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The 18th annual Bus Trip Across Georgia is Visiting Seven Public Schools and Programs doing Right

Atlanta, GA--  The 18th annual Bus Trip Across Georgia is visiting seven public schools and programs that are doing things right.  The tour provides recognition for their efforts and showcases best practices that might be adapted and used elsewhere.  The theme this year is “Greater Flexibility, Greater Focus on Results.”

More than 70 education stakeholders representing business, government, education and citizen groups will participate as riders on two tour buses. Several other participants will join the tour at the respective sites.

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Sgt. Watterson Honored for Helping Domestic Violence Victims in Hall County

Atlanta, GA--  Congratulations to Sgt. Bob Watterson, who won Domestic Violence Officer of the Year for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit. Sgt. Watterson's compassion and skill in helping domestic violence victims makes him a key asset to the Hall County Sheriff's Office.

Watch TV18 coverage of the awards ceremony at 6 p.m. weeknights in October. TV18 -- the Government Channel for Gainesville and Hall County -- is on Charter cable channel 18 and Comcast channel 23.

Daniel Alvarez Memorial Fund Established in honor of Mr. Alvarez whose Family of 5 was killed 9/30

Atlanta, GA--  Nearly the entire nation mourned the loss of Daniel Alvarez, his wife and children, as Daniel and his family became a symbol of Tropical Storm Nicole’s devastation last month.

Daniel was returning home on the last day, that great day of the Feast of Tabernacles, with his wife, three year old twin sons and one year old daughter in what the Associated Press (AP) termed, “Nightmare” of rain, when his vehicle “hydroplaned, left the roadway, overturned and landed in a ditch filled with water near Creswell, North Carolina.” per the N.C. Highway Patrol, drowning him and his family.

Hall County Reinstates Employee Retirement Contribution

Atlanta, GA-- NEWS RELEASE from Hall County Government

Recently, the Hall County Board of Commissioners voted to reinstate county contributions to the employee retirement program through the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2011. The county’s contributions to the Deferred Compensation Plan were postponed in October 2009 due to revenue shortfalls during the recession.

“Our employees have been burdened by temporary cost-saving programs for quite some time now, and I feel like it’s important to give back if the County can afford to do so,” County Administrator Charley Nix said. “The retirement plan represents your future.

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12 Atlanta area movie theaters, including Chamblee's will show the Bon Jovi Concert

Atlanta, GA--  On Monday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m. local time,Bon Jovi—The Circle Tour,” an exclusive one night only event, will give fans across the country a chance to experience one of the year’s most historic series of concerts. This special in-theater event will be presented in 12 Atlanta area movie theaters and more than 550 nationwide.

Hall County to Benefit from new ICE Strategy to Use Biometrics to Identify Aliens

Atlanta, GA--  On Wednesday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began using a federal information sharing capability in Hall and Whitfield counties that helps federal immigration officials use biometrics identify aliens, both lawfully and unlawfully present in the United States, who are booked into local law enforcement’s custody for a crime. This capability is part of Secure Communities—ICE’s comprehensive strategy to improve and modernize the identification and removal of aliens convicted of a crime from the United States.

“The Secure Communities strategy provides ICE with an effective tool to identify criminal aliens in local custody,” said Secure Communities Assistant Director David Venturella. “Enhancing public safety is at the core of ICE’s mission.

Commissioner Bell selected for Leadership Programs

Atlanta, GA--  Commissioner Ashley Bell has been selected to participate in two leadership programs that will prepare him to tackle tough issues in local government.

On Oct. 17-22, Commissioner Bell will attend “Leadership for the 21st Century: Chaos, Conflict and Courage,” a program at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The program helps officials find ways to approach real-life problems with the help of experienced leaders, from Harvard professors, to Congressmen, to Parliamentarians from London. Commissioner Bell has chosen to focus on regional water strategies, as well as public-private partnerships in the recession.

“This is a program that deals directly with what I do as a county commissioner,” Bell said. “I hope to gain a better skill set and a more dynamic approach to the problems we deal with as a local government.”

The Boston-based program is funded by a fellowship, not by taxpayers.