Sunday, January 3, 2010

Word: Clayton Commission removes police chief

Posted By on Sun, Jan 3, 2010 at 4:43 PM

After weeks of power struggles and an audit that alleged mismanagement, the Clayton County Commission on Dec. 28 voted to reassign Police Chief Jeff Turner to the county's police academy. Turner — a 22-year veteran and the first African-American cop to lead the force — plans to fight to regain his old job.

“We had to deal with some serious issues related to the management of the department... One-hundred-and-thirty-eight missing guns is incredibly significant. Two-thousand or 3,000 pounds of narcotics that have destruction orders is significant. There [are] a lot things that Chief Turner does incredibly well, but there were a number of things that were problematic for the county."

— Clayton Commissioner Wole Ralph, quoted in a Dec. 29 Clayton Daily News article.

“The genesis of every deficiency… was years, if not decades, in the making... It’s not that I was doing anything wrong, but I wasn’t doing things the way they wanted me to."

— Turner, who rebutted the audit's claims in a 27-page response, told the AJC on Dec. 28 that he inherited a department filled with problems.

“All the mayors, we are behind Turner 100 percent... He has worked with each municipality and our chiefs. Jeff has worked tirelessly to better this county. They [the board] are taking their own course because Jeff won’t bow down to them.”

— Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt, who also chairs the Clayton County Municipal Association, expressed disappointment over Turner's reassignment.

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Add It Up: DUIs during the holidays

Posted By on Sat, Jan 2, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Number of DUI arrests made by the Georgia State Patrol statewide during the 2009 New Year's holiday: 279

Number of those drivin' imbibers who were arrested in the five-county metro Atlanta area: 17

Number of crashes reported throughout the state during the 2009 holiday: 2,998

Number of people who died in alcohol-related crashes in Georgia during the 2009 holiday: 6

Approximate value, in dollars, of a "free funeral" a Rome, Ga., funeral home offered to people who promised to drink and drive on New Year's Eve: 15,000

Number of people who've made the promise, which owners say is aimed at raising awareness about drunk driving risks: 0

Approximate total cost, in dollars, of a DUI charge, including insurance, court and probation fees, and license reinstatement: 10,000

Approximate cost, in dollars, for a one-way cab ride for two people from Buckhead to Underground Atlanta to watch the Peach Drop: 20

Cost, in dollars, for one person to ride MARTA from Buckhead to Underground Atlanta and back: 4

Sources: Georgia Department of Human Services, Georgia State Patrol, Rome News-Tribune, Atlanta Checker Cab Co, MARTA

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The Blotter

Posted By on Sat, Jan 2, 2010 at 1:00 PM


You say you want a resolution? We know. You've been bad. And now it's that time once again. Time to face your foibles and resolve to turn this shaky life around. The Blotter Diva has assembled some handy-dandy New Year's resolutions that may help. Or at least nudge you into feeling better about your own mild failings.

RESOLUTION No. 1 -- DON'T LIVE WITH BULLSHIT PEOPLE: On Bowen Street, a 33-year-old woman said she talked to her two female roommates about them paying their rent. She said one roommate got upset, grabbed a hot curling iron and waved it in her face. The woman said she asked the roommate to stop, but the roommate waved the hot curling iron closer and closer to her face.

The woman said the other roommate started screaming and waving her hand in her face. Then she said both roommates teamed up and kept yelling, pointing, and screaming in her face.

She said one roommate accused her of taking a wine glass and said she was not going to pay her part of the rent money. The roommate reportedly said, "By the time you do anything, I'll be long gone."

She said the roommates kept harassing her until she left and now she is afraid to go home.

Continue Reading "The Blotter"

(Illustration by Tray Butler)

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Atlantans make BET ‘21 to watch in 2010? list

Posted By on Fri, Jan 1, 2010 at 4:00 PM


As the year comes to a close, BET has released their list of people to keep your eye on next year. In their annual watch list, BET highlight Blacks who will make a big impact throughout the upcoming year. This year’s candidates include, POTUS Barack Obama (of course), Tiger Woods, Ala. governor hopeful Artur Davis and Atlanta’s Mayor-elect Kasim Reed, rapper T.I. and R&B artist, Usher. Here’s how BET describes the A-town’s picks:

Kasim Reed:

This young Dem is definitely going to be a leader in the political scene in 2010. The newly christened Mayor-elect of Atlanta not only had tons of celebrity support from the likes of Ludacris Bridges and Chaka Zulu, but he’s expected to bring hope and change to Atlanta like someone else we know who’s head of state.

Continue Reading "Atlantans make BET ‘21 to watch in 2010? list"

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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Streetalk: What did you do in '09 to make Atlanta better?

Posted By on Fri, Jan 1, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Sarah: I covered up all the shitty tags in Atlanta with less shittier ones.  If someone is going to spray their initials just to make a mark, it's like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant. It's more vandalism than tagging. They're just trying to leave their mark without benefiting anyone. Not only do they do it on the known graffiti walls, they do it on the side of coffee shops. My art is anything dealing with peace, love and rock 'n' roll. Any piece that makes you smile is probably mine. I make it more visually pleasing.

Donald: In our health class, we did a save the world project and how we can save the world. I could be driving, but I used MARTA 300 times this year, more than that. Always a sight to see on MARTA. See interesting things, smell interesting smells. Sang on the train all the time. Sometimes I hung my hat out and people paid me, but it goes back to my MARTA fare to stop polluting. Most people enjoyed my singing. Some got upset but who cares. I'm blessing them with my beautiful voice and saving the world. I listened to Al Gore.

Angela: I yell at hobos to leave tourists alone. Sometimes I get into altercations, but better me than a tourist being [shied] away from our city because of being harassed by hobos. I tell them don't give that person money because, like, she has a house in Candler Park. They're just taking advantage of tourists, so I call them out on it. It really bothers me because I see these people every day and see them get into their cars after they've been out panhandling all day. Most of them now don't bother me and [I] see them walk away from people when they see me coming.

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5 things to do: Friday

Posted By on Fri, Jan 1, 2010 at 12:00 PM


1) Broken Embraces and Nine continue in theaters.

2) The Wailers play the Masquerade.

3) Imagine It! Children's Museum hosts a New Year's Day celebration.

4) The Avett Brothers perform at Fox Theatre.

5) West Atlanta New Year Music Fest promises 20 local bands for two days.

See more Atlanta events.

(Photo courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

City: Happy New Year, parking scofflaws! Prepare to be booted!

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 10:44 PM

You can't escape Das Boot
  • You can't escape Das Boot

Once you finish watching a giant peach drop from the sky tonight, pray to God that your car didn't get towed or booted — especially if you've got a bunch of unpaid parking tickets stashed in your glove compartment.

On Jan. 1, 2010, the city's PARKatlanta program takes effect. That means illegally parked vehicles on city streets with more than three unpaid parking citations or fines are hereby considered eligible for booting and/or towing. (The program also handles meter installation and maintenance and payment processing, but we know it's the boots you're concerned about.)

In June, the city partnered with Duncan Solutions, a Milwaukee-based company that specializes in parking enforcement, as a way to generate revenue and collect millions in uncollected parking fees and fines. (My dear colleague Scott Henry wrote an entertaining and background-filled blog post about the program this summer.)

In November, the city started mailing notices to motorists who were listed as having unpaid citations. If you paid off your fines, you should be cool. But if you didn't, well, holy shit, watch out.

Continue reading »

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AJC: Perdue picks Jim Cole as next secretary of state

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 9:05 PM

'I look forward to regulating podiatrists and handing out stickers at polling places'
  • 'I look forward to regulating podiatrists and handing out stickers at polling places'

Gov. Sonny Perdue has picked state Rep. Jim Cole, R-Forsyth, to replace Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, the AJC's James Salzer reports.

Handel announced last week that she'd resign to focus on her gubernatorial campaign.

Via Gold Dome Live:

Republican  Rep. Jim Cole, a three-term lawmaker from Forsyth in Middle Georgia,  has been picked by Gov. Sonny Perdue to be the next Secretary of State. [...]

Cole, 38, will serve out of the final year of Handel’s term. He will also run in 2010 for a full, four-year term.

Cole has been on Perdue’s House team for three years, carrying and pushing the governor’s legislation.

UPDATE: Says here that, sorry, ladies, Cole's taken. He's a former businessman who now serves as the assistant athletic director at Mercer University.

(Courtesy House Communications)

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Morning Newsdome: New Year's Eve edition

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 4:58 PM

HAPPY NEW YEAR! from North Korea founder Kim Il-sung
  • HAPPY NEW YEAR! from North Korea founder Kim Il-sung

>> Right as the U.S. approves national health care, Britain announces today that excessive drinking on New Year's Eve could cost the country's as much as 23 million pounds. The NHS is recommending drunks be charged a hospital admission fee of 532 pounds, or $845. Like anything could stop rowdy Brits from getting drunk. (Reuters)

>> The number of U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan has nearly doubled from last year, with 319 in 2009 and 155 in 2008, mainly due to larger and deadlier Taliban roadside bombs. Much like the drunk drivers sure to hit the streets tonight, Atlantans and soldiers should avoid the roads! (the Los Angeles Times)

>> For the first time in nearly 20 years, a full moon, or a "blue moon," will shine this New Year's Eve. The last time a blue moon appeared on NYE was 1990, and it won't happen again until 2028, but it won't even matter because the Mayan apocalypse will have happened. (National Geographic)

>> The world's fastest train, the Chinese bullet train which debuted Saturday, encountered its first two-and-a-half hour stoppage after a cigarette triggered the alarms. That's nearly as long as the train's journey itself. New Year's resolution: Don't overreact in 2010. (Retuers)

>> And finally, at the end of a decade filled with advances: North Korea's ruling party newspaper yesterday demanded that the huge, 26 ft-high concrete wall dividing the Korean peninsula be demolished as a New Year's wish. Problem? No such wall exists. The wall has become a New Year's tradition after state founder Kim Il-sung (who died 15 years ago though is considered the country's "eternal president) said the wall was built by Seoul's in 1989, and North Korea's propaganda machine has kept the idea alive. Nice try North Korea: there's only a horrendous 4-km wide razor wire fence. (Reuters)

(Photo Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

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The Stay-In for New Year’s Eve TV Guide

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 4:00 PM


Ok, so you maybe you really don’t have a thing to wear. Or maybe you don’t like crowds of drunken party-goers screaming and celebrating the turn of another year. Heck, maybe you’re having a gathering at home and need an official countdown to bring in the New Year. Whatever your reason, you can find what you need on TV this New Year’s Eve.  Here’s a list of countdown shows, specials and TV-show marathons to help you decide where to set your sights.

Annual network countdowns:

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest (ABC), 11:30 PM

Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest ring in the New Year with the countdown from Times Square in New York City, while Fergie hosts the festivities from Las Vegas. A variety of musical guests will perform in each location.

New Year’s Eve Live (Fox), 11 PM

Host Carmen Electra welcomes 2010 in Las Vegas, where Kris Allen, Allison Iraheta and Sean Kingston are slated to perform. Also: the opening of Eva Longoria Parker’s Vegas restaurant and nightclub, with appearances by Longoria Parker and Kim Kardashian; coverage of the ball drop from New York City’s Times Square; a Top 5 countdown of 2009’s best moments in movies, music and TV; and highlights from past Billboard Music Awards.

Continue Reading "The Stay-In for New Year’s Eve TV Guide"

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