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Is legislative redistricting "transparent?"

Is legislative redistricting "transparent?"

ATLANTA -- It may be to the state Capitol what Area 51 is to the Nevada desert -- a place shrouded in mystery, with red letters warning against entry, and black curtains blocking the glass.

It's next to the reapportionment committee office. It's the room where the maps are made.

"They've got computers in there, a lot of equipment and stuff," said Rep. Roger Lane, chairman of the House Reapportionment Committee. Lane couldn't explain why the windows were blacked out, though. "I didn't do it. I don't know."

The maps are the legislative boundaries, redrawn during a special session of the legislature based on 2010 census data. The process, behind the glass, is touted by Republicans as "transparent."

"It's been the most transparency I've seen in the system in twenty years," said Sen. Don Balfour, Republican chairman of the Rules Committee.

Gingrey opposes Boehner's debt reduction plan

Gingrey opposes Boehner's debt reduction plan

WASHINGTON -- A House vote on Speaker John Boehner's debt reduction plan is expected Thursday, but not all Republicans are on board.

RELATED: How the debt ceiling crisis could hit consumers

MORE: Tell your lawmakers how you feel 

Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-11th District) says Congress needs to get the job done, but it needs to be done the right way.  

Atlanta mayor, French officials to sign agreement

Atlanta mayor, French officials to sign agreement

ATLANTA (AP) - Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and French officials plan to sign a memorandum of understanding aimed at creating a favorable environment for international companies around the airports in Atlanta and Paris.

Jean-Claude Detilleux from the Paris region's development office and Elisabeth Le Masson from Paris' airports plan to join the mayor Monday at Atlanta City Hall for the signing.

The memorandum has three main objectives: to promote the areas around the airports for companies looking to locate in the two countries; to jointly seek companies in emerging countries that want to expand internationally; to initiate and ultimately create an international network of airport areas.

Pascal Le Deunff, consul general of France in Atlanta, says the new agreement aims to boost international business exchanges and foreign investments.

Cagle raises $18K in off-election year

Cagle raises $18K in off-election year

ATLANTA -- Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has more than $208,000 in the bank for a possible re-election bid in 2014.

A report Cagle filed with state officials Friday showed the Gainesville Republican has raised a little more than $18,000 in the first six months of 2011, a non-election year when fundraising is typically sluggish.

He already had $344,262 left over from last year's successful bid for a second term as the state's No. 2.

Finance reports detailing campaign contributions and expenditures were due with the state ethics commission by Friday night.

Cagle trailed at least one other top Republican in the Senate, where he presides. House Rules Committee Chairman Don Balfour of Snellville raked in $137,000 for the first six months of the year. He has more than $174,000 in the bank.

(The Associated Press)

CRCT Investigation: Cheating found in 44 Atlanta schools

ATLANTA -- A state investigation into allegations of cheating by Atlanta Public Schools officials on standardized tests finds nearly 80 percent of schools examined cheated on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT).

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Atlanta Public Schools CRCT Cheating Investigation

"We found cheating in 44 of the 56 schools," Gov. Nathan Deal said as he read from the CRCT report summary during a news conference at the State Capitol Tuesday.

The report, obtained by The Associated Press and delivered to 11Alive News, details the findings of the state's investigation.

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.

Rep. John Lewis Responds to Georgia Court Decision to Block Provisions of Immigration Bill

Rep. John Lewis Responds to Georgia Court Decision to Block Provisions of Immigration Bill

Atlanta, GA --  Rep. John Lewis made this statement upon hearing that U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Thrash blocked parts of H.R. 87 (the Georgia Immigration Bill)

“When this law was passed, I was deeply disappointed in the leadership of this state.  It seemed we were willing to turn a blind eye to the worst and most bitter lessons of our discriminatory past to embrace tactics that took us backwards and jeopardized our chances to move forward economically, socially, and politically.  As H.R.