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Hall County Commissioner Bell selected for foreign policy delegation to Israel

Hall County Commissioner Bell selected for foreign policy delegation to Israel

Gainesville, GA --  Hall County Commissioner Ashley D. Bell will leave Sept. 5 for Israel as part of a national delegation of emerging American leaders. Commissioner Bell was selected by the American International Education Foundation, the educational arm of American Israel Public Affairs Committee that funds the trip concentrating on foreign policy.

"I have always been a strong supporter of Israel and am humbled by their invitation to learn more about domestic and foreign policy, as well as take some time to visit the Holy Land,” Commissioner Bell said. “As a Christian, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I feel blessed to be able to take this time to also focus on my faith in such a historic setting."

Participants will include elected officials, civic leaders and political activists who seek to gain an in-depth understanding of modern Israel.

Hall County Commission appoints Randy Knighton as County Administrator

Hall County Commission appoints Randy Knighton as County Administrator

Hall County --  (from Nikki Young, PIO)

The Hall County Board of Commissioners voted Thursday to appoint Hall County Planning Director Randy Knighton to the position of County Administrator, effective immediately. Mr. Knighton has been a Hall County employee since 2002.

“Randy has been a valuable asset to Hall County as Planning Director. With his planning experience and educational background in public administration, he promises to be a strong administrator who will lead this county in a positive direction,” Chairman Tom Oliver said.

Mr. Knighton served as Hall County Senior Planner for four years before accepting the position of Planning Director in 2006. Mr. Knighton earned his Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice degrees from the University of Central Florida, and a Master of Divinity from Emory University. He has 18 years of experience in planning.

Cagle raises $18K in off-election year

Cagle raises $18K in off-election year

ATLANTA -- Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has more than $208,000 in the bank for a possible re-election bid in 2014.

A report Cagle filed with state officials Friday showed the Gainesville Republican has raised a little more than $18,000 in the first six months of 2011, a non-election year when fundraising is typically sluggish.

He already had $344,262 left over from last year's successful bid for a second term as the state's No. 2.

Finance reports detailing campaign contributions and expenditures were due with the state ethics commission by Friday night.

Cagle trailed at least one other top Republican in the Senate, where he presides. House Rules Committee Chairman Don Balfour of Snellville raked in $137,000 for the first six months of the year. He has more than $174,000 in the bank.

(The Associated Press)

Georgia appeals ruling on immigration law

Georgia appeals ruling on immigration law

ATLANTA -- A spokeswoman for the state attorney general says the state has filed a notice of appeal of a federal judge's ruling that blocked parts of the state's law cracking down on illegal immigration from taking effect.

Spokeswoman Lauren Kane says the notice was filed Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in Atlanta, but has not yet been filed with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The office will file court papers outlining the state's objections to last week's ruling.

The decision from federal Judge Thomas Thrash granted a request filed by civil liberties groups to block two sections of the law from taking effect until a lawsuit challenging the law's constitutionality has been resolved.

Other parts of the law, passed by the Georgia Legislature this year, took effect Friday.

Hall County votes to begin layoffs

Hall County votes to begin layoffs

Gainesville --  The Hall County Board of Commissioners voted last week to immediately begin the process of letting go 32 county employees. Fifty-six positions, 32 of which are filled, must be cut to help eliminate an $11.5-million deficit whether or not the Board approves a tax increase with the 2012 budget on June 30.

STATEMENT REGARDING 11TH CIRCUIT COURT’S WATER RULING

STATEMENT REGARDING 11TH CIRCUIT COURT’S WATER RULING

Tad Leithead, Chairman, Atlanta Regional Commission

On June 28, 2011, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit issued its decision reversing Judge Paul Magnuson’s order that posed a serious threat to  metro Atlanta’s water supply. 

We are very pleased with the reversal of an order that Judge Magnuson himself termed draconian.

Undocumented youth will risk arrest and rally at the Capitol in response to the Immigration Bill

Undocumented youth will risk arrest and rally at the Capitol in response to the Immigration Bill

Atlanta --  (submitted by Georgina Perez)  Today, June 28th, at 2:00pm, in an effort to raise awareness for the plight of undocumented people in their communities, six undocumented youth will risk arrest and even deportation coming out at the Georgia State Capitol. The undocumented youth will be joined by allies in demanding a complete halt to HB87 and similar local policies which continue to create fear within the immigrant communities.
 
Jessica Vasquez, 18 year old soon to be Pebblebrook high school student doesn’t believe anything has changed with the Judge’s ruling in the HB87 lawsuit: “Parts of HB87 may have been put on hold however that does not mean that local policies have been put on hold.  Every day I see people I know being stopped at checkpoints and facing deportation.