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Republican Candidate for Governor Backtracks on "Open Mind" on Casinos

Atlanta, GA (AP)-- Republican gubernatorial hopeful Nathan Deal is backpedaling on casinos after at least one prominent Christian
conservative activist called to voice concerns.
Deal created a stir when he said earlier this month that he was
willing to keep an "open mind" about the possibility of casinos
in Georgia. This week, Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said the
former congressman from Gainesville "personally opposes casino
gambling" and doesn't believe they're the best way to spur the
state's economy. Robinson wouldn't say whether Deal would sign a
veto a casino bill if one landed on his desk.
The campaign of Deal's opponent, Democrat Roy Barnes, said
Deal's waffling shows he "is too unsteady for the job" of
governor.
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Online:
Roy Barnes for Governor: www.roy2010.com
Nathan Deal for Governor: www.nathandeal.org

Doraville Residents Angry Over Stimulus-funded Sidewalk

DORAVILLE, GA -- In Doraville, this is what the federal stimulus looks like:  Wet cement, poured to build a sidewalk along Central Avenue near the Doraville MARTA station.  It's a project paid for with 160,000 federal dollars.

And to Tom Hart, a former Doraville city council member, the project is a civic punch line.

"What is the point of putting a sidewalk in, if the entire sidewalk is lined with a telephone pole right in the center?" Hart asks, gesturing at telephone poles that poke out of the middle of the gleaming new sidewalk.

"I mean, it's not (Americans with Disabilities Act) compatible. It's hardly pedestrian compatible.  Like if two people -- if you and I were walking down here side by side, you'd have to wait for one person to get past the pole, then the other person to get past the pole," said Hart.

 

DeKalb Commission Kills GM Plant Development Deal

DEKALB COUNTY, GA -- One of Metro Atlanta's largest economic ghost towns will probably remain a ghost town for the foreseeable future.

The 165-acre General Motors auto plant site that sits off Interstate 285 on Atlanta's north side has sat vacant for two years.

After seven months of intense negotiations among Florida developers, GM, the UAW and various local governments, a joint public-private partnership to turn the industrial wasteland into a new Doraville town center fell apart Tuesday.

DeKalb County Commissioners killed the $60 million mixed-use retail, office and residential deal by a five-to-two vote.

"You are doing all of us a disservice," community activist Viola Davis told the board during a public hearing on the proposal.

She and others accused DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis, Doraville city leaders and the developers of putting together the deal largely behind closed doors.

Georgia DOT announces I-85 express lane construction information session

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA. – The Georgia Department of Transportation will hold a construction information session on the I-85 Express Lane Project on Sept. 1 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Gwinnett Civic Center. The project to convert 16 miles of HOV lanes to HOT lanes will offer more choices to all motorists, including single occupant vehicles and more reliable trip times in the corridor.

"This is the first project of its kind in Georgia," said DOT Commissioner Vance C. Smith, Jr. "With construction expected to begin in mid-September, it is extremely important that motorists understand how changes along the interstate will impact their commutes."

GM Doraville Plan Killed By DeKalb Board

DECATUR, GA -- The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners voted 5-2 to kill New Broad Street Companies' deal to acquire and redevelop the former General Motors plant on 165 acres in Doraville.

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis lamented the $110 million project would have created 9,000 jobs and pumped $360 million in wages back into the local economy.

Ellis called Tuesday's defeat a "lost opportunity" but said "all hope is not lost." He will try to work with the board to pursue other ideas for the site.

DeKalb Commission to Vote on Controversial GM Plant Deal

DEKALB COUNTY, GA - It's one of the largest ghost towns in metro Atlanta, 165 acres that turned out 60 years worth of General Motors cars.

When the GM plant closed 2 years ago, the City of Doraville lost about 8% of its income and many local businesses lost a chunk of theirs.

After 20 years, Wesley Horgon saw his car repair and detailing business drop off 20%

"General Motors was a great help to the whole City of Doraville," Horgon says, "When General Motors went out, we lost a lot of revenue here."

Last January Wesley Horgon and many of Doraville's 10,000 residents were encouraged to hear that a Florida developer wanted to buy the old GM plant property and create a new downtown with mixed retail, living and office space.

One reason is its convenient location just off I-285 on Atlanta's north side and right next to a MARTA rail and bus station.