Q&A on the News

Q: I read where the Stockbridge City Council has applied for Main Street status. What is Main Street status?

—Gerald Wade, Stockbridge

A: Gaining Main Street status with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs would allow Stockbridge to receive benefits from the state. Those include bonus points when applying for grants and loans, lower interest rates on Downtown Development Authority Revolving Loan funds and assistance with marketing, training, design issues, planning corridors and fundraising, according to the city's news release. Mayor Mark Alarcon said it would help Stockbridge "build a stronger local economy through revitalization of the downtown area" on the city's website. Stockbridge should learn in November whether it's been selected to join 96 Georgia cities that have gained Main Street status. The Henry County cities of Hampton, Locust Grove and McDonough are in the program.

Q: In the recent rescue of 105 sexually exploited children, was anyone arrested who was seeking sex with these children, along with the pimps?

—Frank Burnette, Decatur

A: More than 150 "pimps and other individuals" were arrested when the FBI and local, state and other federal agencies carried out a 76-city sweep as part of an effort that is called "Operation Cross Country." It is part of the FBI's Innocence Lost initiative that was established in 2003 and has led to more than 2,700 children being recovered "from the streets," according to the FBI. There have been 1,350 convictions, including 10 life terms, and $3.1 million in assets has been seized.

Andy Johnston wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).