ware County residents in May. The citizens in this Southeast Georgia county were asked to reconsider their decision six years earlier to allocate $1.5 million in Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds toward the construction of a speculative building with hopes of luring a yet-to-be-determined industry to town.


Sept. 30, 2014 UGA News 

UGA researchers experiment with new uses for nutritious peanut skins

Cal Powell reports that the United States grows about 3 million metric tons of peanuts per year and uses 60 percent of that amount to make nearly 1.2 billion pounds of peanut butter. Before the legumes are ground to a spreadable consistency, machines first shake off each peanut's thin, papery skin. The skins are then thrown away. A new study from the University of Georgia published in the journal LWT - Food Science and Technology has found a way to incorporate peanut skins—which are high in antioxidants and dietary fiber—back into peanut butter.


Sept. 30, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

HoneyBaked Ham hiring 10,000 seasonal workers, 1,000 locally

Christopher Seward reports that HoneyBaked Ham, which has more than 20 locations in metro Atlanta, said it will hire 10,000 addition seasonal employees for the holidays. Kristen Lenze, a spokeswoman for the company, said HoneyBaked Ham’s 24 metro Atlanta stores will be hiring nearly 1,000 workers, around 40 additional employees per store.


Sept. 30, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Metro Atlanta bank deposits jump 7 percent to $133 billion

David Allison reports that Metro Atlanta banks' deposits jumped more than 7 percent during the past year to nearly $133 billion.New figures released Sept. 29 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for the 12 months ending June 30, 2014, show metro banks' deposit growth was much stronger than in previous years. 


Sept. 30, 2014 Georgia.Gov 

Deal: Ivy Linen Services to create 150 jobs in Fulton County 

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Ivy Linen Services, a linen management and outsourcing firm for upscale Atlanta hotels, will open in Fulton County, creating new 150 jobs and investing up to $6 million into a new facility. “Ivy Linen Services’ decision to locate in Georgia illustrates how our top-ranked workforce, cutting-edge logistics infrastructure and other assets help companies compete and flourish,” Deal said. “I look forward to the positive impact Ivy Linen Services will have on the Fulton County community and the hospitality industry, and remain confident that Georgia’s No. 1 business climate will support this innovative company for many years to come.”


Sept. 30, 2014 Saporta Report

With port deepening assured, Savannah turns to next project: More warehouses as supply absorbed 

David Pendered reports that Georgia’s ambition for the Port of Savannah to smother its competitors is evident in the latest initiative – calling on the private sector to nearly double the amount of warehouse space near Savannah. This additional warehouse space is part of a double-barreled approach to grow cargo capacity. The other aspect is a planned network of inland ports that would rival in size the Louisiana Purchase. 


Sept. 30, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

NASCAR’s Bill Elliott sells land for Cumming project

Christopher Seward reports that a developer plans to build 300 upscale single-family homes in Cumming on 143 acres purchased from NASCAR champion Bill Elliott. SunBelt Atlanta/Cummings I LLC said the $120 million project, the second major project announced for the Forsyth County area in recent weeks, will be off Matt Highway, or State Route 369.


Sept. 30, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

7 Georgians on Forbes rich list, 2 new

Staff reports that Georgia landed seven, including two new names, on Forbes magazine’s annual list of the nation’s 400 wealthiest people. According to the Forbes 400, the richest Georgian is still Anne Cox Chambers, the 94-year-old daughter of James M. Cox, the media mogul who built Cox Enterprises Inc. She remains No. 29 on the list with an estimated net worth of $16.1 billion, up from $13.5 billion in 2013.


Sept. 30, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Ethics agency rejects complaint accusing Jason Carter of ‘illegal’ event

Greg Bluestein reports that the state ethics commission has dismissed a complaint filed by a former Republican lawmaker who claimed a star-studded fundraiser boosting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter is “grossly unethical and illegal.” The ethics agency said in its two-page rejection letter, which Carter’s campaign received Monday, that the event didn’t violate transparency rules because it was soliciting campaign donations for the state Democratic party and not directly benefiting Carter’s campaign.



Sept. 29, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Some profitable Georgia companies pay no federal taxes

Russell Grantham repors that one out of six large Georgia companies haven’t paid federal taxes for at least three years — even as some booked millions of dollars in profits, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis. The AJC looked at 2011-2013 tax disclosures of Georgia’s 86 largest publicly-traded firms with at least $100 million in annual sales. 


Sept. 29, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Sustainable Georgia: Rethinking transportation

Ben Young writes, as cities across Georgia court younger residents with amenities such as farm-to-table restaurants and coworking spaces, I expect we’ll begin to hear a lot about transportation over the next few months – especially alternative transportation – as it gets added to the mix of must-haves for 20- and 30-somethings.


Sept. 29, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Supporting electric vehicle use

Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy reports that Georgia recently vaulted to the top of the list in electric vehicle (EV) sales by state, thanks in part to a $5,000 tax credit granted to electric vehicle drivers. That’s great news for Georgia’s environment, but where are all those drivers charging their electric vehicles?


Sept. 29, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

DirecTV shareholders vote in favor of $48.5B sale to AT&T

Danielle Abril reports that Dallas-based AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is one step closer to acquiring DirecTV, after the satellite entertainment company’s shareholders approved the $48.5 billion sale. Results showed that 99 percent of votes cast, representing 77 percent of shares, voted in favor of the deal. DirecTV announced the news at a special shareholder meeting in New York, according to a statement released by the company.


Sept. 29, 2014 WABE

Film Makers Get Drone Approval: Are Georgia Lawmakers Ready for the Expanding Technology

Denis O'Hayer reports that on Thursday, September 25, 2014, Federal officials gave six movie and TV production companies permission to use drones in their film shoots, with some restrictions.  It's a major step toward wider use of drones in commercial operations. 


Sept. 29, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Trident Refit Facility at Kings Bay will hire 600 civilians over next two years

Jared Keever reports that Trident Refit Facility at Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base will hire more than 600 new civilian employees in the next two years, the commanding officer of the facility said Friday. Speaking to a group of community leaders, Navy Capt. Speaking to a group of community leaders, Navy Capt. Larry Hill said 250 of those will be new jobs brought to the area based on the facility’s projected needs. The Department of Defense has already approved budget figures that will allow him to grow the workforce from 1,400 employees to 1,650, he said.


Sept. 29, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Padded ‘cap’ for football helmets gaining in popularity

Christopher Seward reports that increasing number of football players from leagues to colleges are strapping heavily padded, locally developed “caps” to their helmets to prevent concussions and other serious injuries. Guardian Caps were developed by Alpharetta-based Guardian Innovations LLC and is now used by around 35,000 players around the country, including many at schools in metro Atlanta and Georgia, according to co-founder Lee Hanson.


Sept. 29, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

State eyes launch of ‘Georgia Film Academy’

Ellie Hensley reports that the University System of Georgia is considering the launch of a Georgia Film Academy to educate workers for the state’s booming movie business. The Georgia Film Academy would unite film-related programs at the University System’s schools with those of the Technical College System of Georgia. The University System has launched a study that will assess workforce needs, the schools’ existing programs and the number of students entering the programs.


Sept. 29, 2014 WABE

In Ga., a father looms large in key Senate race

Bill Barrow reports that it's nothing new for a Nunn to be on the ballot in Georgia, but a casual voter might be forgiven for not knowing which one is running this year. Michelle Nunn, a 47-year-old making her first bid for office, carries the Democratic banner for an open Senate seat. Still, at many campaign stops her father, former Sen. Sam Nunn, isn’t far behind, sleeves rolled up and hands extended as if he hadn’t retired in 1997 after four terms.


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

Elections board says ‘no’ to Sunday voting in Macon

Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein report that a Democratic push for Sunday voting in Macon went down in flames Thursday night after a contentious meeting. The Bibb County Board of Elections voted 3-2 to reject a Democrat push for Sunday early voting, with an independent siding with the board’s two Republicans. WMAZ reports that Rinda Wilson, a Republican board member, called it a “partisan thing” engineered by local Democrats.



Sept. 26, 2014  Georgia Times-Union

Storing surface water in aquifer returns as an issue in Georgia

Walter C. Jones reports that an official with the state's environmental agency told legislators Thursday that the need for alternative sources of drinking water in Savannah is one reason for exploring a controversial practice of storing surface water underground. The comments came during a hearing of the Senate committee studying whether to reinstitute the state’s 15-year moratorium against storing water in the Floridan aquifer, which supplies most of Southeast Georgia.


Sept. 26, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Fewer Problems, Higher Profits

Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy reports that from his positions as president and CEO of First Bank of Georgia in Augusta and chairman of the Georgia Bankers Association, Remer Brinson has a great view of the business changes banks across the state are making in response to the improving economy and new industry regulations.


Sept. 26, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia industries attack EPA water rule

Dave Williams reports that representatives of a wide range of Georgia businesses charged Thursday that proposed changes to the federal Clean Water Act would hurt the state’s economy by driving up costs. Spokesmen for farmers, manufacturers, builders and utilities said a new Environmental Protection Agency rule aimed at clarifying which types of waterways should be subject to federal permitting requirements would vastly expand the law’s reach, forcing delays in job-creating projects across the state.


Sept. 26, 2014 Savannah Morning News

State of the Port: Georgia Ports Authority positioned for growth

Julia Ritchey reports that after a year of record-breaking numbers and hard-fought battles for harbor deepening funding, Savannah’s port is positioned for significant growth and could eventually eclipse the ports of New York and New Jersey to lead the east coast, the executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority said Thursday. 


Sept. 26, 2014 WABE

Is Hartsfield-Jackson's 'Busiest Airport' Title At Risk?

Michell Eloy reports that is Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport at risk of losing its title as the world’s busiest airport? According to officials in Chicago, Atlanta’s decade-long reign – at least by one measure – may be coming to an end. Speaking at an aviation convention Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said O’Hare International Airport had reclaimed the title of world’s busiest airport for flight operations from Hartsfield-Jackson so far this year.


Sept. 26, 2014

Fortune names Coke director most powerful woman in Europe

Phil Bolton reports that Ana Botin, who recently was described by Fortune magazine as “the most powerful woman in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, was appointed to the board of directors of the Coca-Cola Co. last year in July.  Ms. Botin was appointed as chair of Banco Santander SA Sept. 10 almost immediately upon the death of the former chairman, her father Emilio Botin, from a fatal heart attack.


Sept. 26, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Report: Georgia No. 15 for immigrant population growth since 2010   

Carla Caldwell reports that a new report by Center for Immigration Studies finds that nearly one in six adults in the U.S. is foreign-born. The report, based on newly released Census Bureau data, also found that the nation's immigrant population (legal and illegal) grew by 1.4 million from July 2010 to July 2013. Georgia is No. 15 among states where the number of immigrants grew the most since 2010.


Sept. 26, 2014 Newnan Times Herald

Spancrete to open facility in Newnan

Clay Neely reports that Spancrete, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of precast concrete products and machinery, will soon be opening a new facility in Newnan. The facility aims to be fully operational by January 2015 and has already begun recruiting efforts for the 40 new jobs it will provide the community.


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

On TV and on the stump, Jason Carter hammers away on jobs

Daniel Malloy reports that Jason Carter’s latest television ad in the governor’s race mirrors his new focus on the campaign trail — shellacking Gov. Nathan Deal on recent economic data. Our AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon was with Carter when he met with laid off workers at the Silver Skillet in Atlanta. Redmon’s dispatch notes that Carter has moved from an education emphasis to a heaping dose of economics







Sept. 25, 2014 Brunswick News

Shrimpers report successful season

Michael Hall reports that the commercial shrimping season is shaping up to be a successful year when compared to what it was in 2013, even though the harvest by historical standards would only be considered average. Bruce Collins, manager at the City Market seafood store in Brunswick, remembers how bad last year's season was and has revelled in watching the trawlers bring in loads of the tasty crustacean.


Sept. 25, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Economy: Building up wood products

Jeffrey Humphries writes, the cyclical recovery of the nation’s housing market, supply constraints related to the mountain pine beetle in Canada and higher exports will cause production to surge in Georgia’s lumber and wood products industry. The upturn in new residential construction will exceed remodeling activity, but there will be a push from both homebuilding subsectors. 


Sept. 25, 2014 Moultrie Observer

Peanut season begins in South Georgia

Staff reports that growers are picking dryland peanuts, a crop that did not fare well this year with the prolonged dry weather. No numbers are in on production, but it’s not looking good for pounds produced or quality, said Colquitt County extension agent Jeremy Kichler. ‘As we get a littler more into the peanut crop, some of the dryland did fair. (It’s) not a bumper crop. I think we’re going to have some good peanuts. We just got started this week.’


Sept. 25, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coca-Cola inks deal with new Florida bottling company

Phil W. Hudson reports that the Coca-Cola Co. inked a territories deal with the newly formed independent Coca-Cola bottling company Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Central Florida for an undisclosed amount. The Atlanta-based beverage giant (NYSE: KO) said the transition of territories in Central Florida will include Tampa/St. Petersburg, Ft. Myers, Ft. Pierce, Lakeland and Sarasota.


Sept. 25, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Doraville GM plant now in hands of development team

J. Scott Trubey reports that General Motors plant in Doraville, at long last, is in the hands of a redevelopment team.Representatives of a joint venture that includes Atlanta-based The Integral Group and Macauley+Schmit, and Houston-based financial partner CAMS, said Wednesday the closing is finished. They had hoped to close the deal last week.


Sept. 25, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Camden County to see 10 percent increase in tax rate, most of which will fund development authority

Jared Keever reports that Camden County residents will see a 10 percent increase in their property tax rates when the tax bill come in the mail in about two weeks most of it fund the Joint Development Authority. County commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday night in favor of a so-called rollback increase that allows the county to raise the current millage rate of 11.70 to 11.94.


Sept. 25, 2014 Gainesville Times

Hall County likely to rescind vote on prison steel contract

Joshua Silavent reports that when the Hall County Board of Commissioners meets tonight, it will likely rescind a vote made two weeks ago awarding a contract to Scroggs & Grizzel Contracting of Gainesville to provide structural steel and other construction materials for the new correctional institute. Officials now appear intent on awarding the contract to SteelTech Industries of Gainesville.


Sept. 25, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Augusta startups making presence felt

Jenna Martin reports custom-built guitars. Text message-based photography. E-mail spam prevention. A personalized task scheduling app. All of these startup businesses originated locally, and all were pitched Wednesday during a “Demo Day” at downtown technology incubator, which held the event as a way to support and promote Augusta’s startup community as well as introduce entrepreneurs to potential investors. 


Sept. 25, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Regulators target Atlanta online shopping marketer Zhunrize

Christopher Seward reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Zhunrize Inc., an Atlanta-based business that sells online stores to members who then sell company-provided products on those sites, has been ordered to halt operations after the agency accused the company of a global pyramid scheme that allegedly has raised more than $100 million.


Sept. 25, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

NutraSweet cutting aspartame, shutting down Augusta plant

Staff reports that the NutraSweet Co. will shut down its aspartame and L-phenylalanine production plant in Augusta, Ga., by the end of 2014 as it phases out the product to focus on sales of other more profitable sweetener lines. The facility currently employs about 210 people, including contractors. The company will maintain production, sales and distribution capabilities for neotame and Twinsweet in Augusta.


Sept. 25, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Why self-driving cars could soon roam Fayette’s streets

Greg Bluestein reports that the golf carts roaming the streets of Fayette County could soon be joined by driverless cars. The Fayette County Commission has adopted a resolution allowing the county to be a pilot site for the vehicles, and chair Steve Brown said he’s talked to Google about using Fayette as a test site. Now he’s hoping for a meeting with Gov. Nathan Deal to hash out the plans.



Sept. 23, 2014 Georgia Health News

Enterovirus D68 outbreak documented in Georgia

Andy Miller reports that the rare enterovirus that has caused a surge in emergency room visits nationally has been confirmed in Georgia. The Georgia Department of Public Health said Monday that nine cases of enterovirus D68 have been identified in the state. 


Sept. 23, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive 

Dalton/Whitfield County: Positioning to maintain momentum

Scott Blusiewicz reports that fresh off an impressive year of economic development, the city of Dalton and Whitfield County are aiming to build on the positive momentum over the next several years. Famous as the self-proclaimed “Carpet Capital of the World,” the area, which is located off I-75 approximately 85 miles north of Atlanta and 25 miles south of Chattanooga, experienced a sobering economic downturn during the recession. 


Sept. 23, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Tourism revenue tops $1B in Gwinnett

Kristi Reed reports that the latest figures from the Georgia Department of Economic Developement show tourism is becoming a significant industry in Gwinnett County. In 2013, for the first time ever, tourism generated more than $1 billion in direct spending locally – a 4.8 percent increase from the previous year. 


Sept. 23, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coca-Cola, peers to cut calories by 2025

Staff reports that Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Co. joined its soft drink-making peers in a pledge to cut the calories in soft drinks by 20 percent by 2025, Reuters reported. The calorie-cut promise was made Tuesday in at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting.


Sept. 23, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

Big Time Products getting bigger

Doug Walker reports that Rome-based Big Time Products is growing again. The company is getting ready to start work on the addition of 5,000 square feet of office space to its corporate headquarters at 2 Wilbanks Road in Rome. CEO Harry Pierce said the addition will be constructed on the west side of the building and will include a new design space, a large new conference room and perhaps as many as 15 offices. The company is best known for its high performance work gloves.


Sept. 23, 2014 Independent Mail

Lake Foods expanding in Hart County

Staff reports that a food processing company that began operations in Hart County early this year is looking to expand its operations to 250 employees. The Hart County Industrial Building Authority announced late last week that Lake Foods would be expanding its operation, reaching its goal within three to five years.


Sept. 23, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Fort Valley-based Blue Bird to become public company after sale

Linda S. Morris reports that founded 87 years ago, Fort Valley-based Blue Bird Corp. is beginning a new chapter. Later this year, the school bus manufacturer founded in 1927 by Albert Luce will become a public company and its stock will be traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Blue Bird’s management team and 1,600 employees will remain, and the facility will remain in Fort Valley.


Read more here:

Read more here:

Sept. 23, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Commercial drones will mean big business for Georgia

Dave Williams reports that soon-to-be-launched commercial drones industry will create more than 2,000 jobs in Georgia during its first three years while generating an economic impact of $379 million, an aerospace leader predicted Tuesday. The Georgia Center for Innovation for Aerospace, an arm of the state Department of Economic Development, has been working since 2009 to lay the groundwork for commercializing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Steve Justice, the center’s director, told attendees at a briefing on drones held at the Atlanta office of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP.


Sept. 23, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

UGA, Iron Horse, finally find common ground

Lee Shearer reports that University of Georgia officials showed off plans Tuesday for the university’s new research farm in Greene County. Now renamed the Iron Horse Plant Sciences Farm, it honors the iconic 60-year-old sculpture surveying the 660-acre farm from atop on a knoll beside Georgia Highway 15 near the Oconee River.


Sept. 23, 2014 WABE

State's Congressional Delegation Weighs In On Airstrikes Against ISIS In Syria

Michell Eloy reports that members of Georgia’s congressional delegation Tuesday weighed in on the president’s decision to begin a U.S.-led airstrike campaign against Islamic militants in Syria. Hours after striking targets linked to the group calling itself the Islamic State, President Barack Obama said the U.S. “will do what is necessary” to fight the militants who’ve taken over parts of Iraq and Syria.


Sept. 23, 2014 GPB

Groups Push To Register Immigrant Voters in Georgia As Deadline Nears

Elly Yu reports that with the deadline to register less than two weeks away, Georgia voter registration groups are holding drives all across the state. Some groups are focusing on immigrant voters as the state’s demographics continue to shift. According to recent census data, nearly 1 in 10 Georgians are foreign-born. In 2013, the number of residents in Georgia born in other countries was 970,979, up from 795,419 in 2005. 



Sept. 23, 2014 WABE

Georgia Receives Mixed Results on National Education Report

Martha Dalton reports that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has released its latest Educational Leaders and Laggards report. The analysis grades each state in several academic areas. The report shows Georgia is leading in some and lagging in others. Developing teachers: B-. Fiscal responsibility: A. Academic Performance: D. Georgia received mixed results on the report. But Cheryl Oldham, the foundation’s Vice President of Education and Workforce, says the state has improved since 2007.


Sept. 23, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

South Georgia Harnesses the Sun

Ben Young reports that Atlanta-based Hannah Solar, a full-service design-build solar integrator, has invested big in south Georgia. Hannah is building two solar farms with nearly 7,000 panels generating 1 megawatt of power, or enough to power 400 homes, in Oglethorpe, as part of Georgia Power's Advanced Solar Initiative. 


Sept. 23, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

UPS Store expands 3D printing services

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that UPS Store announced it is adding 3D printing services to nearly 100 more locations, after a successful pilot program that started last year. UPS Store, a subsidiary of Sandy Springs-based UPS, started offering the 3D printing last year at six of its 4,300 locations.


Sept. 23, 2014 Saporta Report

Georgia makes strides in research, but is missing bioscience ‘focal point’ 

Maria Saporta reports that the 24 years since the founding of the Georgia Research Alliance, federally-funded research and development grants to Georgia’s universities has increased five-fold. The state’s total share of federal research funding increased to nearly 3 percent, ranking 12th and one of only five of the top 16 states that is increasing its market share. These are the findings in new report prepared by consultants for the Georgia Research Alliance that was presented to the board at its recent meeting. 


the 24 years since the founding of the Georgia Research Alliance, federally-funded research and development grants to Georgia’s universities has increased five-fold.

The state’s total share of federal research funding increased to nearly 3 percent, ranking 12th and one of only five of the top 16 states that is increasing its market share.

These are the findings in new report prepared by consultants for the Georgia Research Alliance that was presented to the board at its recent meeting.

- See more at:

the 24 years since the founding of the Georgia Research Alliance, federally-funded research and development grants to Georgia’s universities has increased five-fold.

The state’s total share of federal research funding increased to nearly 3 percent, ranking 12th and one of only five of the top 16 states that is increasing its market share.

These are the findings in new report prepared by consultants for the Georgia Research Alliance that was presented to the board at its recent meeting.

- See more at:

Sept. 23, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Intercontinental Exchange divests NYFIX and Metabit

Staff reports that Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (NYSE: ICE) sold NYSE Technologies units NYFIX and Metabit to ULLINK for an undisclosed amount. “This completes our goal of divesting certain non-exchange related assets from NYSE Technologies and positioning them with a more appropriate owner,” said Ben Jackson, president and chief operating officer of ICE Futures U.S. and president of NYSE Technologies.


Sept. 23, 2014 Albany Herald

Yard sale stretching 100 miles to come through Southwest Georgia

Jennifer Parks reports that those on the highway in the areas of Unadilla, Vienna, Cordele, Sylvester, Moultrie, Berlin and Quitman that happen to appreciate a yard sale have something to look forward to next month. This year’s 100 Mile Peanut Pickin’ Yard Sale, the fourth annual event, will be held on Oct. 11 from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Churches, clubs, individuals and organizations are being invited to participate by having a yard sale or a bake sale along the route that day as a way to help earn money to fund projects.


Sept. 23, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Blue Bird school bus maker to be sold

Christopher Seward reports that Blue Bird Corp., the Fort Valley-based school bus maker, will be acquired by the Houston investment firm Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. in a deal valued at nearly $500 million.


Sept. 23, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

The Home Depot piloting the ‘Do-It-Yourself’ automotive business

Maria Saporta reports, from homes to cars. The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) is testing eagerly a new business opportunity – the “Do-It-Yourself” automotive segment. Carol Tomé, chief financial officer for Atlanta-based Home Depot since 2001, disclosed Monday the company’s interest during a talk to the Rotary Club of Atlanta.


Sept. 23, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Gwinnett County Public Schools shares Broad Prize with Orange County Schools

Keith Farner reports that the Broad Prize has returned to Gwinnett. In a somewhat surprising announcement early Monday afternoon in New York City, Gwinnett County Public Schools was named a co-winner of a prestigious $1-million prise in urban education with Orange County Schools of Orlando (Fla.)


Sept. 23, 2014 Macon Telegraph 

Macon-Bibb to consider Sunday voting

Mark Vanderhoek reports that Macon-Bibb County will consider adding a Sunday voting day before November’s general election. The Operations and Finance Committee of the Macon-Bibb County Commission is scheduled to take up a proposal to pay for Sunday voting when it meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Macon-Bibb Elections Supervisor Jeanetta Watson was working up a cost estimate Monday to present to the committee.


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Sept. 23, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Fight for female voters intensifies in Georgia Senate campaign

Greg Bluestein reports that politics can be a contact sport, even when the candidates themselves don’t show. The supporters of Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn held dueling press conferences today on different themes near and dear to female voters in their campaigns for Georgia’s open Senate seat. For Nunn, it was an attempt to make sure the emerging gender gap, which we detailed here last week, widens. For Perdue, it was a chance to dint the notion that his female support is lacking.



Sept. 22, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia No. 1 producer of chicken

Phil W. Hudson reports that we didn’t invent the chicken, we just produce nearly 2.5 million metric tons of it annually. The Peach State is the top producer of chicken followed by Arkansas and Alabama, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. If Georgia were a country it would be the seventh largest in terms of broiler chicken production.


Sept. 22, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Digging in

Karen Kirkpatrick Kennedy reports that back in February 2012, the unemployment rate was 7 percent in Clarke County and 5.9 percent in Oconee County. While both of these Northeast Georgia counties could boast of lower unemployment than the state as a whole, neither did much bragging. Now economic development folks across the region can’t stop talking about their unemployment numbers.


Sept. 22, 2014 WABE 

Labor Bureau: Georgia's Unemployment Highest In The Nation

Michell Eloy reports that U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday gave Georgia some bad news in the form of its monthly employment reports for August. According the report, the state now has the highest unemployment rate in the nation. Georgia’s unemployment rate jumped to 8.1 percent, up from 7.7 percent in July. It’s nearly back to the 8.2 percent unemployment rate from one year ago.


Sept. 22, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

UPS expands to prepare for holiday shipping

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Christmas tree lots, Hickory Farms kiosks and the Pink Pig aren’t the only things set to pop up over the holidays. This year, shipping giant UPS is joining in by erecting seasonal package distribution facilities, part of an effort to expand operations and avoid the late holiday shipments of last year. UPS is investing $500 million to prepare for the holiday shipping season and expand its operations going forward, including a new mobile distribution facility in Roswell.


Sept. 22, 2014 Albany Herald

Yields diminishing for dryland peanuts

Clint Thompson reports that Georgia’s non-irrigated peanuts may have a low yield potential due to a prolonged summer drought, says University of Georgia Extension peanut agronomist Scott Monfort. “I think the non-irrigated acres for most of the growing area, the yield potential has definitely diminished the last three to four weeks. How much is hard to say,” Monfort said.


Sept. 22, 2014 Gainesville Times

NGMC takes steps to guard against Ebola

Jeff Gill reports that heightened concerns about the Ebola virus spreading beyond West Africa, Northeast Georgia Medical Center is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations about controlling the disease. “The likelihood of us seeing an Ebola patient at Northeast Georgia Medical Center is extremely low,” said Dr. Supriya Mannepalli, the hospital’s medical director of infectious disease. “Regardless, we have elevated our detailed preparation.”


Sept. 22, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Ironman pumps money into downtown Augusta businesses

Jenna Martin reports that revenue pumped into downtown businesses from next weekend's Ironman triathlon has already started to cycle in. Many of the more than 3,500 athletes registered for the Sept. 28 intermedix Ironman 70.3, which starts and ends downtown, have already visited Augusta at several points during the year to train for the challenging three-sport competition, according to downtown merchants.


Sept. 22, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Developers’ purchase of Doraville plant imminent

J. Scott Trubey reports that a deal is nearly complete for a development group to buy the shuttered General Motors plant in Doraville. Representatives for the purchaser, a joint venture known as IMS, jumped the gun Friday morning with an announcement that said the group had closed on the deal. But in a statement later Friday, GM officials said the closing isn’t final. The delay in the closing is not a sign of trouble for the property sale, an IMS representative said.


Sept. 22, 2014 Business Week

The Glock Family Feud: Founder's Ex-Wife and Kids Speak Out for the First Time

Paul M. Barrett reports that Helga Glock and her adult children are gathered in a private lounge of the elegant Hotel Palais Hansen Kempinski on a stately boulevard in central Vienna.  Her daughter, Brigitte, and two sons, Gaston Jr. and Robert, perch knee-to-knee on an adjacent couch. Speaking in German via a translator, and with a lawyer listening from a seat a few feet away, they’re discussing how their lives changed in 2011. That’s when Gaston Glock Sr. cut all ties with Helga and his sons and daughter.


Sept. 22, 2014 Georgia Health News

The sex hormone link in autism: New findings

Andy Miller reports that a central fact about autism is that it's much more prevalent among males than females. Scientists at Georgia Regents University in Augusta say a sex hormone that helps protect females from stroke may also reduce their risk of autism. The researchers have found that the expression of estrogen receptor beta is significantly decreased in autistic brains. The receptor also plays a role in locomotion as well as behavior, including anxiety, depression, memory and learning.


central fact about autism is that it’s much more prevalent among males than females.

Scientists of Georgia Regents University in Augusta say a sex hormone that helps protect females from stroke may also reduce their risk of autism.

- See more at:

Sept. 22, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Congressman honored as ‘Guardian of Small Business’

Kristi Reed reports that U.S. Rep. Woodall (GA-7) was recently honored by the National Federation of Independent Business for his voting record on behalf of small business owners.  


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

Jason Carter wants teachers pension to boost startup firms

Greg Bluestein reports that the corollary to Jason Carter’s economic plan in his bid for governor is his support for an oft-debated proposal that would give teacher pension funds more leeway to invest in Georgia’s startups. The Democrat argues in his economic pivot  that he wants teacher pensions to be able to pump funds into local startups “so long as we’re making sure that we can manage the risk in ways that make sense.” He sees it as a way to boost a state-backed effort to invest in venture capital firms that, as you’ll see in today’s AJC, has lagged.




Sept. 19, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Too much testing, state school superintendent candidates say

Lee Shearer reports that candidates in the race for Georgia’s state school superintendency agree on at least one thing: The state needs to roll back a new teacher-grading system mandated by the state legislature. Republican Richard Woods believes Georgia schools spend too much time on standardized testing to begin with. The new teacher assessment system is “very burdensome,” eating up too much teacher and administrator time, and puts too much weight on those test scores, he said. 


Sept. 19, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia View: The never-ending story

Bill Crane writes, elections are no longer really over when they are over. Thanks in part to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, formerly known as the State Ethics Commission, parts of an election can lie dormant or “under review” for years. 


Sept. 19, 2014 WABE

A Decade in the Making, Buckhead Atlanta Opens

Jim Burress reports that Buckhead Atlanta, a luxury development project started nearly a decade ago as "Streets of Buckhead," finally opened Thursday. As the elite and wealthy gathered for the celebration, a quartet played the Stevie Wonder song, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” It seemed fitting for a project some thought would never happen.


Sept. 19, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

56M “unique” payment cards compromised in data breach

Leon Stafford reports that Home Depot said Thursday that its recent cyber attack put an estimated “56 million unique” credit and debit cards at risk. The company said the security criminals used malware not previously seen in other attacks and that it had been present between April and September of this year.


Sept. 19, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Spanx seeking to patent a better-looking rear end

David Allison reports that Spanx Inc. wants to lock up some of the secrets to having a great looking rear end. The shape wear giant is seeking a U.S. patent for a "posterior-lifting garment" and the ways to make them, according to a patent application made public Thursday for the first time.


Sept. 19, 2014 Albany Herald, Georgia Health News

What Michelle Nunn, David Perdue have to say on rural care crisis

Andy Miller reports that rural health care – and what to do about it – has emerged as a political issue during this election year. The topic has gained traction in the wake of four rural Georgia hospitals closing in the past two years over financial difficulties. Many others have severe cash flow problems, and rural counties have an extreme shortage of primary care physicians.


Sept. 19, 2014 Rome News-Tribune, Calhoun Times

Governor: Thousands of jobs, billions in capital investment in Northwest Georgia

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal said Thursday during a visit to Calhoun thousands of jobs have been created in Northwest Georgia. Deal spoke at a Northwest Georgia Regional Commission Council meeting at the Gordon County Agricultural Service Center at 1282 Ga. Highway 53 SW in Calhoun. The commission is a multi-county organization consisting of 15 Northwest Georgia counties and 49 municipalities that administers the Workforce Investment Act along with other programs.


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

Perdue, veterans cite Obama's weak leadership

Walter C. Jones reports that Republican Senate nominee David Perdue criticized President Barack Obama for exhibiting weak leadership and not clearly defining a foreign policy Thursday, moments after hosting a roundtable discussion with senior military veterans.


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

Three candidates, three views on jobless rate hike

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal blamed “historically faulty” economic data and suggested politicking was behind this month’s unemployment rate hike. Democrat Jason Carter called it a sign of Deal’s failed leadership. And Libertarian Andrew Hunt used it to press a plan to eliminate more taxes. The jobless rate, which surprised many analysts by jumping to 8.1 percent in a report issued today, has sent a charge through the governor’s race. It also put Deal, a Republican who has put his economic agenda at the center of his campaign, on the defensive.




Sept. 18, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia’s unemployment rate rises to 8.1 percent

Henry Unger reports that Georgia’s unemployment rate jumped to 8.1 percent in August from a revised 7.7 percent in July — even as the number of jobs increased and layoffs declined, the state labor department said Thursday. The labor department and many economists had been expecting the jobless rate to fall after it had risen in recent months, partly due to seasonal layoffs in schools that began operating again in August. In fact, the rate fell from July to August during the previous two years.


Sept. 18, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Economic Development: September 2014

Christy Simo writes about economic development, including Beaulieu International’s new headquarters in Bartow County and Shaw Industries Group’s expanding Evergreen facility in Catoosa County.


Sept. 18, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Jacoby Development to seek approval for massive redevelopment of Norcross plant into a mixed-use campus

Staff reports that Jacoby Development Inc. has filed plans to rezone 107 acres of the OFS Brightwave Solutions plant in Norcross and turn the campus into a giant movie studio and mixed-use project. Founder Jim Jacoby, whose projects have included the conversion of the Hapeville Ford plant into a new headquarters for Porsche Cars North America and a steel mill into Midtown’s Atlantic Station, is tackling another challenging redevelopment in the OFS site.


Sept. 18, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Kroger looks to hire 2,000 people, 150 in Middle Georgia

Linda S. Morris reports that Kroger is looking for 2,000 permanent employees throughout its Atlanta division. About 150 of those new job opportunities are available in Middle Georgia. The grocery chain is hiring for a variety of positions, including front end, deli and store clerks, according to a news release.


Read more here:

Sept. 18, 2014 WABE

High-Tech Farming: How PodPonics Grows Lettuce Indoors

Stephannie Stokes reports that the scene most resembles an industrial truck yard. Airplanes are rushing overhead, taking off from Hartsfield-Jackson, just a few miles away. And the 11 acres of land in front of you are mostly empty, with exception of a few dozen shipping containers, stacked two levels high in the middle of the lot. It's hard to believe that here a farm is growing row after row of lettuce, harvesting 2,000 pounds daily. Until you step inside those containers.


Sept. 18, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Mother-daughter team from McCormick County invents barrette sold in Augusta-area Walgreens stores

Jenna Martin reports that the idea that spawned a new hair barrette now carried in Walgreens stores started with a Twitter rant. Rozalynn Goodwin, a native of McCormick County, S.C., took to the social media site to vent that the hair accessory would not stay clipped in her 4-year-old daughter’s thick hair. Fast-forward three years, and the Double-Face Double-Snap Barrette by GaBBY is sold in 39 Walgreens in Georgia and South Carolina, about half of them in the metro Augusta area.


Sept. 18, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Thursday is opening day for Buckhead Atlanta project

J. Scott Trubey reports that the massive $1 billion Buckhead Atlanta project will hold a grand opening ceremony on Thursday. The invitation-only event, which starts at 10:30 a.m., will feature the opening of the streets and first major wave of retailers within the development. 


Sept. 18, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Report: Home Depot’s PR problem dwarfs Target’s after data breach

Carla Caldwell reports that the Home Depot likely benefited from suffering its major data breach after Target. YouGov's BrandIndex, which gauges daily brand perception among consumers, shows that The Home Depot's (NYSE: HD) rating fell from about 20 a week before reports of its data breach in early September ,to a score of 5 two weeks after, reports CNBC.


Sept. 18, 2014 GPB

Georgia Election Board To Move Ahead With Voter Fraud Investigation 

Claire Simms reports that the State Election Board had decided to move forward with an investigation into potential voter registration fraud. The board voted unanimously at an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon to issue an updated subpoena in the case against The New Georgia Project, a non-profit voter registration group.


Sept. 18, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

State says 25 voter applications of 85,000 “confirmed” forgeries

Kristina Torres reports that investigators backed away Wednesday from allegations a Democratic-backed group may have organized voter registration fraud, saying they can confirm 25 applications of more than 85,000 submitted to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office. Chief investigator Chris Harvey, however, said the office needed more information from the New Georgia Project to confirm no more fraudulent forms existed — already, it has identified another 26 applications as suspicious.







Sept. 17, 2014 WABE

The Atlanta Braves Break Ground On SunTrust Park

Michell Wirth reports that the Atlanta Braves broke ground on a new $622 million dollar stadium and adjoining mixed-use development in Cobb County today.  The Braves also unveiled the name of the future ballpark.


Sept. 17, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Energy Shakeup

Stan Awtrey reports that with Plant Vogtle under construction and Georgia Power’s expanding alternative energy portfolio, Georgia’s energy landscape is set to change dramatically.


Sept. 17, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

TSYS to open 450-employee call center in McDonough, Ga.

Tony Adams reports that credit-card and payment processor TSYS is preparing to open a customer service center in the Henry County city of McDonough, Ga., just southeast of Atlanta, employing up to 450 people. The company, headquartered in Columbus, said Tuesday it has begun hiring for the positions, with expectations to have the 62,000-square-foot facility open by November.


Read more here:

Sept. 17, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

CNN ordered to rehire 100 workers

Staff reports that the National Labor Relations Board ordered Atlanta-based CNN to hire back 100 workers and pay another 200 due to a labor dispute stemming from 2003, Variety reported Tuesday. NLRB found “‘overwhelming’ evidence of anti-union animus in CNN’s failure to bargain with the union about the decision to terminate the subcontracts.


Sept. 17, 2014

Deal: Chaparral Boats to create 50 jobs in Berrien County        

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Chaparral Boats will expand its existing facility, creating 50 new jobs in Berrien County. “This expansion by Chaparral Boats underscores how well Georgia’s No. 1 business climate supports existing businesses,” said Deal. “With access to a widely recognized logistics infrastructure and a highly-trained workforce, Georgia offers the tools necessary to keep companies competitive in the United States and in the global marketplace.” 


Sept. 17, 2014 Rome News Tribune

Neaton Rome announces $8 million expansion, at least 50 new jobs

Staff reports that Neaton Rome announced its fifth major expansion of their facility at 1634 Technology Parkway in Rome this morning. The company makes a variety of parts for Nissan and Honda vehicles ranging from steering wheels to airbag modules, interior and exterior trim and more.


Sept. 17, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Neovia Logistics opens facility near port

Mary Carr Mayle reports that Neovia Logistics, a global, industrial logistics company based in Irving, Texas, cut the ribbon in Savannah Monday for a new container cross dock operation for Caterpillar Inc. as part of Caterpillar's global hub-and-spoke network.


Sept. 17, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Metro Atlanta GDP rose to $307.2 billion in 2013

Jacques Couret reports that Metro Atlanta generated the 10th largest metro gross domestic product in the United States in 2013, according to data Tuesday from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The Big Peach’s GDP hit $307.2 billion last year, up almost 4 percent from $296.3 billion in 2012.


Sept. 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Neil Bush denounces ‘shameful’ claims linking Michelle Nunn to ‘terrorists’

Jim Galloway reports that one day after Republican David Perdue pocketed the endorsement of George H.W. Bush in the race for U.S. Senate, a son of the 90-year-old former president denounced as “shameful” and “disrespectful” Perdue-endorsed claims that a Bush-established foundation once headed by Democratic rival Michelle Nunn “gave money to organizations linked to terrorists.”


Sept. 17, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Nathan Deal’s latest optimistic ad claims he ‘delivered on his promise’

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign released the latest in a string of optimistic ads trumpeting the Republican’s economic policy, saying he has “delivered on his promise” of making Georgia a more competitive state. At the same time, the campaign is reviving a separate airwave attack on Democrat Jason Carter’s education stance.



Sept. 16, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Service

New Obamacare provisions add nearly $50 million to state budget

Walter C. Jones reports that two, little-reported provisions of the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — are expected to add nearly $50 million to the tab for Georgia taxpayers by increasing access to Medicaid and limiting one tool the state has used to catch people who aren’t eligible. “I’m frustrated as a taxpayer,” said state House Appropriations Chairman Terry England, R-Auburn. But the biggest jolt to the budget from Obamacare comes from the federal government prohibiting state officials from checking the eligibility every six months.


Sept. 16, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia Top 100 Public Companies

Christy Simo reports that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that’s no different in the economic realm. With the rebound in full swing, Georgia’s top companies continue to see growth both in financial earnings and number of employees. All together, this year’s leading businesses saw an increase in revenue of more than $25 billion, a number that’s been steadily rising each year since the Great Recession first took its toll. 


Sept. 16, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hartsfield-Jackson to close one runway for 29 days

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport said it is closing one of its five runways for 29 days to replace pavement. The world’s busiest airport said its northernmost runway will close at 11 p.m. Monday and reopen Oct. 15. According to the airport, the runway closure is “not expected to significantly affect flight traffic” and travelers should not notice any change in the flight schedule due to the work.


Sept. 16, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Savannah airport numbers continue to climb

Mary Carr Mayle reports that as passenger numbers continue to climb at Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, the airport commission on Monday approved the establishment of a $5-per-day "Super Saver" parking lot adjacent to its economy lot. 


Sept. 16, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia top state in electric vehicle sales

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Georgia has accelerated to the top state for electric vehicles sales, powered by a hefty state tax incentive. One of out about every 60 new cars registered in the Peach State, in the first six months, was an all-electric vehicle, according to InsideEVs.


Sept. 16, 2014

Deal: All Georgia counties named Camera Ready

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal and the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), today announced that all 159 Georgia counties have been designated Camera Ready. The state’s Camera Ready Community Program is the first of its kind in the nation, making Georgia the leader in offering a community-based production assistance program.


Sept. 16, 2014

Atlanta prepares for President Obama’s arrival

Staff reports that the city of Atlanta is preparing for the arrival of President Barack Obama on Tuesday. Obama will address the Ebola crisis during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From the airport to the roads, be prepared for tight security and heavier than normal traffic across the metro area.


Sept. 16, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Paulding residents seek to add defendants in airport suit

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that residents challenging Paulding County’s plans to commercialize its airport are now targeting airport authority and building authority board members in an ongoing lawsuit. An attorney for the six residents has filed a motion in Paulding County Superior Court seeking to add as defendants in the lawsuit the board members of the Paulding County Airport Authority and the Paulding County Industrial Building Authority, as well as the executive director of both authorities.


Sept. 16, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coca-Cola brings back Surge

Staff reports that attention 1990s caffeine addicts -- The Coca-Cola Co. has brought back Surge 12 years after killing the brand. The move marks the first time the Atlanta-based beverage giant has brought back a defunct brand.


Sept. 16, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Technology company to open research and development center in Gwinnett

Staff reports that an information technology solutions developer for the airline and tourism industries is celebrating the opening of its U.S. research and development center in Gwinnett this week. TravelSky, which employs more than 4,000 people, develops software applications and services for the management of travel-related information.


Sept. 16, 2014 Georgia Health News

Another important change in state benefit plan

Andy Miller reports that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is dropping its Medicare Advantage plan for next year for retirees in the State Health Benefit Plan. That means UnitedHealthcare will be the sole provider of the Advantage plans for 2015. (Blue Cross is the sole provider for 2014.) The Georgia Department of Community Health is informing retiree health plan members about the Blue Cross move through email and letter this month, letting them know that the decision won’t affect the coverage in effect for the current year. 


That means UnitedHealthcare will be the sole provider of the Advantage plans for 2015. (Blue Cross is the sole provider for 2014.)

- See more at:

Sept. 16, 2014 WABE

George HW Bush Endorses David Perdue In US Senate Race

Michell Eloy reports that former President George H.W. Bush Monday announced he is endorsing Georgia Republican U.S. Senate Nominee David Perdue. In endorsing Perdue, Bush praised the former Dollar General and Reebok CEO’s business experience, saying it “gives him the kind of real-world experience that Washington, DC is sorely lacking today.”




Sept. 15, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

Area Development magazine names Ga. top state for business

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced that Area Development magazine has ranked Georgia as the No. 1 place in the nation in which to do business. Area Development is a leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation. “Georgia’s success has come from dead reckoning in areas that are crucial to business locators,” said Area Development Staff Editor Dale Buss. 


Sept. 15, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Staffing up

Randy Southerland reports that as the economy picks up, businesses are turning to staffing agencies to help fill permanent as well as temporary positions in fields as diverse as IT and manufacturing.


Sept. 15, 2014 Georgia Health News

Georgia health centers get funding to expand care

Andy Miller reports that federal agency has awarded $6.9 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 30 community health centers in Georgia that will help expand their primary care services. That funding was part of $295 million awarded nationally to 1,195 health centers by the Department of Human and Human Services (HHS). “Health centers are a key part of how the Affordable Care Act is working to improve access to care for millions of Americans,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell in announcing the grants Friday. 


Sept. 15, 2014 Newnan Times-Herald

$600,000 mixed use project proposed

W. Winston Skinner reports that $600,000-$700,000 redevelopment project in the downtown area is being considered. Hasco Craver IV, business development director for Newnan, talked about the project with the Newnan Downtown Development Authority board on Wednesday. The proposal is for first floor office space, a small retail component and upper floor residential use in an 8,000-square-foot building.


Sept. 15, 2014 Savannah Morning News

SEDA, governor honor Chemtrade's longevity

Mary Carr Mayle reports that last week, the Savannah Economic Development Authority honored aluminum sulfate manufacturer Chemtrade for its 70 years in Savannah with a plaque presented by Gov. Nathan Deal. Never heard of Chemtrade? How about the much-more-familiar Allied Chemical or General Chemical?


Sept. 15, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Metro Atlanta foreclosure notices still at low level

Michael Kanell reports that foreclosure notices in metro Atlanta were up slightly from August to September, but compared to previous years, the general trend continues to improve. According to a report released Monday morning by Kennesaw-based Equity Depot, the 13-county region saw 2,522 foreclosure notices in September, up from 2,350 last month.


Sept. 15, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

As Fort Mac-Tyler Perry negotiations proceed, questions refuse to go away

Maria Saporta reports that just as a local authority is negotiating the sale of 325 acres of Fort McPherson to movie mogul Tyler Perry, the news site has published an article declaring an end to the Atlanta actor/director’s reign. The article – “The reign of Tyler Perry is over: Finally, black thrillers come to the big screen”– could cause some to want to put their foot on the brakes of the rapidly-moving effort to try to seal the Perry deal by mid-October.


Sept. 15, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Summer home sales reach highest point in eight years

Jenna Martin reports that the number of home sales this summer rebounded to 2,360, just shy of the 2,599 homes that sold in the summer of 2006, according to data from the Greater Augusta Association of Realtors.   number of home sales this summer rebounded to 2,360, just shy of the 2,599 homes that sold in the summer of 2006, according to data from the Greater Augusta Association of Realtors.     


Sept. 15, 2014 GPB

Atlanta Hawks General Manager Danny Ferry To Take Indefinite Leave Of Absence

Shauna Stuart reports that Atlanta Hawks General Manager Danny Ferry will take an indefinite leave of absence, effective immediately. Hawks CEO Steve Koonin released a statement Friday afternoon, detailing Ferry’s departure. While Koonin says the Hawks’ recent issues relating to race are deeply troubling, at the heart of the dispute is a disagreement amongst owners.  


Sept. 15, 2014 Gainesville Times

Clemency ‘transparency’ may be hot issue at Capitol

Jeff Gill reports that the State Board of Pardons and Paroles’ silence on the July 10 clemency it granted a death-row inmate in a 1991 murder case has stirred strong emotions in North Georgia, with ripple effects possibly leading to the doors of the 2015 General Assembly. “I think that we, as a state, owe the family an explanation why that sentence didn’t get carried out,” said state Sen. Steve Gooch, R-Dahlonega, adding that the lack of a reason is “tragic.”


Sept. 15, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

Georgia school administrators warm to Jason Carter, cool to Nathan Deal during morning speeches

Walter C. Jones reports that the differences between Jason Carter and Nathan Deal on education came into clear contrast Friday morning when the two spoke separately to a conference of 500 public-school administrators. Deal, the Republican governor seeking a second term, received only polite applause when introduced and at his conclusion while Carter, his Democratic challenger, was repeatedly interrupted by clapping.


Sept. 15, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Why split-ticket voters could play key role in Georgia’s top races

Greg Bluestein reports that former Gov. Zell Miller is splitting his ballot between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican Gov. Nathan Deal. How many others follow his lead could help determine the outcome of the top of Georgia’s ticket. The AJC poll released Friday showed a solid bloc of voters plan to cross party lines in the heated governor’s race and the open Senate contest. Still more have yet to make up their minds, signaling a willingness to split their ballots.



Sept. 12, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta hiring to go up, 22 percent of execs say

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


Sept. 12, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Political Notes: September 2014

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


Sept. 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

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

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


Sept. 12, 2014 Saporta Report

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

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


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

Georgia's homegrown carmaker sees promising roads ahead

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


Sept. 12, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Income and wealth down for typical families

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


Sept. 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Software maker MemberSuite raising $4.5M to automate association management

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


Sept. 12, 2014 GPB

Elections and Education: A Love Story?

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


Sept. 12, 2014 WABE

Civil Rights Leaders Accuse Secretary Of State Of Voter Suppression

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


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

What Brian Kemp really said about Democratic voter registration efforts

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



Sept. 11, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

HIV/AIDS still increasing in Georgia

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


Sept. 11, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Growing Gwinnett’s Newest City

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


Sept. 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Turner in line for Fulton tax breaks even as layoffs planned

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


Sept. 11, 2014 Cherokee Tribune

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

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


Sept. 11, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

"eBay for shipping" Atlanta startup raises $2.5M

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


Sept. 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta taxicab drivers sue Uber ride-sharing service

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


Sept. 11, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

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

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


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

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

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


Sept. 11, 2014 WABE

Deal Backs Voter Fraud Investigation, Open To Sunday Voting Ban

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


Sept. 11, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Cannabis oil hearing held in Macon

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


Read more here:

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

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

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



Sept. 10, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta at epicenter of Apple's next industry disrupting quake

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


Sept. 10, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

2014 Higher Education Directory

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


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

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

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


Sept. 10, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

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

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


Sept. 10, 2014 Gainesville Times

Gainesville crowd debates Common Core's merits

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


Sept. 10, 2014 Savannah Morning News

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

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


Sept. 10, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Fracking jobs benefit Georgia, report says

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


Sept. 10, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Amazon, Twitter seeking options for new Atlanta office space

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


Sept. 10, 2014 Georgia Health News

Has rare enterovirus strain arrived in Georgia?

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


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

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

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

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




Sept. 9, 2014

Deal: August revenues up 3.5 percent

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


Sept. 9, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Gwinnett County: The community of tomorrow

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


Sept. 9, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Georgia schools still in funding squeeze

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


Sept. 9, 2014 WABE

First Lady, Education Secretary Visit Atlanta High School Students

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


Sept. 9, 2014 New York Times

Home Depot Data Breach Could Be the Largest Yet

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


Sept. 9, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia credit unions report healthy growth

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


Sept. 9, 2014 Saporta Report

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

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


Sept. 9, 2014 Georgia Health News

2 nonprofits share $3.3 million in 'navigator' grants

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


Sept. 9, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Georgia Ports latest to take ice bucket challenge

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


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

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

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




Sept. 8, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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

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


Sept. 8, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Share your vision for a better Metro Atlanta

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


Sept. 8, 2014 New York Times

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

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


Sept. 8, 2014 WABE

Toxic Vapor Discovered In Homes Near Fort Gillem

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


Sept. 8, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Intercontinental Exchange buying SuperDerivatives for $350M

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


Sept. 8, 2014 Albany Herald

Kansas company to buy Camilla ethanol plant

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


Sept. 8, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

For 173 years, Mott house withstood the test of time

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


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Sept. 8, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Athens company selected for startup competition

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


Sept. 8, 2014 GPB

Meet Andrew Hunt, Libertarian Candidate For Governor Of Georgia

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


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

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

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



Sept. 5, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

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

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


Sept. 5, 2014

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

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


Sept. 5, 2014 Moultrie Observer

For farmers, rain may be too little, too late

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


Sept. 5, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Firm acquires $13.5 million in financing for Tybe Island resort

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


Sept. 5, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Virgin Atlantic will fly from Atlanta to Manchester

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


Sept. 5, 2014 Albany Herald

PDA approves biomass plant at Albany Procter & Gamble campus

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


Sept. 5, 2014 GPB

Ebola Stops Mercer University Outreach

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


Sept. 5, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Opening date set for Alpharetta’s Avalon

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


Sept. 5, 2014 WABE

College Officials Rethink Approach to Remediation

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


Sept. 5, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

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

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


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

Whoops! Nathan Deal accidentally invites Jason Carter to fundraiser

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





Sept. 4, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta hotel rates, destination popularity rising

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


Sept. 4, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Proud to be number one

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


Sept. 4, 2014 WABE

Delta Exec Predicts Income of $4 Billion

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


Sept. 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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

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


Sept. 4, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

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

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


Sept. 4, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Norcross company celebrates $1.5 million expansion

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


Sept. 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Oglethorpe University, Gables to partner on apartments

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


Sept. 4, 2014 GPB

Green Zone Program Helps Vets On Campus

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


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

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

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



Sept. 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta notched record $19 billion exports last year

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


Sept. 3, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Back to the business of banking

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


Sept. 3, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Report: Home Depot suffers credit card breach

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


Sept. 3, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Tourism 'grand slam' fueling area economy

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


Sept. 3, 2014 WABE

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

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


Sept. 3, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Gwinnett BOC approves $21.9M health care contract

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


Sept. 3, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

AGCO cuts jobs in Kansas

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


Sept. 3, 2014 GPB

Emory Researchers Look To Stem Cells For Possible ALS Treatment 

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


Sept. 3, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

AGL Resources sells Tropical Shipping

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


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

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

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



Sept. 2, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

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

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


Sept. 2, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Q&A with Jere Morehead: Expecting excellence

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


Sept. 2, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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

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


Sept. 2, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta in Top 20 for tech industry job growth

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


Sept. 2, 2014 WABE

Local Economists Weigh In On Georgia's Job Market

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


Sept. 2, 2014

Report: Atlanta among leading cities for Seoul student spenders

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


Sept. 2, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Time Warner, Vice end talks regarding HLN venture

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


Sept. 2, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia moves to forefront of cyberwar

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


Sept. 2, 2014 Georgia Health News

Another insurance deadline only days away

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



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Sept. 2, 2014 GPB

Georgia Peanut Farmers Hope For More Rain Ahead Of Harvest

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


Sept. 2, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

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

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


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

Jimmy Carter: No peace without justice for Palestinians

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




Aug. 29, 2014 WABE

Nearly 35 Million Georgians Hitting the Road for Labor Day

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


Aug. 29, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Organizations: Crime Stoppers!

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


Aug. 29, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Shaw files ‘epic’ suit against flooring rival Carlisle

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


Aug. 29, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta company’s app among 25 most popular

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


Aug. 29, 2014 GPS

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

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


Aug. 29, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia banks gaining ground despite lower profits

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


Aug. 29, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Power: Plant Vogtle still on time, within budget

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


Aug. 29, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

Ride-share service Uber announces new Athens service

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


Aug. 29, 2014 Saporta Report

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

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


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

Democrats to press for stronger whistleblower protections next year

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


Aug. 29, 2014 Macon Telegraph - Editorial

Georgia is failing children in fundamental ways

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




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Aug. 28, 2014 Augusta Chronicle, Morris News Service

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

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


Aug. 28, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Economy: Growing Clout

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


Aug. 28, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Blue Cross breaks ground on $50 million complex

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


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Aug. 28, 2014

Governor's China trade missions: Do they matter?

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


Aug. 28, 2014 Savannah Morning News

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

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


Aug. 28, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WSB

Georgia colleges make magazine’s best, worst lists

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


Aug. 28, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

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

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


Aug. 28, 2014 GPB

Peake: Expand Medical Marijuana To More Georgians

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


Aug. 28, 2014 WABE

Carter Nabs Big Education Endorsement

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


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

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

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



Aug. 27, 2014 WABE

Georgia School Districts Weigh Different Operating Models

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


Aug. 27, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Jekyll Hosts Environmental Conference

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


Aug. 27, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Home values up, but increase slowing

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


Aug. 27, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

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

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


Aug. 27, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

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

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


Aug. 27, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

NTSB removes UPS from crash inquiry

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


Aug. 27, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Reservoir projects land state loans

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


Aug. 27, 2014 GPB

How Does Death Row Clemency Work In Georgia?

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


Aug. 27, 2014 WABE

Gov. Deal Defends Board Appointees

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


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

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

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



Aug. 26, 2014 WABE

Gov. Deal Unveils New Plan for High School Computer Classes

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


Aug. 26, 2014 Georgia Health News

Freestanding ERs target suburbs, rural panel told

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


Aug. 26, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia looks to boost electric vehicle charging infrastructure

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


Aug. 26, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Turner Broadcasting to offer voluntary buyouts, layoffs also expected

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


Aug. 26, 2014 Gainesville Times

Former president Jimmy Carter inspires Brenau students

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


Aug. 26, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Safety agency raps UPS, union for meddling in crash investigation

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


Aug. 26, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

PulteGroup acquiring Dominion Homes

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


Aug. 26, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Savannah rental market bullish

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


Aug. 26, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Augusta military conference returns to highlight technology at Fort Gordon

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


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

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

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



Aug. 25, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta hiring 1,800 flight attendants

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


Aug. 25, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Douglas - Coffee County: Sparking Development

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


Aug. 25, 2014 Atlanta Businesss Chronicle

Report: Turner employees told to expect layoffs

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


Aug. 25, 2014 Gainesville Times

Schools use fresh data to take new measure of student achievement

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


Aug. 25, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Women-owned firms growing quickest in Georgia

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


Aug. 25, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Lockheed Martin celebrates C-130 anniversary

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


Aug. 25, 2014 Newnan Times-Herald

After 43 years, Powers’ festival is no more

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


Aug. 25, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Community & Southern Holdings buys Alliance Bancshares

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


Aug. 25, 2014 GPB

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

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


Aug. 25, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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

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





Aug. 22, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Wage hikes? Not soon, argues Atlanta Fed

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


Aug. 22, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Economic Development - August 2014

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


Aug. 22, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

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

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


Aug. 22, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Jacoby strikes deal with Los Angeles production studio

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


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

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

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


Aug. 22, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Craig Menear replacing Frank Blake as Home Depot CEO

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


Aug. 22, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta home affordability rising, rent getting more expensive

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


Aug. 22, 2014 Savannah Morning News

GPA delivers big lift for cancer patients

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


Aug. 22, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia Lottery fights federal proposal to outlaw online gaming

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


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

DNC, unions discuss Georgia ground game plans

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





Aug. 21, 2014 WABE

Georgia Students Scoring Higher on College Entrance Exams

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


Aug. 21, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Augusta/Richmond County: Future meets past

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


Aug. 21, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta lands 94 companies on 2014 Inc. 5000

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


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

Regents asked to boost health premiums, deductibles

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


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

Columbia County approves $700,000 in incentives for development

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


Aug. 21, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Ebix moving headquarters to Johns Creek

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


Aug. 21, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

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

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


Aug. 21, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Nunn, Perdue to meet for first time at Macon forum

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


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Aug. 21, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Carter, Deal put different spin on unemployment numbers

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


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

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

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



Aug. 20, 2014

Deal announces $39.7 million in community development awards

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


Aug. 20, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Downtown development showcase

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


Aug. 20, 2014 WABE

PSC Approves Latest Round Of Vogtle Spending, Minus Cost Overruns

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


Aug. 20, 2014 Georgia Health News

Key activist group sees flaws in state health plan

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


Aug. 20, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Four Georgia hotels in running for national historic hotel awards

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


Aug. 20, 2014 Georgia Times-Union

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

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


Aug. 20, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Tech job growth fuels office space demand

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


Aug. 20, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

The Hanover Co. has agreement to buy Buckhead Village site

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


Aug. 20, 2014 Savannah Morning News

PERC coffee launching new line of cold brews

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


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

Jason Carter backs a new push for transportation sales tax

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




Aug. 19, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia has nation’s 2nd-highest unemployment rate

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


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

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Aug. 19, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Gulfstream moving toward supersonic jet

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


Aug. 19, 2014 WABE

Metro Atlanta's Real Estate Market Holds Steady

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


Aug. 19, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Uber tests moving service in Atlanta, Nashville

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


Aug. 19, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

Partridge Inn sale complete

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


Aug. 19, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Edens buys Buckhead Village center for $19 million

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


Aug. 19, 2014 Saporta Report

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

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


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

Jason Carter hammers Nathan Deal on rise in Georgia unemployment rate

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


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

Michelle Nunn losing the Super PAC war

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




Aug. 18, 2014 Georgia Health News

State health plan choices for 2015 draw praise

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


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

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Aug. 18, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Increasing Development

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


Aug. 18, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Silver Airways to discontinue Macon service

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


Aug. 18, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Byrd Cookie Co. expanding retail reach

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


Aug. 18, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

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

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


Aug. 18, 2014 GPB

For Food Start-Ups, Incubators Help Dish Up Success

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


Aug. 18, 2014 Rome News Tribune

Tucker Farms creating market for greenhouse greens

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


Aug. 18, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

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

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


Aug. 18, 2014 Newnan Times-Herald

Carter says education must be top priority

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


Aug. 18, 2014 WABE

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

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



Aug. 15, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Coke buys minority stake in Monster energy drinks

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


Aug. 15, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Power to build solar project at naval base

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


Aug. 15, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Unclear if Cisco cuts will affect Gwinnett

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


Aug. 15, 2014

Savannah entrepreneurs eye greater slice of cake icing market

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


Aug. 15, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Spirit Airlines adding Atlanta routes in October

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


Aug. 15, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

DraftServ Technologies expands, will add 50 jobs

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


Aug. 15, 2014 WABE

Deal Denies Link Between Tyler Perry Campaign Contribution And Land Deal

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


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

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

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


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

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

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



Aug. 14, 2014 WABE

Organization Raises Concerns About Possibility Of Atlantic Offshore Drilling

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


Aug. 14, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Business Casual: Summer games and fans

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


Aug. 14, 2014

Deal announces AmeriCorps grants for Georgia organizations

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


Aug. 14, 2014 Newnan Times-Herald

Sequoia Golf to be sold to ClubCorp for $265M

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


Aug. 14, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

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

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


Aug. 14, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Urban Institute: Georgia residents struggling with debt

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


Aug. 14, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

MedAssets acquires healthcare market analytics firm Sg2

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


Aug. 14, 2014 Macon Telegraph

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

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


Aug. 14, 2014 GPB

Georgia State University Researchers Working on Ebola Vaccine

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


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

Georgia lawmakers consider standard payouts for people wrongfully convicted

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


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

Georgia Republicans duck sequel to the fight over Common Core

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






Aug. 13, 2014 Albany Herald, Georgia Health News

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

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


Aug. 13, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Driving the Dream

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


Aug. 13, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Grady enters contract with IT company

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


Aug. 13, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Geico celebrates four decades in Macon

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


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Aug. 13, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Program to help underwater homeowners Thursday

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


Aug. 13, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Qcept Technologies raises $3M

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


Aug. 13, 2014 WABE 

WonderRoot Announces Move to Building 14 Times its Current Size

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


Aug. 13, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Public gets closer look at Port Wentworth transportation project

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


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

Republicans begin $2.5 million TV assault on Michelle Nunn

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




Aug. 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

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

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


Aug. 12, 2014 GPB

Charting The Future Of Atlanta's Airport

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


Aug. 12, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Coke sues ex-vending machine partner

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


Aug. 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia chamber calls for end to off-shore drilling ban

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


Aug. 12, 2014 Augusta Chronicle

County residents decry new tax increase at public hearings

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


Aug. 12, 2014 Gainesville Times

Hall County moving forward on health clinic for workers

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


Aug. 12, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia the No. 6 most expensive state to drive

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


Aug. 12, 2014 WABE

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

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


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

Michelle Nunn takes her first televised swings at David Perdue

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




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

Solutions needed for road funds in Georgia

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


Aug. 11, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Not your Ma's Bell

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


Aug. 11, 2014 Valdosta Daily Times

Trail 37: Gayla’s Grits and Georgia Olive Farms

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


Aug. 11, 2014 Macon Telegraph

Midstate rail backers watching Clayton County closely

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


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Aug. 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Expecting a pay raise? Southeast lags a bit.

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


Aug. 11, 2014 Savannah Morning News

Hints of activity at Savannah River Landing as economy improves

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


Aug. 11, 2014 Saporta Report

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

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


Aug. 11, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

Beer dispensing system lands Suwanee company in national spotlight

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


Aug. 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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

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


Aug. 11, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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

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



Aug. 8, 2014

Social projects add to Cokes $5 billion investment in Africa

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


Aug. 8, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

New strategies for job creation

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


Aug. 8, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

UPS makes AT&T’s Stankey director

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


Aug. 8, 2014 Gainesville Times

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

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


Aug. 8, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Valet-concierge service shuts down at Atlanta airport

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


Aug. 8, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

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

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


Aug. 8, 2014

Georgia National Guard Unveils Memorial Wall

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


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

Georgia Democrats hope to ratchet up ethics pressure on Nathan Deal

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



Aug. 7, 2014 Cartersville Daily Tribune

Surya breaks ground on Bartow facility

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


Aug. 7, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Neely Young: Capital Plans

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


Aug. 7, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hotel Indigo to open in Vinings in 2015

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


Aug. 7, 2014 Saporta Report

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

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


Aug. 7, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Global Payments signs up with BitPay

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


Aug. 7, 2014 The Economist

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

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


Aug. 7, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

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

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


Aug. 7, 2014 Savannah Morning News

SCAD amends plans to replace older dorms

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


Aug. 7, 2014 GPB

Minority Voters Still Face Hurdles In Georgia, South

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


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

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

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




Aug. 6, 2014

Deal: Film industry generates $5.1 billion in economic impact 

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


Aug. 6, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia’s getting greener

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


Aug. 6, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

New presidents named for, Kelley Blue Book

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


Aug. 6, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coca-Cola commits $5 billion to Africa initiatives

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


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

Time of change — and crisis — in the hospital world

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


Aug. 6, 2014 Savannah Morning News

More than 100 firefighters battle Jesup blaze

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


Aug. 6, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta warns health concerns may affect West Africa travel

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


Aug. 6, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Theatre sold to Agon Group, investors

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


Aug. 6, 2014 WABE

State Lawmakers Grapple With Georgia's Infrastructure Needs

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


Aug. 6, 2014 GPB

Dad Says New Medical Marijuana Bill Isn’t Enough

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


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

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

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




Aug. 5, 2014 GPB

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

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


Aug. 5, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Report: Georgia giant ranks low in alternative energy

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


Aug. 5, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Report: Georgia No. 9 for cheapest closing costs

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


Aug. 5, 2014 WABE 

Audit Shows Lucrative Airport Contract Lacks Enforceable Performance Standards

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


Aug. 5, 2014 Athens Banner-Herald

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

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


Aug. 5, 2014 Rockdale Citizen

Manufacturer to bring 150 jobs to Conyers

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


Aug. 5, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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

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


Aug. 5, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

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

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


Aug. 5, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

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

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


Aug. 5, 2014 Macon Telegraph

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

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


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

Butch Miller to run for state Senate majority leader

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



Aug. 4, 2014 WABE

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

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


Aug. 4, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Play ball!

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


Aug. 4, 2014 Rome News-Tribune

Economist says future looks good for Southern forest industry

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


Aug. 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

People Express name returns to Atlanta

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


Aug. 4, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Travelport increases stake in eNett

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


Aug. 4, 2014 Cherokee Tribune

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

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


Aug. 4, 2014 Moultrie Observer

Canadian company buying Beadles, Balfour lumber companies

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


Aug. 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta pulling 747 from Atlanta route

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


Aug. 4, 2014 Gwinnett Daily Post

BrandsMart USA closing Gwinnett location

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


Aug. 4, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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

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



Aug. 1, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

West Coast software firm plans 200 jobs in Buckhead

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


Aug. 1, 2014 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

Growing Green

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


Aug. 1, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Mohawk Industries Q2 profit soars

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


Aug. 1, 2014 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Aflac stocks take it on the chin a second day

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


Aug. 1, 2014 Savannah Morning News

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

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


Aug. 1, 2014 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Invesco profits up 36 percent in second quarter

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


Aug. 1, 2014 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Prosys to relocate warehouse and integration center to Forsyth County

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


Aug. 1, 2014 WABE

Emory University Hospital Prepares to Receive Ebola Patient

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


Aug. 1, 2014 GPB

ACLU calls Georgia Immigration Enforcement Overzealous

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


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

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

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






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