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Good Morning Gwinnett Podcast

Author: Audrey Bell-Kearney

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Good Morning Gwinnett is a live 4 day a week podcast all about people and places around Gwinnett County Georgia & beyond. The show is hosted by Audrey Bell-Kearney. On the show Audrey talks about news and current events happening around Gwinnett County. Occasionally she will interview movers & shakers as well as community and government leaders from Gwinnett County. She also uses her platform to provide much needed publicity for the small business owner by showing them the power of podcasts.
530 Episodes
Reverse Randall Toussaint is the Director of Economic Development at Partnership Gwinnett. Randall oversees the organization’s project management team and cultivates project wins for Gwinnett County in five target industries: Manufacturing, Supply Chain, Technology, Life Science, and Corporate Headquarters.Randall previously served as the Director of Corporate Solutions & Cybersecurity at the Georgia Department of Economic Development, and as the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation’s Business Development officer for the technology sector in Fort Meade, Maryland.Randall also led urban planning and economic development programs in College Park, Maryland and served as the Vice President of Economic Development in Forsyth County, Georgia. Randall’s career in Georgia also includes tenure as the Assistant Director of the Clayton County Office of Economic Development in Jonesboro, Georgia, and a Program Manager at the Savannah Development & Renewal Authority. Randall has over a decade of experience in the fields of urban planning and economic development. He is a former Fellow with the US Department of Housing & Urban Development and a former legislative liaison with the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus. He holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Savannah State University and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Morehouse College.Randall lives in Gainesville, Georgia with his wife and two children. GWINNETT COUNTY, GA — The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the owner of a major shopping center near Mall of Georgia into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to court filings.Washington Prime Group — which operates Mall of Georgia Crossing in Buford as well as 101 other shopping centers nationwide — made its filing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, according to USA Today and other news outlets. The company itself is based in Columbus, Ohio.Mall of Georgia Crossing is home to 25 tenants including Target, Hobby Lobby, Staples and Best Buy. Chapter 11 bankruptcy would allow the mall to stay open and Washington Prime to remain in business while it restructures its debt.SOURCE: Gwinnett Solicitor General Brian Whiteside raised questions Monday about the Gwinnett County Public Schools Police Department's handling of security at the May 20 county Board of Education meeting.Whiteside said he'd heard reports that officers with the school district's police force were not immediately taking reports from attendees at the meeting who claimed they had been harassed or threatened.The May 20 school board meeting was delayed by 40 minutes because of a standoff between board members — who asserted that the district had a policy put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic that required people where face masks in GCPS facilities — and a large group of parents who refused to wear face masks or, in the absence of wearing a mask, leave the meeting.SOURCE: The board created earlier this year to advise the Gwinnett County Police Department and county commissioners on policy matters is on the cusp of finalizing its recommendation that Gwinnett leaders decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.The Gwinnett Police Citizens Advisory Board voted last month to recommend county commissioners to change Gwinnett County Ordinance 66.3, which deals with marijuana possession. It will present the written copy of that resolution, effectively “memorializing” last month’s decision according to board chairman Sean Goldstein, at its June 15 meeting.The recommended change is to make possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a county ordinance violation, punishable by a fine or community service, rather than a criminal act.“We had already voted, but we still have to send that recommendation to the commission, so obviously we have to memorialize it,” said Goldstein, who is an attorney. “We have to put it in writing basically. We had never done that before since this is our very first recommendation ... so basically what we did is our vice-chair, Marqus Cole, was tasked with memorializing, writing down what our recommendation to the commission was going to be and we’re going to have a discussion regarding the actual written format of the recommendation to the commissioners ...“It’s just finalizing the decisions that were already made on May 18.”If the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners adopts the recommended change, the punishment for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana would be either a $150 fine or up to 20 hours of community service, according to a copy of the proposed resolution that the Daily Post has obtained.SOURCE: Northside Hospital Gwinnett needs a $400 million expansion simply because it's become too crowded, according to a state filing last week by the facility's parent company.Last month, Northside Hospital filed a letter of intent with the Georgia Department of Community Health to build a 10-story patient tower at its Lawrenceville facility, the largest hospital in Gwinnett. A second filing on June 2 reported by Atlanta Business Chronicle explains why.Northside Hospital Gwinnett's "inpatient utilization" — essentially, its occupancy — has hovered between 80 and 85 percent over the last few years, according to the filing as reported by the Chronicle. Ideally, inpatient utilization for a teaching hospital should be 70 percent.SOURCE: Gwinnett County residents can meet with officials working on the sprawling Rowen research and knowledge community project in eastern Gwinnett to learn about the development this week.The Rowen Foundation will host a community meeting to discuss the project from 6:30 until 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday at the Dacula Park Activity Building, which is located at 2735 Old Auburn Avenue in Dacula. Gwinnett County Solicitor General Brian Whiteside will offer past defendants a chance to get misdemeanor charges on their criminal records hidden from the public eye this weekend during a Juneteenth kick-off celebration that the Promised Land community in south Gwinnett is holding.Whiteside announced his office will gather information from past defendants who qualify for "Records Restriction," and give out information on how to get records restricted, during the free-to-attend celebration. The event will be held from noon until 5 p.m. on Saturday at 4540 Lee Road in Snellville.As its name suggests, "Records Restriction" is a way for someone has been accused of committing misdemeanor crimes to get those charges hidden from public view — as long as they meet certain criteria, such as never having been convicted of the crimes at trial and not pleading guilty or nolo contendere. Auburn City Council held off Thursday on making decisions to allow developers to construct two large subdivisions. These projects combined would add almost 1,000 new homes to the city, which has a population of less than 8,000 people.About 15 Auburn residents packed into the small Council Chambers to express their varying opinions on the proposed developments. Some people believe the subdivisions will help the city prepare for anticipated growth, while others worry it will overburden the school system and exacerbate traffic.SOURCE: Since 2018, Game of Drones strives to be Georgia's premier provider of Aerial photos and videos for professional and commercial use. Modern technology and professional aerial tactics have combined to bring about the perfect opportunity for savvy individuals, businesses and business owners to take advantage of aerial photos and videos.Aerial production has a limitless number of functions applications. These include, but are not limited to, video production in areas such as, aerial videos for businesses, aerial videos for film, aerial videos for weddings, aerial videos for real estate. And in photography, aerial photography for businesses opens up a new world. From Aerial Real Estate photography, to professional videography, to agricultural research, and radio tower inspections, to search and rescue, and more, drones are changing our everyday lives and creating opportunities previously unheard of.Photography for me started out as just a hobby. I was always fascinated by the ability to capture images of just about anything with just the click of a button. And now with the incredible interjection of drones into photography, that fascination has increased exponentially. Just imagine, 20 years ago, you would have had to rent a helicopter to get great aerial shots! Today’s drones have eliminated most of that need. The chance to affordably place a camera with 4K video-recording or high megapixel abilities in any corner of the sky is one hard to pass up on for professional photographers.Game of Drones specializes in aerial drone videography and photography. My passion is to create and produce high quality aerial videography and photography that is customized, personalized, and tailored to the exclusive needs of individual clients at an affordable price.The use of airspace was limited before the commercialization of drones. It was the dominion of those who could afford their own aircrafts such as presidents, generals, large corporations, and Fortune 500 CEOs. Drones have changed that. Today, anyone in the world has the potential to access the skies at will with a drone, and Game of Drones aims to take full advantage of the value of that space. Gwinnett County Public Schools is facing a review from its accrediting agency a year earlier than scheduled because of complaints that have been filed against the district.Cognia spokeswoman Mariama Tyler confirmed the accrediting agency has received “several” complaints about the district, with at least one of them being about governance, which refers to the Board of Education. That has prompted a special review of the district which is expected to be conducted this month, where the district will have to answer questions from a team assembled by Cognia.“If a special review is warranted, that means there is something that came up outside of the regular five-year cycle of review, and it usually is initiated by a complaint,” Tyler said.SOURCE: The Asian American and Pacific Islander community are a key part of Gwinnett County, according to county commission Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson.That was part of the message she delivered recently as she issued a proclamation to close out Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which was observed in May. The proclamation was presented to leaders in the AAPI community before an Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Reception was held at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in the final days of May.SOURCE: The New Start Entrepreneurship Incubator (NSEI) is a six-month program designed to help community members who have served time in jail or prison to create their own businesses. With this initiative, the Gwinnett County Public Library (GCPL) hopes to provide formerly incarcerated individuals with the tactics and tools to develop a small business and overcome barriers to professional success. Participants will receive assistance with developing business ideas, learn what is needed to run a successful business, and receive one on one support from successful entrepreneurs and business experts.The NSEI program seeks to level the playing field by offering a complete business education tailored to the needs of formerly incarcerated people. Twenty four years of experience working as a licensed stylist with 30 years total experience. Provides educational and professional training to licensed cosmetologists and salon owners in topics including but not limited to building business etiquette, marketing, and hands on styling techniques. Has expansion in the areas of make up artistry, distribution of products as well as participation in tradeshow events, and motivational speaking. It is a group that has spent the past two years making its way through high school during a pandemic. But despite the unexpected and ever-changing events it faced, the Class of 2021 has persevered.And this week those students graduate. And they get to do so during live ceremonies (with limited attendance and following COVID-19 protocol) that begin in earnest on Wednesday.More than 13,000 high school seniors at Gwinnett County Public Schools will receive their diplomas this week, with seven schools having ceremonies Wednesday that’s part of a graduation schedule that goes through May 31.SOURCE: Visitors to Gwinnett County government-owned facilities no longer have to wear a face mask to get in the front door.The county announced on its website Friday that Commission Chairwoman Nicole Love Hendrickson issued an executive order a day earlier to rescind the mask mandate she put in place earlier this year. In the new order, Hendrickson cited a decline in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Gwinnett, as well as more than one-third of the county’s residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.It also referenced recent guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that says people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear a face mask.“I find that rescinding the Local Emergency Order requiring face masks or face coverings when entering or utilizing county owned or leased facilities is in accordance with CDC guidance, the governor’s executive orders and my local emergency authority and is an appropriate step in the county’s COVID-19 pandemic recovery,” Hendrickson said in the order.SOURCE: Ronnell has built a career out of creating businesses and developing sales professionals into high-level performers. He's taught individuals how to feel like part of a team, and perform better as a result. Ronnellhas successfully strategized with both small and large businesses to take their progress to the next level. This has given him a unique perspective on success that he brings to every aspect of his life. As an award-winning entrepreneur, Ronnell knows what it takes to aim high, and hit even higher. Georgia’s first Latino mayor hopes to take his experience in local government to the state House of Representatives.Rey Martinez, who took office as mayor of Loganville in 2018, will run as a Republican for the Georgia House District 114 seat. State Rep. Tom Kirby, R-Loganville, has held the seat for nearly a decade but will not seek reelection after his term ends in 2022.“I want to be the best that I can, like what I’ve done in Loganville here for the last 11 years, and what I try to bring is my energy, my passion (and) my love of service,” Martinez said. “What I’ll try to bring is unity and what’s best for our community, country and state.”SOURCE: Gwinnett County Sheriff Keybo Taylor is the subject of a criminal investigation by state officials and at least three lawsuits related to allegations that he did not renew contracts for some bonding companies if they did not support his election campaign last fall, officials and attorneys have told the Daily Post.As sheriff, Taylor has the authority to decide which bail bonding companies are allowed to operate in Gwinnett County. Approved companies receive certificates of authority. No bonding company can issue bonds in a county without one of those certificates.SOURCE:
www.GoodMorningGwinnett.comNorcross took a stance against actions and beliefs that target minority populations, in the wake of uprisings in violence against Asian-Americans across the U.S.City Council unanimously passed a resolution at its May 3 meeting, condemning discrimination, hate crimes and racism in the Gwinnett city. Mayor Craig Newton signed it on May 7.The resolution states that “racism and hate have no place in Norcross” and that the city is “committed to working actively against all forms of racism and injustice.”SOURCE: Democratic representatives in the Gwinnett State House Delegation expressed their concerns over Georgia’s new voting law and how it could affect elections held in the county and across the state.A panel of eight state representatives held a town hall at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center on Monday, at which they shared their thoughts on the last legislative session and took questions from their constituents.SOURCE:
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