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Morning headlines: Rivian funding stalls in court

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Office of Governor Brian Kemp
Governor Brian Kemp speaks at December 2021 event announcing Rivian's intent to build a major manufacturing facility in Georgia

A Morgan County judge is pumping the brakes on a major funding source for the planned Rivian electric vehicle plant in Morgan and Walton counties.

A validation hearing for the issuance of $15 billion in bonds ended last week with no ruling by Morgan County Superior Court Judge Brenda Trammell because of legal challenges and concerns from local residents who worry the massive facility will ruin their quality of life.

Trammell gave the three-county joint development authority two weeks to submit paperwork addressing concerns brought up by the residents. Bond validation is the next step in the complicated incentive package officials used to woo Rivian to Georgia.

Graham challenges election probe subpoena in federal court

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is challenging a subpoena to testify before a grand jury in Fulton County investigating whether former President Donald Trump and others broke any laws when they tried to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia.

Graham seeks to have the challenge to the subpoena heard in federal court in Atlanta rather than before the Fulton County Superior Court judge who is overseeing the grand jury. Graham’s lawyers cite a provision of the U.S. Constitution that they say provides protection against inquiry into Graham’s legislative acts. They also argue sovereign immunity prevents a local prosecutor from summoning a U.S. Senator to face a state ad hoc investigative body.

Given that Graham has been summoned to testify on Aug. 23, his lawyers asked for expedited consideration of his motion to quash. The judge granted that request, setting a hearing for Aug. 10.

FBI investigates bomb threats at Georgia technical colleges

The FBI is now involved in the investigation of a series of bomb threats targeting colleges and universities across the nation.

WDUN Radio reports the threats were lodged here in Georgia last week against North Georgia Technical College’s Clarksville campus, the Currahee campus in Stephens County and six other schools in the Technical College System of Georgia.

The FBI says so far, no explosives have been found at any locations and that 34 of their field offices are involved in the national investigation.

Georgia film and TV industry brings record revenue to state

Governor Brian Kemp announced on Monday that Georgia Made film and television productions generated nearly $4.5 billion during fiscal year 2022.

According to the Georgia Film Office, the state hosted a total of 412 productions a combination of feature films, independent films, television series, commercials, and music videos between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022. There are more than 50 Georgia Made productions currently being filmed.

UNG president to retire

The first president of the University of North Georgia plans to retire after the upcoming school year.

Bonita Jacobs was the first woman to lead North Georgia College & State University after the State Board of Regents hired her ahead of the 2011-12 school year. She was also the second woman to lead one of the country’s six Senior Military Colleges.

She then oversaw the consolidation of her institution with Gainesville State College. Together the two institutions became UNG in 2013. The university had about 19,000 students last fall, the sixth-largest enrollment in the University System.

Alexia Ridley joined WUGA as Television and Radio News Anchor and Reporter in 2013. When WUGA TV concluded operations, she became the primary Reporter for WUGA Radio. Alexia came to Athens from Macon where she served as the News Director and show host for WGXA TV. She's a career journalist and Savannah native hailing from the University of Michigan. However, Alexia considers herself an honorary UGA DAWG!
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