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Congressman Johnson announces 2014 winners of CBCF scholarships

Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) announced the winners of the 2014 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Spouses Education Scholarships. The five winners hail from across the Fourth Congressional Dis

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Local News

Calling for Peace:Local police agencies, clergy and community leaders prepare for tensions in Ferguson, MO

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Bracing for the worst, more than 20 law enforcement agencies in metro Atlanta held a joint news conference Nov. 20 to get ahead of the jury decision in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri.

 

Officials say Atlanta is one of the “hotspots” where protests could get out of hand, if City of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, 28, is not indicted. Wilson said he fired in self-defense during the Aug. 9 incident, but demonstrators say the shooting wasn not justified. Wilson shot Brown, who was unarmed, six times. The body of the 18-year-old Brown was left for hours in the street as investigators sealed off the area where the shooting took place. Tensions have been heightened all the more because Wilson is white and Brown was African American.  

leaders listen

Ferguson experienced several weeks of unrest following the shooting and cities around the nation are expected to follow suit if Wilson is not indicted.

The news conference, led by DeKalb County’s top law enforcement official, Cedric Alexander, said it was important to develop a plan locally before a verdict is announced. More than 150 law enforcement officials, clergy and community leaders attended the meeting at the DeKalb County School Board...

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Stonecrest Library manager promoted to system-wide program services coordinator

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Teresa Totten, pictured inside the Stonecrest Library in Southeast DeKalb, says bringing quality educational programs will remain her top priority in her new role with the DeKalb Library System.  

 

Teresa Totten is leaving her position as branch manager of DeKalb County's Stonecrest Library to become the program services coordinator for the DeKalb Public Library System.

 

"I will be working with branch managers to develop meaningful, educational programs for both, youths and adults, across the entire system," said Totten, who starts her new job on Nov. 24. The position is a new one for the library system, she said.

 

The library system has not yet hired a manager to replace Totten at the Stonecrest Library. Amanda Lindsay, the assistant manager, will oversee the Stonecrest branch until a manager has been selected, Totten said.

 

"The library director and assistant director are reviewing applicants both, internally and externally," Totten said.

 

Totten said she is excited about her new position. Prior to joining the DeKalb Library System in November 2009, Totten worked as an assistant branch manager for the Gwinnett Library System. Before herwork in Gwinnett, the Clark Atlanta Universitygraduate worked as a business research librarian for the Robert...

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Masses flock to Rockdale for free turkeys and hams

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Cars snaked beyond the Rockdale County government annex at 1400 Parker Road in Conyers as dozens
of volunteers passed out free frozen turkeys and hams, along with plastic bags filled with canned and dry goods.

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Hundreds of people from various counties–Rockdale, Newton, Monroe and DeKalb counties among them– came for the free food giveaway sponsored by the Resource Center
for Community Action (RCCA). The event was held on Nov. 20–one week before Thanksgiving–to help people get ready for the holidays, said RCCA founder Siddiya Swift.

 

Every month, Swift counts on donations from local grocery stores such as Publix and community contributions to host the mobile food pantry.

 

RCCA will host its Third Annual Community Christmas celebration on Dec. 13 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Parker Road annex. There will be musi, games, raffles, pictures with Santa and other activities.

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Fulton schools to hold fall career fair Dec. 3

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Fulton County Schools is recruiting new teachers through its Fall Career Fair & Interview Day scheduled on Dec. 3.

 

Although most new hires will not begin until the 2015-2016 school year, the district is focusing on assessing potential candidates for future positions. Special education, foreign language, elementary education, math, science ESOL, art and music are among the top areas being recruited. Applicants should bring copies of their resume, teaching certificate, and/or GACE scores. Interviews will be conducted on the spot for current 2014-2015 vacancies.

 

Applicants will hear about the district's culture and the increased focus on teacher quality through a panel discussion with teachers and leaders. Other break-out sessions will be geared toward growth and development opportunities, alternative pathways to becoming a teacher and Fulton’s high expectations for everyone – students, teachers and parents. 

 

On average, the district receives about 8,000 applications each year. As a result, the district’s Talent Department partnered with the New Teacher Project to develop a new teacher selection model to measure potential teacher effectiveness through a more rigorous selection process.

 

The new selection process, which launched last April and was funded by a Belk Family Foundation grant, puts the district's applicants through...

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Rockdale's elected officials to be sworn in Dec. 18

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Rockdale County Superior Court Judge Robert Mumford will preside over the swearing-in ceremony for newly-elected Post 2 Commissioner Doreen Williams and incumbents, Chief Superior Court Judge Judge David Irwin and District Attorney Richard Read, who both ran unopposed. The ceremony is set for Thursday, Dec. 18, 5:30 p.m., in Judge Mumford's courtroom, 922 Court St., Conyers.

 

“This is such an exciting moment for my family and myself. The swearing in ceremony serves a sort of culmination of all of the work from last year and what it took to get to this point,” said Williams, a Democrat who defeated Republican incumbent JaNice Van Ness with 7,437 (55 percent) of the vote. Van Ness received 5,982 votes (45 percent of the vote on Nov. 4.

 

Williams said her husband and other family members, along with church members and the Democratic Party, are planning to attend the ceremony.

Williams said she plans to work hard on increasing efforts for conomic development, including the adoption and implementation of a long-range strategic plan and the coordination of educational courses needed for businesses interested in relocating to Rockdale.

 

Judge Irwin says he, too, is looking forward to the ceremony, especially since Judge Mumford is...

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International Welcome Center unveils diversity mural in Stone Mountain

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In an effort to celebrate the diversity found among DeKalb County schools, the school system unveiled a mural, “Reach for the Stars,” on Nov. 20 at the DeKalb County International Welcome Center. The center is located at the school district’s headquarters at 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain.        

 

The larger-than-life mural depicts five children of different cultures reaching for five multi-colored stars in a valley.

Artist Sara Deery says her motivation for the piece were the diverse students she teaches.  

 

“We are all so different, yet so the same. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what color your skin is, we all have the same dreams and desires; the same hopes and feelings for our future and our lives,” said Deery, an art teacher at DeKalb County’s Oak Grove Elementary School. “When students look at the mural, I want them to remember this: Take every opportunity that comes your way and do your best to fulfill your dreams because you can make them all come true. Reach for the stars and never let anything get in your way or stop you from achieving your dreams.”

 

The DeKalb County School System has nearly 100,000 students including students...

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Fighting crime goes high tech: DeKalb police partner with virtual Neighborhood Watch initiative

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Local neighborhood watch efforts are getting a virtual boost, thanks to a new partnership between the DeKalb County Police Department and Nextdoor (www.nextdoor.com), a private virtual network for neighborhoods.

 

DeKalb Police, which announced the free partnership on Nov. 17, say the Nextdoor web site will allow neighborhoods and police to share information online exclusively with residents from the same neighborhood. If there's a break-in, you can let your neighbors know immediately. If there's a school activity, you can share that information, too, and if the police have issued a BOLO (Be on the lookout), they can alert neighbors in the network.      


“This integration with Nextdoor will enable the DeKalb County Police to communicate online directly with the communities. Residents and police will be able to work together to improve safety and strengthen neighborhood watch efforts,” Deputy Chief Operating Officer of Public Safety Cedric Alexander said.

 

Each neighborhood can create and self-manage its own private Nextdoor neighborhood website, accessible only to residents of that neighborhood. All members must verify that they live within the neighborhood. Information shared on Nextdoor is password protected and not found on search engines. DeKalb Police will be able to post important information, such as...

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