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Morning headlines: Raffensperger on Capitol Hill, ACCPD touts success against growing gang problem

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NPR
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Georgia's top elections official, Brad Raffensperger, is set to testify before the January 6th committee on Tuesday.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger is scheduled to testify today before the congressional committee investigating the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Raffensperger came to national prominence after a tape of then-President Donald Trump asking him to "find" some 11,000 votes in the 2020 election, enough to give Trump a victory in Georgia was released. Raffensperger will be joined by his top deputy, Gabriel Sterling, as the committee examines then-President Donald Trump’s effort to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 victories in Georgia and other swing states.

Their testimony will come in the fourth hearing by the House select committee investigating events that led to the attack.

WUGA will air today's hearing live, beginning at 1 pm EST.

ACCPD touts success in gang arrests

A four month long crackdown on gang members in Athens resulted in a marked decrease in violent crime in the city according to the Athens-Clarke County Police Departments.

The effort by multiple agencies led to 47 arrests, and a 27 percent decrease in aggravated assaults in five months after the initiative began compared to the previous five months.

Sergeant Ricky Howard, who supervises the department’s gang unit, said there are an estimated 71,000 gang members in Georgia, with about 50,000 in metro Atlanta and about a thousand in Athens.

Those are generally hybrid gangs started by men who go to prison, align themselves with a gang and upon release, return to Athens bringing that affiliation with them. The gangs are primarily involved in the sale of drugs, but they are also heavily armed, with numerous firearms seized by police during investigations.

Howard spoke about the gang initiative during a street gang symposium hosted by Superior Court Judge Lisa Lott for law enforcement officers and social workers in Clarke and Oconee counties.

House subcommittee says Georgia military base should stay open

A U.S. House Appropriations subcommittee says it will not move forward with closing a military facility in Savannah.

The possible closure of the Combat Readiness Training Center has been the subject of an intense lobbying effort by Georgia’s congressional delegation. Closure of the center was part of the proposed budget President Joe Biden put forward in March.

The Air National Guard’s Combat Readiness Training Center helps prepare units tied to the National Guard, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps for upcoming missions. There are similar facilities in Michigan, Mississippi and Wisconsin.