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Super majority could lead to split of Fulton

Georgia House Republicans meet to elect their leadership at the state Capitol this morning. As it stands, the GOP accounts for 119 of the 180 seats in the House, one shy of a super majority. 

But Rep. Rusty Kidd, the only Independent in the House, could change that.  He tells WSB's Sandra Parrish he plans to meet with House leadership to discuss caucusing with the Republicans, pointing out the Georgia Democratic Party has worked to unseat him the past two elections.

That would give Republicans in the House the two-thirds majority to pass a constitutional amendment.

The Senate picked up enough seats in last week's election to give Republicans 38 seats, enough for a super majority in that chamber.

When asked what benefit a super majority could give Republicans in the Legislature, Gov. Nathan Deal seemed less enthused.

"Under the normal scheme of things, you're looking at simply a majority plus one and I don't know that that ratio has a whole lot of practical significance," he says.

But one proposed constitutional amendment it could if affect is one to expand the number of counties in Georgia. 

For several years, House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones has pushed for the legislation that would allow counties that once existed to be recreated. 

Specifically, it could allow for the recreation of Milton County which was combined with Fulton during the Depression and would consist of the state's largest cities including Roswell, Sandy Springs, and Johns Creek.

Supporters have long said Fulton County has grown too large to meet the needs of its residents, especially those in the northern end. 


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  • The advantage of having a doorbell camera connected to a phone is that the user can see who is at the door. Usually. A Kansas man got a big surprise when he saw motion on the camera at his Overland Park home -- a 4-foot rat snake. Kyle Crane told KMBC he did not know what was ringing his doorbell. Figuring it was a lizard, he went outside to investigate. “Not what I expected,” Crane said in a video. “It’s a rat snake just hanging out on my Ring doorbell. I thought it was a lizard. I saw some motion, and I was wondering how he got out here. Then I come out here, and I see we have a snake.” Rat snakes are not venomous and are common to Kansas, KMBC reported. They kill their prey by constriction and can grow as long as 7 feet. After getting over his initial surprise, Crane relocated the snake to a nearby creek, the television station reported.
  • A small Texas county will start arresting people that aren’t self-quarantining who have tested positive for coronavirus. The county attorney in Brooks County, which is just 80 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, decided to adopt the policy after community members complained that people who had tested positive the virus were spotted at grocery stores and businesses, according to KIII-TV. “If you’re going to go out and endanger other people, and we find out about it, we will prosecute you. People have not really embraced the dangers of COVID-19. It’s dangerous. It’s killing people, and it’s making people very sick. So either do it because you’re concerned about others or do it because you’re going to be punished if you don’t,” Brooks County attorney David Garcia told KIII-TV. Garcia said that it falls under Texas Penal Code 22.05: Sec. 22.05. DEADLY CONDUCT. (a) A person commits an offense if he recklessly engages in conduct that places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury. TEXAS PENAL CODE - TITLE 5. OFFENSES AGAINST THE PERSON - CHAPTER 22. ASSAULTIVE OFFENSES A person who is positive for COVID-19 does not need to infect another person to be arrested. Exposure is considered enough to be in violation, according to KSAT. There have been 10 cases in Brooks County as of Monday.
  • A Virginia woman pleaded guilty Monday to killing her former boyfriend’s 10-month-old puppy by hanging it from a tree with an extension cord. Yasmine Monae Burton, 22, of Powhatan County, entered a guilty plea to torturing an animal causing its death, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. Burton was accused in the Nov. 20 killing of Choppo, a tan and white pit bull puppy that was found hanging in the woods near Burton’s home, the newspaper reported. Burton was arrested two days later, according to Powhatan County court records. An accompanying charge of grand larceny against Burton was dropped, according to Powhatan Deputy Commonwealth Attorney Robert Cerullo. Burton had been accused of taking the animal from her former boyfriend’s home in Dinwiddie County, but Cerullo said he had not heard from the dog’s owner since Burton’s preliminary hearing in December, the Times-Dispatch reported. Burton, who will be sentenced Oct. 22, could face up to five years in prison, according to Powhatan County court records. Burton faces up to five years in prison when she is sentenced Oct. 22. Although she initially denied hurting the animal, Burton admitted in a subsequent interview that she killed Choppo, “to get back at my boyfriend,” the Times-Dispatch reported. “She indicated that she was upset with her boyfriend because he ‘beat me’ and ‘got me hooked on meth,’” Cerullo told the court.
  • A female detective in Alabama died early Monday morning in what authorities are saying was a domestic disturbance involving her ex-boyfriend, from whom she had previously sought protection.  Montgomery police Detective Tanisha Pughsley, 27, was pronounced dead at the scene in the 6700 block of Overview Drive, according to city officials. Pughsley, who was off-duty at the time, had been with the police department since 2016. Brandon Deshawn Webster, 24, has been charged with capital murder, capital murder during the course of a burglary and attempted murder, Montgomery County Detention Center records show. He is being held without bond on the murder charges. His bail on the attempted murder charge was set at $150,000. According to, the attempted murder charge stems from several shots Webster fired at Jeremy Terrell Walker. Webster was no longer at the scene when police and paramedics arrived but was quickly identified as a suspect, reported. He was later taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force. “Our entire community today mourns the death of one of our own, Tanisha Pughsley,” Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said in a statement. “Detective Pughsley answered the call to serve, defend and protect our city. We stand today with her family, friends, colleagues and all who loved her, praying for comfort, peace and healing during this tragic time.” Reed ordered that all city flags be lowered to half-staff in honor of Pughsley. Black mourning wreaths were also placed on the doors to the police department. Pughsley was a graduate of Alabama State University in Montgomery. Lloria James, chief deputy district attorney for Montgomery County, told the Montgomery Advertiser that Webster’s capital murder charge has the added enhancement of the alleged crime having taken place while a court-ordered protective order was in place. Court records obtained by the Advertiser showed that Pughsley filed for a protective order May 22, citing a physical assault that occurred two days prior. The detective wrote that Webster had hit her twice in the head while she was holding an infant, whom identified as Pughsley’s 5-month-old godchild. “His actions caused me to drop the infant,” Pughsley wrote, according to the newspaper. “Although Brandon has moved out of the residence, he continues to unexpectedly show up and physically assault me. He sends threatening text messages and once he is blocked, he continues to call my phone private.” Pughsley wrote that Webster had stolen from her, stalked her and threatened her. Her final request on the application was that he be forced to surrender any firearms in his possession. The protective order was granted – but without that caveat, the Advertiser reported. The order was to remain in effect until December.
  • Wildlife officials in Mississippi said they found a man’s boot Monday with human remains inside. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks reported finding the boot along the bank of the Mississippi in an area near Natchez called Anna’s Bottom, The Natchez Democrat reported. County Coroner James Lee said the Adams County Sheriff’s Office called him after wildlife officials reported finding the boot. “A man working in the area of the river walked up on what appeared to be a boot with human remains intact,” Lee told The Democrat. “I arrived at the scene around 1:45 p.m. when I noticed a boot lying on the river edge where the water had receded.” The remains were taken to the Mississippi State Crime Lab for analysis, WAPT reported. Lee said an anthropologist will conduct a post-mortem examination to try to identify the remains. “This case is very interesting to me because after being published we may be able to identify the remains by forensic analysis,” Lee told The Democrat. “I am very sorry that someone lost a loved one this way, but it is my duty to identify the remains to the best of my ability.”
  • A 35-year-old Florida woman was arrested after deputies say she tried to use a blow torch to burn down her former residence. A witness told police her house was on fire and that Monica Gluck, 35, was spotted leaving it holding a blow torch, according to WFLA. The witness recognized the woman because she currently lived in Gluck’s former home and had interacted with her before, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. Law enforcement officials later located Gluck, and she told them that she wanted to burn down house because “bad things” occurred there. She was arrested on charges of arson to a dwelling and burglary to a dwelling. Her bond was set at $20,000, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.