Georgia Trend Daily – June 19, 2020

June 19, 2020 Savannah Morning News

Savannah’s conventions, trade show industry loses millions in wake of COVID-19 pandemic

Katie Nussbaum reports that the Savannah hotel industry wasn’t alone in getting walloped by the COVID-19 pandemic. The health crisis also brought to a halt the city’s convention, trade show and meeting business as companies and organizations postponed or canceled large gatherings worth millions in economic impact. According to Visit Savannah, 44 groups have canceled their events so far this year.


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June 19, 2020 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!

Wellstar Kennestone Hospital has a lot to celebrate

Mary Ann DeMuth reports that Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, a 633-bed facility in Marietta and part of the nonprofit Wellstar Health System, has a lot going on at the moment and many reasons to add to the current celebration of its 70th anniversary. The hospital recently received the prestigious Georgia Oglethorpe Award for 2020 in recognition of performance excellence in its management and operations.


June 19, 2020 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia unemployment rate drops, but new claims still pour in

Michael E. Kanell reports that Georgia’s unemployment rate dropped last month to 9.7% from an all-time high of 12.6% in April, spurring hope that the economy has started to recover from massive job losses triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. The state added 94,300 jobs in May, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.


June 19, 2020 Augusta Chronicle

Gov. Kemp: Virginia company to bring jobs, open regional office at Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta

Jozsef Papp reports that Prespecta Inc. will be opening a new regional office at the Georgia Cyber Center, creating more than 100 jobs in the area. According to a release by Gov. Brian Kemp’s office, Perspecta, a U.S. government services provider based in Virginia, will create 178 jobs in Richmond County and the surrounding area in support of the U.S. Army Cyber Command at Fort Gordon.


June 19, 2020 Saporta Report

Blank Foundation awards $470,000 in grants to combat systemic racism

Maria Saporta reports that six nonprofit organizations in Georgia and one nonprofit in Montana will receive immediate funding from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation to address the racial equity crisis in America. The grants are part of the Foundation’s ongoing commitment for racial justice and democracy.


June 19, 2020 Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta among 10 U.S. cities chosen for new $10M Rockefeller Foundation program

Jessica Saunders reports that Atlanta is one of 10 cities chosen by The Rockefeller Foundation for a new program it’s launching to promote more inclusive growth, both short- and long-term. The Rockefeller Foundation has pledged an initial $10 million to the Rockefeller Foundation Opportunity Collective, which aims to catalyze public and private investment toward inclusive growth promotion.


June 19, 2020 WABE 90.1

Georgia’s Film Commission Braces For Influx Of ‘Quarantined Production’

Lisa Rayam reports that sound stages are being booked, studios are hiring medical staff to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and many in Georgia’s film industry are anxious to switch on the lights and resume production. Gov. Brian Kemp’s advisory commission on film, music and digital entertainment is bracing for an overflow of companies heading back to Georgia


June 19, 2020 Washington Post

Georgia becomes first state to seek suspension of standardized tests in 2020-21 because of coronavirus

Valerie Strauss reports that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) said on Thursday that he would seek federal permission to suspend mandated standardized testing for 2020-21, the second year in a row, because of disruptions to learning because of the coronavirus pandemic. And he said he would keep pushing to eliminate some tests outright because the “current high-stakes testing regime is excessive.”


June 19, 2020 WSB Radio

Chick-fil-A to give $5 million to black-led nonprofits

Staff reports that Chick-fil-A announced Thursday that it will give $5 million in grants to black-led nonprofits and those serving the black community as part of their annual giving commitment. The company said in a news release that the figure quadruples last year’s True Inspiration Award grants.


June 19, 2020 University of Georgia

Georgia vegetable growers should prepare now for harvesting

Andre Luiz Biscaia Ribeiro de Silva reports that as we approach the harvest season for watermelon, bell pepper, tomato, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumber, sweet corn and other crops, Georgia vegetable growers can move ahead and prepare seasonal workers to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during harvest time. According to the National Watermelon Association, there was an increase in the incidence of COVID-19 amongst seasonal workers in the watermelon industry of north Florida during harvest, and positive coronavirus tests were reported in 75% of seasonal workers.


June 19, 2020 Savannah Morning News

Troubled Heritage Preserve bill is ‘dead,’ lawmaker says

Mary Landers reports that Savannah lawmaker Jesse Petrea spent most of his first week back at the General Assembly trying to kill a bill he voted for in March. “What I felt like and made real clear on Monday to everybody is — and I began with the Commissioner (Mark Williams) — is that there’s too many concerns that this could be abused,” State Rep. Petrea, R-Savannah, said Thursday.


June 19, 2020 Georgia Recorder

Critics of Duncan hate crimes plan say late pivot dooms efforts this year

Stanley Dunlap reports that Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan proposed a new version of a hate crimes bill to the Georgia Senate Wednesday, which drew complaints from both Democrats and his fellow Republican lawmakers that a revision with time running out in the 2020 session jeopardizes chances of any hate crime law passing this year.


June 19, 2020 Gwinnett Daily Post, Capitol Beat News

Human trafficking bills wind through Georgia legislature

Beau Evans reports that the Georgia Senate passed legislation Thursday that would punish convicted human traffickers who transport victims via commercial vehicles by banning them from obtaining a commercial driver’s license. House Bill 823, by Rep. Houston Gaines, would impose a lifetime ban on driving a commercial vehicle for persons convicted of human trafficking-related offenses.


June 19, 2020 Fox 5 Atlanta

Georgia Senate committee strips paid parental leave bill for state employees

Staff reports that late Thursday, a Georgia Senate committee effectively ended the effort to provide paid parental leave to state employees. The Senate Insurance and Labor Committee voted to approve a substitute to House Bill 1094, which stripped out the original language of the bill and replaced it with a measure to reduce legislator pay.


June 19, 2020 Capitol Beat News

Controversial updates to Right to Farm Act narrowly clear Georgia Senate

Dave Williams reports that a controversial update to Georgia’s Right to Farm Act cleared the state Senate Thursday after a debate of nearly two hours. The bill, which originated in the Georgia House of Representatives last year, passed the Senate 29-21. Because of changes senators made to the measure, it must return to the House before gaining final passage.


June 19, 2020 The Center Square

Surprise medical billing measure heads to Kemp’s desk

Nyamekye Daniel reports that a bill that would stop patients in Georgia from receiving unexpected medical bills is on its way to Gov. Brian Kemp for approval. If the Surprise Billing Consumer Protection Act becomes law, a patient would not be subject to any surprise charges when he or she goes to an in-network emergency room for treatment and is seen by an out-of-network physician.


June 19, 2020 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Hice rescinds endorsement of Marjorie Greene after racist comments surface

Tia Mitchell reports that U.S. Rep. Jody Hice, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, took back his endorsement of Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District race. Hice’s statement is significant because the caucus, which represents the House’s most conservative members, helped recruit Greene to run for this seat and has poured nearly $200,000 into her campaign.




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