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Appalachian Regional Port to serve four-state region

CHATS WORTH, Ga. - Gov. Nathan Deal, state officials and more than 350 business and civic leaders were on hand today to officially open the Appalachian Regional Port (ARP) in Northwest Georgia.

"The Appalachian Regional Port is a powerful new gateway to the Port of Savannah that extends the efficiencies of Georgia's superior port operations to new markets," Deal said. "It will also serve as an economic development magnet, drawing business and industry to the Southeast U.S."

Located in Murray County, the new state-of-the-art facility will provide logistics solutions for customers in a four-state region and remove an estimated 50,000 trucks and 15 million truck miles from local highways every year.

"The ARP is part of our Network Georgia initiative that brings services from the coast to communities around the state," said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. "The new inland terminal will provide the same, superior quality services our customers have come to rely on: congestion-free, easy access, expedited handling and reliability."

Through intermodal rail service from CSX, the Appalachian Regional Port offers customers across North Georgia, Northeast Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky a more efficient option to move cargo to and from Savannah's container port.

GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood said building additional logistics assets helps fulfill the Authority's overall mission.

"Our job at Georgia's ports is very simple - to build, operate and maintain the very best infrastructure and services in the maritime industry. And, the ARP will be another example of this commitment," Allgood said. "We appreciate the governor's support for the ARP and other projects that have helped to make our ports what they are today. Gov. Deal knows what it takes to make Georgia the No. 1 state in the nation to do business."

Handling both import and export containers, CSX will provide service on a direct, 388-mile rail route to and from the Port of Savannah's Garden City Terminal.

"CSX is proud to serve regional customers through the ARP, which will unlock new economic opportunities while lowering shipping costs," said Dean Piacente, vice president of CSX intermodal sales and marketing. "We applaud the vision and leadership of Governor Deal and the Georgia Ports Authority, as they drive Georgia forward in ways that will benefit both businesses and consumers."

The new rail terminal will be worked by three electric rubber-tired gantry cranes. Each has a lift capacity greater than 40 tons and, working together, can handle 100,000 container lifts

per year.

Murray County is a Tier 1 area, meaning special incentives are available to job creators who locate there. More direct and economical access to the second busiest port on the East Coast will make Murray County more attractive to those involved in site selection.

"The Appalachian Regional Port is a great example of how the GPA is investing in rural Georgia, and not forgetting how that can play into the growing economic strength of the state," Deal said.

Illya Copeland, executive director of the Murray County Industrial Development Authority (IDA), said the area offers prime locations for manufacturing and logistics development near the inland port. "Murray County features 16 sites offering more than 1,500 acres of developable land, most of which can support multiple developments," Copeland said. "Of the 1,500 acres, 258 acres are rail-front property."

He said the IDA bought a 382acre tract in January, and is closing on two port-related projects in the park already.

Other benefits of the Appalachian Regional Port include:

-Sits on 42 acres adjacent to U.S. 411 and features easy access to Interstate 75.

-Will serve as a close, convenient and cost-effective source of empty containers for manufacturers across the region, offering significant savings on repositioning equipment for exports.

-Offers generous container storage terms: five days free storage for loaded containers; 10-day free storage for empties.

-Each round-trip container moved via the ARP offsets 710 truck miles on Georgia highways.


MOHAWK FLOORING Steve Bevan, Director of Transportation and Logistics

"We plan on using it as a cost-savings initiative for Mohawk. Instead of trucking from Savannah to North Georgia, we'll pick up the containers in Chatsworth at the ARP, and truck it from there to our locations. We're going to use it as much as we can. It's a significant cost savings for us."

THOMPSON APPALACHIAN HARDWOODS Claire Getty, Chief Financial Officer

"With the Appalachian Regional Port, we will be able to source the empty containers. Also, it's the same distance from us by truck, but it is closer to the Port of Savannah than Nashville. Cutting that much rail off and keeping the same drayage, we see it as a win. We see it as an opportunity to move as much as we can through the Appalachian Regional Port."

THE ATLAS GROUP Kevin McKone, Vice President, Sales and Marketing

"We're excited it's coming to the community. I think it will shorten the time it takes to get the container in the door, open it up and start selling it."

Shaw Industries named to Selling Power's "50 Best Companies to Sell For" list
At No. 18, Shaw is the only flooring manufacturer to be ranked on the list

Dalton, Ga. – August 21, 2018 – Shaw Industries Group, Inc. (Shaw), a leading floor covering provider, recently earned national recognition, ranking No. 18 on Selling Power magazine's 50 Best Companies to Sell For list. Shaw is the only flooring manufacturer to be ranked on the list.

Each year, the corporate research team at Selling Power magazine assembles and publishes the list of the 50 Best Companies to Sell For. The list represents a variety of company sizes and industries. To gather data, the Selling Power research team issued a comprehensive application with detailed sections covering three broader categories:

1. Compensation and Benefits

2. Hiring, Sales Training, and Sales Enablement

3. Customer Retention

"Being the only flooring manufacturer to be named one of the '50 Best Companies to Sell For' solidifies Shaw's sales leadership position," said Mike Fromm, Shaw's chief human resources officer. "Shaw is committed to investing in our salespeople through training, coaching, building relationships, and providing a high-performance culture of empowerment and accountability, which ultimately culminate in our company's success."

Shaw employs approximately 1,200 sales associates globally and supports them at every stage of their career with multidimensional training and development. Embedded in this training is reinforcement of Shaw's customer - centric approach and a focus on helping customers achieve their objectives and grow their business. The company provides more than 1 million hours of training to associates, including the sales force, annually.

About Shaw Industries

Shaw Industries Group, Inc. is more than a flooring company – we are 22,000 people united in our vision of creating a better future for our customers, for our people, for our community and for our company. We provide carpet, resilient, hardwood, tile & stone, laminate, synthetic turf and other specialty items for residential and commercial markets worldwide. We meet diverse customer needs through an expansive portfolio of brands, including: Anderson Tuftex, COREtec, Patcraft, Philadelphia Commercial, Shaw Contract, Shaw Floors, Shaw Hospitality, Shaw Sports Turf, Southwest Greens, USFloors and more.

Head quartered in Dalton, Georgia, Shaw is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway with nearly $6 billion in annual revenue and representation throughout the U.S., as well as in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, India, Mexico, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. For more information about our company brands, operations and community involvement, or to join our industry-leading team, visit

City of Calhoun's policy on bail upheld by federal appeals court

The city of Calhoun's policy on bail for misdemeanor offenses was upheld by a federal appeals court, clearing the way for resolution of a lawsuit dating back to 2015.

"We're still evaluating what it means for the portion of the case that's left, but we're pleased the Court of Appeals found the Standing Bail Order entirely constitutional," said Andy Davis, a partner with the Rome law firm Brinson Askew Berry.

Calhoun officials hired the firm in 2015 to defend against a class action suit brought by the Southern Center for Human Rights on behalf of Maurice Walker, who spent six days in jail awaiting a hearing because he couldn't afford to post a $160 bond.

Walker, whom his attorney said is schizophrenic, was arrested Sept. 3, 2015, on a charge of pedestrian under the influence. Due to the Labor Day holiday, his case was not due to be heard until Sept. 11, but officials released him Sept. 9 after the suit was filed.

Attorneys for Walker contended it was a violation of the 14th Amendment to keep someone in jail simply because he can't afford bail. At the time of his arrest, the city was using a generic bail schedule.

It later adopted a Standing Bail Order that included the right to a bond hearing within 48 hours but the SCHR contended it still lacked equal protection under the law.

Davis said the case — and several similar ones — are being watched across the country. The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling Tuesday on the Walker v. Calhoun case affirms the right of a court to require bail.

The case moves back to the U.S. District Court for the northern District of Georgia, where Walker is seeking damages for the time he spent in jail.

Calhoun City Schools named Top 5 in Niche's 2019 Best School Districts in Georgia

Calhoun City Schools has been named in the Top 5 of Niche's 2019 Best School Districts in Georgia.

The 2019 Best School Districts ranking is based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of reviews from students and parents using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT/ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings and more.

According to, Calhoun City Schools is a highly rated, public school district located with 4,093 students in grades PreK - 12th grade with a student-teacher ratio of 19 to 1.

Calhoun City Schools overall score is an A, with the assessment from the Niche report card reading: Academics, B+; Diversity, A; Teachers, A; College Prep, A; Clubs & Activities, A+; Health & Safety, A+.

Gordon County Schools came in at No. 45 on the list with an overall grade of B-. is known as the one of the top websites U.S. colleges, schools, neighborhoods, and companies. Every month, millions of people use the easy-to-read and comprehensive reports cards, rankings and reviews to choose the right schools or neighborhood. Niche does rigorous cleaning and analysis on large data sets, and combines them with feedback from the community for nuanced insight that can't be found anywhere else.