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DULUTH: Gingrich to address Ga. GOP forum

DULUTH: Gingrich to address Ga. GOP forum

DULUTH, Ga. -- Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is set to speak at a Republican presidential forum in Gwinnett County.

The former House Speaker will address the 7th congressional district GOP in Duluth Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Seventh District GOP Chairman Jason Thompson said the open, town hall-style format will provide Georgians "an up-close and personal opportunity to meet and hear candidates in person, instead of just on television."

Thompson said the group has invited all Republican primary presidential candidates to come for individual sessions before the group and is hopeful more will choose to attend.

Gingrich, a former congressman from Georgia, is trailing frontrunners Mitt Romney, Herman Cain and Rick Perry in public opinion polls.

The White House Visits Powertalk

The White House Visits Powertalk

It was an exciting day on Powertalk w/ Lorraine Jacques White today, as Valerie B. Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, stopped by to chat about the American Jobs Act and how it will impact and benefit African Americans.

As you know, the African American community is the one group that has been hardest hit by the economic crisis, and despite the fact that private sector jobs have been added over the past 19 months, still, too many Americans are without work. Valerie Jarrett had a few words to say that helped to clear up the issue and let the Powertalk audience know where we’ll go from here.

Click here to listen to her conversation with WAOK’s Lorraine Jacques White!

What are your thoughts on the state of the economy? Will President Obama be able to pull out a save for African Americans and the nation as a whole? #SoundOff

Suwanee's credit rating goes up

Suwanee's credit rating goes up

The City of Suwanee’s general obligation bond rating has been raised three times over the past 17 months. This week, Fitch Ratings upgraded the City’s rating on its general obligation and revenue bonds to AA+ from AA.

Last year, in a recalibration, Fitch raised Suwanee’s rating from AA- to AA. In April, Standard and Poor’s upgraded Suwanee’s general obligation rating from AA- to AA based on the City’s historically strong financial position and solid economic foundation.

Fitch Ratings issued its upgrade this week following a routine review. The financial ratings company based the upgrade on “the [C]ity’s very strong financial profile, marked by the consistency of operating results and maintenance of robust reserves and liquidity over a prolonged period of time.”

“To say that we're excited about this would be a huge understatement,” says Suwanee Mayor Dave Williams.

Senator wants veto of bills that alter Gwinnett districts

Senator wants veto of bills that alter Gwinnett districts

TUCKER, Ga. -- State Senator Curt Thompson (D-Tucker) has sent a letter to Governor Nathan Deal asking him to veto one House bill and one Senate bill that alter the districts of the Gwinnett County Commission and Board of Education.

In the letter, Sen. Thompson tells the governor that HB 31EX, which changes the voting district for the school board, and SB 7EX, which changes the voting district for the county commission, are both in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

Specifically, Sen. Thompson writes, the House bill dilutes African American voting power for the sole purpose of maintaining Republican incumbents, especially in the southern portion of Gwinnett County.

The Senate bill, Sen.

7 named to Deal's immigration review board

7 named to Deal's immigration review board

ATLANTA -- Seven people have been appointed to a newly created board to look into complaints about state and local officials failing to comply with state laws related to immigration.

The Immigration Enforcement Review Board was created by the state's tough new law targeting illegal immigration.

Appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal are Americans for Immigration Control spokesman Phil Kent, former Fulton County GOP chairman Shawn Hanley and lawyer Ben Vinson. Appointed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle are Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin and Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager. Appointed by House Speaker David Ralston are lawyer Robert Mumford and Colquitt County Commissioner Terry Clark.

The board will have the power to investigate complaints, hold hearings, subpoena documents and witnesses, and take disciplinary action.

LOCAL PROFILE: Clayton County Commission Chairman, Eldrin Bell

JONESBORO, Ga. -- Eldrin Bell is a local legend in Atlanta local law enforcement and politics.

Recently, the Where U Live spoke with him about his history in Atlanta and his current position in Clayton County.

Tracking programs created to bring jobs to Georgia

Tracking programs created to bring jobs to Georgia

ATLANTA -- With Georgia's unemployment rate remaining in double digits, 11Alive journalists are busy digging into three programs that promised to create jobs.

One of them is the federal stimulus program.

According to the state's Stimulus Accountability website, the federal government has granted Georgia approximately $3.2 billion in stimulus funds. Georgia's unemployment rate was around 8.8 percent just prior to the start of the stimulus program. Two years later, unemployment has risen to the current rate of 10.1 percent.

Where are the stimulus jobs?

In Paulding County, the stimulus program is getting mixed reviews.

Paulding County has received approximately $46 million in federal stimulus funds. The unemployment rate there was 6 percent in 2008 before the stimulus program. Unemployment in Paulding has risen to its current rate of 10.6 percent.