(Cristina M. Fletes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS)

Around Georgia: Pecan the flavor that wins favor

Leesburg family’s butter wins annual UGA food contest

Step aside, peanut. Make room for the pecan. At the University of Georgia’s 2018 Flavor of Georgia Contest, a pecan entry took first prize, UGA Today reports. David and Melody Goodson, co-owners of Goodson Pecans in Leesburg, won the annual contest with their Goodson Pecans Honey Cinnamon Pecan Butter. The contest is sponsored by the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development and provides food businesses an opportunity to showcase new products. The Goodsons’ pecan butter was one of 33 submissions, which were rated on qualities including innovation, use of Georgia theme, market potential and flavor. Gov. Nathan Deal was among those congratulating the winners as part of Flavor of Georgia Day and Georgia Agriculture Awareness Week at the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta.

Bill seeking speed cameras in school zones gets a push

Lobbying for legislation continues into the final days of the 2018 General Assembly session as Elliott Caldwell, the executive director of the advocacy group Georgia Bikes demonstrates. In a letter to The Athens Banner-Herald on Wednesday, Caldwell encourages readers to contact state Senate Majority Leader Bill Cowsert to support legislation proposing the location of speed cameras in school zones. “This legislation is needed because more than 250 pedestrians (some in school zones) were killed in Georgia last year, and speed was a factor in many of those crashes,” Caldwell writes. Caldwell calls the legislation common sense and says similar laws in other states have prevented death and injury to students, parents, faculty and crossing guards. He says studies show that a pedestrian hit by a car going 40 mph only has a 1 in 10 chance of surviving, while those chances go up to 9 out 10 at 20 mph.

Douglasville, Villa Rica could see major development

The Times-Georgian reports that Douglasville and Villa Rica may be on the verge of a new era of development. That’s because bills are headed to the desk of Gov. Nathan Deal calling for public votes on creating tax allocation districts in both communities. TADs are an innovative method of financing long-range redevelopment plans, the paper reports. If Deal signs both measures into law, referendums will be scheduled in each community later this year. Douglasville officials want to implement their first TAD in the downtown area to help pay for a $40.8 million downtown master plan. Civic improvements in the plan include turning the site of the former jail into an amphitheater and green space. Villa Rica officials have discussed building a road connecting Mirror Lake Boulevard to downtown and turning that area into a TAD. That would help concentrate the expected growth of the city near the central business district, as called for by its own long-range plan, officials have said.

Ex-mayor endorses Evans for governor

Floyd Griffin, a former state senator and former mayor of Milledgeville, has endorsed fellow Democrat Stacey Evans for governor. Griffin, who is black, said he spent more than an hour with Evans back in January and also spoke to former Gov. Roy Barnes before deciding to make an endorsement in the race. Evans, a former state representative, and former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams are competing for the Democratic nomination. Abrams wants to become Georgia’s first black governor.

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