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Gov. Deal fires back at civil rights leaders over DeKalb School Board

Gov. Deal fires back at civil rights leaders over DeKalb School Board

ATLANTA --  Governor Nathan Deal (R-Georgia) announced Tuesday that he will name replacements Wednesday morning for 6 DeKalb County School Board members he suspended on February 25th.

His office also released a list of 60 possible candidates out of 403 that were interviewed by a special nomination panel since last Friday.

Deal acted under a 2011 law to remove the school board members after the DeKalb's accreditation was put on probation due to a "dysfunctional" board.

On Tuesday he also fired back at some civil rights leaders who've accused him of acting as a dictator with questionable racial intentions.

They met with him Monday to criticize his action as an unconstitutional disenfranchisement of DeKalb County voters.

DeKalb County School Board elects new leader

DeKalb County School Board elects new leader

DECATUR, Ga. -- The DeKalb County School Board elected Dr. Melvin Johnson as chairperson of the embattled school board on Wednesday afternoon during an executive session. 

Before being named chairman, Johnson, a retired DeKalb County Deputy Superintendent, represented District 6 which includes feeder schools to both Stone Mountain and Stephenson high schools. 

Early Wednesday, DeKalb County's controversial school board members, faced with the possibility that Gov. Nathan Deal may remove them from office, have suddenly decided to fight him.

The board members have been taking steps to sue Gov. Deal to try to stop the process that could lead to their removal.

Their lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Fulton Superior Court, just a block from the Georgia State Capitol, claims that the state law empowering the governor in certain circumstances to replace elected school board members violates the state constitution.

Reed says he will seek reelection

Reed says he will seek reelection

ATLANTA -- During his fourth State of the City address, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced his intention to seek a second term in the mayor's office.

Reed began his remarks by teasing the audience about his future plans. Later in the speech, he said he had given his future considerable thought and that he would be with President Barack Obama during his visit to metro Atlanta on Thursday.

As the crowd held its collective breath, Reed laughed and said he would run again.

The audience broke into a cheering standing ovation as Reed laughed and said, "Fooled you!"

Former poet laureate to speak at Emory graduation

Former poet laureate to speak at Emory graduation

ATLANTA -- A former United States poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet is set to speak at Emory University's commencement ceremony.

The university says Rita Dove will deliver the keynote address at the graduation ceremony on May 13. She will also receive an honorary doctor of letters degree.

Dove currently teaches English at the University of Virginia. She served as poet laureate and consultant to the Library of Congress from 1993 to 1995, and as poet laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2004 to 2006. She's known for her interdisciplinary approach and her collaborative ventures with composers, musicians and other artists.

Commencement will be held on the campus quadrangle with more than 14,000 people expected to attend.

Hall of Fame baseball coach John DeVore passes away

Hall of Fame baseball coach John DeVore passes away

ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- Legendary Georgia baseball coach John DeVore passed away Jan. 12 from complications after a stroke.

DeVore was laid to rest Jan. 15. He was 69.

The baseball star attended West Georgia College, now the University of West Georgia, in Carrollton from 1962 to 1965. His many athletic accomplishments earned him entry into the West Georgia Hall of Fame.

DeVore played for the Mets after college, but was eventually released because of an injury. He then turned his attention to coaching and built an illustrous 30-year career in DeKalb County.

Shamrock High School, which has since been converted to a middle school, named its baseball stadium the John DeVore Field in the coach's honor.

DeVore also spent 20 years as an instructor at the Georgia Tech Pitcher/Catcher Camp.

He is survived by his wife, son, daughter and three sisters. Much of DeVore's family lives in Alpharetta.

Lillian Lewis to be laid to rest Monday

Lillian Lewis to be laid to rest Monday

ATLANTA -- Dignitaries, friends and family are joining Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) in saying a final farewell to his late wife.

Lillian Lewis died last Monday at age 73.

Her funeral is being held at Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the couple married 44 years ago.

President Obama called Rep. Lewis to offer his condolences.

RELATED | Where to send condolences

On Sunday, members of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority remembered Lillian Lewis with a private ceremony.

Olympic swimmer to visit Egleston

Olympic swimmer to visit Egleston

ATLANTA -- Four-time Olympic medalist Kaitlin Sandeno has joined forces with the Jessie Rees Foundation to spread holiday cheer to the young patients at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.

Sandeno will be at the DeKalb County children's hospital from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. She will help distribute Holiday JoyJars to kids fighting cancer.

Holiday JoyJars are the brainchild of Erik Rees, CEO of the Jessie Rees Foundation. Rees' daughter Jessie founded the charity before passing away from brain cancer in January. Each JoyJar contains up to 20 new, age-appropriate toys.

"Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston provides courageous kids with cancer with groundbreaking care and healing," Rees said in a statement. "They embody Jessie's motto, 'Never Ever Give Up,' and we are honored to distribute Holiday JoyJars with Kaitlin there."

UPS and Anthem Blue Cross of California are sponsoring Rees and Sandeno's visit to the hospital.