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DeKalb County Board of Commissioners Vote Down Comprehensive Smoke-free Ordinance

DeKalb County Board of Commissioners Vote Down Comprehensive Smoke-free Ordinance

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted against proposed smoking amendments to make the current ordinance more comprehensive.  The proposed ordinance presented to the commissioners by the DeKalb County Board of Health would have prohibited smoking in all public places including parks, playgrounds, entrances and exits to buildings, restaurants, bars including adult entertainment establishments, outdoor entertainment venues and outdoor service lines, such as ATM lines.

“I am disappointed that the commissioners did not find any value in any of the amendments including those protecting our parks, playgrounds and service lines,” stated S. Elizabeth Ford, M.D., M.B.A., district health director of the DeKalb County Board of Health. “Despite this setback, we will continue to move forward to promote safe air for all who live, work and play in DeKalb.” 

Commissioner Radar, along with Commissioner Gannon, voted in support of the ordinance.

7 named to Deal's immigration review board

7 named to Deal's immigration review board

ATLANTA -- Seven people have been appointed to a newly created board to look into complaints about state and local officials failing to comply with state laws related to immigration.

The Immigration Enforcement Review Board was created by the state's tough new law targeting illegal immigration.

Appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal are Americans for Immigration Control spokesman Phil Kent, former Fulton County GOP chairman Shawn Hanley and lawyer Ben Vinson. Appointed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle are Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin and Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager. Appointed by House Speaker David Ralston are lawyer Robert Mumford and Colquitt County Commissioner Terry Clark.

The board will have the power to investigate complaints, hold hearings, subpoena documents and witnesses, and take disciplinary action.

LOCAL PROFILE: Clayton County Commission Chairman, Eldrin Bell

JONESBORO, Ga. -- Eldrin Bell is a local legend in Atlanta local law enforcement and politics.

Recently, the Where U Live spoke with him about his history in Atlanta and his current position in Clayton County.

Tracking programs created to bring jobs to Georgia

Tracking programs created to bring jobs to Georgia

ATLANTA -- With Georgia's unemployment rate remaining in double digits, 11Alive journalists are busy digging into three programs that promised to create jobs.

One of them is the federal stimulus program.

According to the state's Stimulus Accountability website, the federal government has granted Georgia approximately $3.2 billion in stimulus funds. Georgia's unemployment rate was around 8.8 percent just prior to the start of the stimulus program. Two years later, unemployment has risen to the current rate of 10.1 percent.

Where are the stimulus jobs?

In Paulding County, the stimulus program is getting mixed reviews.

Paulding County has received approximately $46 million in federal stimulus funds. The unemployment rate there was 6 percent in 2008 before the stimulus program. Unemployment in Paulding has risen to its current rate of 10.6 percent.

City of Atlanta Initiates First Comprehensive Downtown "Street Tree" Inventory

City of Atlanta Initiates First Comprehensive Downtown "Street Tree" Inventory

The City of Atlanta Department of Planning and Community Development and the Office of Parks has conducted the first comprehensive inventory of the city’s publicly-owned downtown trees.  The inventory included an assessment of the trees along streets, boulevards, parks, and public spaces in the downtown area.  The tree inventory will provide information about the species, size, quality, and condition of public trees in downtown Atlanta. 

Information from the inventory will help establish management priorities by:

  • identifying trees that need to be pruned or removed,
  • revealing any systemic problems with pests or disease,
  • identifying the distribution of tree species with size, height, and other characteristics, and
  • providing an up-to-date report on the overall condition of the trees. 

The inventory identified locations with sufficient space for planting trees, aiding in future planting efforts. 

1,901 Georgia elected officials failed to file disclosures on time

1,901 Georgia elected officials failed to file disclosures on time

ROSWELL-- One thousand nine hundred and one elected officials in Georgia missed a deadline to disclose their campaign finances by June 30, according to the state Ethics Commission. 

Most of them are down-ballot politicians little-known outside their locales.  11Alive News obtained the list after filing a request under the Georgia Open Records Act.

RELATED: List of non/late-filers as of June 30, 2011

One of those named is the mayor of Roswell.

"I thought I'd filed everything, so it's a surprise," said Mayor Jere Wood.  "I'll have to look into it," he said after an 11Alive News reporter informed Wood of his presence on the list.

Is legislative redistricting "transparent?"

Is legislative redistricting "transparent?"

ATLANTA -- It may be to the state Capitol what Area 51 is to the Nevada desert -- a place shrouded in mystery, with red letters warning against entry, and black curtains blocking the glass.

It's next to the reapportionment committee office. It's the room where the maps are made.

"They've got computers in there, a lot of equipment and stuff," said Rep. Roger Lane, chairman of the House Reapportionment Committee. Lane couldn't explain why the windows were blacked out, though. "I didn't do it. I don't know."

The maps are the legislative boundaries, redrawn during a special session of the legislature based on 2010 census data. The process, behind the glass, is touted by Republicans as "transparent."

"It's been the most transparency I've seen in the system in twenty years," said Sen. Don Balfour, Republican chairman of the Rules Committee.