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Jim Massara

Stories by Jim

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Heatley rallies teachers, staff for new year

At a pep rally at Tara Stadium to mark the start of the new school year, Clayton County schools superintendent Edmond Heatley praised teachers and staff for helping regain the system’s accreditation.

Kids feel good, parents feel better

The open houses were an opportunity for students and parents to see their classrooms and meet their teachers. While some students also registered Thursday, most had already taken care of it.

BOE wants parent input on short school day

Nine public forums to discuss “minimum day scheduling” were announced Tuesday in response to Monday’s school board decision directing Superintendent Edmond Heatley to a do a better job of selling the idea to parents.

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Incoming Clayton State freshmen pack dorm

Parents ‘can hold on — but lightly’

With the first day of classes less than a week away, some 400 wide-eyed freshmen — accompanied by anxious parents — moved into Laker Hall at Clayton State University Tuesday to begin their college careers.

Students, teachers, gear up for school year

For the second year, open house events will be held system-wide rather than school by school, allowing parents with students in more than one school to attend all open houses without scheduling conflicts.

New high school courses teach entrepreneurship, risk management

Five new business education courses with titles like “Legal Environment of Business” and “Entrepreneurial Ventures” have been added this year to the system’s Career Pathways, a state-approved career enhancement program that helps train students with a skill or trade.

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Customers support Chick-fil-A in droves

Chick-fil-A’s may be closed on Sundays, but, boy, were they ever busy on Wednesday.

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Morrow High grad honored by teachers’ group

A Morrow teacher and graduate of Leadership Clayton was one of six nominees for Educator of the year by a statewide career and technical-education group.

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Business brisk at Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day

Chick-fil-A's may be closed on Sundays, but, boy, are they ever open today. This was the scene early this afternoon in the parking lot of the Jonesboro Dwarf House.

T-SPLOST loses in Clayton

Oswalt: ‘Sit in traffic. It’s not going to get any better’

JONESBORO — A metro Atlanta measure to add a 1-cent sales tax to finance transit projects did better in Clayton County than most other counties — but it still went down in flames across the region by a 2 to 1 margin.

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Board has Heatley reconsider 'minimum day schedule'

Clayton County's school board directs Superintendent Edmond Heatley to show how letting students out early on Wednesday doesn't violate county or state policies.

Social media promotes Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day

Several social media campaigns have been mounted to show support on Wednesday for Chick-fil-A.

Chick-fil-A taking last-minute Back to School donations

Two Dwarf House restaurants are in the lead to collect the most school supplies as Chick-fil-A’s Back to School Drive heads into its home stretch.

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Cutting class: Parents push back against shortened school days

Unhappy parents may cause Clayton County school officials to reconsider a move for the coming year in which they would shorten one school day every week by as much as 90 minutes, sending children home sooner.

Man supported charity with money ... and bikes

Fayetteville charity celebrates longtime Jonesboro contributor.

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Roberts cheerleaders win awards, ‘bring home the banana’

Cheerleaders from M.D. Roberts Middle School may have won top prizes for dance and fight-song performance at a recent University of Georgia cheer camp. But the ultimate prize was ... a banana. A “spirit” banana.

Arts Clayton honored by county association

Arts Clayton won two top honors earlier this month from the National Association of Counties, one for its historic home on Main Street and the other for its youth programs.

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Clayton GOP is ‘loyal opposition’

Party stalwarts support low taxes, small government

In a county that has rarely seen a Republican official elected in years and that Barack Obama carried overwhelmingly in 2008, the Grand Old Party sees itself as the “loyal opposition” at best, says GOP county chairman Carl Swensson of Morrow.

Holy Cross church moves

The Clayton County Board of Health, 1117 Battle Creek Road, Jonesboro, will host a “Back to School Immunization Campaign,” July 23 until Aug. 17, 7:45 a.m. until 4 p.m.

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Cities, county open negotiatons over sales tax

Armed with handouts, slide shows and arguments pro and con, Clayton County and its seven cities finally started hashing out Tuesday who gets what share of the local-option sales tax, or LOST.

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Porsche HQ to break ground in late fall

Henry Ford II Avenue to be renamed Ferdinand Porsche Avenue

Ground will be broken later this fall — and a major thoroughfare will have its name changed — when work begins on Porsche’s North American headquarters on the site of the old Ford assembly plant.

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Clayton kicks off economic strategy revamp with forum

More than 100 Clayton County citizens, ranging from the power elite to average Joes, packed a Clayton State conference room Thursday night to kick off the county’s effort to develop a new economic strategy.

Porsche to preview plans at Monday mixer

Porsche may provide a peek into what it plans to do with its new North American headquarters at Monday’s Airport Area Chamber of Commerce mixer.

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College Park says no to LED signs on Camp Creek

A signage package in front of a RaceTrac gas station proposed for Camp Creek Parkway led to a nearly hour-long debate and only conditional approval at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

CLAYTON CHURCH BULLETIN: July 20, 2012

Southside Seventh-Day Adventists host workshop on abuse in all its forms

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Lake City pothole patrol fires first shot in negotiation

With no agreement in place over which government agencies provide services such as police and fire protection, Lake City Mayor Willie Oswalt said he’s already feeling the pinch. Lake City has spent about $1,300 to patch potholes that Oswalt said Clayton County should have filled.

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Author writes ‘Skin’ about race

‘I call it a ‘truth’ book’

First-time author Peggy Brooks wrote her book “Skin: A Matter of Race in America” and she’ll be signing it this Saturday at the Clayton County Library Headquarters branch on Battle Creek Road from noon until 2 p.m.

Clayton State generates $252 million impact on Southern Crescent

A new report from the University System of Georgia shows Clayton State University’s economic impact on the Southern Crescent in 2011 was third largest among state universities, trailing only Kennesaw State and the University of West Georgia.

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TSPLOST could turn Tara into ‘super arterial’

Will life in the fast lane be better or worse?

The single most expensive Clayton County transportation project that would be financed by the proposed TSPLOST would change Tara Boulevard near I-75 into a limited-access highway with frontage roads.

Clayton set to re-chart economic development strategy

Clayton County is kicking off development of its first economic game plan in 13 years with a public forum July 19 at Clayton State University.

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Social media maven chats with chamber members

‘It’s word of mouth on steroids’

“Most people still are unaware how to effectively use” sites such as Facebook Twitter and Linked In, Lanelle Henderson said. “But I don’t blame them because they’re fairly new tools.”

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Lovejoy authorizes mayor to negotiate service delivery

Lovejoy’s City Council gave Mayor Bobby Cartwright authority to make binding decisions in upcoming negotations with Clayton County over who provides which services and divvying up sales-tax money.

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Bus service, Tara revamp top Clayton T-SPLOST list

One of the most controversial votes on the July 31 primary ballot is a referendum on whether to approve the T-SPLOST, a tax that would finance the Transportation Investment Act.

Forest Park starts recycling, receives first check

Forest Park received the first monthly check for its new recycling program — just over $700 for the first two pick-ups in June.

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New medical-imaging gear reduces ‘freak-out’ factor

Riverdale office rolls out state-of-art MRI system

OMI Diagnostics’ new MRI system will be the first of its kind in Clayton County, being roomier and less closed-in, making it more accessible to obese and claustrophobic patients.

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‘I was an adventurous guy back then’

Jonesboro man flew cargo through war zones, lived to write about it

Ask Cecil Mullins why he flew cargo missions through war zones back in the day, risking life and limb, and he’ll answer with a smile: “I was an adventurous guy back then.”

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Noah’s Ark celebrates anniversary, history

Noah’s Ark Church is celebrating its 160th anniversary July 8, and Armalee Carnes can tell you almost anything you want to know about it.

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Heat, holidays lower attendance at mortgage workshop

Turnout was “a little slow” at a Saturday seminar offering free advice to homeowners with problem mortgages, said event organizers.

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Clayton opinions a mixed bag on ObamaCare ruling

Reactions in Clayton County were fast and plentiful to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday upholding most of President Obama’s health care reform law.

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Hartsfield boss says return of transit could boost airport

The possible return of public transit to Clayton County could help both Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as well as local citizens, according to Louis Miller, Hartsfield’s general manager.

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Award-winning journalist joins News Daily as editor

A newspaper veteran who has championed open records and government transparency joins the Clayton News Daily this week as its editor in chief.

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Surprise — the rose garden’s not for sale

Pope Dickson still owns memorial to stillborns

Abner Dickson may have had the last laugh himself when on Monday he revealed his final misdirection: He kept the memorial rose garden for stillborn babies on Pope Dickson’s Jonesboro property up his sleeve, when everyone thought the bank had taken it away.

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T-SPLOST opponents enjoy cordial debate

In a presentation that pitted the bigger picture against more careful planning before spending billions, Clayton County Chairman Eldrin Bell debated the upcoming T-SPLOST referendum Saturday in Morrow with an anti-T-SPLOST advocate invited by Clayton’s GOP chairman to represent the opposition.

Candidates, business, to mix at church expo

A political forum for Clayton County candidates will headline a business expo to be held next weekend at a Jonesboro church.

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ARC focuses on Hartsfield’s ‘economic engine’

Speakers say airport should enrich Southern Crescent more than it has

The Atlanta Regional Commission put its muscle behind making Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport an “economic engine” for the Southern Crescent by announcing Thursday the formation of an Airport Task Force. It will begin meeting in August.

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Clayton man among first to receive specialized EMT training

A Jonesboro emergency medical technician was among the first civilians in the nation to be honored for completing training in “tactical casualty care” — in other words, how to tend to victims while the bullets are still flying.

Forum will present T-SPLOST pros, cons

Chairman Bell and anti-tax activist to speak

Clayton County Chairman Eldrin Bell and an activist opposed to the Transportation Investment Act are scheduled to speak Saturday at an educational forum organized and moderated by the chairman of the county GOP.

CLAYTON FAITH NOTEBOOK/June 21, 2012: A look at honey bees

Coming Tuesday: A look at honey bees

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Small-business workshop helps entrepreneurs meet lenders

Conference ‘a huge success’

More than 100 area entrepreneurs listened to lectures and met with money men Tuesday at a Clayton State workshop devoted to helping small businesses find financing.

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Clayton MBA students research market, help local businesses

It’s a win-win situation: Students gain experience, and clients gain research.