Georgia Trend Daily – Feb. 17, 2021
Feb. 17, 2021 Rome News-Tribune
Integrated Fiber Solutions to expand Rome plant over next five years
Doug Walker reports that Integrated Fiber Solutions announced a $30.2 million expansion of their plant in Rome, including the addition of approximately 40 employees over the course of the next five years. The company manufactures synthetic yarns for the carpet, rug and automotive industries.
Feb. 17, 2021 Georgia Trend – Exclusive!
Political Notes: The Ups, Downs and In-betweens
Susan Percy reports that Gov. Brian Kemp named longtime Fulton County Superior Court Judge Shawn LaGrua to the Georgia Supreme Court. She fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Justice Keith Blackwell, who announced last February that he would retire in November, thus allowing the governor to appoint his successor rather than have the race decided by voters in the November general election.
Feb. 17, 2021 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Home Depot founders reunite: $40M for vets, 1st responders health
Matt Kempner reports that Home Depot co-founders Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank are teaming up on a new nationwide mental health network, their first partnership on a major project since leaving the Atlanta-based retail giant nearly two decades ago. They each are donating $20 million through their foundations to establish 20 treatment sites around the U.S. to serve military veterans, first responders and their families who are experiencing post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injuries and substance abuse issues.
Feb. 17, 2021 Atlanta Business Chronicle
Atlanta airport getting $100 million back-up power system from Georgia Power, Atlanta Airlines Terminal Company
Jessica Saunders reports that Atlanta’s airport is getting a $100 million back-up power system from Georgia Power and the Atlanta Airlines Terminal Company (AATC). The companies announced Feb. 15 they partnered on the long-term investment to provide permanent back-up power generation service for all terminals and concourses at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Feb. 17, 2021 Gainesville Times
Cottrell’s $125 million expansion marks first phase of new Gainesville business park
Jeff Gill reports that Cottrell, a Gainesville-based maker of over-the-road car haulers and equipment, is planning to invest $125 million in a 500,000-square-foot plant in the city’s new 1,300-acre Gainesville 85 Business Park. “With a nearly 50-year history in Hall County, Cottrell has been a valued member of Georgia’s advanced manufacturing community for decades,” Gov. Brian Kemp said in a press release Tuesday, Feb. 16, announcing the expansion.
Feb. 17, 2021 Covington News
Bridgestone Golf adds 20% more staff to Covington production
Staff reports that Bridgestone Golf announced today, Feb. 16, the company’s Covington manufacturing facility has increased its production staff by approximately 20% — the majority of which is drawn from the local community — because of heavy demand for its products. It also increased production capacity by 30% to help satisfy the strong consumer demand for TOUR B golf balls as well as the new e12 CONTACT.
Feb. 17, 2021 GlobalAtlanta.com
Business Backing Sought for Laws to Boost Georgia’s Foreign-Born Workers
Leigh Villegas reports that immigrant advocacy groups are urging business backing for a raft of proposed legislation at the Georgia General Assembly they say would enhance talent access and recognize foreign-born workers’ role in the state’s economic vitality. One in seven Georgia workers is foreign-born, and these non-native residents own nearly one-third of all businesses in the state.
Feb. 17, 2021 Augusta Chronicle
Fight over future of Augusta riverfront, New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam continues
Tom Corwin reports that although the legal battle continues, Augusta’s riverfront is safe for now. Augusta, North Augusta and South Carolina have been battling the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over its plan to remove New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam and replace it with a rock weir fish passage that would allow endangered Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon to reach traditional spawning grounds near Augusta currently blocked by the structure.
Feb. 17, 2021 The Current
The Tide: Buddy Carter gets a top fundraising post
Susan Catron reports that the National Republican Congressional Committee named Rep. Buddy Carter a Deputy Chair last week. He’s now one of three deputies to chairman Tom Emmer focused on the group’s goal to retake the U.S. House majority in 2022 for the Republicans.
Feb. 17, 2021 Georgia Health News
Families fear ‘heartbreaking’ cuts in disability programs
Andy Miller reports that Matt Gaffney had trouble living in a group home for people with disabilities like himself. He’s nonverbal and suffers from multiple conditions: severe autism, bipolar disorder, chronic gastrointestinal issues.
Feb. 17, 2021 WSB Radio
Gaines’ parental leave bill clears House hurdle
Tim Bryant reports that a bill sponsored by Athens state Representative Houston Gaines has passed in the Georgia House: Republican Gaines’ Paid Parental Leave bill would provide three weeks of paid leave after a child’s birth, adoption, or foster placement. The measure covers teacher and state employees regardless of the parent’s gender.
Feb. 17, 2021 Valdosta Daily Times, CNHI
Kemp Proposes Repeal Of Citizen’s Arrest Law Used To Defend Ahmaud Arbery’s Killing
Riley Bunch reports that Gov. Brian Kemp wants to repeal the state’s Civil War-era citizen’s arrest law. Lawmakers and civil rights activists have called for reform of the statute since a prosecutor used it as justification for not seeking criminal charges in the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery — an unarmed Black man who was chased down and shot by three white men in Brunswick.
Feb. 17,2021 LaGrange News
Walker’s Law: Local pushing legislation to benefit drivers with medical conditions
Jenna Odin reports that a LaGrange mother has pushed for a new Georgia law that would allow driver’s licenses to note that a driver might have a challenge communicating due to a medical condition. Serenity Graham, a mom and Long Cane Middle School teacher, has pushed for the HB43 bill, which has become known as Walker’s Law.
Feb. 17, 2021 Georgia Recorder
Pandemic adds twist to Legislature’s perennial school voucher debate
Ross Williams reports that Georgia lawmakers are debating a bill that would allow a limited group of parents to send their children to private schools using taxpayer dollars, reigniting the debate over school vouchers in Georgia. Woodstock Republican state Rep. Wes Cantrell’s House Bill 60 would create an education savings account using state funds, which participating families could use for private school tuition or other educational expenses.
Feb. 17, 2021 Capitol Beat News
Legalizing horse racing aired in Georgia Senate committee
Dave Williams reports that legalizing pari-mutuel betting on horse racing in Georgia would generate commercial investment and create jobs without using tax dollars, state Sen. Brandon Beach said Tuesday. Beach, R-Alpharetta, pitched a proposed constitutional amendment calling for a statewide referendum on horse racing and a separate bill specifying how the industry would operate in Georgia at a hearing held by the Senate Regulated Industries and Utilities Committee.
Feb. 17, 2021 Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Judge’s ruling focuses Georgia voting rights lawsuit on purges
Mark Niesse reports that a federal judge scaled down a 2018 lawsuit alleging broad problems with Georgia’s elections, ruling Tuesday that he will only consider allegations involving voter registration cancellations, inaccurate voter lists and election worker training. The decision allows the case, filed by allies of Democrat Stacey Abrams in the wake of her 2018 loss in the race for governor, to move toward a trial.