Molly Samuel reports that Georgia Power is continuing to clean up coal ash, a byproduct from burning coal for electricity that can contain toxic materials. The utility presented its progress to state lawmakers at a hearing Thursday. The utility is closing all 29 of its coal ash ponds, big, open ponds of water mixed with ash that run the risk of leaching toxics into groundwater, or having it flood over the top of the pond into neighboring waterways.
Christy Simo reports on projects in Atlanta, Taliaferro County, Peachtree Corners and more. In Savannah, online home retailer Wayfair Inc. is opening a 1.2-million-square-foot facility in Savannah. The $45-million project will create 1,000 jobs over the next five years.
Alex Gailey reports that Delta Air Lines is paying 80,000 of its employees roughly $1.3 billion in annual profit sharing, including $456 million to Atlanta employees. It is the airline’s second-largest profit sharing pool since it started five years ago, after payout of $1.5 billion in 2016.
Merritt Melancon reports that judges selected 33 products to compete in the final round of the University of Georgia’s 2019 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest set for March 19 in Atlanta. The contest is the state’s premier proving ground for small, upstart food companies as well as time-honored products. This year’s finalists represent all corners of the state and the best of Georgia’s diverse culinary heritage.
Katie Nussbaum reports, as the Georgia General Assembly continues to meet in Atlanta for the 2019 legislative session members of the Georgia International and Maritime Trade Center Authority remain optimistic about the state funding requested to complete an expansion of the Savannah Convention Center on Hutchinson Island. The GIMTCA requested $234 million for the expansion, which would be among numerous statewide projects funded through revenue public bonds underwritten by the state, which typically issues more than $1 billion in bonds each year.
Trevor Williams reports that employment in the solar energy sector in Georgia fell by 14 percent as utility-scale projects stalled amid an uncertain global trade environment, according to the Solar Foundation. Georgia’s drop was much steeper than the 3.2 percent nationwide decline to 242,343 jobs from 250,0271, marking the second year in a row solar jobs fell after more than doubling between 2010-16, the foundation reported in its National Solar Jobs Census.
Andrea M. Usher reports that after rescheduling due to Hurricane Michael in October, film industry experts will be in Valdosta this month to spotlight the state’s role in the movie business. The South Georgia Regional Meeting of the Georgia Production Partnership in conjunction with the Georgia Film Office is scheduled 1:30-2:30 p.m., Feb. 28, at Valdosta State University.
Wes Wolfe reports that denied the chance in the amended Fiscal Year 2019 budget, Georgia Court of Appeals Chief Judge Stephen Dillard requested from the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety at least two new central staff attorneys in the FY 2020 budget.
Staff reports that U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue were among a group of senators to write to House and Senate leadership on Wednesday urging immediate action on a supplemental disaster relief package to provide critical aid for victims of natural disasters in Georgia and across the country. Supplemental disaster funding was supported by 98 U.S. senators, including Isakson and Perdue, in funding proposals voted on earlier this year, but this week’s initial agreement to fund the government after Friday does not include this funding.
Maggie Lee reports that two Georgia state Senators with very different thoughts — and bills — on monuments on public land got a hearing in the Capitol Thursday. Confederate monuments dominated the hearing. DeKalb County’s got a situation: it wants to get rid of the massive Confederate monument that it owns in downtown Decatur.
Andy Miller reports that House Bill 198 will damage the state’s health care system. House Bill 198 will improve access to quality medical services. Those diametrically opposed views resounded during a passionate, occasionally testy three-hour legislative hearing Thursday on the high-profile bill, which would revamp the state’s health care regulatory system.
Diane Wagner reports that a free app to help Georgians confronting a mental health crisis launched Thursday. “It’s good for all ages, adults too, but young people in particular are reluctant to talk about behavioral health issues,” said Rep. Katie Dempsey. “This is a way to explore resources through text with people trained to listen, assess and help someone decide what services they need.”
Ross Terrell reports that state lawmakers filed a bill Thursday to give patients access to medical marijuana. Cannabis for medical purposes is legal in Georgia, but it isn’t legal to grow, buy or sell the plant here. The legislation would establish license for five large and five small growers and 10 retailers.
Tamar Hallerman reports that bipartisan border security bill that raced through both chambers of Congress on Thursday won over several Georgia Republicans along the way. The spending deal, which would set aside nearly $1.4 billion for President Donald Trump’s border wall and stave off another government shutdown through September, prompted “yes” votes from four Georgia Republicans.