Jimmy Carter, Johnny Isakson, voting are among Georgia's top 2019 stories

FILE- In this Oct. 7, 2019 file photo, former President Jimmy Carter builds corbels at a Habitat for Humanity project in Nashville, Tenn. Carter fell at home, requiring 14 stitches, but he did not let his injuries keep him from participating in his 36th building project with the nonprofit Christian housing organization. Carter, the longest serving president in U.S. history, recovered from several falls this year. This was one of the top stories in Georgia in 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

ATLANTA - Georgia's top stories in 2019 included a milestone for Jimmy Carter, as the state's former governor became the longest-lived president in U.S. history despite some health challenges.

Other Georgia news that made national and international headlines: U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson announced his retirement, setting off high-stakes political drama.

The year also saw Atlanta hosting the Super Bowl and Georgia buying new voting machines amid questions about election security.

Here's a look at the state's top news stories in 2019:

photo FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2019 file photo, former President Jimmy Carter listens to a question submitted by a student during an annual Carter Town Hall held at Emory University in Atlanta. Carter, the longest living U.S. president in history, recovered from several falls during the year. This was one of the top stories in Georgia in 2019. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)


Jimmy Carter became the longest-lived president in U.S. history, surpassing George H.W. Bush. He turned 95 on Oct. 1. Carter also suffered a series of falls and was hospitalized several times in 2019. The former president has overcome multiple health challenges in recent years, including being diagnosed with melanoma in 2015. More recently, he was released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta last month after recovering from surgery to relieve pressure on his brain caused by bleeding from one of the falls.

photo The Associated Press / U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., called for bipartisanship in his farewell address in a town in which bipartisanship too often means "see things as Democrats do."


Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson completed a nearly 45-year political career with his retirement from the U.S. Senate, effective Dec. 31, days after his 75th birthday and halfway through his third term. Isakson has battled Parkinson's for several years. A lifelong Republican, Isakson climbed through the ranks of Georgia politics. His resignation handed a plum appointment to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who angered the GOP's conservative base by choosing political novice Kelly Loeffler instead of Rep. Doug Collins, a staunch defender of President Donald Trump. Loeffler, who takes office Jan. 1, 2020, will face voters for the first time next November in a special election to fill the remaining two years of Isakson's term.

photo FILE- In this Nov. 5, 2019 file photo, Courtney Parker votes on a new voting machine, in Dallas, Ga. New voting machines that combine touchscreens with paper ballots are getting a limited test run in Georgia, as officials rush to meet a court-ordered deadline to retire the old system before any votes are cast in 2020. This was one of the top stories in Georgia in 2019. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)


Georgia is up against a court-ordered deadline to retire the state's outdated, paperless voting system before any ballots are cast in 2020. Election officials are working to distribute more than 33,000 new voting machines that combine touchscreen voting with printed ballots, among Georgia's 159 counties. Georgia will be closely watched in 2020 after election officials faced a torrent of criticism in 2018. That led to lawsuits and changes in state law that included switching to a new election system at a cost of $106 million.

photo This July 2, 2019, file photo shows Georgia republican Governor Brian Kemp during a roundtable discussion on Georgia's healthcare challenges at Christ Community Health Center in Augusta, Ga. A federal judge on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, temporarily blocked Georgia's restrictive new abortion law from taking effect, following the lead of other judges who have blocked similar measures in other states. The law signed in May by Kemp bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women realize they're expecting. It allows for limited exceptions. (Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP, File)


A federal judge in October temporarily blocked Georgia's restrictive new abortion law from taking effect. Judges have blocked similar measures in other states. The Georgia law bans abortions once a "detectable human heartbeat" is present, with some limited exceptions. It was signed in May by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. Georgia's so-called heartbeat law is one of a wave of laws passed recently by Republican-controlled legislatures nationwide.


Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp unveiled two proposals that would transform health care in the state. The first could make Georgia a testing ground for several contentious proposals from the Trump administration that would transform the market for individual and family health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The other would expand Medicaid to the state's poorest able-bodied adults, but on the condition that they work, volunteer, receive job training or attend school.


Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta hosted its first Super Bowl in February. The National Football League championship marked the third time the game has been played in Atlanta. The New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl 53 on Feb. 3.


The Atlanta Braves made the playoffs, then made baseball history as they lost 13-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals, knocking them out of the National League Division Series in dramatic fashion. With 10 of their runs coming in the very first inning, the Cardinals had the biggest first inning in Major League Baseball postseason history to win the decisive Game 5 on Oct. 9.

photo FILE - In this June 6, 2016 file photo, former DeKalb Police officer Robert Olsen, who shot and killed Anthony Hill, stands during his arraignment at DeKalb County Superior Court in Decatur, Ga. Olsen, then a DeKalb County police officer, shot and killed 27-year-old Anthony Hill in March 2015. (AP Photo/Branden Camp, File)


A former Georgia police officer was found not guilty of murder in the killing of an unarmed, naked man. However, Robert "Chip" Olsen was convicted of aggravated assault and other crimes in the death of Anthony Hill. He was sentenced in November to 12 years in prison. Olsen had responded to a call of a naked man behaving erratically at an Atlanta-area apartment complex in March 2015 when he killed Hill, 26, a black Air Force veteran who'd been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and PTSD. Olsen, who is white, was acquitted on two counts of felony murder.

photo FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2019, file photo, rescuers work near the stern of the vessel Golden Ray as it lays on its side near the Moran tug boat Dorothy Moran in Jekyll Island, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton, File)


A massive cargo ship carrying more than 4,000 automobiles capsized off the Georgia coast, polluting the sea and some beaches. The Golden Ray, a South Korean vessel, tipped onto its side Sept. 8 shortly after leaving the Port of Brunswick. The ship's pilot and 23 crew members were all rescued. The ship remains beached about 70 miles south of Savannah.

photo U.S. Attorney Byung J. "BJay" Pak announces that Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim C. Beck has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering, Tuesday, May 14, 2019 in Atlanta. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)


Georgia's insurance commissioner in May was indicted on federal charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. A 38-count indictment accuses Jim Beck of orchestrating an elaborate invoicing scheme to steal more than $2 million from his former employer. Beck has declared his innocence, pleaded not guilty to the charges, and voluntarily suspended himself from office shortly after the indictment.