FILE- Peaches

Fresh peaches at a farmer's market.

DOT seeking public comments on Atlanta-Charlotte high speed rail system

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the Federal Railroad Administration are asking for the public’s input on a proposed Atlanta-to-Charlotte high speed rail system.

The proposed rail line will extend a proposed high-speed rail system that will connect Charlotte with Washington, D.C. and Richmond, Va.

An open house was held in Atlanta on Tuesday night and open houses are scheduled for Charlotte and Greenville, S.C. Wednesday and Thursday nights. The public has three options. Transportation officials will weigh public comments when making their decision, according to a news release from GDOT.

Anyone who cannot attend an open house in person can comment here. The deadline is Nov. 4.

New voting machines used to decide voters’ favorite crop

About 3,700 people who attended the Georgia National State Fair in Perry used the state’s new voting machines to decide on their favorite crop, according to a news release from the Secretary of State’s office.

This was another test for the new machines provided by Dominion Voting Systems, who won the state contract in July.

The machines are currently involved in a pilot program during municipal elections in Bartow, Carroll, Catoosa, Decatur, Lowndes and Paulding counties with Cobb County using hand marked ballots counted by scanners.

Fair voters selected peaches as their favorite crop and favorite ice cream flavor with pecans coming in second.

House Rural Development Council has two days of meetings scheduled

The House Rural Development Council has scheduled meetings on Oct. 29 and Oct. 30 at the College of Coastal Georgia in Kingsland.

The council will discuss a long list of issues that includes hemp research, international and domestic trade and solar energy.

Also on the agenda is a discussion of House Bill 511. The bill will add a 50-cent fee for taxis, limousines and a 25-cent fee on ride-sharing services. As much as $60 million annually could be raised by the proposed fee.

The council will get an overview of state transportation from Rep. Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville, who chairs the Transportation Committee in the House of Representatives.

Miller to introduce bill clarifying sexual assault in schools

Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller, R – Gainesville, is introducing a bill that would change the Georgia Code on sexual assault in schools to include victims who are not enrolled in the school where the assault happened, according to a press release.

Miller cited a court ruling that determined a felony sexual assault charge was not applicable for a coach if he did not teach at the school where the student attended.

The proposed change to wording “enrolled as a student at the school” would add the words “within the school district.”

“This legislation will fix an oversight in our existing law and will add necessary protections for victims of sexual assault by ensuring their perpetrators can be brought to justice,” Miller said. “I hope we can get this legislation passed and to the Governor’s desk as soon as possible during the 2020 legislative session.”