Page 4

4

CrossRoadsNews

Community 2346 Candler Rd. Decatur, GA 30032 404-284-1888 Fax: 404-284-5007 www.crossroadsnews.com editor@crossroadsnews.com

Editor / Publisher Jennifer Parker General Manager Curtis Parker Staff Writer McKenzie Jackson Advertising Sales Cynthia Blackshear-Warren

CrossRoadsNews is published every Thursday by CrossRoads­News, Inc. We welcome articles on neighborhood issues and news of local happenings. The opinions expressed by writers and contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher, nor those of any advertisers. The concept, design and content of CrossRoads­N ews are copyrighted and may not be copied or reproduced in whole or in part in any manner without the written permission of the publisher.

Advertisements are published upon the representation that the advertiser is authorized to publish the submitted material. The advertiser agrees to indemnify and hold harmless from and against any loss or expenses resulting from any disputes or legal claims based upon the contents or subject matter of such advertisments, including claims of suits for libel, violation of privacy, plagiarism and copyright infringement. We reserve the right to refuse any advertisement.

What’s on your mind? We welcome your comments on issues of importance to the community. E-mail us at editor@crossroadsnews.com. Please include a contact number where we can reach you if necessary. Your contact information will not be published. Submissions may be edited for clarity or space. We do not publish anonymous letters. You can also voice your opinion about stories and Forum pieces on our website, www.crossroadsnews.com.

Circulation Audited By

December 26, 2009

“This will help put people back to work and build a long-term path to recovery.”

Bill has $7 million for 4th District More than $7 million in federal funding is headed to the 4th District as part of the year-end $447 billion omnibus House appropriations bill. In a Dec. 14 statement, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson said the funds focus on the economy, workers, small businesses and veterans. The package includes $4 million for MARTA, $1.1 million for Grady Hospital, $500,000 for construction to the I-85/Jimmy Carter Boulevard Bridge in Gwinnett County, and $400,000 for Rockdale County Public Schools to establish year-round pre-k programs. Johnson said the additional funding is critical for communities that need a little boost. “By focusing on infrastructure, small businesses and health care, this will help put people back to work and build a long-term path to recovery,” he said. The Senate approved the spending plan Dec. 13, and it now goes to President Obama’s

desk for his signature. The bill also includes $650 billion in mandatory spending on programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. DeKalb Commissioner Larry Johnson applauded the funds and said he is glad that the congressman is addressing essential services that will increase the quality of life for the citizens of DeKalb County. “Local government budgets are under severe strain and DeKalb is no different,” he said. “Federal funding for MARTA and Grady is vital to help fill the gap and maintain services for our citizens.” Rockdale Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Samuel King said the federal funds for Rockdale schools couldn’t have come at a better time. “The funds for Advanced Placement and pre-k programs will help us bridge the achievement gap and meet state performance goals,” he said. “And it fits perfectly with the implementation of our strategic plan.”

Holiday focus on DUI enforcement People who drink and drive are on notice not to do it this holiday season. The state stepped up its Operation Zero Tolerance campaign through Jan. 3 to help prevent DUIs over the Christmas/New Year’s holiday. Bob Dallas, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, said that one out of three fatal highway crashes each year is caused by impaired drivers. “Make no mistake. Our message is simple,” he said. “No matter who you are or what you drive, if you’re caught driving impaired, you will be arrested. No warning tickets. No exceptions. No excuses.” Last year, Georgia had 7,814 alcoholrelated crashes and 25 people were killed over the Christmas holiday period. For more about information, visit www. gahighwaysafety.org.

Drop in tax revenues played key role in downgrade Bell says DeKalb continues to maintain a triple A rating from Standard & Poor’s. He said they debts we have are fixed rate and are locked have heard nothing from Standard & Poor’s to indicate that it plans to downgrade county. in.” “They use different criteria,” he said. DeKalb still in top three CEO Burrell Ellis said the rating down- Many factors involved Moody’s lower rating reflects numergrade was not unexpected and that it was a factor in the 2010 budget he pitched to county ous factors, including economic factors like the county’s digest growth, its revenues and commissioners on Dec. 15. “It signals that we need to do some of the expenses, and demographics like per capita stuff that we recommended in the budget – family income. The dramatic drop in revenues from propcutting expenses, raising revenue and setting erty and sales taxes, which pay 80 percent of money in reserve,” he said. Bell said the county has plans to increase the county’s expenses, was the biggest factor its reserves to $45 million – the monthly in the downgrade. Moody’s also noted the cost of operating the county – by the end of decline in revenue from building permits. The report by Moody’s public finance 2011. DeKalb County has enjoyed triple A rat- group analysts Catie Y. Tsao, Alicia Stephens ings from the nation’s two credit rating com- and Geordie Thompson noted favorably the panies since 2001. Bell said it is still among belt-tightening measures in Ellis’ proposed $583 million budget, which is $23 million less metro Atlanta’s three top-rated counties. “Before the downgrade, the counties with than the current budget. Ellis wants to balance it with a 1.86 mill the highest ratings were Cobb, Gwinnett and DeKalb,” he said. “After the downgrade, the increase in property taxes and the reduction counties with the highest grade are Cobb, of 400 personnel through early retirement incentives and the appropriation of $11.2 Gwinnett and DeKalb.” But for DeKalb, the bond-rating down- million in fund balance as revenue. “We now have to wait to see what the comgrade means it now comes in behind Cobb and Gwinnett counties, which both main- missioners do,” he said. By law, DeKalb must have an approved tained their triple A ratings. Still, Bell said the double A rating places budget by March 1. DeKalb’s revenues have been impacted DeKalb in the top 70 of 3,140 counties nationwide, down from the top 50 counties. negatively by the incorporation of the city of RATING,

from page

1

Quick Read

Groups lauded for community Transport program seeks service 2 volunteers

Dunwoody, rising foreclosure, the freezing of its digest values by state legislators, and the loss of state subsidy for the Homestead Tax Relief Grant. Bell said Dunwoody’s incorporation cost the county $18 million in 2009, up from the $16 million they had estimated. He said it will be $18 million again in 2010. Bell also pointed out that neither Cobb nor Gwinnett supports Grady Hospital or MARTA with tax dollars and DeKalb County does. The prospect is not all bad. Moody’s gave the county its highest ­double-A rating because it says it expects DeKalb to continue to derive stability from its strategic proximity to the city of Atlanta and the local presence of several large and stable institutional employers like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Internal Revenue Service and Emory University, but that it expects economic growth to moderate in the near term due to the economic recession. It also believes that the county’s tax-supported debt position will remain manageable given limited future general government borrowing plans. In an e-mail to county commissioners this week, Bell said he and his staff have been in discussions with Moody’s along with the county’s financial adviser regarding revenue, expenses, fund balances and digest values. “Overall, I think Moody’s regards the recommended 2010 budget as a plus,” he said.

Principal sentenced after 5 guilty plea

8

Three Decatur community groups workI CARE Inc., which offers free transporDr. James Berry pleaded guilty to falsiing to improve their neighborhoods were tation to medical appointments to DeKalb fying government documents at Atherton honored Dec. 19 by DeKalb Commissioner senior citizens, needs volunteer drivers. Elementary School and will pay a $1,000 Larry Johnson. fine and be on probation for two years.

Detention officer fired in contraband case

First Afrikan to host annual Kwanzaa celebration 6 Welcome New Year at Watch 2 “Soul Food, Soul Music, Soul People” Night services 9

DeKalb detention officer Dianne Hill is the theme of First Afrikan Presbyterian’s Area churches will be teeming with Simpson was fired from and arrested by the 15th annual Kwanzaa Celebration. people on Dec. 31 for annual Watch Night DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office for allegedly services. supplying contraband to an inmate.

Storyteller to preside at 6 Wireless phone drive under Vaccine readily available, but APEX festival way 10 Storyteller and puppeteer extraordinaire demand has slipped 5 Akbar The Restoration of Hope Ministry at Ray Imhotep will tell stories and preside

With supplies of H1N1 flu vaccine read- over the candle-lighting ceremony at the of Hope is reaching out to help victims of ily available, anyone can get vaccinated APEX Museum’s Kwanzaa Festival on Dec. domestic violence this holiday season with against the swine flu virus. a wireless phone collection drive. 31. index to advertisers

1.2.3. Discount Fabrics.................................... 3 A Bed For Angels........................................... 3 Craig B. Williams, DDS................................... 5 CrossRoadsNews...........................................12 CrossRoadsNews............................................9

Doing It Just 4 U............................................. 11 Ella’s Caring Hands Adult Day Care............... 11 Kool Smiles Children & Adult Dentistry........... 8 Macy’s............................................................. 2 Macy’s............................................................. 7

NewBirth Called to Conquer Bookstore......... 11 Newburn Reynolds Photography................... 11 Outback Insurance......................................... 11 Padgett Business Services............................... 2 SWH Apparel.................................................. 5

The Law Office of B.A. Thomas..................... 11 Wright Vision Care.......................................... 5 Zip2Save....................................................... 10 Zip2Save...........................................................

Profile for CrossRoadsNews, Inc.

CrossRoadsNews, December 26, 2009  

CrossRoadsNews, December 26, 2009

CrossRoadsNews, December 26, 2009  

CrossRoadsNews, December 26, 2009

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded