Georgia Trend Daily – March 17, 2019

May 17, 2019 Gwinnett Daily Post

Beck voluntarily steps aside as insurance commissioner as Shafer, Ga. GOP chairman rival debate ties to case

Curt Yeomans reports that while Georgia Insurance and Fire Safety Commissioner Jim Beck faces calls for his resignation following his indictment by a federal grand jury, the controversy surrounding him has ensnared a former state senator from Duluth and the Georgia Republican Party chairman’s race. Former Sen. David Shafer is one of three candidates running to be the Georgia GOP’s next chairman.


May 17, 2019 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!

Trendsetters: Chinese Southern Belle

Mary Ann DeMuth reports that Smyrna native and entrepreneur Natalie Keng is the living, breathing epitome of fusion. Born, as she says, “closer to Canton, Ga., than Canton, China,” she is the daughter of Asian immigrants and grew up loving grits and fried chicken as much as egg rolls and Hunan catfish. Her multicultural influences – and experiences as a member of the only Asian family in her 1970s neighborhood – prompted her to launch her business, Chinese Southern Belle, a decade ago “to make the world a better place through food,” she says.


May 17, 2019 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia lost 14,900 jobs in April as some workers left labor force

Michael E. Kanell reports that Georgia’s economy had a worse-than-usual April, shedding 14,900 jobs, the state’s Department of Labor reported Thursday. That represents the largest April job loss since 2009, the depths of the Great Recession, when unemployment rates were climbing into double digits. It also diverges from a strong national report for April, when the U.S. jobless rate fell to a half-century low.


May 17, 2019 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Downtown Atlanta tower could get $75 million makeover, hundreds of new jobs

Douglas Sams reports that a $75 million plan has emerged to renovate the former United Way of Greater Atlanta tower, a project that could bring hundreds of jobs downtown. Parkway Property Investments LLC was to present the proposal for the 18-story building at 100 Edgewood Avenue to the Development Authority of Fulton County, according to documents initially posted on the authority’s web site.


May 17, 2019 Augusta Chronicle

Architect Pei, who helped redesign downtown Augusta, has died

Bill Kirby reports that I.M. Pei, one of America’s most celebrated architects who had a hand in dramatically redesigning downtown Augusta in the 1970s, died Wednesday in New York City. He was 102. Born in China in 1917, Pei came to America and rose to fame after World War II.


May 17, 2019 University of Georgia

Student develops an AI app to diagnose plant diseases

Aaron Hale reports, for some, a rose is a symbol of beauty or love. For Shaza Mehdi, it is a connection to her mother, but also a gateway to innovation. Mehdi’s mother, Afshin, grows rose bushes at their Lawrenceville home. But a few years ago, the plants kept getting diseases, ruining the blooms. Mehdi tried diagnosing the flowers by Googling images of plant diseases and comparing those images with the sick roses.


May 17, 2019 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!

What will you have?

Karen Kirkpatrick reports that “What will you have?” is a question with lots of answers at the more than 15 distilleries that call Georgia home. From rum, vodka, whiskey and rye to cordials and full cocktail programs, distilleries across the state are serving up much more than your grandpappy’s white lightning and building on a tradition that goes back to the 1700s, when anyone who owned a farm distilled spirits from the grain left in the field after harvest.


May 17, 2019

Belgium and the South: Linked Through a History of Global Trade

Trevor Williams reports that the big story out of the Masters at Augusta National this year was the major victory that cemented Tiger Woods’ comeback story. But William De Baets had his mind on more on the golf course grounds than on the tournament itself.  Since his arrival in 2017, the Belgian consul general has undertaken an investigation of historical ties between his country and the 10-state region he covers.


May 17, 2019 Augusta Chronicle

House speaker David Ralston defends himself against calls to resign

Susan McCord reports that Georgia House Speaker David Ralston defended himself Thursday against multiple calls for his resignation over allegations he abused legislative leave to benefit his legal clients. House speaker since 2010, the Republican from Blue Ridge presides over nearly all aspects of the chamber, but earlier this year he came under fire for allegedly invoking legislative leave – then available whenever requested it – more than 1,000 times since 2010.


May 17, 2019 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A new fight against Census undercount emerges in Georgia

Greg Bluestein reports that former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder helped launch an initiative Thursday that aims to ensure that black men in Georgia are properly tallied during the U.S. Census, calling it essential to “raise the consciousness of people in the African-American community” ahead of next year’s count.


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