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Kemp: "Georgia is Open for Business" - rolls back COVID restrictions

Atlanta, GA – On Thursday, April 8, Executive Order will take effect, rolling back the remaining COVID-19 restrictions on Georgia's economy. The Governor's Executive Orders are available to read here. See below for a video message from Governor Kemp.


Executive Order


Will become effective April 8 through April 30, 2021

Eliminates the Gatherings ban

Eliminates Shelter-in-Place requirements

Removes the critical infrastructure distinction and collapses all organization suggested measures into one main list, with a small number of additional industry-specific requirements remaining

Reduces any remaining distance requirements (i.e. distance between parties at restaurants, bars, and movie theaters, and between patrons of group fitness classes)

Eliminates the ability of law enforcement to close an organization for failure to comply with the Executive Order provisions

Burnt Mt. Road to be closed at times from April 12-April 22 for road repairs

burnt mtn road damage

Section of key thoroughfare to close daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Beginning Monday, a section of SR 136/Burnt Mountain Road between mileposts 13.6 and 15.2 will be closed while  Georgia Department of Transportation crews address two drainage pipes and damage following the massive rain storm last week. 

According to GDOT’s District 6 Communications Officer Joe Schulman, beginning Monday, April 12 through Thursday, April 22 State Route 136 (known locally as Burnt Mountain Road) will be closed from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily for crews to conduct the work.

Officials say traffic heading east on 136 will detour to Burnt Mountain Road to Cove Road and then turn north on Steve Tate Highway back to SR 136.

Commission Chair Kris Stancil said this was completely a state project and he couldn’t add much. He said  several people had already called his office to find out what homeowners along the closed section should do but he didn’t have any insight, though he recognized the few options there for detouring and the problems a closure will create.


Georgia prevails over Florida in ‘water wars’ lawsuit

By Dave Williams
Bureau Chief
Capitol Beat News Service
    ATLANTA - The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday sided with Georgia in a lawsuit Florida filed in 2013 over the allocation of water that flows between the two states.
   In a unanimous 9-0 opinion written by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the court ruled that Florida failed to prove its allegations that Georgia’s water consumption from the Chattahoochee and Flint river systems caused the failure of Florida’s oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay.
   “Florida allowed unprecedented levels of oyster harvesting in the years before the collapse,” Barrett wrote. “Georgia’s consumption had little to no impact on the bay’s oyster population.”
   Florida claimed originally that increasing water consumption in rapidly growing metro Atlanta was causing unacceptably low flows where the Chattahoochee River enters Florida at Lake Seminole.

Read more: Georgia prevails over Florida in ‘water wars’ lawsuit

New marshal ready to roll



Pickens County commissioners introduced the new marshal, Cole Connel, at their April work session. Connel replaces Jim Harvey who retires April 16th after  12 years in that position. 

Connel moves to the marshal post after 15 years in the local sheriff’s office reaching the rank of lieutenant. The native of Abilene, TX began as a jailer and has worked in most areas of operations, including uniformed patrol.

Connel said he is excited to move to the marshal post as he wants to continue advancing his law enforcement career and this will give him a chance to head an agency.

Connel said initially illegal dumping and litter will fill most of his time along with some work with the planning and development office in code enforcement. The new marshal said he will bring a philosophy of stopping problems that he sees, such as litter blowing from one home to others, but not ride around looking for code violations. Most cases for the marshal result from calls from homeowners.

Atlanta spa shootings spur bills to delay gun purchases, protect Asian Americans



By Beau Evans

Staff Writer

Capitol Beat News Service

Deadly shootings at three Atlanta-area spas earlier this month have prompted Democratic lawmakers of Asian American and Pacific Islander descent to file bills aimed at multi-lingual training for law enforcement and delaying gun purchases.

  The measures from state Reps. Bee Nguyen, Sam Park and Marvin Lim and Sens. Sheikh Rahman and Michelle Au – all Democrats representing parts of metro Atlanta – will need to hop rides on bills already moving in the General Assembly before the legislative session wraps up on Wednesday, March 31.

Read more: Atlanta spa shootings spur bills to delay gun purchases, protect Asian Americans