Friday, February 27, 2009

GNB Weekend Update

The weekend has arrived...And now here's the news...

A Georgia Department of Transportation commissioner is now out of work. Insider Advantage Georgia reports that Gena Evans was fired late Thursday by the DOT board. It didn't offer an explanation for her dismissal, which came during a closed board session. Gerald Ross was named acting commissioner in Evans' place.

The drought is back. Georgia Public Broadcasting reports that the state ended 2008 almost out of its shortfall of rain. But so far in 2009, the rain has been almost non-existent. Within the past month, nearly all of Georgia had received less than normal rainfall. Currently, more than 100 of the state's counties are in a "moderate" drought, with portions of northeast Georgia being either in "severe" or "extreme" drought.

More accountability for people managing political campaigns in Georgia. The state Senate Thursday unaminously passed a bill requiring "special or expedited" reporting of campaign contributions made by those who do business with the state. The measure passed 50-0 with no opposition. State senator George Hooks told the Associated Press the legislation was inspired by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

And as first reported on the "GNB Twitter", a south Georgia town will be getting a much-needed economic boost. Governor Sonny Perdue announced Thursday that Big Tex Trailer Manufacturing plans to open a new distribution facility in Cordele. The new facility will bring 130 jobs and $7 million to that community over the next two to three years. The company will utilize two existing buildings that will extend towards I-75.

That's the news. But log on to for the freshest Georgia-related content 24/7. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

GNB Update

It's Thursday...Only one more day until Friday...

Governor Sonny Perdue wants to give Georgia education a "booster shot". Georgia Public Broadcasting reports that the state stands to get more than $2 billion for education. Those funds would come from the federal economic stimulus package. But Perdue also says Georgia could get even more money to fund education. That could come from a new grant proposal titled "Race To The Top", which is also part of the stimulus package. The program rewards states with innovative ideas to education reform.

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis recently fired the county's police chief. And the former top cop says a blog is to blame for his firing. Drifting Through The Grift says that former DeKalb police chief Terrell Bolton blames the blog titled "DeKalb Officer Speaks", for his dismissal earlier this week. He gave an interview to a Dallas, Texas television station to talk about his termination.

And on the legislative front, SB 31 passed the Georgia House of Representatives with a vote of 107 to 66. The bill now awaits Governor Perdue's signature.

That's the news for Thursday. But log on to for more fresh Georgia-related news all night long, as it happens. And check the GNB Twitter and other spots on GNB for any breaking news. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your evening.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

GNB Update

Here's another abbreviated edition of the GNB Update for Wednesday...

Georgia Women Vote reports that representatives from Macon will travel to the Capitol for "Macon Day" Thursday. But there's key elected official missing: the Labor Commissioner. Still, Governor Sonny Perdue, Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, as well as Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson, and other lawmakers, will be on hand for this event.

Insider Advantage Georgia says a controversial commissioner with the Georgia Department of Transportation could soon be on her way out. The Atlanta-based online political publication reports that GDOT Commissioner Gena Evans could be removed from her post on Thursday. If the meeting goes into a closed session, it's likely that the removal of Evans would be considered at that time.

And SWGA Politics has a report on the detailed voting record for the Georgia Senate on Day 23 of the 2009 legislative session. Click here to read more on the bills lawmakers considered Wednesday, courtesy of Georgia Legislative Watch.

That's the news. GNB is available 24/7 at Enjoy the rest of the night.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

GNB Update

Welcome to Tuesday...Here's what making news in Georgia at the moment...

The CEO of one of the nation's premier insurance companies says no to having more money added to his salary.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that Aflac, Inc. chairman Daniel Amos rejected a bonus of $2.8 million for 2008. He had already turned down an estimated $26 million in "golden parachute" parts of his contract. In a related development, President and CFO Kriss Cloninger also cut his bonus by more than a third. That translates to a salary of more than $475,000. Amos earned more than $1 million, while Cloninger got more than $850,000 last year.

Some controversy over newly passed legislation Tuesday. The Georgia Senate voted overwhelmingly to ban sanctuary cities statewide. It calls for state funding or state administered federal funding to be withheld for any local governments that hire illegal immigrants or provide welfare benefits to them. Bill sponsor Chip Pearson of Dawsonville says there about 60 cities in Georgia that have declared themselves sanctuary cities, while Democratic senator Emanuel Jones of Decatur claims there are no such communities within the state. The vote was 37 to nine in favor of passage.

And from the blog files, Peach Pundit has a report on some legislation you may know about, at least not yet.

That's the news. Remember to visit for the freshest Georgia-related news all day, all night. In the meantime, enjoy your Tuesday evening.

Monday, February 23, 2009

GNB Update

A brand new work week has one day in the books...And now here's the news...

Some of that stimulus money may not be coming to Georgia after all.

That's the word Governor Sonny Perdue gave to citizens Sunday. He says the state may reject portions of the recently passed economic stimulus package because it might not be in Georgia's best interest to accept it. He tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that officials must decide what's in the best interests of the state in the long run. His office is reviewing the funding requirements that would determine how much federal aid Georgia may get. Republican Governors in Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina say they're rejecting part of the stimulus package too.

Don't let the river flow. That's what an Augusta-based organization wants to see with the local canal. The Friends of the Savannah River Basin Coalition says reducing the flow to the Augusta Canal would keep more water in local reservoirs. That's according to the Augusta Chronicle. But critics say such a plan would reduce the limit the discharges of water that are currently allowed. That could mean some big changes for local industry in Central Savannah River Area. Also, tourists would be the main beneficiaries of having more water in the reservoirs, as lower lake levels could potentially turn away more of them.

Georgia's 160th county is step closer to being formed. And no, it's not a misprint. reports that the Georgia House of Representatives late last week passed House Resolution 21. It allows for the creation of Milton County, which is currently north Fulton County near Atlanta. The legislation passed out of the State Planning Committee with a 7-1 vote. Representative Winfred Dukes was the only lawmaker to vote no. This isn't the first time that Milton County has existed, as it lasted from 1857 to 1931. The resolution now goes to the House Rules Committee for another vote sometime this week.

That's the news for Monday. Remember GNB is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at Have a great evening.

Friday, February 20, 2009

GNB Weekend Update

Once again, the weekend is here...And now here's the news...

A major restructuring of Georgia's transportation system is underway.

Lawmakers introduced legislation Thursday that calls for the state's two transportation agencies to be merged into one: the State Transportation Agency. Governor Sonny Perdue says the merger because the transportation system is "broken". He blames mismanagement and gridlock for Georgia's money woes. The current Department of Transportation is currently in millions of dollars in debt. That means multiple projects still aren't finished.

In the wake of the recent investigation of the salmonella outbreak, the Georgia Senate recently passed that requires food manufacturers to notify state inspectors within 24 hours if there's contamination. Occupational Health and Safety magazine reports that the passage of the legislation is in response to the salmonella outbreak that happened at the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America plant in Blakely. That bill passed with a unaminous 50-0 vote.

Finally, some food for thought this weekend from middle Georgia. Charles Richardson of the Macon Telegraph and says that Governor Perdue is not an "education governor". He says that 2.5 billion has been taken out of the state's funding for grades K-12. Richardson also says in his column that school systems must choose between raising taxes locally, or cutting programs.

That's the news. Remember, you can visit GNB online at In the meantime, have a good weekend.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

GNB Update

One more day until Friday...Here's the news...

Georgia's junior U.S. Senator makes a stop in southwest Georgia to launch his re-election campaign for 2010. Johnny Isakson paid a visit to Albany Wednesday to make that announcement during a campaign visit. He's calling for his colleagues in Washington to have more energy independence, and to address the causes of the nation's economic downturn. A spokesperson with Georgia's Democratic Party says there are several people that have expressed interest in running against Isakson, but those announcements would come in time.

To sell...or not to sell...

That was the issue Georgia senators tackled in the latest debate on Sunday alcohol sales. They held their first hearing on the matter Wednesday. Critics of senate bill S.B. 16 say passing the legislation would be an attack on the Christian sabbath, and encourage more underage and drunken driving. It's the third straight year lawmakers have considered legislation regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Some more news from the blog files. Atlanta Public Affairs has an inside look on congressional Democrats from Georgia letting the Republicans have their way with the recently passed economic stimulus package. Georgia Women Vote examines the "power gift cart" at the Capitol, and the need for state citizens to have their own lobbyist. And Drifting Through The Grift explains the so-called "laffer curve".

Finally, Mostly Media introduces you to the new "Wi-Fi Cat". Atlanta entrepreneur Scott Burkett explains what this new technology means to the future of wireless Internet.

That's the news for Thursday. But remember that GNB is available all day, all night at Have a good evening.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

GNB Update

Here's what going on mid-week in Georgia...

A Macon private school is set to take on a project worth $5 million.

Mount de Sales Academy has started a campaign to build a brand-new middle school. It's expected to open by the end of 2010. The Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Commission recently the Catholic college prepatory school the OK to get the eventual new addition to the school built. Mount de Sales currently has more than 700 middle and high school students enrolled.

The $787 billion stimulus package passed by Congress last week finally has President Barack Obama's signature on it. Now multiple cities and counties throughout central Georgia hope to use that money wisely. Among the projects that could get funding include the demolition of blighted housing in Macon for $6 million, street resurfacing in Bibb County for $10 million, a hotel and conference center in Warner Robins for $32 million, and water and sewer upgrades in that same city for $69.7 million. Federal agencies will soon decide who will get those grants. That's according to

Homeowners were another beneficiary of the recently signed stimulus package. Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announced a deal that fund a homestead extension for this year. That prevents a statewide round of re-billings. The new bill hinges on hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding from the federal government. That money would include funding the state's Medicaid program. But it would also lead to cuts from state agencies. The deal all but assures that the Georgia won't fund the property tax breaks in the years to come.

Finally, check out the newest addition to GNB, our "Photo Extra". This week, we have an inside look at a University of Georgia professor's recent visit to Puerto Rico. There, he examined the link between unexploded munitions, and cancer-causing toxins. Just simply find the entry titled "GNB PHOTO EXTRA--Link between oceans and toxins".

That's the news for Wednesday. But visit GNB all day, all night for the freshest Georgia news. Enjoy your evening.

GNB PHOTO EXTRA--Link between oceans and toxins

University of Georgia ecologist James Porter discovered a link between unexploded munitions and toxins that cause cancer during a recent trip to Puerto Rico.

Editor's Note: Photos courtesy of the University of Georgia News Service

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

GNB Update

Here's what making news in Georgia for Tuesday...

Not enough space for parks in Atlanta.

That was just one of the findings the park advocacy group Park Pride made in its evaluation of city parks that was released today. It says in its 77-page report that money is the main why there's not enough space for park facilities. The report also blames the city for lack of space in those parks. It suggests that Atlanta model itself after Gwinnett County, which has raised more than $500 million within the last 12 years to buy its own park space.

Many city and county governments statewide are making staff cutbacks in response to the state budget shortfall. This time it's happening in two northeast Georgia counties. Jackson County laid off four building inspectors and two engineering workers, while neighboring Barrow County let two employees go. Jackson County will save over $225,000, while Barrow will pick up $70,000 in savings with the recent layoffs.

Officials in the Atlanta suburb of Dunwoody are learning just how hard it is to run a city government. That lesson hit home for them on Monday, as they learned that they'll pay 10 times more than they thought for the city's phone and Internet service. While the city's first budget calls for $27,000 to be spent on communications, the city council approved a deal that totals $228,000. That includes monthly charges of $8,800 for maintenance, plus an additional $1,500 for service. Dunwoody officially became a city last December.

And one of baseball's greatest players might be suiting up for the Atlanta Braves this season. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves are finalizing a deal to bring 39-year-old Ken Griffey, Jr. into their fold. While he chosen to sign with Atlanta, sources close to Griffey say the soon-to-be former Seattle Mariner was scheduled to meet in Orlando today to have a deal finalized. The 13-time All Star is one of just six players to hit 600 or more home runs in his career.

That's for the news for Tuesday. Remember to log on to GNB at for the latest Georgia-related news 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Enjoy the rest of the day, and the entire night.

Monday, February 16, 2009

GNB Update

Here's an abbreviated President's Day edition of Georgia news...

A pioneer of the civil rights movement remembers her witness to more recent history. Albany's Rutha Mae Harris is featured in a recent New York Times article on Barack Obama becoming the nation's first African-American history. She mentions her participation in mass meetings at Mount Zion Baptist Church in 1961. That was the year Obama was born. Harris's words are part of a new book released by the New York Times, titled Obama: The Historic Journey.

The producers of the hit movie Fireproof are at it again. Only this time they're keeping it a secret. Alex Kendrick, who was the director of Fireproof and Facing The Giants, says he and his team at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany believe they know what the next plot will be for their next movie. He tells Church Executive magazine that the target budget for that yet to be named film runs around $2.5 million. Although Fireproof cost $500,000 to make, it grossed more than $33 million at the box office.

And say goodbye to analog television. At least that's what Georgia Public Broadcasting is doing, as it prepares to switch all nine of its TV stations to digital channels late Tuesday night. Although the deadline to switch to digital broadcasts is now June 12th instead of Tuesday, GPB is ending its analog broadcasts as originally scheduled due to aging equipment and cost considerations.

That's the news. As always, please visit GNB at for all things Georgia news 24/7. And watch for breaking news on the GNB Twitter anytime. Enjoy the rest of your President's Day.

Friday, February 13, 2009

GNB Weekend Update

The weekend is here...And now the news...

The layoffs just keep coming. Thursday afternoon, Wal-Mart delivered the bad news to several hundred employees in Macon. The Arkansas-based retail chain will close its distrubition center by the middle of September. That will cost more than 400 people their jobs. The return operation will be re-located to Spartanburg, South Carolina. But a Wal-Mart spokesman says that while the closure is not related to the recession, he adds that the Macon facility can't operate at the current "level of capacity".

GNB EXTRA: Photo gallery on Wal-Mart closing courtesy of

Congress is putting the finishing touches on President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package. And Georgia lawmakers are hoping for the big boost that could come with it. They met for hours Friday for hearings that focused on how the proposed stimulus money would be used across the state. The House version of the package could bring as much as $5.6 billion in funding for Georgia. But as of Friday, there's no word on how much money the final draft would produce. State officials are also tight-lipped on how much the stimulus could impact the state budget.

Good news for job seekers in southwest metro Atlanta. A new high-tech distribution center will open soon in Coweta County. Computer products manufacturer D-and-H Distributing is building a $40 million facility in Newnan. That announcement came earlier this week. It will bring 100 jobs to that area, and serve customers in the Southeast and Midwest.

And SWGA Politics takes a look at some of the most interesting bills the Georgia Senate is considering. The topics contained in such legislation range from school dropout prevention to property taxes.

That's the news. Remember to visit for the freshest Georgia-related news all weekend long. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

GNB Update

Here's what making news in Georgia for Thursday...

We begin with news concerning Georgia's possible property tax freeze. Georgia Legislative Watch reports that House Bill "HR 1" didn't come to a vote at the end of the month. That's because Republicans couldn't get the two-thirds majority vote they needed to have it passed. But the GOP has another bill to fall back on if HR 1 fails: HR 233. That bill would immediately allow a hard two-year freeze on property assessments. Unlike HR 1, HR 233 doesn't need Democratic support.

One of the nation's primary providers of public transportation is getting lunch, at its own expense. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that MARTA and a pair of consultants spent $10,000 feeding barbecue and iced tea to lawmakers. The catch? The continued recession has put the transit company in its worst financial shape in years. That could lead to more cutbacks in service. General Manager Beverly Scott says MARTA would need to begin "systemically downsizing" services without more money. Those reductions could reach anywhere from 20 to 25 percent.

A Macon businessman is indicted on rackeetering charges. A grand jury in Bibb County recently charged 43-year-old William David Ransbottom on a 118-count indictment. He faces multiple charges, including rackeetering, money laundering, bank fraud, and forgery. Ransbottom is also accused of embezzling $421,000. The Macon Telegraph reports that he was being held in the Bibb County on more than $110,000 bond as of Tuesday.

And Atlanta Public Affairs asks: Who is the "stupidest" lawmaker in Georgia? The answer might surprise you.

That's the news. Visit for the latest news around Georgia all day, all night. Have a good day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

GNB Update

Good afternoon...Here's the news for Wednesday...

Albany and Dougherty County could soon get a much-needed boost from President Barack Obama's proposed stimulus package. That's according to an article in Wednesday's Albany Herald. Lobbyists representing interests in the southwest Georgia city are working to get the funding that's needed for multiple projects totaling up to $80 million. The U.S. Senate voted 61-37 to approve its version of the President's stimulus package. That proposal has $838 billion in funding. It's a similar comparison to the U.S. House's package calling for $819 billion to be spent.

A key bill considered by the Georgia Senate has passed by a large margin. It passed "SB 31" earlier Wednesday afternoon. It would allow Georgia Power to recover early costs at Plant Vogtle, which located between Augusta and Waynesboro. The final tally of the vote was 38-16.

The fortunes that helped peanut farmers in 2008 may haunt them in 2009. The Southeast Farm Press reports that last year's peanut crop was a record. It totaled more than five billion pounds. That's 40 percent more than last year. But growers are anticipating a 25 percent drop in production, and a 15 to 20 percent decrease in prices. Those findings were revealed during the 33rd annual Georgia Peanut Farm Show in Albany.

And finally, your property taxes may soon go up. Peach Pundit tells you why that may be possible.

That's the news for this Wednesday. As always, you can visit for for the freshest news content every day. Have a great afternoon.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

GNB Update

Here's what making news in Georgia for Tuesday...

The investigation into the salmonella outbreak has claimed another victim. This time it has caused the shut down of a plant in Texas. The beleagured Peanut Corporation of America has suspended at its plant in Plainview, Texas. Officials with the Blakely-based company say it's voluntarily suspending its operations in the Texas Panhandle town while state and federal health authorities there continue their investigation into that plant's food safety records. The salmonella outbreak has sickened close to 600 people, and may be to blame for eight deaths. It has already closed the PCA plant in Georgia.

No place for sex offenders on school boards.

That's the message the Georgia Senate sent to those would-be candidates, as it passed SB 14 earlier Tuesday morning. It prohibits registered sex offenders from seeking election to school boards in any Georgia county. The legislation was brought about when a convicted sex offender tried to run for a seat on the school board in Newton County. He eventually withdrew from that race. The bill passed with no opposition.

Georgia lawmakers are moving ahead with their plan to implement more tax breaks. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation that would extend tax breaks to Delta Air-Lines. The move gives Delta and other airlines about $25 million in state taxes a year. It comes despite the state facing a more than $2 billion deficit.

Finally, if you're a parent, you may be the reason why your kids aren't using illegal drugs in their teenage years. The University of Georgia reports that a genetic risk factor that makes youth more likely to engage in substance use can be neutralized by supportive parenting. Researchers at UGA interviewed more than 250 African-American families in rural Georgia within the last four years. Their study found that more than 20 percent of the youth had smoked cigarettes, over 40 percent drinking alcohol, and five percent each had either drank heavily, or used marijuana. The findings were publishing in the February issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

That's the news. Remember to log on to GNB, and visit the links on the right rail at for the freshest and latest news content, 24/7. Have a great day, and evening.

Monday, February 9, 2009

GNB Update

Here's to a brand-new work week...And now the news...

An Atlanta-based media company signs a new deal with a company located miles from home. The Boston Business Journal reports that Boston, Massachusetts-based Backchannel Media signed an agreement with Gray Television on Monday. The terms of the deal call for Backchannel to use its interactive technology on Gray owned television stations nationwide. That company owns 36 television stations in 30 markets, including WRDW in Augusta, WSWG in Albany, and satellite sister station WCTV in Tallahassee, Florida/Thomasville/Valdosta. All three stations are currently CBS affiliates.

As first reported on the "GNB Twitter" last week, Georgia Quick Start has announced that it would start taking applications for the new Sewon America plant in LaGrange. Georgia Public Broadcasting reports that 600 positions will be filled at the new facility, which includes openings in stamping, production, and assembly. The opening of Sewon America coincides with the arrival of the new Kia plant that's set to open in nearby West Point later this year.

Here's some news on ethics in the General Assembly. Peach Pundit points to two articles on Governor Sonny Perdue exploiting loopholes in his own ban on taking gifts, courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as well as state Senator Eric Johnson accepting $175 worth of entertainment, at a lobbyist's expense.

And "The Other Athens" takes a look into the Georgia Department of Education releasing its per-pupil expenditures for fiscal year 2008. Read on to find out what it means for students in Athens-Clarke County.

That's the news for Monday. Remember to log on to GNB at for the freshest news 24 hours, seven days a week. Have a good evening.

Friday, February 6, 2009

GNB Weekend Update

The weekend is here...Let's get to the news...

A slow-down in the State Capitol...

That's what lawmakers agreed to on Friday, as they agreed to meet three days a week instead of the normal five days. The Georgia House of Representatives voted to cut back the number of days they're meeting to address the lingering budget crisis hurting the state right now. They're waiting for action on the proposed economic stimulus package currently being considered in Congress. That could mean more money to improve infrastructure, health care, and transportation. Under Georgia law, lawmakers can't exceed the 40 days they're allowed to meet in one year.

A state sports hall of fame is losing its status as a state organization. Georgia Public Broadcasting reports that control of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame could go from the state to a private entity. The hall closed two years ago due to a cut in state funding, but still conducts select events year round, including the induction of nominees. Control of the former site of that facility could be transferred to an Augusta-based commission. Augusta has been the longtime of the legendary Masters golf tournament.

The troubles continue to mount for the peanut industry. reports that peanut farmers in middle Georgia are expected to face a drop in demand, as well as poor prices for that crop this year. Cooperative extension agents say that fewer farmers will plant peanuts in 2009. The ongoing salmonella outbreak at the peanut plant in Blakely is to blame for more than 550 people getting sick. It has also claimed eight lives.

And the Georgia Senate easily approved legislation that could double the homestead exemption to $4,000. The total vote was 40 to 14. Voters must approve the measure later this year.

That's the news for this week. Visit for the latest news all weekend. In the meantime, have a good weekend.


The Georgia House of Representatives has voted to cut the 2009 legislative session to three days per week to address the statewide budget crisis. That move would reduce this year's session to 35 days by the end of March. It would also leave five days in June to take action on the issue.

For more on this developing story, please click here.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

GNB Update

Here's what making news for Thursday...

A former governor believes there's a need for a lobbyist. Read what he has to say.

No Sunday alcohol sales. That's what state Insurance & Fire Commissioner John Oxendine wants to see when he makes run for governor in 2010. He says that he'll oppose any attempt to legalize the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays, citing family values and religious reasons. Georgia lawmakers are considering legislation that would let retailers sell alcoholic beverages on that day. Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle says he'll let the state Senate decide issue with a vote.

Add another candidate to the growing list running for Georgia's gubernatorial post. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says that state Representative Austin Scott of Tifton plans to run for the GOP nomination come next year. He's the fourth Republican to announce a candidacy for the state's top elected position. If elected, Scott says he wants to use a management style that's different from current Governor Sonny Perdue.

For the past month, the southwest Georgia town of Blakely has been in the national spotlight, for the wrong reasons. The Associated Press reports that the ongoing salmonella outbreak has not only gotten more than 500 people sick, but also cost the people who work at the troubled Peanut Corporation of America plant their jobs. Still, Mayor Ric Hall is optimistic Blakely can get through this crisis.

That's the news for this Thursday. As always, you can log on to GNB at Have a great afternoon, and evening.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

GNB Update

Wednesday has come and gone...Now here's the news...

The mourning continues for Habitat For Humanity Founder Millard Fuller. Fuller died while en route to an Albany hospital early Tuesday morning. He was 74. In his almost 30 years as Habitat chairman, he helped build more than 175,000 houses in over 100 nations. The Washington Post reports that an autopsy was being performed to determine the cause of death.

On the legislative front, the State Senate on Tuesday passed legislation that could let voters choose whether or not they should pay a penny sales tax for new roads in metro Atlanta. Counties will also have the opportunity to weigh in on whether or not to pay more money for future projects. But even if the law passes this year, voters won't get a chance to have their say until 2010.

In other General Assembly news, Georgia senators also passed a bill that would allow prosecutors to seek a sentence of life in prison without parole without seeking the death penalty first. State Senator Preston Smith of Rome says prosecutors are in support of the bill, but there's division among defense attorneys. The legislation will now go to the House for consideration.

And scratch one politician from the running for Georgia Secretary of State in 2010. State Representative Clay Cox of Lilburn announced Tuesday he would not seek that seat come next election. He wants to focus on his duties in the legislature instead, reports the Gwinnett Daily Post.

That's the news for Wednesday. But remember to log on to for fresh Georgia-related news around the clock. Have a good evening.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

GNB Update

Here's the news for this Tuesday...

Americus and rest of the nation are in mourning at this hour. Habitat For Humanity co-founder Millard Fuller died in an Albany hospital early Tuesday morning. He was 74. Fuller, and wife Linda founded Habitat For Humanity in 1976. He served as the organization's leader for nearly 30 years until a conflict with its board forced him to resign in 2005.

There's talk of more potential mergers of Georgia's higher education institutions. This time it centers around combining the state's technical and two-year colleges into one group. About 50 people at Albany's Darton College to voice their concerns over the possible consolidation of that school and nearby Albany Technical College. One student expressed her concerns that a merger would hurt students that don't have a high grade-point average.

The probe into the salmonella contamination in Blakely has brought more food to the recall list. Georgia Public Broadcasting reports that Kellogg's Keebler Cookies and Special K bars were recalled earlier Tuesday. Included on that list are "Soft Batch" homestyle cookies and a Special K protein meal bar. Although none of the products recalled contained peanut butter, they're part of the same line of foods that are up for recall from the Peanut Corporation of America as part of the investigation.

Finally, State Representative Vance Smith has introduced legislation that calls for a $25 billion tax on statewide transportation. Among the projects up for consideration include expanding Ga. Hwy 133 to four lanes between Albany and Valdosta, and U.S. Highway 1 from Interstate 16 to the Altamaha River.

That does for this installment of GNB Update. As always, you can keep up with the latest news statewide 24 hours, seven days a week at Have a good day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

GNB Update

Good Monday...It's the start of a new work week, sort of...not to mention the day after the Super Bowl...Here's the news...

A computer glitch at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta is to blame for AirTran Airways grounding many of its flights. That prevented many of the airlines flights from entering or leaving the Atlanta area. The Associated Press reports that the system had been partially restored as of late Monday monring.

A college basketball coaching legend could soon come out of retirement. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that men's basketball players from the University of Georgia were excited about the possibility of former Indiana and Texas Tech head coach Bob Knight coming to Athens to lead their program. Dennis Felton was fired as the Bulldogs head coach last week after an embarassing loss at Florida. UGA lost its eighth straight game after losing to Alabama 75-70 Saturday night.

Two groundhogs, two different predictions on how much longer winter will last.

Those were the forecasts General Beauregard Lee and Punxsutawney Phil early Monday morning. General Lee didn't see his shadow on Groundhog Day. That means spring will come early to the South this year. On the other hand, Phil saw his shadow. That ensures six more weeks in the winter in the North. According to General Lee's owner, though, the Lilburn-based groundhog has had just one miss in his career: a prediction of an early spring that turned into one of the worst blizzards in Southern history in 1993.

Finally, on the legislative front, a state senator wants to make history with Georgia's schools.

State Senator Eric Johnson is introducting legislation that would allow all of the state's students to offer vouchers to all students. If approved, Georgia would become the first state in the nation to offer such aid. But the proposal faces stiff opposition from Democrats, who claim it would take away money from struggling schools.

That's the news for this Groundhog Day. Remember to log on to 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the freshest news from Georgia. Have a good day.