Category: News

Atlanta City Council asks lawmakers to OK seizure of street-racing vehicles

The Atlanta City Council is urging state lawmakers to legalize the seizure or forfeiture of vehicles used in street racing. The councilmembers are essentially asking the General Assembly to legalize an ordinance they passed earlier this year despite knowing a car-impounding provision was unlawful and unenforceable. In a resolution approved Nov. 16, the council asks lawmakers to empower city governments to temporarily seize vehicles of accused street-racers, and to legalize permanent forfeiture of vehicles in cases where the driver has a prior conviction “for certain serious offenses such as reckless driving.” Street racing and stunt driving have plagued cities...

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Police seek suspect in sexual assault near Buckhead’s Lenox MARTA Station

Police are seeking a suspect in a Nov. 6 sexual assault near Buckhead’s Lenox MARTA Station. The female victim was sexually assaulted around 7 p.m. while walking from the Lenox Square mall on Peachtree Road to the MARTA station at 955 East Paces Ferry Road, according to Atlanta Police Department spokesperson Officer Steve Avery. The suspect approached the victim just outside the MARTA station, Avery said. The suspect is described as a Black man, mid-30s, around 5-feet-9-inches tall, slim to medium build, with short hair. He was wearing a black jacket and light-colored blue jeans and was carrying a...

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Gov. Kemp extends state COVID-19 restrictions through Halloween

Gov. Brian Kemp has extended COVID-19 restrictions for the State of Georgia through Oct. 31. The extension of his executive order makes no significant changes to previous orders, which requires social distancing; bans gatherings of more than 50 people unless there is six feet between each person; specific rules for restaurants, salons and other businesses; and requires sheltering in place for those in long-term care facilities and the medically fragile.  The public health emergency remains in place until Nov. 9. The governor’s executive orders are available to be...

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Voters Guide: Jen Jordan

Jen Jordan jen4ga.com Occupation: Attorney and Owner of Small Law Firm named Shamp Jordan Woodward LLC Other community service experience: Member of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2008; past-President of the University of Georgia’s Law School Association Council; master with the Joseph Henry Lumpkin American Inn of Court; member of Board of Governors for the State Bar of Georgia. What is motivating you to run for this office? The biggest motivating factor for me is my children and their future. Every child in this state deserves a first-class education that will provide the skills to compete in an ever-changing global economy. We must invest in smaller class sizes, in our teachers, and in job training programs in high schools. Every child in this state deserves to breathe clean air and drink clean water. That is why we must stop harmful chemicals from being released into our air and water. Every child deserves to feel safe, which is why common-sense gun reforms, like universal background checks, are needed. What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it? COVID-19 has changed everything. First, we must stop the virus from spreading. Long-term, the focus must be ensuring access to affordable, quality healthcare. This crisis has magnified the weaknesses of our system and shown us lack of access to basic care can have catastrophic consequences. There is no...

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Voters Guide to local races in the Nov. 3 election

Many races appear on the Nov. 3 election ballot, including the U.S. presidency. The following are Voters Guides to candidates in some key local races in Reporter Newspapers communities. The Reporter asked candidates about themselves and their policies. For their answers, click their name or photo below. For information about statewide and local ballot questions, see our Voters Guide here. U.S. CONGRESS 5th Congressional District (Brookhaven/Buckhead) Republican Angela Stanton King and Democrat Nikema Williams are competing to replace the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis. Stanton King did not provide Voters Guide answers. 6th Congressional District (Brookhaven/Dunwoody/Sandy Springs) In the...

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Voters Guide: Elizabeth Melton

Elizabeth Melton melton4georgia.com Occupation: Writer, self-employed. Previous elected offices held: None. Other community service experience: Chair of Libertarian Party of the Chattahoochee Valley; Deputy Director of the Columbus Chapter of Peachtree NORML; advocate for criminal justice reform; advocate for urban farming and community agriculture. What is motivating you to run for this office?  The need for Libertarian representation in government offices at all levels. What is the biggest issue facing the Public Service Commission and how will you address it?  The Public Service Commission regularly penalizes the ratepayers for the bad business decisions of utility companies. I will address it by voting against such measures. What specific policy would you create or continue to lower utility rates for residential customers?  I would require utility companies to bear the financial responsibility of cleaning up environmental problems that they have created rather than allowing those costs to be passed along to the ratepayer. I would require companies to bear the financial responsibility of dealing with the mismanagement of large-scale projects rather than allowing the ratepayer to be penalized. In times of crisis, such as a pandemic, in which devastating impacts are broadly experienced, I would require companies to absorb their share of those impacts rather than requiring ratepayers, who have also been disadvantaged, to have to make up the difference. What specific policy would you create or continue to increase Georgia’s...

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Voters Guide: Justin Holsomback

Justin Holsomback JustinHolsomback.com Occupation: IT Technical Recruiter, aquesst Strategic Search (Certified Woman Owned Business based out of Dunwoody) Previous elected offices held: None. Other community service experience: Several years of experience volunteering for Young Democrat organizations at the County, State and National level, primarily focused on youth based issue advocacy, helping members network with campaigns/electeds, and organizing in the electoral space. Current Democratic Party of Georgia Secretary. What is motivating you to run for this office? I am running for the Fulton County Commission because it is a position that can really help workers and families in Fulton. It can help drive innovation in the public transportation space, which in turn would bring jobs and opportunity to our citizens. It can directly impact pressing public health issues like HIV/AIDS and opiate addiction through the county’s Public Health Centers. The commission oversees our elections in Fulton, a system in desperate need of an overhaul. As my fiancée and I start our family in Fulton County, I want to help strengthen our community. What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it? As an IT recruiter, I have had conversations with hiring managers at some of the top technology companies in the US. They would love to come to Fulton County and build offices, especially in District 2, but decide not to because their employees would...

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Voters Guide: Bob Ellis

Bob Ellis bobellisforfulton.com Occupation: Vice President, Product Management & Training, CNA Financial Previous elected offices held: Fulton County Commissioner since 2014.. Other community service experience: WellStar North Fulton Hospital, Advisory Board; Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority, Board Member; Atlanta-Fulton County Water Resources Commission, Board Member; Fulton County Employees Retirement System, Trustee; Veterans Empowerment Organization, Inc., Former Board Member. What is motivating you to run for this office? The key motivations for me running for office are serving the citizens of District 2 and Fulton and ensuring that Fulton government is effective in meeting citizen needs. I have lived in this community for over 25 years and have a vested stake in ensuring that the citizens of District 2 have strong representation and voice in county government.  My professional background allows me the opportunity to apply my experience to ensure that Fulton government continues to be sound financially and operationally and strengthen its services to citizens. What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it? Over the past six years, the county has made services more accessible for the citizens of District 2. The Fulton County Customer Service Center in Alpharetta, opened in 2015, is one significant example. Making services for public health, mental health, seniors and the developmentally disabled more available and accessible for north Fulton residents is a key priority for me. A large...

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Voters Guide: Harold Dennis

Harold Dennis harolddennisforsheriff.com Occupation: Professional pilot and business owner Previous elected offices held: None. Other community service experience: Youth motivational speaker at various DeKalb County schools speaking to the youth to let them know that, don’t let your environment dictate your life; you are higher than your environment. Why should voters choose you instead of the incumbent? My entire professional career has been devoted to helping people. I have worked in various positions that required me to be extra vigilant for my family as well as others. I have previously been a police officer, sheriff lieutenant, airline pilot and aircraft dispatcher. I understand the importance of professionalism, communication and leadership. In the wake of the national and local protests about police killings of George Floyd and other Black people, what reforms, if any, should the Sheriff’s Office and jail undertake?   I believe the best way to make changes is to start at the beginning and the top. I believe by being transparent, it empowers our citizens to hold the sheriff’s office to a higher standard and accountable. Ensuring public safety by implementing a crime suppression team, home invasion task force and a human sex trafficking task force. Ensuring open communication by implementing a citizens review board to build working relationships with the community and various businesses throughout the community, and reducing response times to calls by aiding DeKalb Police...

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Voters Guide: Robert Patrick

Robert Patrick voterobertpatrick.com Occupation: I have been with the City of Norcross for 14 years in the Community Development Department. I currently am the Senior Planner. Previous elected offices held: City of Doraville, where I served eight years as a councilman. I also served as mayor pro tem. Other community service experience: I as served President and Vice-President of the DeKalb Municipal Association. I also  participated in the Chamblee/Doraville Buford Highway Livable Centers Initiative and supported the creation of the Chamblee/Doraville CID and the creation of the Assembly CID, and I have participated in neighborhood cleanups and community tree-planting events. I also attend All Saints Catholic Church. What is motivating you to run for this office? First, I am concerned about the future of DeKalb County. According to the ARC growth projections, DeKalb falls behind Gwinnett and Cobb counties in population growth. That means DeKalb falls to fourth place for jobs for our residents, housing options and property values, and in opportunities for our residents and overall desirability of our community. The second factor is our aging infrastructure, which is holding back private investments that should be made in our communities. It’s difficult to encourage new residents, businesses and development to call DeKalb home when we have infrastructure that doesn’t meet the needs of our time. What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address...

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Voters Guide: Nancy Jester

Nancy Jester nancyjester.com Occupation: Commissioner, DeKalb County Board of Commissioners Previous elected offices held: Commissioner, Board of Education Member Other community service experience: Peachtree Gateway Partnership Board Member; School Council member; Hawthorne Foundation Chair; ERISA Study Group Treasurer; Shallowford Presbyterian Elder; Shallowford Presbyterian Preschool Chair and Treasurer; Math Olympiad Coach. What is motivating you to run for this office? I am running to continue the work I have accomplished reforming the fiscal management of DeKalb, improving procurement procedures, and strengthening ethics in government. I bring unique, financial expertise to the board, having worked as an actuarial consultant. My professional experience has enabled me to guide the board to improve financial reporting and accountability. Most importantly, I appreciate the opportunity to serve all the families, residents and neighbors throughout the district and the county. DeKalb is our home and where my husband and I have chosen to raise our three children. It is an honor to serve this amazing community. What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it? There are two. The first is continuing to provide robust oversight over all financial matters. As an actuarial consultant, I bring an important professional expertise and experience to the board. The second is upgrading the aging infrastructure, especially the water and sewer system. Since my time on the board, DeKalb has increased the capital improvement expenditures...

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