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Charis Books honors Anne Olson as “July Book Curator” Age hasn’t stopped Anne Olson from remaining extremely active in her Atlanta community. The 80-year-old is being honored by Charis Books and More

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Local News

Voters keep some incumbents, elect new leaders

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According to unofficial results posted by Georgia’s Secretary of State Valarie D. Wilson will represent the Democratic Party in the race for the State School Superintendent seat. The seat will be left open because current State School Superintendent John Barge is running for Governor.  

 

Wilson received 73,590 or 54.38 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat opponent Alisha Morgan who had 61,726 or 45.62 percent of the vote. In November, Wilson will face Republican Richard L. Woods, who received 199,259 or 50.09 percent of the vote. Woods defeated Michael “Mike” Buck who received 49.91 percent of the vote.

 

In the race to name DeKalb’s Sheriff, incumbent Jeff Mann easily defeated former CEO Vernon Jones with 40, 537 or 76.36 percent of the vote. Jones received 12,553 or 23.64 percent of the vote.

In DeKalb’s election to elect leaders for the county school system, former school headmaster Vickie Turner, with 5,192 or 59.74 percent of the vote, defeated incumbent Thad Mayfield for the District 5 Board of Education seat. Mayfield received 3,499 or 40.26 percent of the vote.

 

Incumbent Jim McMahan will keep his District 4 seat, receiving 4,618 or 57.57 percent of the vote. Competitor Karen Carter received...

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DeKalb schools receive $3 million grant to improve instructional leadership

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The Wallace Foundation is investing $3 million in a five-year effort to help the DeKalb County School District improve the instructional leadership skills of its principals and regional superintendents.

 

The DeKalb grant is part of Wallace’s new $30-million national Principal Supervisor Initiative involving 14 urban school districts across the country.

 

“We are honored to have been selected by the Wallace Foundation to participate in this groundbreaking initiative” stated DeKalb County School Superintendent Michael Thurmond. “This is a game-changer for the DeKalb School System.”  

DeKalb has come under scrutiny for its graduation rates. In May, 24 percent (1,456) of the county’s 4,498 students did not receive their diplomas. Only two of DeKalb’s 25 high schools – DeKalb Early College Academy with 37 seniors and DeKalb School of the Arts with 67 seniors – graduated their entire senior class.

 

School officials are looking at a number of ways to improve the rate.

The Wallace Foundation launched this initiative because the often overlooked regional superintendent position has emerged as central to improving principals’ performance and ultimately, student achievement.

 

“In many large school districts, principal supervisors oversee too many principals – 24 on average – and focus too much on...

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Simulated school shooting keeps Rockdale deputies prepared

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With the countdown on for students to return to school, Rockdale County Sheriff deputies recently got some classroom and hands-on training—a refresher course on how to handle a shooter on school campuses.

 

 

The mayhem: rapid fire, explosions and screaming children. Rockdale deputies took these dangers head on as a part of a simulated shooting at Honey Creek Elementary School in Conyers on July 16.

Rockdale students return to classes for the new school year on July 28. They are among the first school districts to head back to school in the metro Atlanta area.

 

 

gunwalk“If a school shooting happens in Rockdale, we don’t want our deputies wondering if they should wait for back up, should they just go in the school. We don’t want them to be caught completely off guard,” said Sergeant Jeremy Mote, training coordinator. “If a school shooting happens, our deputies won’t be looking around saying oh crap, what should I do, they will be prepared for it.”

The training and simulation will be conducted yearly for deputies to be up-to-date on training tactics and more importantly, so they will know what to do if they are put in the middle of a...

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Rockdale weighs countywide curbside trash pickup program

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CONYERS--James Skipper, a trumpet instructor, doesn’t like the sound of Rockdale County commissioners approaching a proposal to provide countywide curbside garbage pickup.

 

Skipper, who prefers to take his trash to a recycling center, says county officials shouldn’t impose a new sanitation program on residents because it would likely drive up the costs.

 

“As a widower, I eat out all the time. The little trash I have I can just take it myself to the recycling center,” said Skipper, who pays 50 cents per bag of trash. “This is something we simply don’t need. We don’t want the extra tax and if we are given the opportunity to opt out, we all will.”

On July 15, County Commissioner Oz Nesbitt organized a town hall meeting for residents to give their opinion on the county possibly providing trash service, instead of residents using private haulers, or for those like Skipper, who drive their trash to a recycling center.

 

“Right now, it’s too early to say whether I am for or against this. This town hall showed me that there are a lot of questions that need answers before we could formally even consider adopting a county-wide trash collection,” said...

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GPTC welcomes Teddy Riley for grand opening

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Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) will welcome Grammy Award winning producer, writer and musician Teddy Riley to help cut the ribbon for the grand opening of the college’s new Design Media Production Technology Studio.

 

The grand opening will be on Thursday, July 24, 4 – 6 p.m., at the college’s DeKalb campus. The state-of-the-art production studio and mac lab will train students in the growing field of 3-D animation, Graphic Design, Web Interface, Motion Graphics, TV Production and Digital Music Production.

 

“Georgia Piedmont Technical College continues to be on the cutting edge of academic programs that meet the workforce needs of our region,” said Dr. Jabari Simama, president of Georgia Piedmont Technical College. “With Georgia being among the top five states in the nation for film and television production, graduates from this program will be qualified to work in this growing media industry.”

 

Dr. Simama said this program emphasizes hands-on production in specialized areas of new and emerging media. Students will learn how to animate objects using specialized computer software, design graphics for web-based programs, proper techniques for videography, editing, lighting and camera work.

 

President of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Chris Clark, is expected to...

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Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce invites you on an excursion to Japan

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The world’s first bullet train, a man-made island and stunning mountain views are just some of the highlights the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce’s Japan trip will offer those looking to explore “the land of the rising sun.”

 

The Chamber, which offers annual trips to the Far East, has added Japan to its heavily stamped passport and would like you to join them as they take on Tokyo.

 

“Just seeing the bullet train is a highlight in itself, but I think travelers will really respect the efficiency of Japan travel. There will be scheduled tours, and travelers can see Japan on their own at their leisure,” said Fred Boscarino, president of the Chamber. “You will also get to see pure waters, enjoy fresh mountain air and even take in some volcanic activities.”

 

The Chamber is encouraging anyone who wants to go to sign up for the trip, even those who live outside of Rockdale County.

 

The Chamber has commissioned the assistance of Asia Getaway Inc., to handle travel accommodations. In March, the Chamber used the travel company to go to China, where sightseers from Georgia, New York, New Jersey and even California went on the trip.

 

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Auburn Avenue Library to close for expansion

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Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History will temporarily close on July 19 for renovation and expansion.

 

The 56,000-square-foot library renovation and expansion of the current library located at Auburn Avenue and Courtland Street, is just one part of the “Library Building Program” that is currently underway.

 

When the renovation and expansion are complete, some of the features of the renovated design will include an auditorium on the ground floor with state-of-the-art presentation equipment, expanded gallery and program space and expanded and improved archives.

JWRA / Freelon, a joint venture of J. W. Robinson & Associates and Freelon Group, Inc. has contracted with Fulton County to provide design and engineering services for the new library. Heery/Russell is the program management team.

 

“Construction for the expansion and renovation will take approximately 12 months, and the reopening of the renovated and expanded research library is expected to be in the fourth quarter of 2015,” said Kelly Robinson Vann, library spokesperson.  

 

During construction Auburn Avenue Research Library services will be available at the Central Library at One Margaret Mitchell Square, Atlanta 30303, on the corner of Carnegie Way and Forsyth Street.

The other part of...

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