James Magazine Mar Apr 2020 - Page 34



countless structures and areas remain today in the same
state they were in the morning after the storm. Maxwell
laments that there is still "little or no effort, to my
knowledge, planned to address them.” More aid must be
delivered to help the devastated area. “How much longer
are we going to have to continue to look at these sad
reminders of that terrible day?” he asks.
GILMER COUNTY The U.S. Department of Agriculture, under
DALTON The office of U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, is
partnering up with Dalton State College and the
Library of Congress to get military veterans to tell their
stories as part of the Veterans History Project. It’s part
of the American Folklife Center at the Library of
Congress and seeks to collect and preserve stories of
veterans for future generations. Graves says he wants to
make sure the stories of Northwest Georgia’s vets are
not forgotten: “We owe our country’s veterans a debt of
gratitude. This project is just one way to honor their stories and better understand their sacrices.”
ST. SIMONS With hurricane season looming, coastal Georgia
officials are ramping up efforts to remove the 25,000-ton
shipwreck of the Golden Ray, which sank off the coast of
St. Simons in September. Clean up efforts include a 33acre net and a massive oating crane, with hundreds of
workers rushing to break down and remove the vessel
which rests perilously close to a federal shipping lane. If
all goes to plan, the wreck should be chopped into eight
separate pieces and hauled off by early June.
the eye of President Donald Trump and Agriculture
Secretary (and former Georgia Governor) Sonny Perdue,
has made expanding access to rural broadband internet
a priority. In February the USDA, via the “ReConnect”
program, announced a $4.4 million investment in highspeed broadband infrastructure in the county, building
out some 90 miles of ber-optic infrastructure. The
Ellijay Telephone Company will partner with the USDA
to help construct the lines.
LAWRENCEVILLE Governmental budgeting may not be the
most glamorous job, but done right it can make a
major difference. The Government Finance Officers
Association awarded this city the “Distinguished
Budget Presentation Award,” the highest such
honor available from the GFOA. “This was a collective
effort across city departments and citizen committees,
and we are extremely proud of the resulting document
and of this award,” Lawrenceville Finance Director
Keith Lee said.
MACON The Middle Georgia Regional Library in Macon
SAVANNAH It’s good to have friends in high places. For
is just one of ve nationwide to be selected as a host of
the Teen Launch Challenge, in which local students will
help to design, build, and launch an aerial climate sensor. The project, funded by a partnership between the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab
and Middle Georgia State University, is meant to
introduce students to NASA’s CubeSat program (and
looks pretty good on a college application to boot).
the fourth straight year the Savannah Harbor
Expansion Project will receive full funding from
the Trump administration. The FY 2021 budget
includes $93.6 million to stay on track, a move pushed
by both of Georgia’s senators as well as Rep. Buddy
Carter who represents the coastal First District. Fights
over federal funding can be fierce, but Georgia’s representatives in Washington continue to secure the
future of one of the state’s biggest projects.
UNION CITY Coca-Cola is making a major investment by
opening a 456,000 square foot, $86 million sales center
in Union City. Some 750 employees work at the facility, a
distribution and sales center to take orders and ship out
beverages— approximately 36 million cases annually.
(Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED is also working
on a $60 million sales and distribution center in Tifton,
continuing its investment in the company’s home state.)
SEMINOLE COUNTY “It has been over sixteen months since
Hurricane Michael’s day of destruction,” writes The
Donalsonville News Managing Editor David Maxwell.
“Recovery has been in progress since day two and I
applaud all that has been done by federal, state, city and
county officials, private citizens, businesses and organizations and complete strangers; however . . .
We want to hear from our readers across Georgia!
If you’ve got news from your local community and want
to share it with our James readers, please email it to:
phickey@insideradvantage.com
MARCH/APRIL 2020
35

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