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LOCAL PROFILE: Clayton County Commission Chairman, Eldrin Bell

JONESBORO, Ga. -- Eldrin Bell is a local legend in Atlanta local law enforcement and politics.

Recently, the Where U Live spoke with him about his history in Atlanta and his current position in Clayton County.

GAINESVILLE: GOP lawmaker with Deal ties running for Congress

GAINESVILLE: GOP lawmaker with Deal ties running for Congress

ATLANTA -- A Republican state lawmaker with ties to Gov. Nathan Deal says he will run for Georgia's newest congressional seat.

RELATED: Lawmakers unveil new congressional map

State Rep. Doug Collins, of Gainesville, is serving his third term in the state House and served as one of the governor's floor leaders, sponsoring Deal's proposal to revamp the HOPE scholarship.

His current House district includes portions of Hall, Lumpkin, and White counties.

Collins served a combat tour in Iraq. A former small business owner, he now practices law in Gainesville.

Conservative radio show host Martha Zoller has also said she will seek the seat in northeast Georgia.

Commission seeks input on redistricting maps

Commission seeks input on redistricting maps

Hall County residents will have a chance to ask questions and give input about proposed changes to Commission district maps from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at the Courthouse Annex, 116 Spring St. SE, Gainesville. See the proposed maps online.

“This is an important decision that is made only once a decade. I want to make sure that if people want to comment on the maps, they have the opportunity to do that,” said District 4 Commissioner Ashley Bell, who initiated the public meeting.

The 2010 Census results prompted a shift in the maps to equalize the population in each of the four districts.

Tracking programs created to bring jobs to Georgia

Tracking programs created to bring jobs to Georgia

ATLANTA -- With Georgia's unemployment rate remaining in double digits, 11Alive journalists are busy digging into three programs that promised to create jobs.

One of them is the federal stimulus program.

According to the state's Stimulus Accountability website, the federal government has granted Georgia approximately $3.2 billion in stimulus funds. Georgia's unemployment rate was around 8.8 percent just prior to the start of the stimulus program. Two years later, unemployment has risen to the current rate of 10.1 percent.

Where are the stimulus jobs?

In Paulding County, the stimulus program is getting mixed reviews.

Paulding County has received approximately $46 million in federal stimulus funds. The unemployment rate there was 6 percent in 2008 before the stimulus program. Unemployment in Paulding has risen to its current rate of 10.6 percent.

1,901 Georgia elected officials failed to file disclosures on time

1,901 Georgia elected officials failed to file disclosures on time

ROSWELL-- One thousand nine hundred and one elected officials in Georgia missed a deadline to disclose their campaign finances by June 30, according to the state Ethics Commission. 

Most of them are down-ballot politicians little-known outside their locales.  11Alive News obtained the list after filing a request under the Georgia Open Records Act.

RELATED: List of non/late-filers as of June 30, 2011

One of those named is the mayor of Roswell.

"I thought I'd filed everything, so it's a surprise," said Mayor Jere Wood.  "I'll have to look into it," he said after an 11Alive News reporter informed Wood of his presence on the list.

Is legislative redistricting "transparent?"

Is legislative redistricting "transparent?"

ATLANTA -- It may be to the state Capitol what Area 51 is to the Nevada desert -- a place shrouded in mystery, with red letters warning against entry, and black curtains blocking the glass.

It's next to the reapportionment committee office. It's the room where the maps are made.

"They've got computers in there, a lot of equipment and stuff," said Rep. Roger Lane, chairman of the House Reapportionment Committee. Lane couldn't explain why the windows were blacked out, though. "I didn't do it. I don't know."

The maps are the legislative boundaries, redrawn during a special session of the legislature based on 2010 census data. The process, behind the glass, is touted by Republicans as "transparent."

"It's been the most transparency I've seen in the system in twenty years," said Sen. Don Balfour, Republican chairman of the Rules Committee.

Hall County decides NOT to close parks or cut recreational programs

Hall County --  The Hall County Board of Commissioners adopted a plan Aug. 11 to continue county-run park operations without closing additional parks or cutting programs.

Hall County Parks and Leisure Services will increase user fees modestly, reduce expenditures and use $443,094 from the county’s fund balances (savings) to support current programs and facilities this year. This will include closing the main office at 1086 Rainey Street and moving personnel to the community centers. Some part-time positions and hours will be reduced throughout the parks department, and two full-time staff positions will be eliminated.

While exploring privatization options over the past six weeks, the county conducted a thorough analysis of its Parks and Leisure Services personnel, procedures, revenues and expenditures.