Georgia Trend Daily – April 23, 2020

April 23, 2020

Gov. Kemp, Georgia Dept. of Labor Address Unemployment Options

Staff reports that Governor Brian P. Kemp and the Georgia Department of Labor are partnering to ensure Georgians understand their unemployment options as the state begins the safe reopening of businesses. Governor Kemp announced plans Monday to safely and incrementally reopen sectors of the economy, and today, Labor Commissioner Mark Butler encouraged employers to work with employees to determine a successful return to work plan.


April 23, 2020 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!

Trendsetters: Wooden Wonders

Mary Ann DeMuth reports that Frank Schley IV has a deep appreciation for wood. Maybe it’s because his family owns a sustainable spruce and maple forest in Maine. Or it could be his training as a luthier in Athens that led him to understand how the properties of different woods affect a musical instrument’s sound.


April 23, 2020 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Gov. Brian Kemp’s new rules put some jobless Georgians in bind

Michael E. Kanell reports that despite the governor’s decision to lift some restrictions on businesses, the right to receive unemployment benefits for most jobless Georgians has not changed, according to the state Department of Labor. However, the move did change the calculation for employers – and that could put some workers in a tough spot, forced to choose between their sense of safety and their need for a paycheck.


April 23, 2020 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Delta Air Lines to borrow another $3 billion to bolster its liquidity

David Allison reports that Delta Air Lines Inc. plans to borrow another $3 billion to bolster its financial liquidity. The Atlanta-based airline (NYSE: DAL) said April 22 it will sell $1.5 billion in notes and that it’s obtained a term loan for another $1.5 billion.


April 23, 2020 WABE 90.1

Delta Prepares For Steep Losses As Coronavirus Outbreak Keeps Passengers At Home

Emil Moffat reports that more than one-third of Delta Air Lines’ workforce will be taking voluntary unpaid leave, and some 650 planes in the Delta fleet remained parked as the airline slashes expenses in response to the drop in traffic caused by the coronavirus.


April 23, 2020 Athens Banner-Herald

Amazon founder Bezos donates $465K to food bank in Athens

Lee Shearer reports that the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia has gotten nearly $1 million in donations this month, including $465,000 from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Bezos earlier this month pledged $100 million to Feeding America, the nationwide organization of more than 200 food banks. The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia’s share was $465,000.


April 23, 2020 The Center Square

Georgia salons offer mixed responses after guidelines for reopening released

Nyamekye Daniel reports that the Georgia State Board of Cosmetology and Barbers issued guidance ahead of the state’s reopening of salons Friday, but some salon owners say they are not sure it is safe to open their doors. Elaine Truesdale, founder of the Association of Natural Hair Care Professionals (ANHC Pro) – which has about 1,000 members in Georgia – said Wednesday many of the organization’s members have decided to remain closed until at least sometime in May.


April 23, 2020 GPB

Georgia’s Rural Hospitals Get Over $5M For Telehealth, COVID-19 Testing

Sarah Rose reports that rural hospitals across the country are getting nearly $162 million to fight COVID-19, federal officials said Wednesday. The funds will help digitally connect patients in need of medical consultation and expand testing for the coronavirus, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.


April 23, 2020 Saporta Report

Local arts groups worried about financial fallout from COVID-19

Maria Saporta reports that arts and cultural organizations in metro Atlanta and the state are seeking to shine the spotlight on how the coronavirus is negatively impacting the creative sector. Lara Smith, managing director of Dad’s Garage, led an effort to compile information from 59 nonprofits to gather data on how they were being impacted.


April 23, 2020 Valdosta Daily Times

Lockdown Effects: Economic impact of shutdown uncertain for S.Ga.

Derrek Vaughn reports that Samantha Schreiber said having her business closed during the shelter in place order has been hard. Schreiber and other business owners may see some relief as Gov. Brian Kemp has outlined plans to reopen some businesses by week’s end.


April 23, 2020 Georgia Recorder

Georgia mayors say Kemp’s order to lift business restrictions unwelcome

Ross Williams reports that Gov. Brian Kemp drew wide skepticism this month when he said he held off on a statewide stay-home order because he didn’t know infected people who feel well can transmit the novel coronavirus, and now he’s drawing criticism from mayors in cities stretching from Albany to Rome who say he rushed this week to lift restrictions on closed businesses.


April 23, 2020 Capitol Beat News

Georgia PSC sets rules on how EMCs will offer rural broadband

Dave Williams reports that state energy regulators are rolling out the rules that will govern the deployment of broadband service to communities in rural Georgia. The Georgia Public Service Commission is directing the state’s electric membership corporations (EMCs) to submit a “cost allocation manual” that must be approved by the commission before they can start providing internet service.


April 23, 2020 Gwinnett Daily Post, Capitol Beat News

Democrat State Rep. Vernon Jones resigns after endorsing Donald Trump

Beau Evans reports that Democrat State Rep. Vernon Jones announced Wednesday he will resign his seat effective immediately following his endorsement of President Donald Trump’s reelection bid last week. Jones, D-Lithonia, who represents part of Rockdale County in his district, said he is tired of “being attacked and harassed by the Democrat Party” in the wake of his public show of support for the Republican president.


April 23, 2020 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia prepares to launch new coronavirus tracing program

Tamar Hallerman and J. Scott Trubey report that the state’s public health office is on the brink of launching a new contact tracing program that aims to quickly track down Georgians who may have been exposed to the coronavirus. The effort, which officials say will involve hundreds of trained state employees and volunteers, is one of the cornerstones of Gov. Brian Kemp’s effort to reopen the economy.


April 23, 2020 New York Times

Trump Criticizes Georgia Governor for Decision to Reopen State

Nick Rojas reports that President Trump on Wednesday criticized the decision of a political ally, Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, to allow many businesses to reopen this week, saying the move was premature given the number of coronavirus cases in the state.


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