Latest Reports

MAP International taps Steve Stirling as its new president and CEO

By Maria Saporta

As the new president and CEO of Atlanta-based MAP International, Steve Sterling views his latest mission with clarity.

He doesn’t want children living in developing countries to suffer the same fate he did when he contracted polio at the age of two in South Korea, becoming a “throwaway kid.”

When he was only 5-years-old, his father abandoned him and his sister at an orphanage where he lived for six years until the two siblings were adopted by an American family living in Anchorage.
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Clayton Commission votes 3-to-1 to put MARTA penny in front of voters

By Maria Saporta

For Clayton County Commissioner Sonna Singleton, it came down to letting the citizens decide.

And so Singleton cast the deciding third vote in favor of a one-penny MARTA sales tax to be on the ballot in a referendum before voters during the November general election.

The vote Saturday morning ended up being 3-to-1 in favor of the full penny sales tax for MARTA. Voting in favor of putting the referendum before voters were: Commission Chairman Jeff Turner, Vice Chair Shana Rooks and Singleton.
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As Clayton board gets MARTA vote ‘do-over’ on Saturday, spotlight shines on Commissioner Gail Hambrick

By Maria Saporta

The most popular person in Clayton County has suddenly become Commissioner Gail Hambrick.

Hambrick is seen by pro-transit advocates as the most likely swing vote who might now change her stance and favor a full-penny MARTA sales tax being put on the November ballot in Clayton County.

The Clayton County Commission is holding a specially-called board meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 5 at 112 Smith St. in Jonesboro to revisit the MARTA question.
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MARTA and Clayton County in midst of high drama with uncertain outcome

By Maria Saporta

At a specially-called meeting Wednesday morning, the MARTA board held firm: Clayton County must contribute a full-cent sales tax to become part of the regional transit system.

The resolution intensifies the high stakes, holiday weekend drama about whether MARTA is in Clayton County’s future. The only way for a MARTA question to be on the November ballot would be for the Clayton Commission to convene a special meeting by Sunday, July 6 and agree to the full-penny MARTA sales tax proposal.

At the Clayton County Commission meeting Tuesday night, that board voted 3-to-2 for a half-penny MARTA sales tax to be levied over the next 50 years. The members in the minority — Chairman Jeff Turner and Vice Chair Shana Rooks — favored the full-penny option.
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Atlanta comes up short; fails to win $30 million federal Choice grant

By Maria Saporta

The City of Atlanta, one of six cities selected as a finalist to receive a $30 million federal grant for neighborhood revitalization, was not selected as one of the four winning cities.

Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, announced on Monday that the four $30 million “Choice Neighborhood Initiative” grants were awarded to Columbus, Ohio; Norwalk, Connecticut; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Pittsburgh, Pa.
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Clayton commissioners vote 3-2 for a half-cent sales tax for bus transit; MARTA officials say it’s not enough

By Maria Saporta

The Clayton County Commission and MARTA entered a staring down contest Tuesday night.

The question that will unfold in the next five days is who will blink first.

For Clayton County residents, the answer could either be voting on a full-penny sales tax to become a full MARTA partner, investing in both buses and rail transit, or to continue being a county without any local transit service. Continue reading

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Metro Atlanta Chamber names its new economic development chief

By Maria Saporta

The Metro Atlanta Chamber has selected its new chief economic development officer.

“This should not come as a surprise,” said Hala Moddelmog, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber. “He was right under our nose.”

The new chief development officer will be Brian McGowan, who joined the Atlanta Chamber as its chief operating officer and executive vice president after serving as president of the City of Atlanta’s economic development arm — Invest Atlanta. Continue reading

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Clayton County Commission urged to vote for full penny MARTA sales tax

By Maria Saporta

A passionate 11th hour effort is being launched to urge the Clayton County Commission to support putting a full penny MARTA sales tax on the November ballot.

The five Clayton Commissioners are scheduled to vote on Tuesday night.

The choice is being presented in relatively simple terms. If Clayton County approves a full penny, it would become a full voting member of MARTA, and it would be able to have a combination of rail and bus transit in its future.
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Atlanta to launch new nonprofit group to spur new investment on westside

By Maria Saporta

The City of Atlanta and top business leaders are working on a concerted effort to steer the redevelopment of the westside of city.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed disclosed Friday morning that a new nonprofit entity will be established – similar to the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership – to help raise foundation and corporate dollars for the rebirth of the Vine City, English Avenue, Atlanta University Campus, Ashview Heights and part of Castleberry Hill.

The mayor announced that news in a briefing with two journalists following a quarterly meeting of the Atlanta Committee for Progress, the group of top-level business leaders who serve as a kitchen cabinet of advisors for Reed and the city.
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Georgia leading with its investments in nuclear and renewable energy

By Maria Saporta

When it comes to reducing greenhouse gases to meet future federal standards, Georgia is ahead of the game.

That was the message that Carol Browner, a distinguished senior fellow at American Progress who most recently served as assistant to President Barack Obama and director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, gave Monday to the Rotary Club of Atlanta.

“In Georgia, you are well on your way with your investment in nuclear energy, and your investment in renewables,” Browner said.
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