Author Archives: David Pendered

About David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with nearly 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

Voter registration deadline is April 21

Monday, April 21, is the deadline to register to vote in the May 20 primary elections.

The deadline for voter registration is much earlier than usual because the date of the primary election has been moved up from mid summer to May 20. The date of any needed runoff elections is July 22.

In aligning the date of state and local elections with a court-ordered date for federal elections, the legislature also changed deadlines for campaign financial disclosure reports, which are important to those who follow campaigns.
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Atlanta arrests “Blood” gang members in murder case as public discussion returns to crime

Crime is again coming to the forefront of conversation in Atlanta and Fulton County.

Four members of the 9 Trey Gangster organization have been arrested by Atlanta police in connection with at least one homicide in southwest Atlanta, police said Wednesday. The gang is affiliated with the United Blood Nation, as in the “Crips and Bloods” of the 1980s, according to the FBI.

Fulton County commission Chairman John Eaves is slated to speak Thursday evening at a program titled, “Neighborhood Gangs and Protecting Our Youth.” This follows the “Crime and Safety Summit” Eaves convened in March.
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Georgia River Network honors efforts to conserve state’s waterways

The Georgia River Network has issued three awards to recognize efforts to conserve Georgia’s waterways.

The non-profit organization may best be known for its annual Paddle Georgia event, which this year is covering 115 miles from Buford Dam to Franklin. The awards program, now in its 10th year, acknowledges the work it takes to protect the state’s waters and riverbanks.

This year’s awards were won by the Yellow River Water Trail group, in Porterdale; Ogeechee Riverkeeper Emily Markesteyn, in Savannah; and Satilla Riverkeeper Clay Montague, in Waverly. They were presented April 5 at an event at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, in Roswell.
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Fulton County ramps up West Nile virus program; two hotspots are located near future Falcons stadium

Fulton County is seeking to hire a company to combat the West Nile virus and will continue to target two hotspots, Vine City and English Avenue, both of which are near the future Falcons stadium.

Fulton County became aggressive in fighting mosquitoes, which carry the disease, following the death of an elderly Vine City resident in 2001, said Kevin Jones, Fulton County’s deputy director of environmental health services.

“We decided to do everything in our power to make sure that never happens again,” Jones said.
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Leaders: Transportation plans show united leadership, absence of politics

The spirit of regional leadership that emerged during the planning for the 2012 transportation sales tax referendum remains intact and is evident in the region’s new short- and long-term transportation plans, according to transportation officials.

“This is the first post-referendum Transportation Improvement Program [and] we did this very well,” said Jannine Miller, GRTA’s former executive director and newest board member.

“It was very political a long time ago,” said GRTA board member J.T. Williams. “The county chair got to say, ‘These are my two projects,’ and it didn’t matter what the projects were. That is a thing of the past. We have to get the best bang for the buck.” Continue reading

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Falcons stadium to break ground in May as judge weighs legality of Atlanta’s $200 million funding

The groundbreaking for the future Falcons stadium has been postponed more than a month as the legal battle continues over the $200 million in construction financing to be provided by Atlanta.

The original schedule envisioned the ceremony would place the last week of March. Now the target is an unspecified date in May, according to a report on Bloomberg.com. It’s unclear if the delay is related to the court case.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville said he expects to rule on the case no earlier than April 21.
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GRTA complies with Civil Rights Act, except for amenities in four parking lots, internal report shows

GRTA complies with the federal Civil Rights Act in the operation of Xpress bus service, but four parking lots lack required amenities, according to results of a self-review the GRTA board discussed Wednesday.

The issue is a lack of amenities such as ADA parking in a leased lot, pavilions, security cameras, and call boxes, the review determined. The board voted to address the shortcomings.

Other than the parking lot issues, the review determined that GRTA complies with the provisions of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as administered by the Federal Transit Administration.
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Cousins Properties bullish on job growth in Atlanta area as it expands in Texas; Billy Payne to leave board

Metro Atlanta has regained all the office jobs it lost during the great recession and job growth is expected to exceed the national average, Cousins Properties, Inc. states in its annual financial report to the federal SEC.

In other Cousins news, Billy Payne – credited with helping to bring the 1996 Olympic Games to Atlanta – is to leave the Cousins board of directors after its annual board meeting May 6. Payne, 66, was elected to the Cousins board in 2006 and remains chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club. Continue reading

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DeKalb Sheriff Brown’s campaign for Congress assailed by rights activist Joe Beasley over campaign finances

DeKalb County Sheriff Tom Brown’s campaign for the congressional seat held by Rep. Hank Johnson is under attack by veteran human rights activist Joe Beasley.

Beasley said he filed a complaint against Brown’s campaign finance practices with the Federal Election Commission. Beasley said he holds a dim view of Brown because of the sheriff’s demeanor following the fatal shootings in 2006 at the Fulton County Courthouse, and Brown’s handling of evictions during the foreclosure crisis of the Great Recession.
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Atlanta deepens connections with Brazil for trade, academic exchange

Signs of strengthening relations between Brazil and Atlanta continue to appear.

On Saturday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is to lead a seven-day trade mission to Brazil. Last week, Georgia State University and an educational initiative started by Fulton County Chairman John Eaves hosted more than 125 college students from Brazil who are studying STEM fields at colleges in Georgia.

Georgia and Brazil have maintained direct relations for more than 20 years. The state opened a trade office in Brazil in 1994 and the Brazilian Chamber of Commerce opened in Atlanta in 1996. Brazil opened a new consulate in Atlanta in 2008.
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