Sunday Solutions — Sept. 3, 2023

As we finish moving downed limbs and wind-stripped leaves to the street and put away batteries, candles and flashlights, let’s remember that it’s early in the storm season and more may come. Take the long weekend to replenish your storm supplies. Let’s also remember our friends in middle and south Georgia who were hit harder than expected, and let’s thank our utility workers in the electric co-ops and companies for their earnest work to get us all back on line. After all, as Jimmy Buffett reminded us: If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane.

Warehouses in Bloomingdale, GA are being constructed in close proximity to residential neighborhoods.
Warehouses in Bloomingdale are being constructed close to residential neighborhoods. Credit: Justin Taylor/The Current

The warehouse next door

In Coastal Georgia, you don’t have to look far to see a storage warehouse or distribution center. In fact, some people need only walk out their front doors to see expansive walls and the truck traffic serving it. In the state’s business-friendly environment — fueled by the growing Georgia Ports Authority — there’s a continuous and substantial need for space for imports and exports. Summer staffer Kailey Cota spent time talking to industry experts, people who are losing their quiet neighborhoods to growth and others who must weigh whether to sell their land and move to accommodate the need. Cota looks at the market and how the boom is satisfying long-term needs while incurring lifestyle and other costs for communities and families.

new quiz logo

Check your news prowess

We’re making each week’s News Quiz even harder by weighing certain questions more than others. That means that last week’s leaderboard got even more competitive, with just three out of 20 players hitting a perfect score.

First Place (10/10): PK32, TD Mike, mwgerard
Second Place (9/10): KSG
Third Place (8/10): Mikey, Sun, Lawson

Are you ready to try for a perfect 10? Let’s go. Here’s your link to this week’s quiz.

Screenshot from Sept. 1, 2023.

Trying to reason with the hurricane season

Storms like Idalia teach us what we needed to know and what to do next time. And there will be a next time. It comes as no surprise that our quick resource guide was well-read. We’re going to keep adding to the information list — please send us any useful source of storm prep information you follow. We’ll link to it and share with others. (What did your Sunday editor learn? Keep a battery-powered radio handy because cell service isn’t certain anywhere and it’s helpful to know when you’re under a tornado warning.)

In the meantime, bookmark this link and we’ll keep it updated and prevalent on the for quick reference when another storm heads our way.

A child engages with the installation at a playground and recreation center in Philadelphia. (Photo courtesy Read by 4th via Next City)

Reads for your long weekend

Mark Smith stands among photos of generations of his family in the home he grew up in in Hancock County. The house now belongs to his brother, Blaine, and is on one of the pieces of property the Sandersville Railroad wants a piece of for a short-line railroad. Credit: Grant Blankenship / GPB News

Your second cup: When growth comes for your land

The helplessness cited by homeowners as warehouses pop up next door is but one price of economic growth, but it’s not the only effect of the quick changes in a pro-business state. In Sparta, in middle Georgia, generational farmers are battling to keep a short-line railroad from taking their land through eminent domain. The privately owned rail line would run to a privately owned quarry and bring out granite to sell on the world market. Now the Georgia Public Service Commission will decide whether the railroad can use that power usually reserved for a public utility. It pits farm families who’ve owned their land for nearly a century and don’t want to sell against Sandersville Railroad, which is owned and operated by a Georgia Ports Authority board member and immediate past chair of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Grant Blankenship of GPB News visited the Smiths and Garretts to share their stories. It’s a piece that can again remind us that growth is painful and can marginalize those hard-working Georgians who have been contributing all along.

‘Tidal wave’ of new warehouses pushes residents out, changes coastal landscape

Hundreds of new warehouses are changing large swaths of Coastal Georgia’s landscape.  At least 100 million square feet of warehouse space has been built in Chatham, Bryan, Effingham, Liberty and Jasper counties to support the Port of Savannah’s booming business.

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Jackie Johnson prosecution turns two years old amid delays caused by her lawyer

Two years after a former Brunswick-area district attorney was indicted for alleged meddling in the Ahmaud Arbery investigation, delays mar her case. Some point to Jackie Johnson’s own lawyer, who is tied up in another case in Atlanta.

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Georgia Power agrees to limit cost recovery for Plant Vogtle reactors

The agreement, which requires a vote by the Georgia Public Service Commission would mean the utility’s shareholders would pay $2.6 billion.

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The land is your family wealth. A railroad wants a piece of it. What do you do?

Private railroad looks to take land farmed for generations in move generally reserved for public utilities, state.

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Check here: Tropical weather resources for Coastal Georgia

Bookmark these resources to keep up-to-date on expected storm impacts in your county.

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New federal water pollution rule draws mixed reaction

The administration’s new rule follow the guidelines set by the Supreme Court, which held the federal government can only regulate waters with “a continuous surface connection” to the types of navigable waters indisputably covered by the Clean Water Act.

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Susan Catron is managing editor for The Current GA. She has more than two decades of experience in Georgia newspapers. Susan served as executive editor of the Savannah Morning News for nearly 15 years,...