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Trees, lawns having a rough time recovering after winter

ATLANTA - After one of the hottest summers on record in 2010 followed by Atlanta's "Snowmageddon" last January, homeowners across north Georgia are having a rough time getting their lawns to green up and look good this spring.

Many lawns and yards are having a tough time recovering from the double-whammy brought by the weather. Some plants may find themselves with dead branches, or even die off completely without some help.

Landscape companies like TruGreen and others across the area suggest that homeowners take special care of their yards this spring, and keep a few hints in mind.

Charter school law declared unconstitutional

Charter school law declared unconstitutional

ATLANTA -- A Georgia law that cleared the way for a surge in new charter schools was struck down by the state's top court in a high-profile decision that will affect thousands of students and could reshape how the state's public school system is funded.

The Georgia Supreme Court's 4-3 decision on Monday overturned the 2008 Georgia Charter Schools Commission Act, which allowed the state to approve and fund charter schools over the objection of local school boards.

Local Remodelers Honored With Big50 Award

Local Remodelers Honored With Big50 Award
William Fadul and Rick Goldstein, co-owners of MOSAIC Group [Architects and Remodelers], have been selected by Remodeling magazine to join the Remodeling Big50. MOSAIC Group is an Atlanta-based design/build company with Indoor and Outdoor Living Divisions.   MOSAIC Group was chosen for the Fine Design category, which includes remodelers with high aesthetic standards for their projects.   Each year since 1986, the Remodeling Big50 inducts 50 owners of remodeling companies that have set exceptionally high standards for professionalism and integrity through exemplary business practices, craftsmanship, and impact in their community or the industry at large.

Carlos Santana condemns Georgia politicians for immigration bill

Carlos Santana condemns Georgia politicians for immigration bill

Carlos Santana, during an acceptance speech Saturday in Atlanta for the Major League Baseball (MLB) Beacon Awards, had a few simple words for Georgia’s political leaders who recently voted to pass the controversial HB 87 immigration bill “Shame on You!”

The bill signed Friday by Gov. Nathan Deal sets mandatory requirements for police and employers to screen suspects and job applicants for immigration status.  Many contest the legislation arguing that it will promote racial profiling, increase the rate of deportation and adversely affect the state’s economy.

Santana, who is of Hispanic descent, was selected for the Beacon Award due to his multi-generational efforts to unify people through music.  The Beacon Award for “Change,” is bestowed upon individuals who “think innovatively”.  Santana has used the power of words and sound as vehicles for change. 

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.

Weekend road work escape routes

ATLANTA -- Weather permitting, this weekend is going to be jam packed with road work. We've got alternate routes for all the big projects around town.

Cobb / Fulton 

I-75 SB between Northside Drive/Howell Mill Road (Exit 252) and I-85 NB ramp (Exit 251)  
8 p.m. Friday - 5 a.m. Monday
3 left lanes

Also I-75 SB ramp to I-85 NB (Exit 251)
9 p.m. Friday - 5 a.m. Monday
Ramp will be closed

With this many lanes blocked, an alternate will be necessary. You can take Moores Mill Road (Exit 254) and turn left. Follow Moores Mill Road to Northside Pkwy. and turn right. Northside Pkwy. becomes Northside Drive. Follow Northside Drive all the way to 14th or 10th Street. 

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.