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July 10 – Georgia World War II Heritage Trail Adds “Thomaston Goes to War” and New Website

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July 10 – Georgia World War II Heritage Trail Adds “Thomaston Goes to War” and New Website


July 10, 2024 – The Georgia World War II Heritage Trail recently announced that “Thomaston Goes to War” has joined the original ten Trail Partners. The newest Partner is in the City of Thomaston and Upson County. Visitors can discover how one small town made big contributions to gain a World War II Allied victory. This multi-site display is a collaboration between the Thomaston-Upson Archives and Upson Historical Society. It tells the story of the endurance and mettle of the Greatest Generation.  Between the sites, visitors will discover Thomaston’s role as a major textile producer in providing critical war supplies. Tour the Pettigrew-White-Stamps Home, an early nineteenth century home, transformed to reflect life and community during the 1940’s wartime. Relax in the “Greatest Generation” Park. Enjoy interpretive panels and relics on those who survived the Great Depression and fought for our freedom in World War II.

The Trail has also launched a new website at www.georgiawwiitrail.org. The updated website includes an events calendar, an updated Trail passport and map that features Thomaston Goes to War, separate pages for each Trail Partner with a photo gallery, and a link to the new online store with a selection of Trail merchandise.



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Rugby: 14-man Brave Blossoms wilt against Georgia

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Rugby: 14-man Brave Blossoms wilt against Georgia


Down a man for most of the game, Japan fell 25-23 to Georgia on Saturday in Eddie Jones’ second test since being re-appointed head coach.

With a Georgia player in the sin bin and their numbers even, the Brave Blossoms took their last lead at Yurtec Stadium Sendai when Tomoki Osada crossed in the 64th minute after a spell of prolonged pressure at the try line.

Down two men after a 72nd-minute yellow card, the hosts foiled a series of Georgia attacks but surrendered the winning try as the Lelos’ size and power eventually proved unstoppable.

Japan started extremely well as Jone Naikabula scored an impressive third-minute try as a result of a speedy unstructured attack that had Georgia on the back foot from the opening kickoff.

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Japan’s Jone Naikabula opens the scoring with a try against Georgia in their rugby test at Yurtec Stadium Sendai on July 13, 2024. (Kyodo)

A pair of Luka Matkava penalties brought Georgia within a point at 7-6 before Lee Seung Sin kicked one in return for Japan.

The game then turned when Kanji Shimokawa was sent off for dangerous play, and Georgia responded immediately with hooker Vano Karkadze scoring from a rolling maul to make it 11-10.

A second penalty from Lee and a converted Mikheil Alania try saw Georgia lead 18-13 at the half. Lee’s third penalty goal cut Japan’s deficit to two points to set up the wild finish.

“We had opportunities to win the game, but we weren’t quite good enough under the circumstances,” Jones said. “I’m respectful of the effort we put in but congratulations to Georgia.”

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Japan, who lost 52-17 to England on June 22, will take on Italy on July 21 at Sapporo Dome.

Japan players (in white and red) show their disappointment after losing their rugby test to Georgia at Yurtec Stadium Sendai on July 13, 2024. (Kyodo)


Related coverage:

Rugby: Michael Leitch shifts to 2nd row for Japan clash with Georgia

Rugby: Japan international Saito moves to French powerhouse Toulouse

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Rugby: Japan XV beat Maori All Blacks in non-test match






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Shark Swims Right Next to Georgia Beachgoers

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Shark Swims Right Next to Georgia Beachgoers


Beachgoers in Georgia scrambled to get out of the water as a shark swam right next to them in shallow water, recent footage shows. Video filmed and posted to Facebook by Hayley Thompson shows a shark swimming past beachgoers on Tybee Island, Georgia, as fishermen dangle bait over the water. “That’s a big-ass shark,” a man can be heard saying as the shark swims by. Thompson told Storyful that the swimmers didn’t know a shark was nearby, so she started screaming, “Shark, shark, get out!” Thompson added: “Swimming next to the pier where fishermen are fishing isn



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Georgia state tax collections finish more than $2 billion ahead of projections, buoying surplus

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Georgia state tax collections finish more than $2 billion ahead of projections, buoying surplus


(AP) – Georgia’s tax collections ran more than $2 billion ahead of projections for the budget year that ended June 30, even though tax revenues fell slightly.

That means even though Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and lawmakers decided earlier this year to spend part of the state’s surplus, that cash cushion will be larger than expected when the state closes the books on the 2024 budget year in coming months. It was last estimated at $10.7 billion.

It also means that Kemp’s administration for the fourth year significantly underestimated how much Georgia would collect in taxes, meaning money is held in surplus instead of being used to boost spending on government services or cut taxes.

The governor by law sets a ceiling on how much lawmakers can spend.

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Garrison Douglas, a spokesperson for Kemp, said the surplus over projections is likely to be around $2.2 billion, according to a “very preliminary estimate.” However, surprises can appear as accountants finalize the state’s year-end financial returns. Some taxes collected by other agencies besides the state Department of Revenue weren’t available Friday.

Overall collections fell 0.5% the 2023 budget year, which suggests Georgia’s economy may be cooling. Income tax collections, the state’s largest source of revenue, were down more than 5%, although some of that decrease is likely due to income tax cuts that began on Jan. 1.

Sales taxes were flat, suggesting Georgians bought fewer goods last year after accounting for inflation.

But because the state collected a full year of taxes on gasoline and diesel taxes after Kemp waived the tax for part of the previous budget year, that nearly made up the income tax decrease.

Collections of taxes, interests and fees by the Department of Revenue, although they fell slightly, were $2.6 billion ahead of the latest Kemp administration projections published in January. All of the major taxes finished ahead of projections, meaning taxes fell much less than planned for.

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The end-of-year accounting was boosted by a surge in June tax collections, especially from often-volatile corporate income taxes.

The overall surplus, which had been $10.7 billion at the beginning of the year, will still fall because Kemp and lawmakers boosted spending for 2024 to $38 billion with onetime outlays to pay for $1,000 bonuses to state employees and teachers, boost roadbuilding, and to build a new legislative office building and overhaul the state Capitol.

Beyond the surplus cash, Georgia also has another $5.4 billion in a rainy day fund.

It’s the fourth year of huge surpluses, after $3.7 billion in 2021, $6.4 billion in 2022, and $5.3 billion in 2023.

Critics have suggested Republicans are purposefully holding down spending while refusing to fully expand Medicaid health insurance to poorer adults.

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However, the budget that began July 1 addresses some criticisms. It boosts pay for public school teachers and state employees, while spending more on education, health care and mental health. Public school and prekindergarten teachers got a $2,500 raise starting July 1. State and university employees got a 4% pay increase.

However, if state tax collections continue falling next year, those spending targets could get harder to maintain. Kemp and Republican lawmakers have said they don’t want to dip into the surplus to pay for ongoing expenses.

Georgia’s budget pays to educate 1.75 million K-12 students and 450,000 college students, house 51,000 state prisoners, pave 18,000 miles (29,000 kilometers) of highways and care for more than 200,000 people who are mentally ill, developmentally disabled, or addicted to drugs or alcohol.



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