Georgia People

Meet Valdosta’s new judge

Meet Valdosta’s new judge

Judge Jeremy Baker was sworn in as the Valdosta Municipal Court Judge Monday by Lowndes County Superior Court Judge Gregory Voyles. Valdosta's mayor and city council appointed Baker in March.  “The Municipal Court is usually people’s first introduction into dealing with the legal system. So, what I look most forward to is interacting with the community and being able to serve at that level to ensure their first interaction is a positive one,” Baker said. Baker replaces Judge Vernita Bender, who died in December. Before his appointment, Baker served as an Associate attorney in Coleman Talley’s Valdosta office. His practice…
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Alpharetta mom pens book about raising confident kids

Alpharetta mom pens book about raising confident kids

When raising children, especially pre-teens and teenagers, parents can face tension when big topics are brought up and it can be challenging for them to navigate these tough conversations. Author Kim Moog, a parent herself, has recently published “Food for Thought: Raising Confident Kids One Conversation at a Time,” which is a guidebook filled with insightful questions for the dinner table to evoke critical thinking skills. These questions are posed to help develop independence within school-aged children by giving them a safe space to have their own judgment for various situations.  Struggling as a parent herself, Moog was inspired to start…
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Henry County commissioner dead from COVID-19

Henry County commissioner dead from COVID-19

Henry County Commissioner Gary Barham died this morning due to complications from COVID-19, according to county officials. Barham served as Henry County’s District 3 Commissioner since his election in 2013 and spent much of his life in service to the Henry County community. "His passing is an immense loss for all of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time," county officials said in a social media post. Service arrangements have not been finalized but will be released when they are confirmed. Barham leaves behind his wife Becky, two sons, Adam and Josh, as well as…
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Meet Atlanta’s new municipal court judge

Meet Atlanta’s new municipal court judge

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms appointed former Fulton County Magistrate Judge Stephanie C. Davis to serve on the Atlanta Municipal Court. Davis will fill a vacancy on the court due to the retirement of Judge Herman Sloan in December of 2020. “A daughter of Atlanta, Judge Davis has an impeccable reputation as a diligent jurist who is dedicated to a fair and equitable justice system,” said Mayor Bottoms. “Heavily engaged in civic organizations, her service to her community goes beyond the courtroom. The people of Atlanta will be well-served by Judge Davis.” Born in Atlanta, Davis earned a Bachelor of Arts…
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Meet the Author series to feature Georgia native Carolyn Newton Curry

Meet the Author series to feature Georgia native Carolyn Newton Curry

Carolyn Newton Curry will be the next featured author in Georgia Writers Museum’s popular Meet the Author series. The program will be held virtually, via Zoom,  at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 2. The event is free to the public, but donations are appreciated. For more information or to register, visit www.georgiawritersmuseum.org.  Curry is the author of Suffer & Grow Strong: The Life of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas (1834 – 1907). Thomas was born in 1834 to one of Georgia’s wealthiest families. She began keeping a diary at the age of 14, and continued for 41 years. Well-educated and socially active, she chronicled her life…
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The Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court is stepping down

The Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court is stepping down

Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton announced Friday that he is stepping down on July 1 after spending 16 years serving on the state’s highest court, including the past year implementing a 2009 plan he led to keep the wheels of justice turning in a pandemic. Melton’s announcement comes with a year-plus remaining on his four-year term, meaning Republican Gov. Brian Kemp gets the chance to appoint a new justice to the state’s high court for the third time since 2019. Melton said Friday that he’s unsure what the next step will be in his career, but is ready…
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Kemp orders flags at half-staff in memory of Hank Aaron

Kemp orders flags at half-staff in memory of Hank Aaron

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has ordered that all flags flown in Georgia fly at half-staff to honor the memory of Braves legend Hank Aaron. "Our family was heartbroken to hear the news of Hank Aaron's passing. Hank Aaron was an American icon and one of Georgia's greatest legends. His life and career made history, and his influence was felt not only in the world of sports, but far beyond - through his important work to advance civil rights and create a more equal, just society," Kemp said. Under the order, flags will fly at half-staff from Jan. 22 through the…
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Georgians pay tribute to Hank Aaron

Georgians pay tribute to Hank Aaron

Georgia's leaders and elected officials paid tribute to baseball legend and former Braves player Hank Aaron upon hearing of his death Friday. Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth's all-time home run record, was 86. Below are the words and tributes of Georgia's leaders. Atlanta City Council Member Andre Dickens: 'We have lost an Atlanta legend' “If my generation and the generation behind me aren’t watching, we are blind – we are being called into action now. Big shoes don’t get filled with just talk, but by taking a stand. We have lost an Atlanta legend. Henry “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron is and…
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Hank Aaron: In His Own Words

Hank Aaron: In His Own Words

Baseball legend Hank Aaron will be remembered for his record number of home runs and his accomplishments in sports, but he will also be remembered for his contributions to society off the field. Below is a collection of quotes from "Hammerin' Hank" that give insight into the man behind the legend. Read them to see how he viewed his role in breaking color barriers, the struggles he faced breaking Babe Ruth's record, and how he would like to be remembered. "My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off…
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Braves legend Hank Aaron dies

Braves legend Hank Aaron dies

Hank Aaron smashed baseballs — and he smashed racial barriers. The Atlanta Braves legend and American icon died Friday at the age of 86. Aaron broke Babe Ruth's all-time home run record in 1974 — a once-unimaginable baseball feat — and held the record for more than three decades. “Those moments that I had back then taught me a lesson," Aaron once told GPB. “No matter what you take for granted, you try to do the very best you could to be sure that you made things worthwhile.” He told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2006: “I would just want to be remembered as…
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Did you see a local firefighter at Joe Biden’s inauguration?

Did you see a local firefighter at Joe Biden’s inauguration?

Georgians watching President Joe Biden's inauguration ceremony may not have caught it at the time, but one of Georgia's own played an integral part in the proceedings. City of South Fulton Fire Capt. Andrea Hall delivered the Pledge of Allegiance at the Capitol in Washington D.C. Wednesday. Hall said she was honored to be chosen to participate in the historic ceremony, where Biden became the nation’s 46th president and Kamala Harris became the nation’s first African-American and female vice-president. “I am thrilled and humbled to represent firefighters and other frontline workers in the state of Georgia and the City of…
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Martin Luther King Jr. in his own words: 17 quotes that ring true today

Martin Luther King Jr. in his own words: 17 quotes that ring true today

Martin Luther King Jr. is most known for his famous "I Have A Dream" speech, but over his lifetime as an orator, pastor, and activist, he made many more inspirational and powerful statements. Here are some of the Atlanta native's most pertinent quotes. “I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” “The ultimate measure of a…
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Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal dies

Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal dies

Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal, who had just been elected to his fourth term as sheriff, died unexpectedly Wednesday. The cause of death has not yet been released. Royal was first elected in 2009. "I would like to express my sincere appreciation and deepest gratitude for the privilege to serve as Sheriff of Ware County. It is my belief that the Sheriff's Office should be operated with a common sense approach to the needs of its citizens," Royal wrote on the Ware County Sheriff's website.
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Former Clarkston Mayor Lee Swaney dies

Former Clarkston Mayor Lee Swaney dies

Former mayor of Clarkston, Lee Swaney, died yesterday, city officials confirm. Swaney served two terms as mayor from 2002 to 2009. In his 2001 first run for the mayoral seat, Swaney touted himself as “a champion for Old Clarkston.”  During his tenure as mayor, the city continued to welcome an increasing number of refugees -- making Clarkston known as the “Ellis Island of the South”.  “Former Mayor Swaney was truly dedicated to Clarkston. He took his civic responsibility to heart,” said Mayor Beverly Burks. Being heralded for his forthright and steadfast devotion, Swaney lived in and was in service to Clarkston…
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Valdosta judge Vernita Bender dead

Valdosta judge Vernita Bender dead

VALDOSTA -- The City of Valdosta confirmed that Municipal Court Judge Vernita Bender has died. In 2016, Bender was featured by the Judicial Council of Georgia as one of the most influential African-American judges in Georgia. "Judge Bender leaves behind a legacy of outstanding leadership, public service, and memories that we will alwayscherish. She was a friend and mentor for City employees, as well as many Valdosta residents," said City Manager Mark Barber. “Judge Bender had a huge heart for the community’s young people and was always a positive example in both her professional and personal life. Judge Bender loved her community…
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