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Airports across the country seeing delays due to furloughs

Every major airport, including Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, now has fewer controllers handling the same number of planes. By Monday afternoon, delays into Hartsfield-Jackson averaged about 11 minutes, while many delays to and from the East Coast stood at more than an hour due to problems there.

The FAA says the furloughs led to 400 flights delayed across the United States on Sunday. It’s still adding up Monday’s numbers. FAA officials warn that when the weather gets bad, delays in and out of Hartsfield-Jackson could run more than three hours.
Source: WSB-TV

Yet another case of vets subjected to gross neglect

"A just-released audit by the Department of Veterans Affairs reports that many of the 4,000 patients the Atlanta VA Medical Center referred to an independent contractor apparently "fell through the cracks."

"The tragic and eminently avoidable fates of three vets in the system are ample reason to suspect some of these cracks are yawning chasms.

"Over the last two years, the Atlanta hospital reportedly has lost track of mental health patients, including at least one who committed suicide and two others who died of drug overdoses, one of which might or might not have been intentional."
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

3rd ID soldier dies from injuries sustained in Afghanistan
Pfc. Barrett L. Austin, 20, of Easley, S.C., died April 21 in Landstuhl, Germany, of injuries sustained when his vehicle was attacked on April 17 by an enemy improvised explosive device.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Atlanta getting less federal grant money to protect against terror attacks
Federal records reviewed by MacFarlane show the amount of so-called "urban area security" grants Atlanta receives has been shrinking, especially in recent years, from $13 million in 2010 to $5 million in 2012.
Source: WSB-TV

Next toll lanes in Atlanta to be on I-75 in Henry and Clayton counties
I-75 South is scheduled to be Georgia’s first optional toll road with new pavement to go under contract — and the first to open to traffic, in 2016.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 State Rep. Ed Lindsey to run for 11th Congressional District seat
“The primary issues right now are economics and jobs, and we desperately need someone up in Washington who has a strong record of a problem solver and a conservative reformer. We have too many folks in Washington who want to step back and at 30,000 feet throw bombs. We need more folks with experience rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty,” Lindsey said.
Source: Cartersville Daily Tribune News

Georgia Senate race could be interesting contest
Rep. Paul Broun, who represents Northeast Georgia, and Georgia U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, both conservative physicians, are the only Republicans to announce officially since incumbent Saxby Chambliss, a Republican, said he will retire. But the GOP primary field eventually could include as many as a half-dozen candidates with a credible shot at a runoff spot.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Sens. Isakson and Chambliss speak out against FAA furloughs
In a letter Friday, the Georgia Republicans told FAA Administrator Michael Huerta the furloughs are poised to create thousands of delays at airports across the country and the agency should try finding a way to cut costs without impacting efficiency or safety.

• Wait for bad weather to hit to see airline delays
Source: Wall Street Journal

• Jamie Dupree: Collision course on FAA sequester cuts
"Republicans and Democrats traded charges on Monday over sequester cuts to air traffic controllers at the FAA, as after weeks of political skirmishes over automatic budget cuts, this fight over air travel threatened to quickly develop into a full blown political storm."
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia Supreme Court declines appeal of former McIntosh commissioner's perjury conviction
Former McIntosh County Commissioner Nathaniel Grovner may soon be headed back to jail for 40 more days after the Georgia Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of his felony perjury conviction.
Source: Georgia Times-Union

Political Insider: Mark Sanford bemoans his 'rough week'
"There are a couple things wrong with former S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford’s lengthy Sunday newspaper ad intended to rescue his bid to return to Congress."
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 Agrium plant in Americus one of four in Georgia to work with anhydrous ammonia
The Agrium plant, which is located in a residential area, is one of four facilities in Georgia that manufacture or mix the same type of fertilizer that exploded last week in a plant in West, Texas.
Source: Americus Times-Recorder

 Investment lessons from AMC's "The Walking Dead"
"Here, then, is a short list of lessons that investors can draw from The Walking Dead, with relevant market analogies from two long-term, value-focused money managers and fans of the show, Jim O’Shaughnessy of O’Shaughnessy Asset Management in Stamford, Conn., and John Schwinghamer of ScotiaMcLeod of Montreal."
Source: Wall Street Journal

 Short supply of Vidalia Onions mean prices to go up
This year's crop was hurt by a rainy growing season.
Source: Southeast Georgia Today

SRS engineer gets U.S. patent for safety platform
The platform, which connects to the ladder rungs of a railcar, was invented by principal engineer Richard Swygert to provide enhanced safety for switchmen.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Salvation Army to close West Rome location after 12 years
The location in downtown Rome will remain open.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Chattooga-based business has world-wide impact
David Parker, owner of Parker Systems and Parker FiberNet, builds telecommunications systems for the military around the world, as well as emergency services for disaster relief.
Source: Summerville News

Plant Vogtle,other nuclear plants alerted to gunfire at TVA facility
“Our security forces at plants Farley, Hatch and Vogtle were notified immediately of the situation,” Mark Sullivan, a spokesman for Southern Nuclear said.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Georgia Power to pursue wind energy for first time
Georgia Power said it will buy 250 megawatts of energy produced at a wind farm in Oklahoma operated by EDP Renewables North America. That’s enough electricity at peak to power more than 50,000 homes.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

• Georgia Power to buy wind power from Oklahoma
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

TSA delays plan to allow small knives on planes
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Buckhead developer plans large hotel, retail project in Savannah
North Point Hospitality Group Inc. is seeking approval to build a mixed-use development that includes a 470-room hotel, 42,000 square feet of retail/commercial space and a 500-car garage.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Unisource Worldwide wants to merge with xpedx
Unisource and xpedx both distribute printing paper, packaging and facility supplies.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce passes immigration resolution
The resolution supports legislative action that meets criteria that promotes national security and border security interests, addresses economic needs through creation of work visa programs, creates a reliable national employee verification system and provides a path for undocumented immigrants who live in the U.S.
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

 Location of Glynn County Academic Support Center up in the air
The future of the Glynn County Academic Support Center, which houses the Adult Literacy Center and a GED program, remains up in the air after the Perry Building on Stonewall Street is razed in June.
Source: Brunswick News

 Grant funds alcohol and drug safety program for Claxton High prom
The $2,500 grant was funded through Canoochee EMC.
Source: Claxton Enterprise

 Lawyer say Beverly Hall didn't scheme to pad bonuses
Source: Education Week (registered)

Georgia Regents University's president to pay back university for use of bus for private wedding
Although the policy clearly allows the president to hold family events, such as weddings, at the Milledge Road home, the use of other resources, such as buses, isn’t as clearly defined and does not provide for reimbursement of costs for such services.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Georgia Regents University Chechen specialist comments on Boston bombings
Craig Albert, a Georgia Regents University assistant professor, said he was both surprised and terrified to hear of Chechen links to last week’s violence in Boston.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Muscogee County School Board bans corporal punishment
The board also adopted a five-year security plan and outsourced custodial services at its middle and high schools.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

• Tempers flare at school board meeting in Columbus
Columbus attorney Frank Myers made a reference to John Wells's bad grammar that provoked the District 2 representative to interject, "You are really tacky, Frank Myers!"
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Energy spending by University System drops $9 million
Much of the drop stems from equipment upgrades between 2011 and 2012.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

State charter school group met in Macon Monday
Monday’s meeting was designed to give the community more insight into charter schools.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Cursive handwriting disappearing from public schools
“The Common Core State Standards allow communities and teachers to make decisions at the local level about how to teach reading and writing . . . so they can teach cursive if they think it’s what their students need,” said Kate Dando, a spokeswoman for the Council of Chief State School Officers, which promotes the Common Core.
Source: Macon Telegraph/Washington Post

Schools in Atlanta working hard to help kids left behind
Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Erroll Davis said in a recent interview. "We certainly have a larger than average percentage of people not performing at the appropriate levels, and those are the students we are trying to get into our remediation programs and those for which we are designing programs on an ongoing basis."
Source: Anderson Independent-Mail/AP

Andrew Young to speak at Georgia Gwinnett College graduation
"Ambassador Young is one of our nation's most inspiring leaders," GGC President Daniel J. Kaufman said Monday when announcing the event. "His many public service roles give him a unique perspective on the issues and opportunities facing graduates entering today's global economy. His life demonstrates what a dedicated citizen can do for his community, state and nation. His perspectives are uniquely appropriate for our graduating seniors."
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop speaks at Albany State
Bishop spoke at the 2013 Undergraduate Research Symposium and urged those in attendance to always remember the contributions research have made to the country.
Source: Albany Herald

 Audio: State of Atlanta's environment on Earth Day
Atlanta has an ongoing problem with traffic and its related pollution, but also has serious water issues.

 Video: Tornado in Newton County hit without warning, says National Weather Service

Oaks at Toomer's Corner in Auburn, Alabama to be removed today
It's been about 2-1/2 years since an Alabama fan poisoned the trees; on Saturday, the university unveiled a new design for the corner that will include the planting of two oak trees.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Aflac workers scavange through garbage on Earth Day
Monday’s Earth Day event in the insurance company’s parking lot was aimed at raising environmental awareness among staffers, but also doing it in a more organized manner.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

E-House opens in Gainesville
The E-House is a solar and sustainable demonstration building built under the collaborative efforts of the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Elachee Nature Science Center, Hall County government, Hall County Schools, Lanier Technical College and ZF Wind Power.

Atlanta companies recognize Earth Day
The Coca-Cola Co. will give $2.59 million over five years to support the expansion of Chicago's Blue Cart Recycling Program.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Parents need to know what's in those energy drinks
Manufacturers may add vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements to the caffeine and sugar mix with the result that “we don’t know what these drinks can do,” says Dr. Marcie Schneider, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition, Elk Grove Village, Ill.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald/CRW Features

St. Marys Hospital Authority votes to suspend funding for senior citizen center
Funding will be suspended until the City Council adopts a resolution that says a 2007 consent decree under which it funds the center is non-binding.
Source: Georgia Times-Union

Piedmont Healthcare to invest $4 million in upgrades and expansion
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

 Newton Medical Center Auxiliary fundraiser is Saturday
An "Evening in the Mystic Garden" will be held at Twelve Oaks Bed and Breakfast in Covington.
Source: Newton Citizen

 Hall County Commissioners discuss Red Rabbit options
Source: Gainesville Times

 Documentary film examines failed Statesboro meat packing facility
Families paid thousands of dollars to start a new industry in Bulloch County, only to see their dreams, not the building, burn, according to the film.
Source: Statesboro Herald

 LaFayette church raising money to build soup kitchen
The new Feed My Lambs Ministry soup kitchen will be aimed toward providing a filling meal for school-age children after school and during the summer months.

 Brandon Braddy named Montgomery County Manager
Source: Southeast Georgia Today

 Police look into mail thefts in Northeast Georgia
48 victims have been identified.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

 Golf legend Jack Nicklaus plays in Savannah for first time
The Champions Tour is in Savannah for the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf.
Source: WJCL-TV

 Savannah mayor issues city employee fitness challenge
The competition is called the L.E.A.N. Challenge, which stands for Leadership, Exercise, Activity, & Nutrition. Its goal is the get employees and their families to embrace new habits improving nutrition and physical activity.
Source: WJCL-TV

 Georgia Sheriff's Youth Home gets $25,000 donation
Clarence Smith of Tift County will donate $25,000 Tuesday morning to the Sheriff's Boys Ranch at the Tift County Sheriff's Office. The program serves over one hundred children in residential care and hundreds of children in its camping program.
Source: WALB-TV

State Attorney General's office to take over Chatham County coroner investigation
The county had requested that the GBI take over the case after internal auditors cited at least $141,000 in expenses as “questionable” — including payments for a secretary that former coroner James Metts did not have.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Grand jury indictments in Chatham County to be challenged
As many as 95 felony cases will have to go to a grand jury again because a convicted felon sat on the panel that issued the initial indictments.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah to allow nonprofits and community groups to grow food, flowers on abandoned lots
More than 400 abandoned lots have been identified.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Casting call to be held Saturday in Columbus for new Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep movie
"The Homesman" is set in 1855 and stars Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep and Hilary Swank.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

5-year old Bibb County girl dies after being hit by school bus
Source: Macon Telegraph

20 qualify to run for Macon-Bibb government positions
The special election is scheduled for July 16, but a pending decision by the U.S. Department of Justice may change things if the court doesn’t approve the changes made to the consolidated government’s charter that were approved by the state Legislature in March.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Peach County to go to arbitration over LOST funds
It’s four months past the Dec. 31 deadline in which Peach County and the cities within it were supposed to decide how to divide proceeds from the local option sales tax for the next 10 years.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Macon City councilman questions Macon City Hall security
Councilman Frank Tompkins gave an impassioned speech during Monday’s City Council Public Safety Committee meeting, saying the council needs to take measures since it’s now too easy for someone to enter City Hall and commit a violent act.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Former Clarkesville police chief's funeral is Wednesday
Randall Smith served as police chief from 1999 to 2002; he had a 42-year career in law enforcement.

"Skyview" Ferris wheel proposed for downtown Atlanta
The amusement would feature 42 “fully enclosed climate-controlled gondolas” that fit six people each. Rides are expected to take 12 to 15 minutes and promise views of Centennial Olympic Park and the downtown skyline.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Rusty Paul to run for Sandy Springs mayoral post
If elected mayor this year, Paul pledged to execute the downtown redevelopment plan adopted by the city council late last year and push to get rid of deteriorating apartment complexes that breed crime.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

• Sandy Springs mayor won't seek re-election
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Armed Waffle House robbers lead Gwinnett and Norcross police on three-mile chase
An early morning robbery at Waffle House on Saturday along Jimmy Carter Boulevard ended with suspects in custody.
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

Home invasion robbery suspect shot and killed by Gwinnett police
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Debate in Dougherty County sparked by fire and law enforcement studies
Discussion of planned studies to determine if the unincorporated portion of Dougherty County would be better served with independent fire protection and a possible different law enforcement option drew the ire of one commissioner and led Monday to an extended debate.
Source: Albany Herald

Albany businesswoman B.J. Fletcher to seek city commission seat
Fletcher will seek the Ward III Albany Commission seat currently held by Christopher Pike.
Source: Albany Herald

Dougherty County considers cell tower audit
Source: Albany Herald

 State needs to better secure children's safety
"The state might want to reevaluate where it's putting its resources following the disclosure of the estimated number of children who died in 2012 whose families or households had been, at one time or other, under the scrutiny of the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services. All totaled, some 152 died, including a teenager who starved to death in Smyrna."
Source: Brunswick News

Cartoon: Mark Streeter: This just in...
Source: Savannah Morning News

• Mike Lester: Families in, not in, rose garden
Source: Rome News-Tribune

• Mike Luckovich: In the stacks
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Bruce Mallard: Shame on us for gun bill defeat
"The truest and most courageous words spoken in the U.S. Senate chamber in recent history were spoken Wednesday, shouted really, by two women whose lives had been personally touched by gun violence."
Source: Savannah Morning News

Losing the war
"Many people believe we are fighting a culture war in America, in which our arts, entertainment and public discourse are being incrementally dragged into the sewer."
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Chuck Williams: Decisions and consequences, all bad
"This isn't the way it was supposed to be. Not even close. J.T. Phillips and Kyle Carter have been big news here since they were 12 years old. They have won championships -- the Little League World Series and three high school state titles."
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Weapons of mass destruction
"George Washington is purported to have said, "the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of moral crisis retreat to a position of safety." The cowardly members of the Senate who voted against background checks for gun sales must need asbestos clothing."
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Dick Yarbrough: Boston brings memories of Atlanta Olympics bombing
"Last week’s terrorist attacks at the Boston Marathon brought back memories of our own dark days in Atlanta."
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Mark Farmer: Genetics research could change future
"The year was 1983. The space shuttle Challenger made its inaugural flight, with Sally Ride aboard as the first American woman in space. Mount Kilauea in Hawaii began an eruption that continues to this day. And Josef Eckstein and his wife buried yet another child, the fourth to be tragically taken from them by Tay-Sachs disease."
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Bridge a two-state problem
"South Carolina officials are right to raise a caution flag about Georgia’s plan to build a new Back River Bridge on the border between the two states."
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

A 2015 BRAC: The grim realities
"There is a grim reality to President Obama’s budget. While we’ve become accustomed to hearing billion- and even trillion-dollar figures thrown around, that is real money and a lot of it."
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

A bang-on solution
"In the wake of the horrific Newtown (Conn.) school massacre a great din arose across the nation that something be done to eliminate, or at least lessen, the chances such an event could occur again. Proposed approaches differed."
Source: Rome News-Tribune