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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


Local News

AAA: Expect cheaper gas prices through the holidays

cheap gas

There’s good news for people who will be traveling by automobile this holiday season: Gas prices will be the cheapest the nation has had in the last five years, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).


The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded was $2.82 on Sunday. That’s 46 cent lower than this time last year, AAA said. It’s a welcome relief from prices that had been over $3 a gallon around the nation.


“Gas prices should continue falling through the rest of the year. If the trend continues, prices could fall another 10 to 20 cents,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA-The Auto Club Group.


Analysts say the falling prices are due to oil now selling for less than $80 a barrel and a surge in U.S. energy production. Oil production in states like Oklahoma, Texas and North Dakota has doubled in just six years, economists say.

Jenkins said the falling prices for oil is boosting the economy just in time for holiday shopping.  


“Travelers are thankful to have more money in their pockets due to falling gas prices," said Jenkins. "Cheaper gasoline has helped boost disposable income and consumer spending, which...


Mayhem in Ferguson


                 Grand Jury: No charges against Officer Darren Wilson

M Brown

After a few brief minutes of peace on Monday, violence quickly erupted in Ferguson, MO after officials announced that a grand jury had decided police officer Darren Wilson will not face any criminal charges in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Demonstrators in Ferguson began looting and throwing bricks as police fired tear gas to control the crowds. Several people were reportedly arrested in the melee.  
In Atlanta, many expressed that they were upset, taking to social media to vent, but calm prevailed. Law enforcement, clergy and community leaders throughout metro Atlanta had met days ahead of the grand jury’s decision to promote peace.

Protestors again promised Monday night to demonstrate peacefully during a “speak-out” planned at Underground Atlanta. “I’m almost at a loss for words. I’m fighting my rage,” said Arielle
Lucier, who has been following the Ferguson case and leading protests in Atlanta under the hash tag #ITSBIGGERTHANYOU.

Lucier said she and others in Atlanta plan to continue their non-violent demonstrations.

"We encourage people to get out in the streets and let your voice be heard nonviolently. We will first mobilize in the street and then move for legislation. People...


Tree of Love kicks off with dozens signing on to help kids in need


The spirit of giving was in the air as dozens of shoppers at the Gallery at South DeKalb added a needy child to their holiday list on Nov. 22 in Decatur.


“Let’s make a difference in our community. This is the time to be a blessing to someone else, and you never know what this will do for these kids,” said DeKalb Commissioner Larry Johnson, who was on hand to host the 16th annual Tree of Love toy drive. “Some kids want something as simple as a G.I. Joe or a leapfrog. If you can’t do that, buy them a book, T-shirts. Most of these children will receive nothing on Christmas without people pitching in.”


decorationsSince its inception, the event has served about 7,000 children of needy families, Johnson said.


The children come from the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) foster care and low-income households in and around the community. Donors are asked to take a child’s name from the Tree of Love and purchase a gift and return it on or before the Christmas program that is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 20, noon, at the Macy’s stage at the Gallery at South DeKalb.



Deal names new leaders for public safety, education, family services, community affairs


Gov. Nathan Deal announced appointments to positions of leadership in various state government roles, several of which will become effective in January.

Maj. Gen. Jim Butterworth will become the director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) effective in January. Butterworth will replace Charley English, who will assume the position of deputy director of GEMA. The governor has also tapped Brig. Gen. Joe Jarrard, current assistant adjutant general of the Georgia Department of Defense, to serve as the adjutant general of Georgia effective in January.

Camila Knowles, current chief of staff for U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, has been nominated, pending board approval, to be the commissioner for the Department of Community Affairs effective in January. Knowles is replacing Gretchen Corbin, who has been nominated by Deal, pending board approval, as the commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) effective upon Commissioner Ron Jackson’s retirement in January. Matt Arthur, current director for education reform for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, will serve as deputy commissioner of TCSG. Dr. Susan Andrews, current deputy superintendent of Race to the Top at the Georgia Department of Education, has been tapped to replace Arthur.

Deal also nominated Tricia Chastain, current associate...




Free giveaways help hundreds in DeKalb and Rockdale


More than 400 turkeys were distributed to needy families in DeKalb County on Nov. 22 as a part of The Women in NAACP, DeKalb County Branch, and County Commissioner Larry Johnson’s 2nd Annual Holiday Turkey Giveaway.


The frozen turkeys were distributed in the parking lot at the Gallery at South DeKalb, where hundreds of families were wrapped around the lot by the time the sun came up.


“I got here at 5 a.m. I’m glad I came here early, too. Never thought the line would be this long,” said Gerald Henson of Decatur. “I’m very grateful and thankful to Larry Johnson and the women of the NAACP for coming out here in the cold and helping out the people.”


Commissioner Johnson said testimonies such as Henson’s show that a great need still exists in the county, especially during the holiday season.

“Look around us. The need is still here. They say the recession is over, but you still have people who are suffering, who need our help,” said Johnson, who represents DeKalb’s District 3, which includes the mall where the giveaway was held. “This is just a small part...


Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms celebrates adoptions

The Bottoms Family

Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms counts her blessings every day. She and her husband are ever thankful for the three boys and a girl that they adopted and they cherish every day as a family.


“It is often assumed that my four children were lucky to have been adopted by my husband and me; when in fact, it is my husband and I who hit the lottery of life. I cannot imagine our lives without having our amazing children at the center of it,” said Bottoms.  



In November, Bottoms and Families First helped marked National Adoption Month by hosting a lunch and learn at City Hall. The information session brought awareness to adoption and foster care in the community and the importance of giving children permanent, safe, and loving families. 


Statistics from Fulton County Juvenile Court show more than 100,000 children in the United States foster care system are waiting to be adopted and more than 1,000 children in Georgia need permanent families.

“I am overjoyed that I was able to host this event. It truly has been an honor to share the joy of helping my children and others create a permanent home,” said...


DeKalb’s Snapfinger Elementary teacher inducted into Alabama A&M Hall of Fame


Snapfinger Elementary School’s Karsten Edwards now joins some of his alma mater’s most famous alumni including Olympic champion Dannette Young-Stone, four-time NFL Superbowler Howard Ballard and former NBA player Mickell Gladness in Alabama A&M University’s Sports Hall of Fame.


“It’s been very humbling. You work so hard, run and train everyday. You never think something like this will happen. I was just working hard at a sport I loved,” said Edwards, who has been a physical education teacher for the DeKalb County School System for the last 18 years. “It was nice to share the moment with fellow inductee and teammate Georgia Harrison. This induction also serves as a chance to show my family and the kids I teach the rewards you receive in the future will be worth the work and dedication you put it now.”


Held last month in Huntsville, AL, the ceremony was a time for father Joel Edwards to stand proudly.


“Karsten is a great athlete, but more importantly, he is a great son and a great teacher. We were all so proud at his induction. He really deserves it, hands down,” said Joel Edwards, a resident of Decatur, who was joined by...



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