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July 3, 2015 Saporta Report

Florida stops funding film incentives, Georgia poised to benefit   

David Pendered reports that Florida is bracing for a slowdown in the film industry because the state Legislature voted in June to stop funding tax incentives. Georgia is winning some of the business, and the shift underscores Gov. Nathan Deal’s trade mission to Hollywood in May, and to England in January. Florida started its incentive program in 2010. The state allotted almost $300 million and it was supposed to last five years. Demand was so great that all funds were allocated by 2014.


July 3, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Political Notes: July 2015

Susan Percy reports that longtime Atlanta federal prosecutor Sally Quillian Yates was finally confirmed by the U. S. Senate as deputy attorney general – several months after she was first nominated by President Barack Obama. She had to wait out a lengthy debate over the confirmation of her boss, Attorney General Loretta Lynch.


July 3, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia misses federal mark on housing for the disabled

Misty Williams reports that the state’s behavioral health agency will remain under the oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice — at least for now — after failing to move enough Georgians with developmental disabilities out of state-run hospitals and into the community. About 500 people with developmental disabilities have moved from state institutions into homes in the community over the past five years, according to the state Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities. But that number still falls short of the 750 individuals the state was supposed to have moved out by the end of June.


July 3, 2015 Macon Telegraph

VA secretary calls Georgia clinic incident ‘unacceptable’

Wayne Crenshaw reports that Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald’s visit to Macon on Wednesday did not start well. Shortly before he was to hold a town hall meeting with veterans at Central Georgia Technical College, McDonald learned of a troubling story reported in The Military Times. Chris Dorsey, an Army veteran who served in Iraq, had walked into a VA clinic in Oakwood, Georgia, and asked for an appointment to treat his post-traumatic stress disorder.


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July 3, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Report: No. 3 "Best Small City For Law School Graduates" is Thomaston, Ga.

Carla Caldwell reports that Thomaston, Ga., is the No. 3 best place in the U.S. for new law school graduates looking to work in a small city, according to, a website that analyzes data on scholarships, schools and jobs. “While many newly-minted law school graduates move to big cities, there are actually a large number of small cities across the U.S. that prove to be great places to pursue a law career,” says GoodCall in introducing its poll.


July 3, 2015 WABE

Georgia Leads A Push To Help Ex-Prisoners Get Jobs

Susan Capelouto reports that the 1990s, states went on a prison-building binge. Today, millions who spent time in those prisons are back in society — and many are struggling to find work. Jay Neal is in charge of Georgia's new office of re-entry. Its purpose is clear: "Helping Georgia's returning citizens find training, assisting Georgia's returning citizens find jobs," he reads off the website. Returning citizens is America's new term for ex-prisoners, ex-cons and former inmates.


July 3, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Report provides insights into Athens-Clarke County's economic development process

Athens-Clarke County is making good progress in revamping its economic development processes and strategies, according to a county report finalized this week, a report that also provides interesting insights into how the county is pursuing opportunities to bring new businesses and industries into the community.


July 3, 2015 Gainesville Times

Local firm named to elite list

Frank Reddy reports that a Gainesville firm has been named to an elite list that ranks investment advisers around the country. Willis Investment Counsel is one of the U.S. investment firms to make the annual Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisors list. The London-based, international business publication “identifies the industry’s best advisers while accounting for the firms’ different approaches and varied specializations.”


July 3, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Isakson: Congress likely to take up Export-Import Bank

Dave Williams reports that Congress likely will consider reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank when lawmakers return to Washington after the Independence Day recess, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said Thursday. The bank, which serves as the federal government’s export credit agency, essentially went out of business when its charter expired June 30 without a congressional reauthorization vote. All it can do unless and until Congress acts is service existing loans.


July 3, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

A sudden, Sunday tug-of-war for evangelical voters in Georgia

Jim Galloway reports that suddenly, a Georgia church has become the site of a serious tug-of-war for evangelical voters between Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee. On Sunday evening, both candidates will appear at Rock Springs Church in Milner, Ga., pastored by the Rev. Benny Tate, one of Georgia’s higher-profile Southern Baptist preachers. Cruz was already on our radar as an attendee at the 5 p.m. event. The Huckabee campaign announced this afternoon that the former governor of Arkansas would make the event as well.



July 2, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Macon chamber announces $2.7 million campaign to attract businesses, jobs            

Linda S. Morris reports that the Macon chamber officially launched Wednesday morning the third campaign for its Macon Now initiative and named the chairman for the $2.7 million fundraising effort. Macon Now was launched by the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce in 2004 to focus on assisting new and existing businesses and enhancing the community’s image.


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July 2, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Neely Young: The sky is falling

Neely Young writes, Chicken Little’s warning, “The sky is falling,” comes from a folk tale about a chicken that believes the world is coming to an end. We all know someone who, like Chicken Little, has a hysterical belief that disaster is imminent. Remember the millennium scare? It was feared the entire world’s computer systems would fail to function as 1999 ended. Jan. 1, 2000, came and – nothing happened. But this year, the newest Chicken Little-type concern could be real. In the Midwest states the worst-ever outbreak of the bird flu has decimated the poultry population. In Iowa alone, more than 33.5 million chickens, turkeys and other birds have been hit with what is called avian influenza.


July 2, 2015 WABE

Atlanta’s New Stadium Projects Reveal Novel Ideas

Stephannie Stokes reports that in metro Atlanta, construction for two stadiums is currently underway, one for the Atlanta Braves in Cobb County and another for the Atlanta Falcons in Vine City. Both projects are expensive. While the Braves’ new home is set to cost nearly $500 million, the Falcons’ stadium currently has a price tag of about $1.4 billion. But it’s possible that neither will last more than a couple decades.


July 2, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta No. 2 metro for job growth in May

Brittney Laryea reports that Atlanta had the second-fastest rate of job growth of the 12 largest metros in the country in May, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday. Total nonfarm employment for region was up 3.2 percent to 2,583,200 -- an increase of 79,000 from a year ago. Atlanta trailed only Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, which saw a 3.4 percent jump.


July 2, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Unisys expects to move its operations to downtown Augusta by September

Jenna Martin reports that nearly six months after setting up its Augusta service desk to assist the Army, IT company Unisys has continued to ramp up employment and awaits moving into a larger facility along Augusta's Riverwalk. The Pennsylvania-based firm started local operations mid-January with about 60 employees staffing a help desk at a 15,000-square-foot temporary location on Claussen Road. Unisys’ workforce in Augusta has since grown to 220 employees, and the company has added two commercial clients in addition to serving the Army, said Christine Jimenez, Unisys lead service-delivery executive, who is overseeing the Augusta center.


July 2, 2015 Georgia CEO

Asbury Automotive Group, Inc. Acquires New Ford Store in Jacksonville

Staff reports that Asbury Automotive Group, Inc., one of the largest automotive retail and service companies in the U.S., is pleased to announce that it is expanding in the Florida market. Asbury has acquired Mike Davidson Ford which generates approximately $90 million in revenues annually.  The new dealership will be rebranded as Coggin Ford and brings the number of Asbury stores in Florida to 24, along with three Q auto locations.


July 2, 2015 Georgia Health News

Doctor's suit aims to topple state's CON rules

Andy Miller reports that two Cartersville ob/gyns filed suit Tuesday to overturn the state’s health care regulatory process, saying it restricts competition and is unconstitutional. Drs. Hugo Ribot and Malcolm Barfield are challenging the Georgia certificate-of-need program, a complex set of regulations governing the creation and expansion of medical facilities. 


July 2, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

In spite of forced de-annexation, Waycross will keep providing water and sewer on Pierce County side of river

Terry Dickson reports that on the same day a law went into effect booting Waycross out of Pierce County, the City Commission voted Wednesday night to continue providing water and sewer services to a big church and other customers there. The Rev. Andy Peacock and other members of 1,200-member New Life Assembly of God packed the commission meeting room for the vote and appealed to the city to continue providing the water and sewer   the church needs for its Sunday services that typically draw 700.


July 2, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Legendary Events to open ‘Flourish’ this fall

Amy Wenk reports that a new special event venue is under construction in Buckhead. Atlanta-based catering, floral and event planning company Legendary Events expects to open “Flourish” this fall. It’s currently renovating a former auto dealership at 3126 Piedmont Road. Flourish, which will accommodate up to 800 guests, would be an extension of an event facility that A Legendary Event opened three years ago.


July 2, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

MGM’s pitch for a $1B casino in metro Atlanta

Greg Bluestein and Scott Trubey report, casino and entertainment giant MGM Resorts International is pitching a $1 billion gambling complex for downtown Atlanta that backers say would funnel tens of millions of dollars into the HOPE scholarship. But first it would have to overcome stiff opposition in the General Assembly and the governor’s office. MGM’s proposal would create 3,500 jobs and offer Las Vegas-style casino gambling, as opposed to past ideas involving video slot machines, said state Rep. Ron Stephens, who chairs the House’s economic development committee. He called it the “Cadillac” of casino projects.



July 1, 2015 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Georgia leading challenge over water

Walter C. Jones reports that property owners are losing access to their land due to overreaching by federal agencies, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by Attorney General Sam Olens. Georgia is leading a multistate challenge to a newly adopted rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Olens says the rule greatly expands federal authority beyond what Congress intended in the Clean Water Act, but agency officials say the revised regulations merely clarify powers the federal government had all along.


July 1, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Agritourism - where farming meets fun

Kevin Hogencamp reports that Janice Hale, operator of Hillcrest Orchards in Ellijay, added tourism to her business portfolio in 1993, during a rough patch for North Georgia apple growers. "That was before agritourism was a word," says Hale. Georgia agritourism is now a $194-million industry and a boon to many family farms.


July 1, 2015 WABE

Health Care In Rural Ga. Faces Challenges Despite Subsidies Win

Staff reports that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a key provision of the health care law last week in its ruling that subsidies provided under “Obamacare” do not violate the U.S. Constitution. Thousands of Georgia residents, many in rural areas of the state, are now insured because of those subsidies, receiving health care coverage through exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act.


July 1, 2015 UGA

New study reveals mechanism regulating methane emissions in freshwater wetlands

Alan Flurry reports that though they occupy a small fraction of the Earth's surface, freshwater wetlands are the largest natural source of methane going into the atmosphere. New research from the University of Georgia identifies an unexpected process that acts as a key gatekeeper regulating methane emissions from these freshwater environments.


July 1, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Synovus and SunTrust among best in bank-reputation survey

Staff reports that two Georgia banks are among the best in American Banker and the Reputation Institute’s annual Survey of Bank Reputations. Columbus, Ga.-based Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) ranked fifth with a score of 80.70 on the customer survey. It did not participate in 2014. A score of 80 or higher is considered “excellent/top tier.”


July 1, 2015 AccessWDUN

Kipper Tools, local and state leaders celebrate successful military relationship

Marc Eggers reports that when the U.S. military needs an assortment of mechanical tools and supplies, put together in kit-form, for specialized jobs being done around the world by our armed forces, it has repeatedly turned to Kipper Tools in Gainesville to meet the need. “We have fielded in excess of 930,000 tool systems for our U.S. military, and we’re very proud of that,” Kipper Tool Vice-President of Sales Bill Deringer told the crowd of military, local and state government leaders sitting inside the cavernous 300,000-square-feet assembly and distribution plant on Murphy Boulevard Tuesday morning.


July 1, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Education, cooperation boost Georgia economy, officials say

Jenna Martin reports that Georgia Power Chief Executive Paul Bowers stressed how important education and engagement from local business leaders are for the success of state economic development when he spoke Tuesday at a Georgia Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Augusta. A featured speaker at the chamber’s Regional Power Lunch at the Legends Club, Bowers said a great higher education platform already exists in the Augusta area with Georgia Regents University, but he reminded the crowd of about 150 business community members to not forget about two-year technical programs such as those available at Augusta Technical College.


July 1, 2015 GeorgiaCEO

Atlanta's Dodge Communications Acquired by Myelin Communications

Staff reports htat Myelin Communications, a growing network of communications firms linked by experience in the healthcare and financial services sectors, announced today the acquisition of HY Connect, an advertising agency in Chicago, and Dodge Communications, a public relations and integrated communications firm in Atlanta. Rich Levy, CEO of Myelin, a Baird Capital portfolio company, will become chairman of both companies.


July 1, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia Trend wins two national editorial awards

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that Georgia Trend came home from the Alliance of Area Business Publishers annual conference this past weekend with two national awards for pieces published in 2014Editor-At-Large Susan Percy received a Silver Award for Best Body of Work. Take a look at her award-winning writing in these stories, “Unbroken Circle,” “Mayor of Georgia” and “Kinder, Gentler Agriculture.”


July 1, 2015 GPB

Appeals Court Sides With Georgia Ag Department Against Vidalia Farmer

Sarah McCammon reports that an appeals court judge is siding with the state’s agriculture commissioner in a case pitting him against a Vidalia onion grower from south Georgia. In a ruling Tuesday, Judge Michael Boggs says Georgia Ag Commissioner Gary Black has the authority to establish a packing date for the famously sweet onions. Farmer Delbert Bland challenged that rule last year, saying he should be able to harvest when he believes the onions are ready for market. State Ag officials say the pack date in late April is meant to protect the quality of the onions and the Vidalia brand. Growers who violate the rule could face steep fines. 


July 1, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Virgin Atlantic to cut 500 positions: Delta has 49 percent stake in carrier

Carla Caldwell reports that Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. plans to cut about 500 support and management jobs by the end of the year. Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) has a 49 percent stake in the carrier. The cuts will come through layoffs, by moving staff, and by not filling vacancies, the Crawley, England-based carrier said in a statement.


July 1, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Stone Mountain’s Confederate flags will still fly

Greg Bluestein reports that the array of Confederate flags flying at Stone Mountain, that most obvious of Georgia Confederate memorials, will continue to fly despite the threat of a boycott. Bill Stephens, who heads the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, said a few days ago that the park’s operators were weighing different options for the three Confederate States of America banners and the Rebel war emblem that fly alongside Old Glory. He reports today that the park’s position has hardened since then.



June 30, 2015 WABE

Ga. Tech Receives Grant To Beef Up Military's Cyberdefense

Tasnim Shamma reports that Georgia Tech researchers are trying to help the U.S. military secure its equipment ─ like naval warships and drones ─ from cyberattacks. Cyberattacks on military equipment are on a different level compared to traditional cyberattacks that steal your credit card and Social Security information. You can't stop to develop a strategy when there's a cyberattack on a moving vehicle, like you can with security breaches at companies. 


June 30, 2015 Cartersville Daily Tribune

White selected as Advocates’ incoming CEO/president

Staff reports, considering it a privilege to serve the nonprofit in various capacities since 2009, Karen White is looking forward to embarking on her next chapter with Advocates for Children. On Tuesday, the Cartersville-based organization announced she would succeed Patty Eagar, Advocates’ CEO and president, on Jan. 1, 2016. “I feel honored that the board of trustees, with support from Patty Eagar, identified me as someone in whom they would invest for the future of the organization,” White said.


June 30, 2015 Gainesville Times

Walters re-elected chairman of ports authority board

Shannon Casas reports that Gainesville businessman Jim Walters was re-elected Monday as chairman of the board of directors for the Georgia Ports Authority. He’s spent the past year in that role, after being appointed to the board by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2012. He previously served as vice chairman. “It’s been an exciting year,” he said. “I look forward to another big year.”


June 30, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Digital Intelligence Systems to add more than 100 jobs, expand at Avalon

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that McLean, Va.-based IT consulting service firm Digital Intelligence Systems LLC is expanding its Southeast headquarters in metro Atlanta, with plans to add more than 100 jobs over the next several months. DISYS began as an IT staffing company but has since diversified into the IT software business. The company, which serves the banking and financial services; health care; and high-tech industries, by developing software that accelerates productivity.


June 30, 2015 Savannah Morning News

May another record month for Ga. ports

Mary Carr Mayle reports that it's the same song, third verse, but one that Curtis Foltz never tires of singing. Georgia Ports Authority set records for both container volumes and total tonnage in May, with the highest tonnage ever recorded in a single month, the GPA executive director told his board Monday morning.


June 30, 2015 Athens Banner Herald

Athens among first communities in the state to get fireworks store under new law

Jim Thompson reports that Athens is among the first communities in Georgia getting a fireworks store, as retailers waste no time taking advantage of a new law, effective July 1, allowing the sale of firecrackers, bottle rockets and other large fireworks in the state. Only sparklers and other non-explosive fireworks can now be sold in Georgia. 


June 30, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal 

Georgia Supreme Court: Bonds for SunTrust Park are valid

Ricky Leroux reports that in an opinion released Monday morning, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the county's plan to issue up to $397 million in bonds to finance the construction of SunTrust Park is legal. The unanimous ruling allows for the bonds to be issued by the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority, a governmental organization that owns the Cobb Galleria Centre and the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.



June 30, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Monroe County deputies awarded national medal of valor

Liz Fabian reports that the sacrifices of two Monroe County deputies earned them national recognition this week. The National Sheriffs’ Association presented deputies Jeff Wilson and the late Michael Norris the Charles “Bud” Meeks Award for Deputy of the Year in honor of their “conspicuous bravery.” Medals were presented Sunday during the association’s summer conference in Baltimore, Maryland.


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June 30, 2015 Georgia Health News

Piedmont's next leader: A doctor in charge

Andy Miller reports that recently named CEO of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital says being a doctor will give him an advantage in his new role. “As a physician, seeing what the nuts and bolts of what our patients are going through brings an additional lens’’ to the position, said Dr. Patrick Battey, who will take over as CEO in January. Battey, 61, a vascular surgeon, has been co-CEO of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital with Les Donahue, who is retiring at the end of the year.


June 30, 2015 Saporta Report

Metro Atlanta ranked 4th in green buildings as certification rates dip nationwide: CBRE report   

David Pendered reports that Metro Atlanta ranks fourth nationally on a green building adoption index, according to a new report by CBRE that also revealed a slump in the national growth rate of certification for sustainability or energy efficiency in office buildings. The report arrives about two months after the city of Atlanta enacted its first mandatory sustainability program for commercial buildings. 


June 30, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta Botanical Garden bags $1 million grant from James M. Cox Foundation

Phil W. Hudson reports that the James M. Cox Foundation gave a $1 million grant to the Atlanta Botanical Garden to support the organization’s $50 million Nourish and Flourish Capital Campaign. Through the Nourish and Flourish campaign, a 15-acre urban forest will be transformed, a hillside garden will be created adjacent to Piedmont Park, an education complex will be established and a new Conservation and Training Center will be developed to support the protection of at-risk species.


June 30, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Jeb Bush calls Confederate symbols ‘racist,’ heads to Atlanta

Jim Galloway reports that Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush will be in the West Paces Ferry Road area this evening for a $2,700-a-head Atlanta fundraiser. Other than the Buckhead fundraiser, we’re told that Bush has no other meetings here. A quick glance at the host committee will show you the links with Mitt Romney’s 2012 organization.




June 29, 2015 Saporta Report

I-285/Ga. 400 reconstruction to improve mobility, is part of GRTA’s expansion plans 

David Pendered reports that priced at about $1 billion, the reconstruction of the interchange of I-285 and Ga. 400 is to cost almost a third of some estimates for building the $3.6 billion transit system envisioned for the Atlanta Streetcar and Atlanta BeltLine. Placing those two figures side-by-side illustrates the enormous sums of money contemplated to maintain, if not improve, mobility in and around the city of Atlanta.


June 29, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia’s historic theatres

Karen Kirkpatrick reports, back in the day, when women put on their best dresses, heels and — gasp — stockings, and men wore suits and ties for a night on the town, theaters with uniformed ushers and fancy names like Ritz and Princess, drew folks downtown to movies and maybe dinner at a nearby, locally owned restaurant before or after the picture show. Over the years, many of these theaters have fallen into disrepair as multiplexes sprang up in the ‘burbs. But, thanks in part to the Fox Theatre Institute, some of these small-town gems are being restored to their former glory.


June 29, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

First international flight marks opening of Cobb airport’s $800,000 customs facility

Hilary Butschek reports that the first flight coming into Cobb from an international destination landed at the newly-named Cobb County International Airport on Thursday afternoon. The first international flight at McCollum Field marks the opening of the airport’s $800,000 customs facility. Thomas Huff, of Marietta, flew his private plane onto the tarmac at about 1 p.m. Thursday, returning from a two-day trip to the Bahamas.


June 29, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Service

New alcohol regulations among state laws taking effect July 1

Georgians may pay more at the gas pump, but they'll have more safeguards against speed traps, and they'll be able to buy fireworks and finance solar panels for their roofs as most of this year's 301 new laws take effect Wednesday. July 1 is the start of the state’s fiscal year, and it becomes a convenient time for new laws to kick in. The state’s $22 billion budget begins that day, so it makes sense to use the same date for adding three judges to the Court of Appeals, for the transfer of the Office of Consumer Affairs from the governor to the attorney general’s office and for the launch of the Department of Community Supervision that takes over supervising offenders on parole or probation, including juveniles.


June 29, 2015 GPB

Georgia Equality Calls Supreme Court Ruling On Gay Marriage "National Victory"

Ellen Reinhardt reports that in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has declared that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States. In reaction: Jeff Graham, the Executive Director of Georgia Equality, issued this statement: "The United States Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the freedom to marry across the nation. It’s a national victory – and it means that soon, thousands of loving, committed couples throughout the United States – including our state of Georgia – will be able to say “I do” and at last be respected under the law.


June 29, 2015 Georgia Health News

High Court preserves all ACA subsidies

Andy Miller reports that the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling Thursday, upheld the Affordable Care Act subsidies that have helped millions of Americans, including 412,000 Georgians, obtain insurance coverage. The ruling was hailed as a huge victory for President Obama and for the ACA, although the constitutionality of the 2010 law was not in dispute in this case.


June 29, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Why Atlanta attracts so many corporate relocations

Charlotte Sears reports that another beautiful spring is winding down and summer is upon us, making our brief winter but a distant memory, which probably helps explain why, for the fifth year in a row, Atlanta is ranked No. 1 on Penske Truck Rental’s Top Moving Destinations List. The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the State of Georgia do a fantastic job enticing companies to relocate here, but surely one of our biggest advocates is Mother Nature herself. Four distinct seasons and delightfully minimal snowfall make ours a region many would love to call home.


June 29, 2015 WABE

​$26M Tyler Perry, Fort McPherson Sale Approved

Lisa Hagen reports that the Fort McPherson sale to Tyler Perry is going forward. A city-appointed board will buy the 488-acre former U.S. Army base for $26 million, sell most of it to Perry and turn what's left over into mixed use development. Perry will pay $30 million for 330 acres of the property to the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority. 


June 29, 2015 Macon Telegraph 

State to spend $23 million on dual bridges in Pulaski County

Conner Wood reports that the Georgia Department of Transportation plans to replace a pair of bridges in Pulaski County at a cost of $23 million. The money will come from $100 million in state bonds budgeted for the repair and replacement of 25 bridges across the state. The Pulaski County project is one of the most expensive on the list. The department’s State Transportation Board approved a list of 25 bridges for repair or replacement, and all are either structurally deficient or have weight limits for vehicles using them.


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June 29, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Area showing impressive growth

Mary Carr Mayle reports that, despite a hiccup in the U.S. economy in the first quarter of this year, there’s nothing but good news for the Savannah metro area, where a leading regional report indicates positive gains across a broad spectrum of indicators.


June 29, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Newt Gingrich predicts Georgia’s flag “may well be changed” again

Greg Bluestein reports that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said it may be time to consider even more changes to Georgia’s state flag. The ex-Georgia congressman told NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that he joined with Democrats in 2001 calling for the Confederate battle emblem to be shrunk, and that it “may well be changed now that people are into a new cycle.” But he also questioned the decision of major retailers to ban the sales of Confederate memorabilia, saying it’s akin to erasing history.




June 26, 2015 Georgia Health News

Smoking not extinguished in bars, restaurants

Andy Miller reports that ten years ago, the Georgia Legislature passed a law prohibiting smoking in bars and restaurants. It was promoted as a way to improve “the health, comfort and environment’’ of Georgians. The law, still in effect, has some exemptions, including allowing smoking in an establishment if it prohibits entry to anyone under age 18. Despite the 2005 law, a recent study from Georgia State University found some surprising results on smoking. Researchers found that the percentage of Georgia restaurants and bars allowing smoking nearly doubled in the first six years after the law’s passage.


June 26, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Organizations - The Nature Conservancy

Candice Dyer reports, like the eroding power of a waterfall on the rocks below, the recent decimation of the small darter fish in the mountains has a far-reaching effect on other species further up the food chain, such as the trout prized by anglers across the region, and ultimately the people casting those lines. To address this crisis, the Nature Conservancy is working with several partners, including farmers, state and local governments, and corporate giants such as Coca-Cola and United Parcel Service, to plant more trees, shift engineering practices to mimic natural hydrology, and find new ways to filter toxins from agriculture and drainage ditches before they enter the water.


June 26, 2015 Saporta Report

Progress at Atlanta city jail recognized by statewide award issued to top jailer

David Pendered reports that the statewide recognition Wednesday of Atlanta Detention Center Chief Patrick Labat reminds of how far the jail’s administration has come since the days when trials were delayed because the suspect was, “Lost in Jail.” “LOJ” was the shorthand provided when a case was called but the suspect did not enter the courtroom. The judge would wait a few moments, ask a bailiff to check on the location of the suspect, and summarily move to the next case when the bailiff said the suspect hadn’t been transferred from jail to the courthouse.


June 26, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coca-Cola invests in $500M fund to deliver low-cost Internet service

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that the Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is investing an undisclosed amount to a $500 million fund to develop a global communications system that would deliver affordable broadband services in the developing world. The funding will allow London-based OneWeb to further develop key technologies to enable affordable broadband in rural locations and underdeveloped locations.


June 26, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

High-end sportscar maker moving operations from Lawrenceville

Keith Farner reports that a high-end sportscar maker is leaving Lawrenceville to consolidate its U.S. operationsin Ann arbor, Mich. British automaker Group Lotus plc announced on Wednesday that the move to Ann Arobr coincides with the launch of the 2017 Evora 400 in North America. The company said in apress release that operations will be "co-located" with Lotus Engineering, Inc. in Ann Arbor. The press release said the move would "ensure that both divisions can grow their individual operations, while benefiting from improved efficiency through sharing a number of business functions."


June 26, 2015 WABE

GSU Develops New Institute To Turn Creativity Into Careers

Gabbie Watts reports that Gov. Nathan Deal recently announced a new initiative to train students in Georgia’s university system for working in the film industry. Georgia State University, however, has already begun preparing students for the changing world of media. It’s developing programs of study under its new Creative Media Industries Institute.


June 26, 2015 Savannah Morning News

​PortSide: Jasper Ocean Terminal plans progressing

Staff reports that last week, the bi-state board of directors for the Jasper Ocean Terminal met to review work completed during the 2015 fiscal year, which ends this month, and finalize a budget and work plan for fiscal 2016. The 2016 budget includes money for further studies of the site design, sediment, access corridor and channel improvements necessary for the largest container ships, as well as efforts to recruit a third party required for completion of an environmental impact study.


June 26, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia's Wayne Farms postpones $230M+ IPO

David Allison reports that Georgia poultry giant Wayne Farms Inc. today postponed a planned initial stock offering. The Oakwood, Ga.-based company had planned to raise between $234 million and $269 million in the IPO on the Nasdaq market. The stock sale would have given the company a market capitalization of $1 billion.


June 26, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Aflac grabs executive away from insurance competitor for CFO job

Tony Adams reports that Aflac has hired an insurance industry veteran away from one of its competitors for the job of chief financial officer. The Columbus-based supplemental insurer said Frederick J. Crawford, effective Tuesday, will also take the title of executive vice president and will work closely with Kriss Cloninger, Aflac’s longtime president and chief financial officer who has promised to stay as an active executive with the company until age 70, which is less than three years.


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June 26, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

From a ‘disaster’ to landmark victory, Georgia politicians react to Obamacare ruling

Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy report that the Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday that President Obama’s health care law can continue to provide tax subsidies to millions of Americans, including more than 400,000 in Georgia, provoked a sharp reactions from both sides of the state’s political spectrum. Sen. David Perdue, a Republican who campaigned on a vow to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, said the court’s opinion “doesn’t change the fact that Obamacare is a disaster and should be entirely repealed.”



June 25, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Poll: Georgia No. 5 state for business; Minnesota No. 1

Carla Caldwell reports that Minnesota has replaced Georgia at No. 1 in CNBC's annual poll ‘America’s Top States for Business.’ Atlanta Business Chronicle reported early Wednesday that Georgia has slipped to No. 5 in the rankings. The winner and rankings for all 50 states had not yet been released.


June 25, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Sustainable Georgia: Location and Affordability

Ben Young writes, I often write of air, water, transportation and education issues that hobble our attempts at sustainability, but occasionally I have to circle back to a problem that connects all four – affordability. Where will 21st century Georgians be able to afford to live? "It's complicated," said Mike Carnathan, Atlanta Regional Commission researcher, in a report discussed at a recent Atlanta Regional Housing Forum.


June 25, 2015 University of Georgia

UGA Foundation appoints new chair, executive leadership and trustees

Chip Stewart reports that the University of Georgia Foundation today announced changes in leadership and board positions voted upon at its recently concluded annual meeting in St. Simons. The board voted unanimously to elect Kenneth G. "Ken" Jackson as chairman effective July 1 for a term running through June 30, 2017. He succeeds John P. Spalding, whose term concludes at midnight June 30.


June 25, 2015 Saporta Report

National Trust: East Point’s Historic Civic Block is on endangered list   

Maria Saporta reports that East Point is gaining national fame – not necessarily for the right reasons. The National Trust for Historic Preservation announced late Tuesday that it has placed East Point’s Historic Civic Block on its 2015 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. The Historic Civic Block includes the East Point City Hall, the City Auditorium, the City Library and Victory Park – a contiguous block that has been the heart of East Point since the 1930s.


June 25, 2015

Deal: National Beef to create 200 jobs in Colquitt County        

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that National Beef Packing Company, LLC, a leading beef processing and packing company will expand its operations in Moultrie, creating approximately 200 jobs and roughly $9 million into the expansion. “The growth of food processing in Georgia outpaces the national average,” said Deal. “Our state offers the right resources, including a diverse cluster of companies and an interconnected logistics framework, necessary to help National Beef better reach its growing market in the region. I look forward to witnessing its continued success in Colquitt County.”


June 25, 2015 AccessWDUN

Wrigley to add 155 full-time employees

Marc Eggers reports that one-hundred-and-seventy-five “sweet” new jobs are coming to Georgia according to an announcement made Wednesday by Mars, Incorporated; 155 of them to Hall County, the remainder to Albany. Based in McLean, Virginia, and having over $33-billion in annual sales, Mars is the parent company of Wrigley, known worldwide for chewing gum, mints and other candy products.


June 25, 2015

GSU students face first on Morocco study abroad

Mourad Dakhli reports that when 17 of our Robinson College of Business international business and marketing students traveled on a two-week study abroad program to Morocco, some of them faced a few firsts: First time outside the country, first time on a plane, or first time in Africa. The program consisted of lectures offered by professors at ESCA, the Casablanca-based management institute which was the local partner institution for this program. In addition, Georgia State University students had the opportunity to visit Moroccan businesses including DARI, the small, but global couscous maker, and the Casablanca Stock Exchange. The students also had visits and presentations by global companies present in Morocco including Air Liquide, the French multinational, and U.S.-based GE and 3M.    


June 25, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

Dixie Outfitters in Southeast Georgia gets a surge in sales as big retailers drop rebel flags

Terry Dickson reports that states that use the Confederate battle flag on tags and state flags are considering removing them in the wake of the June 17 shooting deaths of nine worshipers at a Charleston S.C. church. At the same time, Amazon, Walmart, Sears and other retailers have said they will stop selling flags, which accused killer Dylann Roof displayed as he espoused his white supremacist views. Those announcements are boosting sales at Dixie Outfitters, a clothing manufacturer in Odum, Ga., that uses the battle flag in the company logo on T-shirts and other apparel.


June 25, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Savannah small business outlook remains rosy

Mary Carr Mayle reports that Bea Wray, executive director of The Creative Coast, summed up the sentiment at Wednesday's third annual State of Small Business forum with a baseball analogy. “The bases are loaded in Savannah,” she said. “We have the talent, we have university and technical college support, and we have an incredibly desirable location. “Let’s swing for the fences.” Indeed, all 10 speakers agreed the outlook for small business in Savannah is good and getting better. 


June 25, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coca-Cola will move 500 employees from Cobb back to Atlanta

Douglas Sams reports that the Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is moving another 500 employees from the Atlanta suburbs back to the city where the world’s largest beverage maker got its start almost 130 years ago. Coca-Cola plans to relocate the employees from 2500 Windy Ridge, a 16-story building in Cobb County’s Wildwood Office Park. The move will leave the building empty.


June 25, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Roy Barnes: It’s time for Southern states to stop celebrating the Confederacy

Jim Galloway reports that on the seventh day after nine black church-goers in Charleston were gunned down by a young Confederate enthusiast, Georgia’s sacrificial governor sat down in front of a microphone to talk about flags and the battle over Southern symbols that never seems to end.“We now know that he was just obsessed with all of these racial things, and the Confederate battle flag was the emblem that he immediately went to,” Roy Barnes said. “It’s made everybody just sick about it.”




June 24, 2015 WABE

Atlanta Architects Honored For Affordable Housing Project

Wendy Parker reports that it's been nearly a decade since Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, and parts of the city are still rebuilding. Residents struggling to find affordable housing have had an especially hard time, but an Atlanta architectural firm has helped resolve that issue while honoring the historic look of working-class homes in the Big Easy. 


June 24, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

One neighborhood at a time

Thomas G. Cousins writes, philanthropy in the United States holds one of the keys to life-changing possibilities. The constant challenge is how to make a measurable difference, I think, especially in terms of America’s poorest children. Lifting them out of the pain and degradation of poverty is rewarding and contributes enormously to the economic vitality of our nation. According to the Cato Institute, Americans contribute $335 billion or more to charitable organizations every year, and every year our federal, state and local governments combined spend $1 trillion combatting poverty.


June 24, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Construction monitors: Plant Vogtle delays result of new technology

Dave Williams reports that if the nuclear expansion at Plant Vogtle were still on its original schedule, workers would be loading fuel into the reactors by now and preparing to go into service, an expert witness testified Tuesday. But William Jacobs, an independent monitor keeping track of the $14.5 billion project, wouldn’t take the bait when lawyers for environmental and consumer-advocacy groups asked whether the 39-month delay plaguing Georgia Power Co. and its utility partners resulted from unreasonable or imprudent decisions.


June 24, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Ceremony marks the first of 50 aircraft to join Flexjet fleet

Mary Carr Mayle reports that a ceremony rarely open to the media, Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. on Tuesday delivered two G450 aircraft to Dallas-based fractional provider Flexjet LLC. With the newly minted luxury business jets in the background, Gulfstream president Larry Flynn presented Flexjet CEO Ken Ricci with a set of symbolic keys to the aircraft, the first two of 50 Gulfstream jets Flexjet plans to add to its fleet.


June 24, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Thinking outside the box: Local company is a nexus for the tech ecology in Athens

Staff reports, if there is an overarching "creative" question in America over the last half decade, it is how can we create intersections of creativity, technology, entrepreneurship and philanthropy? There are quiet companies in small towns across America that are trying to make that combination a reality, and many times have a resounding impact on the community they are in. Local company Black Box Technology is the Athenian version for such a vision. 


June 24, 2015 Georgia Health News

A tale of two (neighboring) hospitals

Andy Miller reports that Piedmont Fayette Hospital is expanding its emergency room capacity to keep up with Fayette County’s growth and rising patient numbers.The $40 million project will also add more beds to the hospital, located in Fayetteville, south of Atlanta.More than 61,000 patients were treated in the hospital ER last fiscal year, but Piedmont Fayette officials expect the number to exceed 67,000 this year.


June 24, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

Duluth native, UGA grad student wins $30,000 scholarship for business idea

Keith Farner reports that an avid outdoor enthusiast, Marshall Mosher recently received a five-figure boost for a business idea for those who love the outdoors like he does. The Dulut native and University of Georgia graudate student won a $30,000 scholar to participate in a 10-week graduate studies program at Singularity University, a Silicon Valley ideas incubator that seeks to solve the world's most pressing challengs using advanced technoogies. Mosher is the co-founder of Vestigo, an online service that connects people who are curious about the outdoors with experienced enthusiasts who can show them the way.


June 24, 2015 Saporta Report

DNR report cites climate change as, ‘central and defining wildlife conservation issue’   

David Pendered reports that the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is predicting in a draft report that climate change will eliminate habitat in Georgia for some species by 2050, even as man-made “sprawl zones” create tremendous challenges for other critters and plants. The DNR can hardly be described as reactionary or left-leaning. The department has a history of granting considerable leeway to property owners. That’s one reason the predictions contained in the draft report can be viewed as alarming. 


June 24, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Hot weather affects businesses in Augusta

Jenna Martin reports that when temperatures rise as high as they have in the past week and a half, the sales staff at Kia of Augusta sees a drop in business. The Gordon Highway dealership’s 250-vehicle inventory is located outside on an asphalt lot, making already hot temperatures hovering near or above the triple-digit mark practically unbearable for customers wanting to check out a vehicle.


June 24, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Bibb school technology upgrades ready for unveiling

David Schick reports that the future of learning is beginning to take hold across the Bibb County school district. In the school system’s 21st Century Lab on a recent day, a loud buzz drew a teacher’s shriek ­-- an exclamation of excitement. The enthusiasm stemmed from a new hands-on learning opportunity involving electricity and circuits that science educators will soon be passing on to their students.


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June 24, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Tech gets $2 million cyber security research grant

Staff reports that Georgia Tech’s College of Computing landed a $1.94 million grant for naval research to boost cyber defense. The grant supports two three-year projects, both designed to help improve national security. The first project, “BFT++: Attack Tolerance in Hard Real-Time Systems,” will develop the foundations, principles and techniques for building attack-tolerant cyber physical systems.


June 24, 2015

Deal to pursue redesign of Sons of Confederate Veterans tag

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal today said that he will seek a redesign of Georgia’s state-issued Sons of Confederate Veterans license plates, which is set on a Confederate battle flag background that covers the entire tag. “As I have said before, many interest groups in Georgia are able to express personal views on specialty plates, and I support the ability of these groups, including the Sons of Confederate Veterans, to express their views. I have tried to govern as a consensus builder, and I believe we can reach a resolution agreeable to all sides through a redesign of the plate.



June 24, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

A Ben Carson Q&A: On the Confederacy, Obamacare, civil unions and how politics isn’t brain surgery

Jim Galloway reports that on the day before he came to Atlanta, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon, published an op-ed piece in USA Today that focused on the reluctance of some in the GOP to express the motive of  the Charleston, S.C., shooter. So when we sat down on Tuesday, within the cool confines of the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, the topic hung like a slow curve: Insider: Are you happy with how Republicans have dealt with the Charleston issue since last week?



June 23, 2015 WABE

Local App Reduces Time Spent In Urgent Care Waiting Rooms

Tasnim Shamma reports that a local tech company, Clockwise.MD, is working on eliminating wait times at urgent care centers. It's rolling out a mobile app and real-time monitors at pediatric urgent care centers – including the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The app sends patients a text message when the doctor is actually ready to see them.


June 23, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Spotted in Georgia: Summer

Karen Kennedy reports, yes, it's hot. But there are places, even in Georgia, where you can find a bit of shade and enjoy the great outdoors.


June 23, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Black & Decker to put innovation center in Midtown

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Stanley Black & Decker Inc. (NYSE: SWK) is expected to put an innovation center in Midtown — the latest in a string of corporations putting R&D outposts in the area. Black and Decker is said to have picked Atlantic Station for what could be a 6,000-square-foot R&D center, sources said. The New Britain, Conn.-based tool and equipment maker had considered Austin, Texas for project, a source said.


June 23, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Local sons follow father's footsteps in career paths

Tim Rausch reports that sons following in their father's footsteps is a time-honored way to select a career. Although, it is not always the first choice. Havird Usry had his heart set on a career as a professional soccer player. When injuries canceled that dream, he started working for his father, Brad, at the Fat Man’s restaurant.


June 23, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Athens Umano wins $100K startup prize

Staff reports that Umano, the Athens-based fashion designer and clothier owned and operated by brothers Alex and Jonathan Torrey, was named the Pandoland Startup Competition winner and received at $100,000 prize during the organization’s conference this past week in Nashville, Tenn. Umano has been in business for four years, and specializes in offering T-shirts with a twist, that being what they term “pocket art” — a silkscreened design by a young artist, generally between the ages of 6 and 10, on the pocket of the ultra-soft tee. 


June 23, 2015 Albany Herald

Fuller Center for Housing carrying on dream of founder Millard Fuller

Brad McEwan reports that in just over a decade, the faith-driven Fuller Center for Housing has built, renovated or improved more than 400,000 homes around the world, and in the process rallied millions of volunteers to help the organization in its fight to eliminate poverty worldwide. Founded by Millard Fuller in 2005 after he left Habitat for Humanity, which he founded, the Fuller Center runs a variety of programs to help various covenant organizations throughout the United States provide housing to the needy.


June 23, 2015 Saporta Report

Removing the minimum flow of water along Chattahoochee will put river at risk   

Maria Saporta reports, there’s a saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That’s a message the Georgia Environmental Protection Division needs to hear. The Georgia EPD has proposed removing all minimum flow requirements along the Chattahoochee River at Peachtree Creek in Atlanta – eliminating a standard that has been in place for nearly 40 years. Environmentalists, water stewards and park advocates believe that those standards have been essential to protecting the health of the river – a fragile waterway that has to dilute water discharged from sewage treatment plants in Fulton, Cobb, Douglas and Gwinnett counties.


June 23, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

The most unappreciated factor behind Atlanta's economic growth

David Allison reports, ask anyone what has driven Atlanta's economic growth in recent decades and they're likely to answer the airport, great quality of life, or business-friendly environment. Others might say a strong workforce, the confluence of interstate highways, or great universities. While these are all important, there's one other key factor that almost nobody thinks about. And that's air conditioning.


June 23, 2015 GPB

Georgia Bans Gay Marriage, But Not Gay Adoption

Rickey Bevington reports that Georgia's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment bans same sex marriage as well as divorce. But there's no Georgia law against same sex adoption. Atlanta Attorney Merritt McAlister doesn't think that will change once the U.S. Supreme Court rules on whether states are required to grant same sex marriage licenses. "There's no law that says same sex couples or gay and lesbian couples cannot adopt in Georgia,"; said McAlister. 


June 23, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Leadership-tied PAC buys TV time praising Rick Allen, Buddy Carter on transportation

Daniel Malloy reports that a U.S. House leadership-tied advocacy group is airing television ads thanking Georgia freshman Republicans Rick Allen and Buddy Carter for their recent votes to extend the highway trust fund, as a tougher transportation vote looms. The American Action Network is spending $60,000 on broadcast and cable in Augusta for Allen and $110,000 on broadcast and cable in Savannah for Carter. Because the markets are relatively cheap, AAN says the ads each will air more than 400 times.



June 22, 2015 Saporta Report

Atlanta poised to adopt $3.65 billion transit plan for BeltLine, Streetcar   

David Pendered reports that Atlanta’s $3.65 billion proposal for transit along the Atlanta BeltLine and Atlanta Streetcar could soon be adopted into the city’s comprehensive transportation plan, following a public hearing scheduled for Tuesday at Atlanta City Hall. The Atlanta City Council’s Community Development Committee has scheduled a public hearing at its Tuesday meeting, which is to begin at 12:30 p.m. 


June 22, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

The taste of success

Ellen Berman reports that Georgia’s food processing industry is simmering with opportunity. Spurred by proximity to abundant locally grown products, transportation systems, affordable sites, a talented workforce and a smorgasbord of economic concessions, Georgia is a ripe market for food and beverage companies. So it’s no surprise that food processing is the state’s leading manufacturing employment sector.


June 22, 2015 WABE

Testing Company To Compensate Georgia For Computer Glitch

Martha Dalton reports that Georgia is taking a company to task over a computer glitch that slowed down its brand-new testing system this spring. CTB/McGraw-Hill will give the state $4.5 million in services to compensate for the problems.


June 22, 2015 New York Times 

Teresa White of Aflac: Perseverance and Pachyderms, in the Tallest Building in Town

Patricia R. Olsen reports, Teresa White is the president for United States operations of the insurance company Aflac. We’re in Columbus, Ga., a fairly rural location about an hour and a half south of Atlanta. With 18 floors, our building is the tallest in the area. We don’t have a 13th floor; the builders must have thought it was bad luck. We’re also the largest employer around.


June 22, 2015 Athens Banner Herald

UGA coal boiler coming down, and Athens' air will be cleaner

Lee Shearer reports that workers this week are removing the last vestiges of coal burning on the University of Georgia campus as workers dismantle and haul away tons of steel at the University of Georgia’s steam plant, where gas, oil and electric boilers generate steam to feed 7 miles of pipe buried beneath the UGA campus. The steam heats and also cools about 100 UGA buildings, as well as feed such laboratory equipment as sterilizers.


June 22, 2015 Albany Herald

Impact of potential health care subsidy removal under King v. Burwell shown in recent figures

Jennifer Parks reports that recent figures from Families USA show that the Second Congressional District of Georgia, which includes Albany, stands to have 18,000 people impacted should the U.S. Supreme Court rule that federal Affordable Care Act subsidies are illegal in states where the federal government is running insurance exchanges.


June 22, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Ball State manufacturing report gives Georgia a D+

Staff reports that the Peach State’s manufacturing sector continues to languish, according to the 2015 Manufacturing and Logistics Report prepared by Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research. The annual report gave Georgia a D+ grade for 2015.


June 22, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

This month in Georgia history — June edition

Karen Kirkpatrick reports, we at Georgia Trend celebrate 30 years of covering business, politics and economic development across this great state, we’re taking a look back at some of the events that brought us to where we are today. This June has already been hotter than a July firecracker. So, pour yourself a glass of sweet tea, and take a look at some of the cool things that have happened in our state in Junes past.


June 22, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta seeking $29.3 million grant to extend streetcar to BeltLine

Maria Saporta reports that Atlanta is applying for a $29.3 million federal grant to extend Atlanta Streetcar tracks on Edgewood Avenue to the Irwin Street entrance of the Atlanta BeltLine. Less than a mile separates the areas. The TIGER 7 grant application outlines a project that would add 1.8 miles of track (round trip) to the existing Atlanta Streetcar at a total cost of $65.4 million.


June 22, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A Southern Baptist leader on Confederate banner: ‘White Christians ought to think about what that flag says’

Jim Galloway reports that this column by Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, originally appeared in the Washington Post. It is reprinted here in full with his permission: This week the nation reels over the murder of praying Christians in an historic African American church in Charleston, S.C. At the same time, one of the issues hurting many is the Confederate battle flag flying at full-mast on the South Carolina Capitol grounds, even in the aftermath of this racist act of violence on innocent people.




June 19, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Georgia’s jobless rate rises slightly to 6.3 percent

Staff reports that state labor officials say Georgia’s unemployment rate has risen slightly to 6.3 percent. The Georgia Department of Labor on Thursday announced the May jobless figure, a seasonally-adjusted rate that’s up from a revised 6.2 percent in April.


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June 19, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia View - Peake Performance

Bill Crane writes, moments of tearful joy and jubilation have become somewhat rare sights under Georgia’s Gold Dome, but the north rotunda was filled with both on April 16, 2015, and they had nothing to do with the tax code. Gov. Nathan Deal, surrounded by a crowd of a few hundred people, signed Georgia House Bill 1, the Haleigh’s Hope Act named for 5-year old Haleigh Cox, and fast-tracked it into law. 


June 19, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

$50 million later, Atlanta startup Qcept Technologies abruptly shutters

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Qcept Technologies Inc., which raised more than $50 million in venture capital, has abruptly shuttered its doors, Atlanta Business Chronicle has learned. Qcept vacated its roughly 7,000 square foot office at the Centergy building in Midtown Atlanta, without giving notice. Building management was alerted to the fact only after cleaning crews found the offices bare.


June 19, 2015 Piedmont College

Lonnie King receives Piedmont College honorary degree

Staff reports that civil rights pioneer Lonnie C. King Jr. of Atlanta was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Piedmont College during a ceremony Friday, June 12, at the College in Demorest. The presentation was made during the annual meeting of the Southeast Conference United Church of Christ held this week at the college. The honorary doctorate was just one of the honors King collected, as the Piedmont Board of Trustees also presented him with a proclamation highlighting his long career on the front lines of U.S. and international civil rights campaigns.


June 19, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Dixie Highway designated a historic byway

Andria Simmons reports that a historic Georgia road that has its own Facebook page can now boast another important distinction. The state transportation board on Thursday approved designation of the Historic Dixie Highway in Southwest Georgia as the state’s 15th Georgia Scenic Byway. The Historic Dixie Highway Scenic Byway in Southwest Georgia’s runs 62 miles from Albany to Thomasville.


June 19, 2015

Nigerian Foundation's donations strengthen Atlanta-African connections

Phil Bolton reports that the Nigerian-Biafran civil war that claimed more than a million human lives from 1967-70 prompted a small group of French doctors to form Doctors Without Borders, which has helped victims of wars and natural disasters around the world since then. During a brief interview with Global Atlanta, Sir Emeka Offor, the Nigerian businessman and philanthropist, harkened back to the war which began when he was merely an 8-year-old boy. Although he didn't mention it, his embrace of many health-related initiatives through his personal foundation mirrors the humanitarian values of Doctors Without Borders spawned by the devastation of the war.  


June 19, 2015 Georgia Health News

Ailing Riverdale hospital in financial talks

Andy Miller reports that the CEO of struggling Southern Regional Medical Center said Thursday that the hospital is having discussions with possible financial partners. “We have some companies interested in us about being a capital partner,’’ Kim Ryan told GHN on Thursday. Ryan said these potential partners are health care companies, but she did not identify them further. This type of external funding is Southern Regional’s “best hope” of survival, she said, adding that she is optimistic that a partner will be found.  


June 19, 2015 Georgia CEO

Atlanta-Based GreenPrint Secures Capital to Expand Carbon Neutral Fuel Solutions 

Staff reports that GreenPrint LLC, creator of the world's first carbon neutral gasoline, today announced it secured nearly $1 million in Series A funding. The investment, which more than doubled the company’s initial ask, closed in less than two months. The round was led by David Cummings, Michael Berkman and other business leaders who believe in the company’s potential to deliver profits with a purpose.


June 19, 2015 Saporta Report

David Abney, CEO of UPS, re-elected as chair of World Affairs Council 

Maria Saporta reports that the World Affairs Council of Atlanta has re-elected David Abney, the CEO of UPS, as its chairman. Clyde Tuggle, chief public affairs and communications officer for the Coca Cola Co., was elected vice-chair. Rounding out the Council’s executive – in addition to Abney and Tuggle are – Mark Becker, president of Georgia State University; Rich Phillips, dean of GSU’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State, and Dennis Lockhart, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta who also served as the founding chairman of the Council.


June 19, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Kinder Morgan appeals Georgia denial of Palmetto Pipeline

Dave Williams reports that a Houston-based energy company is going to court to challenge Georgia’s rejection of a proposed $1 billion petroleum pipeline. Kinder Morgan Inc. has filed a petition in Fulton County Superior Court asking for a review of the state Department of Transportation’s (DOT) denial last month of a permit for the Palmetto Pipeline, which would carry 150,000 barrels of gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and ethanol through 201 miles of Georgia.


June 19, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

A tech school partnership hammered out in Brazil

Greg Bluestein reports that a new arms treaty it was not. But you could forgive spectators for thinking that way after the elaborate negotiations ahead of a new education agreement between Brazil and Georgia. The partnership signed Thursday between the Technical College System of Georgia and its counterpart in Sao Paulo clears the way for a new foreign exchange program between the two higher education systems. It was signed at the tail end of a weeklong trade mission to Brazil led by Gov. Nathan Deal.



June 18, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Savannah to get Lucky's Market

Mary Carr Mayle reports that Lucky’s Market, a natural foods grocer that offers affordable options for every day foods and specialty choices, will open its first Georgia store in Savannah this fall. The market will features its own selection of natural, organic and gluten-free items. 


June 18, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Midtown Atlanta’s Innovation District

Ben Young reports that Atlanta’s Midtown Alliance offered up an inside look at the high-tech innovation percolating across the area earlier this month. A panel at the Georgia Tech Conference Center featured leaders who talked about both the fast pace of growth in the region and where the next wave of innovation is likely to appear. Midtown Alliance President and CEO Kevin Green noted the increasing number of innovation center announcements over the last five years. Investments from NCR Corp., Panasonic Automotive, The Home Depot, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Worldpay, AT&T and others have created an “Innovation District” that couldn’t have been predicted.


June 18, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Brazilian IT company to create 400 jobs in Atlanta

Phil W. Hudson reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today during an economic development mission to Brazil that Stefanini, a leading global information technology (IT) service provider based in São Paulo, Brazil, will create 400 jobs by the end of 2016 through an expansion of its office in Midtown. Stefanini has maintained a presence in Georgia for 10 years and has grown its employee base to be one of the largest employers in the area of IT services. With the expansion of its office in Atlantic Station, Stefanini will grow its revenue and employment by 50 percent with the potential to expand business in the future, according to the governor’s office.


June 18, 2015 Macon Telegraph

First Quality to create 115 jobs in Macon, make more than $68 million investment

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Linda S. Morris reports that First Quality Packaging Solutions has chosen Macon for its “flagship manufacturing facility,” a move that will bring 115 jobs, officials announced Wednesday. First Quality plans to invest more than $68 million in Macon-Bibb County over the next five years, with possible expansion opportunities, in a facility that will design, develop and manufacture plastic packaging for the retail food, food service and health care markets.


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June 18, 2015 Georgia Health News

State's injury-related deaths relatively low

Andy Miller reports that Georgia has a lower rate of injury-related deaths than most states, a new report finds. The state had a rate of 58.1 injury deaths per 100,000 people, slightly below the national figure of 58.4 percent, according to the report, released Wednesday by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 1 to 44. 


June 18, 2015 Georgia CEO

Larry Flynn: Gulfstream Continues Growth in Georgia

John Tabellione reports that recently, Georgia CEO tried to catch Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation CEO, Larry Flynn, on the fly while he was busily preparing for the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention and Exhibit in Orlando, Florida. Mr. Flynn and Gulfstream unveiled an all-new aircraft family: the Gulfstream G500 and G600. The company displayed a mockup as part of its NBAA static exhibit at the Orlando Executive Airport.


June 18, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

FCC to fine AT&T $100M for throttling customers with unlimited data

Danielle Abril reports that the Federal Communications Commission plans to fine AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) $100 million for misleading customers about unlimited mobile data plans. The FCC released a statement Wednesday alleging the Dallas-based company slowed data speeds for customers with unlimited data plans and that it didn’t adequately notify customers about receiving slower speeds.


June 18, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

The connection between the Braves move to Cobb and a debate over mass transit

Jim Galloway reports that a connection exists between Cobb County’s snatching of the Atlanta Braves from their current home across the Chattahoochee River, and that county’s current debate over mass transit. But it is not the nexus you might think. Yes, the construction of the new Braves stadium at the intersection of Interstates 285 and 75 has forced a rethinking of transportation in that overburdened area. That is a fact.




June 17, 2015 New York Times 

In Savannah, Where Change Is Slow, an Art District Is Catching On

Alison Gregor reports that the idea of a vanguard arts district may seem counterintuitive in this slow-paced city of courtly manners and stately architecture, but after almost two decades, an emerging area called the Starland District may finally be hitting its stride. Originally envisioned in 1998 by two graduates of the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Starland District is a collection of art studios, small offices, galleries, cafes and retail shops loosely assembled around Bull Street south of Savannah’s historic downtown and Forsyth Park.


June 17, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Home Again, Home Again

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that we've read the stories and lived the housing crisis in Georgia for the last few years. We’ve heard again and again that our over-reliance on construction and the industries that support it meant the state was hit even harder than many. But as the economy turns around, so does the residential real estate market, with new homes going up across the state, new trends and a new generation of buyers having an impact in surprising ways.


June 17, 2015 WABE

Ga. Kills Chickens, Destroys Eggs As Avian Flu Precaution

Tasnim Shamma reports that three chicken flocks were killed in central Georgia Tuesday because of suspicion of avian flu. Three farmers in Georgia ordered chicken eggs on eBay from a mail-order service in Iowa. State veterinarian Robert Cobb says the U.S. Department of Agriculture notified 37 states, including Georgia, that these chickens from Iowa might have avian flu.


June 17, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Blackstone and Carlyle reportedly considering $10 billion offer for NCR

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that NCR Corp. stock was briefly halted Tuesday afternoon amid a report that two of the world's largest private equity firms had combined to acquire the metro Atlanta technology company. Private equity firms Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) and The Carlyle Group (Nasdaq: CG) are said to be jointly bidding for NCR (NYSE:NCR), Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources. The $10 billion leveraged buyout deal, which includes debt, would make it the year's largest.


June 17, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Mitsubishi Hitachi wins big order

Mary Carr Mayle reports that Virginia Electric and Power Co. has ordered three M501J gas turbines from Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas to be manufactured and assembled at Mitsubishi’s Savannah Machinery Works and installed at the power company’s Greenville County Power Station. Sam Suttle, vice president for North American Manufacturing and Repair, said Tuesday the new power plant will combine the output of the three, highly efficient M501J gas turbines with a steam turbine, resulting in the largest new construction gas turbine combined cycle — or GTCC — power plant in North America.


June 17, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Athens-Ben Epps Airport runway extension will be complete by mid-August

Jim Thompson reports that Athens-Ben Epps Airport is still waiting for “the call.” That’s how Airport Director Tim Beggerly refers to the yet-unreceived notification from a consulting firm working to find a new commercial air carrier for Athens, and he indicated at Tuesday’s meeting of the Athens-Ben Epps Airport Authority that no deals had been reached. Two months ago, Beggerly said the airport was in serious talks with a mainline carrier to provide local commercial air service.


June 17, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Capricorn Records office building purchased by Macon businessman

Conner Wood reports that a place steeped in musical history has long been crumbling in downtown Macon, but now it has a chance for revival. The Capricorn Records executive office building at 535 D.T. Walton Sr. Way was bought several months ago by Bryan Nichols, the same man who restored Taste and See Coffee Shop and Gallery as well as other residential properties in downtown Macon.


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June 17, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

U.S. Energy Secretary calls for $1 billion annually for MOX program at Savannah River Site

Meg Mirshak reports that U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Tuesday it will take more than $1 billion a year to complete Savannah River Site’s mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility and fund other related processes required for that method of plutonium disposal. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said Tuesday it will take more than $1 billion a year to complete Savannah River Site’s mixed-oxide fuel fabrication facility and fund other related processes required for that method of plutonium disposal.


June 17, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Topeka Capitals to relocate to Atlanta

Phil W. Hudson reports that the Topeka Capitals will relocate to Atlanta and begin 2015-2016 season play at the Center Ice Arena. The North American Tier III Hockey League (NA3HL) reported the move comes after issues with negotiating a new lease for the team. Team owner Don Stone had to make a decision in order to meet a deadline set by the league. The Capitals will remain in the NA3HL’s South Division for the 2015-16 season.


June 17, 2015

Turkish Airlines confirms new flights to Atlanta

Staff reports that Turkish Airlines has confirmed with Global Atlanta that it will launch nonstop flights from Istanbul to Atlanta next summer.  The airline posted the schedule for the flight Monday on its website but gave little detail about its operation. Now, the flights are available to be reserved online from next May 16 onward.  Ali Genc, senior vice president of media relations, said Atlanta was the largest U.S. market without Turkish Airlines service and that the flight will be operated year-round, starting with a summer sale through October and then entering a winter period when that season begins.      


June 17, 2015 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

FMCSA Orders Shut-down of Trucking Companies in Illinois, Georgia, as Imminent Hazards to Public Safety 

Staff reports that U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in separate actions has ordered Payson, Illinois-based Rhino Displays, USDOT No. 1474447, and Hampton, Georgia-based Prudential Carriers, Inc., USDOT No. 248188, respectively, to immediately shut down following federal investigations that revealed numerous widespread violations of critical safety regulations by both companies.   In late May 2015, FMCSA safety investigators initiated an investigation of Prudential following the carrier’s recent involvement in several crashes, including a May 12, 2015, incident in which the company instructed the driver to continue operating a truck that was transporting a damaged, leaking load of canola oil onto Interstate 75 in Georgia. 


June 17, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

In Sao Paulo, a pitch to work with the “number one state”

Greg Bluestein reports that Georgia’s trade delegation arrived late Tuesday in Brazil’s business capital, a never-ending vista of skyscrapers teeming with more than 20 million people. The trade mission of 30 or so state business and political leaders arrived after two-and-a-half days in Rio de Janeiro, where they scoured for business, toured universities, met with potential recruits and huddled with industry groups.




June 16, 2015 Albany Herald

Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College deans to present at Nobel peace laureates summit

Staff reports that Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College deans Jerry Baker of the School of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Troy Spicer of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences will present a position paper at the 2015 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, set for Nov. 15-19 in Atlanta. The summit, being held for the first time in Atlanta, will consist of 3 1/2 days of mini-summits, debates, meetings, workshops and other activities to address the challenges of world civilization.


June 16, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Barrow County - Barrow Builds

Randy Southerland reports that Barrow County sits on the northeastern edge of Metro Atlanta and has long been a magnet for those seeking more affordable homes and a slower, more rural pace of life. As a result, residential growth soared in past decades and homebuilding became a major industry. Much of that came to an end with the Great Recession and the collapse of the real estate market. With an economy based largely on homebuilding, and not much else, Barrow homebuilders, banks and other businesses were hit hard.


June 16, 2015 Saporta Report

Atlanta’s international focus remains – through Carter, Clinton and global health efforts 

Maria Saporta reports, funny how things turn out. One week we closed the book on hosting the 2015 Nobel Peace Laureates Summit. Then last week, we learned we will be hosting the 2016 Clinton Global Initiative next June. “There is a strong probability it will be for 2017 as well,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in an interview with two reporters on June 12. “For two years you will have some of the most important thought leaders in the world come to Atlanta.”


June 16, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Buyer interest in the Atlanta home pushes price up, inventory down

Phil W. Hudson reports that Metro Atlanta’s residential housing market continued to rebound in May, as rising home sales pushed inventories down. According to a report from Re/MAX of Georgia Inc., home sales in the metro are up 12 percent and home inventory is down 16 percent over last year. Additionally, the Alpharetta, Ga.-based real estate company reported the median price for all homes sold in May was $226,000, which is 6 percent higher than the median price in April and 8 percent higher than the median price in May 2014.


June 16, 2015 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Georgia justices rule buffers not required for freshwater marshes

Walter C. Jones reports that Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday 6-1 that state law does not require a buffer against development around freshwater marshes, swamps and other bodies of water where the flow is not sufficient to wash away plants — so called “wrested vegetation.” The decision overturns an earlier ruling by the Georgia Court of Appeals and supports a controversial interpretation by the Environmental Protection Division.  The decision overturns an earlier ruling by the Georgia Court of Appeals and supports a controversial interpretation by the Environmental Protection Division.


June 16, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Hargray unveils Lowcountry Broadband Plan

Scott Thompson reports that Hargray Communications announced Monday the framework of its plan to bring gigabit Internet speeds to neighborhoods, businesses and public spaces throughout Beaufort County. The Lowcountry Broadband Plan will implement fiber optic-based technology and give users Internet speeds 100 times faster than the 10-megabit national average, according to Hargray officials.


June 16, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

Panelists discuss Georgia's tourism industry

Staff reports that Monday, the Marietta Business Association hosted their monthly luncheon at the Mansour Center in Marietta. The panelists discussed the effect of Georgia’s $57.1 billion tourism industry on businesses with moderator Holly Bass Quinlan from Cobb Travel and Tourism, who also sponsored the event. Brad Meriwether, director of Consumer Marketing at the Atlanta Braves, spoke about what is in store for the Braves this year as well as what to expect with the new SunTrust Park and attractions.


June 16, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia ranks fourth in TV drama pilot production

Ellie Hensley reports that Georgia's lucrative tax incentives have propelled it into fourth place this year for TV drama pilot production, according to Four drama pilots shot this season in Georgia, putting the state behind only Los Angeles, Vancouver and New York for 2015 pilot production. Georgia tied with Toronto, where four pilots also shot.


June 16, 2015 Georgia Health News

Poison Center fields more calls on synthetic pot

Andy Miller reports that Georgia and other states are seeing a rise in poison center calls that are linked to use of synthetic marijuana. The CDC reported last week that between January and May, poison centers in 48 states reported receiving 3,572 calls related to the use of what scientists call synthetic cannabinoids. That’s a 229 percent increase from the 1,085 calls received during the same period in 2014. The national figures include 15 reported deaths. 


June 16, 2015 

Deal names Peake to House floor leader team

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal today announced Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon) will join his House floor leader team. Peake will succeed Rep. Christian Coomer (R-Cartersville), who was recently named chairman of the Transportation Committee. Peake is currently serving his fifth term in the Georgia House of Representatives representing House District 141, which includes Macon. He serves on the Appropriations, Ways and Means, Health and Human Services and Rules committees.


June 16, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

The extraordinary burst of traveling by Georgia’s economic development arm

Greg Bluestein reports that most of Georgia’s top economic development officials are with Gov. Nathan Deal in Brazil for his first trade mission since his re-election. But the state has launched an extraordinary burst of globe-trotting travel elsewhere this week, with five different missions simultaneously scouting business opportunities across three continents. There’s a delegation led by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in Wolfsburg, Germany pitching auto parts suppliers at Volkswagen’s Autostadt conference. A Georgia team is scouting for business at the Paris Air Show through Sunday.




June 15, 2015 New York Times

Nature Helps Squeeze Out a Little More Mileage

Mike Tierney reports that not too long ago, Old Car City USA and its thousands of deceased autos was a junkyard like so many others that dotted — or blighted, depending on one’s point of view — the American landscape. Nestled in the ridges and valleys here about an hour north of Atlanta, the salvage yard was a veritable heaven for do-it-yourselfers looking to save money by opting for used over new.


June 15, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

A Fed's-Eye View

Susan Percy reports that since 2007, Dennis Lockhart has headed the Sixth District Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta. It is one of 12 regional banks that functions as an operational arm of the Federal Reserve Bank, the country’s central bank charged with setting monetary policy and regulating the banking system. This year Lockhart is one of five district bank presidents who are voting members of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the body that makes decisions about raising interest rates – something it is expected to do later this year.


June 15, 2015

D.C. firm seeks Atlanta angels for East African investments

Trevor Williams reports that Renew Strategies LLC, which runs a Washington-based fund that backs small businesses in East Africa, is seeking to add more Atlantans to its global network of angel investors. The firm’s founders, Matthew and Laura Davis, believe that capitalism, rather than aid or traditional philanthropy, is a more sustainable way to fix the continent’s economic problems.


June 15, 2015 Gainesville Times

Local family business highlights growth of immigrant entrepreneurs

Joshua Silavent reports that Edgar Medrano, 23, shakes his head in amazement when thinking about the history of his family’s business. Born in California to Mexican immigrants, Medrano came to Hall County with his parents and siblings about a dozen years ago to open an ice cream parlor with novel dessert twists and flavors. Cheaper living, operating and permitting costs made the move easier for the family to digest.


June 15, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia scores $4.5 million in free services due to spring testing technical problems

Phil W. Hudson reports that CTB/McGraw-Hill will provide $4.5 million in services at no cost to the Georgia Department of Education, following content errors and disruptions during 2015 Georgia Milestones testing, according to the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE). The services include safeguards to ensure future tests have no similar issues. The GaDOE reported during the 2015 administration of the Georgia Milestones end-of-grade tests, many schools tested students online, and some of those schools experienced periodic connection issues.


June 15, 2015 WABE

Advocacy Groups Push For More Wind Power In Georgia 

Michelle Wirth reports that the future of wind in Georgia Power’s energy portfolio was debated Thursday during a Georgia Public Service Commission committee meeting. Starting next year, Georgia Power will get enough wind power from Oklahoma to power more than 50,000 homes as part of the utility’s first wind project. The price of wind energy has been dropping, so advocacy groups say Georgia Power should quickly invest in more wind energy.


June 15, 2015 Macon Telegraph

New law sparks fireworks industry across Middle Georgia

Linda S. Morris reports that a familiar industry is about to explode in Georgia. In Middle Georgia alone, new stores are opening in Macon, Warner Robins, Dublin and perhaps Milledgeville, and they will be selling something never before sold in the Peach State. The stores are expected to open for business bright and early July 1, because that’s when a new law will allow for the sale of the “good” fireworks -- the kind that fly high in the air, make a big noise and light up the night sky.


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June 15, 2015 Saporta Report

Local initiative to address foreclosure crisis receives national Housing Visionary Award 

David Pendered reports that Piece by Piece, a regional initiative to address metro Atlanta’s foreclosure crisis, received a national award Thursday for its comprehensive approach that brings together 155 public and private partners. The National Housing Conference presented its 2015 Housing Visionary Award to the program during NHC’s annual gala in Washington. Piece by Piece is staffed by the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Inc.


June 15, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta taking the lead in technology 2015

Staff reports on Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Who’s Who in Technology 2015, featuring 100 individuals leading the metro area’s growing technology industry. Statewide, the technology sector employed 272,408 workers in 2014, up more than 10 percent and by more than 25,000 net new jobs, according to the Technology Association of Georgia’s 2015 report on the state of the industry, based on a survey of more than 300 technology executives. Georgia’s total technology payroll reached $23 billion last year. 


June 15, 2015 UGA 

UGA researchers find potential treatment for fatal lung diseases

James Hataway reports that researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered that the drug triciribine may reverse or halt the progression of pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension, two respiratory diseases that are almost invariably fatal. They published their findings recently in the British Journal of Pharmacology.


June 15, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Georgia leaders begin ‘gateway’ mission in Brazil

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal and two dozen other state and business leaders arrived in Brazil Sunday for a five-day trip to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo with a goal to strengthen Georgia’s ties with the world’s seventh-largest economy. Deal and other officials want the visit to highlight Georgia’s attempt to cut into Miami’s share of the Latin American market. They will plan to meet with local politicians, huddle with trade industry groups, visit the Brazilian outposts of Georgia firms and pitch investment bankers and tour operators on Georgia.




June 12, 2015 WABE

Georgia Schools Superintendent: Kids Take Too Many Tests

Martha Dalton reports that Georgia got a new schools superintendent this year. Richard Woods was elected in November 2014 after former schools chief John Barge stepped down to run — unsuccessfully — for governor. Woods took office in January. Recently, WABE talked with him about a range of topics from testing to summer learning.


June 12, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Economic development: June 2015

Christy Simo writes about economic development, including a Kaiser Permanente IT campus in Midtown and a Georgia Power solar farm at Fort Benning.


June 12, 2015

Deal: Georgia nets low rates, earns top marks for bonds

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia has maintained its AAA bond rating and sold $1.28 billion in three different series of general obligation bonds to fund capital projects throughout the state, which range from construction on new university buildings to repairs on state bridges. A portion of these sales will also refund outstanding bonds to achieve savings. “Our consistent triple-A ratings, which make our bonds highly sought-after, have allowed Georgia to again secure low interest rates through a competitive bidding process,” Deal said. “These rates will ultimately save millions in taxpayer dollars.”


June 12, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Northeast Georgia Nonprofit organization getting $1 million to make business loans

Jim Thompson reports that a northeast Georgia nonprofit organization will tap into $1 million in capital to make loans for starting or enhancing businesses in Georgia counties covered by the Appalachian Regional Commission, including a number of counties in the immediate Athens area. Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, a Cleveland-based nonprofit, is slated to have access to the money as part of the initial funding for Appalachian Community Capital, a new central bank for development lenders in the 13 Southern states that are part of the Appalachian Regional Commission.


June 12, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Sage Software to bring 350 jobs to Atlantic Station

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that more than 300 high-tech jobs are headed to Midtown. Sage Software Inc., a business management software and services company, will announce plans to put its North American headquarters at Atlantic Station, Atlanta Business Chronicle has learned. The expansion, at 201 17th St., is expected to bring more than 350 jobs. The Midtown location will add to Sage’s Lawrenceville, Ga., operation. Combined, the two offices will employ about 1,000.


June 12, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Inaugural Bob Wright Symposium on Business Empowerment will be Aug. 20

Tony Adams reports that Columbus businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist Robert L. Wright is launching an annual symposium this August, bringing to the city a lineup of speakers aimed at enlightening and fostering minority business and community leadership. The inaugural Bob Wright Symposium on Business Empowerment will take place 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 20 at the Cunningham Center, 3100 Gentian Blvd., which is on the campus of Columbus State University.


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June 12, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Byron-based Gottwals Books to open 10th store in D.C.

Linda S. Morris reports that Gottwals Books, which began in 2007 with a 1,500-square-foot shop in Warner Robins, is expected to open its 10th store by September in Washington, D.C. Now franchising under The Walls of Books name, the family-owned used-book business will have stores in six states with the opening of the District of Columbia location, according to a news release.


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June 12, 2015 Saporta Report

BeltLine’s Ryan Gravel forms his own firm – Sixpitch 

Maria Saporta reports that fter spending more than seven years with the Perkins + Wills architectural firm, Ryan Gravel has decided to blaze his own trail once again. Gravel is best known for writing his Master’s Thesis on a potential transformation of a 22-mile circular rail corridor surrounding central Atlanta – a project now known as the Atlanta BeltLine.


June 12, 2015 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Georgia school funding is a 'Rubik's cube'

Walter C. Jones reports that the chairman of a panel looking for ideas to improve the way public schools are funded said Thursday he didn’t want to replicate the mistakes that prevented past studies from succeeding, but his committee members argued for repeating the others’ methodology nonetheless. Gov. Nathan Deal appointed school administrators, legislators and state agency technicians to his Education Reform Commission, and one of its central tasks is updating the 30-year-old Quality Basic Education funding formulate embedded in state law. Since it was written, multiple studies have failed to come up with a substantive revision.


June 12, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Kinder Morgan donates to Savannah anti-litter campaign

Mary Landers reports that pipeline company Kinder Morgan Inc. donated $20,000 Wednesday to an anti-littering campaign in Savannah. The Keep Savannah Clean initiative launched seven weeks ago as a citywide public-private collaboration to fight litter. The campaign uses social media to engage citizens, asking those who see others littering to post photos on its Facebook page. The campaign will also be stepping up enforcement to target persistent litter. 


June 12, 2015 Georgia Health News

Reese: 'Waiver' doesn't need new legislative OK

Andy Miller reports that the head of a state health agency reiterated his position Thursday that Georgia already has the authority now to pursue a Medicaid “waiver” plan to cover uninsured people. That statement by Clyde Reese, commissioner of the Department of Community Health, runs counter to arguments made in a recent letter from Rep. Jason Spencer and other state legislators. 


June 12, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Export-Import bank votes from Johnny Isakson, David Perdue are not a full rejection

Daniel Malloy reports that the U.S. Senate on Wednesday staged what amounted to a test vote to extend the Export-Import Bank, ahead of its expiration this month. A full 65 senators were positioned themselves on the side of the bank, while Georgia Republican Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue did not. The amendment came as the Senate debates a defense authorization bill for next year.




June 11, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Service

Isakson's leverage leads to breakthrough on chicken exports

Walter C. Jones reports that a breakthrough in negotiations with South Africa is expected to lead to $65 million in renewed exports of chicken leg quarters due to congressional pressure. The president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, based in Stone Mountain, James Sumner, gave much of the credit Wednesday to Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., saying that Georgia benefits considerably from the development as the country's No. 1 poultry-producing state.


June 11, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Business Casual: Wanted - Real Villains

Susan Percy writes, in the world of Saturday morning cartoons we inhabited in our childhood, the bad guys were easy to spot: black hats, twirling moustaches, evil laughter and ambitious plots to bring harm to good people and/or destroy the world. (The bad women mainly scowled a lot.) Simpler times, with easier decisions about whom to root for. There was very little in the way of moral ambiguity to distract us from cheering the good folks and booing the villains.


June 11, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta pilots labor pact includes 8 percent pay hike

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that 


June 11, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Mohawk to close Georgia yarn plant

Phil W. Hudson reports that Mohawk Industries Inc. is closing one of its plants in northwest Georgia and plans to move 156 workers to “more modernized sites.” The Calhoun Ga. –based flooring manufacturer (NYSE: MHK) said the move is a realignment of its yarn operations in northwest Georgia in order to better leverage its investments in manufacturing equipment and technology.


June 11, 2015 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service 

Brunswick facility is center of Washington D.C. debate

Walter C. Jones reports that Sen. David Perdue is asking the State Department for documents comparing the costs of building a training facility in Virginia or using the existing Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick. Tuesday, the Georgia Republican called for an independent analysis and inserted the requirement into next year’s budget authorization for the State Department. He quotes the Office of Management and Budget which estimates a savings of $1 billion over 10 years to use the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center rather than building a new one.


June 11, 2015 WABE

Ga. Tech Engineer Creates Robotic Therapist Of The Future

Staff reports that a Georgia Tech engineering professor has been hailed by Business Insider as one of the most important female engineers in the world and it’s easy to see why. Ayanna Howard, a professor with Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is the mind behind the start-up Zyrobotics. Howard designed her small bot named "Yellow Jacket" for use in children’s therapy.


June 11, 2015 Macon Telegraph

4 megawatt solar farm completed in Laurens County

Linda S. Morris reports that a farm that loves the sun was dedicated in Dublin on Wednesday. The Dublin-Laurens County Development Authority and Boulder, Colorado-based AES Distributed Energy announced the commissioning of a 4 megawatt solar photovoltaic (also known as PV) project -- the first of two solar PV projects being developed by AES Distributed and its partners, according to a news release.


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June 11, 2015 Saporta Report

State likely to continue transit funding, as it plans to dispense $75 million for transit hardware   

David Pendered reports that Georgia is likely to provide money in the future to support transit, in addition to the $75 million the Legislature provided this year, Jay Roberts, the governor’s recently appointed transportation planning director, said Wednesday. In other transit news, Georgia’s transit agencies should be notified in January as to whether they will get a share of that $75 million, according to GRTA Executive Director Chris Tomlinson. In addition to Tomlinson’s work at GRTA, he serves as executive director of the state entity that’s administering the transit bonds – State Road and Tollway Authority.


June 11, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Perimeter Business Alliance Transit Panel

Ben Young reports that Perimeter is abuzz with activity and the swarm will only grow larger with new transportation options. The Perimeter Business Alliance (PBA) held a panel last month to review new projects and strategies to reduce dependency on single-occupancy vehicles. Participants included Chris Tomlinson, executive director of Georgia Regional Transit Authority (GRTA) and State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA). GRTA provides transit options to the metro counties with buses, and SRTA will play an increasing role in transportation solutions through the state’s planned 52-mile managed-lane network on I-75.


June 11, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Columbus earns distinction as 'Bicycle Friendly Community'

Mike Owen reports that Columbus has become the seventh Georgia city to be designated as a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, the city announced today. At a ceremony held beside the bike shop on the Fall Line Trace on Manchester Expressway, several city leaders spoke to members of the cycling community who had gathered for the announcement.


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June 11, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

German company opens Atlanta R&D facility to battle Tesla

Phil W. Hudson reports that a German smart energy storage company opened a new research and development facility in Atlanta on June 10. Wildpoldsried, Germany-based Sonnenbatterie reported the 5,000-square-foot space will house 12 to 15 engineers and will be the center for product development, prototyping, and testing for the U.S. market. Sonnenbatterie took over the space from inverter developer SolarMax.


June 11, 2015 GPB

Despite Parkinson's Diagnosis, Isakson Will Press On With Re-Election Bid

Bradley George reports that Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson has announced he has Parkinson’s disease. But the two-term Republican says he’ll continue his quest for re-election next year. In a statement, Isakson says he was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013...but it was only a few months ago that he shared the news with his children and senior staff.  


June 11, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Clinton policy group will come to Atlanta next June

Jim Galloway reports that out in Denver, former President Bill Clinton – with Mayor Kasim Reed at his side – announced this evening that CGI America, the domestic policy arm of the Clinton family foundation, would hold its annual gathering in Atlanta next June. The multi-day event is policy heavy. The current conference finishes today. But the political implications are impossible to ignore. Atlanta’s landing of the CGI America gathering also means the Clinton family will have a heavy Georgia presence just after, presumably, the nomination process is complete.



June 10, 2015

Deal announces 200 automotive parts manufacturing jobs in Stephens County        

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that NIFCO KTW, a German automotive supplier of high-quality injection molded components, will locate its U.S. operations in Toccoa, creating 200 jobs and investing $27 million within the first five years. “Automotive suppliers such as NIFCO KTW choose Georgia because they trust that our state is the best place to grow their business,” said Deal. 


June 10, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Brunswick/Golden Isles: Five Star region

Kevin Hogencamp reports that the stunning gateways to Brunswick and the Golden Isles are the stuff of poetry. Indeed, in 1878, Sidney Lanier sat beneath an oak tree near the Brunswick River, where a bridge (and its replacement) would later be built and named for him, and penned the illustrious poem The Marshes of Glynn. Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey says locals and tourists alike still uphold Lanier’s profound admiration of the golden marshes, winding rivers, sandy beaches and historic landmarks that characterize Glynn County. But what expressly defines the remarkable corner of the world known as Brunswick and the Golden Isles, Harvey insists, is its human capital.


June 10, 2015 Georgia Health News

Cold feet: WellStar calls off merger with Emory

Andy Miller reports that a move that caught the health care industry by surprise, WellStar Health System has broken off talks to create a mega-merger with Emory Healthcare. The merger discussions had gone on for months and were aimed at producing a giant hospital-based system – the biggest in Georgia and perhaps the Southeast. Neither WellStar nor Emory gave a reason for the collapse of negotiations. 


June 10, 2015

Deal: April revenues up 15 percent 

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia’s net tax revenues for April totaled $1.93 billion, an increase of $252 million, or 15 percent, compared to April 2014. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled $15.78 billion for an increase of nearly $1.05 billion, or 7.1 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year, when net tax revenues totaled $14.73 billion through 10 months. Year-to-date gross tax collections, before refunds and distributions to local governments, totaled $22.15 billion, which was an increase of approximately $1.36 billion, or 6.5 percent, compared to the year-to-date total of $20.79 billion in April 2014.


June 10, 2015 Saporta Report

Atlanta Community Food Bank picks Kyle Waide, its own executive, to follow Bill Bolling 

Maria Saporta reports that the Atlanta Community Food Bank has selected Kyle Waide as its new president and CEO – although there’s no expectation that he will be replacing Bill Bolling, the founder of the trend-setting nonprofit. Waide, who joined the Atlanta Community Food Bank three years ago after a multifaceted career in nonprofits and with Home Depot, was selected after a national search that considered about 600 potential candidates.


June 10, 2015 Piedmont College

Piedmont to provide Georgia’s first four-year Cardiovascular Technology degree program

Staff reports that in a first for the State of Georgia, Piedmont College is now offering a four-year Bachelor of Science program in cardiovascular technology (CVT). In launching the new major, Piedmont is partnering with the Cardiovascular Technology Institute (CTI) in Gainesville, which will provide specialized instruction and faculty for the program. CTI includes technologists and cardiologists who practice at The Heart Center of Northeast Georgia Medical Center.  


June 10, 2015 Rome News Tribune

Georgia Power president: Education critical to meet workforce needs

Doug Walker reports that while it may work for a laugh on the TV show “The Simpsons,” Georgia Power’s CEO said, “when you turn on a nuclear plant you don’t want Homer Simpson to work there.” Paul Bowers, who is also the chairman of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce board, used that as an illustration of the importance of education.


June 10, 2015 WABE

Graduation Coaches Keep Ga. Students From Sliding Through The Cracks

Martha Dalton reports that Korey Thomas is a friendly, polite, 18-year-old who recently graduated from Henry County High School with the help of his coach. But three years ago, he wasn’t passing his classes. “When I got all the speeches about paying attention in ninth grade and all that, I did not pay attention to that,” he says. “I was just goofing off and I messed up in a couple subjects.”


June 10, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Cox teams to launch NewsON streaming service, Gump named CEO

Staff reports that the ABC Owned Television Station Group, Cox Media Group, Hearst Television, Media General and Raycom Media have joined forced to launch a new TV news streaming service based in Atlanta -- NewsON. The free, advertising-supported NewsON service will be delivered through apps that will let users watch live and on-demand newscasts from their local markets or from any of the 112 participating news stations in 84 viewing markets across the country. These include stations in eight of the Top 10 U.S. TV markets and 17 of the top 25.


June 10, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Nathan Deal heads to Florida for second round of secretive water wars meetings

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal traveled to Florida Tuesday for the second round of those quiet meetings he arranged with neighboring states to hash out the water wars dispute. The meeting with Florida Gov. Rick Scott comes after Deal’s secretive meeting in March with Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley  that touched on Deal’s $300 million plan to build a system of state reservoirs in north Georgia.




June 9, 2015 Georgia CEO

Manufacturing Magnet: Why Georgia Tops the Ranks

Victoria Borges reports that as a top investor nation in Georgia, Japan continues to advance in the economy, providing countless jobs and resources for citizens of the peach state. Georgia is home to a super cargo transportation network and a qualified workforce that attracts manufacturing super stars, such as Kubota and Kia Motors. These companies take advantage of customized manufacturing assistance programs and extensive tax incentives, transforming Georgia into a hot spot for manufacturing companies around the world.


June 9, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

An ounce of prevention

Mary Anne Dunkin reports that it's  been almost three centuries since founding father Benjamin Franklin opined that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Although Franklin’s oft-repeated quote was actually in support of fire insurance – recognizing the devastation a house fire could cause a family without the means to rebuild – today’s leaders are recognizing and promoting the value of prevention when it comes to healthcare, a value that is evidenced by the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


June 9, 2015 Georgia Health News

Next chief will have hands full at Human Services

Andy Miller reports that Gov. Nathan Deal’s choice to head the Department of Human Services would take over an agency that has been under considerable pressure in recent years. Robyn Crittenden, executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Georgia Student Finance Commission, would replace Keith Horton as commissioner of Human Services, the governor’s office announced last week. 


June 9, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia's top 10 best cities to start a business

Phil W. Hudson reports that Georgia is consistently ranked as one of the top states to start a business. But where is the best place in the Peach State to launch a company? “Some of Georgia’s biggest cities — Atlanta, Columbus, Augusta and Savannah — have the largest number of businesses in the state, but the most profitable businesses are in the suburbs and smaller cities," the website reported.


June 9, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

Georgia manufacturing continues 3-month slide

Staff reports that manufacturing in Georgia fell 4.7 points to 54.8 in the month of May, driven down by sharp adjustments for new orders and production according to the Purchasing Managers Index released June 1 by Kennesaw State University’s Econometric Center in the Michael J. Coles College of Business. 


June 9, 2015 Newnan Times-Herald

Newnan Utilities sewer plant getting $2.8 million upgrade

W. Winston Skinner reports that Newnan Utilities is making improvements to its sewage treatment system. Bids have been received for work at the Wahoo Creek sewage treatment plant. Costs for the project will be almost double the original project estimate of $1.42 million. Ronny D. Jones Enterprises was the low bidder on the project at $2.817 million. That total is “a good bit more than what we anticipated,” said Brandon Lovett, director of water and wastewater operations for the city-owned utility.


June 9, 2015 Saporta Reports

Walls are closing in on Fort Mac

Maria Saporta reports that the clock is ticking on Fort McPherson. The next board meeting of the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority (MILRA) is scheduled for Wednesday, June 17 as all-day work session. It appears unlikely that the sale of 330 acres of Fort McPherson’s 488 acres to Tyler Perry will close on that day. But MILRA officials say the closing should happen shortly thereafter.


June 9, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Film and TV industry pays Georgia workers over $1.68B in annual wages

Ellie Hensley reports that Georgia's film and television industry supports more than 24,000 direct jobs and pays local workers more than $1.68 billion in wages, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Inc. announced Monday. Over 9,200 of these jobs are related directly to productions, representing a growth of more than 1,000 production-related jobs since the MPAA last compiled this data.


June 9, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Rick Allen says migrant worker legislation will help farmers

Meg Mirshak reports that U.S. Rep. Rick Allen, R-Ga., wants to reform a migrant worker temporary visa program to protect farmers in Georgia and across the nation from unneeded government red tape, he said Monday in Augusta. House Bill 2588, known as the Better Agriculture Resources Now Act, proposes shifting jurisdiction of the H-2A visa program from the U.S. Labor De­part­ment to the Department of Agri­culture. 


June 9, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Brian Kemp orders Tyrone Brooks Jr. struck from June 16 contest to fill father’s seat

Jim Galloway reports that Secretary of State Brian Kemp accepted a judge’s recommendation released earlier today and ordered Tyrone Brooks Jr. eliminated as a candidate for his father’s House seat. The judge said Brooks Jr. failed to establish proof of a year-long residency in the Atlanta district. With no time to reprint the ballot, which contains the names of six other candidates, all votes cast for Brooks “shall be void and shall not be counted,” according to the Kemp order.



June 8, 2015 Georgia Health News

Feds make financial pitch for Medicaid expansion

Andy Miller reports that the Obama administration rolled out new statistics this week to buttress the argument that Georgia should expand its Medicaid program. The report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers said that if Georgia expanded Medicaid, as outlined by the Affordable Care Act: An additional 389,000 Georgians would have insurance coverage in 2016.


The report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers said that if Georgia expanded Medicaid, as outlined by the Affordable Care Act:

** An additional 389,000 Georgians would have insurance coverage in 2016.

- See more at:

June 8, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

One neighborhood at a time

Thomas G. Cousins writes, philanthropy in the United States holds one of the keys to life-changing possibilities. The constant challenge is how to make a measurable difference, I think, especially in terms of America’s poorest children. Lifting them out of the pain and degradation of poverty is rewarding and contributes enormously to the economic vitality of our nation.


June 8, 2015 WABE

Ga. Tech Privacy Expert: USA Freedom Act A ‘Return To Roots’

Shelby Lin Erdman reports that President Barack Obama signed a new surveillance bill into law this week. The USA Freedom Act is a reform of the Patriot Act, which allowed for the mass collection of Americans’ phone records by the government. It’s the first time lawmakers have reformed government surveillance measures since 9-11.


June 8, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Building Materials, Stock Building Supply combine in $1.5B merger

Christopher Seward reports that 


June 8, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Regents University creates cyber institute

Dave Williams reports that capitalizing on the presence of the U.S. Army Cyber Command at nearby Fort Gordon, Georgia Regents University (GRU) is launching a cyber institute to expand research opportunities and curriculum offerings in the growing field. While GRU already has established a cybersecurity curriculum, the new institute will let the university broaden the program across the campus, said Gretchen Caughman, the Augusta, Ga., school’s executive vice president for academic affairs and provost.


June 8, 2015

Italy's ambassador: Georgia to benefit from transatlantic trade and investment

Phil Bolton reports that Italy's ambassador to the U.S. arrived in Cartersville for the inauguration of Aquafil USA's second manufacturing facility well briefed on the economic figures tying his country to the U.S. In his formal comments at the celebration that drew more than 250 invited guests, Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero praised Aquafil for becoming within less than two decades Italy's largest company in Georgia.  


June 8, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

Camden County spends nearly $1 million for option to buy former industrial site to convert to spaceport

Joe Parker reports that an agreement to option more than 4,000 acres for a spaceport site, Camden County has taken one big step in its spaceport project. Commission Chairman Jimmy Starline calls it the first. The commissioners voted unanimously last week to pay $960,000 for a two-year option to buy the Union Carbide property at the east end of Harrietts Bluff Road. That site suits a spaceport because vehicles launched from there do not need to pass over inhabited land areas.  


June 8, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

PulteGroup, AGL and ARRIS bring Georgia’s Fortune 500 companies to 20

Staff reports that homebuilder PulteGroup Inc., AGL Resources and ARRIS Group made the Fortune 500 in 2015, bringing Georgia’s total companies on the prestigious list to 20. Georgia ranks sixth in the nation for number of Fortune 500 companies behind New York, Texas, California, Illinois, and Ohio.


June 8, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Georgia makes a pitch for General Electric’s headquarters

Greg Bluestein reports that as General Electric mulls a move from its Connecticut headquarters, Georgia’s leaders want the conglomerate to know it will welcome them with open arms. Gov. Nathan Deal spoke with GE officials this week after chief executive Jeff Immelt told employees he is considering a move to another state with a “more pro-business environment.” Immelt said the $40 billion budget approved by state lawmakers Wednesday would impose “significant and retroactive tax increases for businesses.” 





June 5, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Service

Trade groups concerned about Georgia Power solar program

Walter C. Jones reports that a pair of national trade organizations raised concerns Thursday that Georgia Power Co. customers’ electricity payments could fund its ability to squash competitors in the solar-installation market. The issue for consumers is twofold. On one hand, they could pay more than necessary for conventional electricity to support Georgia Power’s installers. And on the other, such financial backing could keep competing companies from driving down installation prices.


June 5, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Political Notes - June 2015

Susan Percy reports that O’Neal Steps Down: Georgia’s House majority leader, Larry O’Neal (R-Bonaire), resigned his seat to accept an appointment as judge on the Georgia Tax Tribunal, which settles disputes between citizens and the state Department of Revenue. O’Neal, first elected in 2000, is a tax attorney.


June 5, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta has tentative labor contract with pilots' union

Staff reports that a 


June 5, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Emory’s School of Nursing gets $2.9M grant to train nurses for aging veterans

Ellie Hensley reports that Emory University’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing got $2.9 million in federal funding for five additional faculty positions at the School of Nursing and increase Emory’s adult/gerontology nurse practitioner program by 32 students over a five-year period. Emory is one of six nursing schools nationwide selected for the VA Nursing Academic Partnership for Graduate Education through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.


June 5, 2015 Georgia Health News

Georgia inches up in senior health ratings

Andy Miller reports that Georgia ranks 39th among the states on seniors’ health, one place better than last year, according to a new report on people 65 and older. America’s Health Rankings Senior Report listed several Southern states at the bottom, including Arkansas at 47th, Kentucky 48th, Mississippi 49th and Louisiana 50th. Georgia’s strengths, the report said, include a low prevalence of chronic drinking among seniors; high food stamp enrollment; and a high percentage of health screenings. The state’s challenges include low percentage of quality nursing home beds; a high rate of hip fractures; and a low rate of people in very good or excellent health.


June 5, 2015 Georgia Regents University

New green tea products developed at GRU

Kelly Jasper reports that hand sanitizers are more popular than ever – and so are myths about the products. We get a lot of questions about hand sanitizers and their uses. Are they safe? Are they effective?” said Dr. Stephen Hsu, a Georgia Regents University researcher with a growing line of green tea products. His start-up biotechnology and drug development company Camellix, LLC, uses green tea-derived technologies to treat dry mouth, dandruff, and cold sores with natural ingredients. Now, Hsu has turned his attention to creating a better hand sanitizer and lotion using compounds derived from green tea.


June 5, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

AT&T developing cool new 'bone conduction' technology for mobile devices

David Allison reports that AT&T is developing cool new "bone conduction" technology for mobile devices. Since the beginning of April, seven new patent applications by AT&T (NYSE: T) for bone conduction technology have been made public for the first time. The rapidly developing communication method sends vibrations through the human body to transfer data to mobile devices.


June 5, 2015 WABE

Same-Sex Marriage Equality TV Ads Begin Airing In Georgia

Elly Yu reports that a 30-second TV ad promoting the right to same-sex marriage started airing this week in Augusta and Savannah. Georgia Equality put out the ads ahead of an expected ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue later this month.  The ad features several same-sex couples and their families, along with photos of civil rights heavyweights like U.S. Rep. John Lewis and the Rev. Joseph Lowery. 


June 5, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

State senator’s ‘impermissible’ contact led to judge’s departure in theft case

Jim Galloway reports that not quite two years after the fact, Jeff Mullis, the Republican chairman of the powerful state Senate Rules Committee, has suddenly found himself cited as the reason a local judge recused himself from a case of theft by receiving that involved a friend of the north Georgia senator."No good deed ever goes unpunished,” Mullis told us this afternoon. Here’s the background, as best as we can piece it together: Mark Lindsay was a Fort Oglethorpe building inspector until 2010, when he was arrested by the GBI.





June 4, 2015 WABE

Ga. Regulators Considering Costs Of Vogtle Nuclear Expansion

Molly Samuel reports that the Georgia Public Service Commission is considering approval of Georgia Power’s expenses on two new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle. The utility company pushed back the construction deadline by 18 months in January. Georgia Power has to get approval from the Public Service Commission on its spending at Vogtle twice a year.


June 4, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Neely Young: An old sweet song

Neely Young writes, Georgia on My Mind, our state song, lets people from all over the world know that our state welcomes citizens of all colors and religions. This attitude has been the main reason for the explosive economic growth in Georgia the past 60 years. Our economic development has outstripped by a wide margin that of our fellow Southern states. And most of the credit for our great success goes to business leaders who stepped up and took courageous actions during the Civil Rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s.


June 4, 2015 Piedmont College

Civil rights leader, educator Lonnie King to be honored at UCC Southeast meeting here

Staff reports, for the second year in a row, the Southeast Conference United Church of Christ will hold its annual meeting at Piedmont College in Demorest. Some 125 ministers and lay leaders from UCC churches in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida will be on campus June 11-13 for a series of meetings, worship services, elections, and special presentations.


June 4, 2015 Georgia Health News

Big jump looming in health insurance rates

Andy Miller reports, many Georgians could face double-digit increases in their health insurance premiums next year, based on initial rates sought by insurers. Insurers’ requests in Georgia range as high as a 64.2 percent increase for a Time Insurance Co. plan for individual coverage starting in January. But most of the double-digit increases being requested in the state are in the range of 10 percent to 20 percent. 


June 4, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Information security firm Courion to establish Roswell HQ

J. Scott Trubey reports that a 


June 4, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coca-Cola debuts first plastic bottle made entirely from plant matter

Staff reports that the Coca-Cola Co. has rolled out at the World Expo-Milan the planet’s first PET plastic bottle made entirely from plant material. The Atlanta-based beverage giant said the new recyclable plastic bottle is made from renewable plant materials. The plant bottle technology converts natural sugars found in plants into the ingredients to make PET plastic bottles.


June 4, 2015 Emory University

Wounded Warrior Project selects Emory's Veterans Program to participate in national medical care network

Robin Reese reports that the Emory Healthcare Veterans Program has been selected by the national Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) to participate in a first-of-its-kind national medical care network. Warrior Care Network will connect wounded veterans and their families with individualized care for two of the most commonly experienced wounds from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan: posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Emory joins Massachusetts General Hospital, University of California Los Angeles and Rush University Medical Center in the network initiative.


June 4, 2015

Regional cooperation, minorities key to new Atlanta export plan

Trevor Williams reports that a newly launched plan to boost metro Atlanta’s export output will reach outside the city limits and prioritize engagement with minority-owned businesses, leaders said at the unveiling of the Atlanta Metro Export Plan Wednesday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. committed $300,000 to the initiative, an effort among city and regional leaders that includes the launch of the Atlanta Export Portal, which local resources to help small and medium-sized companies expand overseas sales.    


June 4, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

OneWater Marine Holdings acquires Captain's Choice Marine

Brittney Laryea reports that OneWater Marine Holdings LLC bought South Carolina marine dealer Captain's Choice Marine Inc. for an undisclosed amount. Captain’s Choice’s former owners Alan and Melanie Giddens will continue running Captain’s Choice as a division of Buford, Ga.-based OneWater Marine. 


June 4, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Nathan Deal’s education reform plans hit a snag

Daniel Malloy reports that Gov. Nathan Deal’s plan to overhaul the state’s school funding formula has hit another snag. The governor campaigned on a promise to rework the complicated formula in 2015 but in January instead unveiled a new proposal to create a statewide district with the power to take over Georgia’s most distressed schools. Now the education reform commission he tasked with recommending changes ahead of next year’s legislative session wants more time.



June 3, 2015 WABE

Tri-State River Group Hopes New Plan Will End 'Water Wars’

Shelby Lin Erdman reports that a tri-state group working to end the dispute between Georgia, Florida, and Alabama over water usage in the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint river system issued a new report last month on the best way to resolve the so-called “water wars.” The Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Stakeholders group, or ACF Stakeholders, spent five years and $1.7 million developing the Sustainable Water Management Plan.


June 3, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia Trend Wins Green Eyeshade Awards

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that Georgia Trend won two first-place awards in the 2015 Green Eyeshade Competition’s Magazine Division – for Feature Writing and Serious Commentary by Editor-At-Large Susan Percy. The awards are given annually by the Society for Professional Journalists. The competition is open to journalists in the Southeast – Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.


June 3, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Home Depot asks judge to dismiss consumers' data breach suit

Staff reports that 


June 3, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia’s manufacturing activity drops third month in a row in May

Staff reports that manufacturing activity in the Peach State declined for the third consecutive month in May, hurt by decreases in new orders and production. According to the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) released Tuesday by Kennesaw State University’s Econometric Center in the Michael J. Coles College of Business, Georgia’s PMI fell 4.7 points to 54.8 in May. A PMI reading above 50 shows manufacturing activity is expanding, while a reading below 50 indicates it is contracting.


June 3, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

Waycross warns it will shut off water and sewer in Pierce County unless judge stops deannexation of land there

Staff reports that the city of Waycross warned Tuesday than on June 22 it will begin shutting down its water and sewer services in Pierce County unless a judge enjoins implementation of a law compelling the city to pull back its limits to the Ware County border. The warning came in a letter from City Manager Raphel D. Maddox hand-delivered Tuesday to Pierce County Commission Chairman Neal Bennett. The city filed a petition Friday with Pierce County as the defendant asking for the injunction on constitutional grounds.  


June 3, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Ky. company will buy Macon-based medical billing business

Read more here:

Linda S. Morris reports that Paducah, Kentucky-based Credit Bureau Systems’ Ambulance Medical Billing division has signed an agreement to acquire Macon-based National Reimbursement Group, a regional provider of ambulance billing services in Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina. Paducah, Kentucky-based Credit Bureau Systems’ Ambulance Medical Billing division has signed an agreement to acquire Macon-based National Reimbursement Group, a regional provider of ambulance billing services in Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina.


Read more here:

Read more here:

June 3, 2015 Saporta Report

It’s over: last attempt to host 2015 Nobel Peace Summit in Atlanta fails   

Maria Saporta reports that in the end, there was no peaceful resolution in Atlanta’s quest to host the Nobel Peace Laureate Summit in November, 2015. The latest effort had been explored diligently by the Rotary Club of Atlanta, which finally voted unanimously at a board meeting Monday afternoon not to proceed with plans to host the 2015 Summit. Rotary officials then informed Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the Secretariat of World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates of its decision to not be the host organization in partnership with the City of Atlanta.


June 3, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Pratt & Whitney spending $3.2 million on its Columbus plant

Tony Adams reports that Pratt & Whitney is adding space at its already large campus on Macon Road in Columbus, but the Connecticut-based company is being cryptic about the intended purpose. The aerospace industry manufacturer and jet engine overhaul operation declined Monday to say much about a city building permit dated May 20 showing it is spending just over $3.2 million to add 13,200 square feet of space at 8987 Macon Road. Evans General Contractors is doing the work.


Read more here:

June 3, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Software startup FullStory scores $9M from Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, Tom Noonan

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Atlanta-based software startup FullStory has raised $9 million from West Coast venture firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Google Ventures. The startup, launched by the founding team of Google’s Atlanta engineering operation, develops software that records user interactions on a website or app providing product and support teams insight into the interactions of visitors and customers.


June 3, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Cold weather knocks out peach crop two years in a row, but family business still going strong

Lee Shearer reports that people have been stopping to buy peaches at Oconee County’s Thomas Orchards for more than 60 years, through four generations of the Thomas family — even though times have been tough in the peach business lately, at least in Oconee County. A late freeze killed the peach crop this year, for the second year in a row.


June 3, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Surveillance restrictions clear Senate, with Johnny Isakson and David Perdue opposed

Daniel Malloy reports that the Senate ended its Patriot Act drama Tuesday by clearing a House bill to end the federal government’s collection of bulk phone call data, while extending other surveillance techniques. Georgia Republican Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue wanted a straight extension of the expiring Patriot Act provisions, and they voted against the USA Freedom Act, as it passed, 67-32.




June 2, 2015 WABE

Cellphone Companies Work To Prepare For Natural Disasters

Jim Burress reports that hurricane season officially begins today. And when disaster hits — be it a hurricane or something else — few things become more critical than our wireless phones. They keep us connected to loved ones, often serve as lifelines and can provide access to essential information. But even as far inland as Atlanta, sustained, tropical-force winds and rain can cause flooding and knock out cell towers.  


June 2, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Columbus: Shoring up the economy

K. K. Snyder reports that old adage  “a rising tide lifts all boats” could have been written specifically for Columbus, considering the city’s leadership role in the regionalism that has helped put the area back on the map. From new tourism attractions to innovative job creation programs to a vibrant downtown in “Uptown,” the greater Columbus area appears to be thriving.


June 2, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Deal, Google to hold data center announcement

J. Scott Trubey reports that 


June 2, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Southern Power buys Pawpaw Solar Facility in Georgia

Staff reports that Southern Co.’s Southern Power unit bought the 30-megawatt Pawpaw Solar Facility in Taylor County, Ga., from Longview Solar LLC for an undisclosed sum. The solar facility acquisition is Atlanta-based Southern Co.’s (NYSE: SO) fifth in Georgia and gives the energy company 385 megawatts of solar generation in the Peach State.


June 2, 2015 UGA

Former CEO to lead new entrepreneurial initiative at UGA

Sam Fahmy reports that the University of Georgia has tapped the former CEO of one of the nation's fastest-growing sports apparel companies to lead a new, campus-wide initiative focused on entrepreneurship. Bob Pinckney, former CEO of Athens-based EvoShield LLC, has been named UGA's director of entrepreneurial programs. In this new role, he will be housed in the Terry College of Business and work closely with all of UGA's schools and colleges to expand opportunities for students to gain core skills that enable them to develop and implement new ideas and start their own businesses and nonprofits.


June 2, 2015 Saporta Report

Newnan’s Carnegie Library — the reclamation and return of a lost legacy; and a Southern Litfest featuring “bourbon on the porch” 

Lauren Jones reports that if a building could have a soul, the Newnan Carnegie Library might be a shining example. The library was built on dreams and determination through an unlikely alliance. On June 1, 1880, Charles Thompson was born to prominent, educated parents in Newnan. As a child he suffered a fall from a tree while climbing to see if a bird’s nest contained any eggs. Tragically, his injuries resulted in confinement to a “rolling chair” for the rest of his life. Thompson, however, was undeterred, always optimistic and highly motivated despite his frailty.


June 2, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Community & Southern Bank acquires $764 million of deposits from CertusBank in Georgia, Florida

Phil W. Hudson reports that Community & Southern Bank will buy nearly $764 million in deposits and nearly $230 million in loans related to 15 Easley-S.C.-based CertusBank locations in Georgia and Florida. CSB CEO Pat Frawley said the transaction increases its market share throughout Georgia and provides it with exposure to several new markets, including Columbus, Ga., Macon, Ga, and Jacksonville, Fla.


June 2, 2015 Gainesville Times 

Dahlonega voted a top Southern small town

Hailey Von Parys reports that after four weeks of voting, Dahlonega finished fourth in the Best Southern Small Town poll on USA Today’s website. A panel of three Southern travel experts narrowed a list of small towns down to 20 candidates. Each small town nominated for the award has a population of fewer than 20,000.


June 2, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

‘The community jeweler that gives back’: Cumberland Diamond Exchange named the 2015 Small Business of the Year

Philip Clements reports that Mark Jacobson and his wife, Rhonda, owners of Cumberland Diamond Exchange, thanked God, their staff and their customers when they were recognized by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce on Monday, less than a week after their 30th wedding anniversary. “I’m overwhelmed. My heart is still pounding,” Rhonda Jacobson said. “I feel full of humility and gratitude. … I would have been happy if someone else had won, but I was real hopeful that we would."


June 2, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Effingham agency promises $100,000 to Savannah Tech program

Staff reports that Effingham Industrial Development Authority has voted to support the expansion of workforce development training with the construction of a Precision Manufacturing Lab at the Effingham Campus of Savannah Technical College. The commitment, $100,000 over five years, will help the college build and equip a state-of-the-art lab at its Effingham Campus.


June 2, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Ben Carson reserves June 23 for a public metro Atlanta mixer

Jim Galloway reports that the parade continues. We’re picking up word that Dr. Ben Carson, the neurosurgeon and GOP presidential candidate, will roll into town on June 23. Details are still being fleshed out, but we’re told the public event will occur in the Johns Creek area in north Fulton County.




June 1, 2015 Savannah Morning News

World Trade Center Savannah expands FTZ 104

Mary Carr Mayle reports that Georgia has three Foreign Trade Zones — in Atlanta, Savannah and Brunswick. World Trade Center Savannah has been the federal grantee — or administrator — for FTZ 104 since 2012 when the Savannah Airport Commission transferred the grant of authority of the trade zone after nearly 30 years. The Savannah-based FTZ has just been approved by the Foreign-Trade Zones board at the U.S. Commerce Department to expand to include six new counties: Candler, Emanuel, Jenkins, Tattnall, Toombs and Treutlen.


June 1, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Firing on all cylinders

Karen Kirkpatrick reports, next time you're on the road, take a look at the cars around you. It may seem that you're surrounded by foreign auto - Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volkswagen, Kia - they're everywhere. Despite the foreign names, it's likely they were made right here in the Southeast - maybe even in Georgia.


June 1, 2015 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service 

Number of Georgia technical college graduates on rise

Walter C. Jones reports that the number of graduates from the Technical College System of Georgia increased in 2014 for the first time since 2011, but enrollment and the number of credit hours taught dropped for the third straight year. Also, the number of GED graduates continued a six-year slide, according to a draft of the system’s annual report provided to the Times-Union. The most recent year reported is 2014. System administrators say a number of efforts launched in recent years are helping students graduate. 


June 1, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Solar energy heats up in Georgia

Mary Landers reports that from Augusta's Fort Gordon to beach homes on Tybee, solar energy is booming in Georgia. In Chatham County, the Solarize program has flipped the switch on panels at four homes over the past few weeks and counts three more under construction. It has contracts on 35 installations in all, said Grant Tallon, the program manager for Atlanta-based Hannah Solar, the selected installer.


June 1, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

World’s third-largest ship container carrier by volume adds Savannah stop; Update on Ga. port deepening

Carla Caldwell reports that French shipping line CMA CGM – the world’s third-largest container ship carrier by capacity –will expand services to Savannah and three other Eastern Seaboard ports. The company’s “New Vespucci” line, which will use 15 ships, each with capacity for 4,500 20-foot equivalent units, will stop at Savannah, Ga., New York, Norfolk, Va., and Charleston, S.C., The Wall Street Journal reports.


June 1, 2015 Rome News-Tribune

Bekaert, union are on same page amid $29 million upgrade

Doug Walker reports that Bekaert union president Rex Rains says he doesn’t know why people still associate the labor groups with the hard-nosed organizations of the 1950s. Rains makes no bones about the fact that the union and the management at Bekaert, 301 Darlington Drive, have a strong working relationship. 


June 1, 2015 Albany Herald

Albany farm offers chemical-free produce

Jim West reports that Saturday was the first day of the season during which Healthy Living Farms on Gillionville Road sold its chemical-free produce direct to the public, and the line of customers taking advantage was thin but steady. According to Ann Milton, sole employee of the farm, the 16.5-acre operation was purchased in 2011 by Trumpet of God Ministries and is worked almost entirely by volunteers.


June 1, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Service

Georgia using training centers as tool for attracting industry and getting it working faster

Walter C. Jones reports that state leaders hope their expansion on a successful concept will continue to bear fruit, namely training centers dedicated to company employees. The first was built in West Point at the site of Kia Motors assembly plant, and the second has just begun operations new Athens. A third is in the planning stage for Pooler, near Savannah.


June 1, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

$50 million hotel, mixed-use development proposed for downtown Macon

Staff reports that a $50 million mixed-use development proposed for downtown Macon, Ga., includes at least one hotel with about 120 rooms, apartments with 120 to 140 units, retail shops, a restaurant and a 575-space parking garage. The project, called the Exchange Block Project, is proposed by Miller Heath III, chief executive officer of MMI Capital LLC, and Tim Thornton, president of Thornton Realty Co. reports The Telegraph.


June 1, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Why details of Georgia’s sought-after Medicaid ‘experiment’ may be driven underground

Jim Galloway reports that on Feb. 11, 2014, Atlanta was covered with ice and snow for the second time that snowjam winter. On that same cold day, House Republican leaders in a mostly empty state Capitol introduced a well-timed anti-Obamacare bomb. House Bill 990 declared that Medicaid expansion, an option under the Affordable Care Act that might extend health coverage to 600,000 uninsured Georgians, could occur only by an act of the General Assembly.





May 29, 2015 WABE

Ga. Women-Owned Business Statistic Not All Good News

Lisa Hagen reports that Gov. Nathan Deal recently tweeted a headline that read “Georgia sees fastest growth in number of women-owned firms since 1997.” That may be true, but it’s not the whole picture. In 1997, around 145,000 Georgia businesses were owned by women. Today? That number is up 132 percent. That rate of growth landed Georgia a No. 1 spot in the latest American Express funded report on women-owned businesses.


May 29, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Effingham County: Picture Perfect

Karen Rosen reports that Barbara Prosser sees a bright red chassis in the automotive learning amphitheater of the Effingham College and Career Academy and envisions a Model A Roadster emblazoned with the school emblem. “It can be used for parades or to advertise out front,” says Prosser, CEO of the charter school. The academy itself is already a vehicle for bringing industry to Effingham County, whose county seat, Springfield, is not quite 30 miles northwest of Savannah.


May 29, 2015 Macon Telegraph

$50 million hotel, retail development planned for downtown Macon

Linda S. Morris reports that a proposed new $50 million commercial development in downtown Macon -- the largest in decades -- would encompass nearly a whole block. The mixed-use development would include at least one hotel with about 120 rooms, apartments with 120 to 140 units, retail shops, a restaurant and a multi-level parking garage with about 575 spaces. It would be built in the block bounded by Poplar, Second, Plum and First streets, except for a corner lot at Plum and First.


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May 29, 2015 Saporta Report

Midtown to benefit from $314 million bond deal Atlanta provided NCR to build, equip campus   

David Pendered reports that Midtown took a major step Thursday in its evolution into a hub of high tech business when Atlanta's development arm approved the issuance of up to $314 million in bonds to help fund the construction and equipping of the future global headquarters of NCR Corp. Atlanta’s development officials view NCR as a potential transformer of the city’s residential and business communities.


May 29, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta scores professional lacrosse team

Phil W. Hudson reports that the Minnesota Swarm has Georgia on its mind. Stan L. Hall, executive director of the Gwinnett Sports Commission, confirmed to Atlanta Business Chronicle late Thursday the team is moving to Georgia. “We are really excited about the guys from Minnesota moving our way,” Hall said.


May 29, 2015 CNBC

God exists! Equifax admits in quirky court case

Dan Mangan reports that now even God has a Equifax credit score. The credit reporting giant Equifax has reportedly settled a bizarre case in which it was accused of denying a New York man named "God" entry into its credit database because it refused to recognize his legal name. Equifax's original stance had led the man, Brooklyn jewelry dealer God Gazarov, to being denied one car loan, and and then being charged a higher rate of interest on a loan because he was deemed as having no credit history, according to the New York Post. 


May 29, 2015 GBP

Savannah Port Expansion Project Officially Underway

Gabrielle Ware reports that Savannah Harbor Expansion Project is officially underway. Lt. General Thomas Bostik, the commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers made that announcement Thursday at the Georgia Ports Authority headquarters near Savannah. “We were very fortunate that we were able to get funding and approval for the funding to move forward this year and great work is already started.”  


May 29, 2015

Kubota to expand Gainesville operations

Phil Bolton reports that Osaka, Japan-based Kubota Corp.’s two U.S. subsidiaries announced on May 26 that they will build a new manufacturing plant and expand existing operations in Gainesville. Kubota Manufacturing of America Corp. is to locate a new plant on 180 acres at the Gateway Industrial Centre three miles from its existing facility. Kubota Tractor Corp. (KTC), the California based marketer and distributor of Kubota products, also was named in the announcement.    


May 29, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Little St. Simons Island gets protection from future development

Mary Landers reports that former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. "Hank" Paulson Jr. and his wife, Wendy, have placed their privately owned Georgia barrier island, Little St. Simons, in a permanent conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy. That means that no development will happen on the island, and wildlife and critical habitat will be preserved there. “Hank and I have cherished the hope since our first visit that Little St. Simons Island would be protected in perpetuity,” Wendy Paulson said in a statement released by The Nature Conservancy on Thursday. 


May 29, 2015 Georgia CEO

Southern Co. Teams With Tesla on Powerwall

Staff reports that Thomas A. Fanning, chairman, president and CEO of Southern Company, spoke today at the annual meeting of stockholders about the importance of innovation and delivering the full energy portfolio to meet the needs of customers. During the meeting, Fanning announced that Southern Company has reached an agreement with Tesla to test commercial-scale battery storage. Bringing together two companies with a shared commitment to innovation, the agreement will provide for the examination of potential applications for the energy storage technology in helping meet customers' energy needs.


May 29, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Georgia transportation commissioner discusses state's needs, funding

Meg Mirshak reports that Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry sat down Thursday with The Augusta Chronicle to answer questions about the state’s crumbling transportation system. Since McMurry was appointed by the state transportation board in late January, the Georgia Legislature passed House Bill 170, a tax increase that will bring in nearly $1 billion a year for transportation. He spoke about the funding bill, critical and future needs for Georgia’s infrastructure, the Augusta region’s 1 percent transportation sales tax and other issues.


May 29, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Service

Georgia Republicans in Congress blast EPA water rule

Walter C. Jones reports that a federal rule governing bodies of water is coming under criticism from Georgia’s Republican congressional members, who call it an overreach of federal authority that will lead to regulation of nearly all private property with ponds, creeks, wetlands and even ditches. Sen. Johnny Isakson describes the regulations finalized Wednesday by the Environmental Protection Division and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a tool for environmental groups to halt development they oppose.





May 28, 2015 Gainesville Times

New federal water rule addresses health of streams, other wetlands

Jeff Gill reports that federal officials rolled out new clean water regulations Wednesday focusing largely on the health of streams and other wetlands that help feed into primary drinking sources. “For the water in the rivers and lakes in our communities that flow to our drinking water to be clean, the streams and wetlands that feed them need to be clean too,” said Gina McCarthy, Environmental Protection Agency administrator.


May 28, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Home Sweet Home

Jeffrey Humphries reports that once a mainstay of Georgia’s economy, the real estate market has struggled since 2007. Now, as foreclosures decrease and sales prices increase, there is considerable optimism throughout the industry. In most areas of the state, home prices began to rise in the second quarter of 2012, and that upturn will be sustained through 2015, albeit more slowly, as prices reach levels high enough to prompt more homeowners to put their homes on the market.


May 28, 2015 UGA

UGA Athletic Association giving $1 million for experiential learning

Claude Felton reports that the University of Georgia Athletic Association will establish a $1 million endowment to support the university's new experiential learning initiative. The association's board of directors approved the contribution during its spring meeting. "The athletic association has a strong track record of supporting the university's most important academic initiatives," said President Jere W. Morehead, who also serves as chair of the board, "and none is more relevant to the institution right now than this initiative designed to further enhance student learning at UGA."


May 28, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

5 facts behind metro Atlanta’s falling unemployment rate

Henry Unger reports that 


May 28, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Losing the Volvo plant hurt, but there's far better news for Georgia

Mark Elliot writes, there were two headline events for the state of Georgia in the past several weeks. One was positive, and the other was not. To start with the “not positive” news, Georgia has lost the Volvo plant to South CarolinaThe good news is that Georgia was ranked No. 5 among states where companies want to do business. This ranking was far better for us than the bad news of losing the Volvo plant. In the end, it was net gain for the state and for Atlanta real estate.


May 28, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Caesarstone offically opens in Richmond Hill

Jamie Parker reports that business leaders, lawmakers, state, city and county officials and hundreds more were on hand in Richmond Hill as Caesarstone, the first new industry to locate in the city in 35 years, officially opened Wednesday. The Israeli-based manufacturer of quartz surfaces that are marketed worldwide spent approximately $130 million on its first U.S. plant in south Bryan County.


May 28, 2015 Independent Mail

‘Project Hummingbird' could bring 200 jobs to Stephens County

Charlie Bauder reports that Toccoa and Stephens County officials are courting a new industry. On Tuesday, the Stephens County Development Authority, Toccoa City Commission and Stephens County Commission all unanimously approved a project agreement for what they are calling “Project Hummingbird.”  The identity of “Project Hummingbird” has not been released. Stephens County Development Authority Executive Director Tim Martin said it is a potential new project to the community that would construct a new building.


May 28, 2015 Saporta Report, WABE

Fortune 500 Has No Female CEO From Georgia – Yet   

Maria Saporta reports that few people have even heard of the company Veritiv. But by next year, it will become one of Atlanta’s best-known companies. That’s because it will have the first woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company based in Georgia. When the company eventually is included on the Fortune 500 list in 2016, it likely will be ranked near No. 300 – thanks to its sales of about $9.3 billion a year.


May 28, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

Flooring company picks Lawrenceville to house window treatment division

Curt Yeomans reports that an Athens-based flooring company is eyeing Lawrenceville as the ideal place to continue its expansion in north Georgia. Dalton Carpet One and the Gwinnett Chamber announced on Wednesday that the company will open a 10,800-square-foot faciity at 1665 Lakes Parkway, Suite 116, in Lawrenceville to add a new store and home for its newly-created Window Treatment Division.


May 28, 2015 Augusta Chronicle 

Augusta color plant nears operational readiness

Tim Rausch reports that about three months until start up, Huntsman Corp. gave Augusta business and city leaders a trolley tour of its color pigment plant in south Augusta on Wednesday. bout three months until start up, Huntsman Corp. gave Augusta business and city leaders a trolley tour of its color pigment plant in south Augusta on Wednesday.    


May 28, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

Cobb Transportation plan includes bus rapid transit

Hilary Butschek reports that commissioners voted 5-0 Tuesday to approve a plan that recommends spending $5.3 billion on transportation projects, including a bus rapid transit system. Commissioners approved the Cobb Comprehensive Transportation Plan, last updated in 2008, which plans for growth and transportation needs in the county for the next 25 years, said Faye DiMassimo, the county’s transportation director. 


May 28, 2015 Georgia Health News

Legislator: Waiver plan still requires legislative OK

Andy Miller reports that State Rep. Jason Spencer has fought the Affordable Care Act as hard as anyone in the Georgia General Assembly.Spencer, a Woodbine Republican, was a driving force behind passage of a bill that requires legislative approval for expansion of Medicaid in Georgia under the 2010 federal health care law. He also pushed legislation that forbids Georgia from running its own insurance exchange under the ACA. (Georgia, like most states, has a federally run exchange.)


May 28, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Why Nikki Haley wants to know where Nathan Deal is. All the time.

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal’s secretive overseas mission in January caused quite a bit of panic in South Carolina. At the time, the two states were locked in a brutal fight over a $500 million Volvo plant. Deal’s office wouldn’t comment on his whereabouts, aside to say he was on an economic development mission. (He was in England to court Jaguar Land Rover executives).



May 27, 2015 GPB

Rejected By Georgia, Pipeline Could Be Easily Approved In South Carolina

Emily Jones reports that an energy company could have an easier time moving ahead with a proposed gas pipeline in South Carolina than in Georgia, The State newspaper of Columbia reports. The Georgia Department of Transportation has denied energy company Kinder Morgan permission to condemn private land to make way for the Palmetto Pipeline. Company officials have said they’ll appeal the decision.


May 27, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia Chamber 100th Anniversary

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that Augusta native and Grammy-winner Amy Grant rocked the Georgia Capitol for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s 100th Anniversary Gala, April 25. More than 700 attendees were also treated to a keynote address by Gov. Nathan Deal, cuisine from Chef Gary Mennie and a custom gold carpet, complete with the chamber’s 100th anniversary logo, designed by Beaulieu of America. Grant opened with a spirited version of Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi. Two more galas are planned in Savannah and Macon later in the year.


May 27, 2015 WABE

Atlanta Start-Up Changing How Nonprofits Fund Rebuilding

Shelby Lin Erdman reports that Atlanta-based start-up is changing the model and approach for helping disaster victims rebuild destroyed homes. New Story is similar to one of the largest nonprofit house building organizations, Georgia-based Habitat for Humanity, in that it builds homes for families who can’t afford to, but the similarity ends there.


May 27, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta home prices up in March, but increase slows

Michael Kanell reports that 


May 27, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

AIG plans jobs consolidation in Sandy Springs

Douglas Sams reports that American International Group Inc. plans to carry out a consolidation of its local offices that could end up relocating at least 200 jobs to Sandy Springs. The plans follows the insurance giant’s decision last year to close its Alpharetta office, resulting in about 400 job cuts. Under former chief executive Robert Benmosche, who died earlier this year, AIG trimmed its global workforce and sharpened its focus.


May 27, 2015 Saporta Report

Atlanta BeltLine Partnership closes out $12.5 million campaign for Westside Trail   

Maria Saporta reports that a gift of nearly $600,000 from Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson and his wife, Susan, helped close out the $12.5 million campaign to fund the Atlanta BeltLine's Westside Trail. The private fundraising campaign was crucial in securing an $18 million TIGER V grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, which is accelerating construction on the Westside Trail by two to three years.


May 27, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

Numerex named to TAG Top 40 list

Staff reports that the Technology Association of Georgia, the state’s leading association dedicated to the promotion and economic advancement of Georgia’s technology industry, earlier this year, announced Cumberland-based Numerex Corp. as one of its Top 40 Innovative Technology Companies in Georgia. TAG recently recognized the awardees at the 2015 Georgia Technology Summit at the Cobb Galleria Centre in the Cumberland area.


May 27, 2015 Georgia CEO

Georgia’s Huddle House Celebrates 50th Anniversary With Strong Growth Spurt

Staff reports that Huddle House celebrated its 50th anniversary with one of the chain's strongest years of growth ever, signing 21 new franchise agreements, opening eight new restaurants, completing 41 remodels and adding four new company operated restaurants through the acquisition of existing locations. In addition, as the 2014-2015 fiscal year closed on May 2, Huddle House recorded its 17th consecutive month of positive same store sales increases.


May 27, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Sara Blakely No. 91 on Forbes’ ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’ list

Staff reports that a 44-year-old Atlanta billionaire who revolutionized the shapewear industry is among the 100 most powerful women in the world, according to Forbes. Spanx Inc. founder Sara Blakely is No. 91 on Forbes’ “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” list for 2015. That’s up from No. 93 in 2014. The women are ranked by money, media momentum, spheres of influence and impact, the magazine said.


May 27, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Buddy Carter, Rick Allen hit by Americans for Prosperity ads on Export-Import bank

Daniel Malloy reports that the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity is launching radio and Internet advertisements urging a pair of Georgia Republican freshmen to oppose an extension of the Export-Import Bank as its authority expires June 30. AFP, which is part of the network funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers, is putting radio ads up in Augusta and Savannah, along with digital ads targeting Reps. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler; and Rick Allen, R-Evans.



May 26, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Augusta real estate firms seeing more agent interest

Jenna Martin reports that Katie May always hoped to pursue a career in real estate, but it wasn’t until late 2013 that she took the leap and got her real estate license. The Augusta native, who had worked in sales about 10 years, is now an agent with Century 21 Larry Miller Realty. 


May 26, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Business Advocates

Kevin Hogencamp reports that Lindsay Thomas says he remembers the first time he became aware of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s existence. It was early 1983 and Thomas, then a Wayne County banker, had just been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. A contingent of state business leaders trekked to Washington, D.C., exclusively to visit with Thomas and his Georgia colleagues at the Capitol. They were there to ensure that ample consideration was given to the state’s businesses and industries as federal legislators chewed over policy and appropriations.


May 26, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Apartment sticker shock: Metro Atlantans facing higher rents

Christopher Seward reports that if you’re a renter, you should realize by now you’re in the same boat as many metro Atlantans who are looking to buy a home and finding prices much higher than they were last year. Rents for a two-bedroom apartment are up nearly 11 percent in Sandy Springs in Fulton County and more than 9 percent in Smyrna and Marietta in Cobb County, according to a new analysis by Apartment List.


May 26, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Massive 345.9-acre development goes before Gwinnett officials

Carla Caldwell reports that the Gwinnett County Commission will consider Tuesday whether to allow a developer to build a 345.9-acre mixed-use community on Loganville Highway, just south of Grayson, Ga.. Plans call for more than 600 houses, townhomes and villas and 569,616 square feet of retail space. Grayson Investment Partners LLC and developer David Bowen are proposing the development.


May 26, 2015 Georgia Health News

Cancer survivors teaming up to help others

Andy Miller reports that fourteen years ago, corporate executive Angie Patterson had breast cancer, undergoing a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatment. That yearlong process was harrowing, but she calls it “an enlightening time.” Patterson, now 58, discovered as a patient that she “had a real passion to help others diagnosed with cancer.’’ 


May 26, 2015 WABE

Many Atlanta Restaurants Take Trans Fats Off The Menu

Molly Samuel reports that the FDA is about to decide how to regulate trans fat, which clogs arteries. “The problem with trans fat is it kills,” said Jim O’Hara with the advocacy organization the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “Trans needs to be eliminated even more.” Many restaurants have already phased out trans fat, but not all.


May 26, 2015 Saporta Report

Georgia Research Alliance – 25 years of partnerships between academia, business and government

Maria Saporta reports, it was June 6 (D-Day), 1990. The Georgia Research Alliance was holding its first board meeting with Larry Gellerstedt Jr. chairing the meeting in the “war room” at the former offices of Central Atlanta Progress in the Hurt Building. An “iconic” photo memorializing that historic first meeting adorned the cover of the workbooks of GRA members attending the board meeting May 21 at the Commerce Club to celebrate the organization’s 25-year anniversary.


May 26, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Coca-Cola, Speedway Motorsports extend partnership through 2020

Carla Caldwell reports that Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) has extended a contract with Speedway Motorsports that ensures Coke products will be the “official drink” at the racing company’s facilities through 2020. The renewal also includes title sponsorship of the Coca-Cola 600, the longest continuous sponsorship of any race in NASCAR, at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. said in a prepared statement.


May 26, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Service 

Georgia education colleges will be measured on how well the teachers they graduate perform

Walter C. Jones reports that a new evaluation system will, for the first time, measure teacher-prep programs on how well their graduates actually do, which is keeping state regulators and college deans busy preparing for the change. For generations, colleges could retain their permit to produce teachers even if those they graduated were lousy once they got in the classroom, pretty much just as long as the college maintained its accreditation.


May 26, 2015 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

GOP may embrace green policies

Walter C. Jones reports that an essay shared among College Republicans on the eve of last week's Georgia Republican convention in Athens has cast light on growing support within the party for positions traditionally associated with Democratic environmentalists.   The essay, by a University of Georgia junior, with the too appropriate name Stephen Greenway, calls for the party to back protection of the environment. He notes that Republicans were among the first environmentalists when Republican President Theodore Roosevelt established the National Park System.  



May 25, 2015 Rome News Tribune

Georgia, Alabama still battling over water

Doug Walker reports that a tussle over water at the state line that has kept Georgia and Alabama at loggerheads for decades shows no sign of being resolved by the publication this month of a new master water control manual for the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River Basin. The signatures were barely dry before the state of Alabama opted to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Georgia didn’t even wait, filing a complaint in federal court in November 2014 after the draft environmental impact statement was released.


May 25, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Good Neighbors - Good Business

Ellen Berman reports that credit unions, it seems, are having a moment. According to the Credit Union National Association, loans have increased 10.2 percent – the most since 2005 – and membership grew 3.6 percent in 2014. That may not sound like much, but it’s the biggest jump in members that the industry has seen in 20 years. As credit unions continue to grow in popularity, these not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperatives are having a bigger impact on the communities they serve. Giving back is a major priority. 


May 25, 2015 Chattanooga Times Free Press 

Light rail possible for Chattanooga, but bullet train to Atlanta unlikely, Berke says

Louis Brogdon reports that Chattanooga is exploring the possibility of building light commuter rail throughout the city. But Mayor Andy Berke says a 17-year-old plan to connect the Scenic City to Atlanta with a bullet train is likely stopped in its tracks. Speaking with Times Free Press reporters and editors last week, Berke said that while a high-speed rail along Interstate 75 might be neat, he doubts there is money or political will to build it.


May 25, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

WSJ: Southern Co. loses backer on delayed $6.2B Miss. coal-fired power plant

Carla Caldwell reports that Southern Company (NYSE: SO) has lost a backer on its delayed $6.2 billion coal-fired power plant in Kemper County, Miss. - and has notified regulators in that state it may have to raise customer rates by 41 percent to pay for the project, The Wall Street Journal is reporting. The integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) project was originally estimated to cost $5 billion. The project is delayed by two years and is now expected to go into service in 2016.


May 25, 2015 WABE

Georgians Could Save $617 Million By Eating Less Salt

Molly Samuel reports that Georgians could save more than $600 million a year in healthcare costs by eating less sodium. That's according to a recent report from the advocacy organization Center for Science in the Public Interest. Nation-wide, the savings could be as high as $24 billion a year. Too much sodium can cause heart disease and stroke. People eat about a teaspoon and a half of salt a day. That’s half a teaspoon more than is recommended. It makes a big difference, said Jim O’Hara, director of health promotion policy with the group.


May 25, 2015 Georgia Health News

Smoking rate declining in Georgia

Andy Miller reports that Georgia’s smoking rate is showing a steady decline, a new CDC report said Thursday. The state’s rate of adult cigarette smoking fell from 21.2 percent in 2011 to 20.4 in 2012, then fell to 18.8 percent in 2013. Georgia’s smoking percentage is lower than other Southern states except for Florida, at 16.8 percent, and Texas, at 15.9 percent. 


May 25, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Clydesdales ready to gallop for public at farm in Bishop

Chris Starrs reports that when  Michigan natives Shannon and Mark Martin established Classic City Clydesdales in 2011, their original intent was to breed the majestic draft horses, which are perhaps best known for their ubiquitous appearances in Budweiser commercials. Now with some 50 horses on their Bishop farm, the Martins are taking Classic City Clydesdales a big canter further by opening their property — beginning June 1 — to the public for trail rides, carriage service and farm tours.


May 25, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Solar energy heats up in Georgia

Mary Landers reports that from Augusta’s Fort Gordon to beach homes on Tybee, solar energy is booming in Georgia. In Chatham, the Solarize program has flipped the switch on panels at four homes over the past few weeks and three more under construction. It has contracts on 35 installations in all and expects more before Friday's signing deadline, said Grant Tallon, program managers for Atlanta-based Hannah Solar, the selected installer.


May 25, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

Peachtree Corners considering incubator for small businesses

Curt Yeomans reports that Peachtree Corners officials believe a proposed business incubation center could help the city become the womb that produces many successful small businesses int he southwest corner of Gwinnett County. The city is working with Georgia Tech's Enterprise Innovation Institute to investigate whether a business incubator would work in the city. The study looks at whether there is an interest from potential business owners to participate int he program and whether the Peachtree Corners community will support it.



May 25, 2015 GPB

What's The Takeaway From The State GOP Convention For Georgia Voters?

Staff reports that last week, Political Rewind was broadcast live from the Georgia Republican Party convention in Athens. This week, Political Rewind is all about the implications of the convention for Georgia voters. How will Georgia voters respond in the primaries? What impact will the GOP’s exclusion of an anti-discrimination clause in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act resolution have on the push for religious liberty legislation in Georgia? How will presidential hopefuls Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Chris Christie fare in Georgia? And how will the crowded pool of candidates play out in Georgia with the state’s increased importance during GOP primary season?


May 25, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

State lawmaker wants hearing on campus rape prosecutions

Jim Galloway and Daniel Malloy report that State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, says he’ll conduct hearings on how Georgia universities and colleges deal with accusations of rape, with an eye toward prohibiting the secretive, on-campus prosecutions. Ehrhart, who chairs a House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees university spending, said he was provoked by a recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution article on campus rape trials.




May 22, 2015 WABE

Georgia Trails Summit Hopes To Connect State's Pathways

Staff reports that the state of Georgia has a varied environment – from mountains, forests and swamps to beaches, bogs and the urban jungle. A series of trails wind through the various terrain. Now a group of trail enthusiasts is working to try and connect these pathways throughout the state. The second annual Georgia Trails Summit will convene in Athens next month to address that effort and other issues.


May 22, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Better times ahead

John W. McCurry reports that back in 2008, no one, it seemed, was building new houses, and few were investing in commercial construction. The floor covering industry, once the mighty economic engine of Northwest Georgia, was sputtering to a standstill. Plants closed, people lost jobs, and some wondered if the region would ever regain the worldwide clout it once enjoyed.


May 22, 2015 GPB

No Easy Fix For Augusta VA Hospital

Staff reports that Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta serves tens of thousands of veterans in eastern Georgia and western South Carolina. It was one of the first VA centers in the country accused of delayed care and long waits for appointments. At least three patients from the hospital’s gastrointestinal clinic died because their procedures didn’t happen quick enough.


May 22, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Google to help more Atlantans get online

Matt Kempner reports that 


May 22, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia transportation bond money going to bridge projects

Dave Williams reports that the Georgia Department of Transportation is putting virtually all $100 million in bonds for surface projects approved by the General Assembly this year into repairing or replacing 25 aging bridges across the state. The State Transportation Board adopted a resolution Thursday authorizing the sale of $111.5 million in bonds representing the DOT’s total bond package for fiscal 2016.


May 22, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Janke steps aside as candidate for Aflac chief financial officer

Tony Adams reports that Ken Janke, the Aflac executive who appeared to be in line to become chief financial officer, has bowed out of the running for the key position with the supplemental insurer headquartered in Columbus. Aflac Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dan Amos broke the news Thursday during a briefing in New York with financial analysts who follow the company. He said Janke, who turned 57 in April, had requested that his name be withdrawn from any succession planning for the job.


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May 22, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Georgia’s jobless rate remains unchanged at 6.3 percent

Staff reports that state labor officials say Georgia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is at 6.3 percent, which is unchanged from the previous month. The Georgia Department of Labor on Thursday announced the April jobless rate. It is down from 7.3 percent from a year ago.


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May 22, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Economist say Georgia must work to stay competitive

Jenna Martin reports that after a gradual seven-year climb out of the recession, Georgia’s future economic development will see fierce competition from surrounding states, economist Roger Tutterow said Thursday. Tutterow was joined by Georgia Budget and Policy Institute Executive Director Taifa Smith Butler as guest speakers at the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s post-legislative breakfast.


May 22, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Big Apple chomps on Ted’s Atlanta legacy

Matt Kempner reports, they 


May 22, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Delta lands sponsorship with CONCACAF to become “Official Airline of the 2015 Gold Cup”

Phil W. Hudson reports that the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) reported May 21 Delta Air Lines Inc. will sponsor the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The agreement designates Atlanta-based Delta (NYSE: DAL) as the Official Airline of the 2015 Gold Cup, throughout CONCACAF territory including the United States and Canada, as well as Mexico, Central America and the rest of Latin America.


May 22, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Barry Loudermilk apologizes for NYC safety comment after Peter King diss

Daniel Malloy reports that the Gaffe Circle of Life is now complete. First, Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, asserted that he felt safer in Israel than in New York or Chicago. Then, Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., fired back. From Buzzfeed: “People from outside of New York, certainly from the South or the West — they seem to have this compulsion to look upon New York as this high-crime den of evil,” said King. “The fact is, if we’re going to single an area out for being dangerous, Atlanta would come far ahead of New York.”



May 21, 2015 WABE

Georgia Negotiates Over Developmental Disability Transfers

Michelle Wirth reports that Georgia is in negotiations with the federal government over a 2010 settlement reached with the U.S. Justice Department. By June 30, the state was supposed to move all people with developmental disabilities out of state-run hospitals and into community settings. But the state is not going to meet to that deadline.


May 21, 2015 Georgia Historical Society

Georgia Historical Society and Office of the Governor to Induct Muhtar Kent and James H. “Jimmy” Blanchard as the Newest Georgia Trustees

Staff reports that the Georgia Historical Society announced today that Muhtar Kent,  Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company and James H. “Jimmy” Blanchard, Retired Chairman of the Board and CEO of Synovus will be the 2016 Georgia Trustees.  The announcement was made at a press conference in Savannah where the Trustees will be inducted by Governor Nathan Deal on February 13, 2016. “Muhtar Kent and Jimmy Blanchard are exemplary models of what it means to be Georgia Trustees,” said W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. “Their commitment to the Trustees motto “not for self but for others” has been an important part of their service and success.”


May 21, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Gulfstream signs renewable fuel contract

Staff reports that Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. and its fuel supplier, World Fuel Services Inc., have finalized a three-year agreement that provides Gulfstream with a consistent supply of renewable fuels for its daily flight operations in Savannah. The fuel is a 30/70 blend of low-carbon, drop-in renewable fuel and Jet-A. It provides the same performance as conventional, petroleum-based jet fuel and requires no changes to factory-standard engines or aircraft.


May 21, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta debuts comical new in-flight safety video

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that 


May 21, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Online travel group says Delta is cutting off flight info

David Allison reports that a group of online travel websites claims Delta Air Lines Inc. and other airlines are cutting off price and schedule data from the sites, reducing travelers' ability to comparison shop for tickets. A May 19 report prepared for the Travel Technology Association says "some airlines are attempting to restrict access to their fare and schedule information, reduce the ability of consumers to easily compare prices, and drive travelers to their own websites, which do not offer price comparisons with other airlines."


May 21, 2015 Newnan Times-Herald

Certificate of Need ordered for Newnan Behavioral Hospital

Clay Neely reports that Superior Court Judge Emory Palmer has ordered the Georgia Department of Community Health to award a Certificate of Need to Vest Newnan, which wants to build a psychiatric and substance abuse hospital here. “The Court reverses any findings by the Department concluding that Vest’s application was not consistent with the Department’s rules of the CON statute,” Palmer said in his conclusion. “The Court … reverses the Department’s final agency decision, and orders the Department to award a CON to Vest for its 60-bed psychiatric and substance abuse hospital.”


May 21, 2015 Georgia CEO

ACG Atlanta Announces the 40 Fastest-Growing Companies

Staff reports that ACG Atlanta, the Atlanta Chapter of The Association for Corporate Growth, a global professional organization with the mission of Driving Middle-Market Growth® with a focus on mergers and acquisitions and private investment, today announced the 2015 Georgia Fast 40, representing the top 40 fastest-growing middle-market companies in Georgia. “We are very impressed with the caliber of companies that are being honored this year,” stated Dan Bauer, ACG Atlanta Chapter President. “


May 21, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

Developers preparing to build Sugarloaf Market in Duluth

Curt Yeomans reports that a sprawling 31-acre patch of dirt will soon be a new hub of commerce at the intersection of the Sugarloaf and Peachtree Industrial business corridors in Duluth. Construction is beginning on Fuqua Development and the Worthing Companies' 75,000-square-foot Sugarloaf Market project. The mixed-use development will bring 330 luxury apartments, a grocery store, restaurants and several other businesses to the undeveloped intersection which is near residential neighborhoods and busy shopping areas. 


May 21, 2015 Saporta Report

GSU art professor helps resculpt Alaska’s plastic ocean trash for CDC museum art 

Michelle Hiskey reports that beach season begins Memorial Day weekend, as our ocean waves and winds fill with toys, inflatables, boogie boards, food containers—everything plastic. The persistence of marine debris, carried by enormous ocean currents, inspired the provocative sculptures and assemblages at the odd museum in CDC headquarters. If you swim in the ocean or admire its immense power, seek out “Gyre: The Plastic Ocean” before it closes June 16 at the David J. Sencer CDC Museum.


May 21, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

MetLife, Lincoln file updated plans for mixed-use project along Georgia 400

Douglas Sams reports that insurance giant MetLife Inc. and developer Lincoln Property Co. have tweaked their plans for a large mixed-use project along Georgia 400 to include more office space. MetLife and Lincoln recently filed those updated plans with the state. The project has been in the works for more than five years. The new proposals would include 751,500 square feet of office space, 75,100 square feet of retail, about 31,000 square feet of restaurants, 414 apartments, 25 condos and a 200-room hotel.


May 21, 2015 Waycross Journal-Herald   

Waycross Is To File Suit Next Week To Nullify Nimmer’s De-Annexation  

John Scott Cooper reports that the issue of the de-annexation of all Pierce County properties previously part of Waycross to take effect July 1 apparently is headed to court with litigation to begin next week. City Attorney Rick Currie further discussed with city officials Monday the status of House Bill 523 written by Rep. Chad Nimmer that will push the City of Waycross boundary out of Pierce County as of July 1. The Waycross administration says Nimmer put his bill through the House without notifying them. City officials found out about the legislation after it was passed and signed into law by Gov. Nathan Deal.


May 21, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Nathan Deal backtracks on ‘religious liberty’ demand

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal is hedging on his earlier insistence that “religious liberty” legislation include an anti-discrimination clause. The governor said Wednesday the legislation may not need such language if the rest of it replicates the federal version that Congress passed in 1993 and carries President Bill Clinton’s signature. The remarks came after Georgia Republican Party delegates passed a resolution urging lawmakers to support a version of the legislation without the anti-discrimination clause.



May 20, 2015 WABE

Ga. Denies Pipeline Company's Request To Use Private Land

Molly Samuel reports that Georgia will not permit the energy company Kinder Morgan to use eminent domain to build a pipeline along the Savannah River, then down the coast to Florida. "I find that there is substantial evidence showing that the pipeline would not constitute a public convenience and necessity," Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry wrote in the final decision, released Tuesday morning.


May 20, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Perimeter Area: Business Bull's-eye

Randy Southerland reports that Central Perimeter on the northern arc of Atlanta’s I-285 ring has long been the epicenter of the region’s office market. It was here, across both Fulton and DeKalb counties, that big corporations migrated to be close to the northern suburbs where executives like to live, as well as the main highways that connect the rest of the city. It was once a place of midrise office towers and corporate campuses that you could only get to by car.


May 20, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Gulfstream G500 completes first flight

Staff reports that Gulfstream Aerospace announced this week that the all new Gulfstream G500 has successfully completed its first flight. The G500 is part of Savannah-based Gulfstream’s new family of aircraft — the G500 and G600 — and the first of the two to begin flight tests.


May 20, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta Rotary considering proposal to co-host Nobel Peace Laureate Summit with City of Atlanta

Maria Saporta reports that Atlanta’s quest to host the 2015 Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates has taken yet another twist, falling just short of a final decision. The last week could be described as one where the Summit moved two steps closer and one step back with receiving a final green light to move forward from all the necessary players.


May 20, 2015 Cherokee Tribune

Times-Journal to purchase Ledger-News

Erika Neldner reports that Cherokee Ledger-News, as of next Wednesday, will be under new ownership. Times-Journal Inc., the parent company of the Marietta Daily Journal and the Cherokee Tribune, along with Lakeside Publishing will finalize the deal May 27. The Cherokee Ledger-News will remain a free, weekly publication that is mailed to its subscribers.


May 20, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Services

Regents approve tuition installment plan

Walter C. Jones reports that tuition may be rising many times faster than the overall inflation rate, but now students and parents will be able to pay it in installments. The Board of Regents voted Tuesday to extends its three-year test of the pay-plan beyond Georgia Tech to all of the public schools in the University System of Georgia. 


May 20, 2015 Georgia Health News

WellStar expanding reach in LaGrange Hospital deal

Andy Miller reports that Marietta-based WellStar is planning to add another hospital system to its fold, one that’s outside its current geographical sweet spot. West Georgia Health in LaGrange announced Tuesday that it has signed a letter of intent to join WellStar Health System, which dominates the northwest Atlanta suburbs. The CEO of West Georgia, Jerry Fulks, cited the changes rampant in health care payments — many of which were ignited by the Affordable Care Act — for his system’s yearlong pursuit of a partner. 


Marietta-based WellStar is planning to add another hospital system to its fold, one that’s outside its current geographical sweet spot.

West Georgia Health in LaGrange announced Tuesday that it has signed a letter of intent to join WellStar Health System, which dominates the northwest Atlanta suburbs.

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May 20, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

County preparing to roll out wireless emergency alerts

Curt Yeomans reports that Gwinnett County officials will roll out a new wireless alert system later this year which will send messages to residents cell phones during emergencies. County Emergency Management Director Greg Swanson told county commissioners on Tuesday the system will be similar to the sever weather warnings and Amber alerts residents already receive on their phones. Federal and state emergency officials will let the county use the system for non-weather situtions, such as fire, police and hazardous materials warnings.


May 20, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Data startup CloudTags raises $2M

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Atlanta data startup CloudTags has raised $2 million from Idea Fund Partners, Alerion Ventures and Knoll Ventures. CloudTags helps retailers personalize the shopping experience and attract customers into brick-and-mortar stores. As shopping increasingly shifts online, retailers seek innovative ways to lure consumers into physical stores — which typically generate a higher shopping order.


May 20, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Tom Graves passes his first spending bill as a ‘cardinal’

Daniel Malloy reports that the U.S. House on Tuesday easily cleared Rep. Tom Graves’ $3.3 billion spending bill covering the legislative branch. Graves, the conservative Republican from Ranger, worked with Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a liberal who is most often seen attacking top Republicans on TV. Though she ended up voting against the bill, Wasserman Schultz even had kind words for Graves on the floor ahead of the easy 357-67 vote.



May 19, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Container volume grew by nearly 26 percent over same month last year

Mary Carr Mayle reports that the Georgia Ports Authority continues to break its own records, with tonnage, containers and autos at an all-time high for April. "And this is on top of unbelieveable numbers last year," GPA executive director Curtis Foltz told his board Monday, adding that the port expects to wrap up the fiscal year June 30 close to a half-million containers higher than the year before.


May 19, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Masters of change

Anna Bentley reports that “If we go back 20 or 30 years ago, career prospects meant climbing the career ladder in one organization,” says Harley E. Ryan Jr., associate dean for curriculum and teaching at the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University (GSU). “Nowadays, the director of our Career Management Center likens it to climbing a rock wall. That means you zig and you zag. That means you have to cross boundaries.”


May 19, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

New development coming to North Columbus

Tony Adams reports that commercial development that will include a new Keller Williams real-estate office, a corporate headquarters for Childcare Network and a Southern States Bank branch is planned for 6059 Veterans Parkway in north Columbus. There also will be small strip shopping center on the nearly 5-acre tract, with Dunkin Donuts already interested in the site.


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May 19, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia sees fastest growth in number of women-owned firms since 1997

Phil W. Hudson reports that women entrepreneurs now own 30 percent of all enterprises in the United States and have started, on average, 887 net new firms per day last year, according to the 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN. The payment card issuer for New York-based American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) reported the start-up rate among women-owned firms shows that business creation has recovered from the recession.


May 19, 2015 WABE

Georgia Property Owners Fight Fuel Pipeline Plan

Molly Samuel reports that a fight is raging over a pipeline on the Georgia coast. If it’s built, it would carry gasoline and diesel through Savannah, Georgia, to Jacksonville, Florida. And the company that would build it wants to take over private land to do it. Eddie Reddick owns a tree farm near the South Carolina border, and he is mad. “This tree’ll eventually die,” he says, pulling on the crooked trunk of a young pine tree.


May 19, 2015 Athens Banner Herald

St. Mary's purchase of Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center nears completion, new name announced

Staff reports that Ty Cobb Regional Medical Center in Lavonia will be renamed St. Mary's Sacred Heart Hospital and Jeff English, vice president of human resources and support services for St. Mary's will be its interim president when the acquisition process is completed on or around June 1.


May 19, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

University Hospital, MCG partner to add 12 more residency positions

Tom Corwin reports that the University System of Georgia Board of Regents is scheduled to vote on $800,000 to establish 12 family medicine slots at University Hospital in partnership with the Medical College of Georgia. 


May 19, 2015

Japan to honor founder of Macon's Cherry Blossom Festival

Phil Bolton reports that an unanticipated snow storm didn’t stop the first official Macon International Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring of 1983, and the annual event has grown from a three-day festival to a month-long celebration that attracts annually hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Middle Georgia city. Carolyn Crayton, the founder and the former president and CEO of the festival, is to be honored by the Japanese government in Atlanta on June 24.


May 19, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Gulfstream G500 takes off in first flight

Phil W. Hudson reports that Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.’s all-new Gulfstream G500 successfully completed its first flight May 18. The G500 is part of Gulfstream’s new family of clean-sheet aircraft, the G500 and G600, and the first of the two to begin flight tests.


May 19, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Convention leftovers: The split between the GOP base and the Legislature

Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy report that as a last act before they headed for the exits on Saturday, delegates to the state Republican party convention in Athens passed a package of resolutions that in essence chided the GOP-controlled Legislature. There was the endorsement of SB 129, the religious liberty bill, of course. And a resolution endorsing another measure authored by state Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, endorsing the denial of drivers licenses to illegal immigrants offered temporary sanctuary by the Obama administration.



May 18, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Volvo: How Savannah lost it

Mary Carr Mayle reports that it was late on Friday afternoon, May 8, and the mood in the board room at the Savannah Economic Development Authority could not have been more somber. A trio of executives from Volvo Cars had just left the building after telling Trip Tollison and Anna Chafin that the site they proposed for Volvo’s first U.S. manufacturing plant had been eliminated from the competition, leaving a South Carolina site as the only remaining contender.


May 18, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia's other creative industries

Anna Bentley reports that it's hard living in the shadows of a great success – even more so when you’re a powerhouse in your own right. Just ask Georgia’s lesser-celebrated, yet equally booming animation, video game development and television commercial/support service industries. While a lot of attention has been given to the explosion of the state’s film and television industries, these areas have been steadily expanding just out of the spotlight, growing year over year. 


May 18, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Coke selling bottling territories to two bottlers

Leon Stafford reports that 


May 18, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Power starts work on large solar projects at Fort Gordon, Fort Stewart

Carla Caldwell reports that Georgia Power has started construction on new solar projects at Georgia Army bases Fort Gordon near Augusta and Fort Stewart near Savannah. Georgia Power and the U.S. Army announced the Georgia 3x30 solar project in 2014. Work started last week, Georgia Power says.


May 18, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Jobs remain competitive in Augusta for new graduates

Jenna Martin reports that just days after graduating from Georgia Regents University, Sophia Viller embarked on her professional career. Viller started her new job at Textron Specialized Vehicles on Monday, using her newly-minted accounting degree to help the company’s consumer division as a channel development coordinator. Viller said she stayed on top of the job search as graduation approached and was offered the job at Textron about two weeks ago, ahead of her commencement.


May 18, 2015 Georgia Health News

Breaking down drinking patterns in Georgia

Judi Kanne reports that Georgia has lower rates of heavy drinking and binge drinking than the national average, a recently released study found.The study, published last month in the American Journal of Public Health, found that just 6.9 percent of Georgians are heavy drinkers, versus a national rate of 8.2 percent. Heavy drinking is defined as exceeding an average of one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men over the past month.


May 18, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

Waycross to lose land it annexed in Pierce County as result of bill city wasn't aware of

Terry Dickson reports that City Attorney Rick Currie was checking recently to find whether a House bill had passed changing the name of the City Court to Municipal Court. The search revealed that Waycross had gotten something it hadn't asked for. The House had adopted a bill introduced by State Rep. Chad Nimmer, R-Blackshear, that will on July 1 push the Waycross city limit back to the Satilla River, in effect de-annexing land in Pierce County that was taken into the city in the 1980s.


May 18, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

This month in Georgia history – May edition

Karen Kirkpatrick reports, as we we at Georgia Trend celebrate 30 years of covering business, politics and economic development across this great state, we’re taking a look back at some of the events that brought us to where we are today. May in Georgia marks the start of summer – even if the calendar doesn’t agree. Kids get out of school, temps climb into the high 80s on a regular basis and some people struggle a little harder to keep up with work as the great outdoors beckons. Despite the distractions, there have been some important May events in Georgia history.


May 18, 2015 Saporta Report

Local designers win Atlanta Bridgescape competition   

Maria Saporta reports that winners of a design competition to retrofit and enhance two of Atlanta’s bridges over the Downtown Connector were announced Friday at the AIA national convention that is meeting in town this week. The two winning designs – one for the 10th Street bridge in Midtown and the other for the Courtland-McGill bridge in downtown – were selected “blindly” by a panel of design professionals.


May 18, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Georgia State breaks ground on new dorm

Dave Williams reports that Georgia State University broke ground this week on a student housing and dining hall complex, the first project being built through a statewide privatization program approved last year. The new complex at the intersection of Piedmont and John Wesley Dobbs avenues, due to be completed by the fall of 2016, will house about 1,100 students.


May 18, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

As they push ‘religious liberty’ bill, Georgia Republicans elect first gay state officer

Jim Galloway reports that Georgia Republican position on gay rights has just gotten a little more nuanced. On Saturday, the second and final day of their statewide convention, Georgia Republicans loudly endorsed a religious liberty bill, which many supporters say is needed to offset a coming U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. Convention approval was not unexpected, but the lack of debate was. The resolution was one of many approved en masse and without discussion, by a large majority, as 2,000 delegates and alternates walked out the door.




May 15, 2015 GPB

Group Says It Has Plan To End 'Water Wars'

Staff reports that a private group says they've reached an agreement to end the decades–old water war between Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. At issue is who has rights to the water in Lake Lanier. ACF Stakeholders calls itself a grassroots organization dedicated to finding a solution to the long–running dispute. Members include everyone from local governments in Metro Atlanta to the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. 


May 15, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Business Casual: Keeping the faith

Susan Percy writes, fortunately, most people living in the South these days have no memory of the “white only” signs on water fountains and restrooms that once were commonplace. And the idea of complicated and humiliating registration procedures (counting jellybeans in a jar or naming all the counties in your state, for instance) for African Americans seeking to exercise their Constitutional right to vote seem as distant as horse-and-buggy transportation, if considerably less benign.


May 15, 2015 Georgia Health News

State studying design for Medicaid waiver plan

Andy Miller reports that the state’s main health agency says it’s analyzing a new plan to cover more uninsured Georgians through a special Medicaid “waiver’’ program. Gov. Nathan Deal “has asked us to work on it,’’ Clyde Reese, commissioner of the state Department of Community Health, said Thursday. The plan for a Medicaid waiver was generated by Grady Health System as an alternative to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, a step that has been firmly rejected by Deal and state legislative leaders. 


May 15, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Study: Delta still stingy with mileage award flights

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that an 


May 15, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Ocwen to sell $45 billion in mortgage servicing rights to Chase

Staff reports that Ocwen Financial Corp. will sell mortgage servicing rights for 266,000 Fannie Mae loans worth $45 billion to Chase. “Buying this prime servicing book will improve the quality of our servicing portfolio and will help drive a stronger and less volatile mortgage business,” said Chase Mortgage Banking CEO Kevin Watters. “We expect the portfolio, in addition to lower delinquency rates overall, will help improve the value of our business.”


May 15, 2015 WABE

Atlanta's Bike Share Program Looks To Reach Out To Minorities

Candace Wheeler reports that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed recently announced that the city would launch its first bike share program this year. That’s a big deal for cyclists around the city, including minorities who make up the fastest-growing population on bikes in the last decade. So as Atlanta gets ready for bike share, will minority communities see the benefits?


May 15, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Tybee officials delay plastic bag ban

Kelly Quimby reports that Tybee Island officials took heed of scores of emails, letters and public comments Thursday and voted to delay a proposal to ban plastic bags citywide. The council was poised to hold a second reading of an ordinance that would have prohibited retailers from distributing non-reusable and non-recyclable plastic bags to customers at checkout. Instead, the council unanimously voted to bring the second reading back in 120 days.


May 15, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Delta stays at No. 2 in J.D. Power’s annual airline satisfaction study

Staff reports that Delta Air Lines Inc. landed once again at second place in the J.D. Power 2015 North America Airline Satisfaction study. Atlanta-based Delta (NYSE: DAL) scored a 709 in the study, above the airline average of 691 and just below No. 1 Alaska Airlines’ 719. Delta also ranked No. 2 in the 2014 study.


May 15, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

State GOP convention gets under way in Athens

Jim Thompson reports that speeches will be the order of the day today as the Georgia Republican Party's two-day biennial state convention gets under way in Athens, with two formally declared presidential candidates and a likely GOP contender headlining the bill at the Classic Center in downtown Athens. Festivities for the early arrivals among the 3,500 people expected for the GOP convention Thursday evening, with a welcome party sponsored by Georgia Republican Party Chairman John Padgett and state Sen. Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, in the Atrium at the Classic Center.


May 15, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Johnny Isakson signs onto medical marijuana oil bill in Senate

Daniel Malloy reports that a group of U.S. senators introduced a medical marijuana bill Wednesday that seeks to do what Georgia’s did to legalize epilepsy treatments with hemp oil at the federal level. It’s different from a House version we told you about recently because it allows the Food and Drug Administration more leeway to regulate the cannabidiol products, thus earning the support of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.




May 14, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Critics slam latest pipeline filing

Mary Landers reports, in eleventh-hour effort to show its Palmetto Pipeline is needed in Georgia, energy giant Kinder Morgan last week filed an addendum to its needs application with the Georgia Department of Transportation. But critics say the Houston-based company still hasn’t convinced them it merits the authority to condemn property along the petroleum pipeline’s proposed 210-mile route through the Peach State.


May 14, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Deadline for 40-under-40 nominations is May 15

Staff reports that each year since 1997, we recognize 40 young Georgians under the age of 40. These individuals, chosen from a statewide pool of candidates, represent the best and brightest in business, government, non-profits, education, politics, media, healthcare and the arts. We welcome your nominations. The nomination period will close Friday, May 15, 2015 (we will not accept nominations after that dates).


May 14, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Delta announces $5 billion stock buyback, increased dividend

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that 


May 14, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Coca-Cola, UPS, Home Depot among most powerful brands of 2015

Phil W. Hudson reports that the Coca-Cola Co. was once again named the most powerful brand by Tenet Partners. Three Atlanta-based companies landed on the New York-based marketing and advertising company’s eighth annual list: The Coca-Cola Co. held onto No. 1 once again, while United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) dropped 12 spots to No. 34 and The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) fell one spot to No. 51.


May 14, 2015 Georgia Health News

Gwinnett, metro Atlanta top exchange enrollment

Andy Miller reports that Gwinnett County, in suburban Atlanta, had by far the highest enrollment among Georgia counties in the state’s 2015 health insurance exchange, said a report released Wednesday. The exchange enrollment of 73,839 in Gwinnett is more than 14,000 higher than in the second-place finisher, neighboring Fulton County, even though Fulton is the only Georgia county with a higher overall population than Gwinnett’s.


May 14, 2015 Gainesville Times

Major companies moving away from antimicrobial use in chickens

Frank Reddy reports that Nick Ball says putting antibiotics in poultry is “putting bandaids over bulletholes.” The Clermont farmer — a manager at Wauka Meadows Farm — doesn’t give antibiotics to his chickens and takes what he feels is a “back to basics” approach to livestock farming in order to harvest healthier meat.


May 14, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Perry being considered by company with more than 100 jobs

Mike Stucka reports that a site in Perry could soon be a finalist for a manufacturer that would bring more than 100 jobs. Angie Gheesling, executive director of the Houston County Development Authority, told The Telegraph on Wednesday that a recent site review went well. Perry was one of six semifinalists being considered for the first North American location of an international manufacturing company, whose name has not been made public.


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May 14, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Jenkins County adding 100 jobs with plant expansion

Jenna Martin reports that an aluminum manufacturing facility in Jenkins County expects to add 100 new jobs as it expands existing operations there over the next three years, according to Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal.  Deal announced Wednesday that MI Metals in Millen will invest about $2 million to expand its fabrication and metal extrusion production facility by 120,000 square feet to better reach its Southeastern customers.


May 14, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Former Spanx executives launch fashion tech company designed to keep you cool

Ellie Hensley reports that two former Spanx Inc. executives want you to keep your cool. Last year, Mary-Cathryn Kolb and Tosha Hays left their jobs at Spanx. In May 2015, they launched Atlanta-based Brrr!, which makes accessories, home goods and clothing made of fabric designed to stay cool.


May 14, 2015 Gainesville Times

Tri-state group OKs water management plan for basin

Jeff Gill reports that a private tri-state water group has settled in six years what remains a thorny issue for Georgia, Florida and Alabama after 20 years — the sharing of waters in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin. The ACF Stakeholders’ 56-member governing board unanimously agreed on a water management plan for the basin Wednesday, a decision made after two days of mostly closed meetings in Apalachicola, Fla.


May 14, 2015 Rome News Tribune

GDOL to help TiDra and Aerotek recruit workers in Calhoun and Rome next week

Staff reports that the Georgia Department of Labor will help two staffing companies, TiDra and Aerotek, recruit more than 80 workers for manufacturing plants located in Calhoun on Monday, May 18TiDra will be hiring about 80 workers for a textile manufacturer. The recruitment will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Gordon County Agricultural Service Center, 1282 Highway 53 Spur S.W., Calhoun.


May 14, 2015 National Journal

Georgia: 2016's New Campaign Battleground

Adam Wollner reports that Georgia is usually an afterthought when it comes to presidential primary politics. Lacking the prominent position on the calendar of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, and the fertile fundraising ground of New York, California, and Texas, most past candidates have largely bypassed Georgia as they sketched out their paths to the nomination. This time around, White House hopefuls are paying much closer attention to Georgia, thanks to its central role in the burgeoning Southern regional primary—or the "SEC primary," as its boosters call it—on March 1.




May 13, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Israeli company chooses Savannah

Israeli manufacturer Bram Industries Ltd. has chosen Savannah as the site for its first manufacturing plant in the United States. The company made the announcement at Tuesday's meeting of the Savannah Economic Development Authority board. The facility will bring a capital investment of $3 million and 60 new jobs to its facility at 300 Telfair Road in the Georgia Commerce Center.


May 13, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Albany/Dougherty County: Putting on a new face

K. K. Snyder reports that there’s Only One Albany. That’s the mantra floating around town these days, a loaded attempt by local leadership to rebrand the Southwest Georgia city of Albany and surrounding Dougherty County. The slogan is everywhere, splashed across television, billboards and magazine pages, and local leaders are hoping the message reaches both citizens and visitors alike.


May 13, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Yik Yak’s frat-bro founders shrug off growing pains

Sean Sposito reports that the 


May 13, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Novelis profit spikes 42% to $148 million in fiscal 2015

Staff reports that Atlanta-based aluminum rolling and recycling company Novelis reported a surge in annual profit in fiscal 2015, as it grew automotive shipments 28 percent and took advantage of new automotive finishing capacity in the United States and China. Revenue rose 14 percent to $11.1 billion, while profit jumped 42 percent to $148 million.


May 13, 2015 WABE

UGA Stem Cell Work Aims To Save Southeast Asia’s Big Cats 

Shelby Lin Erdman reports that the Sumatran tiger once roamed vast stretches of the jungle on the Southeast Asian island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Now the big cat is classified as critically endangered – on the brink of extinction. The clouded leopard is in a similar battle for its life. The smallest of South Asia’s big cats, it once claimed a vast territory that stretched from the Himalayan foothills to the forests of the mainland into China.


May 13, 2015

Georgia to hire new China rep as competitive pressures grow

Trevor Williams reports that the Georgia Department of Economic Development is in the process of hiring a new representative for its investment office in Qingdao, China, as the state seeks to up its game in wooing Chinese investment. The department decided not to renew the contract of Seth Jacobs, its most recent China rep, nearly two years after Mr. Jacobs made arrangements to open the office and paved the way for a high-level delegation led by Gov. Nathan Deal in August 2013.    


May 13, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

Planners proposing overhaul, expansion of Gwinnett Center

Curt Yeomans reports that a new Marriott hotel may be the beginning of a major overhaul of the Gwinnett Center. Consultants from Rosser International presented several ideas which have been proposed for inclusion in a new master plan for the center on Tuesday during a meeting with county commissioners.


May 13, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

SRS expanding biomass power plant

Meg Mirshak reports that a new boiler at Savannah River Site's biomass power-generating plant will help prevent a loss of steam and electricity production during extreme cold weather. The U.S. Energy Depart­ment and Ameresco, a renewable energy company, broke ground Monday on an expansion of the original biomass generation facility that began operations in 2012. The heating plant uses wood chips and shredded rubber tires as fuel to power SRS operations.


May 13, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta MLS name to be unveiled before July CONCACAF Gold Cup semifinals

Phil W. Hudson reports that it looks like MLS Atlanta could have a team name as early as this summer. MLS Atlanta and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank intends to reveal his club’s name before the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Gold Cup semifinals this July, Atlanta Business Chronicle has learned.


May 13, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

Governor signs bill providing tax credits for historic restorations

Walter C. Jones reports that developers who rehab historic property will now be able to claim more tax credits after Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation into law Tuesday that was the Savannah City Council's top goal. House Bill 308 introduced by Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Savannah, and cosponsored by the local delegation, was designed to benefit Richard Kessler who is restoring a former Savannah Electric Power Co. generating plant on River Street and converting it into a luxury hotel. Kessler estimated hiring hundreds of workers, and civic leaders hope the project will spark additional economic development in the area. 


May 13, 2015

Deal issues 2015 veto statements 

Staff reports, SB 76  Senate Bill 76 would allow motorcycle and bicycle operators to enter an intersection without providing a definitive regard to the traffic signal in instances where the lightweight nature of their vehicle will not activate a traffic-control device. While I am sympathetic to the concerns and causes of motorcyclists and bicyclists, this legislation does not provide an adequate solution and presents a confusing exception to motorists. 


May 13, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Jeb Bush, Scott Walker heading to Atlanta for cattle call to rival Iowa straw poll

Daniel Malloy reports that the August gathering put on by the conservative RedState blog in Atlanta is turning into a certified 2016 Republican presidential cattle call — and an attempt to knock the famed Iowa straw poll down a peg. Erick Erickson, the WSB Radio host and founder of RedState, revealed today that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and businesswoman Carly Fiorina will address the crowd of activists Aug. 7-8.



May 12, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

Georgia revenues up 15 percent in April

Curt Yeomans reports that Georgia's net revenues in April were up 15 percent from a year ago largely because of tax increases, Gov Nathan Deal's office announced on Monday. The state collected $1.93 billion last month, putting fiscal year-to-date revenue collections at $15.78 billion. The year-to-date totals are also up by 7.1 percent from last year.


May 12, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Economic Development: May 2015

Christy Simo reports, Shine On: Wells Lighting is opening its first North American headquarters in Millen, representing a $30-million investment and creating 200 jobs. The South Korea-based company will locate in an existing 92,000-square-foot building.


May 12, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

GA construction workers to participate in safety stand down

Staff reports that 


May 12, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

DTZ buying Cushman & Wakefield, ushering in more big changes for Atlanta

Douglas Sams reports that DTZ, backed by global investment giant TPG Capital, plans to buy Cushman & Wakefield in a reportedly $2 billion deal— the latest in a series of high-profile moves ushering in sweeping changes across Atlanta’s commercial real estate landscape. DTZ entered the Atlanta market last year with ambitions to build one of the city’s top brokerages, though it didn’t have much name recognition locally.


May 12, 2015 WABE

How New Trade Partnership Could Impact Georgia Businesses

Staff reports that Professor of international business at Georgia State University, David Bruce, explained past U.S. trade pacts and explained how the TPP could impact Georgia businesses. President Barack Obama visited the headquarters of Nike in Oregon last week to raise support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, also known as the TPP.


May 12, 2015 Georgia CEO

AGL Resources Employees Celebrate Commitment to Local Communities 

Staff reports that one of the nation's largest natural gas distribution companies, AGL Resources and its family of companies touch the lives of more than 4.5 million customers in 1,100 communities each day. While the company demonstrates its responsibility as a community partner year-round through various volunteer initiatives, employees collectively will focus their energy on making a positive difference in their communities during the company's second Volunteer Week.


May 12, 2015 Georgia Health News

Where you're born can shorten your life

Andy Miller reports that children born just a few miles apart in Atlanta can have life expectancies that vary by more than 10 years, an analysis shows. A child born in the 30305 ZIP Code in the affluent Buckhead district can be expected to live to age 84, according to a map recently created by Virginia Commonwealth University researchers. But across I-75 in northwest Atlanta, a child in the 30318 ZIP Code would have an average life expectancy of 72 years. 


hildren born just a few miles apart in Atlanta can have life expectancies that vary by more than 10 years, an analysis shows.

A child born in the 30305 ZIP Code in the affluent Buckhead district can be expected to live to age 84, according to a map recently created by Virginia Commonwealth University researchers.

But across I-75 in northwest Atlanta, a child in the 30318 ZIP Code would have an average life expectancy of 72 years.

- See more at:

May 12, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Gwinnett, Jacoby Development continue talks about OFS redevelopment

Ellie Hensley reports that Jacoby’s studio project could look to Gwinnett County for support. Atlanta developer Jim Jacoby and his Jacoby Development Inc. have faced financing issues for the proposed “Atlanta Media Complex” in Norcross, but Gwinnett County may be looking for a way to lend a hand. Jacoby’s adaptive reuse project would turn most of the Optical Fiber Solutions plant (OFS) into at least seven sound stages with production support space, a film school, student housing, and what the developer calls the largest studio backlot in the country.


May 12, 2015

Deal signs 2016 budget        

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal today signed into law the bill establishing next year’s $21.8 billion state budget, which will keep Georgia moving forward in education, public safety, economic development, health care and other key areas.  “Our decisions on what to fund each year carry a great deal of weight,” Deal said. “I commend the General Assembly for working with me to produce a balanced budget that reflects the needs of our agencies and the people of this great state.”


May 12, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Peake falls short in bid to become Georgia House majority leader

Philip Ramati reports that State Rep. Allen Peake fell short Monday in his bid to become Georgia House Majority Leader. Peake, R-Macon, lost to state Rep. Jon Burns of Newington. Though final vote totals weren’t announced publicly, the winner needed 58 of the 114 Republican Party caucus members who cast a vote. Peake said he was disappointed with the outcome.


Read more here:

May 12, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Report: State Rep. Mark Hamilton to leave Legislature

Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway report that we haven’t been able to confirm it independently, but reports that state Rep. Mark Hamilton, R-Cumming, chairman of the House Industry and Labor Committee, will resign from the Legislature to take an out-of-state job. Not all Democrats will miss him. Hamilton was the force behind HB 194, the measure to sharply curtail early voting in Georgia. The bill was stalled this year because of the need for Democratic cooperation on HB 170, the transportation funding bill. Certainly, there are plenty of GOP lawmakers who will eagerly take up that flag in 2016.




May 11, 2015 GPB

The Delicate Charter School Transition

Michael Caputo reports that the way that the state of Georgia calculates charter school enrollment, it would initially appear as though it has exploded. Georgia Department of Education information shows that it has doubled in the last three school years. But the real growth lies with traditional school districts that have decided to operate like a system of charter schools.


May 11, 2015 Georgia Trend  

Georgia's Other Creative Industries

Anna Bentley reports that it's hard living in the shadows of a great success – even more so when you’re a powerhouse in your own right. Just ask Georgia’s lesser-celebrated, yet equally booming animation, video game development and television commercial/support service industries. While a lot of attention has been given to the explosion of the state’s film and television industries, these areas have been steadily expanding just out of the spotlight, growing year over year. 


May 11, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

Opening of processing mill in Pierce County clear signal mining company will be around a long time, officials say

Terry Dickson reports that Southern Ionics announced last week the opening of a dry mill in Pierce County to process the zircon ore it is mining in Charlton County, a signal the company will be in Southeast Georgia for years to come, officials said. Former congressman Lindsay Thomas, a Screven resident who works as a consultant for Southern Ionics, said the company examined sites in several counties before choosing a site in Offerman near the Pierce-Wayne County line. The site has all the components Southern Ionics needs, Thomas said, rail and highway access, water and an abundant supply of natural gas.  


May 11, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Chinese cabinet company opens U.S. HQ in Gwinnett

Carla Caldwell reports that U.S. Go Goal Cabinets Inc. has opened its U.S. headquarters in Peachtree Corners, Ga. The company is a subsidiary of China-based Roc Furniture Industrial Co. Ltd. U.S. Go Goal Cabinets manufactures and sells kitchen cabinets to retail and wholesale markets. “Gwinnett County will be an ideal location for us to grow our business, being centrally located in the Southeast,” Ellis Zheng, president of U.S. Go Goal Cabinets Inc., said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to join the impressive list of other companies who found a new home in this community and we are confident that this location will allow us to enjoy great success.”


May 11, 2015 WABE

Georgia No. 1 For Guns Used In Out-Of-State Crimes

Lisa Hagen reports that tens of thousands of New York City police mourned the death of fellow officer Brian Moore Friday morning. He was shot last weekend on a street in Queens. Investigators since have traced the gun used to kill Moore back to a 2011 pawn shop burglary in Perry, Georgia. Georgia tops the list as a source of guns used in crimes in other states. In 2013, more than 3,000 guns originally purchased legally in Georgia were confiscated outside the state by police, according to data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Florida is a very close second.


May 11, 2015 Athens Banner Herald

Brewer optimistic about beer law change

Kelsey Cochran reports that a new law that allows breweries to sell their beer to customers to take home isn’t ideal, but Athens brewers are optimistic about even the smallest change to what they call the state’s antiquated regulations. Georgia Senate Bill 63, initially referred to as the Beer Jobs Bill, was passed in March and signed this week by Gov. Nathan Deal. It’s headed to the state Department of Revenue, where officials will write regulations around the language of the law.


May 11, 2015 Georgia Health News

Grady outlines plan to transform care for uninsured

Andy Miller reports that Grady Health System realized it couldn’t count on Medicaid expansion anytime soon, so it went looking for a different path. Expansion, already implemented in a number of other states, would have extended coverage to hundreds of thousands of low-income Georgians – turning them into paying patients. By doing that, it would have helped Atlanta’s Grady Memorial and other hospitals offset deep federal cuts looming from the Affordable Care Act. 


Grady Health System realized it couldn’t count on Medicaid expansion anytime soon, so it went looking for a different path.

Expansion, already implemented in a number of other states, would have extended coverage to hundreds of thousands of low-income Georgians – turning them into paying patients. By doing that, it would have helped Atlanta’s Grady Memorial and other hospitals offset deep federal cuts looming from the Affordable Care Act.

- See more at:

May 11, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

Gwinnett considered a model for treating, reusing water

Curt Yeomans reports that Gwinnett County pumps about 33 million gallons of clean, treated water into Lake Lanier every day. It is water that has been used in homes and businesses in the county. Although it originally came from Lake Lanier, it has been through a lot in its trip to residents' home. It has been used as toilet water and drinking water. People have bathed in it. It has even been used to wash bacteria off food slated for consumption.


May 11, 2015 Marietta Daily Post

Newell Rubbermaid shows strong 1Q results

Staff reports that Newell Rubbermaid, which has offices at 1600 Wilson Way SE in Smyrna, announced its first quarter 2015 financial results. “We’ve had a strong start to the year with first quarter core sales growth of 4.7 percent and normalized earnings per share growth of 5.9 percent,” said Michael Polk, president and CEO. “Our Win Bigger businesses of Writing, Commercial Products and Tools grew over seven percent as a result of strong innovation, increased advertising investment and great sales execution. All five global business segments grew core sales, including North American core sales growth of five percent and net sales growth of over 11 percent, our best result in many years.


May 11, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Charity thrift stores in Middle Georgia extend life of donated goods, help people they serve

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Linda S. Morris reports that once something is donated to a nonprofit thrift store in Middle Georgia -- such as jeans that don’t fit, a suit that’s out of style or a table with a few too many dings -- people might not think much about what happens to it. Nonprofits can get the most bang for the buck by selling such items in their thrift stores. But even some things that can’t be sold in the stores, like torn or badly stained clothing, still are useful. And some organizations will repair or repurpose donated items.


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May 11, 2015 Saporta Report

Fort McPherson – Atlanta’s greatest (missed) opportunity

Maria Saporta reports that a city stands and falls on the decisions and vision of her leaders. All too rarely, a city has an opportunity to make a decision that will set its future course for generations to come. Fort McPherson is such an opportunity for Atlanta. The now-closed U.S. Army base is a jewel of 488 acres – nearly three times the size of all of Atlantic Station. It has some of the most beautiful historic buildings and tree-lined green spaces that can be found anywhere in Atlanta.


May 11, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Nathan Deal on Medicaid waiver: More would be insured, but it’s still not an expansion

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal shed a little more light on what Georgia officials are seeking with a special Medicaid waiver that will be used to conduct what they’re calling an experiment — and not an expansion. Deal said in an interview that the waiver would “explore the possibilities of covering people who are now uninsured,” including some of the estimated 650,000 people who would be covered if Georgia expanded the Medicaid program. The charge is being led by Grady Memorial Hospital, which is working with struggling rural hospitals and other healthcare facilities around the state to craft the plan.




May 8, 2015 WABE

Georgia School Systems To Decide On Operating Models

Michelle Wirth reports that all Georgia school systems face a deadline next month. They have to decide how they want to run their schools, and they get three choices from the state. The first choice for school systems is the "status quo," which means they have to follow all state mandates unless there are extenuating circumstances like a natural disaster. So far, only the Burke County school system has decided to do so.


May 8, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Political notes - May 2015

Susan Percy reports that supporters of Senate Bill 129, named by its backers the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” lost this year’s round in the General Assembly, but will undoubtedly be back in 2016. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Joshua McKoon (R-Columbus), was stuck in the House Judicial Committee after moderate Republicans, notably Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Brookhaven), inserted a “non-discrimination” clause to ensure the measure would not permit discrimination against gay or transgender Georgians.


May 8, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Southern Co. pursues use of drones to assess damage to power lines

Christopher Seward reports that 


May 8, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Chief Executive magazine: Georgia 5th best state for business in 2015

David Allison reports that Chief Executive magazine today released its 11th annual survey of the best states for business, with Georgia coming in at No. 5. In 2015, Texas remained the best state for business for the 11th year in row, followed by Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. Ranking dead last is California. One CEO told the publication, "California and Oregon are essentially anti-business, whereas Texas and Tennessee do everything possible to make business comfortable and more successful."


May 8, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Today's UGA graduates heading out into good job market

Lee Shearer reports that it's pretty much graduation all day Friday on the University of Georgia campus but the fireworks won’t come until after dark. Candidates for graduate degrees get their degrees in a 10 a.m. ceremony in Stegeman Coliseum. The graduation exercises for undergraduates begin at 7 p.m. at Sanford Stadium, where Amy Robach of “Good Morning America” delivers the commencement address. As for the past several years, fireworks will erupt over Sanford Stadium after the undergraduates receive their degrees.


May 8, 2015 Emory News

Gates Foundation names Emory Global Health Institute lead partner in child health network

Holly Korschun reports that at its Global Partners Forum in Seattle today, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a new global health surveillance network aimed at preventing childhood mortality in developing countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia. The Emory Global Health Institute, which houses the U.S. office of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI), will be the lead partner in the new network. The Gates Foundation plans an initial commitment of up to $75 million for the initiative.


May 8, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Magellan Midstream buys Atlanta petroleum terminal for $55M

David Allison reports that one of the country's top petroleum pipeline companies has expanded in Atlanta. Tulsa, Okla.-based Magellan Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: MMP) said that on May 1 it acquired a refined petroleum products terminal in Atlanta for $55 million. "Atlanta is an attractive market for us, and its location complements our existing Southeast terminals business, which has seen sizable volume growth over the last few years," CEO Michael Mears told analysts on May 5.


May 8, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Last pipeline hearing draws crowd

Tracey McManus reports that a hearing at Augusta Technical College's Burke County campus, attended by about 400, was the last chance for public comment before the May 19 deadline for DOT to respond to Kinder Morgan's application. On the same day Gov. Nathan Deal announced he would fight in court a petroleum pipeline being proposed to run 210 miles through Georgia, dozens of residents attended a public hearing in Waynesboro to voice the same opposition.


May 8, 2015 Georgia Health News

Will Gov. Deal veto new agency for seniors?

Andy Miller reports that Gov. Nathan Deal has held signing ceremonies across the state in recent days for a variety of bills passed by the General Assembly. But one bill that passed overwhelmingly in the Legislature may not get a ceremony — or a signature. In fact, it’s expected to get a veto. House Bill 86 would move the current Division of Aging Services out of the Department of Human Services and create a new state agency. The proposed Adult and Aging Services Agency would be attached to the Department of Community Health, the state agency that also handles Medicaid.

But one bill that passed overwhelmingly in the Legislature may not get a ceremony — or a signature. In fact, it’s expected to get a veto.

House Bill 86 would move the current Division of Aging Services out of the Department of Human Services and create a new state agency. The proposed Adult and Aging Services Agency would be attached to the Department of Community Health, the state agency that also handles Medicaid.

- See more at:

But one bill that passed overwhelmingly in the Legislature may not get a ceremony — or a signature. In fact, it’s expected to get a veto.

House Bill 86 would move the current Division of Aging Services out of the Department of Human Services and create a new state agency. The proposed Adult and Aging Services Agency would be attached to the Department of Community Health, the state agency that also handles Medicaid.

- See more at:


May 8, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider 

Georgia’s governor won’t support Palmetto Pipeline plan

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal said the state intends to fight a company’s plans to build a $1 billion fuel pipeline from Florida through Georgia to South Carolina. “It’s one of those issues that’s very controversial, and up to this point in time, the state has had very little input,” said Deal. “We should not, at this point in time, agree to the process.” That means the pipeline’s fate will likely be hashed out in court, he said.



May 7, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Porsche’s U.S. headquarters in Atlanta grand opening set for Thursday

Phil W. Hudson reports that Porsche Cars North America Inc. is revved up for the grand opening of its U.S. headquarters – One Porsche Drive – in Atlanta. The facility is near the northeast corner of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The new headquarters is expected to house 400 employees -- 100 of which will be new to Georgia.


May 7, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

The Only Thing

Neely Young writes, “Land is the only thing in the world that amounts to anything, for ‘tis the only thing in this world that lasts.” In this quote from Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell’s novel about Georgia during the Civil War, Gerald O’Hara expresses this philosophy to his daughter Scarlett. Georgia’s land is responsible for much of the wealth that has been created for the people in our great state. Georgia has five geologic provinces that contribute in different ways, including Valley and Ridge, Appalachian Plateau, Blue Ridge, Piedmont and Coastal Plain.


May 7, 2015 WABE

MARTA Looking For Developers To Create Walkable Communities

John Lorinc reports that MARTA announced this week that it is looking for developers who want to build housing near its Arts Center in Midtown and Oakland City station near the old Fort McPherson base. The goal for the Arts Center property is in line with Atlanta's current building trend.


May 7, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Job market improving for college graduates

Jarel Davis reports that long hours spent in the classroom and hitting the books will lead to a better payoff this year for many college graduates, who will have an easier time finding jobs than other recent classes. A number of national labor and economic reports show that businesses are likely to hire more graduates as the economy improves and older workers retire. The outlook is good news for graduates, who are leaving school with some of the highest debt loads ever.


May 7, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Loudermilk Cos. unveils plans for Buckhead Village office building

Staff reports that a redevelopment wave continues to sweep over the Buckhead Village. Atlanta’s The Loudermilk Cos. has unveiled its proposal for a 12-story tower in the Village at 359 East Paces Ferry. The project would redevelop an aging office building that stands on the site.


May 7, 2015 Georgia Health News

Patient safety scores for hospitals get an update

Andy Miller reports that one in four Georgia hospitals received an “A’’ grade in patient safety from the nonprofit Leapfrog Group, the same percentage as six months ago. Two hospitals in the state got an “F’’ grade under Leapfrog’s “Hospital Safety Score,” updated from the fall. Leapfrog, which was founded by employers, said last week that nationally, hospitals have made significant improvements on several surgical safety processes, as well as in implementing computerized medication prescribing systems.


May 7, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Former Blue Cross worker pleads to ID theft, filing $494,000 in false tax returns

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Tim Chitwood reports that a former Blue Cross-Blue Shield worker accused of using customers’ personal information to file more than 180 false tax returns worth nearly half a million dollars pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court. Danielle Wallace, 36, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and filing false tax returns, authorities said. She faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million for wire fraud, a mandatory two years in prison for aggravated identity theft, and up to five years plus a $250,000 fine for filing false tax returns, according to U.S. Attorney Michael Moore.


Read more here:

May 7, 2015

The High to face new challenges as Shapiro prepares to exit

Phil Bolton and Ralitsa Vassileva report that on July 31, Michael Shapiro will leave his post as director of the High Museum of Atlanta where he has worked for 20 years at a time when museums are under increasing financial pressures and are forced to adopt new strategies for remaining relevant. In a recent Global Atlanta interview, Dr. Shapiro cited a study showing that museums are among America's most trusted institutions, but also spoke of their challenges of finding new modes for generating revenue. 


May 7, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Award-winning Historic Preservation in Georgia

Karen Kirkpatrick reports, just when you think every building in Savannah that needed preserving has been preserved, a c. late-1800s cotton warehouse transforms into an award-winning boutique hotel. The Cotton Sail Hotel, which overlooks the river in Savannah’s historic district, recently received the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation’s Excellence in Rehabilitation Award.


May 7, 2015

Deal: Schools statewide awarded $25 million technology grant

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal today announced 136 local education authorities (LEAs) will be awarded more than $25.3 million from the second round of the Connections for Classrooms grant program, a collaborative funding effort between the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA), the Georgia Department of Education and the One Georgia Authority to help ensure classrooms across the state have the high-speed broadband access required for digital and blended learning. 


May 7, 2015 GPB

How Transparent Will Death Row Clemency Be?

Grant Blankenship reports, Georgia has just passed into law rules that dramatically increase transparency into last ditch efforts by inmates on death row to save their own lives. Or maybe it hasn’t. The processes in question are clemency proceedings in which defense attorneys argue before the State Board of Pardons and Parole that the inmate has changed since conviction to the point that they don’t deserve to die.


May 7, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

The two trade fights about to roil Republicans — here and in D.C.

Jim Galloway reports, in Washington, two arguments over trade are about to roil the party of business and tea partyers. Each scrap will feature a Georgia Republican. Both U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and Rep. Buddy Carter risk stirring up the most uncompromising elements of the GOP base in 2016, when both will be on the ballot. Last weekend, Isakson was tapped to deliver the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s weekly address. Under normal circumstances, the chore is a predictable one. 




May 6, 2015 Columbus Ledger Enquirer

1 billion and counting: TSYS marks card production milestone

Tony Adams reports that naturally, having been in business more than 30 years, TSYS has racked up its share of milestones. On Tuesday, the high-tech firm’s card and statement production facility in north Columbus marked yet another major feat — 1 billion credit and debit cards manufactured since 1993.


Read more here:

May 6, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

The Goodwill Guides

Candice Dyer reports that during his 2006 tour of Iraq as a Marine, Jim Long sustained injuries to his neck, spine, leg and brain. Back home, he quickly got his feet wet in a pastime that helped his recovery. “I had never fly-fished before,” he says, “but tying the flies helps with motor skills, and the other aspects of it are low-impact forms of exercise that feel good to my legs. What really helps, though, is being in nature. It keeps my mind active and off any bad thoughts.”


May 6, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Top economic development groups: Atlanta misses list

Staff reports that 


May 6, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia among worst states for working moms

Phil W. Hudson reports that although women now comprise roughly half of the American workforce, they still earn about three-quarters as much as men do and have far less upward mobility, as evidenced by the fact that less than 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies have female chief executives, according to But, what makes those statistics even more disturbing for Georgia mothers is that the Peach State was ranked as the No. 7 worst state for working moms, according to WalletHub.


May 6, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Outlook ‘looking up’ for Warner Robins area economy says Mercer professor

Linda S. Morris reports that the first words by a speaker at a Warner Robins chamber event Tuesday were positive about the local economy. “The news is good,” said Susan Gilbert, who became dean of Mercer University’s Stetson School of Business and Economics in 2013. “Based on a survey of roughly 160 businesses in Middle Georgia, things are looking up.” Gilbert was the keynote speaker at the Robins Regional Chamber’s Outlook Annual Membership Meeting and Economic Forecast 2015 meeting held at the Middle Georgia Conference Center and attended by 100 people.


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May 6, 2015 Rome New Tribune

Unveiled Rome Tennis Center of Georgia plans show 51-court facility set to be finished by June 2016

Jeremy Stewart reports that the final designs are in for what is now called the Rome Tennis Center of Georgia, and those involved say they hope it will provide a unique visitor experience and boost the local economy. Elected officials and local media got a complete look at plans for the facility at a meeting Monday afternoon where documents referred to it by the new name.


May 6, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Business plans need freshening as economy grows

Mary Carr Mayle reports that Diana Morrison knows all about the importance of spring cleaning. Not the wall-washing, rug-beating kind — but the keeping-your-business-fresh kind that’s infinitely more difficult than scrubbing floors. “Most of us took a beating in the recession that started in 2008 and 2009,” said Morrison, the founder and owner of Advertising Specialty Services, who spoke to a group of small-business owners and operators Tuesday at the Savannah Chamber Small Business Council’s monthly SMART lunch at the Savannah Morning News.


May 6, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Duke Energy grabs 7.5% stake in proposed Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline

Phil W. Hudson reports that Duke Energy Corp. bought a 7.5-percent ownership stake in the proposed and previously announced $3-billion Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline that will traverse Georgia, Alabama and Florida. The Charlotte, N.C.-based company (NYSE: DUK) reported its commercial power business unit will invest approximately $225 million in the approximately 500-mile underground pipeline – from Tallapoosa County, Ala., to Osceola County, Fla. – during the next seven years.


May 6, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Pipeline hearing set for Thursday in Waynesboro

Tracey McManus reports that final public hearing before the Georgia Department of Transportation is expected to make a decision on an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity is scheduled in Waynesboro. Pipeline hearing set for Thursday in Waynesboro


May 6, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Barry Loudermilk gets up-close view of Middle East security concerns

Daniel Malloy reports that as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria claimed credit for an attack in Texas, U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, was in the midst of an overseas trip looking into how to thwart foreign fighters from entering and exiting the U.S. There is no concrete evidence for ISIS claims about Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, who were killed by a security guard when they assaulted a Mohammed cartoon drawing contest outside Dallas. In a phone interview from Turkey, Loudermilk said they seem to have been “lone wolf” attackers, but they could have trained overseas.



May 5, 2015 Saporta Report

Leadership Atlanta names 83 to 2016 class

Maria Saporta reports that Leadership Atlanta has selected another high-level group of people to be part of its upcoming 2016 class – with 83 leaders from education, law, business, religion, nonprofits, technology, media, healthcare, politics and government. They all share a common desire – to move Atlanta forward by delving into some of the city’s thorniest issues. “We are thrilled to welcome one of our largest, most diverse classes ever,” said Pat Upshaw-Monteith, Leadership Atlanta’s president and CEO.


May 5, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia’s Legal Elite Nominations Open

Karen Kirkpatrick writes, who do you think is the state’s most effective lawyer? Starting today, May 1, 2015, and through Friday, July 31, 2015, you can tell us. Georgia Trend magazine’s annual Legal Elite listing will highlight the state’s most effective lawyers in 14 different practice areas. The list of the state’s Legal Elite, as chosen by their peers, will appear in the December 2015 issue.


May 5 ,2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Carmike Cinemas posts profit with spring-summer blockbusters on way

Tony Adams reports that movie-theater company Carmike Cinemas saw its operating revenue climb in the first quarter as it added more theaters and screens in its circuit, while also pushing the average concession sales per customer higher. It added up to $391,000 in net income, or 2 cents per share, for the Columbus-based motion-picture exhibitor in the January-March period. That’s improved from a $3.2 million loss, or 14 cents per share, in the same quarter of 2014.


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May 5, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Magazine: Coca-Cola, UPS among ‘100 Best Corporate Citizens’ 

Carla Caldwell reports that Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s annual list of “100 Best Corporate Citizens,” includes Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) and United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS). The program audits and ranks Russell 1000 companies across seven corporate and social responsibility initiatives: environmental activity, climate change, human rights, employee relations, corporate governance, philanthropy and financial performance.


May 5, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

Gov. Nathan Deal signs transportation bill that will raise gas price 6 cents a gallon, put $5 tax on hotel rooms

Walter C. Jones reports that Gov. Nathan Deal hailed a transportation-funding bill Monday as having a broad effect as he signed it into law. "It will have a positive impact on every portion of our state as it makes Georgians safer and more efficient," he said. The bill will boost the tax on gasoline by 6 cents per gallon starting in July, an amount to be adjusted every time vehicle mileage improves. It will also add a $5 nightly tax on hotel rooms, levy a $200 annual tax on electric vehicles and remove the $5,000 tax credit for buying one.


May 5, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald 

Small businesses a huge part of Georgia economy

Ed Morales reports that it was the day marking Athens’ inaugural Small Business Week, but during Monday’s kickoff breakfast, more than one person had a small correction they wanted to make to the week’s name. “I agree with Doc (Eldridge), I’d like to take the word ‘small’ out of small business,” said Mary Ellen McClanahan, director of the Entrepreneur & Small Business Development division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Because it’s huge for the number of people who are in them.”


May 5, 2015 UGA

Blueberry research focuses on gentler methods of harvesting tiny fruit

Mike Wooten reports that getting more blueberries from the field to the grocery store, without hurting their quality, is the focus of a new nationwide research project led by a faculty member in the University of Georgia College of Engineering. Changying "Charlie" Li, an associate professor who specializes in sensor technology, is leading a four-year study designed to identify ways to improve the efficiency of the nation's blueberry harvest. 


May 5, 2015

Emory program exposes Russian law profs to U.S. trial techniques

Phil Bolton reports that Emory's School of Law is hosting a delegation of Russian law professors this week as part of an experiential learning exchange program introducing them to various trial techniques. The law professors are from the URAL State University in Yekaterinburg on the border of Asia and Europe and are sponsored by the U.S. Russian Foundation for Economic Advancement.


May 5, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Tyson Foods to close Georgia chicken plant, cut 190 jobs

David Allison reports that Tyson Foods Inc. reported May 4 it will close a chicken plant in Buena Vista, Ga. According to the company, about 190 people will lose their jobs. Arkansas-based Tyson (NYSE: TSN) said the closure is part of its ongoing efforts to increase efficiencies in its chicken business. Buena Vista is near Columbus, Ga.


May 5, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Dark horse presidential candidate kicks off campaign with march out of Savannah

Kelly Quimby reports that unlike his competitors in the race, U.S. presidential candidate Jeff Sherman didn’t announce his intent to run for the country’s highest office in front of national news networks’ cameras, surrounded by cheering supporters and flush with fundraising dollars. Instead, with walking stick in hand, the Maryland Republican on Monday morning began his campaign for the presidency by taking the first steps of what will become a 200-mile trek from Savannah to Atlanta.


May 5, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider 

Barney Frank says he’s the reason Sam Nunn never became secretary of state

Jim Galloway, Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein report that former Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank, the first openly gay member of Congress, said ‘twas he who sank Sam Nunn’s chance of becoming secretary of state under President Bill Clinton. The 1996 move, Frank said, was a pivotal display of gay-and-lesbian clout on the presidential scene. Frank made the remarks during an interview with Bill Nigut on GPB’s “Two-Way Street,” broadcast over the weekend. The congressman is making the rounds, plugging his autobiography: “Frank: My Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same Sex Marriage.”



May 4, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Strawberries kick off season for on-the-farm markets in Middle Georgia

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Linda S. Morris reports that four years ago Neely South and husband Marcus South decided to diversify at their 600-acre farm in Upson County. They have 14 houses of Purdue chickens and about 150 head of beef cattle. But they wanted to add something different. They planted 13,000 strawberries on an acre and opened to the public Sweet South Strawberry Farm at 955 W. Moores Crossing Road, Thomaston. They also sell strawberry ice cream and strawberry shortcake.


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May 4, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Billion-dollar buzz

Susan Percy reports that the first hires have already been made for the Haering manufacturing facility under construction in Hartwell, and the new employees are in Germany for training. The company, which makes precision automotive parts, will invest $54 million in Hart County over the next five years and expects to create 800 jobs in the next 10 years.


May 4, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

‘Deadpool’ screenwriters plan ‘New Coke’ movie

Christopher Seward reports that the 


May 4, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta budget hits $590 million

Dave Williams reports that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is proposing a fiscal 2016 general fund budget of $590.5 million, a 4 percent increase over the city’s current spending plan. A major portion of the $22.5 million in additional spending is $13 million in debt service to cover the first year of the $250 million infrastructure bond Atlanta voters approved overwhelmingly in March.


May 4, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Officials feel pipeline pressure

May 19 deadline is approaching for the Georgia Department of Transportation to grant a gasoline pipeline company the right to condemn property across 210 miles of Georgia — but landowners, lawmakers and local governments along the route are still seeking answers to questions as fundamental as where the pipeline will run and how it will benefit Georgians. Savannah provides an example.


May 4, 2015 WABE

Ga. Parole Board Reforms Add Transparency To Secretive Agency

Jonathan Shapiro reports that the state Board of Pardons and Paroles, which has long operated out of public view, is to become more transparent under a bill signed into law Friday by Gov. Nathan Deal. Relatives of 1991 murder victim Keith Evans are still seeking answers about why the board commuted the death sentence of Evan’s killer last July.  “Basically I feel like we were slapped in the face,” said Evans' sister Angela DeCoursey. “To once again relive all the events and get no explanation, no reasoning … that’s not right.”


May 4, 2015

From Hooters to Cinnabon and beyond: Kat Cole shares secrets to 'exporting deliciousness'

Trevor Williams reports that it wasn’t until after she had helped establish Hooters franchises all over the world that Kat Cole learned one of her most valuable business lessons. And, like many others before, it came from an unexpected place: rural East Africa.  While on a humanitarian mission, she heard a team member ask why they’d passed a small Ethiopian village for a larger one to help more people, yet didn’t extend that logic to an even bigger locale. The leader's response has colored her leadership style and impacted the way she’s approached translating American brands in places as diverse as China, Australia and Saudi Arabia: “You have to find the things that are small enough to change but big enough to matter.”    


 May 4, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Intense growth in Columbia County outpacing needed roadway projects   

Jenna Martin reports that a slew of commercial projects off I-20's Grovetown exit is causing concern among nearby residents that already congested roadways are about to get worse. With growth comes growing pains. And the Grovetown corridor off Interstate 20 is no exception. 


May 4, 2015 Saporta Report

Fort McPherson-Tyler Perry deal not in the city’s best interest   

Maria Saporta reports that before Fort McPherson and its 488 acres of beautiful rolling hills, historic houses and officers quarters, a golf course, a post office, several office buildings and a lake ever went on the market, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed gave movie mogul Tyler Perry a private tour. Don’t move Tyler Perry Studios to Douglas County, the mayor pleaded with Perry in early 2014. Move it to Fort McPherson. Since then, whenever there’s been an obstacle in negotiations between Tyler Perry and the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority (MILRA), Reed has let authority members know to give Perry what he wants.


May 4, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia manufacturing declines in April

Phil W. Hudson reports that manufacturing in Georgia fell another point to 59.5 in April, but is still higher than the national average of 51.5, according to the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) released today by Kennesaw State University’s Econometric Center in the Michael J. Coles College of Business. Georgia manufacturers reported a drop in new orders to 60 points and a drop in production to 67.5 points. While each dropped five points from March, a reading above 50 indicates expanding activity.


May 4, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

What you should know about Georgia’s new transportation bill

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal is set to sign a measure into law Monday that will bring in about $1 billion a year for transportation needs across Georgia. Here are a few things you should know about the bill: 1. It won’t put you in the fast lane. The new revenue that House Bill 170 will raise isn’t enough to build new rail lines or large-scale highway improvements, and it won’t raise funds for mass transit. 






May 1, 2015 Georgia Health News

State's air quality better, but still worrisome

Andy Miller reports that new report shows some improvements in ozone levels in metro Atlanta and in Macon, though both areas still have significant air quality problems. The American Lung Association’s “State of the Air 2015” report, released Wednesday, gave a failing grade on ozone to six Georgia counties: Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale. All are in metro Atlanta.


May 1, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Flight Commander

Karen Kirkpatrick reports, stop just a minute and picture a major U.S. defense contractor. Bombers, fighter jets, wing assemblies, all constructed and tested in a huge facility in the South. Now, imagine the general manager of that plant – maybe a retired Air Force member or a former pilot or engineer, probably male. You’d be wrong on all counts at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. (LMAC) in Marietta, where the vice president and general manager, who is known as a brilliant strategist, a big-picture thinker, a change agent and any other superlative you can conjure, is also a woman. 


May 1, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Well-known airport mural’s time passes

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that for 


May 1, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Dutch banking software company Backbase chooses Atlanta for HQ

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Backbase, a Dutch banking software company, has picked Atlanta for its North American headquarters — a move that will create up to 150 jobs over the next few years. Backbase develops digital banking software that enables banks and credit unions to deliver their services such as account overview, wire-transfer, person-to-person payments, remote check deposit and bill-pay via mobile applications and web portals.


May 1, 2015 Augusta Chronicle, Morris News Service

Delta deal shouldn't affect Volvo: Deal

Walter C. Jones reports that Volvo Cars and other industrial prospects shouldn’t be afraid of losing tax breaks as political retribution just because Delta Air Lines lost its fuel sales-tax exemption, Gov. Nathan Deal said Wednesday. Georgia is competing with South Carolina as the two finalists for Volvo’s first American assembly plant, budgeted at $500 million. As the state was wooing the carmaker this spring, the Legislature stripped the airline’s exemption at the suggestion of a Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Sandy Springs, who urged his colleagues to make an example of CEO Richard Anderson who headed the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce that called for raising taxes for road improvements.


May 1, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

German auto part manufacturer opening U.S. facility in Suwanee

Curt Yeomans reports that aGerman car part manufacturer is coming to Gwinnett County. The Gwinnett Chamber announced on Thursday that GEIGER Automotive will open a 48,000-square foot manufacturing operations facility in Suwanee. Plastic automotive components used in engine compartment powertrain applications will be manufactured at the facility.


May 1, 2015 WABE

Frontier Adds 6 New Flights From Atlanta, Fares Start At $19

Jim Burress reports that Frontier Airlines announced Thursday it’s adding six new non-stop flights from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. That makes the Denver-based carrier the third largest airline serving Atlanta. Frontier will now fly non-stop to major cities like New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Also in the mix are New Orleans, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Delta-stronghold Cincinnati. 


May 1, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Atlanta expected to welcome 50 million visitors in 2015

Amy Wenk reports that Atlanta is solidifying itself as a top destination in the country. Domestic visitation in the city is expected to reach 50 million visitors in 2015, said William Pate, president and CEO of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, during the group’s annual meeting on April 30. The city welcomed about 48 million domestic visitors in 2014, a six percent increase from 2013.


May 1, 2015

ACS' CEO brings global grid expertise to keeping the lights on 

Phil Bolton reports that Advanced Control Systems’ new CEO seems to have a knack for perfect timing whether it’s in developing his career or in enabling real-time control of the electric grid. The April 7 announcement of his appointment to lead the Norcross-based global provider of smart grid automation was followed by the company’s announcement on April 8 that it had been selected to install its latest outage management system at an electrical facility in southwestern Ontario.    


May 1, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Augusta Regional sees more revenue from private jets during Masters

Meg Mirshak reports that revenue from private jets landing during Masters Week at Augusta Regional Airport rose significantly this year, according to an airport report that also showed several safety incidents, including a costly repair to a top-of-the line French-made aircraft. Ramp fee revenue totaled $876,345, an 80 percent increase from 2014, according to the report given the Augusta Aviation Commission at its monthly meeting Thursday. Flight operations at the general aviation terminal totaled 2,844 from April 5 to April 13 – the nine days surrounding the Masters Tournament.


May 1, 2015 Saporta Report

GDOT to name firm that will widen Ga. 400 in Forsyth County, a job that factored in transportation debate 

David Pendered reports that the state Department of Transportation expects to announce Friday the name of the company that will widen Ga. 400 in Forsyth County, a project that was central to the debate over the transportation funding bill the Legislature approved this year. Throughout the debate, lawmakers made sure they did not create any funding mechanism that would have the effect of penalizing Forsyth County residents – who voted by a 2:1 margin in November to approve a transportation bond referendum that will add $121 a year to the tax bill of a home valued at $250,000.




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