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GPB News Round-Up - Friday, September 6, 2019

Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE / AP
Johnny Isakson Speaks About His Decision To Resign From U.S. Senate

Following his resignation announcement citing health issues, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson shared insights into what led him to his decision to step down and speaks about the impact of naming his successor. 

Bill Nigut: Sen. Isakson thank you so much for joining us today. I know that you have already talked to a number of news organizations you said in your statement about why now is the time that you have to step down. But why don't you just very briefly tell us what led to this decision. 

Johnny Isakson: All my life when I was growing up my mother used to always tell me to listen to my body ⁠— that it would tell me what I needed to do if I didn't feel good and what I need to do. And I've been listening to my body for about eight years since I got diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and I just knew this summer that it was getting close to the time that if I couldn't give 100% to the people that elected me — they deserved it — and I need to do something where they get 100% otherwise. And so, I'm going to give them a 100% of what I got left for a long, long time. But I thought it was a time for me to go out right now when we could prepare for it and handle correctly and that's why I did it. 

Nigut: You are a shrewd, smart politician.

Isakson: Well, I appreciate that.

Listen to their conversation here.


The ordinance prohibits people under the age of 21 from buying or possessing tobacco products and electronic smoking devices. VAPING360
City Of Smyrna Raises Smoking Age From 18 To 21

The city of Smyrna voted unanimously on Tuesday to raise the smoking age from 18 to 21.

The ordinance, introduced by Councilman Tim Gould,  prohibits people under the age of 21 from buying or possessing tobacco products and electronic smoking devices.

“The increased use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices represents a significant and ever-increasing risk to the well-being of our youths,” Gould said. 

Read more from GPB's Taylor Gantt here.


Red Cross volunteers pack up cots in a Macon shelter, which housed more than 100 people during Hurricane Dorian. GRANT BLANKENSHIP / GPB NEWS
Tybee Island Mayor Worries Mild Storm Effects Will Cause Doubts For Future Evacuations

Hurricane evacuees from Georgia’s coast are returning home now that the mandatory order has been lifted.

Meanwhile, the effects of the third evacuation in four years raised questions about how the next evacuation might go.

The storm knocked down trees, blew debris and caused power outages. But the tide was not as high as predicted, and damage to the coast was minimal. That’s why Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman says he’s concerned this could make people less likely to evacuate for future storms. 

“If that’s our biggest issue, convincing people to leave in the future, if you know, we don’t have homes that are flooded, we don’t have property that’s destroyed, we don’t have a beach that’s completely gone, we don’t have people’s lives turned upside down for the third time in four years, then that’s fine with me,” Buelterman said.  

Read more from GPB's Emily Jones and Grant Blakenship here.

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