Governor Brian Kemp picked a Duluth-based attorney to fill the newly created seventh Gwinnett County State Court Judge seat, starting in January.
Kemp’s office announced on Friday night that the governor has appointed Jaletta Long Smith to fill the seat, which was created by the Georgia General Assembly earlier this year. Smith is a Gwinnett native and a litigation associate at Andersen, Tate and Carr PC in Duluth.
Smith’s focus area at Andersen, Tate and Carr has been on civil litigation and appellate matters, according to the governor’s office. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communication studies and Spanish from Clemson University and her law degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s William H. Bowen School of Law.
Smith served as a law clerk for three judges: U.S. District Court for Eastern District of Arkansas Judge Kristine G. Baker, retire Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Robert L. Brown and former Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt C. Grant.
She handled civil and criminal appeals for Brown and Grant and federal civil and criminal trial matters for Baker.
Smith was a Bowen Scholar, which is a full academic scholarship, at Arkansas-Little Rock and graduated in 2010 with high honors and among the top three students in her class.
She was also the executive editor of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Law Review. During her time at Arkansas-Little Rock, she was also one of six students who were picked to compete on the Bowen Trial team and received a Dean’s Certificate of Distinguished Service. She was a member of he Judge Henry Woods Inn of Court in Little Rock as well.
Smith was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and a Tiger Feature Twirler at Clemson, according to her biography on the Andersen, Tate and Carr website.
Smith and her husband, Andy, have two children.
The Atlanta Regional Commission awarded funding for seven transportation-related projects in Gwinnett County, including a Satellite Boulevard Bus Rapid Transit line, on Wednesday.
The projects are part of a list of 77 metro Atlanta transportation projects that will split $235 million in federal transportation funding that the ARC is tasked with distributing. The funding is part of the Transportation Improvement Program, also known as TIP.
The proposed BRT line on Satellite Boulevard is one of the biggest projects from Gwinnett, and it is set to receive $6.4 million in federal funding through the ARC.
It is expected to run from the OFS property off Jimmy Carter Boulevard in Norcross to the Sugarloaf Mills Park and Ride lot in Lawrenceville. The federal funding will be used to begin environmental and design work on the proposed BRT line.
Gwinnett officials have been looking at how to improve mobility adjacent to the Interstate 85 corridor. BRT, which is a setup where buses act somewhat similar to trains in that they travel in dedicated lanes, is one of the options that has been discussed in recent years.
The county is putting up $1.6 million as a local matching share on the federal dollars, meaning a total of $8 million will be used to kick off the environmental and design work.
But, BRT is not the only big project in Gwinnett that is expected to get funding. There is $6 million in federal funding going to the Georgia Department of Transportation for the widening of Scenic Highway, also known as State Route 124, between U.S. Highway 78 in Snellville and Sugarloaf Parkway in Lawrenceville. State and county officials have been planning to add an additional lane in each direction for years. For a list of the other projects receiving funds, please visit Gwinnett Daily Post dot Com.
Duluth senior Sean Kimani will play his college football in the Ivy League, committing Sunday to Columbia University.
Kimani, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive lineman, was a first-team all-county selection this season by the Touchdown Club of Gwinnett. He also has a 4.0 GPA. He joins a Lions program that finished 2022 with a 6-4 record, going 3-4 against Ivy League competition. The backdrop for Lions home games is different than what you might see on most college campuses, as Columbia plays its home games in Manhattan, at Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium. Columbia’s 2023 football season kicks off on September 16th at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. Ivy League teams traditionally begin their football seasons a few weeks later than other colleges to help accommodate players doing summer internships across the county and world.
Shiloh Elementary School is getting a new principal — who parents, students and teachers are already familiar with — while Gwinnett County Public Schools will see new faces in two positions, including a new chief financial officer and executive director of leadership development.
Jennifer Mercedes, who has been an assistant principal at Shiloh Elementary School since 2018, will become the school’s new principal.
Meanwhile, Masana L. Mailliard has been hired as Gwinnett County Public Schools’ new chief financial officer and Chandra Walker will become the district’s new executive director of leadership development. In addition to being Shiloh’s assistant principal for the new four years, Mercedes has held positions at two other schools in the district, according to a background provided by GCPS. Mailliard is coming to GCPS from the DeKalb County School District, where she has been the deputy chief financial officer since 2020. And, Walker has been a GCPS employee since 2003, and has served as the district’s director of leadership development since 2013.
A fire that officials said was caused by an electrical issue destroyed a Loganville home Friday night.
Just before 6 p.m., firefighters responded to a fire at the 800 block of Creek Cove Way South East. A neighbor called 911 to report the house fire and believed that the homeowner was absent. When fire crews arrived they found heavy fire blowing through the roof. Once the fire was knocked down searches were completed that confirmed the house was vacant during the fire, McGiboney said. The scene was brought under control by 7:20 p.m. Twenty-nine firefighters responded to the incident.
A Dacula man has been arrested and charged in the murder of a Gwinnett County senior corrections officer who was killed in the parking lot of the county’s corrections facility earlier this week.
The Gwinnett County Police Department’s SWAT Team arrested Yahya Abdulkadir, in Lithonia on Friday afternoon. He faces felony murder and aggravated assault charges in the death of Scott Riner, who was killed on Tuesday morning. The Gwinnett Police Homicide Unit has been working this case around the clock since early Tuesday when the incident occurred. The SWAT Team was backed up by Gwinnett Sheriff’s deputies, U.S. Marshals, ATF agents and officials from the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office as they made the arrest. The suspect was arrested without incident.
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