By Dave Williams and Beau Evans
Capitol Beat News Service
ATLANTA - Public health experts and local elected officials raised concerns Tuesday over whether Georgia businesses are ready to reopen safely while the coronavirus pandemic continues to chalk up new infections and deaths.
But business leaders welcomed Gov. Brian Kemp’s announcement Monday that some businesses will be allowed to reopen as soon as the end of this week as a first step toward getting critically needed cash back into their coffers.
Kemp said Monday a host of businesses including gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, tattoo parlors, barbershops and hairdressers will be allowed to reopen this Friday. Dine-in restaurants and movie theaters can throw open their doors next Monday.
The school board voted Thursday, April 16 to end the 2019-2020 school year on May 8th, instead of the original end calendar date of May 22. This means there will be no instruction or online classes after May 8th. It was noted by the board and superintendent that school work always tapers off in May, when standardized testing – which will not take place this year - usually occurs, and when awards ceremonies are held.
It was also proposed to the school board by Chief Accountability Officer Jill Liberatore that in an effort to not penalize students due to unusual circumstances of online learning that has occurred in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, no student’s final grades should be lower than they were before March 13, the last day school was in session at campuses. This proposal is not finalized. Board chair Tucker Green expressed concern that this could incentivize students to not
By Dave Williams
Capitol Beat News Service
ATLANTA - Small businesses in Georgia and across the country were left in limbo Thursday when the U.S. Senate adjourned without approving a new round of economic stimulus funding to help offset losses from the coronavirus pandemic.
Almost $350 billion in Small Business Administration (SBA) loans Congress passed last month as part of a $2.2 trillion package has run out, as has a $10 billion SBA program meant to get fast cash to affected businesses.
The SBA has approved loans to more than 30,000 Georgia businesses worth more than $7 billion, Chris Clark, president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday. But many other companies have been left high and dry, Clark said.
Conference call among public safety officials show slow Easter weekend.
During a conference call among public safety and top elected officials in the county and Jasper on Monday, most of those reporting said everything was slow and calm. No one reported any particular issues over the Easter holidays and it appeared that even the previous rise in domestic dispute calls had calmed somewhat.
Georgia State Patrol commander Tim Nichols said state troopers have been tasked with enforcing the governor’s emergency ordinance mandates, but they didn’t have complaints or make any calls to churches over the Easter weekend “and I’m glad it didn’t happen.”
Angela Reinhardt / Photo
Pickens County’s Recycling & Waste Director Kenny Woodard at the command station of the future recycling center. Here, he shows a photo of the loading area on a baling machine that will be delivered soon.
Right now, the county’s new 28,000 square foot recycling center is empty – just a massive bare concrete floor under an open-air metal structure.
But Pickens’ new Recycling & Waste Director Kenny Woodard said in a few months it will be outfitted and equipped for recycling and household trash services, with some big changes to how and what the county will accept.
Woodard toured this reporter around the Stanley Drive facility just off Highway 515, and provided details about the layout and traffic flow, as well as efforts to have the recycling department become a self-sustaining entity instead of a money loser as it has been in the past.