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DeKalb to Close 12 Schools and Uproot More Students

DeKalb to Close 12 Schools and Uproot More Students

DEKALB COUNTY, GA -- Public hearings are scheduled to start next week in DeKalb County, after the school board proposed closing 12 elementary schools, citing too few students. Livsey Elementary School is one on the proposed list to close.

Beloved by families in the neighborhood, officials say it has low enrollment and that consolidating student populations is the best way to maximize learning and funding.

Marshall Orson, president of Fernbank Elementary's School Council says, "This is a school that was built for the Druid Hills neighborhood. It's been here for 52 years. It's a phenomenal school, probably one of the highest performing in DeKalb County, probably all of Georgia."

Why No Radar or Laser Guns to Catch Gwinnett Speeders?

Why No Radar or Laser Guns to Catch Gwinnett Speeders?

GWINNETT COUNTY, GA - If you're driving through most of Gwinnett County these days, you can ignore those highway signs that warn about speed detection devices...at least the hi-tech ones.

That's because right now Gwinnett County and most local city police departments can't use radar or laser guns to target speeders.

The reason those devices are banned is because most of Gwinnett's police agencies lost their certification to use them as of January 1st.

Not because police did anything wrong, but because local and county politicians are tied up in a legal battle over whose tax dollars pay for services like public safety.

Until that spat is settled, the state won't certify police agencies to use radar or laser speed guns.

That may be good news to some drivers, but not all.

"It won't help the safety factor with people driving around and there are speeders out there," motorist Gwelda Adkins told 11 Alive News on Wednesday.

Georgians win big in $355M drawing

Georgians win big in $355M drawing

Atlanta, GA--  (submitted by GA Lottery)

Lottery players in the Peach State came out peachy keen in Tuesday’s $355 million Mega Millions drawing. In Georgia, five players matched the first five numbers and won $250,000 each. An additional 19 players won $10,000 each by matching the first four numbers and the Mega Ball.

 

Winning numbers were: 4-8-15-25-47 and the Mega Ball was 42.

Old Tickets from Christmases Past Haunt Georgians

Old Tickets from Christmases Past Haunt Georgians

If you've ever gotten a traffic ticket in Dekalb County you could be in for quite a surprise. People who paid their traffic tickets years ago are getting notices in the mail that they'd better come in again and pay them again. 

"I have the proof I have the legal documentation and yet I was arrested for it," LaToya Salley told the Center for Investigative Action about an old ticket for not wearing a seat belt. She was arrested while on an unrelated traffic stop for failing to appear on that ticket.

She is not alone.  Dozens of people inside the DeKalb County Recorders Court were there fighting old tickets that they'd already paid. They'd come in because they'd received notices stating that they failed to appear and if they didn't pay up, they'd lose their license.

"We're already paid how can you prove it after so many years," Bella Fishman said about an old speeding ticket her husband received in 2003.  

DeKalb Government Furniture Flip Costs Taxpayers Thousands

DeKalb Government Furniture Flip Costs Taxpayers Thousands

DEKALB COUNTY, GA -- State representative Stan Watson will become a DeKalb County commissioner in a couple of weeks. He'll replace Connie Stokes. When Stokes leaves, county officials say she'll take her county office furniture with her. And Watson will get new, nearly-identical taxpayer-funded furniture.

The money is the eye-opener.  Stokes is paying DeKalb county $1,300 for her four-year old furniture.

The county is spending $12,000 to replace it for Watson.

Morris Williams, the Board chief of staff, says the incoming and outgoing furniture are virtually identical, "except one is four years older than the other.

Vigil, Possible New Legislation in Honor of Slain 4-Year-Old

Vigil, Possible New Legislation in Honor of Slain 4-Year-Old

DECATUR, GA -- Four-year-old Marquel Peters was killed by a stray bullet last New Year's. His community is doing its best to make his memory last.

The Church of God of Prophecy in DeKalb County held a vigil Friday evening, at which county officials announced their intentions to bring new legislation against reckless gunfire.

"I have drafted legislation calling for an addition to the homicide statute -- reckless homicide," said William Miller, public safety director for DeKalb County. "Other states have it. It would give us another avenue to prosecute these kinds of crimes."

Currently, reckless gunfire results in a misdemeanor. Even if police had found the person responsible for the bullet that killed Peters, that person would have received a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail.

DeKalb officials want to be able to enact harsher penalties.

Meanwhile, hard times continue for the church community of which Marquel Peters was a part.

An Outrageous Raise or a Well Deserved Supplement?

An Outrageous Raise or a Well Deserved Supplement?

DEKALB COUNTY, GA -- "I think it's more of the same, a slap in the face." That's how Kim Ault and other parents reacted Friday to a $73,000 pay hike for Interim DeKalb County School Superintendent Ramona Tyson.

Some are outraged that a school system that's $50 million in the red and racked by a recent scandal would even think of such a move.

But with a 7 to 1 vote, the DeKalb County School Board increased Tyson's salary by 44 percent.

"Given what she's taken us through, it's disingenuous if we were going to continue to pay her 50 cents on the dollar," said School Board Chairman Tom Bowen.

He points out that Tyson has been working at her old Deputy Superintendent's salary of $165,000 since taking over the top job last February.

She took over when previous Superintendent Crawford Lewis was suspended and then fired after being charged with corruption.

Lewis' salary was $255,000 when he got the boot.