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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.

Delving into DeKalb County's Superintendent Choice

Delving into DeKalb County's Superintendent Choice

ATLANTA--- A team of three journalists at 11Alive News spent Wednesday checking into the background and work history of Dr. Cheryl Atkinson, the finalist for superintendent of DeKalb County Schools.

Duffie Dixon, Donna Lowry and Ross McLaughlin were prompted by emails and calls from teachers, parents and homeowners who question whether Atkinson is up to the task of leading DeKalb's system.

Lowry  found is that Dr. Cheryl Atkinson current district in Lorain, Ohio ranks second to the lowest designation in performance, but Atkinson has said that test scores and overall performance have gone up.

According to the Ohio State Board of Education actual figures to substantiate that don't come out until August 24.

DeKalb County will host a Code Compliance and Covenants workshop

DeKalb County will host a Code Compliance and Covenants workshop

DECATURDeKalb County will host a Code Compliance and Covenants workshop on Saturday, Aug. 13, 9 a.m. – noon at the Maloof Auditorium, 1300 Commerce Drive in Decatur.

The workshop will provide residents information on how to include and enforce codes and covenant issues in covenant bylaws.  The workshop will also discuss the obstacles non-covenant communities face in addressing codes and covenant issues. In addition, the workshop will help residents to identify the covenants and codes for a neighborhood, understand legal policies and practices, and understand their role as citizens.   

The workshop is being sponsored by the Office of Neighborhood Empowerment (OneDeKalb) in conjunction with the Community Development department to empower residents with the necessary training, tools and resources for effective civic management.

Space is limited.

Dekalb Parks and Rec committees to meet and discuss greenspace acquisitions

DECATUR – The DeKalb Parks Bond Advisory Committee and Initiative for a Green DeKalb Advisory Council will meet Wednesday, Aug. 10 at 5:30 p.m. at Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve, 3787 Klondike Road in Lithonia.

There will be an update on greenspace acquisitions and current Parks and Recreation projects.

For information regarding the meeting, please call 404-371-2082.

Gingrey opposes Boehner's debt reduction plan

Gingrey opposes Boehner's debt reduction plan

WASHINGTON -- A House vote on Speaker John Boehner's debt reduction plan is expected Thursday, but not all Republicans are on board.

RELATED: How the debt ceiling crisis could hit consumers

MORE: Tell your lawmakers how you feel 

Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-11th District) says Congress needs to get the job done, but it needs to be done the right way.  

Making the Tough Call

Making the Tough Call

Making the Tough Call

By Commissioner Jeff Rader

Cagle raises $18K in off-election year

Cagle raises $18K in off-election year

ATLANTA -- Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has more than $208,000 in the bank for a possible re-election bid in 2014.

A report Cagle filed with state officials Friday showed the Gainesville Republican has raised a little more than $18,000 in the first six months of 2011, a non-election year when fundraising is typically sluggish.

He already had $344,262 left over from last year's successful bid for a second term as the state's No. 2.

Finance reports detailing campaign contributions and expenditures were due with the state ethics commission by Friday night.

Cagle trailed at least one other top Republican in the Senate, where he presides. House Rules Committee Chairman Don Balfour of Snellville raked in $137,000 for the first six months of the year. He has more than $174,000 in the bank.

(The Associated Press)