Friday, July 31, 2009

GNB Update

The weekend is here...Here's the news...

Ohio's loss seems to be Georgia's gain. Dayton, Ohio television station WDTN reports that nearly 600 employees at NCR must find new jobs by the end of September. The ATM manufacturer announced in June that it will move its headquarters to Gwinnett County.

There's controversy surrounding a southwest Georgia school system. WALB Albany reports that Randolph County school superintendent Bobby Jenkins and board chairman Henry Cook will spend four days in jail starting August 10. Superior Court Judge Kevin Chason found both men in contempt of court for not listening to other school board members.

From the blog files:

Peanut Politics: Randolph school board controversy draws NAACP attention

Project Logic GA: Improving Albany's downtown

SWGA Politics: Albany downtown scandal lingers on

GNB is online at, and on Twitter at Have a good weekend.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

GNB Update

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

A big housing grant for both Macon and Bibb County. reports that plans for the $1.5 million housing development will go forward. That comes despite a vote by the Macon City Council that could've ended the partnership. The paperwork must be submitted to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs by Friday.

139 new police officers hitting the streets. That's what Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin promised on Thursday, as she announced a new initiative to add more cops to the beat. The Associated Press reports that the new program was started because of criticism about the response to crime in Atlanta. 27 officers start their new jobs on September 15.

Georgia's sales tax holiday is underway. reports that a four percent sales tax will be waived on items such as clothing and school supplies. The holiday started Thursday, and runs through Sunday.

GNB is online at, and on Enjoy your Thursday night.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

GNB Update

Thanks for logging on to GNB for this mid-week...Here's the news...

Governor Sonny Perdue stands up for Columbus and NCR. reports that the governor came to the west Georgia city's defense Tuesday. The battle centers on whether or not federal stimulus money can be used to move NCR headquarters to Georgia. Vice President Joe Biden says those funds can't be used. The Ohio-based ATM manufacturer is opening a facility in Columbus later this year.

Albany is looking for a new downtown manager. The Albany Herald reports that city manager Alfred Lott fired Don Buie Wednesday morning. Buie was given the chance to resign, but refused, and was fired. The dismissal comes as the GBI continues its investigation into the alleged mismanagement of funds by Buie.

More of your federal stimulus dollars at work. reports that a stretch of the Fall Line Freeway will be built with federal stimulus money. The project will complete an unfinished stretch of the highway between Augusta and Columbus.

GNB is online at, and on Twitter at Enjoy your Wednesday night.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

GNB Update

Hope you've had a productive Tuesday...Here's the news...

A troubled Georgia bank chain has filed for bankruptcy. reports that the Macon-based Security Bank Corporation made that filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission yesterday. Late last week, the State Bank & Trust Co. took over the assets of the former Security Bank. Officials say they want to move company headquarters from Pinehurst to Macon.

There's a settlement in a Savannah class action lawsuit. reports that the Savannah-Chatham School System recently agreed to pay more than $4 million to retired employees. The retirees say they were denied the right to enroll in the Teachers Retirement System. All employees will get a portion of that settlement as a reimbursement.

More layoffs are on the way. This time, it's the Athens Regional Medical Center feeling the pinch. reports that hospital administrators expect to cut $14 million from its budget. Those measures include cutting the number of paid days off. Between 15-20 employees could lose their jobs by Friday.

GNB is online at, and on Twitter at Have a good Tuesday night.

Monday, July 27, 2009

GNB Update

The first day of a new work week is in the books...Here's the news...

A group of Georgia banks reopens under a new name. reports that federal and state regulators closed the now defunct Security Bank late Friday. The State Bank and Trust Company of Pinehurst now owns the assets of the former Security Bank. It has a total of 20 branches statewide.

Also see: article on Security Bank shutdown

The superintendent of a middle Georgia school system explains why her district is having a four-day school week. WMAZ in Macon reports that budget cuts have forced the Peach County school district to shorten the school week by one day. Supertindent Susan Clark says steps will be taken to ensure that students will attend school for the standard 180 days or its equivalent. The new school year starts August 4.

Finally, here are some worthy reads from the "Blog Files":

Atlanta Progressive News: Healthcare reform

Atlanta Unfiltered: Georgia lawmakers don't file financial disclosures

SaportaReport: Georgia in weak political position

GNB is online at, and on Twitter at Enjoy your Monday night.

Friday, July 24, 2009

GNB Update

The weekend has arrived...Here's the news...

Georgia gets millions of dollars to develop new housing. The Associated Press reports that multiple cities throughout the state will receive more than $9 million in federal funding. They'll get it through the Housing & Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant Program. Columbus will get more than $3 million, Athens almost $2.5 million, and Albany about $1.8 million. Four other cities; Brunswick, Dalton, Valdosta, and Warner Robins, will also get under $2 million each.

The Georgia Department of Education wants a meeting next week to deal with teacher furloughs. The Associated Press reports that the state board will meet Tuesday morning to consider waivers to the number of days the state will require each school district employee to work. Governor Sonny Perdue earlier this week called for school employees to take three furlough days by the end of the current calendar year.

So many applicants, so few job openings. reports that 1,600 people attended a job fair held at the Wilson Convention Center in Macon Friday morning. The new Macon Marriott City Center hosted the job fair, as it will fill only 60 full and part-time positions. It will open in September.

That's the news. GNB is online at, and on Twitter at Have a good weekend.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

GNB Update

Friday is almost here...Here's the news...

The budget cuts strike again. reports that the Medical Center of Central Georgia lost $3 million in funding from Bibb County. Now there's talk of cutting back services and programs to the poor in Macon and surrounding areas. Bibb County voted to give $1 million to the hospital for fiscal year 2010. That's down from almost $4 million from fiscal year 2009.

There's talk of school bus stops being cut in Cobb County. The Marietta Daily Journal reports that the Cobb County School Board heard a proposal to eliminate 11,000 of more than 50,000 bus stops Thursday night. Board members are considering the move in an effort to save money. It's a reduction of 20 percent.

The final link to the four-laning of the Golden Isles Parkway is complete. The Associated Press reports that Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue cut the ribbon to the last leg of U.S. Highway 341 in Appling County on Wednesday. The Golden Isles Parkway helps connect Brunswick with middle Georgia.

That's the news. GNB is online at, and on Twitter at Enjoy your Thursday night.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

GNB Update

It's the halfway point of the work week...Here's the news...

There's a slight drop in summer enrollment at Georgia's flagship university. reports that enrollment for the 2009 summer semester at the University of Georgia was at more than 14,000 students. That's a decline of about 0.3 percent from summer 2008. More than 15,000 students attended summer classes last year.

A surprise closing of a middle Georgia private school. reports that Monroe Academy in Forsyth permanently closed its doors Tuesday. It happened two weeks before the new academic year was supposed to start. Only 80-plus students were enrolled for the 2009-2010 school year. About 150 students attended classes at Monroe in 2008-2009.

Albany gets a boost in its effort to improve public transportation. The Albany Herald reports that the state of Georgia granted $9 million to the city of Albany for the development and construction of a new multimodal transportation center Tuesday. Georgia Department of Transportation officials say it's the largest such project in the state.

That's the news. GNB is online at, and on Twitter at Enjoy your Wednesday night.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

GNB Update

Hope Tuesday is going well for you so far...Here's the news...

Gwinnett County citizens express their displeasure over a proposed budget. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Gwinnett County Commission is set to vote on $225 million worth of potential cuts through 2014. The proposal would eliminate 250 jobs in 2009, including more than 50 positions in the police department. It would also decrease benefits paid to the remaining county employees. At least three groups have called for a delay action on the vote.

The world's leading beverage manufacturer is reporting a second quarter profit. The Associated Press reports that Coca-Cola earned a profit of more than $2 billion Tuesday. That's an increase of 43 percent from the previous quarter. But in late-morning trading, Coke shares fell 57 cents to more than $50.

In a worthy read for Tuesday, the Southern Political Report has this analysis on Georgia's water issues. Last week, a federal judge ruled that the state and city of Atlanta must stop withdrawing water from Lake Lanier within three years unless both entities get permission from Congress.

That's the news. GNB is online at, and on Twitter at Have a good Tuesday.

Monday, July 20, 2009

GNB Update

Hope you've had a good Monday...Here's the news...

Two more cases of the H1N1 virus are reported in Georgia. reports that a 9-year-old Bibb County girl contracted it recently. That brings the total number of the cases confirmed within the 13-county North Central Public Health District to four. In southwest Georgia, the Southwest Public Health District confirms that a 16-year-old Dougherty County boy also contracted the swine flu recently. There's now 10 confirmed cases in that 14-county region.

Also see:

Georgia Division of Public Health H1N1 Page:

Centers For Disease Control Page:

Gwinnett County employees will be limited in how they spend their retirement money. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that government officials there plan to limit the amount of time retirees can get a paycheck while receiving a pension. The policy is set to go into effect next month.

From the blog files, the Saporta Report has an article on leaders in Fulton County, DeKalb County, and the city of Atlanta showing their support for the embattled MARTA transit system.

GNB is online at, and on Twitter at Have a good Monday night.

Friday, July 17, 2009

GNB Weekend Update

Goodbye, work week...Hello weekend...Here's the news...

Add yet another Georgia bank to the failure list. The Atlanta Business Chronicle reports that First Piedmont Bank of Winder was seized by federal and state regulators Friday. It became the 15th bank in the Peach State to fail since the banking crisis began in August 2008.

Atlanta can't use water from Lake Lanier. That was the ruling from a federal judge Friday. WXIA in Atlanta reports that the state of Georgia, and city of Atlanta, must stop withdrawing water from the north Georgia lake within three years. In his ruling, U.S. District Court judge Paul Magnuson says Lake Lanier wasn't built to supply water for the metro Atlanta area. He went to say that the state must stop such withdrawals within three years unless permission is gained from Congress.

The Georgia Music Hall of Fame could soon close its doors. That's unless additional funding is found. reports that the museum could shut down at the end of this year if it can't raise $225,000 to address the shortfall in its budget. The possibility was raised during a meeting at the Georgia Department of Economic Development Thursday. The museum's authority will decide the facility's fate at its next meeting in October.

That's the news. GNB is available online at, and on Twitter at Have a good weekend.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

GNB Update

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

A former bank's employee's emblezzement of more than $1 million lands her in prison. The Associated Press reports that former Wachovia Bank employee Judy Yvette Rosser of Newnan was sentenced to almost three and a half years in prison for emblezzing $1.2 million over an eight-year period. She pleaded guilty last spring, and received her sentence on Thursday.

More news of missing money...this time in east central Georgia. The Statesboro Herald reports that Statesboro police are investigating a report of missing money from the municipal court. Although someone reported the missing funds last Thursday (July 9), investigators say they vanished within the last month.

WALB in Albany has an amazing five-minute package on the movie-making ministry at Sherwood Baptist Church. Click here to watch the video, and read the article.

That's the news. GNB is available online at, and on Twitter at Have a good Thursday night.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

GNB Update

The mid-week is in the books...Here's the news...

A Georgia city is a big beneficiary of the federal stimulus package. WTOC in Savannah reports that $1 million in federal stimulus money will be spent towards buidling a new ferry system for the Savannah River. The new vessel is expected to accomodate up to 150 passengers. That's up from the 95-100 passengers the current boats can currently occupy. The new ferry is expected to be finished by the spring of 2011.

Federal stimulus money cannot be used to move a new business elsewhere. That was the remark U.S Vice President Joe Biden made Wednesday regarding the upcoming move of NCR to Georgia. reports that Vice President Biden that the city of Columbus lured the ATM manufacturer there last month with the promise of more than 800 jobs, and more than $7.5 million in incentives. But according to a report from a Dayton, Ohio radio station, Vice President Biden says that federal stimulus dollars wouldn't be used to move jobs from one state to another. Columbus officials recently applied to the federal Economic Development Administration for $5.5 million in stimulus funds.

A proposed civil rights museum is paying off a loan...before it even opens. The Associated Press reports that the Center for Civil and Human Rights will pay the balance of the loan on the 10,000-document collection of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The museum will $11.5 million to settle that debt. It will be paid using a $40 million allocation approved by the Atlanta City Council. The council is expected to vote on the amendment to that agreement on Monday.

That's the news. GNB is available online at, and on Twitter at Enjoy your Wednesday night.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

GNB Update

Tuesday is in the books...Here's the news...

Southwest Georgia loses its tourism champion. The Albany Herald reports that former Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau vice president Sara Underdown died due to complications with her cancer treatment. She was 51. During her tenure in Albany, Underdown was responsible for helping the Snickers Marathon Energy Bar Marathon to the city. Memorial services are being planned in her hometown of Hickory, North Carolina, as well as in Albany.

An employee at a Macon credit union wants answers after more than $100,000 is reported missing. reports that an employee at the Brosnan Yard Credit Union reported the missing money to authorities last week. That's according to a police report released Monday. Macon police officials say the alleged thefts apparently happened between 2006 and 2009.

With another high school football season just around the corner, the University of Georgia is looking for ways to reduce the risk of players dying from heat stroke. Kinesiology researchers at UGA will get a new study underway next month. Its purpose is to provide the scientific data that could help administrators and coaches set effective heat-related guidelines across the nation. Such policies could also save lives.

That's the news. GNB is available online at, and on Twitter at Have a good Tuesday night.

Monday, July 13, 2009

GNB Update

Hope your work week got off to a great start...Here's the news...

A series of violations leads to sanctions against a metro Atlanta veterinarian. The Marietta Daily Journal reports that the Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine fined Dr. Anji Bodana $3,000 for unsanitary practices earlier Monday. He was cited for violations ranging from storing dead cats in a freezer with food, to not having equipment for resusictation. Bodana had his license put on probation for three years, and must take continuing education classes.

Expect a cool & stormy autumn for Georgia later this year. That was the forecast the National Weather Service made for the South on Monday. The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser reports that the return of El Nino will mean storms in the Southeastern U.S. for this fall & winter. Kevin Laws of the National Weather Service told the Advertiser told that the El Nino jet stream will have more of an impact in Alabama, Florida, & Georgia, therefore affecting the South in general. That could also mean a quieter hurricane season.

A doctor who once did a residency in Macon is President Obama's pick for surgeon general. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Obama nominated Morehouse College medical school graduate Regina Benjamin to be the nation's top doctor. She did her residency at the Medical Center of Central Georgia. Benjamin was named president of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama in 2002.

That's the news. GNB is available online at, and on Twitter at Enjoy your Monday night.

Friday, July 10, 2009

GNB Weekend Update

The weekend has arrived...Here's the news...

The weakened economy has taken its toll on revenue collections in Georgia. The Associated Press reports that state revenue collections fell by almost 16 percent in June. That was from the same month in 2008. Those findings have led to calls from some lawmakers to hold a special legislative session to deal with the ongoing financial crisis. But aides for Governor Sonny Perdue say only the governor has to power to handle declining revenue without calling for a special session. Perdue has asked state agencies cut funding by three percent for July.

Commuters in Gwinnett County won't have to go in reverse come Monday. The Gwinnett Daily Post reports that crews with the Georgia Department of Transportation will remove the last of the reversible lanes on U.S. Highway 78 late Sunday night. They'll be replaced with a center turning lane, three westbound lanes, and two eastbound lanes. The DOT says the project is currently on track for completion by November 30.

A surprise trade sends one of the Atlanta Braves to the Big Apple. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves traded popular outfielder Jeff Francoeur to the New York Mets in exchange for Ryan Church Friday. At the time of the trade, Francoeur was hitting .250 with five home runs and 35 runs batted in, the Associated Press reports.

That's the news. GNB is available online at, and on Twitter at Have a good weekend.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

GNB Update

Nearing the end of yet another work week...Here's the news...

"Outrageous". That was the response Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue heard from Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall regarding the CRCT cheating scandal. The Associated Press reports that Hall sent a letter to the state earlier this week saying the district "strongly disagrees" with findings that an audit revealed someone changed the answers on the fifth-grade math tests. Perdue issued a statement Thursday after the Georgia Board of Education voted throw the tainted test scores out.

A southwest Georgia downtown manager is the subject of a GBI investigation. The Albany Herald reports that Albany Downtown Manager Don Buie faces allegations that received a kickback of $1,600 from a former contractor. In a memo issued by City Manager Alfred Lott, Buie was forced to surrender his city credit card and provide any related financial documents by the close of business Thursday. Lott added that failure to do so could lead to the loss of his job.

"Loose lips" lead to a disorderly conduct charge against a city councilwoman's son. reports that Macon police charged Paul Carswell with disorderly conduct after a confrontation with councilman James Timley during a Macon City Council meeting Tuesday night. Carswell threatened Timley during that meeting, saying he would "get a piece of me" if he raised his voice at his mother. Carswell's mother is Macon City Council President Miriam Paris. Carswell could have faced charges of making terroristic threats against Timley, but that wasn't possible because no third party witnessed the incident.

That's the news. GNB is online at, and on Twitter at Have a good Thursday night.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

GNB Update

Another "hump day" has come and gone. Here's the news.

The test results are in. And they're mixed for at least two southwest Georgia school systems on Georgia's Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT). reports that while test scores in Dougherty and Lee Counties actually improved in math and science, there's controversy considering the scores in the social studies area. says both Dougherty and Lee Counties doubled, and tripled the failure rate in some cases. That led to state school superintendent Kathy Cox throwing some scores out.

Also see: Georgia 2009 CRCT scores, courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

A federal appeals court throws out a controversial lawsuit on Tuesday. The Associated Press reports that Randolph County school member Henry Cook cannot sue registrars because of change in his voting district. Cook claims his constitutional rights were violated because his district from the majority black to majority white. In its ruling, the appeals panel says "an attempted deprivation of constitutional or statutory rights is not the same as an actual deprivation." The change in voting districts was abolished prior to the election.

Atlanta's top firefighter is President Barack Obama's pick to lead the U.S. Fire Administration. The Associated Press reports that President Obama named Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran to become the nation's fire administrator. If confirmed by U.S. Senators, Cochran will be responsible for fire prevention and safety education, as well as professional development for emergency responders.

That's the news. GNB is available online at, and on Twitter at Have a good Wednesday night.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

GNB Update

Hope Tuesday was productive for you...Here's the news...

More than $50 million in federal stimulus money is approved by Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. The Associated Press reports that Governor Perdue cleared the way for 11 road projects statewide for funding as part of that package. Those projects will cover communties ranging from metro Atlanta to rural Washington County in east central Georgia. The biggest project with the most money to be spent from the stimulus package is a portion of Interstate 85 that runs from Franklin County to the South Carolina. That project costs over $10 million.

Also see: Official state news release

GDOT Federal Economic Stimulus Package on Transportation Page:

Click here.

An appeals court reverses a ruling on a Georgia coal plant. The Associated Press reports that the Georgia Appeals Court on Tuesday reversed a trial judge's ruling from last year. It said plans for a south Georgia plant should have regulated carbon dioxide emissions. But the three-judge panel disagreed, and reversed that ruling. Environmental activists expressed their displeasure with the decision, and say they'll appeal the decision to the Georgia Supreme Court. More court action may be needed the state's first news plant in more than 20 years is built.

Here's a sign that another college football season is around the corner. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that kickoff for the annual Georgia-Florida game will be at 3:30 p.m ET on October 31. The game will be televised live on CBS. The Dawgs 2009 season opener at Oklahoma State on Sept. 5 will also be on national TV. ABC will broadcast that game live.

That's the news. GNB is online at, and on Twitter at Enjoy your Tuesday night.

Monday, July 6, 2009

GNB Update

Back to the regular work week...Here's the news...

Some potential good economic news for Georgia. The Associated Press reports South Korean company CT&T Co., Ltd. has the Peach State on its list for a new electric vehicle plant. Georgia is one of five states being considered for the new facility. Those other states include southern neighbors Alabama, North, and South Carolina, as well as California. The new plant could create up to 2,600 new jobs over the next five years. A final decision is expected by September.

One of the South's top banks awards hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship money. reports that Columbus-based Synovus recently granted scholarships to the children of more than 100 employees in five southern states, including Georgia. The total amount for this year's scholarships was $135,000. Over the last 20-plus years, the Jack Parker Foundation has raised more than a $1 million of scholarship funds to the children of Synovus employees.

Emily Cook finally gets her crown. Cook was officially crowned Miss Georgia 2009 at a ceremony in Columbus Sunday, reports. She replaces Kristina Higgins, who resigned less than 24 hours after winning the crown more than a week ago. Higgins says her teaching job forced to her to step down.

That's the news. GNB is available online at, and on Twitter at Have a good Monday night.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

GNB Update

Hope your holiday weekend is off to a good start...Here's the news...

One middle Georgia city has gained residents, while another has lost residents. That's according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau. reports that the population of Warner Robins grew from almost 60,000 residents to more than 61,000 from 2007 to 2008. On the other hand, Macon's population dropped from just over 93,000 to just under that same number. Elsewhere in Georgia, population estimates show that Atlanta grew from more than 520,000 to almost 540,000 residents. That makes the state capital one of the nation's fastest growing cities.

Also see: Census Bureau press release on population estimates.

Business owners in Albany rally against a controversial sign ordinance. The Albany Herald reports that business owners in the southwest Georgia city made their concerns known to city commissioners in a meeting Wednesday. Commissioner Morris Gurr says while the sign ordinance needs tweaking, it's a law that's needed. Assistant City Manager James Taylor says the meeting was called to collect information on the business owners' behalf. Gurr says the current ordinance will still be enforced during the discussions.

A former professional bowler wins a another sport. The Associated Press reports that 37-year-old David Bach of Athens defeated 44-year-old John Hanson of New York to win the H.O.R.S.E. title at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas Wednesday. It took seven hours for heads-up play to be completed, but in the end, it was worth it for Bach, as he took home more than $1 million for winning the H.O.R.S.E. championship.

That's the news. GNB is available online at, and on Twitter at Have a good Fourth of July weekend.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

GNB Update

It's the middle of the work week...Here's the news...

Four Georgia banks must either raise some capital, or they could disappear. That order came from the FDIC, which issued those warnings earlier this past spring, but weren't made public until Tuesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says. The four banks named in the "cease and desist" order were Community Bank & Trust in Cornelia, Gordon Bank in Gordon, Crescent Bank and Trust from Jasper, and Farmers & Merchants Bank in Lakeland. Already this year, the FDIC has closed 14 banks in Georgia. That's the most bank failures among any U.S. state.

The recession continues to worsen in northeast Georgia. The Associated Press reports that portable generator manufacturer Briggs & Stratton will close its plant in Jefferson. It will be merged into facilities located in McDonough, as well as similar plants in Wisconsin and Alabama. More than 400 workers will lose their jobs as a result of that shutdown.

Even the fireworks seen on the Fourth of July holiday aren't immune to the recession. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Gwinnett County has cancelled its fireworks show for the first time in more than two decades. Two annual fireworks displays in south Georgia's Tift County have also been cancelled, while Douglasville has plans to call off its celebration, too. But fireworks displays in Atlanta suburbs such as Marietta, Peachtree City, and Roswell will go on as scheduled this holiday weekend.

That's the news. GNB is available online at, and on Enjoy your Wednesday night.