Tuesday, March 31, 2009

GNB Update

Welcome to your Tuesday...Here's the news...

Georgia's largest public transportation system is in danger of collapsing. Peach Pundit reports that the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) could be headed for a steady decline. That's unless lawmakers step up, and provide the needed funding to continue operations. The state Senate could decide MARTA's future with SB 120 by the close of this year's legislative session. It could allow MARTA to use 100 per cent of all sales tax revenue towards operating expenses. But with just two days left in this year's session, the Georgia House hasn't considered the issue, despite SB 120 passing the state Senate by a huge margin.

A follow-up to a report on "GNB Update" from Monday. House Bill 614 has failed. SWGA Politics reports that the proposed bill that would have required drug prescritions to be monitored failed in the state Senate by a vote of 29-25. Had that legislation passed, HB 614 would have allowed the state to monitor any medical decisions patients have made. The only senators who didn't participate in the vote were Steve Thompson (D-Marietta) and Ross Tolleson (R-Perry).

Forbes Magazine released its "Best Places for Business and Careers" last week. Atlanta ranked highest among Georgia's largest metropolitan areas, finishing 24th. Savannah was next at No. 57, followed by Augusta at 110, and Columbus at 147. Among smaller metro areas, Athens ranked highest on that list at No. 23. That's followed by Gainesville (48th), Warner Robins (51st), Valdosta (73rd), Brunswick (78th), Hinesville (98th), Macon (121st), Rome (134th), Dalton (147th), and Albany (161st). Raleigh, North Carolina finished first among big metro areas, while Sioux Falls, South Dakota was tops among the smaller metros.

That's the news. But remember to visit georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for all things Georgia news 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Have a good Tuesday.

Monday, March 30, 2009

GNB PHOTO EXTRA--"Magnolia" makes economic impact on GSW campus

Photo caption: The new "Magnolia" residence hall under construction brings an economic of just under $24 million to the Americus area.
Click here for the full story, courtesy of Georgia Southwestern State University.

GNB Update

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

The Georgia Senate Appropriations Committee has passed its portion of the fiscal year 2010 budget. That's according to the Georgia Legislative Watch. But the Georgia House of Representatives has yet to approve its part of the legislation. Stay with GNB for further updates.

Your right to privacy may soon be at risk, if certain lawmakers have their way. Peach Pundit reports that the state Senate took up HB 614. The proposed legislation would start a state surveillance system for the monitoring and prescribing of select prescription drugs. Peach Pundit says passing the law would lead to doubts about the doctor-patient relationship, and would lead to more government intrusion. SWGA Politics also weighs in on this potentially controversial legislation.

A shrine to a former President is still in danger of closing its doors. The Canadian Press reports that the visitor's center for former President Jimmy Carter could close due to budget cuts. A recently passed budget proposal would strip the Plains-based center of more than $180,000 in funding. Critics like state Senator George Hooks of nearby Americus say that closing the center would violate a state law requiring Georgia to keep it open.

That's the news. But as always, log on to georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for all of the latest Georgia-related news 24/7. Enjoy your Monday night.

Friday, March 27, 2009

GNB Weekend Update

Welcome to the weekend...So much to do, so little time...And now the news...

It may have jumped over one hurdle, but now it faces a bigger one.

That describes the bill the Georgia House passed allowing Albany/Dougherty County residents the opportunity to vote on consolidating the city and county governments. As reported on Thursday, the legislation passed by a huge 94-33 margin. But the chances of it getting out of a state Senate committee appear very bleak, as state Senator Freddie Powell Sims must give her seal of approval before a vote takes place. WALB reports that Sims won't sign the bill, so the issue seems to be a moot point, at least for 2009. SWGA Politics has its take on the consolidation issue, including an official record on how lawmakers voted on the controversial legislation.

Another Georgia city has its own controversy, over its two museums. On Thursday, the state House passed legislation calling for the use of an increased hotel-motel tax. That would help both the Georgia Music and Sports Halls of Fame in Macon get out of the financial troubles both are facing. But final approval faces a huge road block in state Senator Brown. He told macon.com that he wouldn't sign the bill unless there's local involvement in terms of funding the tax. While both museums are funded by Georgia, they both face the same prospect of getting limited funding from it, as the state continues to cut its budget.

And yet another candidate makes intends to run for governor. A press release says that Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel will seek the Republican nomination for the state's top post in 2010. Fred Cooper will serve as her campaign chairman. Handel will try to become Georgia's first female governor. Former secretary of state Cathy Cox ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic gubernational nomination in 2006.

That's the news. Remember to log on to georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for the freshest Georgia news all day, and all night. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

GNB Update

Wrapping up a busy Thursday...looking forward to Friday...Here's the news...

The issue of consolidating the governments of Albany and Dougherty County took a major step forward earlier today. The Georgia House this morning passed legislation that clears the way for voters in the southwest Georgia city to vote on whether city and county governments should merge. The measure passed 94-33. The issue now goes to the state Senate.

Doubts have arisen over a Georgia bank's existence. Costar.com reports that the Security Bank Corporation of Macon has found itself under scrutiny from auditors since the beginning of this year. The company's auditors, McNair, McLemore, Middlebrooks, & Co. LLP, says it's doubtful about Security's ability to stay in business. It suffered significant losses last year. That resulted in four of its six subsidiaries not meeting adequate regulatory levels. That meant the banks had to operate under restrictions from federal and state regulators. Security Bank Corporation operates six community banks throughout middle and coastal Georgia, as well as parts of metro Atlanta.

Companies that do business with Sudan could soon have less business. The Georgia House gave a unaminous final approval to legislation that prohibits the state from doing business with companies that operate in portions of the African nation. SB 170 follows the lead of Congress just two years ago, which authorizes state and local governments to prohibit contracts with firms that do business with Sudan's oil, power, mineral, and military sectors. The bill now goes to Governor Sonny Perdue for his signature.

That's the news for Thursday. Remember to visit georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for the latest and freshest Georgia news, 24/7. Have a good evening.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

GNB Update

It's Wednesday...the mid-way point of this week. Here's the news...

Columbus is hit hard again...with more layoffs...

Synovus Financial Corporation confirmed yesterday that it's cutting more than 200 jobs. That includes 74 jobs at its home base in Columbus. Another 50 jobs will be slashed in the Atlanta area. That region is suffering from a severe downturn in the housing market. In all, just under 6,600 people will still be employed at Synovus. That's down from almost 7,300 employees at the company last year.

Albany will soon get funding from Georgia's leading power co-operative. The Albany City Commission last night passed a proposal to change the city charter. The move allows that local government the power to control at least two-thirds of the credits that its Water, Gas, & Light Commission will receive over the next decade through its agreement with the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG). The remaining third will go to a trust fund. But a pre-briefing measure to have the issue tabled failed. But Albany will still get at least $100 million of those credits.

The Georgia House had two attempts to pass the expansion of the homestead exemption. Both times it has failed. The latest attempt to get the legislation pushed through failed by a margin of 109 to 63. The bill would have allowed Georgia voters to decide in 2010 whether to double the tax break for homeowners from $2,000 to $4,000. But House Democrats kept it from reaching the two-thirds majority it needed to pass. It was the second time this month that the homestead exemption was rejected.

That's the news. Remember to visit georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for the latest Georgia-related news all day and all night. Have a good Wednesday evening.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

GNB Update

It's Tuesday...Here's the latest Georgia-related news...

Thanks to one page of writing from a local judge, a U.S. Senator won't have to testify.

That was the ruling Chatham County judge Hermann Coolidge gave, as Georgia U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss won't be forced to answer questions from a lawyer regarding the explosion of the Imperial Sugar refinery near Savannah more than a year ago. Savannah attorney Mark Tate wanted to ask Senator Chambliss whether the company had sought his help in defending the company. But lawyers with the Senate say the U.S. Constitution gives Senators immunity from answering questions regarding civil lawsuits. The February 7, 2008 explosion left 14 people dead, and at least a dozens seriously hurt.

If you drive a truck in Georgia, you don't have to wear a seat belt. A key panel with the Georgia House earlier today rejected legislation that would have required adults in pick-up trucks to buckle up. The House Consumer Affairs subcommittee voted 4-3 against the new law. Georgia remains the only state in the nation that allows truck drivers not to buckle their safety belts. That stance alone has cost the state millions of dollars in federal highway funds.

And from the blog files, Peach Pundit weighs in on whether Georgia should be forced to comply with Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Governor Sonny Perdue doesn't think so. He filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court just last week seeking to free Southern state from pre-clearance provisions of the VRA. That happened after Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker refused to file on the state's behalf. General Counsel John Brittain believes abolishing any portion of the VRA will hurt minority voters.

That's the news. Remember to bookmark georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for the freshest Georgia-related news 24/7. Enjoy your Tuesday night.

Monday, March 23, 2009

GNB Update

It's a brand new work week...or at least the first day of it has ended...Here's the news...

One charitable organization does something rarely done in these tough economic times: have your taxes done for free...

That's what the United Way of Southwest Georgia recently did, as that organization received a $15,000 grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation. The two groups joined forces to help Albany area citizens prepare their income tax returns for 2009. The campaign will help put $45 million back into the local economy, according to United Way president Dwayne Miles.

One south Georgia university is hoping to have an even greater impact on the local economy.

That's what officials at Albany State University hope will happen, as they reached an agreement with the Holiday Inn, and the Country Inn & Suites to help host homecoming and other university related events. Both hotels will work with ASU to offer special rates to visitors who attend such functions. The deal will be based on how many rooms are reserved. ASU's homecoming, according to WALB, generates more than $4.5 million a year for Albany/Dougherty County.

And from the blog files, Peach Pundit asks what lawmakers have accomplished so far during the 2009 legislative session. It gave Georgia Republicans a failing grade on transportation reform, trauma care funding, and tax reform. Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Jay Bookman calls this year's session the least productive in recent years. Less than two weeks remain until it adjourns.

That's the news for Monday. Remember to log on to georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for the freshest Georgia-related news 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Have a good evening.

Friday, March 20, 2009

GNB Weekend Update

It's Friday...The weekend has arrived...Here's what happening in Georgia at the moment.

The Georgia Department of Transportation took the first step towards improving the state highways yesterday. Its board approved the first round of projects worth more than $500 million. State transportation board chairman Bill Kuhkle calls the approval of such projects a "good day". Georgia is expected to spend over $900 million of federal stimulus money towards the improvement of state roads.

A resolution to honor President Barack Obama is rejected by Georgia lawmakers. The state House voted 70-68 to reject the resolution honoring America's first black president on Thursday. That prompted black lawmakers to walk out of the Capitol building in protest of that rejection. Peach Pundit has its own take on why the Obama resolution should be passed.

Hard economic times once again rear their ugly head for Georgia's public universities. Redandblack.com reports that the University of Georgia was hit by recent endowment losses, as well as the controversy over stem cell research. UGA President Michael Adams says that endowment funds for the university down were down 15 and 26 percent. He adds that's it a loss of a "couple of hundred million dollars". In spite of the recession, though, Adams says that the construction of new buildings such as "Greek Park" will continue on schedule.

That's the news. Remember to bookmark georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for the latest Georgia-related news all day, all night. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

GNB Update

It's Thursday...Getting ever closer towards Friday...And now the news...

The budget for fiscal year 2010 is one step closer to becoming a reality. The Georgia House passed its version of the budget earlier today. It amounts to total of around $18.5 billion. About $1.4 billion will come from the federal stimulus package. That means many school nurses statewide will still have jobs. But not every lawmaker likes the new budget. Democratic Representative Dubose Porter says the passage of the bill would lead to "the largest tax increase in Georgia History". The measure now goes to the state Senate for a vote.

More cutbacks, and maybe a special session. That's the warning Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson gave to fellow lawmakers today, as state revenues continue to plummet. The possible cutbacks could change the make-up of the homeowner's tax relief program, as well as force schoolteachers go on a furlough. Richardson says while that such actions aren't imminent, he warns that "we're not far from it. You better start thinking."

Fans of Little League Baseball in Georgia received some good news recently. The Warner Robins City Council unaminously approved a memorandum at a meeting Tuesday. That paves the way for Little League Baseball's Southeast regional headquarters to move to middle Georgia. Terms of the agreement include the construction of a new stadium, adminstrative building, and maintenance facility. The city of Warner Robins will provide $500,000 of in-kind assistance, while the Houston County Development Authority will contribute another $250,000. The construction of all facilities will total more than $5 million.

That's the news. But remember to log on to georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for the latest Georgia-related news 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Enjoy your Thursday evening.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

GNB Update

It's Wednesday...Hope your mid-week went well...And now the news...

Georgia moved one step closer towards making food safer for consumers earlier today. The state House unaminously passed legislation requiring food manufacturers to notify inspectors within 24 hours if their products is tainted. That move comes in the wake of the recent salmonella outbreak that led to the Peanut Corporation of America closing its Blakely plant, and filing for bankruptcy. Lawmakers introduced the proposal after the salmonella outbreak was linked to the southwest Georgia facility. If passed, Georgia would become the first state in the nation to enact such safety measures. So far, the outbreak has sickened nearly 700 people nationwide.

First it was on, now it's not.

That was what happened to proposed legislation which could have consolidated two local governments in southwest Georgia. But the Albany Herald reports that the legislative delegation in Albany/Dougherty County was caught off guard by state Representative Ed Rynders' proposal to merge both the city and county governments there. SWGA Politics weighs in on the consolidation issue here.

Even in tough economic times, there's still HOPE for high-achieving high school students in Georgia. That's the message lawmakers sent to them earlier today, as they passed legislation that would change the award-reductions for the HOPE scholarship. The state Senate passed the bill by a huge 47-2 margin, and now awaits Governor Sonny Perdue's signature.

That wraps up the news for Wednesday. Remember to visit georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for all-things news in Georgia 24/7. Have a good evening.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

GNB Update

It's Tuesday...Hope you've had a nice St. Patrick's Day...

Speaking of which, we lead off with the St. Patrick Day's festivities in Savannah. Savannahnow.com has complete coverage of the day's activities, including photos from the annual parade. Check out the site if and when you have a chance.

Struggling small business owners in Georgia now have hope, thanks to President Barack Obama. On Monday, he revealed a $15 billion plan that could those struggling entrepreneurs succeed. Under the President's plan, the Small Business Administration would get $730 million to increase loans, and help business owners. But it has been rough sailing for entrepreneurs in the Peach State, as only 2,200 loans were founded by the SBA in 2008. That's down from 3,400 loans in 2007. Still, with the 2009 Recovery Act now in place, that could eventually change.

And Day 31 of the Georgia General Assembly saw very little action as far as new legislation was concerned. Still, lawmakers considered multiple bills that came up on Crossover Day. The Georgia Legislative Watch has a complete list of legislation that both the House and Senate are considering by clicking here and here.

That's the news for this St. Patrick's Day. But don't forget to bookmark georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for any updated Georgia-related news anytime, anywhere. Enjoy your Tuesday night.

Monday, March 16, 2009

GNB Update

It's Monday...The work week is just getting started...Here's the news...

Georgia is expected to gain another seat in Congress. That's according to an article from Politics Magazine. The report states that Georgia, as well as other states like Florida and South Carolina could gain at least one congressional seat. That's in contrast in Louisiana, which is one of the states expected to lose a congressional district by 2011. Texas was named one of only two seats to add more than one district, as that state could get as many as four congressional districts.

The drought might be over very soon. That's the word coming from Georgia climatologists. Georgia Public Broadcasting reports that recent rains in two of the past three weekends have the given the state an all-important boost in battling the ongoing drought conditions. Georgia's reservoirs have had the most to gain from the recent rains. Lake Lanier has reached more than 1,000 feet of water. That's the north Georgia's lake highest level in nearly two years. Still, assistant state climatologist Pam Knox cautions that Georgia needs more rainfall in the coming months to make a major impact on ground water levels.

And a southwest Georgia math instructor wins a major award. That came after she moved one of her classes from evenings to early mornings. The Albany Herald reports that Bainbridge College math instructor Amy Wells won an award from the University System of Georgia's "Chancellor's Customer Service Award of The Year" last fall. She won the award last October after switching one of her classes from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. She allows some of her students who can't the 6 a.m. class to attend another class at 8 a.m.

That's the news. Remember to log on to georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for all the fresh Georgia news you can use 24/7. Enjoy your Monday night.

Friday, March 13, 2009

GNB Weekend Update

Welcome to the weekend...Here's what making news in Georgia for Friday...

The first "Crossover Day" has come and gone for the 2009 legislative session. Georgia Public Broadcasting reports that among the legislation passed Thursday was a controversial bill calling for an embryo to be treated as a normal human being. The Georgia Legislative Watch also has a list of bills that have either passed, failed, or tabled so far.

Budget cuts are coming soon to one University System of Georgia institution. Columbus State University announced earlier this week they are eliminating 16 jobs. Twelve of those jobs were filled at the time of the announcement. Columbus State currently has close to 1,000 full and part-time employees, but the cutbacks represent just one percent of that staff. No faculty positions were cut. The layoffs will cost CSU around $5 million in state funding.

And one southwest Georgia community hopes to take advantage of the federal stimulus package. The Albany Herald reports that Lee County officials made an informal decision to take part in the Georgia Department of Community Affairs' Community Opportunities during its county directors meeting Thursday. Lee plans to spend more than $3 billion on children and family services programs, plus an additional $2 billion for clean energy bonds.

That's the news. But remember to log on to georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for the latest Georgia news 24/7. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

GNB Update

Welcome to Thursday...Only a few hours from Friday...

We open with a developing story from under the Gold Dome in Atlanta. The Georgia Senate earlier this afternoon passed legislation allowing for sanctions against lawmakers who don't pay their taxes. The passage of the bill, though, does come with a twist: a surprise amendment to S.B. 17 calls for the Georgia Department of Revenue commissioner to report any lawmaker that haven't filed an income tax return within the past year. But the names wouldn't be reported to the public, unless there's an internal investigation. The issue now goes to the Georgia House of Representatives.

One Georgia city is ranked in the top 25 cities nationally. But it's for all the wrong reasons. Macon.com reports that Macon ranks 22nd in complaints about identify theft. That's according to a report released by the Consumer Sentinel Network. It says that more residents of Macon reported being the victims of identity more often than the larger cities of New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta combined. Those cities ranked 114th, 57th, and 87th, respectively. Among states, Georgia came in seventh, while Arizona finished on top.

Some positive economic news for a southwest Georgia community. The Albany Herald reports that Publix, which is the nation's largest privately-owned grocery chain, will open a new store in Lee County. Local developer Fred Hand told the Herald that the new development along U.S. Highway 19 has been in the works for at least six years, but the lease agreement wasn't finalized unitl earlier this year. Groundbreaking is scheduled for September.

And from the blog files, Georgia Legislative Watch had live coverage of Crossover Day proceedings. Click here to find out what has happened so far on one of the most important days of this year's legislative session.

That's the news. Remember to bookmark georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for all of the freshest Georgia-related news anytime, anywhere. Enjoy your Thursday night.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

GNB Update

It's Wednesday...Welcome to the mid-week portion of the GNB Update...

We start with news that will affect how you finance your home. Both the Georgia House and Senate Tuesday gave final approval to an almost $19-billion budget that provides some much-needed tax relief for homeowners. Lawmakers also approved close to $2 billion in spending cuts. The bill now goes to Governor Sonny Perdue awaiting his signature.

Georgia now has its own website on stimulus accountability. Georgia Public Broadcasting reports that the site covers the state's use of funds that are through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It also allows Georgia residents to report any evidence of fraud to the state inspector's general's office. The stimulus accountability website is available online by clicking here.

And from the blog files, inDECATUR reports on an unseasonably warm day, a nice sunset, and even a full moon, just for good measure. The temperature in Decatur reached almost 80 degrees on Tuesday.

That's the news. But remember to log on to georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for the latest Georgia-related news all day, all night. Enjoy your Wednesday night.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

GNB Update

It's Tuesday...Time to find out what's making news in Georgia...

A record number of students are looking to enroll at Georgia's public colleges and universities. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports in its Tuesday edition that applications to University System of Georgia are rising, even as it starts cutting back. Kennesaw State University dean of admisssions Joe Head tells the AJC that freshman applications have risen more than seven percent to over 6,300. The University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, and Southern Polytechnic State University also have seen significant increases in applications filed. One high school senior says she want to stay close to home to attend college to avoid getting into debt.

An editorial in Tuesday's Albany Herald takes a look at what hopefully is the dawning of a new era at the Albany Civic Center. It's written in the wake of a successful weekend at the local Mardi Gras festival, which also included the Snickers Marathon Energy Bar Marathon. Steve Harvey held a performance in Albany last Saturday, while Larry The Cable Guy is scheduled to pay a visit to southwest Georgia this Friday.

Finally, a rare story of good economic news from southeast Georgia. Governor Sonny Perdue earlier Tuesday announced that GreenTech Manufacturing will open a new factory in Douglas. The new facility will create 320 jobs in the city of more than 11,000 residents. GreenTech will invest more than $20 million in the new distribution center. It's owned by Texas-based Gulf Coast Arms.

That's the news for Tuesday. Remember to bookmark georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for all your Georgia-related news needs 24/7. Have a good evening.

Monday, March 9, 2009

GNB Update

It's Monday. The first day of a new work week is in the books...Time for the news...

A southwest Georgia fire department is seeing the dividends from a new training facility starting to pay off. A report in Monday's Albany Herald talks about the city of Albany making the most of a new training facility built on the campus of Albany Technical College. Fire chief James Carswell says the new facility is one that will cater to the public safety needs of Albany and Dougherty for at least the next two to three decades.

A private company will soon manage a Georgia prison. Georgia Public Broadcasting reports that the Corrections Corporation of America won the right to manage detainees at the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement in northeast Georgia. That will take place at the North Georgia Detention Center in Hall County. The facility has more than 500 beds, and will also house up to 500 detainees. The financial terms were not disclosed.

Driving too fast could cost you $200 extra. That's just one of the consequences of new legislation passed by the Georgia House of Representatives Monday. It voted 113-53 to crack down on drivers who ignore the state's traffic laws, while improving its trauma care system at the same time. The new law imposes a fine of $200 on drivers who drive more than 85 mph on interstate and four-lane highways, and 75 mph on two-lane roads.

Here's a clarification from Thursday's GNB Update. In its entry that day, SWGA Politics wanted state senators based in southwest Georgia to explain to the blog's readers how and why they voted the way they did, not an actual challenge. GNB regrets the error.

That's the news for Monday. Remember to visit GNB at georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com 24/7. Have a good evening.

Friday, March 6, 2009

GNB Weekend Update

Welcome to the weekend...And now the news...

One of the world's largest translation and interpretation services now calls Georgia home. PRWeb.com reports that TrueLanguage, LLC recently relocated its corporate heaquarters to the Atlanta suburb of Marietta. TrueLanguage specializes in the localization and translation of support materials. It expects to grow revenue by 15 percent this year.

Staying in metro Atlanta, Cobb County's neighbor to the east joins forces with a sister community in South Korea. GlobalAtlanta.com says that Gwinnett County on Friday passed a motion that creates a sister-community relationship with the Gangnam District in Seoul, South Korea. The county also teamed up with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce to approve the agreement. A delegation from Gwinnett County will visit South Korea sometime this spring to sign agreement alongside the mayor of Gangnam.

Finally, a former Atlanta television news anchor has a new book released. Find out how she overcame being jilted on her wedding day.

That's the news. But remember to log on to GNB at georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com for the freshest Georgia-related news all weekend long. Have a good weekend, and don't forget to set your clock (s) one hour ahead before going to bed Saturday night.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

GNB Update

It's Thursday...It's hard to believe that the weekend is just around the corner...

A southwest Georgia dentist is recognized as one of the world's top cosmetic dentists. PRWeb.com reports that Dr. Thomas Oppenheim of Thomasville recently earned "Accredited Fellow" status in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He joins a group of 51 such dentists in that speciality. Oppenheim has had a general practice for 30 years.

Staying in southwest Georgia, SWGA Politics has its take on how a select group of state senators on certain bills. There's even a challenge on why those lawmakers voted the way they did. Interesting read.

The plummeting economy has claimed another victim. This time the casualty is a familiar charity. The Make-A-Wish Foundation closed the doors to its Macon office last Friday. It also closed its Savannah office. The cases handled in both cities will now move to Atlanta. Make-A-Wish Georgia CEO Kathy Hammond says that of rate of wishes that have been granted will continue at the same rate as in years past. Last year, 71 wishes were granted in the Macon area alone.

And one south Georgia city took a huge step towards going green earlier this week. The Valdosta city council made one of many changes in that direction by annual retreat closer to home. It also bought its first hybrid welcome, not to mention switching from a paper-based to a electronic agenda.

That's the news for Thursday. But remember to log on to georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com, and tell everyone you know to read the news about Georgia not available anywhere else. Have a good evening.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

GNB Update

Welcome to Wednesday...Here are the headlines making news in Georgia...

One Georgia city will soon become a hotbed for the games people play. IncGamers reports that the Savannah Economic Development Authority (SEDA)
is giving free space for businesses to rent in their new game development and digital media center. It's currently under construction of the first floor of the organization's new office building. Developers will qualify for a 30 percent tax credit on qualified state expenditures. Savannah has 17 colleges and universities, including the Savannah College of Art & Design.

Religion and smoking shouldn't mix. That's what a faith-based group wanted lawmakers to realize during a visit to Atlanta Tuesday. The group Faith United Against Tobacco urged lawmakers to pass an excise tax on a pack of cigarettes by one dollar. But an Albany pastor says although the tax may not force most smokers to quit, he does have a concern for the health of his church congregation.

And one of the state's most influential power companies wants to delay a fuel hike. Georgia Public Broadcasting reports that Georgia Power wants the Public Service Commission to delay its request for a fuel hike until September. Bobby Baker with the PSC says that if the delay is granted, a decision from the commission wouldn't come until early next year. Last week, Georgia Power recently won approval from lawmakers not to start charging its customers until 2011 for a pair of nuclear reactors from Plant Vogtle.

That's the news for Wednesday. GNB is available 24/7 at georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com. Have a good evening.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

GNB PHOTO EXTRA--Georgia Southwestern breaks ground on new residence hall

Georgia Southwestern State University will soon have a new residence hall. It'll be known as "Magnolia". The announcement was made last weekend.

NOTE: Artist illustration courtesy of Georgia Southwestern State University.

GNB Update

Welcome to Tuesday...Here's what making news right now...

Voters will decide how much money will be spent on improving Georgia's highways. The Georgia House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation for a new "penny tax". It would raise $25 billion for new transportation projects over the next decade. But while it passed with an easy 149 to 18 vote, a referendum must be approved before the tax goes effect. That means House Resolution 206 also had to be approved. It also passed by a huge margin, 151 to 15. Voters, though, must wait until November 2010 to have their say on the tax.

A middle Georgia school system has given out furloughs to its staff. The Bibb County school board unanimously voted Monday to furlough more than 500 employees between four to five school days. The move would save the school system more than $800,000. Principals, central office administrators, band directors, campus police, and social workers will take a pay cut of two percent, while superintendent Sharon Patterson will have $4,000 taken out of her salary. The move comes as Governor Sonny Perdue announced that almost $99 million of education funding would be cut from the state budget. Bibb County will lose $1.4 million in state funding.

And Governor Perdue says the money from the recently passed federal stimulus package will make up for most of Georgia's budget shortfall. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the governor reduced his estimate of revenue collections by $1.65 billion for the upcoming fiscal year. His latest budget calls for the use of over $1.1 billion of the stimulus money.

That's the news for Tuesday. But there's more at georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com. Have a good evening.

Monday, March 2, 2009

GNB PHOTO EXTRA--Georgia Southwestern names new V.P. of Enrollment

Photo caption: Gaye Hayes

GNB Update

The first work day of a new month has come and gone...Here's what making news in Georgia at the moment...

As you probably know by now, snow fell throughout most of Georgia over the weekend. And it has already caused multiple schools throughout the state to cancel their classes Monday, although the University of Georgia planned to reopen their satellite campuses in Griffin and Gwinnett County at the time this blog entry was posted. Meanwhile, the Dayton (Ohio) Daily News had this interesting report on students from a local school system catching a glimpse of the snowfall while visiting the Peach State on Sunday.

Lost in the midst of the rare snowfall that permeated Georgia this weekend was a small increase in the rise of gas prices. AccessNorthGa.com reports that the price of gasoline in Georgia rose to around $1.81. That's up almost two cents from just last week. Nationally, the retail price of gas rose by more than four cents a gallon this past weekend.

And from the blog files, Lucid Idiocy has an open letter to Georgia House Speaker Glenn Richardson, while Peach Pundit has a rare encounter with one of the big icons in talk radio.

That's the news. Remember to visit GNB at georgianewsbeat.blogspot.com. That includes any and all breaking news coming out via Twitter, the GNB Report, and elsewhere. Enjoy your Monday night.