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I am voting yes on the 2017 budget, but questions need to be addressed

This is to inform you that in tomorrow's Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting, I intend to vote YES to approve the 2017 Budget as proposed by CEO Michael Thurmond. Like all budgets, this one is imperfect. But, in the near term I think it makes a good faith effort to address basic needs without radically deviating from recent precedent.

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Moonlight wins Oscar for Best Picture after presenters wrongly announced La La Land

Moonlight wins Oscar for Best Picture after presenters wrongly announced La La Land: Presenters and producers of the 89th Academy Awards had egg on their faces after a humiliating mistake caused them to initially announce favorite La La Land as the winner.

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Funniest Twitter responses to Halle Berry’s Hair at the Oscars 2017

Funniest Twitter responses to Halle Berry’s Hair at the Oscars 2017

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Suits With a Purpose helps buy teen males suits for the prom and college interviews

Suits With a Purpose helps buy teen males suits for the prom and college interviews

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New tech-ed revealed at Georgia Piedmont Technical College

Georgia’s growing film and television industry, worth an estimated $6 billion for the state annually, is helping to drive new training programs at Georgia Piedmont Technical College. At the institution’s 2017 State of the College event, held on Feb. 23 in its main campus on North Indian Creek Drive in Clarkston, president Jabari Simama told about 100 guests the Georgia Piedmont students of today will lead the modern technology workforce of the future. He said programs in drone technology, three dimensional printing, cyber security, and on-set operations for the film and television industry are being added to the college’s curriculum. “Tech-ed is hot,” he said. “It’s on fire!”

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Triple Hike Challenge returns for Monadnock Madness in March

Hikers can climb to the summit of three local monadnocks – Arabia Mountain, Panola Mountain and Stone Mountain – in one day during the popular Triple Hike Challenge for the fifth annual Monadnock Madness in March.

DeKalb man convicted in drug importation conspiracy

A DeKalb man who lied his way into becoming a United States citizen, and illegally imported and sold misbranded male enhancement drugs from China throughout Atlanta and the southeast, has been convicted on four federal charges. Ismail Ali Khan, 29, of Decatur, was indicted by a federal grand jury along with four co-defendants in Atlanta on May 28, 2014, for conspiring to illegally import male enhancement products containing the active ingredients in Viagra and Cialis. On Feb. 13 this year, following a six-day jury trial, Khan was convicted of conspiracy, illegal importation of misbranded drug products from China, receiving misbranded drugs that had moved in interstate commerce, and making false statements in order to become a naturalized U. S. citizen. Kahn, who became a U. S. citizen on March 14, 2014 – just two months before his arrest and remand in custody – is due to be sentenced at 10 a.m. on April 27 by U. S. District Judge Steve C. Jones.

Dialogue on African American experience

“Black History: Everyone’s Story – Let the Dialogue Begin” will be presented on Feb. 27 at the Clarkston Library.

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Lowe's donates $500,000 to the UNCF

Lowe's donates $500,000 to the UNCF: The money is stored as emergency funding for graduating seniors at the nation's 37 HBCUs facing financial strife while trying to graduate on time.

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Decatur Municipal Court offering amnesty to drivers with traffic infractions

Decatur Municipal Court offering amnesty to drivers with traffic infractions: The City of Decatur Municipal Court is helping drivers reconcile outstanding traffic citations and bench warrants and return to legal status without paying the extra fees and court costs for a specified period time

Alternative yoga class offers nutrition, exercise tips

Adult patrons can pick up nutrition and exercise tips on March 4 at PraiseMoves DeKalb: An Alternative to Yoga at the Stonecrest Library.

Gardening class on spring, summer vegetables

Gardeners itching to get their hands dirty can attend Vegetables to Plant in Spring/Vegetables to Plant in Summer on Feb. 28 at the Decatur Library.

March 4 deadline to register for Neon 5K Fun Run

Registration is open through March 4 for DeKalb County’s Neon 5K Fun Run at Mason Mill Park in Decatur.

Public comments sought on Babies Can’t Wait grant application

Early intervention providers, parents and members of the general public can participate in a 60-day comment period on the grant application and revised policy for the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Babies Can’t Wait program.

Lithonia, Stonecrest traffic disruptions explained in Feb. 28 open house

Information about traffic disruptions throughout 2017 in Stonecrest and Lithonia, resulting from a $24 million sewerage infrastructure upgrade, will be publicly discussed at an open house hosted by the DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management on Tuesday, Feb. 28. The free public meeting, starting at 6 p.m. in the Stonecrest Library at 3123 Klondike Road in Lithonia, is the second in a series of open houses on the Honey Creek Pump Station and Force Main Improvements project. The first was held in the library on Jan. 10.

Author to explore the history of the ‘Second Line" at Stonecrest Library

Mardi Gras comes to Stonecrest on Feb. 27 with the “Second Line at Your Library” author reading and dance demonstration.

Registration opens for launch of Omega Psi Phi male mentoring project

Male seventh- through 12th-graders can attend an open house on March 11 in Decatur for Omega Psi Phi’s Manhood Uplift Project/Program mentoring initiative.

Rezoning sought for mixed-use development near Avondale MARTA station

A developer’s plan to rezone almost nine acres at East Ponce de Leon and North Arcadia avenues in Decatur, to build a new housing and retail complex, will be considered by the DeKalb County’s Planning Commission at its March 8 meeting. The county government has received a rezoning application from Alliance Realty Services, for a mixed-use development comprising up to 270 apartments, a grocery store, and additional retail space near the Avondale MARTA station. The Planning Commission will decide whether the land, currently zoned Light Industrial, should have a Neighborhood Center zoning, when it considers the application at its 6.30 p.m. meeting in the Manuel Maloof Auditorium at 1300 Commerce Drive in Decatur.

Information session on volunteering for DeKalb CASA program

Residents interested in advocating for children in foster care can attend a volunteer informational session hosted by DeKalb County CASA on March 2 at the Gregory A. Adams Juvenile Justice Center in Decatur.

Ga. constitutional officers offer scholarship contest

Georgia high school seniors and college undergraduates can enter a scholarship contest offered by the Constitutional Officers Association of Georgia through April 1.