ATLANTA POLICE SUSPEND OFFICER ARRESTED ON MARIJUANA CHARGE WHILE DRIVING FBI CAR

An Atlanta Police officer charged with possession of marijuana, DUI and speeding in excess of 100 miles per hour all while driving a car that belonged to the FBI, has been suspended without pay.
According to a statement by the APD, Chief George Turner conducted a hearing with Investigator Bennie Evett Bridges today and decided to suspend him without pay pending the outcome of the criminal charges against him. Continue reading ATLANTA POLICE SUSPEND OFFICER ARRESTED ON MARIJUANA CHARGE WHILE DRIVING FBI CAR

VIDEO OF DRIVER AT LENOX HITTING APD CAR AND FLEEING

Whoever this driver is, he apparently thought he was too important to abide by the law or stop when an Atlanta Police officer told him to. The APD released video footage today of a Jan. 31 hit-and-run at Lenox Mall in hopes that the public can help catch the guy who drove off after an officer tried to ticket him for illegal parking, then hit the APD car (you’ll notice a little shakeup to the camera after the Corvette comes toward the APD car on the right, after they’re out on the street) and fled.
Here’s the video:

If anyone has any information on the driver or the vehicle, please have them contact the Atlanta Police Hit & Run Unit at 404-765-2808.

According to a statement by APD: An Atlanta Police Officer was patrolling around Lenox Mall.  The officer noticed a vehicle parked in the fire lane & pulled behind the vehicle to investigate.  When the officer exited his vehicle, the driver of the Corvette came out of the mall.  The officer attempted to ascertain why the driver was parked there but the driver got in the vehicle, locked the door & left the parking lot.  The officer began to follow the vehicle but lost sight of it once he got to the entrance of the parking deck.  The Corvette then reappeared, struck the sidewalk & then struck the officer’s vehicle & fled the location.

WHY NEWS HASN’T CHANGED AND SHOULDN’T

Here’s a story I did in August 2009, “Atlanta’s Combat Zone,”. I wanted to offer it to readers because the press should offer a review of history, a chance to look back and measure progress or decline. We journalists are supposed to be the chroniclers of our eras. That’s why it’s so important that reporters, columnists and editors have a history with the areas they cover. If journalism is the rough draft of history—and it is—how can one possibly hope to make that draft as accurate as possible if one has no clue about what has come before? It’s that background that gives media the power to influence change. It would be impossible for us to say “Look at this—years of neglect and grinding poverty and filth, despite millions in public investment” unless we knew that were indeed the case. When newspapers began behaving like every other business, parachuting in anyone with a keyboard in a lame attempt to provide coverage without knowledge, they lost credibility and market share. The same is true for TV news. How often have we seen some poor newbie reporter standing on the scene in Virginia Highland and saying “Reporting live from Midtown”? They literally don’t know where they are. Why would any of us trust these people to tell us what’s going on? Continue reading WHY NEWS HASN’T CHANGED AND SHOULDN’T

WOULD MAYOR REED SUPPORT SLASHING SOCIAL SECURITY?

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed supports cutting pensions for public employees. He’s been vocal about that. But his appearance today on NBC’s “Meet the Press” raises the question: Does he also support slashing Social Security?

He acknowledged that some cuts are inevitable and said he only wanted the Obama administration to let him and other leaders know how those cuts will play out and he’ll do what he needs to do. That sounds like cutting Social Security is fine with him. Continue reading WOULD MAYOR REED SUPPORT SLASHING SOCIAL SECURITY?

ATLANTA POLICE RED DOG UNIT TO BE DISBANDED

As The Ramage Report predicted, the Atlanta Police Department’s legendary “Red Dog” unit is no more.
APD Chief George Turner announced today that the aggressive anti-drug-crime unit, which was founded in 1988, is being disbanded. In its place the department will organize a new unit that will be assigned to fighting violent crime.
“The Red Dog unit as we currently know it today will no longer exist,” Turner told reporters at an 11 a.m. press conference. Continue reading ATLANTA POLICE RED DOG UNIT TO BE DISBANDED

WHY DID WE EVER COME UP WITH PENSIONS?

Some food for thought on this cold Friday night—which will no doubt be a cold Saturday morning by the time I am finished writing it: How did the idea for pensions develop?

Sometimes to understand how to deal with a thing, we have to go back into history to figure out why our ancestors created it in the first place, and in doing this we realize that maybe they were onto something, and maybe we ought to pay heed. Continue reading WHY DID WE EVER COME UP WITH PENSIONS?

PENSION REFORM: MAYOR REED SAYS BANKRUPTCY OR HIGHER TAXES NOT OPTIONS

The City of Atlanta’s Pension Review Panel met today to discuss a variety of options for reducing the amount of money the city pays into pensions for its employees.

Mayor Kasim Reed’s office sent out a statement asserting that the city could save up to $60 million per year depending on which combination of options is eventually chosen.

Reed made it abundantly clear, however, that at least two choices are off the table: Declaring municipal bankruptcy, and raising taxes.

“We will not be pursuing a bankruptcy of any kind,” Reed said after a panel member raised the question of whether municipal bankruptcy is legal in Georgia. It’s not, Reed said, but even if it were, he’s not interested. “I do think we should be willing to think about what other cities are doing, but I’d like to clarify that is not an option.”

Pensions are under scrutiny nationwide as cash-strapped governments seek a way out of their obligation to retiring employees. But for Atlanta’s employees, the pension talks have been particularly tense because the pensions are their only retirement funding source since Mayor Maynard Jackson pulled the City out of the Social Security system in the 1970s. Continue reading PENSION REFORM: MAYOR REED SAYS BANKRUPTCY OR HIGHER TAXES NOT OPTIONS