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Latest from Mark Niesse

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Battle over Georgia voting rights escalates in federal court
 A lawsuit alleging widespread voting problems in Georgia is pursuing an ambitious solution: restoration of the Voting Rights Act and federal oversight of elections. After notching an initial court victory last month, allies of Stacey Abrams will now attempt to prove through their lawsuit that Georgia’s election was so flawed that it...

Posted: 6 days ago

A lawsuit alleging widespread voting problems in Georgia is pursuing an ambitious solution: restoration of the Voting Rights Act and federal oversight of elections. After notching an initial court victory last month, allies of Stacey Abrams will now attempt to prove through their lawsuit that Georgia’s election was so flawed that it...
Georgia presidential primary date uncertain because of voting machines
 Georgia election officials won’t set the state’s presidential primary election date until new voting machines are in place. The delay raised concerns from some county election directors who said they might have to move polling places if churches and other facilities get booked before an election date is announced. > UPDATE...

Posted: 8 days ago

Georgia election officials won’t set the state’s presidential primary election date until new voting machines are in place. The delay raised concerns from some county election directors who said they might have to move polling places if churches and other facilities get booked before an election date is announced. > UPDATE...
Internet far slower in Georgia than reported
 No matter where you live in Georgia, internet speeds are almost certainly slower than the federal government says they are. An analysis of Georgia speed test results by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that internet speeds were about one-fourth as fast as those reported by the Federal Communications Commission. Internet speeds averaged...

Posted: 13 days ago

No matter where you live in Georgia, internet speeds are almost certainly slower than the federal government says they are. An analysis of Georgia speed test results by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that internet speeds were about one-fourth as fast as those reported by the Federal Communications Commission. Internet speeds averaged...
Confusion continues over the legality of CBD products
 It’s sold in stores across Georgia and used by thousands to treat ailments or induce relaxation, but questions remain about the legality of CBD oil. CBD is extracted from hemp and contains only trace amounts of THC, the compound that gives marijuana users their high. The federal Farm Bill approved last year removed hemp from the Controlled...

Posted: 24 days ago

It’s sold in stores across Georgia and used by thousands to treat ailments or induce relaxation, but questions remain about the legality of CBD oil. CBD is extracted from hemp and contains only trace amounts of THC, the compound that gives marijuana users their high. The federal Farm Bill approved last year removed hemp from the Controlled...
Civil rights group condemns possibility of Georgia precinct closures
 A rural, majority African American county in Georgia that backed off a contentious plan to close most of its voting locations before last year’s election is now evaluating the costs of repairing its precincts.  The revived review of voting locations raised concerns from a voting rights group Friday that officials will again...

Posted: 24 days ago

A rural, majority African American county in Georgia that backed off a contentious plan to close most of its voting locations before last year’s election is now evaluating the costs of repairing its precincts.  The revived review of voting locations raised concerns from a voting rights group Friday that officials will again...
Lawsuit over Georgia voting problems survives challenge
 A federal judge ruled Thursday that a lawsuit can move forward that alleges far-reaching voting problems last year during Georgia's heated election for governor. U.S. District Judge Steve Jones rejected Georgia election officials' motion to dismiss the lawsuit, filed by allies of Democrat Stacey Abrams in the days after she lost November's...

Posted: 25 days ago

A federal judge ruled Thursday that a lawsuit can move forward that alleges far-reaching voting problems last year during Georgia's heated election for governor. U.S. District Judge Steve Jones rejected Georgia election officials' motion to dismiss the lawsuit, filed by allies of Democrat Stacey Abrams in the days after she lost November's...
Georgia voters who moved warned to update their addresses
 Georgia election officials are mailing notices to voters who have moved recently, telling them to update their voter registration information with their new home addresses. The notifications are the first step toward canceling the outdated registrations of voters who have moved to a different county. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger...

Posted: 25 days ago

Georgia election officials are mailing notices to voters who have moved recently, telling them to update their voter registration information with their new home addresses. The notifications are the first step toward canceling the outdated registrations of voters who have moved to a different county. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger...
Georgia unveils plan for internet service in rural areas
 A newly released Georgia broadband plan outlines a path for rural areas to get online, a key step toward building internet lines to some of the roughly 1.6 million residents who lack fast connections. The 14-page blueprint, unveiled this month, could result in internet providers receiving a piece of $600 million in federal money set...

Posted: 27 days ago

A newly released Georgia broadband plan outlines a path for rural areas to get online, a key step toward building internet lines to some of the roughly 1.6 million residents who lack fast connections. The 14-page blueprint, unveiled this month, could result in internet providers receiving a piece of $600 million in federal money set...
Georgia creates sex trafficking prosecution unit
 A new unit of Georgia prosecutors and investigators will lead an effort to fight sex trafficking crimes. Attorney General Chris Carr and Gov. Brian Kemp announced the creation of the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit on Friday. “We are excited to build this Human Trafficking Unit with dedicated staff who will work every day to protect...

Posted: 27 days ago

A new unit of Georgia prosecutors and investigators will lead an effort to fight sex trafficking crimes. Attorney General Chris Carr and Gov. Brian Kemp announced the creation of the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit on Friday. “We are excited to build this Human Trafficking Unit with dedicated staff who will work every day to protect...
Lawmakers resume work on bills to help struggling rural Georgia
 Some of Georgia’s most powerful lawmakers are renewing their efforts to revive rural communities, a push that so far has resulted in incremental steps toward internet access, health care and business growth. Though many small-town Georgians may not have seen much of a difference, members of the Georgia House of Representatives plan...

6:45 PM Thursday, May. 23, 2019

Some of Georgia’s most powerful lawmakers are renewing their efforts to revive rural communities, a push that so far has resulted in incremental steps toward internet access, health care and business growth. Though many small-town Georgians may not have seen much of a difference, members of the Georgia House of Representatives plan...
DEEPER FINDINGS: Georgia joins multi-state voter registration and cancellation effort
 Georgia joined a group of 25 other states Wednesday that shares voter information and cancels registrations of voters who moved out of state or died. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Georgia's participation in the Electronic Registration Information Center will keep voter lists accurate and prevent election fraud. Voting fraud...

7:39 PM Wednesday, May. 22, 2019

Georgia joined a group of 25 other states Wednesday that shares voter information and cancels registrations of voters who moved out of state or died. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said Georgia's participation in the Electronic Registration Information Center will keep voter lists accurate and prevent election fraud. Voting fraud...
Judge allows lawsuit seeking paper ballots in Georgia to advance
 A lawsuit attempting to require paper ballots in Georgia elections can move ahead, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg rejected a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which alleges that the state's current electronic voting machines are unsafe and should be replaced with hand-marked paper ballots. Georgia's 17-year-old...

5:47 PM Tuesday, May. 21, 2019

A lawsuit attempting to require paper ballots in Georgia elections can move ahead, a federal judge ruled Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg rejected a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which alleges that the state's current electronic voting machines are unsafe and should be replaced with hand-marked paper ballots. Georgia's 17-year-old...
CBD on the menu? Not so fast in Georgia
 Less than a month ago, the restaurant Bocado unveiled a new cocktail menu that mixed CBD oil into pisco sour and an aperitif with amaro and vermouth. CBD, a non-intoxicating compound found in hemp and marijuana, was also making its way into lattes and sparkling water, kombucha and ice cream, strawberry-lavender jam and a local chef&rsquo...

12:00 AM Monday, May. 20, 2019

Less than a month ago, the restaurant Bocado unveiled a new cocktail menu that mixed CBD oil into pisco sour and an aperitif with amaro and vermouth. CBD, a non-intoxicating compound found in hemp and marijuana, was also making its way into lattes and sparkling water, kombucha and ice cream, strawberry-lavender jam and a local chef&rsquo...
Georgians warned against adding CBD to foods and drinks
 Even though a new Georgia law allows hemp farming and CBD oil sales, adding CBD to food and drinks is still prohibited. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black is warning businesses and consumers that products such as CBD coffee, ice cream and dietary supplements remain "unlawful” nationwide. Georgia became the 42nd state...

5:39 PM Wednesday, May. 15, 2019

Even though a new Georgia law allows hemp farming and CBD oil sales, adding CBD to food and drinks is still prohibited. Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black is warning businesses and consumers that products such as CBD coffee, ice cream and dietary supplements remain "unlawful” nationwide. Georgia became the 42nd state...
Medical marijuana companies influenced passage of Georgia law
 Even before Georgia lawmakers approved medical marijuana sales this year, the industry was angling to set up shop. Marijuana companies hired well-connected lobbyists and gave campaign contributions this year to help smooth passage of a bill that allows the drug’s cultivation and distribution. Those efforts could pay off big for...

11:38 AM Monday, May. 13, 2019

Even before Georgia lawmakers approved medical marijuana sales this year, the industry was angling to set up shop. Marijuana companies hired well-connected lobbyists and gave campaign contributions this year to help smooth passage of a bill that allows the drug’s cultivation and distribution. Those efforts could pay off big for...
THE LATEST NOW: Hemp farming legalized in Georgia
 Gov. Brian Kemp made it legal Friday for farmers to grow hemp in Georgia. Kemp signed into law a bill that allows hemp crops, which can be used to make CBD oil, rope and other items. CBD oil is already a popular product sold in Georgia, but it's currently imported from other states. Once the state government creates regulations...

7:20 PM Friday, May. 10, 2019

Gov. Brian Kemp made it legal Friday for farmers to grow hemp in Georgia. Kemp signed into law a bill that allows hemp crops, which can be used to make CBD oil, rope and other items. CBD oil is already a popular product sold in Georgia, but it's currently imported from other states. Once the state government creates regulations...
Marriage age raised to 17 in Georgia
 A new Georgia law requires couples to be at least 17 years old before they can get married. Gov. Brian Kemp signed the measure into law Monday, raising the state's minimum marriage age from 16 to 17. Legislators said increasing the marriage age will help protect teenagers from marrying before they're ready. >> Bill Tracker...

5:52 PM Thursday, May. 09, 2019

A new Georgia law requires couples to be at least 17 years old before they can get married. Gov. Brian Kemp signed the measure into law Monday, raising the state's minimum marriage age from 16 to 17. Legislators said increasing the marriage age will help protect teenagers from marrying before they're ready. >> Bill Tracker...
Renter protections signed into Georgia law
 A new Georgia law protects renters from being evicted for complaining about problems like mold, rats and bugs. Gov. Brian Kemp signed the measure, House Bill 346, into law Wednesday. Supporters say it empowers renters to remain in their homes and punishes landlords who don't fix housing problems.  Under the new law, landlords...

12:00 AM Thursday, May. 09, 2019

A new Georgia law protects renters from being evicted for complaining about problems like mold, rats and bugs. Gov. Brian Kemp signed the measure, House Bill 346, into law Wednesday. Supporters say it empowers renters to remain in their homes and punishes landlords who don't fix housing problems.  Under the new law, landlords...
Bill signed to save Georgia rape kit evidence until cases solved
 Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill Tuesday that requires police to save evidence gathered from sexual assaults, allowing them to track down suspects many years later. The legislation, House Bill 282, will preserve DNA evidence of rapes and similar crimes for up to 50 years. Current state law allows evidence of sexual assaults...

7:52 PM Tuesday, May. 07, 2019

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill Tuesday that requires police to save evidence gathered from sexual assaults, allowing them to track down suspects many years later. The legislation, House Bill 282, will preserve DNA evidence of rapes and similar crimes for up to 50 years. Current state law allows evidence of sexual assaults...
Case alleging missing electronic votes argued at Georgia Supreme Court
 The Georgia Supreme Court wrestled Tuesday with the mystery of why tens of thousands of votes appeared to go missing during last fall’s race for lieutenant governor. Plaintiffs asked the state’s highest court to revive their case challenging the results of the race between Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Democrat...

6:39 PM Tuesday, May. 07, 2019

The Georgia Supreme Court wrestled Tuesday with the mystery of why tens of thousands of votes appeared to go missing during last fall’s race for lieutenant governor. Plaintiffs asked the state’s highest court to revive their case challenging the results of the race between Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Democrat...
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