Archive for the ‘University of Georgia’ Category

Your morning jolt: Vote identifies arms to be twisted in charter school fight

If Wednesday’s House vote on charter schools was intended to smoke out the opposition, consider it done. Supporters of the proposed constitutional amendment fell 10 votes short of the 120 needed for a two-thirds majority.

At the Georgia Report, Tom Crawford identified the defectors in an otherwise partisan affair:

[S]even Democrats voted with most of the GOP majority for HR 1162: Alisha Thomas Morgan, Rahn Mayo, Margaret Kaiser, Stacey Evans, Sheila Jones, Karla Drenner, and Ralph Long….
There were some defectors in the Republican ranks as well.

Lawmakers from rural districts, where it’s a struggle to keep public schools in operation, consider charter schools to be a metro Atlanta issue and are concerned that HR 1162 would harm their local schools.

There were nine Republicans from outside metro Atlanta who voted against HR 1162: Tommy Benton, Ben Harbin, Mark Hatfield, Susan Holmes, Tony McBrayer, Tom McCall, Ed Rynders, Kip Smith, and Jason Spencer.

Republicans Jason Shaw …

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From UGA, ‘fracture putty’ to heal broken bones

Amazing stuff, from this morning’s Athens Banner-Herald:

Broken bones could heal in weeks rather than months with the help of a new stem cell-containing gel that University of Georgia researchers have developed.

“We have a long way to go, but we think it’s promising,” said stem cell researcher Steve Stice, who is working with large-animal surgeon John Peroni, a professor in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine.

The discovery — which the scientists call “fracture putty” — mixes stem cells derived from bone marrow with a gel that can be applied to fractured bones

Note that said stem cells are derived from bone marrow, not human embryos.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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Cloak-and-dagger redistricting in Athens

Look for Athens to boil over in the next few days. We’re hearing that a certain state Rep. Doug McKillip, a former Democrat in the area, is backing local legislation to force a March 6 – that’s right, in five weeks – referendum on some specifics of Athens/Clarke County’s consolidated government.

The bill hasn’t been dropped. Yet. But note that March 6 is the day of Georgia’s presidential primary, when hordes of Republican voters will be driven to the polls. Not so many Democrats are expected. President Barack Obama’s name is the only one on the ballot.

As a university town, the A/CC area leans Democratic, but its government is officially nonpartisan — a mayor and 10-person commission. The latter is made up of eight district commissioners and two elected at-large.

The at-large commissioners – Mike Hamby and Kelly Girtz — appear to be one set of targets. The choice that is to be placed before voters, we understand, would do away with the at-large commissioners, in favor of nine …

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Washington takes note of the late Larry Munson

On the floor of the U.S. Senate today, 48 hours before LSU and Georgia meet for the SEC championship, Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson both gave tributes to the late voice of the Bulldogs, Larry Munson.

Chambliss went first:

Chambliss spoke of Munson’s “bipartisan” appeal:

”That term to this man meant he was respected by Georgia Tech fans as well as University of Georgia football fans.”

Isakson followed:

Said Isakson, in part:

”It’s said that the Southeastern Conference, football is not a game, it’s a religion. In that analogy, if it’s a religion in the Southeastern Conference, Larry Munson was the high priest.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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The inherent, inherited dangers of being a Georgia Bulldog

The quick succession of bulldogs at the University of Georgia – Uga VII, Uga VIII and Uga IX – are at the center of a provocative New York Times Magazine piece on the dangers of overbreeding and whether it amounts to animal cruelty. Something to read while you wait for Saturday’s game with Tech.

The late UGA VII at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, FL October 31, 2009. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

The late UGA VII at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, FL October 31, 2009. Brant Sanderlin, bsanderlin@ajc.com

It includes this thought from James Serpell, the director of the Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society at the University of Pennsylvania:

“We have, to some extent, accentuated physical characteristics of the breed to make it look more human, although essentially more like caricatures of humans, and specifically of children,” he told me. “We’ve bred bulldogs for their flat face, big eyes, huge mouth in relation to head size and huge smiling face.”

So it’s not just a happy accident that so many animals look like their owners.

- By Jim Galloway, …

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Your morning jolt: Herman Cain tied with Mitt Romney in Virginia

Just in time for his debut this evening as a top-tier candidate for the GOP presidential nomination. From the Washington Post:

Businessman Herman Cain has surged into the top tier of presidential candidates in Virginia, according to a new poll of the state, moving into a tie in the Republican nomination contest with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has faded considerably.

The Quinnipiac University Poll of Virginia released Tuesday shows Romney and Cain at 21 percent apiece among Republican voters, while Perry sits at 11 percent–less than half the support he registered in the same poll a month ago.

At today’s 8 p.m. Bloomberg/Washington Post debate in New Hampshire, Cain will be required to provide a sound defense of his “999” plan, the most sensitive part of which is a 9 percent national sales tax. The WP’s Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake reached out to Atlanta GOP consultant Paul Bennecke for this advice to Cain:

“He needs to provide substance and …

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Barbara Dooley in defense of her Tennessee cub

Slightly off topic, but it’s Thursday, the Georgia-Tennessee game is just over 48 hours away, and I need a short break from Herman Cain’s new book.

So there was Tim Bryant this morning – the morning host for WGAU (1340AM) talk radio in Athens – gabbing with two Knoxville reporters, Andrew Gribble and Dave Hooker. One of them utters the deadly phrase that “the jury is still out” on Tennessee coach Derek Dooley.

The next thing Bryant knows, Barbara Dooley – she and Vince live around the corner — crashes through his studio doors and grabs a set of headphones in defense of her cub:

A partial transcript:

Dooley: Back when I was in coaching with my husband, the press was our best friends. Now all y’all want to do is beat the coaches to hell and back.

Hooker: That’s not me. That’s Andrew.

Gribble: That’s not me at all.

Dooley: Listen to me. I want you to listen about my baby. First of all —

Bryant: We’ve got to make it fast, because we’ve got a congressman standing by.

Dooley:

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Your morning jolt: Sam Olens wonders if metro Atlanta needs a super mayor

Seriously, though. If metro Atlanta had a “super mayor,” would a cape be one of the perks?

Attorney General Sam Olens, former chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Attorney General Sam Olens, former chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Over at the Saporta Report, former Atlanta Regional Chairman Sam Olens, now attorney general, wonders out loud whether the 10-county region needs a “region-wide elected chairperson.”

From his interview with Maria Saporta:

In other words, electing a regional chair of ARC would create a position that could be considered a metro mayor — having someone whose constituency would be the whole 10-county region rather than just a slice of the area.

“Everybody complains that ARC doesn’t do enough, but few people have read the statute to see how little power it has,” Olens said. “Having someone elected from the region — it would be a healthy discussion.”

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More than a dozen tea party and anti-tax groups will gather Saturday for an all-day meeting at the Cherokee Cattle Company …

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UGA president nixes Thursday night football, more Dome games

Don’t expect the Georgia Bulldogs to start scheduling any Thursday night games. And not because of any Georgia Tech copyright.

UGA President Dr. Michael Adams at February’s dedication of a renovated athletics headquarters in Athens. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

UGA President Dr. Michael Adams at February’s dedication of a renovated athletics headquarters in Athens. Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com

Tim Bryant of WGAU (1340AM) had Michael Adams, the president of the University of Georgia, on his morning radio show this morning. Bryant thoughtfully shared a sound clip in which Adams said:

”To the best of my knowledge, and I think this is accurate, we’ve not played a home or away Thursday night game during my time here, and we won’t.

“I don’t do scheduling, but I do set certain parameters and certain rules within which the athletic departments are expected to operate. We don’t let teams play on exam days, for instance. We don’t like for them to play on reading days, but there’s been a time or two that has been unavoidable because of conference commitments.

“But generally, I think football ought to be a Saturday …

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Your morning jolt: $30 million in traffic fees diverted from driver’s ed

Something to remember next time a victim’s name is attached to a piece of legislation. From Dorrie Turner and the Associated Press:

More than $30 million in traffic fees collected for driver’s education courses across Georgia in the last few years hasn’t been spent on helping teens learn how to drive, according to a state audit released Wednesday.

Since 2009, state lawmakers haven’t appropriated any money to the Georgia Driver’s Education Commission even though a special fee for the programs tacked on to traffic tickets has brought in about $10 million per year, the audit found. Of the $57 million collected since Joshua’s Law took effect in 2005, just $8 million has gone to driver’s education, which led to at least three high schools shutting down their programs, the audit found.

The money, instead, is being spent to plug state budget deficits.

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Gov. Nathan Deal will hold a news conference this morning to announce a “comprehensive plan for improving college completion …

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