Around Georgia: School system considers arming staff

Bleckley superintendent says some staff could carry guns to protect students

Bleckley County Schools in Middle Georgia announced on Twitter that it could put guns in the hands of some staff members, Macon's WMAZ reports. School Superintendent Steve Smith said in an email to the station that Bleckley's six public schools currently share two armed resource officers. After the recent mass school shooting in Florida, "everything is on the table for discussion, including the consideration of a policy which would allow selected staff to carry a firearm on campus," the superintendent wrote. He said no policy change will be adopted without input from parents and staff. The station reports mixed parental reaction to guns for additional school staff members.

Georgia Conservancy official: drilling could create ‘onslaught of issues’

Charles McMillan, the coastal director of the Georgia Conservancy, tells The Athens Banner-Herald that there are huge downsides for the state under President Donald Trump's proposal to open the Atlantic coast for offshore oil drilling. "Offshore oil drilling has the potential of industrializing our coast in a way that has not been seen before," McMillan said. "It exposes our relatively pristine coast to an onslaught of issues, and not only puts our unique coastal ecology at risk but also our coastal economy." Coastal fishing and tourism account for 21,000 jobs and $1 billion annually. "Twenty-four percent of people coming to Georgia visit the coast; it's hard to overstate our dependence on tourism for our ocean economy," he said.

Twiggs County to be site of Southeast’s largest stand-alone solar facility

The Southeast's largest stand-alone solar facility could be located in rural Middle Georgia's Twiggs County, is reporting. First Solar Inc. of Arizona announced plans Wednesday to develop and construct a 200-megawatt solar power plant on 2,000 acres in Twiggs County, near Warner Robins, the website reports. About 300 to 400 jobs would be created during construction, which is slated to begin in November and end in late 2019.

Bill to allow wood-frame apartments draws criticism 

Reporter Newspapers report that Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul says a bill before lawmakers could kill his city's wood-frame apartments restrictions. The chief sponsor of House Bill 876state Rep. John Corbett, R-Lake Park, says the measure would simply allow developers to be free to choose wood as their construction material. On Facebook, Paul says the proposed legislation "will undo all we have worked to accomplish and prevent us from stopping cheap apartments going forward."

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