Tellus Science Museum and some of its significant supporters were recognized with awards during the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries annual conference in Statesboro Jan. 23.
Tellus was honored with three distinguished awards.
For its years of support of the programs at the museum, 3M Corporation received the Corporate Sponsor Award a news release stated.
According to the release, a long-time supporter of the museum’s educational and family programs, the 3M Foundation was also a major contributor to the Vision for the Future capital campaign which concluded last year.
Steve Kleist, manager of 3M’s Bondo plant in Atlanta, and Roxy Trent, human resources manager at 3M, joined museum executive director Jose Santamaria in receiving the award.
“It is a great honor for 3M to be recognized by GAMG for our work with Tellus,” said Kleist in a statment. “Our partnership with Tellus helps support 3M’s on-going commitment to inspire the next generation of innovators by sparking their curiosity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).”
The Moon Rock display at the museum received a best museum exhibition award.
The exhibit combines Apollo artifacts from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum with an impressive lunar sample from NASA. Tellus architect and exhibit designer John White, from INOX Design, donated his time and talent to design the exhibit the release stated.
“There are few times in this life when one has the opportunity to work with a moon rock,” said White, “and having our exhibit design recognized by GAMG is a real honor and we are thankful to have been able to work with the Tellus team on this.”
Museum volunteer Bob Gossman was recognized as Museum Volunteer of the Year for his contribution to the museum.
Working full-time in a career that takes him all over the world, Gossman has still volunteered more than 1,500 hours in less than 6 years the release stated.
His favorite volunteer duties are manning the planetarium and observatory, helping with programs such as rocketry workshops, training staff to provide tours of the Solar House, playing various characters at the annual Night at the Museum event, and even bartending at catered events the release stated.
“Volunteering at Tellus is a fun and challenging experience,” said Gossman in a statement. “Being selected for the Volunteer Award from the many volunteers who serve other museums and galleries in the state is the highest honor and very humbling at the same time. I look forward to many more years serving Tellus and supporting its mission to promote science education.”
Just last month, the museum was also voted “Best Kid-friendly Museum” by readers of Atlanta Magazine for 2014.
The museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is a 120,000 square foot science museum in Cartersville.
Information: (770) 606-5700 or visit www.tellusmuseum.org or www.facebook.com/tellusmuseum.
Monday, the city of Stockbridge became one of Georgia’s newest Main Street Cities.
This designation was bestowed upon the city after it met rigorous performance standards set by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Office of Downtown Development.
The city of Stockbridge’s Main Street Program is one of the 90-plus programs across Georgia and part of a national network of over 1,800 active Main Street entities.
This community-driven initiative focuses on conscientious revitalization of older, traditional business districts throughout the U.S.
The underlying premise of the Main Street concept is to encourage economic development, within the context of historic preservation, in ways that are appropriate for today’s marketplace.
Main Street programs advocate a return to community self-reliance, local empowerment and the rebuilding of traditional commercial districts based on their unique assets — distinctive architecture, a pedestrian-friendly environment, personal service, local ownership and a strong sense of community.
“This designation is the result of hard work and determination on the part of the Stockbridge Main Street advisory board, city staff and dedicated volunteers,” Stockbridge Main Street Manager Kira Harris-Braggs said in a statement. “What most cities have had over a year to accomplish, we were able to complete in just six months. This is a testament to how supportive our leadership has been on both the local government and community levels. The city and its residents are ready for economic development and growth in the historic downtown area. Our designation as a Main Street city is the first step toward achieving these goals.”
The Main Street philosophy is guided by its four-point approach.
This comprehensive strategy is tailored to meet local needs and opportunities.
It encompasses work in four areas – design, economic restructuring, promotion and organization.
Committees, that encourage community involvement and work to catalyze action in these impactful areas, are an important part of most Main Street Programs.
In addition to the Main Street philosophy, eight guiding principles serve as effective tools for community-based, grassroots revitalization efforts.
These eight components ask Main Street cities to take a comprehensive approach, move in incremental steps, promote self-help, create partnerships, strive to identify and capitalize on existing assets, emphasize quality, be open to change and most importantly, be committed to implementation.
Stockbridge joins over 16 other cities across the state in receiving this honor.
These cities include Auburn, Avondale Estates, Ball Ground, Bowdon, Braselton, Cairo, Chamblee, Grayson, Hinesville, Holly Springs, Lawrenceville, Perry, Porterdale, Ringgold, Swainsboro and Sylvester.
Lawsuit says DeKalb County court practices unjustly target the poor
Kate Brumback Associated Press WriterAssociated Press
January 29, 2015 03:53 PM | 335 views | 0 | 2 | |
A metro Atlanta county unfairly targets the poor by throwing them in jail for failure to pay court fines without considering ability to pay or alternatives to incarceration, according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday.
The suit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Kevin Thompson, a DeKalb County man who was jailed after he was unable to pay more than $800 in fines and fees stemming from a traffic ticket within 30 days of sentencing.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled more than three decades ago that it is a violation of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to lock people up for failure to pay court fines without considering ability to pay, efforts to get money and alternatives to incarceration, said Nusrat Choudhury, lead attorney on the case for the ACLU.
"Being poor isn't a crime," she said. "What's happening in DeKalb County is a top-down, debt collection scheme using a for-profit company that's violating that core principle and, in the process, also depriving people of their right to counsel."
County spokesman Burke Brennan said he couldn't comment on pending litigation. A representative for Judicial Correction Services Inc., the company hired by the county to collect fines which is also named in the lawsuit, could not be reached by phone and didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Thompson, 19, was stopped by a police officer in July and was arrested, charged with driving with a suspended license and jailed for a night. He pleaded guilty in October and the judge ordered him to pay an $810 fine within 30 days and instructed him to sign up with Judicial Correction Services, or JCS, for the payment of his fine, the lawsuit says. He was assigned a JCS probation officer and instructed to report weekly.
After he brought small sums to several meetings, the officer served him with a petition to revoke his probation when he showed up to a meeting without any money, the lawsuit says.
Neither the probation officer nor the judge asked about his efforts to get money, his resources or his job prospects, and neither clearly explained to him that he had the right to a court-appointed attorney and that he might be eligible for a fee waiver for such an attorney, the lawsuit says. He was sentenced to serve nine days in jail.
Thompson was released after five days, but "suffered humiliation, anxiety, stress, emotional distress, and other irreparable injury from being handcuffed and taken to jail in front of his mother, forcibly separated from his mother and family, and detained for five days in unsanitary and cold jail conditions without enough food to eat," the lawsuit says.
Local governments in 13 states work with for-profit probation companies to collect debts, Choudhury said. The ACLU singled out DeKalb County because it has collected more revenue than any other municipality in Georgia using these methods, she said.
Contracts between the county and JCS allows the company to collect a monthly fee from probationers except from those determined by the court to be indigent, she added. That means it's not in the interest of JCS for its officers to try to determine whether a probationer has the means to pay.
The lawsuit asks for jury trial and seeks punitive and compensatory damages, as well as attorney fees.
How do you need to move forward in 2015? Is it to lose weight? Or organizing your closets? Getting your finances in order? Getting rid of stinking thinking that have held you captive?
It is time to work toward your goals and complete them.
If your goal is to lose weight, clean your closets, finances or other life changes, you will only complete those goals once you take steps to make it happen.
If you want to lose weight, you could make small changes that can become big results. Park farther away in the parking lot. Instead of sending internal mail at work through the mailroom, walk to deliver it and take the stairs. While cooking dinner, march in place. Instead of eating that extra cookie, stick with one.
If it is organizing your closets, start with one each Saturday. Or clean one closet for 30 minutes a day. You will be surprised at what you will accomplish, if you stick to the goal. If you do 30 minutes for five days you would have given a closet 2 ½ hours of organization.
You will be surprised at your accomplishments. You just have to start.
Is it time to stop using those credit cards? Is it time to start adding more to your 401(K) or savings for your retirement plan? Instead of using that credit card, use cash. If you don’t have the money, you have to wait until you have it. If you don’t have enough cash on you, you have to come back to get your purchase. Don’t go shopping when you are emotional. Have you heard of emotional eaters? Well, some people are emotional shoppers. Before buying, decide if you really need the item or if you just want it.
Last, let’s deal with that stinking thinking that keeps us from moving forward. When you have negative thoughts, you open the door for negative things to happen. Instead of thinking negative, turn those thoughts into positive thoughts. Instead of saying “I can’t,” say “I can.” Say, “I will do and have better. I will accomplish my dreams and goals. I won’t be in this situation forever. I am a conqueror!”
See the glass half full rather than half empty.
2015 will be your year of progress. You can do it. It is time for you to take action!
South Fulton resident Tashia Huff is the founder of Tashia Huff Life Coach Enterprises. For more information, visit www.tashiahuff.com.
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