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DeKalb government offices closed due to snow

DeKalb government offices closed due to snow

DeKalb County government offices and buildings are closed today as snow blankets streets and frigid temperatures continue. Libraries, senior centers, and recreation centers are all closed today, in addition to the county courts. Garbage pick-up, already cancelled Monday due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, will be delayed another day. Three DeKalb fire stations that served as overnight warming...
Snow in Gwinnett: Closures and delays abound, roads ‘not favorable’

Snow in Gwinnett: Closures and delays abound, roads ‘not favorable’

Snow hit Gwinnett County and the rest of metro Atlanta overnight, forcing myriad closures and delays and making roads dangerous, officials said.  “There isn’t anywhere that is safe to drive at the moment,” Gwinnett police Sgt. Jake Smith said around 8 a.m.  TRAFFIC: Widespread snow hinders Georgia DOT efforts to clear roads TIPS: Winter weather in Atlanta...
Fulton County government closed Wednesday for inclement weather

Fulton County government closed Wednesday for inclement weather

All Fulton County government offices will be closed Wednesday, due to the potential for ice and snow. All courts in the Atlanta Judicial Circuit will also be closed, and jurors should not report. For updated information about closings, see www.fultoncountyga.gov or @FultonInfo on Facebook and Twitter.
Metro Atlanta governments, others shelter homeless during cold weather

Metro Atlanta governments, others shelter homeless during cold weather

Six people have died of hypothermia since Dec. 1, the social impact director for Central Atlanta Progress said Tuesday, as he urged those without residences to seek shelter in the coming days. Channel 2 Action News meteorologists were predicting a mix of rain and snow Tuesday evening, then high temperatures in the 20s, with low temperatures in the teens through Thursday. Low temperatures...
Former MARTA exec sentenced to 33 months in $500,000 scheme

Former MARTA exec sentenced to 33 months in $500,000 scheme

A federal judge Tuesday sentenced a former MARTA executive to 33 months in prison for his role in a scheme that cost the agency more than $500,000. Joseph Erves, 53, MARTA’s former senior director of operations, admitted orchestrating a false invoice scheme that led the agency to pay for maintenance work that was never performed. Tuesday, he expressed remorse for his actions and asked the...
Whistleblower cases cost Fulton taxpayers $575,000, and counting

Whistleblower cases cost Fulton taxpayers $575,000, and counting

It was a brazen scheme by a mid-level Fulton County employee to help fund a side business with taxpayer money. Nicola Hosier, a former financial systems supervisor in the Human Services Department, used her county-issued credit card to buy linens, chairs, place settings, appliances, silverware, champagne flutes and other items for her private event-planning business, Exquisite Events Atlanta LLC,...
Cobb government to close early, open late due to possible snow

Cobb government to close early, open late due to possible snow

Cobb County government is closing early Tuesday and opening late Wednesday in anticipation of freezing weather and possible snow. Government buildings, including libraries, will close at 6 p.m. this evening and open at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning. The decision was made in an effort to reduce travel time on potentially dangerous roads. The transportation department spent Tuesday treating bridges and other ...
Gwinnett opens warming center, preps roads as frigid weather looms

Gwinnett opens warming center, preps roads as frigid weather looms

Gwinnett County opened a “warming center” Tuesday afternoon as frigid — and possibly dangerous — temperatures approached.  It was an unusual move for a county that, despite having one of metro Atlanta’s largest homeless populations, has not historically opened such facilities. The center was scheduled to open at 4 p.m. at Hopewell Missionary Baptist...
Gwinnett will seek $2.5M to cover Tropical Storm Irma expenses

Gwinnett will seek $2.5M to cover Tropical Storm Irma expenses

Gwinnett County will ask for as much as $2.5 million in federal and state grants to help cover the cost of cleaning up after Tropical Storm Irma.  Irma struck parts of Florida and Georgia over several days in September. In Gwinnett, it knocked down hundreds of trees and utility lines and left tens of thousands without power.  More from subscriber site myAJC.com: A year later, Gwinnett&rsquo...
5 things to know: The Atlanta City Hall bribery scandal

5 things to know: The Atlanta City Hall bribery scandal

It’s been about a year since contractor Elvin “E.R.” Mitchell Jr. admitted to paying more than $1 million in bribes to a still unnamed person under the belief some of the money would go to people with authority over city contracts. A second contractor, Charles P. Richards Jr., also admitted paying bribes.  Throughout 2017, the cash-for-contracts scandal has brought...
Ex-Gwinnett shelter manager loses appeal in wrongful euthanasia case

Ex-Gwinnett shelter manager loses appeal in wrongful euthanasia case

The now-former manager of Gwinnett County’s animal shelter lost an appeal tied to his criminal convictionfor euthanizing a court-protected dog. Curt Harrell, who unexpectedly resigned as the shelter’s manager in October, was found guilty in March of criminal contempt of court and ordered to pay a $500 fine. The charge was related to the death of a dog named Ricki, which Harrell...
Atlanta purchasing chief gets 27 months for role in federal bribery case

Atlanta purchasing chief gets 27 months for role in federal bribery case

Adam Smith, the city of Atlanta’s former top purchasing official, was sentenced Tuesday to 27 months in prison for his part in the city’s cash-for-contracts scandal following an emotional hearing in which supporters and even the government asked for leniency in light of his cooperation and acceptance of responsibility.    Smith admitted in November to taking at least...
MLK Day events require road closures

MLK Day events require road closures

WSB Radio has a list of road closures caused by Martin Luther King Jr. Day events today. They include: 10th Street in both directions for the MLK Day 5K “Let Freedom Run,” which began at 8 a.m.; Auburn Avenue in both directions for the King Week Holiday march and rally, which begins at 2 p.m.; Portions of Hood Avenue, Highway 85 and Highway 54 in Fayetteville for the MLK Jr. Day parade...
Warmer temps for MLK Day ahead of Arctic front

Warmer temps for MLK Day ahead of Arctic front

Today: Cold start. Warming through the afternoon. High: 47 Tonight: Clear skies. Light winds. Low: 28 Tomorrow: Partly cloudy skies become overcast. Light flurries possible in the early evening. High: 51 Martin Luther King Jr. Day started off with a chilly morning, but temperatures will rise throughout the day, WSB meteorologist Karen Minton said. “It’s going to warm a little bit...
A year later, Gwinnett’s ‘racist pig’ saga still reverberates

A year later, Gwinnett’s ‘racist pig’ saga still reverberates

It’s now been a year since Gwinnett County Commissioner Tommy Hunter posted on Facebook. It’s been a year since Hunter used his personal — but public — page to call civil rights hero and Congressman John Lewis a “racist pig.” It’s been a year, too, since Hunter referred to Democrats — which make up nearly half of his constituency — as &ldquo...
Fear and confusion as Peachtree Corners tweaks its ‘city lite’ charter

Fear and confusion as Peachtree Corners tweaks its ‘city lite’ charter

Gwinnett County’s largest and most populous city has a charter problem — and a whole lot of folks who are concerned about what that means for the future of the community pitched as a so-called “city lite.” Five-plus years ago, when proponents were pushing for Peachtree Corners’ creation, the city was promoted as a place that would keep government small and taxes...
Gwinnett officially has its first-ever Latino mayor

Gwinnett officially has its first-ever Latino mayor

Gwinnett County officially has its first-ever Latino mayor.  Rey Martinez, a business owner and former city councilman, was sworn in Thursday night as the new mayor of Loganville. The city is split between Gwinnett and Walton counties.  Gwinnett County is one of the most diverse communities in the state and in the entire Southeast but, until November, none of its municipalities had...
Rally goal: turn Women’s March into movement aimed at election

Rally goal: turn Women’s March into movement aimed at election

A year ago, the Women’s March in Washington and 673 sister events worldwide including one in Atlanta brought millions of people to their feet to protest Donald Trump’s election. On this year’s anniversary, organizers hope to bring those people to the polls. Rather than commemorating the anniversary with another march, Atlanta organizers are holding a Power to the Polls rally on Saturday...
Trump says no to proposed D.C. immigration deal

Trump says no to proposed D.C. immigration deal

Yehimi Cambron missed class this week to fight for her life. The DeKalb County teacher was among immigrants and activists in Washington, putting a full-court press on legislators to pass the Dream Act, which would add protections for undocumented residents brought to the United States as children. Their efforts, planned over the past few weeks, took place as the contentious national debate about whether...
Federal prosecutors say Atlanta bribery figure deserves leniency

Federal prosecutors say Atlanta bribery figure deserves leniency

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has asked a judge for leniency when former city of Atlanta procurement chief Adam Smith is sentenced on Tuesday. Smith pleaded guilty in September to accepting at least $30,000 in bribes over the past several years, and faces between four and five years in prison. To find out why federal prosecutors think Smith deserves a reduced sentence, go to myAJC.com.
Key Atlanta bribery figure secretly recorded conversations

Key Atlanta bribery figure secretly recorded conversations

Federal prosecutors delivered a bombshell in the City Hall bribery investigation Wednesday, when they filed a court document revealing the city’s former top purchasing officer has made secret recordings for the government’s case. Adam Smith had been the city’s chief procurement officer since 2003, until Mayor Kasim Reed fired him Feb. 21 — just before FBI agents confiscated...
Atlanta rappers T.I., Killer Mike named to mayor’s diverse transition team

Atlanta rappers T.I., Killer Mike named to mayor’s diverse transition team

As Atlanta’s new mayor shapes her agenda, a wide variety of people will advise her, including activists and recording artists, CEOs and philanthropic leaders. Thursday, Keisha Lance Bottoms unveiled the names of more than 38 prominent Atlantans who will advise her during her first 100 days in office and beyond. Among them: Home Depot Chief Financial Officer Carol Tome, UPS CEO David Abney, Delta...
Former Fulton County jail employee files lawsuit claiming harassment

Former Fulton County jail employee files lawsuit claiming harassment

A former employee at the Fulton County jail filed a lawsuit in federal court last month, claiming that she was bullied after acting as a whistle blower. Tracey Cunningham said in the suit that she was forced to retire from her job at the county after 16 years because of the emotional stress caused by retaliation and harassment. She last worked as a lieutenant, supervising food services and the...
Lori Henry, new mayor of Roswell, signifies shift in the city

Lori Henry, new mayor of Roswell, signifies shift in the city

It’s a time of change in Roswell. The new mayor, Lori Henry, is just the third new person to be elected to the post in 50 years — and the first female mayor in Roswell’s history. Residents also elected four new council members, and the other two are in their first term. It’s a great opportunity for a fresh start, and that’s what Henry’s seeking. She has a vision...
Hunter threatens suit, demands $5 million over ‘racist pig’ punishment

Hunter threatens suit, demands $5 million over ‘racist pig’ punishment

The Gwinnett County commissioner reprimanded after calling Congressman John Lewis a “racist pig” on Facebook is threatening a federal lawsuit — and demanding $5 million — over the punishment he received. Commissioner Tommy Hunter wrote his controversial posts about Lewis, a civil rights icon and United States representative from Atlanta, on Jan. 14, 2017, amid...
DeKalb officials say security costs have skyrocketed after gun law

DeKalb officials say security costs have skyrocketed after gun law

DeKalb County officials say the cost of providing security in government buildings is ballooning, mainly due to more requests for armed guards from department heads. Some commissioners and Police Chief James Conroy blamed a 2014 state law that allows more civilian firearms in public places. Because of that, they say, agencies are requesting armed guards as a security precaution in high traffic...
Atlanta’s SEC office gets a new leader

Atlanta’s SEC office gets a new leader

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has named a new regional director of its Atlanta office. Richard Best, director of the SEC’s Salt Lake City office, will replace Walter Jospin, who is stepping down at the end of this month, according to a news release. Best will lead a staff of more than 160 enforcement attorneys, accountants, compliance examiners and other specialists who take on...
Fulton County property tax collections continue to come in

Fulton County property tax collections continue to come in

By the end of the year, Fulton County had drained its reserves, but had collected more than twice the property tax money it needed to to ensure the local government would remain solvent. The reserves will be replenished next month, said Sharon Whitmore, Fulton County’s chief financial officer. And $40 million that was borrowed from two accounts will also be repaid — at least some of it...
Fulton County to ask state to count early votes before polls close

Fulton County to ask state to count early votes before polls close

Fulton County, which has said getting more timely election results is a priority in 2018, plans to ask the state for help. The county’s legislative priorities include a request to change state law to allow the county to begin processing early votes while the polls are still open. Currently, no voting machines can be opened until the polls have closed. With hundreds of early voting...
Property assessments, jail and elections are Fulton County priorities

Property assessments, jail and elections are Fulton County priorities

Reducing the population at the county jail. Fixing the property assessment system, so residents aren’t taken by surprise by rising values. Speeding up the elections reporting process. They’re the three main goals for Fulton County government this year, and county commissioners spent much of Tuesday talking about how to turn those desires into results. For the third year, the county...
Train door problems lead to chaos at MARTA’s Five Points Station

Train door problems lead to chaos at MARTA’s Five Points Station

Atlanta missed a chance to make a good impression on visitors leaving the college football national championship game Monday night, as hundreds of fans were stuck in a chaotic scene at MARTA’s Five Points Station. Fans arriving on eastbound trains from the stadium late that night found Five Points, the hub of the MARTA system, already packed with passengers waiting to board other trains. It...
DeKalb to solicit proposals for relocating Confederate monument

DeKalb to solicit proposals for relocating Confederate monument

DeKalb County, in a plan unveiled Tuesday, will solicit proposals from outside groups interested in taking responsibility for a Confederate monument located in the heart of Decatur.  The county would open a 30-day window to solicit these proposals, which would require interested parties to explain where the monument would be moved, how public access will be maintained and a strategy for communicating...
With latest purchases, Cobb brings new greenspace to 133 acres

With latest purchases, Cobb brings new greenspace to 133 acres

Cobb County has acquired two more parkland parcels, bringing the total greenspace purchased since last year to 133 acres for a cost of $10.5 million. Commissioners voted to finalize the purchase of the two adjacent plots on Anderson Road in West Cobb during their regular meeting Tuesday. The land is largely undeveloped woodland with a large pond and one house. Previous purchases include ...
DeKalb Commission elects Rader as presiding officer

DeKalb Commission elects Rader as presiding officer

Commissioner Jeff Rader will serve as presiding officer of the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners for the next year, allowing him run meetings and appoint committee chairs. Rader previously served as deputy presiding officer. He succeeds Commissioner Kathie Gannon. Commissioner Steve Bradshaw, who won his seat in 2016, was elected deputy presiding officer during Tuesday’s meeting...
DeKalb blames gun law for ballooning security costs

DeKalb blames gun law for ballooning security costs

A gun law passed by the General Assembly in 2014 has caused DeKalb County’s security costs to jump roughly 73 percent, according to Police Chief James Conroy. He said the county spent roughly $600,000 more on security costs in 2017 compared to three years prior, mainly because it needs more armed guards patrolling public spaces.  The  2014 measure, which Gov. ...
Fulton County offices will be closed Monday

Fulton County offices will be closed Monday

Fulton County and Atlanta, which earlier announced that they would close their downtown offices early Monday to help ease expected bad traffic, said Sunday night that all offices will be closed Monday. The change comes as stormy weather is predicted. President Donald Trump will also be in town to attend the college football championship game between Georgia and Alabama at Mercedes-Benz...
Fulton County to hold public meetings for proposed transit expansion

Fulton County to hold public meetings for proposed transit expansion

Through the month of January, Fulton County residents can weigh in on how they want to get around the county in the years to come. Fulton, outside the city of Atlanta, is considering expanding its mass transit options in both the north and south parts of the county. The county’s proposals came about with residents’ input, and leaders are seeking more feedback about which plan...
MARTA sees bright future, despite uncertainty

MARTA sees bright future, despite uncertainty

MARTA enters the new year searching for a new chief executive and unsure of its role in a regional transit governance system being developed in the General Assembly. But, MARTA officials say, this much is certain: The transit system will continue to improve and power economic development in the Atlanta region. And, they say, MARTA makes Georgia a strong contender for Amazon’s new headquarters...
Some Fulton County offices to close early Monday for UGA football game

Some Fulton County offices to close early Monday for UGA football game

Fulton County is doing its part to make the Monday commute just a smidgen more tolerable. Downtown offices within two miles of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where Georgia will play Alabama in the college football national championship game Monday, will close at 3 p.m. Those include Fulton County courts, the county government center, Department of Public Health locations at Neighborhood Union...
DeKalb prepares for 2018 elections

DeKalb prepares for 2018 elections

DeKalb commissioners are poised to approve the qualifying fee schedule for candidates running for office later this year. The proposed fees, which generally amount to 3 percent of the salary for the office sought as required by law, are $540 for Board of Education candidates, $1,151.24 for Board of Commissioners candidates and $4,439.42 for those seeking to become state court judges. Commissioners...
Democrat plans another run in ‘gerrymandered’ Gwinnett House district

Democrat plans another run in ‘gerrymandered’ Gwinnett House district

The Democratic candidate who lost her previous bid for a highly competitive — and controversial — Gwinnett-based state House district plans to run again this fall.  And Donna McLeod isn’t shying away from the gerrymandering allegations that continue to loom over House District 105, either. “I don’t run just to run, I run because I believe in what I'm ...
Expect traffic hassles for Monday’s national college football championship in Atlanta

Expect traffic hassles for Monday’s national college football championship in Atlanta

Atlanta’s biggest college football game in decades, a presidential visit and a dose of winter weather could create a major traffic headache downtown Monday. Tens of thousands of fans will descend on Mercedes-Benz Stadium for college football’s national championship game between Georgia and Alabama. President Donald Trump plans to attend the game, and presidential motorcades have...
DeKalb unveils new system to gauge sewer capacity

DeKalb unveils new system to gauge sewer capacity

DeKalb officials say they have improved the flawed and labor-intensive process for reviewing the impact that proposed developments will have on the county’s aging sewage system. The new evaluation system is more accurate and will allow the county to more quickly process 287 pending applications, said Ted Rhinehart, deputy chief operating officer for infrastructure. The High Street Atlanta multi-use...
Atlanta pension boards sue city over merger

Atlanta pension boards sue city over merger

The new year has brought a civil war between the city of Atlanta and two of its three pension boards. Boards for police officers and general employees sued the city, former Mayor Kasim Reed and newly minted mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms last week for pushing through a consolidation, which was approved by city council on Dec. 13. The pension board for city firefighters has not joined the lawsuit...
Henry County: Nash Farm Park approves makeover plan months after controversy

Henry County: Nash Farm Park approves makeover plan months after controversy

The Henry County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday adopted a master plan for Nash Farm Park — a local flash-point in the debate over Confederate iconography — that officials hope will reinvent the greenspace as a regional destination. The plan calls for adding walking paths, an heirloom garden, a playground and an amphitheater that could accommodate thousands. A Civil War battlefield...
Gwinnett officially has its first-ever black mayor

Gwinnett officially has its first-ever black mayor

Gwinnett County — one of the most diverse communities in the state of Georgia and the entire Southeast — officially has its first-ever African-American mayor. Craig Newton, a longtime city councilman who ran unopposed in November’s mayoral election, was sworn in as the city of Norcross’ new leader during a Tuesday night ceremony. The 62-year-old became the first African-American...
Bottoms sworn in as Atlanta’s 60th mayor

Bottoms sworn in as Atlanta’s 60th mayor

After months of a brutal campaign, Keisha Lance Bottoms finally was able to bask in a hard won victory when she was sworn in as Atlanta’s mayor on Tuesday. Bottoms stood on a stage before 2,500 people at Morehouse College’s Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel and declared that “Atlanta magic” could be just as real as the “black girl magic” that helped her...
Supporters celebrate Atlanta’s new mayor as one of their own

Supporters celebrate Atlanta’s new mayor as one of their own

Atlanta got a mayor named Keisha. The meme began circulating on the internet shortly after the election and celebrated Atlanta’s new mayor: a native who attended public schools and a historically black university. A woman whose name many consider synonymous with black girl identity. “It’s more of an ethnic name; it’s not one you would normally hear in political arenas,&rdquo...
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