myAJC Voices


The B-52s want fans to be prepared to dance at Chastain concert

No matter how many decades have passed, The B-52s will never lose the weird and quirky shades that define their music. The Athens-birthed band is still spritzing their live shows with color and dancing with abandon as they pump out late-‘70s cult hits “Rock Lobster” and “Planet Claire” and ‘80s radio regulars “Love Shack” and “Roam.” Guitarist...


Jason Aldean at SunTrust Park: Tickets, parking, lineup and other info

Jason Aldean at SunTrust Park: Tickets, parking, lineup and other info

When Jason Aldean showed up at SunTrust Park on a chilly March day to announce his summer concert, he already had a simple goal: “We want to come in and make a statement show,” he said. On Saturday, Aldean will get his wish to commandeer the Braves’ home when he stages his “High Noon Neon Tour” at the stadium. Expect to hear plenty from his stash of hits, including &ldquo...
This Life with Gracie: He’s on autism spectrum but manages to write a comic book

This Life with Gracie: He’s on autism spectrum but manages to write a comic book

All too often people with autism are stymied by life’s disappointments, unable to move past the frustrations of being let down. Dr. Tyler Whitney, an adjunct associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine with an active practice in Alpharetta, knows how that happens. “With most of the people who are on the autism spectrum and are past high...
What are the biggest tours and busiest Atlanta venues so far this year?

What are the biggest tours and busiest Atlanta venues so far this year?

By the time Ed Sheeran gets to Atlanta in November, he could buy a ton of seat licenses at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The British pop-soul-folk singer is leading the touring charts halfway through the year, having grossed $213.9 million so far (last year’s midpoint leader was Guns N’ Roses, with $151.5 million). While Sheeran’s worldwide jaunt – he’s been in Australia...
Bruce Springsten’s Broadway show is coming to Netflix

Bruce Springsten’s Broadway show is coming to Netflix

If you couldn’t snag (or afford) a ticket to Bruce Springsteen’s lauded appearances on Broadway, at least there’s the TV version. Netflix will launch “Springsteen on Broadway” on Dec. 15, the same night as the artist’s final show of what will be a 236-performance run at Jujamcyn’s Walter Kerr Theatre. Springsteen’s historic series of intimate, acoustic...
Alabama has issues. It also has Nick Saban, who handles all issues

Alabama has issues. It also has Nick Saban, who handles all issues

It’s good to be King Crimson. When the 2018 college football season ends – Jan. 7 in Santa Clara, Calif. – there’s a real chance that Alabama will have its sixth title in 10 years. But even the king can’t control the vagaries of real life, and here’s the reality in Tuscaloosa:  Bama has two quarterbacks good enough to start anywhere, but only one can start...
Torpy at Large: Trump wannabes Cagle and Kemp head to Crazytown

Torpy at Large: Trump wannabes Cagle and Kemp head to Crazytown

Gov. Lite Casey Cagle has gotten himself into a pickle in his race for governor. He did it by not patting down the losing candidate who came to talk with him … and by telling the truth. In a secretly recorded tape, Cagle told voters that politics has become professional wrestling. And that ‘rasslin is fake! Last week, Cagle’s runoff opponent, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, released...
Should colleges be more open with students about employment odds?

Should colleges be more open with students about employment odds?

Mike Kenig is vice chairman of Atlanta-based Holder Construction. In this guest column, he urges passage of the College Transparency Act, which would provide students and parents with employment and graduation data to better inform their choice of where to go to school and what to study. The bipartisan bill was introduced last year by U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass...
Grammy Awards set 2019 date in Los Angeles

Grammy Awards set 2019 date in Los Angeles

The Grammy Awards will head back to their usual home of Los Angeles for the 2019 edition. The 61st annual ceremony will return to the Staples Center on Feb. 10 and air live on CBS at 8 p.m. Last year, the Grammys were held in New York for the first time in 15 years, but were always slated to revert to the West Coast following the 60th anniversary production. Nominations for the 2019 awards will be...
Bulldogs’ Ledbetter has great story to tell at SEC Media Days

Bulldogs’ Ledbetter has great story to tell at SEC Media Days

As a sophomore, Georgia defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter walked the narrow ledge of trouble. Cautiously, deliberately, putting one foot in front of the other. Watch your step, young man, because the drop is sheer.    But look at him Tuesday, a senior serving as one of three players speaking on behalf of the Bulldogs at Tuesday’s SEC Media Day session at the College Football Hall...
Kirby Smart restored UGA to prominence. He’ll keep it there

Kirby Smart restored UGA to prominence. He’ll keep it there

As a team, Georgia won’t be as good this season as it was last. This isn’t to suggest that it can’t accomplish as much as it did last season, maybe even more. Which would mean these Bulldogs would be …  National champs.  This isn’t quite a prediction. It is, however, a reflection of reality. Georgia sits in as sweet a spot as is possible in the high-and-mighty...
This Life with Gracie: One man’s home becomes another man’s Restaurant Holmes

This Life with Gracie: One man’s home becomes another man’s Restaurant Holmes

The last time George Jones stepped foot into this old Southern bungalow, someone had bought it and transformed it into a real estate office, and before that, it was a school for children. A few days ago, he returned and it was bustling with men and women eating plates of coal-roasted beets, seafood crudo, hand-cut pasta, and wood-fired fish entrees executed by owner and chef Taylor Neary on opening...
What does enigmatic LSU have for Bulldogs and rest of SEC this season?

What does enigmatic LSU have for Bulldogs and rest of SEC this season?

Like the summer weather in Atlanta and a stock broker’s mood, LSU defies prediction. The Tigers are the roulette wheel of the SEC, the tumbling dice, the game of chance.   This is of particular interest/concern around certain parts of Georgia on those rare years that the Bulldogs have a date with the great unknown of the SEC West. Like this year, Oct. 13 to be precise, at its stadium...
ATL Collective and Atlanta History Center will showcase the music of Muscle Shoals

ATL Collective and Atlanta History Center will showcase the music of Muscle Shoals

The music produced at Muscle Shoals studio is legendary: Paul Simon (“Kodachrome”), Bob Seger (“Old Time Rock and Roll”), Bob Dylan (“Gotta Serve Somebody”), Lynyrd Skynyrd (“One More Time”) and The Rolling Stones (“Wild Horses”) are a mere smattering of artists whose work was crafted in the unassuming building in Sheffield, Ala.  On...
The mighty SEC’s next big thing: Texas A&M under Jimbo Fisher

The mighty SEC’s next big thing: Texas A&M under Jimbo Fisher

Jimbo Fisher, national championship head coach, is now doing his head coaching in the league that lives to win national championships. Keep an eye on this. (Not that, with the SEC’s ceaseless promotion of itself, anything involving a member school ever passes without notice.) If you’re looking for the next SEC program to pull a Georgia and get really good really fast, it’s Texas...
Russ will play a hometown headlining arena concert this fall

Russ will play a hometown headlining arena concert this fall

 Following last year’s Music Midtown performance, we surmised that the next time Russ came to town, it would be on a bigger stage. The New Jersey hip-hip artist who now calls Atlanta home will indeed grace a larger platform when he brings his “I See You Tour Part 2” to Infinite Energy Arena on Oct. 24. Tickets for the show are $29.95-$59.95 and will go on sale at 10 a.m. July...
Torpy at Large: 2 metro Atlanta ZIPs in America’s widening wealth gap

Torpy at Large: 2 metro Atlanta ZIPs in America’s widening wealth gap

Times are swell, right? Unemployment’s down. Stocks are up. Construction cranes are swinging. Head to Suwanee in Gwinnett County and you’ll see that: Stately homes, manicured lawns and a sense that business is booming. Storefronts are occupied, fine cars queue up at traffic lights, and everything is just so brand spanking new. But drive 35 miles south to the South Atlanta and Lakewood...
Theater preview: ‘The Book of Mormon’ still showing its heart

Theater preview: ‘The Book of Mormon’ still showing its heart

In the seven years since “The Book of Mormon” stampeded Broadway with its artful mix of the sardonic skewering of Mormon beliefs and well-intentioned sweetness, dozens of musicals have floundered. But the script and songs from “South Park” inventors Trey Parker and Matt Stone and “Avenue Q” alum Robert Lopez (now also the youngest person to score an EGOT &mdash...
Alex Anthopoulos in conversation, Pt. 2: Braves pitching and playoffs

Alex Anthopoulos in conversation, Pt. 2: Braves pitching and playoffs

The Atlanta Braves arrived at the All-Star break at 52-42, a half-game game out of first place in the National League East. That’s the good part. Less good is that they’ve lost 13 of 21 and have seen a 3-1/2-game division lead evaporate. Over the weekend, general manager Alex Anthopoulos held forth on his team and its immediate future. Part I of that conversation can be found here...
Atlanta: Soccer City, USA

Atlanta: Soccer City, USA

It is a realization that I have put off for as long as possible. Fought it, really, like the very idea of growing old.   But there is no more denying the patently obvious.  I live in a soccer city. We all live in a soccer city. Perhaps one of the most vibrant soccer cities in the whole of the US of A. A veritable hub of hands-free athletic ability. Quite abruptly, the game has become...
Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos on the trade deadline and big-ticket rentals

Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos on the trade deadline and big-ticket rentals

This being Alex Anthopoulos’ first season here, it also constitutes his first excursion as Braves general manager into the July market of deadline buyers/sellers. Not to overstate the obvious, but the moves he makes -- or doesn’t make -- these next 2½ weeks could change the dynamics of the National League East race, a race almost nobody figured would include his Braves. During the...
At the break, these Braves are a glass way more than half-full

At the break, these Braves are a glass way more than half-full

The Atlanta Braves began their final series before the All-Star break a half-game out of first place, and here we should remove our gaze from individual conifers to behold Ye Olde Forest. Forget the “a half-game out” part. (With Friday’s loss, it became 1-1/2 games.) Note instead the bit about “first place.” Over the past three seasons, the Braves finished an aggregate...
Atlanta Concert Tickets on sale this week: Good Charlotte, Jon B. 

Atlanta Concert Tickets on sale this week: Good Charlotte, Jon B. 

Strung Out. 7 p.m. Aug. 4. $18. Masquerade. TM. Creek Boyz. 7 p.m. Aug. 10. $15-$40. Masquerade. TM. The Pink Spiders. 7 p.m. Aug. 12. $13. Masquerade. TM. Hasan Minhaj. 7 p.m. Aug. 25. $29.50-$64.50. Tabernacle. LN. Sam Evian. 9 p.m. Sept. 21. $10. Drunken Unicorn. www.masqueradeatlanta.com. Bat House. 7 p.m. Sept. 28. $10. Masquerade. TM. Watsky. 7 p.m. Oct. 5. $18. Masquerade. TM. Local H. 8 p...
Atlanta Concerts this week: Tedeschi Trucks Band, REO Speedwagon and Chicago

Atlanta Concerts this week: Tedeschi Trucks Band, REO Speedwagon and Chicago

FRIDAY Some music listeners might only remember Hornsby from his late-‘80s run of radio hits – “The Way it Is,” “Mandolin Rain” and “The Valley Road” among them. But the Williamsburg, Va., native long ago deserted the chase for radio play, preferring instead to hone his piano/keyboard craft with Ricky Skaggs, The Grateful Dead and Branford Marsalis,...
This Life with Gracie: FDA-approved drug holds first promise for kids with genetic disease

This Life with Gracie: FDA-approved drug holds first promise for kids with genetic disease

In the nearly five decades since Mucolipidosis Type IV, or ML4, was first identified, children with the disease have had little promise of ever having a “normal” life. ML4 generally strikes their nervous system early and hard. Most never learn to walk or talk and have a maximum mental capacity of about 18 months. By their teen years, the disease steals their eyesight, and by their 20s...
The Isley Brothers will be honored at Atlanta concert

The Isley Brothers will be honored at Atlanta concert

When The Isley Brothers perform Saturday at Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre, they’ll receive more than cheers from the crowd. Brothers Ronald and Ernie Isley will be granted a proclamation by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to declare July 14 as The Isley Brothers Day. The group’s mother, Sallye, was raised in Georgia, but The Isley Brothers were reared and founded in Cincinnati...
A Tiger-Phil match should be easy to ignore - but will it be, really? 

A Tiger-Phil match should be easy to ignore - but will it be, really? 

They – presumably promoters who have run out of stuff for motorcycles to jump over and things for Conor McGregor to do – are priming the pump now for a $10 million match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. It’s a winner-take-all-but-surely-both-guys-profit format. As far back as May, at the Players Championship, Mickelson was floating this idea, playing the role of golf&rsquo...
Twenty One Pilots announce Atlanta concert date, new music

Twenty One Pilots announce Atlanta concert date, new music

After taking a brief break following the massive success off their 2015 “Blurryface” album, the duo of Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun – aka Twenty One Pilots – is back with two new songs and an upcoming world tour. The hitmakers behind “Stressed Out,” “Tear in My Heart” and “Ride” will perform at Philips Arena Nov. 2. It’s their first Atlanta...
Freddie Freeman in the Home Run Derby? Hate it

Freddie Freeman in the Home Run Derby? Hate it

I worked with Dick Gabriel decades ago at UK’s student newspaper – the Kentucky Kernel, FYI – and learned many things from him. (He has been at WKYT, a Lexington TV station, for almost as long I’ve been at the ol’ AJC.) Two factoids about this distinguished journalist: He’s one day younger than I am, and he used to tool around Lexington in a car bearing a ...
This Life with Gracie: Young mother loses battle with cancer but her memory lives on

This Life with Gracie: Young mother loses battle with cancer but her memory lives on

Sometime in the fall of 2016, during yet another hospital visit, an ultrasound revealed Emily Moore’s pancreas was inflamed, she had spots on her liver and it was as if her appendix had disappeared altogether. Doctors weren’t worried. It was common among women who’d used contraception to have spots on the liver, but Emily hadn’t taken contraception in eight years. If only it...
The sagging Braves need help, and they need it now

The sagging Braves need help, and they need it now

The Braves have won one of their past six series and can do no better than halve this two-game set with Toronto. They’re 7-11 over that span, having slid from 3-1/2 games ahead in the National League East to one game behind. They haven’t hit a home run in five games. Two starting pitchers plus sometime starter Max Fried are on the disabled list. Their relievers have the 11th-best ERA in...
Torpy at Large: Something stinks in Brunswick, and it ain’t paper mills

Torpy at Large: Something stinks in Brunswick, and it ain’t paper mills

I must admit, I got snowed by District Attorney Jackie Johnson in Brunswick. And it was a masterful obfuscation by an office that seems to master the art. Johnson is the prosecutor who helped a couple of trigger-happy Glynn County cops avoid prosecution in the sickening 2010 shooting death of Caroline Small, an unarmed mother trapped in her car after a slow-speed chase. Two months ago, Johnson...
Braves All-Stars symbolize a Four-Star start to this season

Braves All-Stars symbolize a Four-Star start to this season

  The last time the Braves had as many as four players make the All-Star team – 2012 – it was not assigned the kind of meaning given to the 2018 haul. Six years later, three of the Braves class of ’12 are no longer in uniform (Chipper Jones, Dan Uggla and Michael Bourn). The other, closer Craig Kimbrel, was dealt away when the Braves concluded that it would be awhile before...
A summer stunner: Nick Markakis and Matt Kemp, All-Star starters

A summer stunner: Nick Markakis and Matt Kemp, All-Star starters

The Atlanta Braves’ corner infielders in 2017 had WAR values, as calculated by Baseball-Reference, of 0.7 and minus-1.3. WAR stands for “wins above replacement,” and from that we could extrapolate that these two needed replacing. Manning positions expected to produce solid offensive numbers, the Braves had two men whose WRC+ -- weighted runs created, adjusted for league...
This Life with Gracie: Nothing could stop this Dunwoody girl

This Life with Gracie: Nothing could stop this Dunwoody girl

The past three years have been a blur, but suffice it to say Emily and Kurt Moore essentially grew up together. They met during their freshman year at the University of Alabama and except for one summer when she was back here working at camp and he was back home in New Orleans doing the same thing, the two rarely ever parted ways. In short order, they were like an old married couple — committed...
The Braves’ bad week - mere blip or the beginning of the end?

The Braves’ bad week - mere blip or the beginning of the end?

For the Atlanta Braves, it was the worst week of what has been a splendid season.  Keep that last part in mind. Not so long ago, we had to try hard to find two or three happy days in a baseball summer. That this week stuck out, sore-thumb-like, is in its way another sign of progress.  That said, this was a really bad week. The Braves forfeited the rights to Round 1 draftee Carter Stewart...
Michael Vick and flag football - the past makes non-contact with the future

Michael Vick and flag football - the past makes non-contact with the future

So, this is the future of football, once the carnage of full contact becomes too much to bear. After our self-driving cars deliver us to the stadium and the robot ushers take us to our seats, we will be treated to some seven-on-seven drills that have been elevated to the level of drama. Saturday night at Kennesaw State was an early glimpse of when tackle football becomes as primitive and obsolete...
We know who the 2019 NBA champ will be. That’s a problem

We know who the 2019 NBA champ will be. That’s a problem

It says something about the NBA, and surely nothing good, that its most fascinating month is July, when no actual games are played. (We won’t count those summer scrimmages out West, where a mild scuffle between Hawks rookie Trae Young and the egregious Grayson Allen passes for “news.”) If you track pro hoops, you already know all need to know until … well, next July. July...
Atlanta Concerts this week: Collective Soul, Jill Scott, Foreigner

Atlanta Concerts this week: Collective Soul, Jill Scott, Foreigner

FRIDAY Following the December release of “Live,” the self-explanatory album that confirmed the band’s continued stage dominance, Atlanta’s Collective Soul is co-headlining the 36-date “Rock & Roll Express Tour” with its fellow ‘90s hitmakers responsible for “Kryptonite” and “Here Without You.” With Soul Asylum. 7 p.m. July 6, 2018....
Torpy at Large: Any excuse given for littering is garbage

Torpy at Large: Any excuse given for littering is garbage

The other day, I watched a driver in front of me toss a fast-food cup out the window. I started to try to catch up to and scold this fool. But I remembered half of Georgia is packing, so I bit my tongue and eased off the accelerator. That some lazy, inconsiderate boob is using our public space as a garbage can is not necessarily unusual. But you’re less likely to catch them in the act these...
Georgia Tech track stars give kids with jailed parents a running start

Georgia Tech track stars give kids with jailed parents a running start

This is a lovely and inspiring column by a recent Georgia Tech grad. Preston J. Smith volunteered to coach Atlanta kids in a program for children with an incarcerated parent, and learned a lot about struggle and determination. By Preston J. Smith  For the last four years, I was fortunate enough to compete on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket’s track and field team as a triple jumper,...
Atlanta Concert Tickets on sale this week: David Cook, Gaelic Storm

Atlanta Concert Tickets on sale this week: David Cook, Gaelic Storm

Comedy & Cocktails in the Den with Damon Sumner. 8 p.m. Aug. 29. $20. City Winery. www.citywinery.com/atlanta. Gaelic Storm. 7 p.m. Oct. 13. $25-$30. City Winery. www.citywinery.com/atlanta. Los Lonely Boys. 8 p.m. Nov. 9. $35-$48. City Winery. www.citywinery.com/atlanta. David Cook. 8 p.m. Nov. 19. $24-$32. City Winery. www.citywinery.com/atlanta. Foreigner with Whitesnake and Jason Bonham&rsquo...
The extremely eventful summer of Jake Fromm, Georgia folk hero

The extremely eventful summer of Jake Fromm, Georgia folk hero

We think of Jake Fromm the way some of us of aging years thought of Chip Hilton, the difference being that Chip Hilton didn’t exist. He was the creation in a series of books by Clair Bee, a famous basketball coach turned writer.  The 23-book series – I’ve read every installment, though not lately – traced Chip’s journey from three-sport star at Valley Falls High...
Now the underdog, Cagle grapples with Trump fallout

Now the underdog, Cagle grapples with Trump fallout

No sooner had Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle wrapped up the second in a string of campaign rallies Thursday than he faced a barrage of questions he’d rather not hear: one query after another about President Donald Trump’s endorsement of his rival in next week’s GOP runoff for governor. Cagle tied himself each time to Gov. Nathan Deal, who endorsed him earlier this week, and he lamented that...
Reacting to Trump’s support for Kemp, voters on both sides double down

Reacting to Trump’s support for Kemp, voters on both sides double down

President Donald Trump’s last-minute endorsement of Secretary of State Brian Kemp in the GOP runoff for governor came as a surprise to Georgia voters of all stripes. For supporters of Kemp, it confirmed what they already believed. Backers of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, however, voiced reactions ranging from indifference to trepidation. “I’ve got to really re-evaluate,” said Robert...
CDC: HIV testing outreach needed for black gay men in South

CDC: HIV testing outreach needed for black gay men in South

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a study released Thursday raised an alarm about black men in the South and HIV. They’re not being diagnosed enough in traditional health care sites, the study found, so health workers need to seek them out in new places for testing and care. The world that most media portray, where HIV-AIDS has been brought into the open and under control...
Pence to headline rally for Kemp on Saturday

Pence to headline rally for Kemp on Saturday

Vice President Mike Pence will headline a rally for Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s campaign for governor in Macon on Saturday, giving the Republican another boost ahead of next week’s runoff against Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. Two people with direct knowledge of the event told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of the plans. Pence’s office later confirmed the report.  The plans developed...
Report calls casinos unreliable revenue source; supporters undeterred

Report calls casinos unreliable revenue source; supporters undeterred

Lawmakers hoping to expand gambling in Georgia are not deterred by a recent report that found promises of financial fixes for state budgets often fall short in the long run. A report released Thursday by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government found that so-called sin taxes — taxes on goods such as tobacco, alcohol and gambling — are an unreliable...
Stormy Daniels’ upcoming appearance at the Pink Pony draws fire, praise

Stormy Daniels’ upcoming appearance at the Pink Pony draws fire, praise

Jokes about Stormy Daniels’ scheduled performances Sunday at the Pink Pony have been popping up on the strip club’s Facebook page for weeks. One man posted that President Donald Trump was “putting people back in the job market like he promised.” Another said the club should serve Cheetos during the pornographic film star’s “Making Atlanta Great Again” show...
Friday is the last day to vote early in Georgia’s primary runoff

Friday is the last day to vote early in Georgia’s primary runoff

Friday is the last opportunity Georgia voters have to cast their ballots early for next week’s primary runoff election. Those who aren’t able to cast a ballot by then will have to go to their polling place Tuesday to vote. Many Georgia voters have taken advantage of the early-voting window. As of Wednesday, more than 153,000 people had cast ballots since early voting opened July 2. Republicans...
The Jolt: Behind Donald Trump’s endorsement of Brian Kemp

The Jolt: Behind Donald Trump’s endorsement of Brian Kemp

To say that GOP insiders were surprised by President Donald Trump’s decision to endorse Brian Kemp over Casey Cagle in the Republican runoff for governor would be an exercise in understatement. Even Kemp seemed to be caught off-guard by the timing. The president’s tweet Wednesday afternoon came as the secretary of state was in the middle of a press conference with Clay Tippins, the former...
Trump endorses Brian Kemp in Georgia GOP gov race

Trump endorses Brian Kemp in Georgia GOP gov race

President Donald Trump gave Secretary of State Brian Kemp his “full and total endorsement” Wednesday in Georgia’s Republican race for governor, dealing Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle a devastating blow in a bitter runoff. In an afternoon tweet, Trump said Kemp was “tough on crime, strong on the border and illegal immigration,” and the president urged his supporters to cast ballots...
Georgia State study: Smokers less likely to know nicotine’s dangers

Georgia State study: Smokers less likely to know nicotine’s dangers

Scientists know that nicotine and children don’t mix: The chemical can cause anything from mild illness to death, or problems with brain development. Most Americans know, too, according to a new study. But those who don’t may be the ones who need to most. They’re more likely to be smokers. The question’s importance has exploded recently along with the rise of e-cigarettes such...
ICE, GEO weigh expanding immigration detention center in South Georgia

ICE, GEO weigh expanding immigration detention center in South Georgia

First, the Trump administration moved last year to close the federal immigration detention center near the Georgia-Florida border, citing “low usage.” Then U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement negotiated to shrink the no-bid, $1.9 million-a-month contract this year to run the Folkston ICE Processing Center. Now ICE and the Florida-based corrections company that operates the...
Deal endorses Shafer in Georgia GOP lieutenant governor runoff

Deal endorses Shafer in Georgia GOP lieutenant governor runoff

Gov. Nathan Deal has endorsed state Sen. David Shafer in the Republican runoff for lieutenant governor. Shafer faces former state Rep. Geoff Duncan of Cumming in Tuesday’s runoff election. Earlier this week Deal endorsed Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in the race to succeed him as governor. Cagle faces Secretary of State Brian Kemp for the right to take on Democrat Stacey Abrams this fall. In a statement...
Cagle’s final runoff ad is brutal attack on Kemp 

Cagle’s final runoff ad is brutal attack on Kemp 

Candidates usually close out their campaigns with feel-good messages. But the GOP race for governor may be too close to gamble on a sunny message. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s final ad ratcheted up the brutal back-and-forth with Secretary of State Brian Kemp, highlighting his role in a probe of massage parlors, his investment in a struggling agriculture project in Kentucky and his office&rsquo...
The Jolt: Cobb County considers ‘a homeless camp’

The Jolt: Cobb County considers ‘a homeless camp’

Two significant articles appear in today’s Marietta Daily Journal. The newspaper doesn’t connect them, but one can easily draw a dotted line between the two – under the rubric of a rapidly urbanizing Cobb County. The first comes out of a Tuesday gathering of the Cobb County Commission: And then there’s the report that Mike Boyce, the commission chairman, has reserved an...
Cagle on Trump’s summit with Putin: ‘I don’t think he sided with Russia’

Cagle on Trump’s summit with Putin: ‘I don’t think he sided with Russia’

Late last week, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle conducted a social media forum and took questions ranging from his views on abortion (tougher laws are needed, he said) to a voter fighting with her homeowners association (he politely offered his staff’s help).  On Tuesday, he conducted another one and was quickly confronted with a question about President Donald Trump’s summit with Russian President...
The Georgia GOP secretary of state race: What you need to know

The Georgia GOP secretary of state race: What you need to know

The Republican runoff for Georgia secretary of state, one of the most powerful elected positions in Georgia, comes down to two pro-business candidates who both say they’ll protect the integrity of elections. State Rep. Brad Raffensperger, who received the most votes in a four-way primary, faces runner-up David Belle Isle, a former mayor of Alpharetta. The winner of the July 24 Republican...
A pledge to fight poverty riles up the Georgia governor’s race

A pledge to fight poverty riles up the Georgia governor’s race

Is a Republican’s pledge to fight poverty now an inexcusable offense in an ultracompetitive race for the most conservative voters in Georgia? That’s the question both GOP candidates for governor confronted Tuesday after another clip of a secretly recorded conversation was released. Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s allies hope to rile up conservatives with the recording of Lt. Gov...
Report: Georgia charter school lobbying group has received millions from wealthy donors

Report: Georgia charter school lobbying group has received millions from wealthy donors

Billionaire philanthropists have pushed to expand charter schools by giving millions of dollars to state-level charter support organizations, including Georgia’s, according to an Associated Press report. Since 2006, the Georgia Charter Schools Association has received $11.8 million from philanthropists and their private foundations and charities, according to the report. That’s far...
Analysis: Sam Nunn on Donald Trump's ‘baffling’ performance 

Analysis: Sam Nunn on Donald Trump's ‘baffling’ performance 

Some three years ago, as the 2016 race for president was gearing up, Sam Nunn had a message for the assembling candidates: President Barack Obama had gone too far in severing ties with Vladimir Putin and Russia over the invasion of Ukraine. The former U.S. senator’s reasoning was simple. Nuclear powers are more dangerous when isolated. So the question for Nunn on Tuesday was obvious: Was President...
Delayed reports by Kemp’s office allowed felons to vote in two counties

Delayed reports by Kemp’s office allowed felons to vote in two counties

At least two felons were allowed to vote illegally in May primaries thanks to a backlog of felon lists overseen by the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation has found. With less than a week until the primary runoff, that backlog has left some county elections offices across the state scrambling to process unusually large lists of felons that need...
David Perdue praises Trump for Russia summit, downplays ‘meddling’ comments

David Perdue praises Trump for Russia summit, downplays ‘meddling’ comments

Georgia U.S. Sen. David Perdue on Tuesday downplayed President Donald Trump’s handling of a recent meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, praising his ally a day after he was hounded for expressing doubt about Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 elections.  Perdue said Trump’s comments at a Helsinki news conference, which appeared to counter the U.S. intelligence community&rsquo...
Ethics complaint accuses ex-Georgia pol of funding dark-money group

Ethics complaint accuses ex-Georgia pol of funding dark-money group

A Georgia ethics watchdog is preparing complaints against a group that is funding campaign advertisements targeting Republican lieutenant governor candidate David Shafer, as well as the ex-lawmaker he says is behind the ads. William Perry said he plans to file the complaints Wednesday, a little less than a week before Shafer, a state senator, faces former state Rep. Geoff Duncan in the July 24 Republican...
An endorsement highlights slight GOP shift on medical marijuana

An endorsement highlights slight GOP shift on medical marijuana

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp are both open to researching new ways to expand access to medical marijuana if elected governor, though neither Republican candidate has explicitly endorsed legalizing the in-state cultivation of the drug. That’s a shift that state Rep. Allen Peake, who wrote the state’s medical cannabis law, has long sought as essential for Georgian...
The Jolt: In more leaked audio, Casey Cagle confesses sympathy for poor

The Jolt: In more leaked audio, Casey Cagle confesses sympathy for poor

Late Monday afternoon, what may be the final snippet of that secret audio recording of Casey Cagle arrived via email. The fact that the clip came not from the Brian Kemp campaign but a former staffer for Hunter Hill, who finished third in the May 24 GOP primary for governor, was an immediate signal that the content would be somewhat different. Remember that secret recording of Republican presidential...
Ga. lawmaker duped by Sacha Baron Cohen: This is why Trump won 

Ga. lawmaker duped by Sacha Baron Cohen: This is why Trump won 

Georgia state Rep. Jason Spencer threatened to take legal action against “Hollywood liberals” on Monday to prevent Sacha Baron Cohen from airing embarrassing footage of him on his new comedy TV series. The Woodbine Republican was one of several officials who were duped by Cohen, best known for the 2006 film “Borat.” Sarah Palin, the former vice presidential candidate, also...
Liberals and conservatives divide over value of investing in higher ed

Liberals and conservatives divide over value of investing in higher ed

Are liberals in America more willing to invest in higher education than conservatives? A political divide shows up in a survey released today by Teachers College, Columbia University. In the survey, “Americans’ Views of Higher Education as a Public and Private Good,” 56 percent of self-identified liberals say public spending on higher education has been an excellent investment...
Adult clubs’ case advances against Georgia’s child sex trafficking tax

Adult clubs’ case advances against Georgia’s child sex trafficking tax

Owners of Georgia’s adult nightclubs are “guardedly optimistic” after a Fulton County Superior Court judge Monday declined to dismiss a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of a new state tax on their businesses. Judge Constance Russell told lawyers for the state and the club owners that they had a month to decide how they wanted to proceed after ruling that the lawsuit can...
$1 million Soros gift gives Georgia Democrats advantage over state GOP

$1 million Soros gift gives Georgia Democrats advantage over state GOP

Thanks to a $1 million contribution from billionaire mega-donor George Soros, the Georgia Democratic Party began the second half of 2018 with three times as much money in the bank as the state’s majority Republican Party, according to new campaign finance reports. That’s a turnaround from most recent gubernatorial election years, when the Georgia GOP had big money advantages. That still...
Georgia Republicans distance themselves from Trump’s Russia comments

Georgia Republicans distance themselves from Trump’s Russia comments

Several Georgia GOP officials on Monday carefully distanced themselves from President Donald Trump’s comments that cast doubt on the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections.  Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and U.S. Reps. Karen Handel and Jody Hice underscored that they believed Russia interfered in the most recent major U.S. election...
Kemp’s closing ad asks: Are you ‘ready for a politically incorrect conservative’

Kemp’s closing ad asks: Are you ‘ready for a politically incorrect conservative’

Secretary of State Brian Kemp stuck to a more serious theme in his closing message in the GOP race for governor, unveiling a final TV ad Monday that sounds like a checklist for conservative issues.  The 30-second spot comes after a serious of headline-grabbing ads featuring guns, pickup trucks, explosions and a young actor playing “Jake” helped propel him into the runoff with Lt....
The GOP lieutenant governor’s race: What you need to know

The GOP lieutenant governor’s race: What you need to know

The nine-week runoff battle for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor between former state Rep. Geoff Duncan and state Sen. David Shafer will come to an end when voters cast their ballots July 24. The winner of next week’s runoff election will face Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico in November. Duncan: 44 years old; former state House representative from Cumming; attended Georgia...
The 7th Congressional District race: What you need to know

The 7th Congressional District race: What you need to know

Perhaps no congressional district in Georgia has seen demographic shifts quite as profound as the 7th. Spanning portions of Gwinnett and Forsyth counties, the district was once lily white and deeply conservative. But an influx of immigrants, particularly in Gwinnett, has heralded a major political shift, demonstrated by Hillary Clinton’s win there in the 2016 presidential race. Despite the changes...
The 6th Congressional District race: What you need to know

The 6th Congressional District race: What you need to know

It wasn’t all that long ago when Democrats had trouble finding any credible candidates to challenge the GOP’s dynasty in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. But the political grounds shifted after Democrat Jon Ossoff, a previously unheard of millennial filmmaker, nearly won the seat in a special election last spring. Ossoff ultimately lost to former Georgia Secretary of State...
Georgia congressman considers bid to lead influential conservative group

Georgia congressman considers bid to lead influential conservative group

U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, is mulling a run for the chairmanship of an influential conservative group on Capitol Hill.  The sophomore congressman is one of a handful of GOP House members weighing a bid to chair the Republican Study Committee next year, the Hill newspaper reports.  The caucus is the largest on Capitol Hill, counting roughly two-thirds of the House GOP as...
Deal endorses Cagle in Georgia gov race

Deal endorses Cagle in Georgia gov race

Gov. Nathan Deal endorsed Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle on Monday in the race to succeed him, giving the Republican candidate key support from a popular incumbent in his July 24 race against Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The governor called Cagle the best candidate to continue his “tradition” of conservative leadership, making the announcement during a question-and-answer session at the end of...
Podcast: What the latest poll of Georgia voters says about the upcoming runoff election

Podcast: What the latest poll of Georgia voters says about the upcoming runoff election

Greg Bluestein and James Salzer analyzed the results of a recent poll of Georgia Republican voters in the latest episode of the Politically Georgia podcast. Subscribe and listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher. You can also download or stream the episode above. Podcast reading material: Interactive: Poll of Georgia Republican voters AJC/WSB poll: Cagle, Kemp are neck and neck...
The Jolt: The 3 topics avoided by Cagle and Kemp in Sunday’s debate

The Jolt: The 3 topics avoided by Cagle and Kemp in Sunday’s debate

The two surviving candidates in the Republican contest for governor met for the final time on Sunday, still sparring over that secret recording and Russian probes of voter files in Georgia. But as is often the case, that which was left unsaid was just important as the shouting and name-calling. Including: — Stacey Abrams: Kemp made one passing reference to the Democratic nominee for...
Georgia gov candidates spar over Russian hacking probe

Georgia gov candidates spar over Russian hacking probe

The federal indictment released Friday that accused Russian intelligence officials of snooping around local election-related websites in Georgia surfaced in the race for governor, as the state’s top elections official scrambled to fend off questions about the security of the voting system.  The indictment accuses 12 Russian nationals of engaging in a “sustained effort” to hack...
Audio: Analysis of final televised debate in GOP runoff for Georgia governor

Audio: Analysis of final televised debate in GOP runoff for Georgia governor

Listen to post-debate analysis following Sunday's televised GOP gubernatorial runoff debate between Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. WSB Radio’s Condace Pressley moderated a conversation featuring Politically Georgia podcast host Greg Bluestein, Channel 2 political analyst Bill Crane, AJC lead political writer Jim Galloway and Deputy Managing Editor Leroy Chapman. You...
Opinion: We have to build more teachers up to rock star status

Opinion: We have to build more teachers up to rock star status

Gwen McCants-Allen is the mother of two boys attending metro Atlanta public schools. She has worked as a human resources manager for more than a decade, including in Gwinnett County Public Schools and another school district. In this guest column, McCants-Allen responds to a blog post last week on the disappointing results of a six-year initiative by the Gates Foundation to raise student achievement...
Hunter Hill to endorse Kemp in Georgia gov race 

Hunter Hill to endorse Kemp in Georgia gov race 

Republican Hunter Hill said Sunday he will endorse Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s campaign for governor, giving him the support of the third-place finisher in the final days before the runoff vote. Kemp hopes the former state senator, who will announce his support at a Tuesday event, will help him gain more traction in the Atlanta suburbs against Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in the July 24 contest...
GOP gubernatorial rivals trade jabs at debate before runoff

GOP gubernatorial rivals trade jabs at debate before runoff

Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle leveled relentless attacks against each other’s trustworthiness during Sunday’s final televised debate before the July 24 GOP runoff for governor. In the Channel 2 Action News debate, Cagle defended himself against Kemp’s repeated references to a secretly made audio recording of the lieutenant governor that surfaced last month...
At NRA rally, Cagle rewarded for move to ‘kill’ Delta tax break

At NRA rally, Cagle rewarded for move to ‘kill’ Delta tax break

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle earned the NRA’s endorsement after he followed through on his vow to “kill” a tax break for Delta Air Lines. And the Second Amendment rights group rewarded him on Saturday for that headline-grabbing move. National Rifle Association President-elect Oliver North stumped with Cagle at three events around the state, saying it backed him over Secretary of...
Handel beefs up war chest as challengers focus on runoff

Handel beefs up war chest as challengers focus on runoff

For the last four months, we’ve heard very little from U.S. Rep. Karen Handel on the campaign front.  The Roswell Republican stayed out of the fray as four challengers angled for the chance to take her on in the May Democratic primary. She’s done much of the same in the lead up to the July 24 runoff between Lucy McBath and Kevin Abel.  But don’t mistake silence for idleness...
Georgia GOP governor’s race: What you need to know

Georgia GOP governor’s race: What you need to know

The brutal, bitter battle for the Republican nomination for governor ends next week when voters decide between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The winner of the July 24 runoff faces Democrat Stacey Abrams in November. Cagle: The 52-year-old Gainesville native attended Georgia Southern University, and later he owned a tuxedo rental shop and founded a community bank. He was first...
Anti-Kemp ad brings campaign for governor to massage parlor

Anti-Kemp ad brings campaign for governor to massage parlor

A 1970s soft-core porn or a campaign attack ad? The latest TV spot in the Georgia governor’s race seems like a bit of both.  The ad released Friday begins with a Brian Kemp impersonator wearing only a robe walking into a massage parlor to the soundtrack of cheesy 1970s music. He undresses as headlines flash across the screen. Soon, the masseuse hands him a wad of cash. “You scratch...
AJC/WSB Poll: Shafer holds slight lead over Duncan for lieutenant governor

AJC/WSB Poll: Shafer holds slight lead over Duncan for lieutenant governor

State Sen. David Shafer holds a slight lead over his opponent, former state Rep. Geoff Duncan, in the Republican race for lieutenant governor, according to a new poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News.  The two face off in the July 24 GOP runoff. The poll found that 35.4 percent of likely Republican runoff voters said they would cast their ballot for Shafer.  Results...
Georgia GOP race for governor hurtles toward a close finish

Georgia GOP race for governor hurtles toward a close finish

The Republican race for Georgia governor is hurtling toward a nail-biting finish, with an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll showing the bitter contest between Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp to be neck and neck. The poll of likely voters in the July 24 Republican runoff showed Kemp with an edge of 44 percent to 41 percent over Cagle, a lead that’s...
GBI: ICE detainee hanged himself in S. Georgia immigration detention center

GBI: ICE detainee hanged himself in S. Georgia immigration detention center

The Mexican national who died Tuesday in the custody of federal authorities hanged himself in a South Georgia immigration detention center, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation confirmed Friday. Efrain De La Rosa, 40, was found alone in his solitary confinement cell this week at the privately operated Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, said Terry Howard, the assistant special agent in charge for...
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