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Morning headlines: Former CCSD principal likely to become next superintendent

Clarke County School District
Dr. Robbie Hooker

The Clarke County Board of Education has selected a finalist for Superintendent.

On Monday, the school board announced Dr. Robbie Hooker as the sole finalist for the district superintendent. Pending final approval of the board later this month, Dr. Hooker will assume full responsibilities effective October 10, 2022.

Current Superintendent Dr. Xernona Thomas announced last year that she would retire at the end of 2022.

A former principal at Clarke County High School, Hooker currently serves as the Superintendent of Social Circle City Schools, a position he has held since 2019.

State to appeal PSC decision

The State of Georgia will appeal a federal judge’s decision that found statewide elections for Public Service Commission seats illegally weaken the power of Black voters. The case now heads to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Friday’s decision by U.S. District Judge Steven Grimberg, put this year’s planned elections to the utility regulating board on hold. The Public Service Commission sets electricity and natural gas rates, but in the board’s 143 year history, only one Black candidate has ever won election to the board.

Grimberg wrote in his order that statewide Public Service Commission elections violate the Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racially discriminatory voting laws.

Kemp likely to propose $1 billion in tax rebates this week

Governor Kemp plans this week to announce a billion dollar tax rebate financed by Georgia’s record surplus.

The AJC, citing officials with knowledge of his plans, says Kemp’s administration also is exploring a separate rebate for homeowners with plans to roll out the details at a press conference Thursday.

The proposals are the first significant policies Kemp is expected to outline for his second term. The anticipated announcement comes the same week as Kemp's Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams unveiled more details about her economic agenda, which promises pay raises for teachers and some law enforcement officers as well as her own plan for a billion dollar refund for taxpayers, a proposal that would be almost identical to Kemp’s.

Georgia lawmakers introduce fellowship to honor Lewis' legacy

Two members of congress representing Georgia revealed plans to create student fellowships in honor of the late civil rights leader and Atlanta congressman John Lewis.

According to a draft of the legislation, the John Lewis Civil Rights Fellowship would fund international internships and research placements to study nonviolent movements designed to establish and protect civil rights.

Co-sponsoring the legislation are Representative Nikema Williams, who is serving in the congressional district once represented by Lewis, and U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff. Twenty five people would be selected annually for the program.

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!