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Grant: The Buzz from the Gold Dome

By Senator Johnny Grant, submitted by the Senate Press Office:

Sen. Johnny Grant serves as Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. He represents the 25th Senate District which includes Baldwin, Butts, Greene, Hancock, Jasper, Morgan, Putnam, and Taliaferro counties and portions of Jones and Warren counties.

Session is underway at the State Capitol. We had a slow start due to the ice and snow that blanketed Atlanta at the beginning of this month. New members were welcomed and Governor Deal was inaugurated. We heard the governor’s annual State of the State address, where he outlined his agenda and budget recommendations for the Amended Fiscal Year 2011 budget and FY 2012 budget. The long process of trimming our budget to account for the large revenue gaps the state currently faces will be our first priority as we push through legislative days.

Georgia Historical Society Dedicates New Marker

The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) will unveil a new historical marker in the state’s old capital of Milledgeville, Ga. entitled, “Georgia’s Secession Convention,” on Wednesday, January 19 at 10 a.m, a GHS news release says. 

The ceremony held at the site of the historical marker at the corner of Jefferson and Greene Streets will include remarks by the GHS President and CEO Dr. W. Todd Groce on the historical events that occurred there and new Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Cummiskey on Georgia’s Civil War Sesquicentennial efforts.

In partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Battlefields Association, this event is part of a statewide commemoration of the Civil War 150th anniversary.

Milledgeville Tourism Wins Best Marketing Campaign

The Milledgeville-Baldwin Convention & Visitors Bureau was awarded Best Marketing Campaign from the Historic Heartland Travel Association for its Mobile Treasure Hunt.

The mobile campaign was held during October and featured a "scavenger hunt" throughout Milledgeville. Other nominees for the award included Macon Convention & Visitors Bureau and Athens-Clarke County Convention & Visitors Bureau as well as the Madison Chamber of Commerce.

Based on 2009 statistics, visitors to Milledgeville generated $58.83 million in direct tourist spending which in turn produced $13.01 million in workers income and paychecks as well as created $1.80 million in local tax revenues, a news release says. 

This abundance in revenue created 690 jobs in Baldwin County as well as allowed each household to spend $205 less in local and state taxes.

Shop with Law Enforcement Event

The Macon Fraternal Order of Police (MFOP) Lodge #3 will host its annual "Shop with Law Enforcement" starting on Dec. 14.

Each year, the MFOP sponsors three Christmas "Shop with Law Enforcement" events where MFOP members take a child shopping for whatever they want for Christmas.

The program is designed for children who would otherwise not receive anything for Christmas.

According to MFOP Lodge #3 Secretary Dennis Pace, the MFOP will sponsor about 100 children in Macon at Walmart on Dec. 14, about 50 children in Perry on Dec. 15 and about 50 children in Milledgeville on Dec. 16.

The children will be allowed to spend $100 on whatever they choose in Walmart.

In previous years, the program was known as "Shop with a Cop," but has since been changed to incorporate other members of the MFOP who are not police officers.

Antebellum Christmas at the Old Governor's Mansion Continues

Visitors can see a true Antebellum Christmas at the Old Governor's Mansion.  Witness the Mansion transform into a scene from the 1800's. 

Until Dec. 23, the Old Governor's Mansion will feature true Antebellum decor and will also be hosting Candelight Tours on Dec. 11, 14, and 18 at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. this year.

Regular tours are held on the hour daily.

Call 478-445-4545 for updated tour information.

Local Bank Sponsors Toys for Tots Drive

Robins Federal Credit Union is currently collecting donations for Toys for Tots at branches in the following counties - Baldwin, Bibb, Clarke, Houston, Jones, Monroe and Peach.

Unwrapped toys for children ages birth-14 may be dropped off at these branch locations between now and Dec. 15.

For more information, call Megan Allen at 478-923-3773.

Proposed Plant Washington Hearing Tonight

A public hearing on pollution levels for proposed Plant Washington coal-fired plant will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m. at Ridge Road Elementary School.

The hearing subject is the water withdrawal permit and the water discharge permits (NPDES permit).

According to a news release, if Plant Washington is built, the water would be piped in 30 miles from the Oconee River and draw from 15 groundwater wells near the proposed plant site.

Much of the water drawn from the Oconee will be evaporated during the cooling process in the Ogeechee River Basin, therefore an Inter-Basin Transfer is taking place, which requires notice and public comment.

GSE is a coalition of energy, citizen and environmental organizations from across Georgia, including Washington County residents.

Proposed by Power4Georgians, LLC, the coal-fired power plant would be located near Sandersville in Central Ga.