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Georgia News, Articles and Press Releases

State and Local News Feed

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Release Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Article Source: Georgia Department of Veterans Service


A new enhancement at the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) that allows all military veterans to request a special license or identification card denoting their service was announced by Governor Nathan Deal today [April 15, 2014]. DDS Commissioner Rob Mikell is pleased that the details were included at a special ceremony at the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center in Columbus.

In the past, any veteran that did not meet the established eligibility and/or service requirements was not able to request the license. Now, all Georgia vets regardless of where they enlisted or the timeframe that they served may obtain the patriotic veteran’s license at the same fee paid for the traditional Georgia license or ID card.

“Giving our veterans the recognition that they deserve is something every state should do. I am proud that Georgia now extends this honor to everyone who served – regardless of duty,” said DDS Commissioner Rob Mikell. “It can be difficult for military veterans to prove they served in the military.”

“We are grateful to our partners at the Department of Driver Services for championing this change,” said Georgia Department of Veterans Service Commissioner Pete Wheeler. “Now every veteran, regardless of service, will be able to proudly carry a Georgia Veteran’s Driver’s License/ID Card.”

Many businesses offer veterans a discount as a way to express gratitude for their service to our county. However, the veteran must be able to show proof. Having a veteran’s license/ID will make it easier for veterans to receive access to any available discounts or benefits at restaurants and retailers which may be offered. In the past veterans had to carry their “DD214” around to prove veteran status. The large forms do not easily fit in a wallet and can easily be misplaced.

The Process

To establish proof of service, a veteran must visit one of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service (GDVS) offices and present separation documentation (DD Form 214) from the U.S. Department of Defense to be issued a “Certificate of Eligibility for Veteran’s Driver’s License/Identification Card.” Those who meet the residency and service requirements may bring the certificate to any DDS customer service center to be issued a free license or ID. Those veterans who did not meet the established requirements for a free license/ID may bring the certificate to any DDS customer service center to be issued a veteran’s license/ID at the standard licensing fee (5 years/$20.00 or 8 years for $32.00).

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Release Date: Tuesday, May 06, 2014
Article Source: Office of the Georgia Governor


Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Halyard Health, a health care company spin-off of Kimberly-Clark Corporate (NYSE:KMB), is expected to locate its global headquarters in Alpharetta, creating approximately 150-200 new jobs over the next two years. Kimberly-Clark filed a Form 10 Registration Statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the planned transaction.

“Georgia’s health care industry is uniquely poised to support Halyard Health,” Deal said. “This company is taking advantage of an eager, skilled workforce and an advanced life science and healthcare ecosystem. Special thanks to Kimberly-Clark for the major role it is playing in Georgia’s economic development and for supporting our state’s ever-changing health care industry – an industry that we are committed to growing.”

Halyard Health will be a publicly traded health care company with approximately $1.7 billion in annual net sales and leading market positions in both surgical and infection prevention products and medical devices. The new 174,000-square-foot facility in Alpharetta will house corporate officers and various corporate functions including finance, IT, procurement, engineering and quality.

“As we embark as a new company, Halyard Health will draw on a rich heritage of leadership from Kimberly-Clark in infection prevention, surgical protection, respiratory health, digestive health and pain management,” said Robert E. Abernathy, future chairman and chief executive officer of Halyard Health. “We are proud to remain strongly rooted in north Fulton and look forward to growing and investing in Georgia in the years to come.”

Georgia is home to more than 400 life science companies, half of which are in the medical devices sector and employ 27 percent of Georgia’s life science workforce. Lauren Salas Lambiase, a Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) senior project manager, worked with the city of Alpharetta to assist the company in the location planning of its headquarters.

“We are thrilled with Halyard Health’s decision to locate its new headquarters in Alpharetta,” said David Belle Isle, mayor of Alpharetta. “These new jobs will be a great fit with our growing technology community and culture, and it is great partnerships like this that help to make Alpharetta the Technology City of the South.”

“Kimberly-Clark has been a longtime north Fulton corporate citizen in the city of Roswell,” said Brandon Beach, president and chief executive officer of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce. “We are proud to have them continue their investment in north Fulton, while helping to create this new Fortune 1000 corporation in Alpharetta. These new, quality jobs will continue to add to our stable of high-tech jobs. This, in addition to numerous recent high-tech job announcements, continues to reinforce that north Fulton is the premier place to go for quality workforce, quality real estate and quality of life.”

“Halyard Health’s new headquarters in Georgia exemplifies how our state’s No. 1 business climate helps keep companies competitive in the global marketplace,” said GDEcD Commissioner Chris Carr. “Kimberly-Clark has found access to a solid health care network, including a skilled talent pool. Without a doubt, Halyard Health will also find the support it needs to lead the industry toward success.”

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Release Date: Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Article Source: Georgia Government Transparency and Campagin Finance Commission


The Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission is pleased to welcome Robert Constantine to his position of retainer/consultant effective Monday, January 6, 2014 for his four month term of service to the Commission.  Mr. Constantine will report to the five-member Commission in reviewing and refining its work as directed by the Commission.

Mr. Constantine will work with Holly LaBerge, the Executive Secretary/Director of the Agency, while serving in this special position created by the Commission.  Ms. LaBerge was named as the Executive Secretary of the Commission in August 2011 and continues to provide leadership to the Commission and oversee the day-to-day work of the Agency.  The work of the Agency continues and the staff remains committed to being prepared for the 2014 Legislative Session.

As always, the Commission staff remains committed to assisting the state’s elected and appointed officials, lobbyists, and the public.  Questions on the application of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Act are to be directed to Holly LaBerge and her staff, as usual.  Questions regarding the Agency and Open Records Requests are to be sent to Holly LaBerge, Executive Secretary/Director, at  Lobbyist registration questions should be directed to

Mr. Constantine may be contacted at or 404-463-1980.

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Release Date: Thursday, January 16, 2014
Article Source: Georgia Department of Veterans Service


The Georgia Department of Veterans Service has relocated its McRae Veterans Field Service Office to nearby Douglas. 

The new Douglas office is located at 70 Lockwood Drive, within a building that is home to the Georgia Department of Labor. The new phone number is 912-389-4898. Del Parisella will continue to manage the office.

“While this office relocation means some veterans have to travel a little farther, overall we are now closer to more veterans than before,” said Craig Couturier, GDVS Regional Director, South Georgia.

The five-county area served by the McRae office -- comprising Appling, Coffee, Jeff Davis, Telfair, and Wheeler counties -- is home to 5,938 veterans, with the largest concentration of veterans (2,465) in Coffee County, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of the Actuary.

“We also have two other offices in the area, located in Lyons and Dublin, that might be more convenient to veterans who were accustomed to visiting our McRae office,” Couturier said.

The Lyons office is located at 126 W. Grady Ave.; the phone number is 912-526-8860. The Dublin office is located within the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center; the phone number is 478-272-4266.

GDVS has offices in 49 locations throughout the state. For a listing of all GDVS offices, see

Two new offices -- one each in Fulton County and Cobb County -- are expected to open this year. Follow for updates.

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Release Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Article Source: Department of Public Safety


(ATLANTA) -- Accumulation of ice on power lines as a result of the current winter storm is expected to cause widespread power outages across the state.  But the process of restoring power is a methodical one and, in many cases, can take time.
            The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) joins the state's electricity providers in urging residents who lose their power to be patient as line crews work to restore their power.
As you wait for power to be restored, follow these tips to help you cope with a blackout:

-    Do not call 9-1-1 for information—call only to report a life-threatening emergency. Use the phone for life-threatening emergencies only.
-    Use only flashlights for emergency lighting. NEVER use candles during a blackout or power outage due to extreme risk of fire.
-    Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location (the home of a relative or friend, or a public facility) that has heat to keep warm.
-    If using your fireplace, make sure the flue is open.
-    Space heaters are acceptable if they are in working condition and for indoor use.
-    Do not run a generator inside a home or garage. Keep them at least 20 feet away from your home to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
-    Do not connect a generator to a home's electrical system.  If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to run directly to the outlets on the generator.
-    Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment (like air conditioners) or electronics in use when the power went out. Power may return with momentary "surges” or “spikes” that can damage computers as well as motors in appliances like the air conditioner, refrigerator, washer or furnace.
-    Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep your food as fresh as possible. If you must eat food that was refrigerated or frozen, check it carefully for signs of spoilage.
-    Leave on one light so that you'll know when your power returns.
-    Use a standard telephone handset, cellular phone, radio or pager if your phone requires electricity to work, as do cordless phones and answering machines. Use the phone for emergencies only. Listen to a portable radio for the latest information.
-    Provide plenty of fresh, cool water for your pets.

            According to power providers, the process for restoring electric service begins at the plant, where transmission lines that carry high-voltage electricity to communities start the distribution process.  Those lines are the first to be repaired, if necessary.
            The next priority is the major distribution lines that provide electricity to critical services and functions, such as hospitals public safety and public works facilities and schools.     Next are the distribution lines for areas with the largest number of customers, and finally distribution lines to homes in smaller communities.
            It is possible that a neighbor's lights might be restored before yours, but that could be because  not all circuits are restored at the same time or one neighborhood could be served by several different circuits.
            To report a power outage, please call Georgia Power at 1-888-891-0938 and Georgia EMC at 770-775-7857, or the phone number listed on your billing statement.

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