New Fox 5 poll has Ossoff leading Handel with a 2-1 lead

In an exclusive poll by Fox 5 | Opinion Savvy, Democrat candidate Jon Ossoff is currently leading Republican candidate Karen Handel at 40% with Handel behind him at 20%.

Next up are former Johns Creek City Councilman Bob Gray and State Senator Judson Hill of Marietta, tied at 10%. Former State Senator Dan Moody of Johns Creek is at 8%. The rest of the candidates totaled 6%. There are 18 candidates in total.

According to the Fox 5 release:

In an Ossoff/Handel runoff, Handel has 41%, Ossoff 42%, and 17% are undecided.

In an Ossoff/Gray runoff, Gray has 42%, Ossoff 44%, and 14% are undecided.

In an Ossoff/Hill runoff, Hill has 45%, Ossoff 44%, and 11% are undecided.

In an Ossoff/Moody runoff, Moody has 43%, Ossoff 46%, and 11% undecided.

The poll conducted by Opinion Savvy surveyed 462 registered voters in the 6th District, and has a margin of error of 4.5%.

The poll also asked voters in what historically has been a Republican district about the job President Trump is doing.

The poll shows an approval rating of 53% for the President, disapproval at 46%, and only 1% unsure.

The election for the open Congressional seat is April 18th, with the top 2 vote getters facing off in a June 20th runoff.

Senate to vote on “General Supervision” Clause for Dental Hygienists

I love having my teeth cleaned. It’s actually probably more of an obsession for me. I can’t help it. I was born to a dentist and dental hygiene ranked right up there with making my bed.

As the kid of a dentist, I am well aware of the rules that exists for dental hygienists. If we were the first patient after lunch and Dad wasn’t in the building yet, we couldn’t start our cleaning until he got back. There are policies and checks and balances that help to keep everyone safe. And I am ok with that.

However, while good dental hygiene is important to me and my family, as well as being easily accessible, that is not the case for everyone. 1 in 4 children in the state of Georgia do not receive preventative dental care. According to SB 12:

…nearly one-third of older adults have untreated tooth decay and nearly 25% of older adults 65 to 74 have severe gum disease. Statistics also show that significant percentage of lower income children in Georgia do not have adequate access to dental care, putting them at significant risk of developing tooth decay and other oral health issues.

The bill would allow dental hygienists can clean teeth and apply flouride and sealants without the dentist present in the office.  This is already the case in 47 states. It would add approved safety net settings for charity care clinics, federally qualified health centers, long-term care facilities (nursing homes), school-based health centers, and would add private practice settings to the list of places where dental hygienists can perform their duties with only “general supervision” from a dentist.

It sounds cheesy, but a confident smile goes a long way, no matter who you are. Basic preventative dental care allows for dental hygiene education to occur, which not only provides a foundation for the importance of life long dental care, but can save lives.


DeKalb and Clayton Sheriff’s Offices Singled Out on ICE Policies

Two counties in Georgia were singled out by President Trump for policies that are non-compliant with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  cases that deal with illegal immigrants that are violent offenders. In two reports by 11Alive and Atlanta Business Chronicle, DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffery Mann is quoted saying,

 “Our office complies with all federal and state laws regarding the detention of “alien” criminal suspects.

“To the extent that this agency can, we will continue to employ our limited, taxpayer-supported resources to assist ICE with its efforts to secure and detain “alien” criminal suspects in our community by providing advance inmate release notification. However, federal case law has determined that detaining inmates beyond lawful release without sufficient probable cause or a judicial warrant from ICE is a violation of constitutional law.”

Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill did not respond to 11Alive’s request for comment, but the report from the White House showed the county as a “jurisdiction that has enacted policies that limit cooperation with ICE.”

The policies of both agencies fall into a gray area. In addition to ICE being a federal law enforcement agency that works daily with local agencies, in this case, they are specifically dealing with violent offenders. Both Sheriff’s offices are asking for the documents provided by ICE and additional warrants from local Superior Court Judges. Both the DeKalb and Clayton Sheriff’s Offices are tying up the court system further and providing opportunities for known dangerous criminals to be released from jail.

Georgia Port Authority marks double-digit growth in total cargo

In a press release today, the Georgia Port Authority announced that it had it busiest February to date with a 10% increase over last February. The GPA moved 2.94 million tons across all docks, a figure surpassed only by January’s 3.01 million tons.

“Ocean carriers have recognized the Port of Savannah as the must-call port to serve the Southeastern U.S.,” GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch reported to the Authority Board Monday. “With the coming realignment of the shipping alliances in April, Savannah will offer more container services than any other East Coast or Gulf port, at 35 weekly vessel calls.”
Lynch said Savannah’s Ocean Terminal also achieved significant growth in February, with a 9.2 percent increase in breakbulk cargo for the month, led by linerboard, iron and steel, and autos.
“A 38 percent increase in iron and steel is a good leading indicator of future growth in construction, as well as automobile and other manufacturing,” he said.
Additionally, the ports chief noted that this week Garden City Terminal in Savannah will commission a new Neo-Panamax ship-to-shore crane, with three more set to come online by mid-April. A separate, $45.3 million order will bring four more cranes to the terminal in 2018, for a total of 30.
These cranes are necessary to serve the larger vessels calling on Savannah. In the six months prior to the late June 2016 opening of the expanded Panama Canal, Garden City Terminal had hosted no vessels with a capacity of 10,000 or more TEUs. From July through December 2016, the Port of Savannah received 31 calls from 10,000+ TEU vessels – matched only by Norfolk and New York-New Jersey on the U.S. East Coast.
“As our business expands, we are investing in the infrastructure that supports that growth so that we can continue to fulfill our mission of supporting American exports and bringing new industry to Georgia,” said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood.
In other business, the GPA Board approved a power grid upgrade to provide greater resiliency and capacity for electric-powered equipment at Garden City Terminal. Chief Operating Officer Ed McCarthy said the Port of Savannah’s continuing shift away from diesel saves the authority millions of dollars annually in energy costs and avoids tons of diesel emissions.
Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 369,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $20.4 billion in income, $84.1 billion in revenue and $2.3 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.2 percent of the U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10.3 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in CY2015.

Former State Senator Harp selected to fill vacant position on State Election Board

With Tex McLver not seeking another term on the State Elections Board in the midst of criminal charges after fatally shooting his wife, former State Senator Seth Harp is the pick to fill the vacant position.

Harp, who currently practices law in Columbus, held the State Senate seat now represented by Josh McKoon. In 2010, the former State Senator ran an unsuccessful bid for state Insurance Commissioner. He has also held the position of Chair of the Muscogee County GOP.

According to the AJC:

Senate leaders nominated him for the state election board Friday in Senate Resolution 403, which needs approval from a majority of the chamber. If approved, the appointment would be for a two-year term.

Mr. Harp resides in Midland, Georgia with his wife, Linda.

Morning Reads for March 6, 2017


  • Girls like demolition too. Missed the Georgia Archives Building implosion? Join me in watching it at least 10 times too many.
  • Not sure what survived Crossover Day? Check it out here. 
  • A&E has a series “60 Days In…” and apparently, they came to Atlanta to experience Fulton County’s Jail.
  • The State Botanical Garden housed in Athens has a new director.
  • The Northern Mississippi White Knights of the KKK no showed in Douglas County over the weekend. I wish there was an eye-rolling emoji on this site.
  • I’ll have a happy kid. Only 17 people voted ‘NO’ on a mandatory 30 minute recess for K-5 students in Georgia schools.



State Senate to Vote on Victims’ Rights Constitutional Amendment

From a press release:

The Georgia Senate today will vote on Marsy’s Law, which would elevate crime victims’ rights to the state constitution.

After weeks of negotiating on language, the Judiciary Committee passed the measure sponsored by Sen. John Kennedy (R-Macon) with bipartisan support and by a wide margin.

Marsy’s Law for Georgia supports efforts by Sen. Kennedy to strengthen the protections for victims outlined in the legislation. The constitutional amendment will require a two-thirds vote in both houses and would then go before Georgia voters in the 2018 election.

For those who need background.

Columbus Cottonmouths Facing Extinction

In a breaking news story, the Ledger-Enquirer reported yesterday that Columbus’ minor league hockey team is looking for new owners. Current team owners, Wanda and Shelby Amos, son of Aflac founder John Amos, purchased the Cottonmouths with Shelby’s uncle, Sal Diaz-Verson, in 2001. They bought the team from Martha and Charlie Morrow after the latter lost a battle to cancer.

In an interview with the Ledger, Wanda Amos stated that the team has suffered a financial loss into the six-figures every year of ownership. Yet, General Manager Jerome Bechard is optimistic that a new owner can be secured before the end of the season. He is so sure, in fact, that ticket renewals for next season will go on sale Monday. However, no deposit is required until June 1. Bechard’s hope is that sales will prove the team’s worth to the community at large. Continue reading “Columbus Cottonmouths Facing Extinction”

Sens. Unterman and Butler Welcome Sex Trafficking Awareness Advocates to the Senate

Yesterday, in the name of a cause that knows no party lines, Sen. Renee Unterman (R – Buford) and Sen. Gloria Butler (D – Stone Mountain) hosted sex trafficking awareness advocates to the Senate. The group included representatives from Georgia Cares, Street Grace, the United Way of Greater Atlanta, Out of Darkness, Wellspring Living, and City of Refuge.

From Sen. Unterman:

“It’s great having these groups here today to raise awareness about sex trafficking in the state of Georgia. This is a journey that started in 2008, and the effect these organizations and the General Assembly have had on raising awareness is evident by the more than 700 people who showed up to support sex trafficking victims at the depot this morning. This solidifies our state’s stance of ‘yes, we know we have a problem, but yes, we’re doing something about it’.”

In the same vein, from Senator Butler: Continue reading “Sens. Unterman and Butler Welcome Sex Trafficking Awareness Advocates to the Senate”

Morning Reads – Friday, February 24, 2017

TGIF. National Margarita Day may have been Wednesday, but this Mexican is going to celebrate tonight.




Wild and Weird

And from the Senate Press Office…

The following bills will be on the Senate floor on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24:

  • SB 96 – Health; pronouncement of death by registered professional nurses; nursing homes and hospice care; authorize; county medical examiner’s duties after notice of suspicious death; make a conforming change (H&HS- 1st)
  • SB 8 – “Surprise Billing and Consumer Protection Act”; health insurance; provide consumer protections; definitions (Substitute) (H&HS- 45th)
  • SB 109 – “Recognition of Emergency Medical Services Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact” (“REPLICA”); provide for the enactment (PUB SAF-27th)
  • SB 160 – “Back the Badge Act of 2017” (Substitute) (PUB SAF-7th)
  • SB 154 – Assault and Battery; public safety officer while engaged in his or her official duties; provide for the offenses of aggravated assault and aggravated battery (Substitute) (PUB SAF-13th)
  • SB 155 – Local Law Enforcement Officer Compensation Commission; create (Substitute) (PUB SAF-13th)
  • SB 169 – Specialty License Plate; honoring law enforcement; establish (Substitute) (PUB SAF-13th)

Please note the Senate will convene at 9:00am.