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 Lou Walker seniors to present gospel musical The Lou Walker Senior Center Performing Arts Group will present a musical, “Hallelujah: In that Great Gettin' Up Mornin,'” on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 7 to 8 p.m


Local News

Atlanta demonstrators demand justice in Michael Brown shooting


Hundreds of demonstrators flooded downtown Atlanta chanting “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” and “I am Mike Brown!” to protest the Ferguson, Missouri police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.


Brown, an African American, was reportedly shot six times on Aug. 9 during a confrontation withDarren Wilson, a white, six-year police officer with the Ferguson Police Department. The shooting, which sparked rioting in Ferguson, a small city of 21,000 near St. Louis, has spurred protests across the nation, including Atlanta where a rally and march were held on Aug. 18 by #ItsBiggerThanYou, a coalition of college students and young activists.


“The time has come for us to fight for our right to be human,” said Elle Lucier, a 19-year-old Georgia State University student helped lead the Atlanta rally. “How good must we look to be considered innocent?”

Lucier, a communications major, remembered not only Michael Brown, but Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African-American who was shot to death on Feb. 12, 2012 by George Zimmerman, a Sanford, FL neighborhood watch coordinator who said he thought the teen looked suspicious. Martin was leaving a convenience store after buying a pack of Skittles and iced tea when he was killed. He was unarmed. Zimmerman was...


Rep. Johnson announces $4.6M to help local homeless veterans


Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04)announced four Atlanta-based groups will receive more than $4.6 million from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to fight veterans’ homelessness.

United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Action Ministries Inc., Travelers Aid of Metropolitan Atlanta Inc. and Decatur Cooperative Ministry Inc. will receive a share of funds to provide services to very low-income veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing in the Fourth District and throughout metro Atlanta.

“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee since 2007, every day I’m inspired to work on behalf of our men and women – and their families – in uniform,” said Johnson, who sent letters of support to the VA for the grants. “I’m pleased to have voted on the VA health reform bill last month, and I’m committed to doing what I can to help our veterans get their lives back on track.”

The grants are part of more than a $300 million nationwide effort in homeless prevention that is going to 301 non-profit community agencies in 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia that will help more than 115,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families.

The program, Supportive Services for Veterans Families...


GPTC Law Enforcement Academy first in state to receive national accreditation

gptc law

Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s (GPTC) Law Enforcement Academy was recognized recently for becoming the first training academy in Georgia to achieve accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).


CALEA is responsible for accrediting numerous law enforcement agencies, public safety communications agencies, law enforcement training academies and campus security agencies throughout the nation and abroad.  


GPTC President Jabari Simama welcomed law enforcement, community, state and local leaders on the college’s Newton campus on Aug. 19 toacknowledge the college’s achievement. In his remarks, Simama said that the officers who graduate from Georgia Piedmont’s Law Enforcement Academy are not only technically skilled but also culturally sensitive.  

“All of our law enforcement graduates are familiar with strategies for community policing,” said Simama.

Simama read a letter from Gov. Nathan Deal, who praised the academy for being the first agency of its kind in Georgia to receive CALEA accreditation.

District 43 State Sen. Ronald B. Ramsey, Sr., District 43 congratulated the academy for attaining national accreditation, referring to CALEA as “the gold standard in public safety accreditation.”  
Mitch Jones, director of the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Council spoke after the senator, saying...


Rockdale residents give thumbs down to garbage pickup proposal


DeKalb conducts survey on pilot program

Rockdale County residents packed a town hall meeting and overwhelmingly voiced their opposition to a proposed countywide curbside garbage collection program.


“I’ve lived in Rockdale County for more than three decades. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. A program like this would take away jobs from collectors that we’ve worked with and have gotten to known on a personal level over the years,” said resident Susan Landress. “I pay over $5,000 a year on taxes. I don’t mind if 15 different garbage trucks come down my street because I pay enough taxes already. We want to keep our current collectors or we can just take the trash to the center ourselves.”


Commissioner Oz Nesbitt, who hosted the Aug. 19 meeting at Johnson Park Recreation Center, said he heard the concerns loudly and clearly. The meeting was the second town hall held on the subject.



“As far as I’m concerned, when I walk out this door tonight, it’s a moot subject. It’s over,” Nesbitt told the crowd of about 70 residents.


Commissioner Janice Van Ness, who was also in attendance, agreed the county would not press the issue.

“In April,...


Georgia’s historic slate pitch campaigns to Lithonia business group


The Greater Lithonia Chamber of Commerce welcomed a group of women looking to make history in the state of Georgia in the November election.


Four of the five African-American women on the Democratic Party ticket for statewide offices came to the Chamber luncheon to network and garner support. They say although the moment is historic, their experience is what should shine through in their respective political races to represent Georgia residents.



“I’ve been in the industry since 1973. I have 40 years of experience and knowledge and I am ready to put that to work for the people of this great state,” said Elizabeth “Liz” Johnson, who is running for Insurance Commissioner.


Connie Stokes, who recently received an endorsement from former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young in her bid for lieutenant governor, said she is ready to put her experience of serving as a state senator and former DeKalb County Commissioner, to one serving the entire state, especially Georgia’s less fortunate.


“So many people are hurting today. My story is no different than many in that I never knew my father, my mother was an alcoholic and I had to be raised by my grandmother so...


APS to host ‘community visioning’ sessions

vision meetings

Atlanta Public Schools will host Community Visioning Sessions across the district to inform and gather feedback from stakeholders about the Georgia Department of Education school system operating models and flexibility options.


The sessions are opportunities to inform the community of the potential choices facing the district and collect feedback from stakeholders – parents, guardians, students, district employees and community members.

Atlanta Public Schools, like other school districts, is legally required to notify the Georgia Department of Education which flexibility option it intends to adopt by June 30, 2015.


An advisory committee has been created with representatives from the district’s schools and administration, as well as appointments from community groups and PTAs. The advisory committee will consider the community’s input in a recommendation it will make to the superintendent in October.

The three major school system operating models and flexibility options are Investing in Educational Excellence (IE2) system, Charter system, and Status Quo system.

This is a major decision for school districts across the state. Public school systems in Georgia are governed by the state’s education law,better known as Title 20 of theOfficial Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.). The operating models vary in requirements for governance structure and allow...


Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office to host gun safety classes

Sheriff L

The Rockdale County Sheriff's Office (RCSO) is set to host two citizen gun safety classes. The classes are designed to give citizens of Rockdale County training on handgun safety. 


The classes will consist of classroom portion and time at the RCSO range.  Each class will be open to 25 participants for each class.  Classes will be held on Saturday Sept. 13 and Oct. 11, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attendees are required to bring their own lunch.

Course topics will include basic firearms safety, current gun laws, and basic nomenclature of the revolver and semi-automatic handguns. At the end of the classroom portion of the course, participants will get the chance to use their firearm at the RCSO’s firing range under the supervision of certified firearms instructors from the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office.

“I am pleased to offer two more gun safety classes for the citizens of Rockdale County,” said Sheriff Eric J. Levett. “It is very important for someone who owns a gun to know the law and how to use the weapons safely. The RCSO firearms instructors will be updating the attendees on all the changes that just took effect July 1.”

Requirements for the course are...



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