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Immigrant contributions to the U.S. Economy

A new SBA Office of Advocacy sponsored report by Robert W. Fairlie examines the contributions of immigrants to the U.S. economy. Some of its findings are:

    Immigrants are nearly 30 percent more likely to start a business than are nonimmigrants, and they represent 16.7 percent of all new business owners in the United States.

    Immigrant business owners make significant contributions to business income, generating $67 billion of the $577 billion in U.S. business income, as estimated from 2000 U.S. Census data. They generate nearly one-quarter of all business income in California—nearly $20 billion—and nearly one-fifth of business income in New York, Florida, and New Jersey.

    Nearly 30 percent of all business owners in California are immigrants, compared with about 12.5 percent of the population of U.S. business owners.

Feds crack down on prescription drug trafficking

Feds crack down on prescription drug trafficking

ATLANTA -- A federal grand jury in Atlanta has charged a total of 13 defendants from two states with illegally trafficking in oxycodone and other prescription drugs.

The two cases arise out of intensified efforts to address Georgia's growing problem with prescription drug abuse.

"Prescription drug abuse is our nation's fastest-growing segment of illegal drug use, causing significantly more overdose deaths than cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin combined," said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

In the first incident, 11 Georgia residents were charged with conspiring to forge oxycodone prescriptions and sell the illegally obtained tablets.

Hall County mails assessment notices May 13

Hall County mails assessment notices May 13

Gainesville, GA --  The Hall County Tax Assessors will mail 75,420 notices of current assessment on Friday, May 13. As required by new state law, this annual notice will include a written explanation of the value of taxable property and an estimate of the property tax bill.

The assessment notice is not a tax bill. The estimate of taxes is based on the current year's assessed value and the previous year's tax rate. The actual property tax rate will not be determined until it is approved by the Board of Commissioners on June 23. Tax bills will be mailed by the Tax Commissioner on Aug. 1; the first installment is due Oct. 1, and the second installment is due Dec. 1.

Property owners now have 45 days from the date of the notice to file an appeal via U.S. mail or in person.

DEA applauds huge turnout on Drug Take-Back Day

DEA applauds huge turnout on Drug Take-Back Day

ATLANTA -- Americans participating in the United States Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) second National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event last weekend turned in more than 376,593 pounds of unwanted or expired medications.

This is 55 percent more than the 242,000 pounds the public brought in during last September's event.

The medications were taken to 5,361 take-back sites in all 50 states.

"The amount of prescription drugs turned in by the American public during the first two take-back events is simply staggering -- 309 tons -- and represents a clear need for a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs," said DEA administrator Michele M. Leonhart.

Hall County appoints new County Attorney

Hall County appoints new County Attorney

Gainesville, GA --  (submitted by Nikki Young)  The Hall County Board of Commissioners voted Thursday to appoint Gainesville firm Stewart, Melvin & Frost as County Attorney.

The general legal counsel contract rates are $150/hour for a partner, $125/hour for an associate, and $95/hour for a paralegal. The contract does not include bond disclosure counsel, which the Commission will seek separately.

Seven firms applied for the position. Commissioners, the County Administrator, Finance Director, Public Works & Utilities Director, and Planning & Zoning Director reviewed the proposals. The County Attorney was selected based on firm experience and workload, personnel experience, references, proximity to Hall County offices, the proposal structure and content, and pricing.

Stewart, Melvin & Frost served as County Attorney from 1992 to January 2011.

Chambliss applauds Georgia's charter schools

Chambliss applauds Georgia's charter schools

ATLANTA -- United States Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) has expressed his support for Georgia's charter schools and applauded those working to expand the charter system on behalf of children, families and communities across the state.

The week of May 2 is National Charter Schools Week.

"Georgia's excellent charter school sector continues to raise the bar for educational standards, and I applaud the Georgia Charter Schools Association for their commitment to education," said Sen. Chambliss. "Charter schools' emphasis on empowering parents with public school choice, innovation and local control provide quality alternatives for many families, and they give our students a good foundation to succeed.

Hall County offices closed April 25

Hall County, GA --  This is a reminder that Hall County’s administrative offices, courts and community centers will be closed Monday, April 25, for an employee furlough day.

Essential public safety and public works personnel will continue service as usual during the furlough. The landfill and compactor sites will remain open.