Georgia Trend Daily – Dec. 31, 2020

Dec. 31, 2020 Augusta Chronicle, Savannah Morning News

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announces expansion plans for current COVID-19 vaccination phase

Staff reports that Gov. Brian Kemp on Wednesday announced plans to expand the criteria for the current phase of COVID-19 vaccination eligibility. Kemp and Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey said in a news release the state plans to add adults 65 and older, law enforcement officers, firefighters and first responders to Phase 1a – the highest priority group eligible to receive vaccinations.


Dec. 31, 2020 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!

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Dec. 31, 2020 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Troubling measurement of pandemic economy: Food pantry lines

Matt Kempner reports that Henry Mitchell, a single dad with a teenage son, got in a long line recently to do something he said he had never done in his 59 years of living: Seek a handout of food. He had a heartbreaking amount of company.


Dec. 31, 2020 Rome News-Tribune

Fed report: Personal income up in Rome, across Northwest Georgia

Doug Walker reports that average personal income in Floyd County rose by 2.4% to $39,314 in 2019, according to a report released this quarter by the U.S Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis. The report shows the income of Floyd County residents ranked 46th in the state of Georgia.


Dec. 31, 2020 Atlanta Business Chronicle

$50M commercial/retail project proposed near Athens

David Allison reports that a new $50 million commercial/retail project is being proposed east of Atlanta near Athens. Plans call for approximately 322,507 square feet of commercial and retail space to be developed in two phases on 47 acres in the northwest corner of the intersection of Oconee Connector at Mars Hill Road/Daniels Bridge Road, according to plans filed with Oconee County.


Dec. 31, 2020 Capitol Beat News

Georgia’s new nexus degree program yields first graduates

Dave Williams reports that Madeline Ramos and Louis Sanville made history this month when they became the University System of Georgia’s first nexus degree graduates. Ramos and Sanville completed the 60 credit hours required to graduate from Columbus State University with nexus degrees in film production.


Dec. 31, 2020 Albany Herald, CNHI

U.S. Senate runoffs in Georgia hit record early voting numbers

Riley Bunch reports that the last U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia between Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin had more than 2.1 million votes cast. Election experts estimate the 2020 dual Senate runoffs on Tuesday have the potential for 4 million votes cast — nearly doubling the record set 12 years ago.


Dec. 31, 2020 WABE 90.1

Trump Calls For Former Ally Kemp To Resign. Kemp Calls It A ‘Distraction’

Emma Hurt reports that President Donald Trump called for Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to resign on Wednesday, calling him an “obstructionist.” The two Republicans were once close allies, but since the election, Kemp and other Georgia Republicans have drawn the president’s ire for refusing to overturn the state’s election, which three tallies confirmed President-elect Joe Biden won by nearly 12,000 votes.


Dec. 31, 2020 GPB

Fact Check: Brad Raffensperger’s Brother Is Not A Chinese Tech Executive Named Ron

Stephen Fowler reports that Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger does not have a brother named Ron who works for a Chinese tech firm, regardless of what the president of the United States says. In a late-night tweet, President Donald Trump attacked Gov. Brian Kemp and Raffensperger for failing to overturn election results in his favor and claimed that “Brad R’s brother works for China.” Except, that’s not true.


Dec. 31, 2020 New York Times

Early Voting Numbers in Georgia Senate Races Put G.O.P. on Edge

Astead W. Herndon and Richard Fausset report that Senator Kelly Loeffler issued a now-familiar warning during a campaign event on Wednesday in Bibb County: If Democrats win the Georgia Senate runoff elections, there will be little left to stem a rising tide of extremist socialism in America. But Dale Washburn, a Republican state legislator who introduced Ms. Loeffler at the event, had another warning.


Dec. 31, 2020 Washington Post

Youth voter turnout in Georgia runoffs shows signs of sustained enthusiasm post-November

Michelle Ye Hee Lee reports that George Lefkowicz was just 14 when President Trump was elected, and still too young to vote the day Trump was voted out of office. But the Atlanta resident, who turned 18 just days after the Nov. 3 election, won’t miss his next chance to have a say in the country’s future.


Dec. 31, 2020 Gainesville Times

Voter group sues Senator Butch Miller, other state leaders over presidential election

Nick Watson reports that Gainesville’s state Sen. Butch Miller and other Georgia leaders were sued in a U.S. District Court lawsuit concerning the Nov. 3 election concerning state legislatures’ constitutional role and changes on absentee ballot reviews, according to court documents. The lawsuit was filed Dec. 22 in the federal district court for the District of Columbia on behalf of voters alliance groups in Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Arizona as well as the Election Integrity Fund in Michigan.


Dec. 31, 2020 Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

How Georgia turned blue, and what Democrats are doing to make the change permanent

Nick Wooten, Isabelle Taft and Jenna Eason report, from Macon to Columbus, Waycross to LaGrange, Georgia’s Black political activists and organizers helped turn out thousands of new voters in 2020, contributing to Biden’s razor-thin margin of about 12,000 votes. One lesson of Biden’s success, some say, that must carry on through the U.S. Senate runoffs is that Democrats need to campaign all over the state, and not rely on metro Atlanta and its fast-growing, diverse population to turn the state solidly blue.


Dec. 31, 2020 The Center Square

Georgia police protection law goes into effect Jan. 1

Nyamekye Daniel reports that legislation that protects Georgia law enforcement officers from crimes targeting them goes into effect on Jan. 1. The new law also establishes new standards for when police can be investigated.


Dec. 31, 2020 Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Republicans focus on GOP heartland in final spurt of runoff races

Greg Bluestein and Patricia Murphy report that Republicans are ending the high-stakes runoffs for control of the U.S. Senate much the same way they finished the general election campaign: with a relentless focus on the exurbs and small towns where they hope to counteract Democratic gains in metro Atlanta.


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