On the Tuesday, Nov. 28 edition of Georgia Today: Rosalynn Carter is eulogized at an Atlanta church service in Atlanta with the former President Jimmy Carter in the front row; Georgia lawmakers have released a proposed redo of their Senate district maps; and Officials in Coastal Georgia's McIntosh County are denying any wrongdoing in their controversial decision to rezone Sapelo Island. 

New Georgia Today Podcast Logo

Peter Biello: Welcome to the Georgia Today podcast from GPB News. Today is Tuesday, Nov. 28. I'm Peter Biello. On today's episode, Rosalynn Carter is eulogized at an Atlanta church service with former President Jimmy Carter in the front row. Georgia lawmakers have released a proposed redo of their Senate district maps, and officials in Coastal Georgia's McIntosh County defend their rezoning of his Sapelo Island. These stories and more are coming up on this edition of Georgia Today.

Rosalynn Carter

Rosalynn Carter

Credit: AP Photo/ Ron Harris

Story 1:

Peter Biello: Former first lady Rosalynn Carter was celebrated with music and remembrances from family and friends at a tribute service at Emory University's Glenn Memorial Church in Atlanta today.

MUSIC: "America the Beautiful" sung by choir

Peter Biello: Grandson, Jason Carter, called her the rock of the family, who poured out her love all over the world.

Jason Carter: She fished trout streams from Georgia to Wyoming and from Venezuela to Siberia, visited 120 countries, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Fuji and summited peaks in Bolivia and other places.

Peter Biello: Other family members recalled the more than 77-year marriage between Rosalynn and her 99-year-old husband, former President Jimmy Carter, who was in the front row of the church. Jimmy Carter, who is in hospice care, traveled from Plains to attend the service. He was brought to the first row in a wheelchair with a blanket over his legs and seated next to his daughter Amy and son Chip. They were joined by President Biden, former President Clinton, Vice President Harris and every living first lady. Mrs. Carter was remembered as a global humanitarian and family matriarch. Kathryn Cade, a onetime adviser to the first lady's office, talked about Carter's work to eliminate Guinea worm and advocate for equal pay for women.

Kathryn Cade: Today, we do indeed mourn a remarkable person, one of the truly good people in this world. May those of us who knew and loved her as a friend and colleague honor her life by building on her legacy of caring deeply for the most vulnerable among us.

Peter Biello: Country music stars Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood were among the musicians who performed.

MUSIC: "Imagine" by John Lennon, performed by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood

Peter Biello: Outside the church, the funeral motorcade closed streets between Emory University and the Carter Center. The motorcade will return to Plains this evening, where a private service and internment are scheduled for tomorrow. Mrs. Carter died last week at the age of 96. For more on the Carter tributes and her legacy, visit gpb.org/rosalynncarter and tune to GPB-TV tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. for a special remembrance of the former first lady.


Story 2:

Peter Biello: Republicans in the Georgia Senate have released a proposed redo of their legislative boundaries ahead of a special legislative session to begin tomorrow. As GPB's Stephen Fowler reports, the map would add two majority Black districts but keep the same number of Democrats and Republicans.

Stephen Fowler: A federal judge said the state Senate districts approved in 2021 violated the Voting Rights Act and disenfranchized Black voters, ordering lawmakers to create two additional majority Black districts. The Republican-led chamber's proposal released Monday, does accomplish that by adding more Black voters to two Atlanta area Democratic districts that are majority white, while also shoring up two Republican districts with additional white voters. While some incumbents would have new constituents and new district numbers, none of them are paired together or would face a competitive general election. Hearings on the new maps begin Wednesday when the special session gavels in. For GPB News, I'm Stephen Fowler.


Story 3:

Peter Biello: Gov. Brian Kemp's chief of staff is headed to an executive position with Georgia Power. The Atlanta-based utility today named Trey Kilpatrick senior vice president of external affairs, effective Jan. 15. Kilpatrick became Kemp's chief of staff in 2020. The governor named as his replacement Kilpatrick's deputy, Lauren Curry. She'd become the first female in Georgia history to be named a governor's chief of staff on a permanent basis.

Story 4:

Peter Biello: Georgia drivers are likely to begin paying higher prices for gasoline as the state's motor fuel taxes return on Thursday. Gov. Brian Kemp's rollback of the $0.31 per gallon tax ends Wednesday night. Kemp began waiving the taxes in September. The governor can suspend tax collections during an emergency as long as state lawmakers approve the action the next time they meet. But because the General Assembly starts a special session on Wednesday, Kemp can't extend the tax breaks beyond then. A Kemp spokesman says the governor is working with lawmakers to, quote, "decide next steps."


Story 5:

Peter Biello: A panel of state lawmakers and health care executives is recommending the state repeal its law governing hospital construction and medical services. The Georgia Senate Study Committee on Certificate of Need reform issued its report today after a series of hearings this summer. The decades-old law is aimed at reducing health care costs, but critics say it reduces health care options in rural areas. An effort to reform the law failed in the last General Assembly, but is expected to return in the legislative session that begins in January.

Story 6:

Peter Biello: Political leaders in Middle Georgia want everyday people to trek to the Georgia Capitol to make their voices heard during the special session for legislative redistricting beginning tomorrow. GPB's Grant Blankenship explains.

Grant Blankenship: The federal court order spurring the special session describes five new majority Black state House districts. Two could have their roots in Macon. One could start in House Minority Leader James Beverly's current district. So Monday, Beverly, State Sen. David Lucas and Fenika Miller of Black Voters Matter told an entirely Black Macon audience of over 100 what they wanted them to do during the session: Come to the Capitol and be heard. Fenika Miller:

Fenika Miller: My goal is to make sure that your voices are in the room, right? That we not only send our elected folks into the room to make the decisions to fight on our behalf, but that we walk in with them.

Grant Blankenship: Miller says on-the-record reaction from people who actually live in proposed districts could inform the federal judge charged with signing off on new maps. For GPB News, I'm Grant Blankenship in Macon.


Story 7:

Peter Biello: Officials in coastal Georgia's Macintosh County are denying any wrongdoing in their controversial decision to rezone a historic Gullah Geechee settlement. As GPB's Benjamin Payne reports, the county is responding to a lawsuit filed by a group of Black residents on Sapelo Island.

Benjamin Payne: In September, the McIntosh County Board of Commissioners voted to allow the construction of larger homes in the historic Gullah Geechee neighborhood of Hogg Hummock. Homeowners represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center say this rezoning will raise their property taxes, effectively pricing them out of their ancestral land where their enslaved West African ancestors were forced to work. In new court documents, the Board of commissioners denies this, along with other claims, including one saying the county violated the U.S. Constitution because the rezoning discriminates against Gullah Geechee people. The board also says it wasn't responsible for the sheriff's decision to prohibit the public from legally recording public meetings on the rezoning. A judge has scheduled a hearing for February on a motion by McIntosh County to dismiss the case. For GPB News, I'm Benjamin Payne.

Children enjoying "American Pickers" on TV

Story 8:

Peter Biello: The popular History Channel show American Pickers is returning to Georgia to film episodes throughout the state in January. American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique picking on the History Channel. The show follows skilled pickers in the business as they hunt for America's most valuable antiques. According to show producers, they're looking for leads throughout the state, specifically interesting characters with fascinating items. Persons interested in sharing their treasures are asked to send their names, phone numbers, location and the description of the collection with photos to American Pickers at Cineflix.com.

That's it for this edition of Georgia Today. Today marks one year since we've been offering you this podcast, and we hope it's been a useful way for you to stay on top of the news. If you like it, subscribe to it, and we'll be back in your podcast feed tomorrow. We ask for feedback at the end of every podcast and we give you the email address: GeorgiaToday@GPB.org. But to be honest, we don't receive many emails to that address. We all receive it, but not many come in. So for our first anniversary, I'd love to hear from you. Tell us what you like about the podcast and we'll aim to do more of it. And if you tell us what we don't like, we'll try to improve. As for story ideas, we love those. Email us all of that. The address again:GeorgiaToday@GPB.org. I'm Peter Biello. Thanks again for listening. We'll see you tomorrow.


For more on these stories and more, go to GPB.org/news

Tags: Atlanta  Georgia  podcast  news