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UGA researchers working on new technology to use live plants to generate electricity

“Clean energy is the need of the century,” said Ramaraja Ramasamy, assistant professor in the UGA College of Engineering. “This approach may one day transform our ability to generate cleaner power from sunlight using plant-based systems.”

After billions of years of evolution, most plants operate at nearly 100 percent quantum efficiency, meaning that for every photon of sunlight a plant captures, it produces an equal number of electrons. Converting even a fraction of this into electricity would improve upon the efficiency seen with solar panels, which generally operate at efficiency levels between 12 and 17 percent.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Letter of this law abuses the spirit of law itself

"The Georgia General Assembly, like most American legislative bodies, includes a lot of lawyers. Obvious jokes aside, it's probably not a bad thing for people who make law to know something about law.

"But if you're thinking about retaining one of these lawyer-lawmakers for your own legal issues, you might want to have a pointed conversation about just how much time he or she will be able to spare."
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Lawsuit over open records law dismissed
The state Department of Corrections has agreed to give the Southern Center for Human Rights 1,000 pages of documents after the group sued during their probe into a northwest Georgia prison.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

State lists applicants for water-project funds
Eleven applicants are seeking a share in $65.3 million in state loans and grants comprising the second round of funding through the Governor’s Water Supply Program.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

 Matt Towery: Republicans prevail in South Carolina, but can Democrats take a prize in Georgia?
"Despite on onslaught of national press that seemed to be pushing Elizabeth Colbert Busch toward a victory in the South Carolina special congressional election, former Gov. Mark Sanford, baggage and all, prevailed with a resounding victory. And while I never judge personal lives, it is fair to say that voters in that district overlooked quite a lot in giving Sanford a pass on his past and into the U.S. House."
Source: Southern Political Report

Town hall meeting in Savannah draws more than 70
The town hall meeting Thursday night was hosted by state Sen. Lester Jackson, D-Savannah, and the majority of the session centered on continuing neighborhood concerns with the state-run Coastal Transition Center halfway house near the intersection of Stiles Avenue and Louisville Road.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Rep. Tom Graves: The Benghazi cover up
"Friends, We saw extraordinary testimony before Congress today from the whistleblowers who are exposing the truth about Benghazi."
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Political Insider: Kasim Reed rules out a 2016 run for U.S. Senate
"Another Democratic shoe just dropped. On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. John Barrow announced that he would pass on a 2014 race for U.S. Senate."
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Kyle Wingfield: More evidence voter ID laws don't suppress minority voting
"The CNN story doesn't examine these turnout rates in light of voter ID laws. Critics say these laws are designed to suppress turnout among minority voters. Never mind that, as the Supreme Court has found, there is no evidence that these laws lead to such suppression. Never mind, too, that suggesting minorites won't or can't be bothered to obtain an ID in order to vote is an awfully strange way of defending them."
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Texas official could be hired to clean up Fulton County elections
The Fulton County Commission will vote next week on whether to affirm Rick Barron’s appointment. He’s been offered a starting salary of $125,000, and he has the unanimous support of the elections board.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 Julie Ralston to lead ARC's new Center for Strategic Relations
The new center will focus on building stronger networks for regional action and progress through community engagement, communications and marketing, governmental affairs and strategic initiatives.

AT&T launches prepaid cellphone business
Aio, the new subsidiary, will offer nationwide wireless service to value-conscious customers interested in unlimited talk, text and data plans without an annual contract.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Georgia Power official talks to Rome Rotary Club about Plant Vogtle
Todd Terrell, communications director for Georgia Power Nuclear Development, said that Plant Vogtle's two nuclear reactors will likely come on-line in 2017, not 2016.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Atlanta law firm Jones Day opens Miami office
Atlanta law firm Jones Day will open its first Florida office in Miami to better serve the Latin America market.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Tenneco in Hartwell fined by OSHA
Proposed fines total $62,000.

Water park may be coming to Augusta
The Facebook page for Rapid River of Augusta says the park will be located off I-20 and Riverwatch Parkway, and that it will open in May 2014.
Source: WJBF-TV

 Carrollton City Schools file to become charter system beginning next fall
Source: Carrollton Times-Georgian

 Rockdale County BOE considers cuts to calendar days, teachers
The deficit is expected to be more than BOE members originally thought.
Source: Rockdale Citizen

 UGA working on harvesting electricity directly from plants
Source: Red&

Armstrong Atlantic to expand center in Hinesville
Source: Savannah Morning News

Medical College of Georgia graduates students
Speaking Thursday at the school’s Hooding Ceremony, Dr. Otis Brawley, the chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, said that for too long medicine has focused on “sick care” that waits for patients to get ill instead of trying to prevent illness.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

UGA names new dean of engineering
Donald Leo, an administrator at Virginia Tech, will be the dean of the new College of Engineering at UGA.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

• Donald Leo named new dean of UGA College of Engineering
Source: Red&

Parents and teachers in Bibb County demand better budget from school board
After listening to complaints from parents and teachers, Bibb County BOE members agreed to reconsider some proposed staffing cuts.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Dougherty County School system to see big retirements
Assistant Superintendent Kenneth Goseer and four principals will be retiring, pointing to a reworking of the district's administration and teaching staff.
Source: Albany Herald

 Flooding at Lake Allatoona shuts down campsites and boat ramps

Alternative energy project in DeKalb County approved
The state Environmental Protection Division has issued an air permit to South Carolina-based Green Energy Partners LLC to build and operate a plant that will convert biomass into electricity.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Drought in Southwest Georgia is officially over
Source: WALB-TV

Study says fish oil doesn't help prevent heart attacks
Fish oil capsules failed to prevent flare-ups of atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm problem, in a large study in 2010.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Phoebe Putney Health System working on renovations
The group is also looking at the potential development of a distribution center to create a centralized supply purchase and distribution facility.
Source: Albany Herald

Ignoring 'wellness programs' may cost workers
Some companies are moving to mandatory wellness programs, fining employees who don't participate.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

 "Stop the Violence" event to be held in Moultrie on Saturday
Source: Moultrie Observer

 Hotel tax revenues continue to rise in Dalton and Whitfield Counties
Dalton and Whitfield County collected a record $1.3 million in hotel/motel taxes in 2012, up about $100,000 from 2011.
Source: Dalton Daily Citizen

 West Point's River Park now complete
There is now a kayak launch near City Hall and a walking trail around the river park, including a pedestrian bridge under the railroad trestle.
Source: LaGrange Daily News

 I-85 in North Coweta to have noise barriers installed
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

 Former and current Nelson mayors argue over gun-owning ordinance
Former Nelson mayor David Leister broke the silence when he rose during the meeting and accused Mayor Mike Haviland of attempting to keep him personally from owning a gun, because he was a “felon.”
Source: Cherokee Tribune

Nonprofits' bingo games in Bloomingdale face legal issue
Alleged illegal gambling, political infighting, and questionable tax spending during an election year is a volatile mix in Bloomingdale.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Columbus officials suggest increasing charges for downtown parking tickets, event parking
Among the proposals was to increase the parking ticket fee 75%, from the current $20 to $35.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Urban League of Columbus reopens office after a year of inactivity
The office is now staffed through partnerships with the Department of Labor and Senior Service Community Employment Program.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Real Estate blog names Most Redneck City -- Atlanta
The final list of America's Most Redneck Cities was based on factors like the number of Walmarts per capita, the number of country radio stations per capita, the number of NASCAR race tracks nearby and more.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Clarke County increases water conservation efforts
A look at the county's intricate and high-tech water sanitation process.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Macon-Bibb consolidation task force talks about pension plans
The task force is considering a choice between two pension plans for employees of the consolidated government: one defined-benefit plan, similar to what Bibb County already offers; and one hybrid between a defined-benefit and a defined-contribution plan.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Security concerns increase along 22-mile Atlanta Beltline
There are currently $400,000 worth of new lighting and security cameras being installed.
Source: WXIA-TV

City of Gainesville holds first public transportation meeting

Richmond County deputies say downtown Augusta is safe
Source: WRDW-TV

Atlanta City Councilwoman pleads not guilty to DUI
An Atlanta police officer stopped councilwoman Cleta Winslow, who represents District 4, around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday in the area of Oglethorpe Avenue and Peeples Street in southwest Atlanta.

Repairs at St. Marys Airport proving more costly than expected
44 runway light lenses and bulbs were smashed sometime Sunday night, and it will cost $12,677 to replace them -- a sum the St. Marys Airport Authority doesn't have.
Source: Brunswick News

City of Blue Ridge spent $50,000 in LOST fight with Fannin County
The city challenged the county's offer of a 12.5% split of LOST revenues.
Source: Blue Ridge News-Observer

 Celebrating nurses
"She is considered the founder of modern nursing so it seems only natural that National Nurses Week would include Florence Nightingale’s birthday."
Source: Valdosta Daily Times

 Supply and demand link drug users to murder and mayhem
"A point we’ve made in this column on several occasions over the years is touched on today in the Rants and Raves offerings. It has to do with the chain of events involved in the illicit drug trade."
Source: Moultrie Observer

 Nate McCullough: Raising a nation of sociopaths
"Wednesday evening, friends and family held a wake for Ricardo Portillo, a Utah soccer referee who died from a blow to the head he received during a game."
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

 Another inconvenient truth
"It used to be crime was just your regular stuff. Some idiot tries to rob a bank, another one breaks into a home. It wasn’t what we want in a community, but it was more or less vanilla crimes. Bad guys will always be around, that’s why we have the good guys."
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

 Kasie Bolling: Lake Lanier Islands offering more summertime attractions
"Preparations are underway for the summer season here at LanierWorld on Saturday, May 11. With the reopening of a beachfront boardwalk district comes some new additions to the North Georgia venue's offerings."

 Elliott Brack: Could it be that you and your children may be too clean?
"Modern mankind may be too clean, that is, not dirty enough. That may surprise you. Today we take personal hygiene to be a standard in the developed world, not only healthy, but also a state which gracious people routinely adopt."

Cartoon: Mark Streeter -- Dynamation!
Source: Savannah Morning News

• Lisa Benson: Jobs report
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

• Mike Luckovich: The right to bear arms
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Will the government get away with it?
"Even after explosive congressional testimony on the Benghazi scandal by heroic whistleblowers on Wednesday, the nation is left with a growing list of unanswered questions."
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Richard Hyatt: What a difference a year makes for educator
"Time heals wounds and apparently fixes stupidity. A year ago, the comedy of Ron White made headlines. A year later, it's the quiet leadership of Marvin Crumbs."
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Jim Thompson: Congratulations and farewell graduates
"For the 5,000 or so people who will get their diplomas from the University of Georgia, commencement exercises on campus today will, as the name implies, signal the beginning of a new phase of their lives."
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Leon Galis: Jekyll Authority should be honest
"Just when you think the dust has settled on coastal Georgia’s Jekyll Island, another scuffle breaks out. State law puts 65 percent of the island off limits to development. The Jekyll Island Authority is embroiled in an argument over that with a task force it appointed as part of its update of the island’s master plan. The task force recommended one way of calculating the 65-percent-to-35-percent ratio, and the authority favors a more generous way."
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Ed Grisamore: If the cap and gown fits, wear it
"When Kim Horton was fitted for her cap and gown last month, it was as if those black threads had been patiently waiting for her all these years."
Source: Macon Telegraph

Betty Sweet: A true Southern lady
"The Middle Georgia community lost a bright shining star Tuesday. Betty Sweet Smith Simmons may have been laid to rest, but her enduring spirit will live on in those who knew her. While some thought “Sweet” was a nickname, it was not. It was her father’s middle name and it described everything about her."
Source: Macon Telegraph

Erick Erickson: Innovation and status quo
"Yesterday I had a great phone call with Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. If you had not heard, Texas is booming. Like President Barack Obama, Perry inherited an economy from President George W. Bush, but has somehow been able to do more with it than Obama has done."
Source: Macon Telegraph

Don McKee: Obama administration's Benghazi actions don't pass smell test
"The Obama administration’s actions concerning the terrorist attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, don't pass the smell test."
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

Hot cars are no place for children
"As the weather gets hotter, so do concerns about unintended illnesses and deaths that can come from being careless with autos."
Source: Albany Herald

Timing of food drive perfect to help needy
"Helping your neighbor, your fellow man, will be as close as the mailbox this Saturday. That's when the letter carriers, the hard-working men and women many of us refer to as the "mailman," will take time out of their already busy delivery schedule to pick up whatever nonperishable food items are left at the mailbox."
Source: Brunswick News