Wednesday, December 14, 2016

PICH, ARC and City of Atlanta Produce Video on Benefits of Complete Streets as TSPLOST Investment Planning Starts

As the movement to invest in infrastructure improvements across Fulton County gains fresh momentum following passage of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Transportation Purposes (TSPLOST) ballot measure last month, the Fulton County Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and the City of Atlanta released a new video today highlighting the health, safety and lifestyle benefits of Complete Streets. The video will be used by public officials and the PICH Program in discussing transportation infrastructure projects designed to make roadways less congested and more pedestrian-friendly.

In contrast to ordinary streets, Complete Streets allow users of all ages and abilities to share the road through such features as shaded sidewalks; bike lanes or wide-paved shoulders; designated bus lanes; comfortable and accessible public transportation stops; frequent and safe crossing opportunities; pedestrian signals; median islands; curb extensions; narrower driving lanes; and roundabouts. The modifications make the streets more user-friendly for pedestrians, joggers, cyclists and rollerbladers, the disabled, car drivers and transit riders as they live, work and play. The Fulton County PICH Program supports the development of Complete Streets throughout the County as a way to facilitate increased physical activity. Over the past year, PICH has sponsored a series of workshops and outdoor walking lectures to educate residents in East Point, Atlanta and Sandy Springs about the benefits of Complete Streets and how to work with policymakers to bring them to their neighborhoods.

The TSPLOST measure that was approved by County voters during the November 8, 2016 general election is projected to generate approximately $570 million to fund transportation infrastructure projects throughout North and South Fulton cities outside of Atlanta, based on estimates by the Council for Quality Growth. Many of the plans will incorporate Complete Streets design elements. “By promoting Complete Streets, Fulton County is investing in a viable, sustainable opportunity to increase physical activity, increase safety and expand commuting alternatives for all citizens,” says Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner.

Separately, the Atlanta TSPLOST is expected to generate about $260 million. Affirming the City’s commitment to “making sidewalks and streets safe for people of all ages and abilities whether they are walking, biking or riding,” Mayor Kasim Reed has announced plans to invest $75 million of the anticipated proceeds in new Complete Streets projects. This money will supplement the $30 million from the Renew Atlanta Infrastructure Program the City is already spending on more than 30 miles of Complete Streets, in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Atlanta BeltLine and community groups.
 
In the video, titled “Complete Streets: Creating Safe, Accessible, Healthy Communities,” public officials, transportation experts and Fulton County residents talk about the numerous advantages of Complete Streets. “We’re finding that [by] doing the things that build healthier communities—things like building sidewalks, bike lanes, trails and pathways—we not only get the public health benefits of people living longer, healthier lives, and having less chronic disease, but we also see an economic benefit, because these are desirable places to live,” says Mark Fenton, a Massachusetts-based public health, planning and transportation consultant.

Atlanta’s Complete Streets investments include upgrading curbs, sidewalks, bike lanes, crossing signals, and ramps for the disabled—all to decrease congestion, improve mobility and provide transportation options. On Ponce de Leon Avenue, one of the most visible examples of a reconfigured Complete Street, there have been 25% fewer crashes and 5,000 more vehicles accommodated since its transformation. "The bottom line is about lifestyles and how we’re going to live here," Atlanta Commissioner of Planning and Community Development Tim Keane says. "Making the streets for everybody isn’t [just] something that would be nice to do. It’s the right thing to do."

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System Holds Public Input Sessions for Strategic Plan – The Library of the Future



Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System (AFPLS) is seeking input from residents on what they would like to see in the Library System’s Strategic Plan.

Community engagement has been the cornerstone of the Library System’s operation, and as AFPLS enters into a Strategic Plan that will take us through the next three years and the renovation of 24 branch libraries in total, it is asking to hear from residents again.

The public input sessions will be held at the following locations:

Wolf Creek Library – Wednesday, November 2, 6 p.m.
Wolf Creek Branch, 3100 Enon Road, Atlanta, GA 30331

South Fulton Library – Thursday, November 3, 6 p.m.
South Fulton Branch, 4055 Flat Shoals Rd., Union City, GA 30291
 
Sandy Springs Library – Monday, November 7, 6 p.m.
Sandy Springs Branch, 395 Mount Vernon Hwy., Sandy Springs, GA 30328

Milton Library – Wednesday, November 9, 6 p.m.
Milton Branch, 855 Mayfield Rd., Milton, GA  30009 

Central Library – Thursday, November 10, 6 p.m.
Central Branch, One Margaret Mitchell Square, Atlanta, GA 30303

Alpharetta Library – Monday, November 14, 6 p.m.
Alpharetta Branch, 10 Park Plaza, Alpharetta, GA 30009

Please join us and be a part of The Library of the Future.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Fulton County Regional Health Centers Offer Clinical Breast, Cervical Screenings Year-Round

Although October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, Fulton County’s efforts to help women learn about breast health and the importance of early detection are year-round.  
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the United States and in Georgia.   Each year in the United States, about 220,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness (FCDHW) wants to inform women that in addition to doing their monthly self-breast exams, women should also have an annual clinical breast exam performed by their healthcare provider.   Fulton County’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program offers both breast and cervical exams not just during October but throughout the year.   These life-saving exams are available FREE to uninsured women who are income-eligible.   Women must schedule an appointment for their exams by contacting one of the designated regional health centers.

Fulton County Health Centers that Offer Breast & Cervical Cancer Screenings include:
  • Adamsville Regional Health Center, 3700 Martin Luther King Dr. S.W., Atlanta, GA   30331.  Phone:   404-613-4215.
  • College Park Regional Health Center, 1920 John Wesley Ave, College Park, GA   30337.  Phone:   404-765-4155.
  • North Fulton Regional Health Center, 3155 Royal Drive, Suite 125, Alpharetta, GA   30022.  Phone:   404-332-1958.
Fulton County’s Breast and Cervical Program provides breast and cervical cancer screenings, diagnostic services and referrals as medically indicated.   “The program strives to increase public awareness of early detection to increase survival,” explains Debra Dewitt, Nursing Supervisor, FCDHW.

“Fulton County has enrolled over 10,300 uninsured women between 1995 – 2015 into its National Breast and Cervical Cancer Program who received mammogram screenings and/or diagnostic procedures to complete their treatment,” Dewitt further explains.  

Fulton’s BCCP receives its funding, in part, from the Georgia Department of Public Health. The program has partnered with the S.C.L.C. WOMEN, Inc., and Congressman David Scott’s Annual Health Fair to offer clinical breast examinations at nontraditional sites for women who rarely or never receive mammograms.              

Fulton County Fire Rescue Offers Halloween Safety Tips

The Fulton County Fire Rescue Department (FCFRD) encourages residents to avoid “tricks” by taking precautions this Halloween. According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), nationally, during the three-day period around Halloween, about 10,300 fires occur resulting in about 25 deaths, 125 injuries and $83 million in property loss.

FCFRD wants to help our communities be safer during Halloween by sharing a few fire safety tips from USFA:

• Choose a costume without long trailing fabric. This can cause a child to trip or may touch flames in jack-o’-lanterns or other decorations.
• If you make your own costume, use materials that won’t catch on fire easily if they come in contact with heat or flame.
• Give your children flashlights or glow sticks so they can see where they are walking.
• Keep decorations away from candles, light bulbs or heaters.
• Consider using flameless candles or glow sticks in your jack-o’-lantern.
• Keep exits clear of decorations.

For more information about Halloween fires and fire safety, check out the U.S. Fire Administration's website, where you can find Halloween social media cards to share and the Halloween fire data snapshot.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fulton County Health Department Observes Nat’l Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The health promotion team of Fulton County’s Department of Health and Wellness (FCDHW) has been busy this month presenting a series of community health education talks on self-breast care and breast cancer prevention.  The presentations explain what breast cancer is; describe related risk factors; and highlight the importance of self-breast exams and mammograms. The programs are being held at several senior centers throughout Fulton County and the Atlanta-Fulton Dogwood Branch library.  The one-hour talks are FREE and open to the public.


Schedule of FREE Breast Cancer Awareness Presentations at Senior Centers, Public Library:  

Monday, October 24, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Location:  Atlanta Fulton Public Library Dogwood Branch, 1838 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway, NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

Monday, October 24, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Location:  Quality Living Services Villa Center, 4020 Danforth Road, SW, Atlanta, GA  30331

Tuesday, October 25, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Location:  Hapeville Neighborhood Senior Center, 527 King Arnold St., Hapeville, GA  30354

Wednesday, October 26, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location:  Adamsville Green Apartments Center, 527 King Arnold Street, Hapeville, GA  30354.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the United States and in Georgia.  Each year about 220,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed across the United States. This accounts for more than 40,000 deaths among women and 400 deaths among men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fulton County health promotion staff also makes presentations at community health fairs throughout the year.  To see a complete schedule of health events, visit: http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/health-events.  To schedule a health promotion presentation at your school, church or organization, contact Fulton County Senior Public Health Educator Angela Johnson:  404.612.4236 or Angela.johnson@fultoncountyga.gov.  
 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fulton County Sponsors Law Enforcement Hiring Blitz

As there is an ever increasing need for highly qualified individuals within our law enforcement ranks, Fulton County in partnership with the United States Department of Labor coordinated a unique hiring initiative which granted more than 526 applicants opportunities for 90+ County Law Enforcement positions within the Sheriff’s Office, Police and Emergency Services departments.  While the net was cast to identify all skilled candidates, the County placed a special emphasis on attracting military veterans to the opportunity.  It’s hoped that the 68 veterans deemed qualified, will be able to successfully complete all the remaining aspects of the employment process which include a physical agility exam, medical evaluations, psychological exam and emergency call center testing.  The event took place at 8:00AM on Wednesday, October 19th at Welcome All Park & Multipurpose Facility; 4255 Will Lee Road; College Park, Georgia 30349.  If you are interested in law enforcement, we encourage all applicants to place an application on file with the Personnel Department to ensure your participation in future hiring activities.   
"We are proud to have the best and brightest on the front lines of our police department and we want to add to our ranks," said Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Eaves. "Streamlining the process and reaching out to military members whom we are so proud of is an added benefit. This is a great initiative and will make the County's police force stronger and take public safety to the next level." 
“My team and I are proud to coordinate such an event which not only provides military veterans, who are familiar with the para-military operations of our law enforcement departments and other qualified applicants with an opportunity to serve our community, but more importantly this initiative was an attempt to shorten the hiring and selection process, which for our law enforcement positions, can take anywhere from 6 to 9 months,” says Fulton County Personnel Director, Kenneth L. Hermon, Jr. “This blitz approach allowed us to consolidate some steps and reduce the time by about 2-3 months without jeopardizing the integrity of selection process.”

Friday, October 14, 2016

Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System Named Winner of 2016 E3 Award for Efficient Building Design

The Metropolitan Atlanta Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners of the 2016 Atlanta E3 Awards, naming Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System as the 2016 E3 Award Winner in the Built Environment Category, which recognizes visionary leaders advancing sustainability in Atlanta.  

“We were so honored to be nominated among some of the metro area’s most visionary leaders, and honored to have won the award,” shared Fulton County Vice Chairman Liz Hausmann, Commissioner District 1, who was on hand at the ceremony to accept the award on behalf of Fulton County.

The Atlanta E3 Awards recognizes companies, organizations and individuals working to conserve metro Atlanta’s natural resources, develop clean technologies to enhance our economy and environment, support sustainable projects and initiatives and to collaborate on solutions through university connections, marketing and education.  The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System was chosen as a finalist from a highly competitive pool of applicants, including Drew Charter Elementary Academy Campus – Perkins+Will and The City of Atlanta Climate Action Plan. 

“We applaud the Metropolitan Atlanta Chamber of Commerce for honoring the work of all the nominees and for recognizing the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System for their work to build all new libraries with sustainability as the foundation of the building process,” said Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman John H. Eaves.

Each year, the Metro Atlanta Chamber hosts the Atlanta E3 Awards, which recognizes business achievement and innovation, clean technologies, and sustainability solutions that enhance our economy and environment.   

On hand to accept the Library System’s E3 Award, was Dr. Gabriel Morley, who spoke briefly to the crowd of nearly 300 business and community leaders about the need for more sustainable projects in both private and public organizations. Morley also shared the Library’s goal of Platinum LEED Certification on the upcoming renovation of the Central Library. Currently, the eight new libraries built in Phase I of the Library Building Program have all achieved Silver LEED Certification, with East Roswell Library recently earning Gold LEED Certification. 

“The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System is honored to be recognized for the work we have done and will continue to do as we move into the next phase of our Library Building Program. I’m pleased to be part of a team that is looking at these new public spaces as opportunities.   These are public buildings, they ought to be sustainable buildings for the future.  We are trying to demonstrate how public buildings will be constructed for the future,” said Library Director, Dr. Gabriel Morley.

For more information about the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System’s Building Program, visit http://www.afpls.org/building-for-the-future


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Commissioner Arrington To Host “Georgia HOA Boot Camp”

Fulton County District 5 Commissioner Marvin S. Arrington, Jr. in partnership with the Georgia HOA Alliance will host the 2nd Annual Georgia “HOA Bootcamp.”  The event is scheduled for Saturday, November 5, 2016 from 8:00am to 4:00pm at the Georgia International Convention Center; 2000 Convention Center Concourse, College Park, GA 30337.  The event will bring together homeowners, political leadership, attorneys, realtors and other industry professionals to discuss issues that confront homeowners and homeowner’s associations throughout the metropolitan area. The ultimate goal of the gathering is to help homeowners learn how to effectively and efficiently protect their rights and their communities.

“We started HOA Boot Camps a couple of years ago in South Fulton because we found many communities were facing some of the same issues and dilemmas,” says District 5 Commissioner Marvin S. Arrington, Jr.  “The purpose of this gathering is to educate and empower communities and homeowners with information from subject-matter experts in the industry so that HOAs will no longer have to make decisions in isolation.”

Among the events scheduled is a roundtable luncheon with commissioners from eight metro Atlanta counties, which will be moderated by CBS Radio talk show host Mary Gill of Real Estate 101.  Homeowners can also participate in a series of other panel discussions about the best practices in managing HOAs.  This free event with specialized panels offers continuing education hours for attorneys and realtors.

The Georgia HOA Alliance is a coalition of Georgia communities dedicated to building quality neighborhoods that are economically sustainable while creating safe and healthy environment.  GHA’s mission is to develop, strengthen, and protect Georgia neighborhood associations through education, programs, and legislation.

Among those public officials sponsoring this conference dealing with the many issues surrounding HOAs will be Commissioner Arrington, Fulton County District 4 Commissioner Joan Garner, county leaders from Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Henry, and Rockdale Counties.  The event can be shared on social media via the hashtag #HOABootCamp.

For more information, visit Fulton County’s website at www.fultoncountyga.gov or connect with Fulton County government on Twitter at @FultonInfo or Facebook at @FultonInfo.

Friday, September 30, 2016

16 New Firefighters Join Fulton County Fire Rescue Department

(Standing L-R) Training Officer-Captain Stan Hudgins, FF Marcus Brown, FF William Roberts, FF Nicholas Young, FF Fred Brown, FF Camille Dunnings, FF Kenneth Perea, FF Marquavious Taylor, FF Mikel Hernandez-Tito, Assistant Training Coordinator-FF Ricardo Carey; (Kneeling L-R) FF Matthew Maxwell, FF Quentin Dunn, FF Brandon Morton, FF Sylvana Davis, FF Dylan Karr, FF Joshua Carden, FF Sterling Hill, FF Brendon Serna, FF Janoah Fann





Fulton County Fire Rescue Department held its Graduation Ceremony on Tuesday, September 27 for 16 of its newest members to celebrate their successful completion of fire recruit training and their transition as firefighters to the field.

“After completing 12 weeks of rigorous training, we are excited to have the 16 recruits to join us in our service to educate, serve and protect the residents South Fulton.” stated Chief Larry Few, Fulton County Fire Rescue Department. “It is an honor and a calling to serve as a firefighter and I welcome them to the Department the call to service for Fulton County.”

For information about the Fulton County Fire Rescue Department, visit http://www.fultoncountyga.gov/fcfrd-home and follow them on Twitter @FCFRD.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Grand Opening of Fulton County’s Newest WIC Office September 27 at 11:00 a.m.

Metro Atlanta / S. Fulton area parents and guardians are invited to attend the FREE grand opening of Fulton County’s newest Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program  located at the Oak Hill Child, Adolescent and Family Health Center, 2805 Metropolitan Parkway, S.W., Atlanta, GA 30315  on Tuesday, September 27, 2016  from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  Attendees will learn about nutritional counseling and breastfeeding services for mothers and gather an array of empowering  information on effective parenting skills and tips for raising healthy babies.  The grand opening will also highlight the teen health services available at Oak Hill Child, Adolescent & Family Health Center.  More than 25 community organizations will be on hand.

In addition to highlighting the WIC program, FREE HIV testing will be provided by Fulton County’s HIV Prevention program and representatives from Fulton’s Babies Can’t Wait and Fulton’s Adolescent Health & Youth Development  program will share information on developing positive parenting skills and preventing teen pregnancy.  The Wholistic Stress Control Institute (WSCI) will offer tips on stress management.  Free bags of produce and food will be distributed by World Changers Church International and Peach State Health Plan.  Information on Medicaid insurance will be provided by Amerigroup, WellCare , Peach State and Right to Start Medicaid.

WIC is a federally-funded program that  provides FREE nutritional counseling, breastfeeding support and food vouchers to pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers (up to one year) and for postpartum women (up to six months). WIC services are also available for eligible guardians with children under age five.    

PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS AT THE 9/27 WIC GRAND OPENING INCLUDE:

Care Management Organizations offering Medicaid and Medicare
  • Amerigroup
  • Peach State Health Plan
  • WellCare Health Plan

Fulton Health & Wellness Services:
  • Behavioral Health Services
  • Babies Can’t Wait
  • Fulton County Dental Department
  • Oak Hill Teen Clinic
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention program  - Adolescent Health & Youth Development
  • HIV Testing – HIV High Impact Prevention Program (HIPP)

Other Fulton County Departments
  • Atlanta Fulton County Library
  • Right to Start, Division of Family & Children Services

Community Nonprofits:
  • Center for Black Women’s Wellness
  • Grady Rape Intervention
  • Empowered Living Academy
  • Families First
  • Felecia Love, author and motivational speaker
  • Helping Mamas, Inc.
  • Job Corps
  • Parent University
  • Right to Start Medicaid
  • Teens Engaging as Mothers
  • Wholistic Stress Control  Institute (WSCI)
  • World Changers Church International – Food give away

For more information call, the WIC program at Oak Hill at (404) 612-3942.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fulton Commissioners Vote to Make County Parks Smoke Free

By a unanimous vote at its September 21st meeting, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners approved a ban on smoking in county parks and recreation facilities.  The decision comes as part of the county’s effort to reinforce its strategic priority area of making sure that “All People Are Healthy”.

“Today, I am happy to state that Fulton County has shifted its efforts to ensure safe outdoor air,” said Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman John H. Eaves.  “The amendment to the ordinance regarding parks and recreational facilities will ensure the health and well-being of our citizens from the harmful and negative effects of secondhand smoke.”

The Board took the stance against smoking after considering significant evidence regarding the dangers of second hand smoke in outdoor spaces, how this exposure increases healthcare costs significantly and from resident input on the need to create smoke free environments.  According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the estimated health care expenditures in Georgia from secondhand smoke exposure are $199.6 million annually. In 2016, the PICH Program conducted an opinion poll with 960 residents, who overwhelmingly at 76% favored smoke free parks and recreation areas. In addition to the passage of the ordinance, the Fulton County Department of Health and Wellness Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) Program will work collaboratively with the Department of Parks and Recreation to address the dangers of smoking and assist residents in achieving tobacco-free life styles through education and cessation efforts.

"The approval of this resolution is a major accomplishment for Fulton County,” said Fulton County District 4 Commissioner Joan Garner, the resolution’s co-sponsor. “It is our aim to protect the welfare of Fulton County citizens and to ensure public health and safety for residents who utilize our parks and recreational facilities."

“We wanted to make sure to protect our citizens, especially our youngest ones, from the dangers of secondhand smoke,” said Fulton County District 3 Commissioner Lee Morris, a co-sponsor of the resolution.  “We are pleased that this demonstrates our county’s continued commitment to public health.”

“This is a wonderful example of the leadership Board members continue to take regarding this very important health matter and represents a significant collaboration between the Fulton Department of Health and Wellness and the Department of Parks and Recreation,” said Kathleen Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., District Health Director.  “It’s been proven that second-hand smoke poses serious health problems, especially for infants and children, but also for adults.  I applaud the decision to remove the hazard of smoking from our County’s parks and recreational areas.”

Violators of the ordinance could be charged with a misdemeanor and subject to a $1000 fine and up to 60 days in jail.

For more information, visit Fulton County’s website at www.fultoncountyga.gov or connect with Fulton County government on Twitter at @FultonInfo or Facebook at @FultonInfo.

Fulton County Commissioners Approve Personnel “Living Wage” Plan

Fulton County Commissioners approved a plan to phase in a $31,000 annual living wage for its employees over a five (5) year period.  When the adjustments would be completed, permanent full-time county employees would make at least $14.90 per hour.  

“Increasing the wages of employees will not only help them make ends meet but also boost morale,” said Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Eaves. “Studies have found higher wages sharply reduce employee turnover and in the long run, that will save the County money in employment and training costs.”

The gradual salary adjustments would begin in Fiscal Year 2017.  In January 2016, the Board of Commissioners directed the county’s Personnel Department to undertake a feasibility study aimed at making salaries competitive with both neighboring jurisdictions and similar communities nationwide.

“I feel that the proposed course of action is a good one and strikes the right balance,” said Fulton County District 2 Commissioner Bob Ellis.  “It will serve as not only a mechanism to help us improve employee morale and retain and recruit a strong workforce but also be phased in such a way that it works in concert with the pay and classification system which was adopted last year and doesn't cause unintended consequences to our workforce or service delivery.”

“The Board of Commissioners’ approval of our proposal to address this social concern will be impactful to more than 1/3 of the County’s workforce each year and will set the stage for the County to be a leader in public service -- thereby improving our ability to attract and retain employees at all levels within the organization,” said Fulton County Personnel Director Kenneth Hermon.

The Board of Commissioners undertook this plan to ensure its county employees receive wage and benefits packages taking into account the area-specific cost of living, as well as the basic expenses involved in supporting a family.  The Fulton County Personnel Department consulted data from jurisdictions nationwide at the State, City and County levels who have previously implemented Living wage policies for their employees.  The ultimate goals of the plan include increased employee morale and improved recruitment at all pay grades.  Currently, the salaries of approximately 10 percent of the county workforce would be directly impacted by the proposal. Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Birmingham are among the communities that have already addressed the living wage with legislation aimed at raising the salaries of municipal workers.

For more information, visit Fulton County’s website at www.fultoncountyga.gov or connect with Fulton County government on Twitter at @FultonInfo or Facebook at @FultonInfo.  

A library card is the coolest card – September is Library Card Sign-up Month

Today’s libraries are about more than books. They are creative educational spaces for learners from birth to high school and beyond. September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System joins with the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide to make sure that every student has the most import school supply of all – a free library card.

Libraries are also a training ground for students of all ages to expand their knowledge and explore creative pursuits. The development of makerspaces is just one way libraries are seeking to meet this demand, ranging from low-tech, hands-on engineering opportunities for children and teens using toys and kits to the incorporation of high-tech tools like laser cutters and 3D printers.


Resources at the Atlanta-Fulton County Library System are available to anyone who has a library card. Students can turn to the library for materials, programs and knowledgeable library staff that support academic achievement. Students and patrons can also take advantage of the digital resources offered such as E-Campus, Galileo, Mango Languages, and much more.

“Our library provides access and programs for students of all ages,” says Dr. Gabriel Morley, Executive Director of Atlanta-Fulton County Library System. “For preschool age children we offer early literacy and storytimes to encourage school readiness, for older children and teens we supplement education with hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) programs, and for nontraditional students we offer GED resources. There’s really something for everyone, and it’s all free with a library card.”

Throughout the course of the month, the library will host a number of activities, including Midday at Milton Book Club, Journey to Literacy with Junior League of Atlanta, and a Curiosity Day with Curious George.

Librarians provide important resources to families whose children are at the earliest stages of development, by teaching parents and caregivers the components of early literacy which help children develop the basic tools for school readiness. As of 2010, libraries in the United States offered more than 2.3 million children’s programs, which account for nearly two thirds of all library programming.

Older students can access high-speed Internet, digital tools and the opportunity to work with trained professionals on how to use them. Librarians provide guided training in digital media and grow digital literacy skills. Libraries also provide equity of access to digital tools and media, which has become increasingly important in high-poverty areas where students are less likely to have a computer or internet access in the home.

For more information on how to sign up for a library card, visit any of our 34 libraries system-wide or complete an online application at www.afpls.org.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Fulton County Registration and Elections Message for College Students

The Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections reiterates the importance of college students knowing the requirements to vote in Georgia. The voter registration deadline to vote in the November General Special Election is October 11, 2016.

“We are aware that voting requirements might not be clear for college students,” states Richard Barron, Director of Fulton County Registration and Elections. “College students are unique because of their residency status and we encourage them to do some research before heading to the poll to vote.”

Residency determines how and where college students can vote:

Fulton County Resident
If you are a permanent resident of Fulton County, on Election Day, you MUST vote at your designated precinct. If you choose to vote early, you can vote at any Early Voting site within the county.

Georgia Resident
If you are listed as a permanent resident in another Georgia county, on Election Day, you can ask for a provisional ballot, but to avoid any problems, if possible, return home to vote or complete an Absentee Ballot that can be downloaded from the Secretary of State’s office website (make sure the ballot is returned before the deadline). If it’s discovered that you are not a registered voter in Fulton County by the voter registration deadline, your provisional vote will not be counted.

Out-of-State Resident
If your permanent residency is listed in another state, ask your parent(s) to send you an Absentee Ballot or visit your state’s Election website to download an Absentee Ballot. Make sure the Absentee Ballot is returned before the deadline.

Required Voter ID

Bring one of these six forms of identification to vote:

• Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free ID Card issued by your county registrar's office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)
• A Georgia Driver's License, even if expired
• A Valid out-of-state Driver’s License
• Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state
• Valid U.S. passport ID
• Valid U.S. military photo ID
• Valid tribal photo ID

The Department of Registration and Elections regularly partners with groups and organizations to conduct voter registration drives. Groups interested in scheduling a drive can contact the Department of Registration and Elections by phone 404-612-3816, by fax 404-730-8839 or via email at Elections.VoterRegistration@fultoncountyga.gov.

For more information about upcoming Elections, log on to www.fultonelections.com or call 404-730-7072.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Fulton Commissioners Approve Police Body Camera Program

By a unanimous vote at its September 7 meeting, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners approved a program to equip Fulton County Police with body-worn and in-car cameras.  The Board voted in support of contracting with Utility Associates, Inc. to purchase the devices some law enforcement experts credit with enhancing transparency and public trust, promoting accountability, and improving community and officer safety.
“The dash cameras and body cams will be a beneficial tool to protect our police force on the front lines and respond to any citizen’s questions about an officer’s actions,” said Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Eaves. “We will establish policies and procedures for using the technology but in the end, it will enhance the accountability of our already top-notch police department.” 
 “I am very pleased that the BOC approved the purchase of in car and body cameras from Utility,” said Fulton County Police Chief Gary Stiles. “This product and company offers the equipment, storage, and support that best fits my department’s needs.”
The body-worn and in-car camera system enables video and audio recording from the perspective of the officer involved in interactions with civilians.  The body camera system is designed to archive, manage, and quickly retrieve video data that meets or exceeds federal, state, and local standards. The county will acquire approximately 170 body/in-car cameras. 
Among the features of the new devices are:
           Vehicle sensor - activates the body camera when the light bar is activated; officers also have manual activation capabilities
           Officer down activation – the camera automatically starts recording if an officer is down, which alerts 911 dispatchers
           Wi-Fi – the system turns each vehicle into a Wi-Fi “hotspot”
           Immediate wireless uploading – precludes officers having to use docking stations to upload at the end of their shift
           Mounting system built into the officer’s uniform - decreases the likelihood of the camera becoming dislodged
           Redaction capability - protects the privacy and identity of victims, innocent bystanders, and minors
In the past, body-worn cameras have also served as a valuable tool assisting police in their investigations.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Atlanta Hawks and Fulton County Parks and Recreation Unveil Renovated Basketball Court at Cliftondale Park

Parents, kids, Fulton County employees and Atlanta Hawks players packed the Cliftondale Basketball Court on Saturday, August 20, 2016 along with County and State elected officials to share in the celebration of the renovation of the basketball court.                                          
The project is one of several community-focused court dedications completed in partnership with the Atlanta Hawks and Fulton County Parks and Recreation.  This unique partnership was the brainchild of Fulton County Commission Chairman John H. Eaves.    
“It was a great day from start to finish,” said Chairman Eaves.  “I was especially thrilled to see how excited the kids were to meet former Hawks’ great Dikembe Mutombo and the others who are part of this great team.  We now have another excellent basketball court and a lasting partnership with the Hawks.”

During the event District 6 Commissioner Emma I. Darnell thanked the Hawks for their commitment to community and gave the kids a special message.  “We love you, we believe in you and we expect great things from you,” said Commissioner Darnell.  She urged the children to remember while having fun on the court they have support in reaching their dreams through partnerships like this one.  

During the event, Atlanta Hawks Forward Thabo Sefolosha addressed the kids and encouraged them to be leaders and to listen to their parents, drawing a lot of laughter from parents attending the event.  

Once the ribbon cutting was over, the Westlake High School Marching Band kicked off the day’s festivities with several musical selections.  Kids attending the ribbon cutting participated in interactive games with the Hawks Fan Experience team. They also decorated basketballs with youth artists from the Fulton County Arts and Culture program as well as watched the dancers from the South Fulton Arts Center’s 2016 Summer Teen Art Intensives.    

Last year the NBA franchise, through its Atlanta Hawks Foundation, renovated court facilities at Fulton County’s Welcome All Park and will be renovating one additional Fulton County park in the near future.  “The state-of-the-art renovation of the Cliftondale Park Basketball Court is a shining example of what public/private partnerships can accomplish. The generosity of the Atlanta Hawks Foundation working with the Fulton County Parks & Recreation Department made this wonderful addition to our community possible. This collaborative effort will positively impact the lives of families and children for years to come,” said Tony Phillips, Director of Fulton County Parks and Recreation.

With seven total court renovations completed since 2015, the Hawks have pledged to refurbish a total of 25 courts in five years.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fulton County to Host MARTA Bus Operator Recruitment

The Fulton County Workforce Development Division is assisting MARTA with its bus operator recruitment.  MARTA wants customer-focused applicants to apply for this opportunity. 
To apply for bus operator positions, Applicants must:

·         Create an applicant profile at www.itsmarta.com  and apply for the Bus Operator position
·         Submit applications by Friday, September 2, 2016
·         Send an email to Jason.Lane@fultoncountyga.gov following application submission. The email must include the name and phone number of the applicant with MARTA BUS OPERATOR in the subject line
·         Wait for further instructions indicating that they can move forward in the application process.
·         Be at least 21 years old
·         Pass all pre-employment background screenings related to the bus operator position  (Customer Service test and Physical Exam which include drug and alcohol testing)
·         Possess excellent customer service skills
·         Meet all applicable licensing requirements

Additionally, a valid Georgia Class ~A~ or ~B~ CDL driver’s license or GA CDL permit is required with a Passenger Endorsement.  If candidates do not have the required licensing, they may visit the Department of Motor Vehicles to test for the Passenger Endorsement. Candidates must provide proof that they passed the test.


Applicants who meet selection requirements will be notified by MARTA and invited to an interview at the Adamsville Career Center.  The Adamsville Career Center is part of the Workforce Development Division of the Department of Housing and Community Development. The Career Center is located within the Adamsville Regional Health Center at 3700 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Atlanta, GA.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Fulton Board Signs on to Discount Healthcare Plan for Citizens

In a unanimous vote today, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners is making discounted healthcare services available to residents by teaming up, at no cost to the county, with the Coast2Coast Rx Discount Card Program.   In fact, according to the contract with parent company Financial Marketing Concepts, Inc. of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, Fulton County will receive a “royalty of $1.25 for every claim paid by the company”.  In addition to discounts on prescriptions, the card will provide discounts on dental, vision, hearing, the Diabetes Savings Program, imaging and lab tests and even veterinary services for pets. 
 
Once the program is up and running, residents will be able to learn about and print their cards online.  Cards will also be available at Fulton County health centers, government centers and libraries.  They will be accepted at participating pharmacies.  Details of other healthcare providers participating in the program will be made widely available to the public through what the company says will be a broad “newspaper, radio, television and internet” campaign. 

The resolution was sponsored by District 4 Commissioner Joan Garner—a passionate healthcare advocate and the Commissioner overseeing the County’s core principle that “All People are Healthy.”  It was co-sponsored by District 5 Commissioner Marvin Arrington, Jr. 

“The Coast2Coast Discount program ensures all people are healthy by increasing access to services that may have otherwise been unaffordable for Fulton County residents,” says District 5 Commissioner Joan Garner. “We know that the costs of prescriptions, lab tests, and medical supplies can often be barriers for those who are on low or fixed incomes. I’m glad that our board unanimously voted to make this program a reality, and I hope that all Fulton County residents will take advantage of this great opportunity.”

Coast2Coast Rx says other healthcare services may be added to its discounted services list.  The company reports the average discount for its “cardholder base in 2013 was over 65%.”  It says the cards of Fulton residents will be assigned a unique Group Code so they can be tracked anywhere they are used at participating pharmacies, including those anywhere in the United States, Guam and Puerto Rico.