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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

DeKalb police seek arson suspect

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The DeKalb County Police Department is seeking the public's health in locating the alleged arson suspect in the Fairington Elementary School fire, which happened on Jan. 17.

If you have any information about the fire or the alleged suspect, call 678-676-1810.

 

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Interim CEO Lee May presents State of DeKalb Address

Lee may

To the members of the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners, business and community leaders, employees, and fellow citizens: good morning.

I come before you to report on the state of DeKalb County Government, and I'm pleased to report that we are turning the corner.

We are moving in the right direction, and in collaboration with the people of DeKalb, we are better governed. We are stronger. We are more prosperous. We are renewed.

One year ago, I stood before you as our county was in a time of turmoil and uncertainty about our future and direction of our county.

I asked that we all step forward as servant leaders in our time of need; that we act with collaboration and unity; that we come together as one.

Well, my fellow citizens, we are coming together; the public sector and the private sector; our schools and our neighborhoods; our faith community and our business community.

And we are beginning to see the results. We are creating more and better jobs every day. Our local economy is improving and opportunities are expanding. The crime rate is dropping. Our neighborhoods are safer. And we are living within our means and making government more...

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Ramsey, Williams to host Rockdale town hall

Flyer for 1-31-15

State Sen. Ron Ramsey, D-43, and Rockdale County Commissioner Doreen Williams will host a community town hall on Saturday, Jan. 31, 8:30 a.m. – noon, at Edwards Middle School, 2633 Stanton Road S.E., Conyers.

“Highlights for 2015” will begin with breakfast and includes a question-and-answer period after the senator and commissioner makes their presentations. Attendees also will be able to visit information tables as well and talk one-on-one with elected officials.

In addition to Ramsey and Williams, State Rep. Pam Dickerson, D-113, Rockdale Schools Superintendent Richard Autry, Rockdale Sheriff Eric Levett and Conyers Councilman Cleveland Stroud are expected to attend the meeting.

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May: Transform Memorial Drive into ‘Downtown DeKalb’

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DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May unveiled a bold, new idea to give DeKalb a fresh start in an area long neglected. He wants to build a government center near I-285 and Memorial Drive, continuing the county’s transformation from one of political turmoil to one of progress.

In his second State of the County address on Jan. 22, May said, the county is “moving in the right direction.”

“We are moving in the right direction, and in collaboration with the people of DeKalb, we are better governed. We are stronger. We are more prosperous. We are renewed,” said May, who was appointed Interim CEO by Gov. Nathan Deal 18 months ago after CEO Burrell Ellis was suspended amidst corruption allegations.

May said the new government center at I-285 and Memorial Drive would be the anchor of “Downtown DeKalb.” With hundreds of publicly- owned land available near the Kensington MARTA station, he said, the Memorial Drive corridor is ripe for growth. Downtown DeKalb would be developed with public-private partnerships focused on transit-oriented projects, he said.

“This vision is about giving attention to a part of the county that has been neglected for decades,” said May. “I believe, once complete, this vision...

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Johnson named Ranking Member of Regulatory Reform subcommittee

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Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) was named Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, a post he also held in the 113th Congress.

“As the former Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy, I have long supported competition, consumer welfare, and workers’ rights,” said Johnson. “I look forward to building on these issues and working in new areas as Ranking Member of the Regulatory Reform, Commercial & Antitrust Law Subcommittee.”

As Ranking Member of the Subcommittee last Congress, Johnson served as the Subcommittee’s top Democrat during hearings on net neutrality, the proposed mergers of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, and worked across the aisle to pass legislation to update the nation’s bankruptcy laws.

In the 114th Congress, Congressman Johnson will serve on two subcommittees: Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, where he will pursue his Arbitration Fairness Act; and the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. “I am proud to serve on these two important committees, which will benefit my constituents in the Fourth District and the nation by allowing me
to continue to champion the rights of all Americans--consumers, workers and the middle class. I will continue to fight to...

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Rep. Johnson’s Grand Jury Reform Act gains support

Hanksmiles

Responding to calls that the nation’s grand jury system is broken when police are investigated for the killing of civilians, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04) has re- introduced the Grand Jury Reform Act, H.R. 429.

“Last December, in the wake of a New York grand jury’s egregious failure to bring charges against Eric Garner’s killer, I introduced the Grand Jury Reform Act. This bill requires that a special prosecutor – not a grand jury – investigate whether to bring charges when a police officer kills a civilian,” Johnson said.

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The bill, which now has 13 co-sponsors, requires the appointment of a special prosecutor to conduct an investigation and present the results to a judge in a probable cause hearing, open to the public, whenever a police officer kills an individual while acting in the line of duty.

“People demand an end to what is perceived as unequal justice, and that those who are responsible for the use of excessive force be brought to justice,” said Johnson. “They do not trust a secret grand jury system that is so clearly broken. My bill will help restore that trust. No longer will communities have to rely on the secret and biased grand jury...

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DeKalb School District sets meetings for Superintendent’s search

schoolmeetings

The DeKalb County Board of Education and PROACT Search have finalized the schedule for community meetings regarding the district’s upcoming Superintendent search.

Residents and other stakeholders are invited to attend one of six upcoming focus groups to share input about the characteristics and experience that should qualify candidates for the job of superintendent.

The district is seeking to replace Superintendent Michael Thurmond, who announced his plans to leave the position in June when his contract expires. Thurmond has said he plans to return to work as an attorney for Butler Wooten & Fryhofer, a nationally-known civil trial practice firm. Thurmond stepped down from the firm in February 2013 to serve as DeKalb Schools’ chief.

During his helm, Thurmond is credited with turning the troubled school system around through a number of improvements including: eliminating a $14 million deficit and creating a $40 million reserve fund with no tax increase; Improving school safety; establishing three of the district’s four STEM certified schools including the first STEM middle school in the state; placing three elementary schools in the top 25 of the state’s more than 2,000 elementary schools for academic achievement; and Improving graduation rates by more than five percentage points over...

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