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Kenerly indictment overturned by Court of Appeals

Kenerly indictment overturned by Court of Appeals

ATLANTA -- (AP) - The Georgia Court of Appeals has overturned the indictment of former Gwinnett County Commissioner Kevin Kenerly.

The court ruled that a special purpose grand jury that indicted Kenerly was not legally authorized to do so.

The indictment accused him of a bribery count and two counts of failing to disclose a financial interest. Grand jurors had said he failed to disclose a partnership with a developer who successfully sought county rezoning of property.

District Attorney Danny Porter has said that if the indictment was reversed, he'd present the evidence to another grand jury and seek to re-indict Kenerly.

Kenerly's attorney Pat McDonough said his client is innocent. McDonough said he hopes Thursday's decision ends the case, but he's prepared to continue defending him if necessary and that Kenerly will ultimately be vindicated.

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.

Goodwill receives $5.7 million grant to help those in need

Goodwill receives $5.7 million grant to help those in need

ATLANTA -- Good news is coming for many Georgians who are struggling to find jobs.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis recently announced that Goodwill of North Georgia will receive $5,724,222 to help people with barriers to employment, namely ex-offenders and low-income non-custodial parents, obtain the skills they need to find work.

The funds will go toward an Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration program, which offers temporary paid work experiences to more than 3,500 people nationwide. The program improves participants' employability, earnings and opportunities for advancement, not to mention their self-sufficiency and long-term success in the workforce.

"This grant provides needed support to individuals who face significant obstacles to employment," Solis said.

City leaders honor W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars

City leaders honor W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars

ATLANTA -- Metro Atlanta leaders will dispense the celebrity treatment to six outstanding Georgia high school students this week.

It's Scholars Recognition Week, a series of celebrations that honor members of the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars program. This initiative was created by the Atlanta-based W.E.B. Du Bois Society to give fanfare and public recognition to high-achieving black students.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars program is the only recognition outreach of its kind that is modeled after the lauded U.S.

BOC NOTEBOOK: Commissioners ax $15M building project to save funds

BOC NOTEBOOK: Commissioners ax $15M building project to save funds

Commissioners cut a $15 million building project, instead agreeing to restore funding to a mental health agency to pay rent at two locations.

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.