Latest Reports

Two women – Amy Phuong and Melissa Mullinax – given a promotion by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

By Maria Saporta

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has made a couple of significant appointments these past couple of days – promoting two of his key staff members.

On Wednesday, he announced that he is nominating Amy Phuong as commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation. Phuong has been serving in that position as an interim commissioner since May after George Dusenbury left the administration.

Just the day before, Mayor Reed appointed Melissa Mullinax as a senior advisor. She will provide guidance on legislative issues and manage Reed’s external relationships with government officials, neighborhood and community organizations.
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Georgia makes strides in research, but is missing bioscience ‘focal point’

By Maria Saporta

In the 24 years since the founding of the Georgia Research Alliance, federally-funded research and development grants to Georgia’s universities has increased five-fold.

The state’s total share of federal research funding increased to nearly 3 percent, ranking 12th and one of only five of the top 16 states that is increasing its market share.

These are the findings in new report prepared by consultants for the Georgia Research Alliance that was presented to the board at its recent meeting.
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The Home Depot piloting the ‘Do-It-Yourself’ automotive business

By Maria Saporta

From homes to cars.

Atlanta-based Home Depot is eagerly testing a new business opportunity – the “Do-It-Yourself” automotive segment.

Carol Tomé, chief financial officer for the Home Depot since 2001, disclosed the company’s interest during a talk to the Rotary Club of Atlanta Monday.

In response to a question about what was the next area of opportunity for the company, Tomé said the company currently had “Do-It-Yourself Automotive” in pilot “right now” in some of its stores.
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Mayor Kasim Reed pledges to do all he can to keep Hawks in Atlanta

By Maria Saporta

Mayor Kasim Reed is going to do all he can to keep the Atlanta Hawks in town within the city limits, he pledged during a press conference Tuesday in his office Tuesday.

Less than a year ago, the mayor held a press conference in the same room reacting to the news that the Atlanta Braves would be leaving Turner Field to build a new stadium in Cobb County.

The Braves announcement had caught the city off-guard. And it was readily apparent on Tuesday that Mayor Reed wasn’t going to let another professional sports team leave the city under his watch – if he could help it. (Atlanta’s professional hockey team – the Thrashers – were sold and moved to Winnipeg in 2011).
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Community concerns about Fort Mac-Tyler Perry deal draws large turnout

By Maria Saporta

More than 100 community members filled the meeting at Fort McPherson Tuesday evening – mainly to complain about how they had been left out the process of deciding the future of the 488 acres strategically located between downtown Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

It was a regular board meeting of the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority (MILRA), a body that has been meeting for about seven years on various plans and ideas for what would be the best use of the site once the base had closed.
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Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice becomes sixth (and first woman) president of the Morehouse School of Medicine

By Maria Saporta

What a week it has been for Valerie Montgomery Rice.

She was inaugurated as the sixth president of the Morehouse School of Medicine (and its first woman president) during a multi-day series of events that would be exhausting for an ordinary person.

After the investiture ceremony on Thursday, President Rice participated in six community service projects Friday morning to highlight the six different president of the Morehouse School of Medicine.
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As Fort Mac-Tyler Perry negotiations proceed, questions refuse to go away

By Maria Saporta

Just as a local authority is negotiating the sale of 325 acres of Fort McPherson to movie mogul Tyler Perry, the Salon.com news site has published an article declaring an end to the Atlanta actor/director’s reign.

The article – “The reign of Tyler Perry is over: Finally, black thrillers come to the big screen” – could cause some to want to put their foot on the brakes of the rapidly-moving effort to try to seal the Perry deal by mid-October.
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Paul Allen Family Foundation makes $9 million gift to CDC Foundation to fight Ebola epidemic in West Africa

By Maria Saporta

The Atlanta-based CDC Foundation has received a $9 million donation from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to help combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The funding will support CDC’s efforts to establish emergency operations centers for the countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa currently has 3,700 suspected cases and 1,850 deaths.
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Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s Sally Bethea to be saluted at 20th anniversary gala on Oct. 14

By Maria Saporta

A pillar of Atlanta’s environmental leadership will be getting her send-off in style.

Sally Bethea, who founded the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper 20 years ago, will be retiring as its executive director, and a new leadership team will be taking over at the beginning of 2015.

Bethea’s leadership of the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) and the transition to a new team will be celebrated at an elegant gala on Oct. 14 at the InterContinental Buckhead.
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More calls for Hawks GM Danny Ferry to step down as focus turns to treatment of star Dominique Wilkins

By Maria Saporta

Racial tension has permeated the Atlanta Hawks organization during the leadership of Danny Ferry, according to Tommy Dortch, a leading African-American businessman in Atlanta.

Dortch said that tension has been evident in the way the team has treated its all-time star player – Dominique Wilkins.

For two years, Dortch has been trying to get approval from the Atlanta Hawks to construct a 15-foot tall statue of Wilkins that is to be placed in front of Philips Arena’s ticket window.

Wilkins is the most celebrated Atlanta Hawks player in the history of the franchise and deserving of this recognition, Dortch said in an interview Tuesday. Continue reading

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