Legislative Notebook: Houston County sheriff, Mercer basketball team honored in Atlanta

March 12, 2014 

In the Georgia Senate, members of Mercer University men’s basketball team were congratulated Wednesday on their Atlantic Sun Conference championship win.

MAGGIE LEE — mlee@macon.com

Both the state House of Representatives and the Senate singled out midstate stars as they honored various Georgians on Wednesday.

In the House, longtime Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton was recognized for years of service and fundraising on behalf of the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes. Talton is now in his 42nd year as sheriff.

“It is abundantly fitting and proper that the outstanding accomplishments of this remarkable and distinguished Georgian be appropriately recognized,” read House Resolution 1312 by state Rep. Willie Talton, R-Warner Robins, who is not related to the sheriff and used to work for him.

The sheriff thanked the House from the floor podium.

Then across the hall, the Mercer University men’s basketball team appeared on the Senate floor to complimentary words from state Sen. David Lucas, D-Macon.

“They’re not only athletes, they’re also students,” said Lucas, noting that team members keep an A or B grade point average.

The Senate congratulates the team “on securing the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament championship” and expresses its “most sincere best wishes for continued success throughout the NCAA tournament,” according to Lucas’ Senate Resolution 1207.

Georgia Military set for four-year degrees

The students at the two-year Georgia Military College would be able to earn a four-year bachelor of applied science degrees under a bill now on Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk.

The state Senate unanimously agreed Wednesday with prior House passage of House Bill 763 by state Rep. Bubber Epps, R-Dry Branch.

Georgia Military College could offer the programs in communities where Georgia’s existing public four-year universities do not offer something similar.

The college is different from most others in that besides cadets, it accepts anyone who provides evidence of a reasonable potential to succeed, regardless of high school grades.

Road, bridge names

Ever wonder where the signs come from on roads and bridges dedicating them for area notables?

They come from the state Legislature, which is preparing another list this year. If House Resolution 1544 gets to the governor’s desk by March 20, roadways will honor a few more from the midstate.

Three Tuskegee Airmen born or raised in Laurens County will have their names put on the intersection of U.S. Route 80 and the U.S. 441 Bypass. Maj. Herndon Cummings, Col. John Whitehead and Col. Marion Rodgers all served in the ground-breaking African-American unit and continued in defense and aerospace work after retirement.

The Ga. 24 bridge over the Oconee River in Baldwin County will be named for Bobby Parham, a state representative from 1974 to 2009.

Peach County resident C.H. “Bud” Sledge donated the piece of land where Interstate 75 and Russell Parkway now meet. The bridge there will be named for him.

And U.S. 41 from Houston County to the Florida border will be named the Georgia Grown Trail for its “rural landscape, historic small towns and abundant agricultural operations.”

The signs along the state’s roads and intersections that commemorate the namings are paid for privately and installed by the state.

Writer Maggie Lee compiled this report.

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