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Vigil, Possible New Legislation in Honor of Slain 4-Year-Old

Vigil, Possible New Legislation in Honor of Slain 4-Year-Old

DECATUR, GA -- Four-year-old Marquel Peters was killed by a stray bullet last New Year's. His community is doing its best to make his memory last.

The Church of God of Prophecy in DeKalb County held a vigil Friday evening, at which county officials announced their intentions to bring new legislation against reckless gunfire.

"I have drafted legislation calling for an addition to the homicide statute -- reckless homicide," said William Miller, public safety director for DeKalb County. "Other states have it. It would give us another avenue to prosecute these kinds of crimes."

Currently, reckless gunfire results in a misdemeanor. Even if police had found the person responsible for the bullet that killed Peters, that person would have received a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail.

DeKalb officials want to be able to enact harsher penalties.

Meanwhile, hard times continue for the church community of which Marquel Peters was a part.

An Outrageous Raise or a Well Deserved Supplement?

An Outrageous Raise or a Well Deserved Supplement?

DEKALB COUNTY, GA -- "I think it's more of the same, a slap in the face." That's how Kim Ault and other parents reacted Friday to a $73,000 pay hike for Interim DeKalb County School Superintendent Ramona Tyson.

Some are outraged that a school system that's $50 million in the red and racked by a recent scandal would even think of such a move.

But with a 7 to 1 vote, the DeKalb County School Board increased Tyson's salary by 44 percent.

"Given what she's taken us through, it's disingenuous if we were going to continue to pay her 50 cents on the dollar," said School Board Chairman Tom Bowen.

He points out that Tyson has been working at her old Deputy Superintendent's salary of $165,000 since taking over the top job last February.

She took over when previous Superintendent Crawford Lewis was suspended and then fired after being charged with corruption.

Lewis' salary was $255,000 when he got the boot.

Dekalb County Schools Designate January 2011 as Bullying Awareness Month

Dekalb County Schools Designate January 2011 as Bullying Awareness Month

Atlanta, GA--  (Submitted by Cohn&Wolfe)  

The DeKalb County School System will on Jan. 3, 2011, join parents, students and community leaders to launch “Bullying Awareness Month,” a 30-day campaign to highlight the DeKalb County School System’s enhanced policy aimed at reducing incidents of bullying. During the Jan.

Big Project Will Cost DeKalb Ratepayers Big Bucks

Big Project Will Cost DeKalb Ratepayers Big Bucks

DECATUR-- DeKalb County has a water treatment plant pushing 50 years old.  It has regular water main breaks that tie up work crews for days at a time.  With that in mind, DeKalb County's board of commissioners approved a $1.4 billion water and sewage fix Tuesday. 

It will hike water rates 11% per year in 2012, 2013 and 2014. That's in addition to a rate hike already scheduled to take effect January 1, 2011.

"In these economic times, a $1.2 billion capital improvement project was way too ambitious," said Commissioner Elaine Boyer, who argued unsuccessfully against the project and rate hikes.   "I get constant calls in my office about the water and sewer bills. And all of these calls say they can't afford a water and sewer rate increase."

The argument became more urgent after the Environmental Protection Agency ordered DeKalb to upgrade its treatment system or face daily fines.

DeKalb Agrees to Millions in Sewer Upgrades

DECATUR, GA -- DeKalb County has agreed to make sweeping improvements to its sewer system to curb overflows of untreated sewage.

The county estimates that the improvements could cost $700 million.

In addition, the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that DeKalb will pay a civil penalty
of $453,000 to be split between the U.S. and the state of Georgia. The county also agreed to launch a $600,000 environmental program
that will provide additional environmental benefits.

The agreement resolves a joint federal and state complaint alleging violations of the federal Clean Water Act and the Georgia Water Quality Control Act.

Stan Meiburg of the EPA's regional office says the agreement will "benefit the local community and improve water quality in the
Upper Ocmulgee and Chattahoochee watersheds."

10 Things a Burglar Won't Tell You

ATLANTA -- What does a burglar think when they look at your flower beds?

Could information you post on your Facebook page be of interest to a burglar?

Read this list of Ten Things a Burglar Won't Tell You.

1. Of course I look familiar. I was here last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.

2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.

3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste, and taste mean there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming systems they have.

4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up in the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer on your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.

Massey Matchups Misses on Half of Semifinal Games

ATLANTA -- The Georgia high school football semifinals proved to be tough for Massey Matchups to predict. Out of 10 games, the computer predictor tool correctly picked only five winners.

That brings Massey Matchups to 20-10 in the quarterfinals and semifinals. The computer went 1-1 in all five classifications; its most accurate predictions were Carrollton's big win over Burke County and Clinch County's win over Wilkinson County.

Here are how the semifinals went. The computer's prediction is on the left; the actual final score appears on the right.