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July 31, 2015 Savannah Morning News 

Georgia to president: Port must be priority

Staff reports that U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, both R-Ga., along with the entire Georgia delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives has urged the Obama administration to make the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project a priority for its fiscal year 2017 budget recommendations. In a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Georgia delegation called for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to match its budget request with the public commitments for federal support expressed by several members of the Obama administration.


July 31, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Transit-Oriented Development Comes to College Park

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that college Park is just the latest place to get new transit-oriented development around its MARTA station, as ThePad on Harvard, a $35-million mixed-use project near the College Park MARTA Station and Hotel Indigo, gets set for construction. A groundbreaking ceremony was held earlier this month for Phase I of the project, which includes 109 apartment units, with all of the amenities one might expect, including a pool and patio area and a rooftop lounge with a balcony. The difference is in the affordability. Rents at ThePad on Harvard will average about $1,500.


July 31, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia lands $16 million in federal funding for small businesses

Staff reports that Georgia got recently $16.3 million in State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funds from the federal government to help small businesses. Created in 2010, SSBCI aims to encourage new private sector lending or investments in small companies by leveraging federal support. Through 2014, states were able to generate $7.36 in private sector lending and investments for every $1 of federal support, the U.S. Treasury Department said.


July 31, 2015 Georgia Health News

Southern Regional's owner files for bankruptcy

Andy Miller reports that the nonprofit owner of Southern Regional Medical Center in Riverdale announced late Thursday that it has filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Georgia. A media release announcing the filing emphasized that Clayton County’s lone hospital will remain open and operating while Southern Regional Health System officials consider a proposed sale of the medical center to a California-based nonprofit. 


July 31, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

LifePoint Health starts process to purchase St. Francis Hospital

Chuck Williams reports that financially strapped St. Francis Hospital’s search for a potential buyer has turned to a Tennessee company, it was announced Thursday morning. St. Francis has a signed a letter of intent to be acquired by LifePoint Health, a Brentwood, Tenn., health-care company. St. Francis had been in previous discussions with Community Health Services of Franklin, Tenn., and Atlanta-based Piedmont Healthcare, a nonprofit organization like St. Francis.


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July 31, 2015 WABE

Southern Regional May Get Lifeline From Ca. Company

Shelby Lin Erdman reports that Southern Regional Medical Center in Clayton County has struggled for years to provide medical care to residents on metro Atlanta's south side. Now on the brink of closing at least some programs, Southern Regional may have found a financial lifeline. California-based Prime Healthcare Services is in talks with the hospital to buy the facility and make it part of Prime Healthcare's foundation. 


July 31, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Augusta banker named president of State Bank & Trust

Tim Rausch reports that Remer Brinson III, the former chief executive officer for Augusta-based First Bank of Georgia, has been named the president of State Bank & Trust, which now owns First Bank. State Bank, based in At­lan­ta, acquired First Bank by merging with Georgia-Caro­lina Bancshares in Jan­uary. The consolidation of First Bank into State Bank branches and systems is underway.


July 31, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Tech receives $4.2M federal grant for cybersecurity research

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Georgia Tech has received a $4.2 million federal grant for cybersecurity research. The grant, awarded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Air Force Research Laboratory, will help researchers at GT's College of Computing study how data moves between computers and whether any malicious software code is added to data during transfer.


July 31, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Dozens gather in Athens for live Bernie Sanders video speech

Jim Thompson reports that a crowd of nearly 200 people jammed an Athens-Clarke County Library auditorium Wednesday night to hear a live video speech from Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders. In his 10-minute presentation, broadcast online to similar gatherings across the country that the Sanders campaign said reached more than 100,000 people, the Independent senator from Vermont sounded his familiar populist notes — a $15 minimum wage, tuition-free public colleges and universities, guaranteed health care and campaign finance reform — as he urged viewers to get involved in his grassroots-driven campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.


July 31, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Georgia’s startup fund is showing signs of life

Greg Bluestein reports that a long-stalled Georgia program that uses government dollars to attract venture funding for homegrown startup firms is showing signs of life. The Invest Georgia initiative, a favorite of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and the Metro Atlanta Chamber, this week selected an investment consultant to manage the $10 million in state funds flowing through its coffers. 



July 30, 2015 Washington Post

U.S.: Georgia illegally segregating students with disabilities in inferior buildings with inadequate instruction

Valerie Straus reports that the U.S. Justice Department is accusing the state of Georgia of segregating thousands of students with behavior-based disabilities from their peers in inferior buildings that formerly served as schools for black students back in the years of legal segregation. Furthermore, the students are receiving unequal educational opportunities but instead many are getting only computer-based lessons rather than direct instruction from a certified teacher.


July 30, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia’s Legal Elite nominations end Friday

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that through Friday, July 31, 2015, at 5 p.m., Georgia Trend magazine is accepting nominations for its annual Legal Elite listing, which 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.


July 30, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

Kennesaw State University celebrates 100,000th graduate

Michelle Babcock reports that Kennesaw State University reached a milestone during its Class of 2015 commencement ceremonies, celebrating its 100,000th graduate as 1,212 students earned their diplomas Wednesday. Another 361 students are set to graduate in ceremonies at KSU’s Marietta campus on Saturday. Hundreds of students walked proudly onto stage wearing black and gold graduation regalia to receive their diplomas.


July 30, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Pharmacy residency at Georgia Regents Medical Center boosts care, specialties

Tom Corwin reports that Georgia Regents Medical Center got a $40,000 grant this year to add another first-year pharmacy residency position but more are needed across the country, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists said.


July 30, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Memorial Health to seek 'strategic partner' for future growth

Jan Skutch reports that the parent corporation of Memorial University Medical Center is seeking a "strategic partner" by year's end to help maintain its mission in the face of a rapidly changing health care industry. Memorial’s board of directors is driving the effort to find an appropriate partner to work with Memorial Health and is not looking for a buyout, said Maggie Gill, Memorial’s president/CEO.


July 30, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Athens Regional electronic records system installation in local medical practices going smoothly

Jim Thompson reports that the rollout of a Cerner Corporation electronic health records system to the more than two dozen medical practices now affiliated with Athens Regional Health System has gone much more smoothly than last year’s problem-plagued installation of the system within Athens Regional Medical Center, according to the vice president of the Athens Regional Physician Group.


July 30, 2015 Columbus Ledger Enquirer

Update: St. Francis Hospital ends talks with potential buyer

Chuck Williams reports that as St. Francis Hospital in Columbus continues to work through a deep financial crisis that threatens local control of the nonprofit facility, the chairman of the Board of Trustees confirmed late Wednesday that for the second time exclusive discussions with a potential buyer have broken off. “All prior conversations regarding potential partnerships with the hospital have ended,” Board of Trustees Chairman Richard “Bo” Bradley stated in an email response to questions from the Ledger-Enquirer.


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July 30, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia, 30 other states seeking delay in water rule

Dave Williams reports that the chief lawyers of 31 states, including Georgia, are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to delay a new clean-water rule that has drawn intense opposition from farmers and developers. Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens and his counterparts are seeking a nine-month delay in implementation of the so-called “Waters of the United States” rule, citing a number of pending legal challenges.


July 30, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Blue Bird in Fort Valley to manufacture gasoline-powered school bus

Linda S. Morris reports that Blue Bird Corp. will soon be the only major school bus manufacturer offering buses fueled with gasoline. The Fort Valley company plans to manufacture a new gasoline-powered Type C Vision school bus beginning in 2016, according to a release. The new bus will offer schools several benefits. It will cost less than diesel- or propane-powered models; maintenance and repairs will be easier, since a majority of technicians are trained to work on gasoline engines; and refueling can take place nearly anywhere, according to the release.


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July 30, 2015 Brunswick News

Cumberland tour uncertainties

Gordon Jackson reports that it's been nearly 11 months since the National Park Service began soliciting bids to provide passenger ferry service to Cumberland Island National Seashore. Park Service officials won’t reveal the number of bidders or provide a reason why the deadline to solicit bids was extended five times, other than to say bidders had additional questions. They are also close-mouthed about when the 10-year contract will be awarded, though many believe an announcement could come soon.


July 30, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta Fed releases final 2Q economic growth estimate

Phil W. Hudson reports that hte Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta reported its final GDPNow model projection of real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter was 2.4 percent, which is unchanged from its July 17 forecast. On June 11, the forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the second quarter was 1.9 percent -- up from 1.1 percent on June 3.


July 30, 2015 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Georgia legislators criticize plans for more expensive training center in Virginia

Walter C. Jones reports that plans for the U.S. Department of State to build a diplomatic-security training center at Fort Pickett, Va., instead of a less-expensive one in Brunswick triggered testy responses from Republicans and Democrats. The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Brunswick, or FLETC, already provides security training to most federal agencies. The State Department favors building its own dedicated facility in Virginia because travel to Washington would be more convenient and training with Marines at nearby Quantico would be easier, department officials testified Tuesday in a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. 


July 30, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Why casino fever has spread to Turner Field

Jim Galloway reports that player by player, the Braves are abandoning Turner Field. If the Great Slimming continues apace, by the end of next season the team should be able to make its final exit from the stadium with a single flip of the turnstile. And yet Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed thinks the price of the soon-to-be-vacant playing field and 70 surrounding acres may have just jumped. You might call it a case of MGM fever, but there’s more to it than that.



July 29, 2015 Georgia Times-Union, Augusta Chronicle, Morris News Service

CSX signs on for new North Georgia rail-truck terminal

(Chatsworth) Walter C. Morris reports that promising to remove 50,000 truckloads from Georgia highways, state officials signed an agreement Tuesday to develop a rail-truck terminal to serve shippers in North Georgia and neighboring states with a more convenient route to the port of Savannah 350 miles away. The so-called inland port in this small, mountain community  is the second in what is planned to be a statewide network of terminals designed to make rail more convenient to shippers. The first is in Cordele. Besides providing an alternative to existing freight, the network is also envisioned as a lure to manufacturers. 


July 29, 2015 WABE

Georgia Sues Website For Publishing State's Annotated Laws

Tasnim Shamma reports that the state of Georgia filed a lawsuit against the owner of the website,, for publishing the annotated version of the Georgia State code online. The owner of the website, Carl Malamud, argues these notes to the law should be free and accessible to the public.


July 29, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

NCR posts $343 million loss in the second quarter

Staff reports that NCR Corp. posted a loss in the second quarter, hurt by pension and restructuring costs. The Duluth, Ga.-based maker of electronic kiosks and ATMs reported its revenue was down 3 percent to $1.6 billion and it swung to a loss of $343 million, or a loss of $2.03 a share. The results include an $8 million charge related to an ongoing restructuring plan and a $427 million non-cash charge related to settlement of the UK London pension plan.


July 29, 2015 Rome News-Tribune

GHC nursing program listed as second most affordable in the nation by website

Staff reports that Georgia Highlands College nabbed second on a list of the 30 most affordable online RN-BSN degree programs in the nation recently put out by Great Value Colleges.GHC joins several colleges from across the nation, including the University of Texas, Indiana State University, and the University of Arkansas. California State University took the top spot.


July 29, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

State Bank reports 2Q 2015 financial results

State Bank Financial Corporation, the holding company of State Bank and Trust Company — which has a Marietta location — announced on July 23 unaudited financial results for the quarter ending June 30.  After incorporating the company’s previously disclosed one-time pre-tax charge of $14.5 million that resulted from the early termination of the company’s loss share agreements, net loss for 2Q 2015 was $2 million, compared to net income of $7.5 million for 2Q 2014 and net income of $9.2 million for 1Q 2015.


July 29, 2015 Valdosta Daily Times

Rainwater Conference Ctr. more than $5 million in economic impact

Stuart Taylor reports that economic impact of $220,000 for the month of June puts the Rainwater Conference Center’s economic impact for Fiscal Year 2014-15 at more than $5 million, reported Rainwater General Manager Tim Riddle at the Valdosta-Lowndes County Tourism Authority meeting Tuesday. Web traffic for the Rainwater Conference Center’s site has also risen significantly.


July 29, 2015 Brunswick News

Southeast Georgia Health system earns latest accrediting distinction

Southeast Georgia Health System can pat itself on the back following the latest news: the system has been accredited by the Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. In operation since 1951, the commission monitors health care for the public. Earning its seal of approval is due to a dedicated faculty and staff who devote their time at the Brunswick and St. Marys hospitals, says Southeast Georgia Health System President and CEO Gary Colberg.


July 29, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

TSYS posts $82.8 million profit in second quarter, revises 2015 estimates higher

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Tony Adams reports that the immediate future is so bright for TSYS that the credit-card and payment processor’s top executive said Tuesday the firm is increasing its earnings and revenue estimates for the balance of 2015. Mentioning double-digit revenue growth, improving business development pipelines and increasing consumer confidence, TSYS Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Troy Woods said the Columbus-based firm, which released its second-quarter financial data Tuesday, is poised to finish the year strong.


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July 29, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Aflac misses quarterly earnings projections, revises yearly earnings upward

Chuck Williams reports that despite falling short of its second-quarter earnings projections, Columbus-based supplemental insurance company Aflac has increased its earning projections for the year as a whole. In a report released after the close of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Aflac said it posted net earnings of $573 million, or $1.32 per diluted share, compared with $810 million, or $1.78 per share, a year ago. That’s a decline of 29.3 percent year over year.


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July 29, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Cheers! Beer industry crafts $7.5 billion economic impact in Georgia

Phil W. Hudson reports that the U.S. beer industry annually contributes $7.5 billion to the Peach State’s economy and is connected to 49,051 local jobs, according to a recent economic impact study. “The study shows that the industry generates 49,051 jobs in Georgia -- accounting for more than $2 billion in wages and benefits,” the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and the Beer Institute reported. “The industry also contributed $1 billion in the form of business, personal and consumption taxes in 2014.”


July 29, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Chris Christie to join the crowd at RedState Gathering in Atlanta

Daniel Malloy reports that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie makes 10 Republican presidential candidates scheduled to appear in Atlanta late next week at the RedState Gathering. Christie last was seen in these parts wooing Georgia GOP delegates in Athens in May. He has spent most of his time tooling around New Hampshire, but has struggled in the polls.




July 28, 2015 Georgia Health News

Mega-merger would bolster Blue Cross here

Andy Miller reports that Anthem’s agreement to buy Cigna for $48 billion, if consummated, would cement the dominant position of Georgia’s leading health insurer.The insurer deal, announced Friday, follows the merger agreement announced earlier this month between two other insurance heavyweights, Aetna and Humana. And both fit into the picture of fast-paced consolidation across the health care industry, partly driven by changes from the Affordable Care Act. 


July 28, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia’s Legal Elite nominations end Friday

Karen Kirkpatrick reports, who do you think are the state’s most effective lawyers? There are still three more days for you to tell us. Through Friday, July 31, 2015, at 5 p.m., Georgia Trend magazine is accepting nominations for its annual Legal Elite listing, which 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.


July 28, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Tech Study: Carbon reductions, lower bills both possible

Dave Williams reports that Southern utilities need to be more aggressive in reducing coal consumption and expanding the use of natural gas in power production, according to a new study out of Georgia Tech. The report, authored by professor Marilyn Brown, also calls for stepping up the use of renewable energy to increase supplies of electricity and improving energy efficiency to reduce demand.


July 28, 2015 UGA

UGA receives $1.1 million grant to support first-generation and low-income students

Tracy Coley reports that the University of Georgia has received a $1.1 million U.S. Department of Education grant to help support first-generation and college students from low-income families. UGA will receive funding beginning in September, distributed over the next five years under the Federal TRIO's Student Support Services Program.


July 28, 2015 WABE

Emory Receives $1M Donation For Religious Freedom Instruction

Michelle Wirth reports that Emory University’s law school has received an anonymous $1 million gift to train law students in religious freedom. The donation comes as state lawmakers wrestle with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights and religious freedom legislation. The project is supposed to give students hands-on experience and provide non-partisan information on religious freedom. 


July 28, 2015 Athens Banner Herald 

Georgia eases teacher testing rules, for now

Lee Shearer reports that Georgia public school students won’t have to take as many tests in the upcoming school year, the state Department of Education announced Monday. Specifically, schools won’t have to administer as many so-called “Student Learning Objectives” tests, or SLOs, State School Superintendent Richard Woods announced.


July 28, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Carmike sees surge in revenue, still posts $1.4 million loss in quarter

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Tony Adams reports that an expanding Carmike Cinemas continued to grow revenue, operating income and theater-level cash flow in the second quarter of this year. But it wasn’t enough to avoid a net loss of $1.4 million, or 6 cents per share, in the April-June period. The movie-theater chain, headquartered in downtown Columbus, reported the financial data after the stock market’s close Monday. In pre-release trading, the company’s shares slipped 6 cents apiece to $26.04 in an overall down day for the market.


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July 28, 2015 Newnan Times-Herald

How one grandfather reinvented himself and his career

Clay Neely reports as a grandfather and father of three, Jim Gehrman was faced with a harsh reality: the world he stood to leave his children looked to be on shaky ecological ground, and he believed his lifelong career had possibly contributed to that matter. Inspired and motivated by his son’s career in land reclamation, Gehrman went from the top of the paper manufacturing industry in the northeast to being a renewable energy entrepreneur as a franchisee of Supergreen Solutions of Newnan, a company that acts as advisor, provider and installer of domestic and commercial energy efficient solutions.


July 28, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia ports break records in fiscal 2015

Dave Williams reports that the Georgia Ports Authority moved a record 3.66 million twenty-foot equivalent containers units during the fiscal year that ended June 30, the agency reported Monday. That represented an increase of more than 500,000 TEUs over fiscal 2014, or 17 percent. The ports of Savannah and Brunswick also set records for the year in total tonnage and roll-on/roll-off cargo, mostly cars moving into and out of the Colonel’s Island RoRo Facility in Brunswick.


July 28, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Nathan Deal gives Georgia gambling supporters an opening

Greg Bluestein reports that Gov. Nathan Deal is still staunchly opposed to the expansion of gambling in Georgia. But he cracked the door open to another route that could pave the way for the first casinos in Atlanta. In an interview Monday, he hinted that he may not veto legislation needed to operate the casinos if a convincing majority of Georgia voters back the expansion in a 2016 ballot referendum. He probably won’t sign it either, he said, but his John Hancock may not be needed after all.




July 27, 2015 Saporta Report

Dredging company hired for Savannah Harbor wins complex project along Gulf coast 

David Pendered reports that the dredging company retained to deepen the Savannah Harbor has won a major contract in Louisiana, which illustrates the company’s depth of experience in handling major earth-moving projects. Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Corp. won a $76 million contract to restore Shell Island, off the Louisiana coast. The project involves creating 2.8 miles of beach and dune habitat, and 281 acres of marsh. Funds from the BP settlement of the 2010 oil spill are to pay for the work.


July 27, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Young Harris College — Leading in Outdoor Leadership

Karen Kirkpatrick reports, imagine spending your days – your work days – rock climbing, whitewater rafting or teaching young people about the environment. If you’re Rob Dussler, chair of the outdoor leadership department at Young Harris College (YHC) in the north Georgia town of Young Harris, you do that and more everyday at work.


July 27, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta fintech Kabbage raising $150M at $875M valuation

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that financial technology provider Kabbage is raising a massive $150 million investment at a valuation that has the Atlanta company flirting with "unicorn" status. The Series E raise values 6-year-old Kabbage at $875 million post-money and about $750 million pre-money, sources said. That nose-bleed valuation puts Kabbage just shy of "unicorn" status, a Silicon Valley term bestowed on companies worth $1 billion, or more.


July 27, 2015 Piedmont College

Piedmont College earns national recognition as ‘College of Distinction’

Staff reports that innovative learning opportunities at Piedmont College have earned the school recognition from Colleges of Distinction, a national college guide for high school students and undergraduates. To be considered for the College of Distinction honor, schools are evaluated according to four criteria: “Engaged Students,” “Great Teaching,” “Vibrant Community” and “Successful Outcomes.” The annual process also includes a review of each institution’s freshman experience, general education program, strategic plan, and alumni success and satisfaction measures.


July 27, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Savannah area warehouse space becomes scarce

Mary Carr Mayle reports that industrial vacancy rates in the five-county Savannah area are the lowest they have been in 14 years, reflecting a national trend and sending a clear signal that the recent recession is well behind us, according to a report by Colliers International. “Our industry tends to be slower to react to recovery from recessionary periods,” said David Sink, a principal in Colliers’ Savannah office. “So this kind of drop in the vacancy rate is very telling.


July 27, 2015 WABE

​Metro Atlanta Schools Search For Special Education Teachers

Michelle Wirth reports that Georgia's largest school systems are still searching for dozens of special education teachers. The districts only have a few weeks before students head back to the classroom on Aug. 10. So far, the Gwinnett school district has hired more than 1,400 new teachers. But it still needs to fill nearly 40 special education positions.


July 27, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Athens Regional an 'important piece of the puzzle on this side of the state'

Ed Morales reports that if hospitals were airports, Athens Regional Medical Center wouldn’t be Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International — but it wouldn’t be too far off, in both stature and distance. And those two elements are of key importance as the hospital begins the process of looking to partner with another hospital, health system or healthcare organization. One aspect of the news is what a partnership means to the community and how that would affect Athens Regional as it is today. 


July 27, 2015 Brunswick News

Business: Agritourism blooming across Georgia and locally

Anna Hall reports that Cynthia Norton does not spend her days in an office, where walls and ceilings would block her from the core of her job. As the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Agritourism manager, Norton’s role requires her to be on the road and, quite literally, in the field. Traveling throughout the state to find new and promote existing agricultural-based hot spots, Norton’s prime goal is to bring as many farmers, ranchers, brewers, wine producers and other agrarian-based individuals rooted in Georgia’s soil into the state’s tourism spotlight as she can.


July 27, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Black & Decker puts 'digital accelerator' in Midtown's Millennium building

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Stanley Black & Decker Inc. (NYSE: SWK) will put an innovation center in Midtown — the latest in a string of corporations establishing R&D outposts in the area. Black & Decker has leased 5,000 square feet at Ten 10th. St., a 14-story office building best known for hosting Google’s Atlanta sales office.


July 27, 2015 WABE

Ga.'s Sam Nunn: Nuke Deal Prevents Iran From Getting Weapon

Shelby Lin Erdman reports that Congress has convened hearings this week on the new nuclear agreement reached among Iran, the United States and five other countries. The deal includes restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for an end to some of the toughest sanctions against the country. Republicans, including both of Georgia's U.S. senators, have expressed either serious doubts or outright opposition to the agreement, and Israel's government has called it a historic mistake.




July 24, 2015 Emory University

Emory receives $1 million gift for religious freedom work

Patti Ghezzi reports that the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University School of Law has received a $1 million anonymous gift to expand training in religious freedom for law students and bring new scholarship and fresh voices to the field. The gift will fund "Restoring Religious Freedom: Education, Outreach, and Good Citizenship," a project that will run for four years, starting in September.


July 24, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Moon River Studios Master Plan gets Effingham County Commissioners' approval

Ellie Hensley reports that Effingham County commissioners approved a master plan for Moon River Studios on July 21, according to The studio project is slated to be the largest underway in the United States, but first it will need to hire contractors, get permits and break ground. It will be built off Interstate 16 and Old River Rd, and its first phase will consist of a 40,000-square-foot production facility and two sound stages. Bidding for contractors closed Tuesday.


July 24, 2015 Savannah Morning News

PortSide: Record rail traffic at port speaks volumes

Mary Carr Mayle reports that June was the busiest month on record for containers moved by rail at the Port of Savannah, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Georgia Ports Authority. The volume — 34,712 containers — topped the previous record of 33,919 set in January. The Georgia Ports Authority achieved five of the top 10 months ever for intermodal rail in 2015.


July 24, 2015 WABE

NC Wind Farm Could Mean Changing Winds in Ga. Energy Future

Shelby Lin Erdman reports that wind farms dot the landscape in states across the country, but you won’t find one in the Southeast, at least not yet, according to a wind industry trade group. That is until now. Construction is expected to begin this year on a new $400 million, 200-plus megawatt facility in North Carolina, the first utility-scale wind energy farm in the region. But the wind farm, commissioned by Amazon, will be used exclusively for Amazon Web Services, and it won’t provide any energy for North Carolina homes or businesses.


July 24, 2015 Georgia Health News

WellStar in talks to buy Tenet's hospitals in state

Andy Miller reports that WellStar Health System, fresh from abandoning a proposed deal with Emory Healthcare, has now landed a new potential partner. The Marietta-based WellStar is beginning negotiations with Tenet Healthcare to buy Tenet’s five hospitals in Georgia — all in greater metro Atlanta. The two organizations issued a statement Thursday confirming the start of “exclusive, non-binding discussions’’ about a potential sale of Tenet’s Atlanta-area hospitals and other facilities to WellStar. 


WellStar Health System, fresh from abandoning a proposed deal with Emory Healthcare, has now landed a new potential partner.

The Marietta-based WellStar is beginning negotiations with Tenet Healthcare to buy Tenet’s five hospitals in Georgia — all in greater metro Atlanta.

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July 24, 2015 Saporta Report

Atlanta plans sustainability facility at airport to handle up 200,000 tons a year of trash, yard trimmings   

David Pendered reports that Atlanta’s airport plans to hire a company to build and operate a recycling facility that ultimately is to handle 200,000 tons a year of airport waste and yard clippings collected around town, refuse that otherwise would end up in a landfill, according to a bid released Monday.The project is part of the airport’s move toward a zero waste program.


July 24, 2015 Georgia CEO

Southern Company and Partners Award Waterway Conservation Grants

Staff reports that reflecting its historical commitment to honor natural resource conservation projects focused on protecting wetlands and streams in and around its service territory, Southern Company, in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and other public and private partners, awarded $2.3 million in grants to 64 organizations nationwide as part of the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration program.


July 24, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Controversy swirls around company looking to sell drones to Macon-Bibb

Stanley Dunlap reports that a July 15 news release from the company that wants to sell Macon-Bibb County government a $5.7 million drone package erroneously says the deal already has been struck. But the full commission has not signed off on an agreement. A day earlier, on July 14, the Macon-Bibb County Commission’s Economic and Community Development Committee had agreed to send to the full commission the deal with Olaeris, which would supply the county with a fleet of drones.


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July 24, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

North Carolina film workers flee to Georgia after legislature slashes incentive program

Ellie Hensley reports that North Carolina's legislature opted to end its tax credit program for film and television productions at the end of 2014, and now the state is learning how just how fragile the industry can be. Film and TV productions —and the crew workers needed to make them — are disappearing in droves to other states that do provide incentives, like Georgia. One such production is Fox's "Sleepy Hollow" series, which packed its bags at the end of its second season and relocated to Atlanta. The production had been North Carolina's biggest spender, according to Charlotte Business Journal.


July 24, 2015 GPB

What Would A 'Pastor Protection' Bill Do?

Trevor Young reports that it’s Tuesday, and volunteers are gathering to serve a meal to the homeless. This is St. Mark United Methodist Church in Midtown Atlanta, in the heart of the city’s gay neighborhood. Pastor Beth LaRocca-Pitts is fuming with frustration about a peculiar new bill. “You can’t be forced to do a wedding against your will, as a pastor of any faith or tradition here in the United States.” Georgia House Speaker David Ralston proposed a bill last week which supposedly protects pastors from having to marry same-sex couples.




July 23, 2015 WABE

Ga. Lawmaker Taking An In-Depth Look At The Rise Of Drones

Shelby Lin Erdman reports that as the new Ted Turner Drive was dedicated in downtown Atlanta this week, spectators were on hand snapping pictures of the ceremony. At the same time, a drone was hovering above the event doing the exact same thing. That's despite the state ban on flying a drone within five miles of the State Capitol or the governor’s mansion – which is just north of downtown.


July 23, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Sustainable Georgia: Neighbors to the north

Ben Young writes, metro Atlanta leaders were blown away by a recent visit to Toronto, a city overflowing with success. This was not former Mayor Rob Ford’s Toronto that many had expected to see, a city overflowing with excess. The trip was the Atlanta Regional Commission’s annual LINK trip, an opportunity for some 100 metro leaders to learn how another city is tackling problems similar to Atlanta’s.


July 23, 2015 Rome News-Tribune

Lawmakers to study Georgia-Alabama cooperation

Doug Walker reports that Georgia General Assembly has created a study committee to consider ways Georgia and Alabama can work with each other on areas of mutual interest. Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, who has been appointed to the 10-member panel, said all the appointees are from districts that abut the state line.


July 23, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Software firm Patientco expands in Buckhead, will add up to 100 jobs

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Atlanta-based health care payments software firm Patientco is expanding in Buckhead, with plans to add up to 100 jobs over the next several months. Patientco signed a 26,000 square foot lease, or a full floor, at Terminus 200 where it will more than triple its workforce in the next 18 months. The company is part of a wave of tech firms, including Amazon and, relocating to Buckhead — a financial and real estate office hub.


July 23, 2015

Deal: CSM Bakery Solutions to relocate to Sandy Springs        

Staff reports that Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that CSM Bakery Solutions, a company with origins in the Netherlands, will relocate its global headquarters to Fulton County, creating 120 jobs and investing more than $5.5 million into Sandy Springs. CSM Bakery Solutions is an international leader in its industry, producing a broad range of bakery ingredients, products and services.


July 23, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Technology Association of Georgia report highlights state's tech industry        

Jeremy Timmerman reports that Georgia is an emerging leader in the technology industry, but there is room for improvement, according to a recent State of the Industry report from the Technology Association of Georgia. Tino Mantella, the group’s president and CEO, addressed a group of industry and community leaders at the Middle Georgia Regional Commission building Wednesday. The technology industry has a $113 billion economic impact in Georgia, compared to the $70 billion impact of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.


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July 23, 2015 Albany Herald

Albany officials dispute Harper’s Magazine account of city’s lack of economic progress

Terry Lewis reports that it's not often citizens of a community get to see their city painted by a national magazine as the poster child for poverty and cited for its struggles to recover from the Great Recession. Albanians will see it next week when Harper’s Magazine publishes New York-based Kai Wright’s “What Recovery? Two years in a town where the Great Recession never ended.”


July 23, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

American Airlines opts against commercial service from Athens-Ben Epps Airport

American Airlines has opted against providing scheduled commercial air service out of Athens-Ben Epps Airport, members of the airport authority learned Thursday. American, which would have provided service via US Airways, with which it has recently merged, told a consultant working with the Athens airport to  attract a new commercial carrier that a shortage of both airplanes and pilots has prompted it to abandon plans to expand service in Georgia.


July 23, 2015 GPB

The Mayor Of Columbus Makes Her Case For Fort Benning

Bradley George reports that Georgia will be one of the hardest hit states, as the Army looks to shrink its active duty force. 950 soldiers will leave Fort Stewart, while Fort Benning will lose 3,400. Deeper cuts could be in the works, if congressional Republicans and President Obama can't reach a deal to stop budget sequestration. 


July 23, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Technicolor to buy Cisco TV set-top business tied to Scientific-Atlanta for $600 million

Carla Caldwell reports that Paris-based Technicolor SA plans to buy Cisco Systems Inc.’s (Nasdaq: CSCO) TV set-top business for about $600 million, ending Cisco’s involvement with a market that started with its $6.9 billion acquisition in 2006 of Scientific-Atlanta Inc., The Wall Street Journal is reporting. Cisco’s acquisition of Lawrenceville, Ga.-based Scientific-Atlanta, which included products used in homes and equipment for cable providers’ central offices, was one of Cisco’s most costly, the paper adds.


July 23, 2015 Georgia Health News

Deal may save faltering Clayton hospital

Andy Miller reports that last month, the Clayton County Board of Commissioners approved a plan for hiring a consulting firm to find a financial partner to rescue the ailing Southern Regional Medical Center. It looks like a match has been made. Prime Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit based in California, has signed a letter of intent to acquire the Riverdale hospital. The county commissioners approved that letter Tuesday.


July 23, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

John Barrow to teach at University of Georgia, signaling he’s out for 2016

Daniel Malloy reports that former U.S. Rep. John Barrow will teach at the University of Georgia starting this fall, an indication the Democrat will not be running for office next year. Barrow, an Athens native and UGA grad, will be a “scholar in residence” at UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs, according to a university news release. He will teach one class this fall and two classes this coming spring that will focus on political polarization and gerrymandering, topics that dovetail closely with his career.



July 22, 2015 Savannah Morning News, Morris News Service

Southern legislators pass rail-profit resolution

Walter C. Jones reports that a multistate committee of lawmakers voted unanimously Sunday in support of greater railroad use "while affording the railroad companies the opportunity to secure the maximum possible returns on their investments."  The sponsor, Rep. Brent Yonts, a Democrat from Kentucky, said he drafted the resolution at the recommendation of a lobbyist from Norfolk Southern, one of two railroads that are among the 85 financial contributors to the five-day meeting of the Southern Legislative Conference. Other contributors include large insurance companies, energy corporations, drug makers and firms with state contracts. 


July 22, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

This Month in Georgia History — July

Karen Kirkpatrick reports, it's hotter than the hinges on the gates of hades and more humid than the steam room at the gym here in the South in July, making it tough for some of us to get any work done at all. But Julys gone by are filled with hard-working athletes, politicians and more. As we at Georgia Trend celebrate 30 years of covering business, politics and economic development across this great state, we invite you to take a break from the heat and enjoy this snapshot of Georgia history.


July 22, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

U.S. News and World Report ranks Emory University Hospital No. 1 in Georgia

Ellie Hensley reports that for the fourth year running, U.S. News and World Report ranked Emory University Hospital the No. 1 hospital in Georgia and in metro Atlanta. The hospital has 12 nationally ranked specialties and one high-performing specialty, according to the news magazine's 2015-2016 list of best hospitals.


July 22, 2015 GPB

State Senate Committee Looking At Whether Contractors Are Misclassified

Gabrielle Ware and Emily Jones reports that being misclassified can present problems for port truck drivers. So, politicians are searching for ways to address potential misclassification. The Senate Study Committee on Employee Misclassification began gathering testimony Tuesday to help craft legislation on the issue for the 2016 session. Port truck drivers and truck companies are butting heads on what constitutes being an independent contractor. 


July 22, 2015 Walker County Messenger, Rome News Tribune

GDOL to help recruit workers for Northwest Georgia companies next week

Staff reports that Georgia Department of Labor will host recruitments in Rome and Sum­mer­ville on Tuesday to help two Northwest Georgia companies recruit a total of 54 workers. The Rome Career Center, 462 Riverside Parkway, will host a recruiting event for Miller Zell, a company that specializes in retail store design and development. The recruitment will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


July 22, 2015 WABE

Georgia Farmers Seek Federal Funds To Promote Pecans

John Lorinc reports that many farmers in the Peach State want to help promote a different crop that starts with the letter "P." Georgia is the country's largest producer of pecans, and there's a push from many farmers to increase the nut's popularity worldwide. Over the next few weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will hold hearings to determine if there should be a marketing order for pecans. Basically, that would mean federal funds would be used to promote pecans to markets domestic and abroad.


July 22, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Georgia takes first step toward building its own spaceport

Lauren Macdonald reports that the world collectively cheered when NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, launched nine years ago, flew by Pluto last week and snapped pictures for those of us here on Earth. And if plans go well, Georgia could soon have its own launching station for space missions. Georgians might be able to expect rocket launches from a spaceport in Camden County within the next four to five years, according to the county manager Steve Howard.


July 22, 2015 Macon Telegraph

New solar farm opens in Macon County

Linda S. Morris reports that a new 1-megawatt solar farm opened Tuesday in Macon County, and it will provide enough power for more than 200 homes. WGL Energy joined with New Energy Equity, Radiance Solar, Stion Corp. and state officials for the opening. The facility is expected to produce more than 1,600 megawatt hours of electricity a year.


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July 22, 2015 WABE

FCC Set To Approve AT&T-DirecTV Merger 

Krishnadev Calamur reports that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has circulated an order to his fellow commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission to approve the $48.5 billion merger between AT&T and DirecTV. In a statement, Wheeler said the move would bring more competition to the broadband marketplace and benefit consumers. 


July 22, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Bauerfeind relocates U.S. headquarters to Midtown

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that orthopedic technology company Bauerfeind USA will relocate its headquarters to Midtown and bring nearly 25 jobs. In April, Atlanta Business Chronicle first reported Bauerfeind's plans to relocate from Marietta to Midtown. Bauerfeind, a subsidiary of Germany based Bauerfeind AG, develops orthoses, medical compression stockings and orthopedic supports used by athletes and others. Bauerfeind has been an official supplier to the German Olympic teams since 2001.


July 22, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Synovus reports profit of $53.2 million in second quarter; stock price jumps, then retreats

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Tony Adams reports that growth in its bread-and-butter banking business, combined with expense control, lifted Synovus Financial Corp. to a $53.2 million profit, or 40 cents per share, in the second quarter of this year. The regional bank, headquartered in downtown Columbus, reported its April-June financial figures before Tuesday morning's opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange. 


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July 22, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Georgia GOP racks up debts as Democrats hold cash advantage

Daniel Malloy reports that the Georgia Republican Party is barely breaking even through the first six months of this non-election year as it took on substantial debts, according to disclosure reports filed this month. Republicans raised $636,000 and spent $613,000 from February through June. The party had a a net balance of $105,000 — but also $91,000 in outstanding debts, all incurred since January.



July 21, 2015 Georgia Health News

Georgia trails other states in home health ratings

Andy Miller reports that just 12 percent of Georgia home health agencies received a superior 4-star or 5-star rating in a new Medicare quality ranking system for that industry. The only states worse than Georgia in percentage of top-rated home health agencies were Alaska, with 0 percent, Washington state, with 3 percent,  Wyoming, with 4 percent, and Oregon, with 9 percent. 


July 21, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

2015 Best places to work in Georgia

Mary Anne Dunkin and Lindsay Thomas Jr. report that after taking a couple of years off, Georgia Trend once again asked readers to nominate their companies for our Best Places To Work roster and tell us what makes their employers the best. Nominations came from across the state and from businesses and nonprofits large and small. Respondents say they appreciate good benefits, a flexible work environment, respect from employers, and the opportunities to do meaningful work and give back to their communities.


July 21, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

First Data Corp. plans to go public

Staff reports that First Data Corp. wants to go public in a bid to pay off its debt. The Atlanta-based private payment technology and services company filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering of its common stock. It would be the 107th publicly traded company based in Georgia.


July 21, 2015 Georgia CEO

Atlanta Ranks No. 2 Among Largest Metro Areas for Job Growth

Staff reports that Metro Atlanta is once again a national leader in job growth. The Atlanta region’s employment base grew by 3.2 percent from May 2014 to May 2015, the second-fastest growth rate among the nation’s 12 largest metro areas, according to a report from the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC). Atlanta added 79,600 jobs during this period, the fourth-highest total, according to the report, which analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 


July 21, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

Peachtree Corners company moving Harlem Globetrotters to metro Atlanta

Curt Yeomans reports that a Peachtree Corners business is bringing the Harlem Globetrotters, and its entertaining brand of basketball, to a new home in metro Atlanta. Herschend Enterprises recently announced it will spend the next year moving the world famous team from Phoenix, Ariz. to the Atlanta area. The family entertainment company, whose corporate offices are located in Peachtree Corners' Technology Park, bought the team in October 2013.


July 21, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

Struggling Darien outlet center looking for investment from China

Joe Parker Jr. reports that McIntosh County Commission Chairwoman Kelly Spratt will leave for China on Tuesday with officials of International Decor Outlet on a trip promoting the company’s plans for outlet centers across the U.S., starting with locations in Darien Outlet Center. Spratt is the only public official scheduled to go on the trip, and she expects to make speeches and hold meetings with chambers of commerce, manufacturers’ representatives and government officials in China. Her message, she said, is an open-arms welcome for Chinese investment and an offer to streamline permits and licenses for businesses coming to McIntosh County.


July 21, 2015 UGA

Small business prospects good in 2015, according to UGA Small Business Development Center

Allan Adams reports that a report produced by the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center shows that a faster pace of economic growth in 2015 will benefit small businesses across the state. There are about 960,000 small businesses in Georgia, employing 1.5 million people, according to the SBDC, which is a unit of the UGA Office of Public Service and Outreach. Georgia's small businesses generated $40 billion in sales in 2013.


July 21, 2015

Exports keep factories rooted in South Georgia

Staff reports that an aircraft manufacturer teaches maintenance to a visitor from Cameroon. A chemical firm affixes Portuguese labels to Brazil-bound tubs. Across town, posters at a health products factory pitch their soothing powers in German.  All of these stories were playing out during a recent Global Atlanta tour of Albany, the southwest Georgia city better known for its fields than factories.                 


July 21, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Canada's GeoDigital picks Atlantic Station for North American headquarters

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Canadian data analytics software firm GeoDigital International has picked Atlanta for its North American headquarters. Ontario, Canada-based GeoDigital will bring 50 high tech jobs to Atlanta as part of the relocation to Midtown’s Atlantic Station. GeoDigital’s technology is used by the autonomous, or self-driving, vehicle industry. Using precision technology called LiDAR, a kind of ‘laser range finder, combined with high-definition imagery, GeoDigital creates detailed 3D maps of the entire North American highway system.


July 21, 2015 Newnan Times-Herald

Lynn Smith to chair saltwater intrusion study committee

W. Winston Skinner reports that State Rep. Lynn Smith of Newnan continues her legacy of commitment to water and the environment with her appointment as chairman of the House Study Committee on Saltwater Intrusion into Coastal Aquifers. Georgia House Speaker David Ralston appointed Smith, a Republican who is the member of Coweta’s legislative delegation with the greatest seniority, to the post. Also serving on the subcommittee are four other state house members – Democrat Bob Bryant of Garden City and Republicans Chad Nimmer of Blackshear and Jesse Petrea and Ron Stephens, both of Savannah.



July 20, 2015 Newnan Times-Herald

Are low vacancy rates coming to Coweta?

Clay Neely reports that office space in Atlanta is in high demand and Newnan is feeling the effects as well. The current vacancy rate, according to, within the city of Newnan is 4.6 percent which includes all commercial, office, retail, and industrial space. It is safe to assume that the city of Newnan is experiencing a similar trend as the Atlanta, according Hasco Craver IV business development director for Newnan.


July 20, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive

2015 Legislative Recap

Susan Percy writes, transportation was the 500-pound gorilla in this year’s legislative session – a friendly gorilla for the most part, who claimed a ton of attention but got lots of money for roads and bridges and even a little for transit. Here’s a look at some legislation that passed and some that didn’t and what the new laws are likely to mean when they take effect – this month, for most of them.


July 20, 2015 Albany Herald

Presence of telemedicine increasing access to care in new age

Jennifer Parks reports that access to health care has traditionally been a problem for rural areas where specialists, or even primary care doctors, are harder to find than in urban areas. Some living outside major cities may rarely see a doctor. To help close in the gap, there is a concept gaining ground in the health care industry that is meant to, in the long-run, reduce costs and provide more convenience and greater access — telemedicine.


July 20, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

Gwinnett Community Clinic shutting doors, says Obamacare cost it clients

Curt Yeomans reports that a clinic designed to provide health care to low-income Gwinnett County residents announced on Thursday that it will close later this year as the federal health care program known as Obamacare dries up its client base. The Gwinnett Community Clinic in Snellville has served uninsured and indigent residents for more than 25 years, but Executive Director Sheila Adcock said the clinic has seen declining numbers of clients in recent years. She said that led to the decision to shut the clinic down this fall, with the last patient scheduled to be treated in October.


July 20, 2015 Rome News Tribune

Tax revenue secrecy frustrates local leaders

Alan Riquelmy reports that “Transparency” is the word on the lips of Rome and Floyd County leaders after the revelation they must repay $4.5 million to the state in overpaid sales taxes. The discovery that Rome, Floyd County, Cave Spring and the two public school systems would shoulder that financial burden came early this month as a shock. An unidentified business overpaid taxes to the state, which then allocated the money to Rome, Floyd County and Cave Spring. Now local governments and school systems must return the money.


July 20, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Genuine Parts buys Australian auto parts company

Phil W. Hudson reports that Genuine Parts Co.’s automotive distribution company GPC Asia Pacific will buy Covs Parts Pty Ltd from its parent company, Automotive Holdings Group, for an undisclosed sum. The transaction is expected to close by Oct. 1. Atlanta-based Genuine Parts (NYSE: GPC) expects the acquired business to generate $90 million in annual revenue.


July 20, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

New organization creates space for local inventors, entrepreneurs

Alva James-Johnson reports that  Frank Braski started his first business building and fixing computers at the age of 14. Now, the local robotics engineer wants to spark an entrepreneurial revolution in Columbus. He is cofounder of a new nonprofit organization called ColumbusMakesIT, which is part of a national movement to create "makerspaces" where people can connect with their creative and entrepreneurial selves. The organization aims to inspire artists, engineers, programmers, tinkerers and inventors in the local community.


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July 20, 2015 Athens Banner Herald

'Golden moment' at hand for downtown Athens redevelopment?

Jim Thompson reports, could a one-acre parking lot in the edge of downtown Athens become the center for an economic diversification of the area? And, could the redevelopment of that parking lot be the first step toward Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Kelly Girtz’s vision of a wider redevelopment of the northern end of the downtown area?


July 20, 2015 Saporta Report

Environmental challenges around metro Atlanta began with early settlers: State report 

David Pendered reports that Georgia’s population boom of the past 35 years is just the latest contributor to environmental challenges facing metro Atlanta and much of the state's Piedmont region. Past activities to farm trees, crops and animals set the stage for today’s conditions, according to a state report. The draft “2015 State Wildlife Action Plan” portrays Georgia’s Piedmont eco-region as a place settlers altered in order to develop the land for agricultural uses – farms for crops, livestock and trees.


July 20, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Transportation bill means higher fuel taxes for local governments, schools

Stanley Dunlap reports that the change in fuel taxes, part of a $1 billion transportation bill aimed at addressing lagging infrastructure across the state, impacts almost everyone buying gasoline in Georgia. The bill that went into effect July 1 not only has led to more taxes for consumers at the gas pump, but state and local governments are seeing their costs rise by about 11 cents more per gallon, according to the Georgia Department of Revenue.


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July 20, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Casino supporters bet on a path to expand gambling in Georgia

Greg Bluestein reports that supporters of expanded gambling in Georgia are betting that lawmakers could get the chance to vote to clear the way for casinos in Georgia as early as next year. They hope to borrow a strategy that helped break a years-long logjam over whether to allow stores to sell wine, beer and liquor on Sundays by giving local communities the final say.  But MGM, which has pitched a $1 billion casino resort for downtown Atlanta, and other gambling proponents must clear a few additional hurdles as well.



July 17, 2015 GPB

Here's How Georgia's Poultry Industry Is Preparing For Bird Flu

Bradley George reports that more than 200 cases of avian influenza, or bird flu, have been reported in the U.S. There are none yet in Georgia, but that hasn't stopped the state's poultry industry from preparing. That's because chicken is big business here. We're the number one state for broiler chickens and tenth for egg production. The heart of Georgia chicken country is Gainesville. This is where most of the state's poultry farmers and processors are based. 


July 17, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Economy - Let's go shopping

Jeff Humphrey's writes, the Great Recession had an impact on everything from mortgages to auto sales. Now as the economy is ticking up, improvements can be seen in all areas, including retail. Here’s a look into how that sector is faring. Retailers will see top-line growth, and their margins also will widen. Multi-channel retailers that fully integrate electronic and physical stores will continue to fare better than those that do not fully integrate their retail activities.


July 17, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Delta flight to Atlanta catches fire, makes emergency landing

Carla Caldwell reports that a Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) flight traveling from Alaska to Atlanta made an emergency landing in Seattle after an engine caught fire midflight. The Boeing 767 carrying 255 passengers landed safety early Thursday at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, reports The Seattle Times.


July 17, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

Enterprising Women welcomes founder and CEO of Marietta's InfoMart to advisory board

Staff reports that Tammy Cohen, president and founder of InfoMart in Marietta, has been appointed to serve on the Enterprising Women advisory board by CEO Monica Smiley. The board is composed of a select group of women and men who support the publication and give back to the women business owners’ community by providing leadership, motivation, and inspiration to thousands of women entrepreneurs across North America and around the world. “Strong leadership experience, entrepreneurial knowledge and business backgrounds will be extremely beneficial and valuable to our readers,” said Smiley.


July 17, 2015 Rome News Tribune

Amount of sales tax overpayment includes $1.3 million in interest

Alan Riquelmy reports that the $4.5 million Floyd County governments and school boards are being told they must repay to the state because a local business overpaid sales taxes, $1.3 million represents interest. Local officials discovered the interest amount this week, learning that it has been compounding at 12 percent since 2005.


July 17, 2015 WABE

Deadline To Comply With Atlanta Energy Ordinance Almost Here

Shelby Lin Erdman reports that Atlanta is a green city and wants to go even greener. The city is on the forefront of an environmental push to make the city’s municipal and commercial buildings energy efficient. The City Council passed an ordinance earlier this year that will eventually require the owners of some buildings to set conservation goals and send annual energy use reports to the local government.


July 17, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

Athens Regional exploring partnerships with other hospitals, health systems or health care organization

Ed Morales reports that Athens Regional Health System is looking for a partner. The hospital’s board of directors announced Thursday it “has decided to explore a strategic partnership with another hospital, health system or healthcare organization who shares our mission, culture, values and commitment to excellence.”


July 17, 2015 Georgia Health News

Big insurance deal raises questions, fears

Andy Miller reports that the biggest health insurance deal ever was announced earlier this month. And though it is yet to be reviewed by regulators, the proposed transaction has already prompted concerns about its potential impact in Georgia and elsewhere. Aetna’s $33 billion acquisition of Humana will get close regulatory scrutiny by state and federal officials over its effect on competition and prices. 


July 17, 2015 Georgia CEO

Georgia’s Unemployment Rate Declines to 6.1% in June

Staff reports that Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) announced today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in June was 6.1 percent, down two-tenths of a percentage point from 6.3 percent in May. The rate was 7.3 percent in June 2014.  “The rate dropped to its lowest point in seven years, as the number of unemployed Georgians fell by 8,421 and our employers continued to create jobs,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.


July 17, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Cousins Properties inks NCR Corp. to 485,000-square-foot headquarters project

Douglas Sams reports that Cousins Properties Inc. just signed tech giant NCR Corp. to a 15-year lease at the company’s world headquarters building. Cousins (NYSE: CUZ) will develop and own the $200 million, 485,000-square-foot building at 8th and Spring streets.


July 17, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Johnny Isakson’s fundraising slows, but he still has a $4.8 million head start

Daniel Malloy reports that U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson raised $1.39 million in the second quarter, his campaign announced today, a decrease from what he took in the first three months of the year. Candidates typically increase their fund-raising hauls as they get closer to re-election, and the Georgia Republican is up next year, but there are a couple of factors impacting Isakson’s money chase.



July 16, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Kinder Morgan buys big slice of Elba Island

Staff reports that Kinder Morgan Inc. and Shell announced Wednesday afternoon they have reached an agreement for Kinder Morgan to buy 100 percent of Shell’s equity interest in Elba Liquefaction Company, LLC, which owns the Elba Liquefaction Project that will be built at the Elba Island LNG Terminal on the Savannah River just east of Savannah. Kinder Morgan currently owns 51 percent of the joint venture and will buy the remaining 49 percent owned by Shell. Shell will agree to accept 100 percent of the liquefaction capacity.


July 16, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

All-Star Fundraiser

Susan Percy reports, it was not just another baseball game or even just another night at the tavern. Tuesday’s (July 14) All-Star Baseball Extravaganza at Manuel’s Tavern raised $4,000 for Our Lady of Perpetual Help Cancer Home, located in the shadow of Turner Field, where the Dominican nuns who care for terminal cancer patients are serious baseball fans. The fundraiser, held every year on the night of MLB’s All-Star Game, is the brainchild of Jack Wilkinson, a veteran sportswriter who is a longtime champion of the home and its work.


July 16, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

SweetWater Brewing names CEO; founder still chairman


July 16, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Lincoln National considers office consolidation that could bring Atlanta 500 jobs

Staff reports that Lincoln National Corp. is working on a sweeping consolidation of its regional offices, potentially creating a new business unit in metro Atlanta with at least 500 jobs. Lincoln National (NYSE: LNC), based in Radnor Penn., is the holding company that runs insurance and retirement businesses under the more familiar banner Lincoln Financial Group, the marketing name for its subsidiaries.


July 16, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Middle Georgia newspapers, companies ordered to repay $2.7 million

Amy Leigh Womack reports that owners of several Middle Georgia newspapers and newspaper companies are appealing a Jones County judge’s ruling July 2 that they must repay more than $2.7 million in loans, fees and penalties for a failed printing enterprise. Bank of America, which loaned the money, has the option to collect the money from one or multiple defendants, a bank representative confirmed this week.


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July 16, 2015 WABE

White House: Free Google Fiber For Some Atlanta Residents

Tasnim Shamma reports that White House officials announced a program Wednesday that aims to connect 275,000 low-income families in the U.S. with in-home Internet service. But the service isn't going to be available anytime soon in Atlanta. The $70 million pilot program, called ConnectHome, is funded mostly through private Internet providers and foundations. 


July 16, 2015 Gwinnett Daily Post

Georgia tourism official Kevin Langston says Gwinnett a big draw for visitors

Curt Yeomans reports that tourism is big business in Georgia and Gwinnett County is a major contributer to that economic engine, the state's top tourism official told local business leaders on Wednesday. Georgia Deputy Economic Development Commissioner Kevin Langston, who oversees the state's tourism division, told the Gwinnett Chamber that tourism had a combined direct, indirect and induced economic impact of $57.1 billion in the state. 

July 16, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Columbus still tops Augusta as Georgia's second-largest city

Wesley Brown reports that  the latest Census estimates show Augusta’s population grew by 127 residents in 2014, providing hope that it won’t have to surrender its title as Georgia’s second-largest city to Columbus by the end of the decade.after losing 690 residents in 2013, Augusta's population increased last year from 196,614 to 196,741 residents. 


July 16, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

CareerBuilder expands into Buckhead, could bring 200+ jobs to Atlanta

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that Buckhead will soon get a major new corporate tenant, reinforcing the business district’s credentials as a technology hub. Chicago-based online job site LLC will lease more than 30,000 square feet on two floors at the 13-story Two Live Oak across from Lenox Square Mall. A CareerBuilder spokeswoman declined to disclose how many jobs the expansion would create. Based on the company’s real estate footprint, the company could accommodate at least 200 people at the Buckhead location. CareerBuilder employs about 675 at its IT headquarters in Gwinnett’s Peachtree Corners.


July 16, 2015 GPB

Special Elections For Georgia House, DeKalb Commission Seats

Staff reports that the Georgia House has three new members, following special elections Tuesday. Marie Robinson Metze defeated fellow Democrat Shelitha Robertson in Atlanta's House District 55. Metze replaces longtime Rep. Tyrone Brooks, who resigned earlier this year after pleading guilty to tax fraud. In House District 24 in Forsyth County, Republican Sheri Smallwood Gilligan won 75 percent of the vote in a runoff against GOP candidate David Van Sant. 


July 16, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

The city of Atlanta ends a 40-year dispute over Confederate symbolism

Jim Galloway reports that while the world was hypnotized by a Rebel battle emblem on the lawn of South Carolina’s capitol, the city of Atlanta quietly settled a bitter, four-decade fight over Confederate history and symbolism. The city-owned Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum in Grant Park, home to a 130-year-old, cylindrical depiction of the 1864 Battle of Atlanta, has closed. Over the next two years, a restored version of the huge painting will be moved to the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead.



July 15, 2015 WABE

Atlanta's Airport Receives Bond Ratings Upgrade

Michelle Wirth reports that Atlanta’s airport has received a bond ratings upgrade from Fitch Ratings. This week, the agency boosted two of the airport’s bonds from an A to an A+. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s Chief Financial Officer and Deputy General Manager, Roosevelt Council, says upping those bond ratings, which represent the corporation's bond credit quality, will save the airport millions of dollars in borrowing costs. He says that the cost savings will help Hartsfield-Jackson pay for current and future projects. 


July 15, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Georgia View: Filling the pipeline

Bill Crane reports, as Georgia’s economy rebounds, employers across the state are facing an unexpected labor-force challenge. Open positions often go begging when the skills in our available workforce don’t match those needed by employers. If not corrected, this lack of workforce readiness could become a statewide challenge as companies relocate or expand into markets that offer the talents they need.


July 15, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia lands four cities on list of best small cities for working parents

Phil W. Hudson reports that not all parents have to live in the Peach State’s megatropolis to comfortably raise a family while working. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 63 percent of families with children have two parents in the labor force, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.


July 15, 2015 Savannah Morning News

Allegiants Summer Flights Take Off

 Mary Carr Mayle reports that Ohio native Joseph Marinelli has been saying it all along — there is a special love affair between Savannah/Hilton Head and Ohio. Lori Lynah, director of marketing and air service development for the airport, agreed. Together, she and Marinelli, president of Visit Savannah, persuaded Allegiant Air to take a look at this market. Now, only a few months into Allegiant’s service from Cincinnati, Columbus and Akron/Canton to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, the two have the numbers to prove their point.


July 15, 2015 Albany Herald

Media company with Atlanta connections acquires California TV station

Staff reports that USA Television Holdings LLC announced Tuesday that it and Maxair Media LLC have entered into separate agreements to acquire Chico/Redding, Calif., television stations KHSL-TV and KNVN (TV), respectively. USA Television is jointly owned by Heartland Media LLC, which is based in Atlanta, and MSouth Equity Partners. USA Television currently owns four television stations in three markets, including Eugene, Ore.; Medford-Klamath Falls, Ore., and Tupelo, Miss. Heartland Media also owns the NBC television station in Utica, N.Y.


July 15, 2015 Georgia Health News

Young patients prominent in med cannabis registry

Andy Miller reports that children with seizure disorders have led the initial wave of patients registered for medical marijuana use in Georgia, state officials said Tuesday. State Department of Public Health officials said cancer was the second-leading diagnosis for registrants. The agency last month launched its Web portal and registration cards for medical cannabis oil. A law passed earlier this year made it legal for some people to possess the oil for medical purposes. Physicians can apply for a card on behalf of a patient with one of eight medical conditions.


July 15, 2015 Saporta Report

Atlanta slated to begin $125,000 study on improving area near Falcons stadium

David Pendered reports that Atlanta is poised to embark on a study costing up to $125,000 on how to involve residents of the Westside communities, near the Falcons stadium, in code enforcement and flooding issues. The study is to be funded with a grant from a program named City Accelerator, which is a project of Living Cities Foundation. The foundation is an initiative of Living Cities and Citi Foundation, and it’s funded similar studies in other cities.


July 15, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

$10M in bond to go to South Cobb redevelopment

Hilary Butschek reports that after a split vote Tuesday, the Board of Commissioners approved moving forward on the issuance of $10 million in bond money to spend on redevelopment projects in south Cobb. Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who represents south Cobb, said she is glad to finally see the board allocating money to her district.


July 15, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Developer: Former Doraville GM plant a 'logical' choice for Gwinnett to connect with MARTA

Douglas Sams reports that if Gwinnett County ever plans to connect to the region’s mass transit system, the redevelopment of the former General Motors Co. plant in Doraville is a logical choice, says the developer of the project. A development team led by Egbert Perry, chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based The Integral Group LLC, acquired the 165-acre site near the junction of I-285 and Peachtree Industrial Boulevard last year, a former assembly plant that GM operated until 2008.


July 15, 2015 Georgia Times-Union, Morris News Service

Georgia leaders go public with opposition to Army cutbacks

Walter C. Jones reports that Georgia's elected and political leaders are gearing up for a fight over the Obama administration's announcement of automatic troop reductions at two of the state's military bases. "Pressure is up," said Bob Hurt, a Washington-based consultant hired by the state for military matters. 


July 15, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Former Iran hostages in Georgia cautiously optimistic about nuke deal

Greg Bluestein reports that there are few Georgians with a deeper understanding of the complex political calculations behind Tuesday’s historic accord with Iran than Joe Hall and Bill Daugherty. They are two of the 52 Americans who were held hostage by the Islamic regime in 1979 after a group of Iranian students stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran. They were released 444 days later, only after Ronald Reagan was sworn into office.



July 14, 2015

Deal: June tax revenues up 3.1 percent

Staff reports, Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia’s net tax collections for June totaled nearly $1.82 billion, an increase of $55.2 million, or 3.1 percent, compared to June 2014. Net tax revenue collections for the completed fiscal year totaled approximately $19.03 billion for an increase of nearly $1.15 billion, or 6.4 percent, compared to the previous fiscal year, when net tax revenues totaled $17.88 billion. Year-to-date gross tax deposits, before refunds and distributions to local governments, totaled $26.44 billion, which was an increase of $1.5 billion, or 6 percent, compared to the year-end total for FY 2014.


July 14, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Pooler: Coming into its own

Randy Southerland reports that Pooler, in western Chatham County, has been on the economic fast track for quite a while now. Sure, there was a slowdown during the Great Recession, but that period provided this city of 21,000 with some moments to step back and reflect on where it wants to go and just what shape it wants development to take.


July 14, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Army to cut nearly 4,400 soldiers in Georgia by 2017

Phil W. Hudson reports that 450,000 cuts the U.S. Army announced last week will include nearly 4,400 active-duty soldiers based in Georgia. Georgia’s Army Posts with expected reduction numbers: Fort Benning (3,402), Fort Gordon (41), Fort Stewart (947). By the end of fiscal 2018, the active Army expects to have drawn down in size from 490,000 to 450,000. 


July 14, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Nylon recycling facility closing in Augusta

Jenna Martin reports that Dalton, Ga.-based Shaw Industries Group announced Monday that its nylon recyling plant in Augusta will close this fall, affecting about 70 workers. The Evergreen Augusta facility on Columbia Nitrogen Road will close Sept. 1 as the result of a new $20 million carpet reclamation and recycling center that Shaw opened in May in Ringgold, Ga. The new facility will create at least 70 full-time positions and will be able to recycle nylon and polyester fiber.


July 14, 2015 Saporta Report

150 years later: Georgia and the end of the Civil War   

Laura McCarty writes, for the last five years, Georgians and groups across the state have been marking the Sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary, of the Civil War. Historic sites, communities, and businesses have looked to the anniversaries of various events as opportunities for economic impact as well as appropriate times to look back and reflect on the meanings of the Civil War. It will be awhile before we can fully assess the impact of the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War in Georgia.


July 14, 2015 Gainesville Times

Georgia takes a bite out of Hollywood

Joshua Silavent reports that Georgia’s not yet Hollywood, but the state’s tax incentives have charmed a number of big-budget movie productions to relocate from the West Coast to the New South in recent years. And the payoff is seen in new jobs and new spending across the Peach State, including in Hall County, according to state officials.  


July 14, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

TSYS donates $5 million to Columbus State

Mark Rice reports that TSYS, the Columbus-based credit card and payment processor, has donated $5 million to Columbus State University - the largest contribution ever given to CSU's Turner College of Business. The gift is part of a partnership to develop a new program at CSU to prepare students for careers in cybersecurity, the university announced Monday.


July 14, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald, Morris News Service

Georgia is the 10th most expensive state for traditional energy sources

Staff reports that Georgia consumers pay the 10th highest costs for traditional energy sources in the country, according to a report released Monday by a consumer-finance website. Average monthly personal energy costs in the Peach State is at $331, according to calculations by That compares to the District of Columbia which has the lowest cost at $223 and Connecticut which has the highest at $410.


July 14, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Comcast boosts Internet speeds in Atlanta

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that shadowed by the prospect of Google launching ultra-fast Internet service, Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is doubling down on Atlanta. The Philadelphia, Pa.-based telecommunications company said Monday it will turn up Internet speeds in Atlanta at no additional charge to customers. Comcast will speed up its "Blast!" tier by 50 percent to 75 Mbps and introduce new Extreme 250 and Extreme 150 Mbps speed tiers.


July 14, 2015 GPB

Following Gay Marriage Ruling, Ga. GOP Lawmakers Float "Pastor Protection" Bill

Staff reports that clergy who disagree with same sex marriage wouldn't have to perform them, under a bill floated by state House Speaker David Ralston. Ralston proposed the so-called "Pastor Protection Act" at a Republican retreat on Jekyll Island this weekend.



July 13, 2015 WABE

Atlanta's New Soccer Team Could Be Symbol For Unity

Maria Saporta reports that soccer fans still have to wait about a year and a half before they will be able to go to a match to see Atlanta's pro team at the new downtown stadium. But when owner Arthur Blank officially unveiled the team's new name – Atlanta United FC – and its new logo at a rowdy event Tuesday, and the crowd of 4,000 fans could not have been more excited!


July 13, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Leading the Change

Karen Kirkpatrick reports, consider for a moment what it might be like to adopt 600 young people over an eight-year span. You have to have enough room to feed and house them. You have to be sure they have books and activities. You have to have space and provide opportunities for them to develop friendships and interests. You have to hire staff to look after them and educate them and help shape them into responsible adults who will take their education and experiences out into the world and make it a better place.


July 13, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

ARC: Metro Atlanta No. 2 for job growth, No. 4 for jobs added

Jacques Couret reports that Metro Atlanta has finally emerged from the employment hole caused by the Great Recession, the Atlanta Regional Commission reported Friday. Year-over-year in May, the region was No. 2 in the nation for job growth (up 3.2 percent) and No. for total jobs added (79,600). Metro Atlanta also in May finally exceeded its pre-recession employment peak that was set in December 2007, ARC noted.


July 13, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

Firefighters soak smoldering wood fuel pellets at two Brunswick port warehouses that burned Saturday

Terry Dickson reports that a day after fire destroyed two warehouses at the Port of Brunswick, fire crews were in a mop-up mode but there was a lot to mop up. Firefighters were soaking the two enormous piles of wood fuel pellets as workers used heavy equipment to tear away what was left of the ruined buildings. The first of the two buildings, each holding more than 10,000 tons of the small fuel pellets, caught fire just after 1 p.m. and was quickly engulfed in flames as the fire spread to the adjacent warehouse.  


July 13, 2015 Savannah Morning News

HMEE success prompts growth at JCB

Mary Carr Mayle reports that when British construction equipment manufacturer JCB began building the high mobility engineer excavator — or HMEE — for the U.S. Army 10 years ago, company officials had no idea just how valuable the armor-plated, high-speed digger would prove in the tough terrain of Iraq and Afghanistan.


July 13, 2015 GPB

Georgia Communities Are Bracing For Army Cuts

Sarah McCammon reports that military communities are absorbing the news about another wave of troop reductions. The Army says it will shrink its active duty force by 40,000 - to bring it down to 450,000 nationwide over the next two years. More than a tenth of those cuts are happening in Georgia, including about 950 at Fort Stewart just outside Hinesville.


July 13, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Godsey elected chairman of the Peyton Anderson Foundation board

Angela Woolen reports that the Peyton Anderson Foundation’s board of trustees has elected R. Kirby Godsey, the chancellor of Mercer University, as its new chairman. Ed S. Sell III, who has served as chairman since 2009, will remain active on the board and has been named chairman emeritus. Godsey has served on the foundation’s board for six years.


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July 13, 2015 AccessWDUN

Gainesville company expands with $2.5M capital investment

Staff reports that pdblowers, Inc. (formerly Rotating Engineered Products, Inc) president and founder Jim Hene and area officials cut a ribbon recently to open a new headquarters, engineering, sales and production center in Gainesville Industrial Park West. pdblowers is a distributor and service provider for positive displacement blowers, vacuum pumps and related equipment for industrial applications.  The company provides a number of services involving positive displacement blowers and vacuum pumps including system integration, fabrication capabilities, custom equipment design and distribution.


July 13, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Atlanta Region vs. the World

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that infrastructure, education, leadership, traffic – these are all issues facing the Metro Atlanta region. But how do we compare to other cities? The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) recently led a “Community Conversation on Regional Competitiveness” to find out.


July 13, 2015 Saporta Report

South Carolina joins Georgia in ruling against use of condemnation to build Palmetto Pipeline   

David Pendered reports that a legal opinion issued by the office of South Carolina’s attorney general presents a new obstacle for a proposed pipeline for petroleum and ethanol to be built along the Savannah River and down the Georgia coast, to Jacksonville, Fla. The opinion contends that Kinder Morgan, Inc. does not have the power to condemn land for the purpose of installing the Palmetto Pipeline. If the pipe were to carry natural gas, the company could condemn property. But a petroleum pipeline doesn’t have the same legal standing as a gas pipeline, according to the opinion.


July 13, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Delta pilots vote against tentative contract

Staff reports that Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE: DAL) pilots rejected a tentative agreement backed by the Air Line Pilots Association and Delta leadership, Reuters reported Friday. “Nearly 7,000 or 65 percent of voting pilots rejected the contract, according to Delta’s Master Executive Council, a unit of the Air Line Pilots Association,” Reuters reports. “The deal would have given the pilots industry-leading wages, raising pay 8 percent upon signing, 6 percent on Jan. 1, 2016 and 3 percent for each of the following two years.”


July 13, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Scott Walker to swing through Atlanta on ‘announcement tour’ this week

Greg Bluestein reports that presidential almost-candidate and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will swing through Atlanta on Wednesday as part of what his campaign bills as the first leg of his “announcement tour.” The Republican’s campaign-in-waiting stops in the Buckhead on Wednesday evening after stops in Nevada and South Carolina. And he’ll follow up with visits to New Hampshire and Iowa.



July 10, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

Gulfstream has grand opening at new 110,000-square-foot maintenance hangar in Brunswick

Terry Dickson reports that with a gleaming G450 jet parked inside, Gulfstream held a grand opening Thursday inside its new 110,000-square-foot hangar at the Brunswick Golden Isles Airport. But for all the shine on the plane and the building, Ron Aldrich made sure the people in the blue and gray work clothes were recognized and applauded. It is the hard work, dedication and attention to detail that makes it possible for Gulfstream to expand in Brunswick, Aldrich said.


July 10, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Economic Development: July 2015

Christy Simo writes about economic development, including an expansion in Jenkins County, new Porsche headquarters in Atlanta and a mixed-use development in Columbus.


July 10, 2015 Georgia Health News

Day care center for fragile children to close

Andy Miller reports that a metro Atlanta firm is closing its five Georgia day care facilities for medically fragile children. Pediatria HealthCare, headquartered in Norcross, notified state officials this month that the closings are coming. Pediatria’s president, Joe Harrelson, told GHN on Thursday that after the closings, no day care facilities for medically fragile kids will remain in the state.


metro Atlanta firm is closing its five Georgia day care facilities for medically fragile children.

Pediatria HealthCare, headquartered in Norcross, notified state officials this month that the closings are coming.

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July 10, 2015 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Army cuts at Fort Benning to have deep economic impact

Tony Adams reports that the Army’s elimination of the 3rd Armored Brigade as a full combat team — which will cut 3,400 soldier positions at Fort Benning — will have a far-reaching impact on the surrounding communities, figures released Thursday show. The post’s Maneuver Center of Excellence said the troop cuts alone will leave a $229 million gash in the local economy from the loss of sales and other spending, with lost annual income amounting to $198 million.


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July 10, 2015

Atlanta posts record exports but still ranks 18th among U.S. metros

Trevor Williams reports that Atlanta posted a record year for exports 2014, with $19.9 billion in overseas sales of products like airplane equipment, machinery, chemicals and more. But despite a 5.5 percent rise from last year’s $18.8 billion, the metro area stayed stuck at No. 18 in the country behind cities like Houston, Miami, Dallas and Seattle. The problem? More than a third of U.S. metros also posted record figures as metro exports topped $1.44 trillion, according to newly released International Trade Administration data.  


July 10, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia’s film and television industry economic impact reaches $6 billion in fiscal 2015

Ellie Hensley reports that superheroes and superheroines had a big economic impact in the Peach State in fiscal 2015. Georgia-filmed movies and television productions generated more than $6 billion in economic impact during the year, Gov. Nathan Deal announced July 9. During the year, 248 productions shot in Georgia and they spent $1.7 billion in the state.


July 10, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

It's warming faster in cities - but there are cooling solutions, scientists say

Lee Shearer reports that the world is steadily heating up as the levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere. But cities are heating up even faster, which could have serious consequences for city dwellers in upcoming years.


July 10, 2015 WABE

Ga. State Senator Wants To Expand Illegal Immigration Bill

Michelle Wirth reports that State Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, said he’ll push for sanctions against counties that don’t cooperate with federal immigration officials. McKoon said there should be financial penalties for counties that release people living in the country illegally that the federal government has asked them to hold. As heat waves become more common and more intense, the suffering will likely fall hardest on the most vulnerable groups, such as the poor, the elderly and people who work out of doors, University of Georgia climate scientist Marshall Shepherd said this week as a group called the Urban Climate Institute met in Athens Monday and Tuesday.


July 10, 2015 Rome News-Tribune

Nonprofit paid for Coomer’s trip to Louisiana

Jeremy Stewart reports that a Georgia education nonprofit funded an overnight trip to Louisiana for Rep. Christian Coomer and other state officials just before the Legislature set up a statewide vote on creating a separate Opportunity School District for failing schools. Lobbyist reports filed with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission show that StudentsFirstGA spent $898.21 on Coomer, R-Cartersville, during the February trip. Its lobbyist, Michael O’Sullivan of California, reported spending more than $10,000 on the trip.


July 10, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

The pressure on Nathan Deal to resist same-sex marriage

Greg Bluestein reports that the premium edition of the AJC contains these passages about how Georgia’s smooth transition on gay marriage was no accident. Tumult erupted in several other Southern states. But in Georgia, same-sex marriages were underway within hours after the high court ruled. Looking behind the scenes, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that there was a concerted, coordinated effort to ensure that Georgia’s response to the ruling was untroubled and that the implementation was well-ordered.



July 9, 2015 Newnan Times-Herald

Peach State at peak peach season

Bradley Hartsell reports that the Peach State is in the peak of peach season, and this year has produced an especially sweet harvest.The extended winter provided peach orchards hundreds of hours under 40 degrees. The cool weather was followed by very warm temperatures, which is optimum for creating flavorful, sweet Georgia Peaches. According to the Georgia Department of Agriculture, July is the best time to find fresh peaches, which can be eaten out of hand as a sweet and healthy snack. Peach season is typically mid-May to early August. A variety of recipes include peaches with meals for any time of day. 


July 9, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Business Casual: The ear of the beholder

Susan Percy writes, fortunately, the “Honey, would you get me some coffee?” era is pretty much over by now, a thing of the past in the nation’s workplaces, with the exception of a few aging and clueless practitioners who still insist that addressing women they are neither related to nor married to as “Honey” is a compliment. (It isn’t.) And that being served coffee is a gender-specific entitlement. (It isn’t.)


July 9, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hartsfield-Jackson outlines hotel project

Kelly Yamanouchi reports that 


July 9, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

AT&T agrees to offer low-cost Internet option to close the DirecTV deal

Danielle Abril reports that AT&T Inc. has agreed to offer a lower-priced Internet option to food stamp recipients for four years once the merger with DirecTV is approved. The move comes after the Federal Communications Commission expressed a desire for such an option from the combined company, according to a letter AT&T (NYSE: T) sent to the FCC on July 1.


July 9, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Macon-Bibb Industrial Authority buys former Mauldin & Jenkins building

Jeremy Timmerman reports that Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority will be changing locations soon. The agency purchased the former Mauldin & Jenkins building at 439 Mulberry St., real estate agent Art Barry III said. The building, with a list price of $675,000, sold for $625,000. The agency was represented by agent Bob Lewis, who said the Industrial Authority has “great plans” for the new space.


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July 9, 2015 WABE

Ga. Commissioner Of Labor Speaks On The State’s Job Growth

Sean Garvey reports that the job numbers in Georgia are released every month to inform people about the status of Georgia's unemployment rate. However, the job numbers can be inaccurate and they may not always help job seekers get their first and second interview. On "A Closer Look," Georgia Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler discussed the various trends in employment and the improvement he wants people to know about the Georgia's job market. 


July 9, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Software maker Kahua raises $7 million

Urvaksh Karkaria reports that software maker Kahua has raised $7 million in a Series A round from several angel investors. The Alpharetta-based company provides a cloud-based project management platform (PaaS) primarily for the design and construction industry. “We have our own app store which provides the industry with a broad set of solutions to meet specific business requirements,” Kahua co-founder and CEO Scott Unger said. “Third-parties can create apps built on Kahua’s Platform, put it in our store, and sell those apps. The apps run on smartphones, tablets and PCs.”


July 9, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

What the latest Georgia financial reports say about the 2018 race for governor

Greg Bluestein reports, you won’t find too many hints about the ramp-up to the 2018 race for governor in the latest financial disclosures. Yes, there’s still more than three years to go until that election. But potential candidates sometimes try to get a jump on their rivals with a strong fundraising report, even this far out. Three possible GOP candidates for the state’s top job – Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Attorney General Sam Olens and Secretary of State Brian Kemp – all show little activity on their latest fundraising reports for a five-month span ending in June.




July 8, 2015 Savannah Morning News

GPA aiming for new inland ports

Mary Carr Mayle reports that success of the state's first inland port at Cordele, coupled with the growth of container traffic, has prompted Georgia Ports Authority to look for new ways to link the country's fastest growing port with inland terminals around the state and beyond. “The idea, which we’re calling Network Georgia, is to look at the state as six geographical zones and work with those zones to create a web of rail connections that will make access to the port easy and convenient,” said Curtis Foltz, GPA executive director.


July 8, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Legal Elite nominations end July 31

Karen Kirkpatrick reports, who do you think are the state’s most effective lawyers? There’s still time for you to tell us. Through Friday, July 31, 2015, at 5 p.m., Georgia Trend magazine is accepting nominations for its annual Legal Elite listing, which 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.


July 8, 2015 Georgia Health News

A good omen for Georgia Medicaid waiver plan?

Andy Miller reports that an Ohio program that gave insurance to thousands of low-income patients helped them improve on health measures and also produced unexpectedly low costs, according to a study published Tuesday. Those findings may have a significant impact in Georgia. State officials are considering a proposal from Grady Health System in Atlanta to extend coverage to uninsured Georgians through a special Medicaid “waiver.’’ Grady officials say the waiver program would be modeled after the Cleveland MetroHealth Care Plus program.


July 8, 2015 WABE

Atlanta Vs. Silicon Valley: Differences In Gaining Investors

Tasnim Shamma reports that many local startups say their biggest hurdle is cash. It’s such a common complaint, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says he’s launching a venture capital fund by the end of the year to help tech companies get off the ground. But there’s an interesting difference between how investors work in Atlanta versus Silicon Valley.


 July 8, 2015 Augusta Chronicle

Augusta stormwater fee fails to get enough votes by 5-3

Susan McCord reports that two abstentions kept Mayor Hardie Davis from casting a tie breaking vote Tuesday on a decision to implement a stormwater utility fee on Augusta consumers in January. The fee, in the works since 2009 as a way to repair and upgrade storm drainage infrastructure and meet federal requirements for stormwater quality, was included by commissioners in the 2015 budget.


July 8, 2015 Saporta Report

MLS Commissioner Don Garber: ‘New America is right here in Atlanta’   

Maria Saporta reports that before the official unveiling of the Atlanta United name and the logo of the Major League Soccer team, Arthur Blank marveled at the thousands of fans who had shown up Tuesday night at the SOHO Lounge in west Midtown. The name given to MLS-Atlanta’s team was so fitting – Atlanta United.


July 8, 2015

UPS CEO predicts major shifts in the global economy by 2020

Phil Bolton reports that United Parcel Service Inc.’s CEO keeps his eye on the future, and he anticipates big changes in what now are called “emerging markets.”  “You can think about it as a challenge, or you can think about it as a concern or you can embrace it as an opportunity, which is what we think we have to do,” David Abney, UPS’ top executive, told a Kiwanis Club of Atlanta luncheon on Tuesday.  


July 8, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

TSYS renews multi-year deal with U.S. Bank

Staff reports that TSYS (NYSE: TSS) inked a long-term renewal deal with U.S. Bank to continue to support the bank’s commercial card payment services in the United States, Europe and Canada. Financial terms were not disclosed. “U.S. Bank has been a valued TSYS client for more than 25 years, and we are excited to continue this relationship for many years to come,” said Keith Pierce, executive vice president for Relationship Management for Columbus, Ga.-based TSYS.


July 8, 2015

Inaugural Class of Woodrow Wilson Georgia Teaching Fellows Announced

Staff reports that as part of the State of Georgia’s commitment to close the achievement gaps and provide all students with high-quality teachers, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation announced the inaugural class of Georgia Teaching Fellows. Thirty-six individuals will be part of the first cohort of the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program in the state, which will be offered at Columbus State University, Kennesaw State University, and Piedmont College during the 2015-16 session. The highly competitive program recruits both recent graduates and career changers with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, and math—the STEM fields—and prepares them specifically to teach in high-need secondary schools. 


July 8, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Beasley Forest Products buying 2 Macon companies            

Staff reports that Beasley Forest Products in Hazlehurst has agreed to buy BLC Hardwood Flooring and Wood Fiber Technologies in Macon. Both of the transactions are expected to close in the next 30 to 60 days, according to a statement from Jason Delves, president of the two Macon companies, which are subsidiaries of Battle Lumber Co. BLC Hardwood Flooring makes unfinished and prefinished solid wood flooring. Wood Fiber Technologies makes wood flour that is used as a base material for composite decking and similar products, foundry molds fire logs and other products.


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July 8, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Hollywood names Georgia a top rival in pilot production

Staff reports that January through April means pilot season for television shows, and Georgia is becoming a coveted spot for pilot production, according to a study released by FilmL.A. on July 7. During the 2014-2015 pilot cycle, Georgia tied for fourth with Toronto for the number of pilots filmed in a location. Of the 202 films surveyed by FilmL.A., 91 shot in California, 25 shot in New York, 16 shot in Vancouver, nine shot in Atlanta and Toronto and eight shot in Louisiana. No other location hosted more than five pilots.


July 8, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Jimmy Carter: ‘I believe Jesus would approve gay marriage’

Greg Bluestein reports that former President Jimmy Carter wants you to know that he thinks Jesus Christ would be OK with gay marriage. The Georgia native, who still teaches Sunday school classes monthly in south Georgia, made the revelation during an interview with The Huffington Post Tuesday to promote his latest book, “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety.”





July 7, 2015 WABE

Ga. Road Projects Could Stall If Congress Doesn’t Reach Deal

Michelle Wirth reports that Congress has until the end of the month to find a way to replenish the ailing Highway Trust Fund. If federal lawmakers don’t reach an agreement, it could affect Georgia highway projects. The state says it has the $300 million needed to move forward with road projects for the next two months. But if Congress can't figure out a short- or long-term fix for highway funding, Georgia would have to delay a number of the projects it has planned for the rest of the year.


July 7, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

Carroll County: The Common Good

K.K. Snyder reports that leadership throughout West Georgia’s Carroll County gets top scores when it comes to playing well with others, and it’s a practice that’s paying off for the entire community. From healthcare and education to job creation and economic development, joining forces has enabled Carroll County to far exceed community goals.


July 7, 2015 New York Times

A Georgia County Where the Rebel Flag Is Still Revered

Richard Fausset reports that Brandon Heath, Haralson County’s chief magistrate judge, flies the Confederate battle flag on his property. A version of it adorns the front bumper of his cherry-red Chevrolet pickup. It is painted on the wall of the gymnasium of his alma mater, Haralson County High School, where the sports teams are called the Rebels and Rebelettes. 


July 7, 2015 Marietta Daily Journal

Manufacturing rebounds after 3-month slide

Staff reports that Georgia manufacturing recovered from a three-month slump with a 6.5-point increase to 61.3, which is 2.3 points above its six-month average, according to the Purchasing Managers Index released on July 1 by Kennesaw State University’s Econometric Center in the Michael J. Coles College of Business.


July 7, 2015 Rome News Tribune

Doss unveils plans for W. 3rd Street condos; 34 units will range from mid-$200,000s to $700,000

Doug Walker reports that Rome real estate entrepreneur David Doss has unveiled plans for The Aventine on West Third — a condominium development across from Barron Stadium — but there’s one caveat. “If we don’t sell them, we can’t build them,” said Doss, who is a principal of Samson Development Group LLC.


July 7, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia’s Moon River Studios is now America’s largest film and television studio project

Ellie Hensley reports that Georgia is No. 1 for growth in the film industry, and now it boasts America’s largest film studio project. After buying grip and lighting equipment house AppleBox Productions, Georgia-based Moon River Studios is now the biggest studio project in the United States.


July 7, 2015 GPB

Keeping An Eye On Bats As Their Numbers Drop

Grant Blankenship reports that believe it or not, there are some people in the South who love watching bats the way others love watching birds. If that’s you, and you’ve noticed fewer bats in recent years, know you aren’t imagining things. And even if you find bats kind of creepy, experts say you might change your tune once the bugs they eat become pests in increasing numbers in the Summer. That’s because bats in the South are under pressure. 


July 7, 2015 Newnan Times-Herald

Opportunities grow in Georgia to work in film industry

Clay Neely reports that while the explosion of the film industry in Georgia has certainly been a positive push for the economy, filling the need for skilled workers on the set has become a primary goal for the state. Barton Bond is the director of Clayton State University's Film and Digital Media Center. His program is attempting to help fill the growing need for homegrown talent to work in the booming sector.


July 7, 2015 Saporta Report

Georgia ports seek to expand rail service as cargo traffic keeps rising   

David Pendered reports that most days at the port of Savannah, about 20 trains arrive to drop a load of goods for export, reload with imports, and depart a few hours later. The state plans to grow this business with a network of transport hubs in five surrounding states. “The concept we’ll develop over the next couple of years will build on what I consider to be the largest inland intermodal complex in the entire eastern third of the United States, and that’s Atlanta, Ga.,” said Curtis Foltz, executive director of the Georgia Ports Authority.


July 7, 2015 Georgia Health News

Study backs critics of state benefit plan

Andy Miller reports that since January 2014, many Georgia schoolteachers and state employees have complained about their health insurance plan, saying they bear a heavier burden in costs. A recently released study supports their argument. Last week, the consulting firm Aon Hewitt reported that members of the State Health Benefit Plan pay a greater proportion of health care costs than people covered in six comparable employee plans studied — those of five other Southern states’ plans, plus University System of Georgia workers. 


July 7, 2015 Valdosta Daily Times

State gas tax hike hits local governments hardest

Staff reports that while Georgia drivers woke up Wednesday to what is expected to be a gradual increase in fuel costs of between 6 and 7 cents a gallon, their burden pales in comparison to that of local governments across the state. Because the Transportation Funding Act of 2015 was classified as an excise tax by the state Legislature, local governments lost the 12 1/2-cent exemption they had enjoyed for the past several years. So while Georgia drivers are looking at a palatable uptick in gas prices in the coming days, government entities are facing a more-than-18-cents-a-gallon price increase.


July 7, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

Trio of bipartisan Atlanta lobbyists opening up new shop

Greg Bluestein reports that a trio of bipartisan lobbyists is opening up a new shop – and taking a gaggle of high-powered clients with them. Chuck McMullen, Tharon Johnson and Blake Ashbee have left the law firm formerly known as McKenna Long & Aldridge to open Greenberg Traurig’s lobbyist practice in Atlanta. McMullen is a former top aide to Republican Rep. Tom Price. Ashbee is a former deputy to Gov. Nathan Deal who was appointed to lead the state’s office of workforce development. And Johnson led Kasim Reed’s successful bid for Atlanta mayor in 2009 and was President Barack Obama’s 2012 southern regional director. He briefly flirted with a bid to lead the Democratic Party of Georgia this year before sticking with the lobbying gig.





July 6, 2015 Georgia Times-Union

Jekyll Island hotels and governing authority are violators of turtle lighting rules

Mike Morrison reports that sea turtles are nesting on Jekyll Island's beaches in what could be record numbers this season except for in one critical spot, the Westin Hotel on the beachfront. With a lot of the nesting season to go, there have been 111 nests counted on the island's beaches. The Westin topped the list of violators, but it wasn't alone. It was followed by the Holiday Inn with eight, the Days Inn with five and the Beach Club with two. Several facilities operated by the Jekyll Island Authority, the board that manages and markets the state-owned island, also made the list.


July 6, 2015 Georgia Trend - Exclusive!

A Hard Rock life

Lori Johnston reports that mining is the only work that Tommie Wilson, 79, and Hoyt Sanders, 76, have known. Wilson began loading kaolin in 1956 and Sanders began working in the mines in east Georgia in 1957. They started out at $1.28 and $1.34 an hour, respectively. Both men witnessed consolidation in their industry, working for five different companies over the years. BASF, with mining operations from Savannah to Hartwell, is currently on their name badges.


July 6, 2015 Athens Banner-Herald

UGA music professor honored with Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts award

Jessica Luton and Joshua Cutchin report that University of Georgia Distinguished University Professor Milton Masciadri was recently awarded the Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts from the World Cultural Council. The award recognizes outstanding personalities whose work has had a significantly positive effect on the cultural legacy of mankind.


July 6, 2015 Macon Telegraph

Middle Georgia businesses deal with higher than normal temps

Linda S. Morris reports that when temperatures last month climbed to 100 degrees, it was tough for some people to just walk from their air-conditioned cars to their air-conditioned offices. But if your work place is several feet off the ground, the temperatures can be brutal. “It’s at least 10 degrees hotter up there,” said Richard Crosby, owner of Crosby Roofing & Seamless Gutters. “So it would be 110 degrees up on top of a roof.”


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July 6, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle, Saporta Report

Underground Atlanta redevelopment could hit $400M

Maria Saporta reports that the developer of the re-envisioned Underground Atlanta says the total investment in the project likely will be between $350 million and $400 million. That’s about double previous estimates that have been announced for the Underground Atlanta redevelopment project. Scott Smith, president and CEO of WRS Inc., a real estate company based in Mount Pleasant, S.C., provided an update of the project in a telephone interview on June 29.


July 6, 2015 Emory University

Emory to lead National Ebola Training and Education Center

Janet Christenbury reports that the US Department of Health & Human Services announced today that Emory University will serve as lead coordinating center of the National Ebola Training and Education Center (NETEC) in collaboration with the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (Bellevue Hospital).


July 6, 2015 University of Georgia

Rumors of southern pine deaths have been exaggerated, UGA researchers say

Sandi Martin reports that researchers at the University of Georgia have a message for Southern tree farmers worried about unexplainable pine tree deaths: Don't panic. A new study published in Forest Ecology and Management analyzed growth in thousands of pine tree plots across the Southeast and indicates that "southern pine decline" isn't happening on a large scale. Some earlier reports and studies had hinted at large-scale deaths of pine trees from unexplained reasons. But looking at the hard data shows that this is not the case, said Kamal Gandhi, an associate professor and forest health expert at UGA's Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.


July 6, 2015 Georgia CEO

Georgia #1 for Clean Energy Jobs

Staff reports that a new report from the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) shows that more than 9,800 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced across the country the first three months of 2015. This is almost double the number E2 tracked the corresponding quarter a year ago. The top three states for the quarter were: Georgia (2,870 jobs), California (1,885) and Texas (1,612). New Mexico, Michigan, Colorado, Virginia, Utah, Maryland and Indiana rounded out the top 10.


July 6, 2015 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Report: Atlanta a Top 10 strongest market in demand for office space

Carla Caldwell reports that tenant demand for commercial real estate rebounded strongly in the second quarter of 2015 prompting rental rates to rise in more than 70 percent of the U.S., according to commercial real estate firm DTZ. Atlanta is one of the top 10 strongest markets in terms of demand for space, the firm says.


July 6, 2015 Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Political Insider

The ‘SEC primary’ gains steam, but will it help Georgia gain attention?

Daniel Malloy reports that what was once a gleam in the eye of Georgia’s top elections official has become reality in recent months, as most of the South has aligned for a blockbuster March 1, 2016, presidential primary. Voters in Georgia, where Secretary of State Brian Kemp has been the loudest cheerleader for the college athletics-themed “SEC primary,” will be joined by those in Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia for the regional vote that could shape what looks to be a drawn-out Republican race. North Carolina also could still move in.





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.

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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

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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.


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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.


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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.





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