South metro leaders to hold business development conference Tuesday

The event, set to begin at 7 a.m. at the Georgia International Convention Center, focuses on growth opportunities and ways to advance investment and business development for the city of Atlanta and Clayton, Coweta, Douglas, Fayette, Henry and Fulton counties.

The theme for the event, now in its 20th year, is “Transform. Innovate. Elevate.”

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(Courtesy of Fulton County Government)","type":"image","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/XTAY2ITNLFE2ZFC5K6JRIZXK5U.png","height":2084,"canonical_url":"https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/fulton-unveils-new-app-for-county-services/4PULNXX7XJF63ONZKX4EKVZCJY/","_id":"4PULNXX7XJF63ONZKX4EKVZCJY"},{"content_elements":["_id":"A4U3EHZ4LVD6NFCKAMSG5P6LXQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1593365046971,"type":"text","content":"Henry County residents will be able to safely dispose of their documents this weekend at a shredding event sponsored by the south metro community’s water authority.","_id":"26PC2UPJVVECXLKESD65W3QNZM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650992287178,"type":"text","content":"From 9 a.m.-1 p.m., residents can shred items such as office paper, Manilla folders, hanging file folders and rubber bands at the Henry County Water Authority office at the department’s headquarters, 1695 Ga. 20 West in McDonough.","_id":"YKE5LU26BFBHXMAWCAKO3X5YNQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650992287179,"type":"text","content":"Items that won’t be accepted include jumbo binder clips, glass, report covers, plastic, plastic foam, cardboard, newspapers, plastic protectors, clothing and electronics, the authority said."],"display_date":"2022-04-26T10:30:00Z","headlines":"basic":"Henry County offers document shredding event","first_publish_date":"2022-04-26T10:30:00.283Z","taxonomy":{"sections":["path":"/news/atlanta-news","parent":"default":"/news","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"/news","name":"Local News","description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","additional_properties":"original":"parent":"AmpNav":"/news","default":"/news","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":null,"SectionMap":"https://www.ajc.com/","MainMenuRedesign2021":"/news","TopNav":null,"ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","site":"section_comments_enabled":"Yes","site_description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","site_title":"Atlanta Local News","navigation":"nav_title":"Local News","inactive":false,"node_type":"section","_website":"ajc","name":"Local News","Sponsor":"sponsor_url_open_new_tab":"true","sponsor_desktop_banner":"","sponsor_mobile_banner":"","sponsor_url":"","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","ancestors":"TopNavRedesign":[],"SectionMap":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"MainMenuRedesign2021":["https://www.ajc.com/","/news"],"TopNav":[],"order":"AmpNav":2004,"default":2004,"SectionMap":1075,"MainMenuRedesign2021":2004,"ComposerNav":1081,"_website_section_id":"ajc./news/atlanta-news","type":"section","version":"0.6.0","path":"/news","parent":"default":"https://www.ajc.com/","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"https://www.ajc.com/","name":"News","description":"Atlanta Georgia News main page: Breaking News, Atlanta Weather Forecast, Crime, Politics, GA Schools, Local Articles - 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And it wouldn’t begin until next January.",{"_id":"CJES4KD5DJCXZHBTTEHBXFYKCA","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"Q2U6ZGWWNRA7TH5SM6GJQDWXLU","type":"raw_html","content":""},"_id":"BTUV5DDJSVAOHLXU3J2SA3XCIY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650656335422,"type":"text","content":"A Streets Alive event was held on Peachtree in 2019. The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, which organizes the program, has been pushing for it to be a monthly installment.","_id":"LENO55LQG5ER7OJ77A7OUSRY34","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650656335423,"type":"text","content":"The idea has support from transportation advocates, but could face opposition from the small but vocal group of residents and business owners that also pushed back on the “Shared Peachtree” pilot project, which blocked off two lanes of Peachtree downtown for just bicyclists and walkers.","_id":"J2CPQG3JSBCBTB2T5JG5LRYTFI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650656335424,"type":"text","content":"We’ll keep you posted as the plan is discussed at City Hall, starting with a transportation committee meeting Wednesday.","_id":"XHKAGI5DQFDOFPLXAY3JMZFJTI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650656335425,"type":"text","content":"---","_id":"ZHLGGHEIWBASXDMJXHE5TO6FDM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650656335426,"type":"text","content":"Mayor Andre Dickens was given an 88-page report from his transition team last week with dozens of recommendations on how to make the city work better. We have a full overview of the report, which focused on four general areas: public safety, ethics, neighborhoods and the city’s youth.","_id":"FJKPU3IXPJASVECV7E4BLL2VXQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650657497548,"type":"text","content":"A few things that caught our eye:","list_type":"unordered","_id":"WF5FAYKXDVASRF2OMY7ICKTYW4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"type":"list","items":["_id":"WCDJMFLUURH4XE4BHADNZTPF7Q","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"block_properties":,"type":"text","content":"Members of the Atlanta business community and policy advocates expressed “concerns that donations to political campaigns are perceived to be a prerequisite to future success in city procurement or airport contracting processes.” The transition team recommended restricting campaign contributions from city contractors.","_id":"5NYNYNKF7JGNXJ5MTFEVHU4RSY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"block_properties":,"type":"text","content":"The report recommended creating an “Office of Neighborhoods” to make folks in the city’s residential areas feel more connected to City Hall.","_id":"G4HIWJN5G5DJFIOVAAKALHKMNI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"block_properties":,"type":"text","content":"It said the city should consider making changes to its Neighborhood Planning Unit system, which was established in 1974 to give neighborhoods more of a role in city decision-making. But the transition report said “the power of the NPU has diminished, with NPUs serving primarily as an administrative body in 2022. There is a need to revisit the current charge given to NPUs and determine if this is sufficient to elevate resident voices.”"],"_id":"XSKWGRPCVVDDJFAYP2G4VQ4FXE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650657497550,"type":"text","content":"---","_id":"UXMFSTI6X5HHHCUXXACGORLPFQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650887821205,"type":"text","content":"The city’s “Midnight Basketball” program is now a weekly event. The season will run until June 8 at the C.T. Martin rec center on M.L.K. Drive in southwest Atlanta, starting (ironically) at 7 p.m. every Wednesday. Dickens restarted the program this year as part of his efforts to increase community policing and engagement and tackle root causes of crime in Atlanta.","_id":"53A5EGLKQNB3NAIULUXDIPGATY","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"7BOBNXPH3JF5VNNBZRCNWR6XS4","type":"raw_html","content":"

","_id":"QMLSWUI73FB6VDA2EL3DFAPWRI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650887821207,"type":"text","content":"---","_id":"BKK4P5LBI5FD7GJXTUI324YX6I","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650887821208,"type":"text","content":"Quote of the week:","content_elements":["_id":"TELAYDOFSJAXPE5CEY4UVAF7VM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"type":"text","content":"“It’s such a Kafkaesque, dystopian situation.”"],"citation":"type":"text","content":"Swapan Kumar, southeast Atlanta homeowner, describing the city's demolition process","subtype":"blockquote","_id":"BNIUJVPF7JBDTAHZUCJICPRSX4","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"K75FCKOYJBCHZDBLEX5ROURQZM","type":"quote","_id":"KQOVJH6RY5GEPD4YXLDHQNK6QQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650887821212,"type":"text","content":"The issue of city-ordered demolitions took center stage at City Hall this week with a work session focusing on how the process can be improved. We have in-depth coverage of the issue, including a look at what parts of the city see the most demolitions.","_id":"AFVTDXQTXRFPLBMV42AS7EASUY","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"2T6PGY3WKNGIXPGLCMWPLARVDA","type":"interstitial_link","content":"Should Atlanta slow down or speed up demolitions of vacant homes?","url":"https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/should-atlanta-slow-down-or-speed-up-demolitions-of-vacant-homes/H3NYP6BQAVEZ5LI6AAKF7PELFU/","_id":"2NWNNJH7O5FYZOZZTX634LEOLI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650887821214,"type":"text","content":"---","_id":"N6IV2PNI5NAUBJRMT4D3LQE4RE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650657497552,"type":"text","content":"Council corner: The City Council returned from recess with lots of new ordinances to introduce. They’ll be discussed during committee meetings this week. A couple we have our eye on:","list_type":"unordered","_id":"JEDJG7VPNJHN3NNBGPB5YUN76E","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"type":"list","items":["_id":"ERX6BWRNDNBF5K44QMNVMVQQOQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"block_properties":,"type":"text","content":"A proposal to establish a commission focused on the topic of short-term rentals, AKA vacation rentals that Atlanta residents can list on sites like Airbnb and VRBO. The AJC has coverage of the latest developments on that issue.","_id":"5LCQ7PMR4VENPN2HKGUEH3WFZI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"block_properties":,"type":"text","content":"An ordinance asking the city finance department and MARTA to study whether it would be feasible for MARTA to be free for Atlanta residents. Making MARA fare-free is one of the mayor’s long-term goals."]],"display_date":"2022-04-25T12:15:02.263Z","headlines":"basic":"Inside City Hall: Should Peachtree Street be car-free once a month?","first_publish_date":"2022-04-25T12:15:02.263Z","taxonomy":{"sections":["path":"/news/atlanta-news","parent":"default":"/news","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"/news","name":"Local News","description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","additional_properties":"original":"parent":"AmpNav":"/news","default":"/news","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":null,"SectionMap":"https://www.ajc.com/","MainMenuRedesign2021":"/news","TopNav":null,"ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","site":"section_comments_enabled":"Yes","site_description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","site_title":"Atlanta Local News","navigation":"nav_title":"Local 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(Jenni Girtman for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)","type":"image","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/ECCIXMM4DNVW3DW6SPS5IKSHDA.jpg","height":2000,"canonical_url":"https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/inside-city-hall-should-peachtree-street-be-car-free-once-a-month/4Z2TSCZX45A6JGLTF36PXSB6IY/","_id":"4Z2TSCZX45A6JGLTF36PXSB6IY"},{"content_elements":["_id":"77LEREMQ6VCG7KXE7IDOE63B74","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1593365046971,"type":"text","content":"Henry County is hoping to raise $155 million from TSPLOST funds whose collections began earlier this month. ","_id":"RZJJUK2N2RGMLCL4R3CSLEBBTA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"type":"text","content":"Residents of the south metro Atlanta community approved last year adding a penny to their sales tax to raise funds for roads and infrastructure improvements. The transportation tax will be collected for five years.","_id":"XVDKMCKFE5FJNJ7PIMGQIRE33Q","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"type":"text","content":"The overall funding -- $245 million -- will be shared with Stockbridge, McDonough, Locust Grove and Hampton, Henry’s four cities. Henry will get $155 million and the remainder will go to the cities. ","_id":"QAAOEIXJPVEJ5EKQTXVNIR4TGA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"type":"text","content":"Among projects on Henry’s TSPLOST construction list are the widening of Fairview, Mill, Rock Quarry and Jonesboro roads and the extension of McDonough and Bill Gardner parkways. 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Ginny Ehrhart (R-Powder Springs), is also clear — the Democrat-led Cobb County government won’t side with residents over developers.","_id":"LB3PEIS2GJHLTFJBLEK5JSYSWY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650561719048,"type":"text","content":"But the biggest and most controversial zoning case proposed for West Cobb this year undermines that justification in the eyes of cityhood critics.","_id":"TMVGRZAIJRC6DBUMXJBWTLMGQE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650648357766,"type":"text","content":"A consulting firm led by Ehrhart’s husband represented a developer that wanted to pack more homes into a subdivision than the county code allows. The county planning staff recommended less density than developer Pulte Homes wanted, although it was still more than many neighbors would have liked.","_id":"ALFVTKNO5ZDM3NA2BP72BXQR6Q","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650643238297,"type":"text","content":"The case involving undeveloped land near Lost Mountain Park has become a flash point for critics of the cityhood effort.","_id":"EQZODFWKH5BB3KBHSQH4WH3P6A","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650649962400,"type":"text","content":"Developer Pulte Homes is represented by Taylor English Decisions, a consulting firm led by former Republican state lawmaker Earl Ehrhart. His wife, Ginny, ushered the cityhood legislation through the General Assembly, and has been active on the campaign trail to persuade voters to approve it over fears of rampant and unwanted development.","_id":"F56LEBEVRRD2NHGAO7LTDV23BA","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"S4CWMJF3LVHBDBCBJIEVMJJPEQ","type":"interstitial_link","content":"Lawsuit targets Lost Mountain cityhood referendum","url":"https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/new-lawsuit-targets-lost-mountain-cityhood-referendum/JOIDQQ3V4FH2DKUP5C7LFZK2XQ/","_id":"W4O2DJQ3GNGJZGYGIH3KZ4TAZA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650651957827,"type":"text","content":"Ginny Ehrhart said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Taylor English Decisions’ representation of Pulte Homes is not a contradiction for her.","_id":"CQK7WSF3TJGXJLRKQ6JJWC3FV4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650637518148,"type":"text","content":"“It’s so far removed from me,” Ehrhart said. “The fact that there might be another employee at my husband’s company that happens to have a client that is a developer — that is irrelevant to our movement.”","_id":"FBLIZEWZQVEZ5L4GAW6WIORRAY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650637518149,"type":"text","content":"Ultimately, the developer withdrew the request before it was put to a vote of the county commission or its planning board.","owner":"id":"ajc","copyright":"2022 Atlanta Journal Constitution","address":"region":"Georgia","caption":"A subdivision in the proposed area of the city of Lost Mountain in Cobb County is seen on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. (Arvin Temkar / [email protected])","source":"system":"AJC Freelancer","name":"AJC Freelancer","edit_url":"","source_type":"wires","source_id":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/AAJC 042022 MASK MANDATE at80.jpg","additional_properties":"editor":"photo center","taxonomy":"associated_tasks":["625f0e749f7d1866005d66ea"],"seo_keywords":["AJC Freelancer"],"type":"image","distributor":"mode":"custom","name":"AJC Freelancer","category":"wires","version":"0.10.3","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/2QBJY6QT6SRNJET2MJDVQMQNKM.jpg","licensable":false,"credits":"affiliation":["name":"[email protected]","type":"author"],"by":["name":"Arvin Temkar","type":"author"],"subtype":"Wires","width":3300,"_id":"2QBJY6QT6SRNJET2MJDVQMQNKM","additional_properties":"fullSizeResizeUrl":"/resizer/MYuPSd_mBdygtfkJ_lOZgTK0HNY=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/2QBJY6QT6SRNJET2MJDVQMQNKM.jpg","comments":[],"iptc_job_identifier":"625f0e749f7d1866005d66ea","keywords":["AJC Freelancer"],"proxyUrl":"/resizer/MYuPSd_mBdygtfkJ_lOZgTK0HNY=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/2QBJY6QT6SRNJET2MJDVQMQNKM.jpg","takenOn":"2022-04-20T17:47:09Z","originalUrl":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/2QBJY6QT6SRNJET2MJDVQMQNKM.jpg","published":true,"resizeUrl":"/resizer/MYuPSd_mBdygtfkJ_lOZgTK0HNY=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/2QBJY6QT6SRNJET2MJDVQMQNKM.jpg","thumbnailResizeUrl":"/resizer/xL2zNyn4ACqI67waYHVjWzqznvo=/300x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/2QBJY6QT6SRNJET2MJDVQMQNKM.jpg","version":2,"originalName":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/AAJC 042022 MASK MANDATE at80.jpg","mime_type":"image/jpeg","restricted":false,"galleries":[],"_id":"2ZT44J5VR5BGVMADHD4DEJWRL4","iptc_title":"Visual Journalist","created_date":"2022-04-20T23:25:09Z","last_updated_date":"2022-04-22T18:16:23Z","slug":"AAJC 042422 LNX LOST MOUNTAIN ZONING","height":2200,"_id":"VEHASWTZ3VGFVGG734CJCFZHJE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650651957831,"type":"text","content":"But the Taylor English connection, while a visceral example, is not the only business tie among the cityhood campaign that invites scrutiny.","_id":"5BXA5S27ANEEHMOO3YAFKMXH2Y","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650643238302,"type":"text","content":"Even as proponents tout an anti-development message on the campaign trail, the movement’s leadership includes lawyers who represent developers, and the leader of a real estate agency.","_id":"B7OJP4BT6RHAZGRBQC7Z75GS6M","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650649962406,"type":"text","content":"Other Lost Mountain leaders work for firms that contract directly with public agencies, and could benefit financially from the formation of a new government. That includes two executives at C.W. Matthews, a Marietta-based engineering firm that does extensive work for state and local governments, including Cobb County, and is a major donor to political campaigns across Georgia.","_id":"37RI3JKH6ZFVLPNIKYC67X5DTI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650569317523,"type":"text","content":"Leaders of the Preserve West Cobb cityhood campaign dispute that their members’ personal and professional ties have any bearing on how the city of Lost Mountain would be governed. Any implication otherwise, they said, was a ploy by political opponents to confuse voters ahead of the May 24 election.","_id":"NJIRYWLPQJDWNJBO66PZOV726Q","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650561719054,"type":"text","content":"“The supporters are not pro-development,” Rep. Ehrhart told the AJC in an interview. “...That is absurd. This is a grassroots movement made up of local folks out here. Nobody out here has ties to development, we’re anti-development.”","_id":"EVDKCHND5BFJTLDFGKWV36CSG4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650637518136,"type":"text","content":"Scott Johnson, the campaign’s executive director, said in an email that none of the campaign’s leaders or volunteers are motivated by commercial interests.","_id":"KRB5PQDOHJCPBESANAW4NXQXCM","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"KUDBZ7FFJREVFHWO6F4KBNNPHE","type":"interstitial_link","content":"Cobb could lose $41 million if four cities are formed","url":"https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/county-officials-cobb-could-lose-41m-if-four-cities-are-formed/7AYTM7F6G5BX5HS4JA7AB53TEQ/","_id":"SUGAUNUHKJERHKATSBRFZXHK7A","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650651957838,"type":"text","content":"“Preserve West Cobb is not funded by any corporations or development companies and in fact, developers and commercial interests would be motivated to oppose efforts for cityhood and local control,” Johnson said.","_id":"DQO5FXIHQNABVIP3XVYIM2EUWM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650637518137,"type":"text","content":"Opponents, however, fear that those interests will bleed into how the new city is governed.","_id":"TDZVZ2QFSRGKPPHIKXBLL2SZTQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650643238308,"type":"text","content":"Lost Mountain would take over planning and zoning within its limits, a power that would enable it to protect the area from over-development. But depending on who is elected, that power could also facilitate the very development the campaign says it opposes.","_id":"TVZ3JQQHD5CC7FORH7QXNJJ7BQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650637518138,"type":"text","content":"“You’re more or less giving a rubber stamp to an army of land developers along with those who work for them and with them,” said Steve Lang, a West Cobb resident who runs a Facebook group devoted to debating the Lost Mountain cityhood effort. “That’s what they’re really after is that rubber stamp.”","owner":"id":"ajc","copyright":"2022 Atlanta Journal-Constitution","address":"locality":"Powder Springs","region":"GA","caption":"April 20, 2022 Powder Springs - Aerial photograph shows proposed area of the city of Lost Mountain in West Cobb on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. Residential area near Lost Mountain Park is shown. The story plays on a fear shared by many West Cobb residents as they decide whether to incorporate the city of Lost Mountain. The county they call home is changing around them, and as conservative political power wanes in the growing Atlanta suburb, many feel helpless to protect their neighborhoods from encroaching development.(Hyosub Shin / [email protected])","source":"system":"AJC Freelancer","name":"AJC Freelancer","edit_url":"","source_type":"wires","source_id":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/042422 LOST MOUNTAIN HS08.jpg","additional_properties":"editor":"photo center","taxonomy":"associated_tasks":["625f055a9f7d1866005d6286"],"seo_keywords":["AJC Freelancer"],"type":"image","distributor":"mode":"custom","name":"AJC Freelancer","category":"wires","version":"0.10.3","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/4ZPZMOGW76LOGQMRCIL4XCTSW4.jpg","licensable":false,"credits":"by":["name":"HYOSUB SHIN / AJC","type":"author"],"subtype":"Wires","subtitle":"Misinformation, fears of development propel Lost Mountain cityhood push","width":5280,"_id":"4ZPZMOGW76LOGQMRCIL4XCTSW4","additional_properties":"fullSizeResizeUrl":"/resizer/LqXrpxQvi9wuwvp4MPKrtUie_hg=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/4ZPZMOGW76LOGQMRCIL4XCTSW4.jpg","iptc_source":"AJC","comments":[],"iptc_job_identifier":"625f055a9f7d1866005d6286","keywords":["development","AJC Freelancer","Lost Mountain","West Cobb"],"proxyUrl":"/resizer/LqXrpxQvi9wuwvp4MPKrtUie_hg=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/4ZPZMOGW76LOGQMRCIL4XCTSW4.jpg","takenOn":"2022-04-20T16:23:07Z","originalUrl":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/4ZPZMOGW76LOGQMRCIL4XCTSW4.jpg","published":true,"resizeUrl":"/resizer/LqXrpxQvi9wuwvp4MPKrtUie_hg=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/4ZPZMOGW76LOGQMRCIL4XCTSW4.jpg","thumbnailResizeUrl":"/resizer/coFESvYuDl8Z8FjvAcrxIO9m3TQ=/300x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/4ZPZMOGW76LOGQMRCIL4XCTSW4.jpg","version":2,"originalName":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/042422 LOST MOUNTAIN HS08.jpg","mime_type":"image/jpeg","restricted":false,"galleries":[],"_id":"5H34LHBVQVCNBORBUUYEEJHHQY","iptc_title":"staff","created_date":"2022-04-20T21:30:58Z","last_updated_date":"2022-04-22T18:16:23Z","slug":"AAJC 042422 LNX LOST MOUNTAIN ZONING","height":3709,"_id":"MKC3BN5MCFDD5KEUKW5RK622WQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650651957843,"type":"text","content":"Cityhood leaders left little time for voters to weigh the arguments made by both sides. Over objections from county officials, Republican state lawmakers in January moved up the election dates for three Cobb cityhood referendums to the May primary ballot, rather the November general election.","_id":"UEPIXFOPWVG7DJTQSGO2MBRZI4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650637518140,"type":"text","content":"With an abbreviated window, Lost Mountain supporters have been a frequent purveyor of misinformation. An AJC investigation found that the cityhood campaign has broadcast misleading and inaccurate information, claiming with little evidence that urbanization is coming to West Cobb.","_id":"5K6YRERH4VFFDLI45SFAPW6ZP4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650561719062,"type":"text","content":"When asked why voters should trust that a future city of Lost Mountain will protect West Cobb from development, state Rep. Ed Setzler, who co-sponsored the measure, noted that city residents would ultimately decide who leads them.","_id":"D4I3FDWO2RFC7OFYCALLRSELZY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650569317534,"type":"text","content":"“If you look at the sentiments of the 74,613 people within the boundaries of Lost Mountain ... I think it’s crystal clear those people will elect representatives that will preserve West Cobb,” Setzler (R-Acworth) said. “Conversely, five elected officials across Cobb County, only one of which lives in West Cobb, will and have proven themselves to be committed to much more high density development.”","_id":"LVJ4IT2QR5DTRLTTE4PQUFPFAQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650569317538,"type":"text","content":"Setzler, who has spoken at a number of cityhood events and town halls, is among those with noteworthy professional ties.","_id":"3H23U6YFBNEJ7FQDQOVUQT6DD4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650651957848,"type":"text","content":"He manages federal projects for CROFT, an architecture and engineering firm that also contracts with local governments, including the city of Acworth and Cobb County itself. But he disputes that his work, which focuses on ecological issues, federal nature preserves and historical preservation, represents a conflict of interest.","_id":"QLTAP2MKCRGSHGQASLYDKMAEI4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650637518144,"type":"text","content":"“As a firm, we stand to gain very little out of a city of Lost Mountain, other than as citizens who enjoy the rural residential quality of life,” he said.","_id":"6BIUJN3ZD5B2TD5LANWI55VULM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650637518145,"type":"text","content":"As for Taylor English and its representation of Pulte Homes, Ginny Ehrhart says that’s the very sort of development a city of Lost Mountain would stand against. Pulte Homes initially sought to build 85 homes on land that is only zoned for 50 and currently lacks access to sewer services. Pulte reduced its request to 72, before eventually withdrawing it entirely amid opposition from neighbors who feared that it would exacerbate flooding from an on-site creek.","owner":"id":"ajc","copyright":"2022 Atlanta Journal Constitution","address":"region":"Georgia","caption":"A subdivision in the proposed area of the city of Lost Mountain in Cobb County is seen on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. (Arvin Temkar / [email protected])","source":"system":"AJC Freelancer","name":"AJC Freelancer","edit_url":"","source_type":"wires","source_id":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/AAJC 042022 MASK MANDATE at37.jpg","additional_properties":"editor":"photo center","taxonomy":"associated_tasks":["625f0e749f7d1866005d66ea"],"seo_keywords":["AJC Freelancer"],"type":"image","distributor":"mode":"custom","name":"AJC Freelancer","category":"wires","version":"0.10.3","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/KQW3AGYEFOVZZEOV7TVJ2C6NFE.jpg","licensable":false,"credits":"affiliation":["name":"[email protected]","type":"author"],"by":["name":"Arvin Temkar","type":"author"],"subtype":"Wires","width":3300,"_id":"KQW3AGYEFOVZZEOV7TVJ2C6NFE","additional_properties":"fullSizeResizeUrl":"/resizer/_7nbk5oOky5MP4NZEmzS8x_a2do=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/KQW3AGYEFOVZZEOV7TVJ2C6NFE.jpg","comments":[],"iptc_job_identifier":"625f0e749f7d1866005d66ea","keywords":["AJC Freelancer"],"proxyUrl":"/resizer/_7nbk5oOky5MP4NZEmzS8x_a2do=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/KQW3AGYEFOVZZEOV7TVJ2C6NFE.jpg","takenOn":"2022-04-20T18:43:30Z","originalUrl":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/KQW3AGYEFOVZZEOV7TVJ2C6NFE.jpg","published":true,"resizeUrl":"/resizer/_7nbk5oOky5MP4NZEmzS8x_a2do=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/KQW3AGYEFOVZZEOV7TVJ2C6NFE.jpg","thumbnailResizeUrl":"/resizer/pI7eZbZa2sTrcrtj4-6pKqZNSSs=/300x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/KQW3AGYEFOVZZEOV7TVJ2C6NFE.jpg","version":2,"originalName":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/AAJC 042022 MASK MANDATE at37.jpg","mime_type":"image/jpeg","restricted":false,"galleries":[],"_id":"K5KW3XL75ZDLDPVYNZPWYFMJWE","iptc_title":"Visual Journalist","created_date":"2022-04-20T23:25:32Z","last_updated_date":"2022-04-22T18:16:23Z","slug":"AAJC 042422 LNX LOST MOUNTAIN ZONING","height":2200,"_id":"PRBIFA4FNVHUTGP7BYF7X3G6PM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650651957852,"type":"text","content":"Rob Hosack and James Balli, consultants at Taylor English, represented the developer in its case.","_id":"FPBLPDHR6VCKVOP53BWUI3MSFE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650643238319,"type":"text","content":"Hosack is a former planner and director of community development, and County manager for Cobb, while Balli has represented the Atlanta Braves in matters related to the development of Truist Park and the mixed-used Battery.","_id":"CHMDQFX4BRCHNAAYVRQUMFV6FY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650643238320,"type":"text","content":"Hosack told the AJC he needed permission from his client to talk to the media about the proposed subdivision, but did not give a response by the AJC’s publication deadline.","_id":"ZOC7QBA3KJE4VGX6AGERNCZ5TA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650637518147,"type":"text","content":"Even as cityhood leaders downplay their professional connections, Lang and other opponents say voters should closely examine them, and who they work with.","_id":"BZDKGENVNJEKBIRRDCACO4VSGM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650637518150,"type":"text","content":"“Many of these people were the exact same people who sold Cobb down the river a decade ago,” Lang said, alluding to the 2013 deal that brought the Braves to Cobb at taxpayer expense.","_id":"EHIBCMHQEFGSFEDLTM6H2DTVCA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650561719069,"type":"text","content":"“These aren’t conservatives, they’re opportunists.”","_id":"V3MY57FF6JBRJJJWOQN7IUXIXU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650849668641,"type":"text","content":"Cobb’s cityhood movements","_id":"ZCDSAFVJA5D37N64NKL55ODDLY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650849668642,"type":"text","content":"Voters in unincorporated Cobb will be asked if they want to incorporate as many as four new city governments this year. Three referendums will be decided during the May 24 primary election: the proposed cities of Lost Mountain, Vinings and East Cobb. If any is approved, voters would elect their first city officials during the Nov. 8 general election. A referendum to form the city of Mableton in South Cobb is also planned for Nov. 8.","_id":"OM2RH4ZESREJVPMMQIVGULXLPQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650849668643,"type":"text","content":"Only those who live within the proposed city limits can vote on each referendum.","_id":"E2SXGMUSRZHQDIKTFCZS2UHTVQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650849668644,"type":"text","content":"In Sunday’s paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote about the issues that sparked the Lost Mountain cityhood movement. The AJC will have additional coverage educating voters on what’s at stake with each referendum as Election Day approaches. The last day to register to vote is April 25, and early voting begins May 2."],"display_date":"2022-04-24T11:00:00Z","headlines":"basic":"Business ties raise questions about Lost Mountain proponents’ anti-development message","first_publish_date":"2022-04-24T11:00:02.664Z","taxonomy":{"sections":["path":"/news/atlanta-news","parent":"default":"/news","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"/news","name":"Local News","description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","additional_properties":"original":"parent":"AmpNav":"/news","default":"/news","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":null,"SectionMap":"https://www.ajc.com/","MainMenuRedesign2021":"/news","TopNav":null,"ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","site":"section_comments_enabled":"Yes","site_description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","site_title":"Atlanta Local News","navigation":"nav_title":"Local News","inactive":false,"node_type":"section","_website":"ajc","name":"Local News","Sponsor":"sponsor_url_open_new_tab":"true","sponsor_desktop_banner":"","sponsor_mobile_banner":"","sponsor_url":"","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","ancestors":"TopNavRedesign":[],"SectionMap":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"MainMenuRedesign2021":["https://www.ajc.com/","/news"],"TopNav":[],"order":"AmpNav":2004,"default":2004,"SectionMap":1075,"MainMenuRedesign2021":2004,"ComposerNav":1081,"_website_section_id":"ajc./news/atlanta-news","type":"section","version":"0.6.0","path":"/news","parent":"default":"https://www.ajc.com/","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"https://www.ajc.com/","name":"News","description":"Atlanta Georgia News main page: Breaking News, Atlanta Weather Forecast, Crime, Politics, GA Schools, Local Articles - Atlanta Journal-Constitution","_id":"/news","additional_properties":"original":"parent":"AmpNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","default":"https://www.ajc.com/","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":null,"SectionMap":"https://www.ajc.com/","LoggedOutMenu":null,"MainMenuRedesign2021":"https://www.ajc.com/","TopNav":null,"TopicsBar":null,"ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","site":"site_url":"/news/","section_comments_enabled":"Yes","site_description":"Atlanta Georgia News main page: Breaking News, Atlanta Weather Forecast, Crime, Politics, GA Schools, Local Articles - Atlanta Journal-Constitution","site_title":"Atlanta GA News ,"navigation":"nav_title":"News","inactive":false,"node_type":"section","_website":"ajc","name":"News","Sponsor":"sponsor_url_open_new_tab":"true","sponsor_desktop_banner":"","sponsor_mobile_banner":"","sponsor_url":"","_id":"/news","ancestors":"AmpNav":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"default":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"BottomNav":[],"TopNavRedesign":[],"SectionMap":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"LoggedOutMenu":[],"MainMenuRedesign2021":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"TopicsBar":[],"order":"AmpNav":1001,"default":1001,"SectionMap":1019,"MainMenuRedesign2021":1002,"ComposerNav":1135,"_website_section_id":"ajc./news","type":"section","version":"0.6.0","path":"/neighborhoods/cobb","parent":"default":"/neighborhoods","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"/neighborhoods","name":"Cobb County","description":"Local news for Cobb County Ga. neighborhoods, including breaking news, Cobb County schools, high school sports, crime, events, development and land use. 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Residential area near Lost Mountain Park is shown. The story plays on a fear shared by many West Cobb residents as they decide whether to incorporate the city of Lost Mountain. The county they call home is changing around them, and as conservative political power wanes in the growing Atlanta suburb, many feel helpless to protect their neighborhoods from encroaching development.(Hyosub Shin / [email protected])","type":"image","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/V4N4DVURGLJ2ES6743VHLXNMRA.jpg","height":3761,"canonical_url":"/news/atlanta-news/business-ties-raise-questions-about-lost-mountain-proponents-anti-development-message/536HL5FKTRFAHBD4KL3QWIVX6Q/","_id":"536HL5FKTRFAHBD4KL3QWIVX6Q"},{"content_elements":["_id":"52HETQOLMVGTRHYNCBZIZMPHAU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539345,"type":"text","content":"When state Rep. Ginny Ehrhart explains to West Cobb voters why they should form a new city, she often tells the story of an old fire station on Mars Hill Road.","_id":"3M4GC7JGTVCH3KOPPVITHCZHIY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539346,"type":"text","content":"The Cobb planning board wanted to rezone the public property for commercial use, so the county could sell it. Keli Gambrill, the West Cobb district commissioner, wanted the land restricted to the lightest retail category, preventing the buyer from building a car wash or gas station behind a single-family neighborhood.","_id":"T36E2MPFLZGDPMSTJ3CWPO2RDM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539347,"type":"text","content":"But as Ehrhart tells it, the good ol’ days when local leaders like Gambrill could guide development in the neighborhoods they represent are long gone.","_id":"IAU224MMDRGIHB66CN7FO3SRFY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539348,"type":"text","content":"“They had the votes to overrule her and to beat her,” Ehrhart, a Powder Springs Republican, said in February.","_id":"BAIV2TXN6BEMNODVKKJF7LZYAA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539349,"type":"text","content":"The story plays on a fear shared by many West Cobb residents as they decide whether to incorporate the city of Lost Mountain. The county they call home is changing around them, and as conservative political power wanes in the growing Atlanta suburb, many feel helpless to protect their neighborhoods from encroaching development.","_id":"LAUG5P3TZNCAVKEGZRBVP53VBI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539350,"type":"text","content":"Trouble is, the story is not entirely true.","owner":"id":"ajc","copyright":"2022 Atlanta Journal Constitution","address":"region":"Georgia","caption":"A political sign in favor of Lost Mountain cityhood is seen in Cobb County on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. 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","_id":"3KOROEVX6ZDPZA3SLIFW6BDVNI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650495734364,"type":"text","content":"Gambrill, a Republican, ultimately won the zoning case — a detail that Ehrhart left out when she gave her sales pitch to voters in February and again in April.","_id":"UGN3UTZT5JFQ3AVTD6HJSMM4HY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539352,"type":"text","content":"Not only did Gambrill win that fight, an AJC review of more than 200 zoning cases found that she was on the winning side of every zoning decision in her West Cobb district since Democrats took control of the board in January 2021.","_id":"OSMLSBRVPZD6DNPOMTBIN7D3EI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539353,"type":"text","content":"The cityhood campaign run by Preserve West Cobb has repeatedly insisted that Democrats on the county commission want to bring apartments, low-income housing, industrial development and mass transit to their community. A city government accountable only to West Cobb residents, they say, is the only thing that can stop it.","_id":"DG2SS5ISUZEMPGNOACPTBDBYVA","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"VOVGAYVMIZAEDBIGLAYPUTZN4A","type":"interstitial_link","content":"Business ties raise questions about Lost Mountain proponents' anti-development message","url":"///news/atlanta-news/business-ties-raise-questions-about-lost-mountain-proponents-anti-development-message/536HL5FKTRFAHBD4KL3QWIVX6Q/","_id":"FFZMKAWYFBDEFFW5TSAY6WX7OU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"type":"text","content":"The narrative employed by the campaign is not unique to Lost Mountain. In Buckhead, where a cityhood movement was shot down earlier this year by the GOP-led legislature, misleading claims were made by proponents about zoning, the rate of crime there, and Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens’ alleged support for “defunding the police.”","_id":"2MDJ4KYDF5G6TCKFJBUQZ2Z7UY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650470105835,"type":"text","content":"Fears of urbanization are also driving two other Republican-led cityhood movements in Cobb County, those of East Cobb and Vinings. But in those communities, higher density development is already a reality, not a fiction.","_id":"SSF5XSDQINHXPMWKHUOONRUY7U","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650470105836,"type":"text","content":"By contrast, the AJC found little evidence to support the most incendiary claims of Lost Mountain supporters. Over 90% of zoning cases in the last 15 months were decided unanimously, the AJC found. And, in the 17 cases that weren’t, the commissioner whose district was affected still won every vote, regardless of their party.","_id":"2VUU3O4QXVGVJKULEJP5WB55AM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539354,"type":"text","content":"As Gambrill told her constituents at a town hall earlier this month, “you do have local control within District 1.”","owner":"id":"ajc","copyright":"2022 Atlanta Journal Constitution","address":"region":"Georgia","caption":"Fran Wunderlich plays with her granddaughter Lily Wunderlich at Lost Mountain Park in Cobb County on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. (Arvin Temkar / [email protected])","source":"system":"AJC Freelancer","name":"AJC Freelancer","edit_url":"","source_type":"wires","source_id":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/AAJC 042022 MASK MANDATE at69.jpg","additional_properties":"editor":"photo center","taxonomy":"associated_tasks":["625f0e749f7d1866005d66ea"],"seo_keywords":["AJC Freelancer"],"type":"image","distributor":"mode":"custom","name":"AJC Freelancer","category":"wires","version":"0.10.3","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/4W3NFZLWRDTKDFFOGEEPPWWRXA.jpg","licensable":false,"credits":"affiliation":["name":"[email protected]","type":"author"],"by":["name":"Arvin Temkar","type":"author"],"subtype":"Wires","subtitle":"Misinformation, fears of development propel Lost Mountain cityhood push","width":3300,"_id":"4W3NFZLWRDTKDFFOGEEPPWWRXA","additional_properties":"fullSizeResizeUrl":"/resizer/IIVPcCU3epoWQwPmTR0zHIdfa4s=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/4W3NFZLWRDTKDFFOGEEPPWWRXA.jpg","comments":[],"iptc_job_identifier":"625f0e749f7d1866005d66ea","keywords":["lost mountain","AJC Freelancer"],"proxyUrl":"/resizer/IIVPcCU3epoWQwPmTR0zHIdfa4s=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/4W3NFZLWRDTKDFFOGEEPPWWRXA.jpg","takenOn":"2022-04-20T13:25:44Z","originalUrl":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/4W3NFZLWRDTKDFFOGEEPPWWRXA.jpg","published":true,"resizeUrl":"/resizer/IIVPcCU3epoWQwPmTR0zHIdfa4s=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/4W3NFZLWRDTKDFFOGEEPPWWRXA.jpg","thumbnailResizeUrl":"/resizer/GndfliTdC09wYBae2EPT7Vawjm0=/300x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/4W3NFZLWRDTKDFFOGEEPPWWRXA.jpg","version":2,"originalName":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/AAJC 042022 MASK MANDATE at69.jpg","mime_type":"image/jpeg","restricted":false,"galleries":[],"_id":"62FZRBKEBVEOJJ7IIETHVU7ID4","iptc_title":"Visual Journalist","created_date":"2022-04-20T23:24:32Z","last_updated_date":"2022-04-21T23:29:55Z","slug":"AAJC 042422 LNX LOST MOUNTAIN ZONING","height":2200,"level":1,"_id":"E5WXXF22ZRC7RE7R4AH2UITCMA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539374,"type":"header","content":"Pro-cityhood ‘boogeyman’","_id":"WL5NX5XCDFGLBGVV6J3TMX3HWQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650293777843,"type":"text","content":"Covering most of Cobb’s unincorporated land west of Marietta and north of Powder Springs, the proposed city of Lost Mountain would provide only a handful of services, including trash collection, parks and code enforcement. Like two other Cobb cityhood movements headed to the May 24 primary ballot, the top priority for supporters is planning and zoning.","_id":"D37VVGRMB5G23KLLDZFZFKOA3Q","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539355,"type":"text","content":"To opponents of cityhood, the main argument for a city of Lost Mountain unravels in the face of the evidence. Why should they create a city government to reclaim local control over zoning if they never lost it to begin with?","_id":"DTZCRUA4G5F27K2RU57XCTI5M4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650029477534,"type":"text","content":"“The pro-city people have created a boogeyman with development and with the chair of our county commission (Democrat Lisa Cupid),” said Dora Locklear, the leader of West Cobb Advocate, which opposes cityhood. “I’m concerned that the truth is being misrepresented.”","owner":"id":"ajc","copyright":"2022 Atlanta Journal-Constitution","address":"locality":"Powder Springs","region":"GA","caption":"April 20, 2022 Powder Springs - Aerial photograph shows proposed area of the city of Lost Mountain in West Cobb on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. Construction of residential area near Lost Mountain Park is shown in foreground. The story plays on a fear shared by many West Cobb residents as they decide whether to incorporate the city of Lost Mountain. The county they call home is changing around them, and as conservative political power wanes in the growing Atlanta suburb, many feel helpless to protect their neighborhoods from encroaching development.(Hyosub Shin / [email protected])","source":"system":"AJC Freelancer","name":"AJC Freelancer","edit_url":"","source_type":"wires","source_id":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/042422 LOST MOUNTAIN HS13.jpg","additional_properties":"editor":"photo center","taxonomy":"associated_tasks":["625f055a9f7d1866005d6286"],"seo_keywords":["AJC Freelancer"],"type":"image","distributor":"mode":"custom","name":"AJC Freelancer","category":"wires","version":"0.10.3","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/H7I2AJNVYLTI3ICIPFKISAXFHY.jpg","licensable":false,"credits":"by":["name":"HYOSUB SHIN / AJC","type":"author"],"subtype":"Wires","subtitle":"Misinformation, fears of development propel Lost Mountain cityhood push","width":5280,"_id":"H7I2AJNVYLTI3ICIPFKISAXFHY","additional_properties":"fullSizeResizeUrl":"/resizer/yHifg2_kCCrn8rGselnU6DgihI8=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/H7I2AJNVYLTI3ICIPFKISAXFHY.jpg","iptc_source":"AJC","comments":[],"iptc_job_identifier":"625f055a9f7d1866005d6286","keywords":["development","AJC Freelancer","Lost Mountain","West Cobb"],"proxyUrl":"/resizer/yHifg2_kCCrn8rGselnU6DgihI8=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/H7I2AJNVYLTI3ICIPFKISAXFHY.jpg","takenOn":"2022-04-20T16:21:08Z","originalUrl":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/H7I2AJNVYLTI3ICIPFKISAXFHY.jpg","published":true,"resizeUrl":"/resizer/yHifg2_kCCrn8rGselnU6DgihI8=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/H7I2AJNVYLTI3ICIPFKISAXFHY.jpg","thumbnailResizeUrl":"/resizer/VORF9y1dSYdO1g-8Ti8e6Hpn3kw=/300x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/H7I2AJNVYLTI3ICIPFKISAXFHY.jpg","version":2,"originalName":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/042422 LOST MOUNTAIN HS13.jpg","mime_type":"image/jpeg","restricted":false,"galleries":[],"_id":"TWLGMO52AJGCXB3YRIDLH7VLPQ","iptc_title":"staff","created_date":"2022-04-20T21:30:41Z","last_updated_date":"2022-04-21T23:29:55Z","slug":"AAJC 042422 LNX LOST MOUNTAIN ZONING","height":3764,"_id":"F7E5XNL3UFG7BIRRTAMXBNS6TI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650495734376,"type":"text","content":"But to cityhood supporters, just because urbanization hasn’t come to West Cobb yet, doesn’t mean it won’t.","_id":"UCTAM53N7FCFDMD37K344ZSD6U","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539357,"type":"text","content":"“You could have said that in East Cobb 20 years ago: ‘That’s not going to happen here.’ But it did,” Ehrhart told the AJC. “You could’ve said that in South Cobb 25 years ago: ‘It’s not going to happen here.’ But it did. It’s happening everywhere.”","_id":"4XH62CDWHNCKXIZVVLUS7L3SHE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650298078749,"type":"text","content":"Since 1980, Cobb County has more than doubled in size, adding roughly 470,000 people. West Cobb, so far, has retained its rural-suburban mix, sustaining farmland and large residential lots alike. But elsewhere in the county, denser single-family subdivisions cover what was once empty land, while apartments and townhomes have joined what were once exclusively single-family neighborhoods.","_id":"FFSLJFSSBFBMVFNG3Q45AYGDXE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539372,"type":"text","content":"Overall, Cobb has added about 189,000 housing units since 1980, according to U.S. Census data. But the bulk of that growth has been single-family homes, not the apartments that cityhood advocates so often reference.","_id":"KZXU7CQCRRDDZBHB7QH43MS6VU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650293777851,"type":"text","content":"Detached homes today make up 66% of Cobb’s 303,000 total housing units, about the same as their 65% share in 1980. Condos and townhomes are up from 3% to nearly 9% of the total. Proportionally, apartment units actually dropped from 27% to 23% of all homes.","_id":"Z7J2MCVRTFFO7AAPRGWTZ7HT34","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650029477540,"type":"text","content":"It’s not clear how much responsibility either party bears for the market forces fueling the outward sprawl of metro Atlanta. But in Cobb, it has largely been Republicans at the helm. They controlled the county commission and guided its land use policies for decades.","_id":"U5CRM6VO6ZF6HEN6UBQVE75HBI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650029477541,"type":"text","content":"Still, there’s no denying that Democrats are steering the county’s policies to the left.","_id":"N3F34YJ2W5DSJG4QT7G3BX74NA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650030722449,"type":"text","content":"Cobb Chairwoman Lisa Cupid, a Democrat, has been a vocal proponent of affordable housing and mass transit since she took office in January 2021. But she says she has never targeted West Cobb for development that its residents don’t want.","_id":"LPWNCWY3N5AOVOEDYMBE52SNAU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539363,"type":"text","content":"“I don’t know where that assertion has come from because that is not anything I have ever stated,” Cupid said. “There has not been any intentional effort around that (industrial development), nor around putting high density residential development in West Cobb.”","owner":"id":"ajc","copyright":"2022 Atlanta Journal-Constitution","address":"locality":"Powder Springs","region":"GA","caption":"April 20, 2022 Powder Springs - Aerial photograph shows proposed area of the city of Lost Mountain in West Cobb on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. Lost Mountain Park is shown in foreground. The story plays on a fear shared by many West Cobb residents as they decide whether to incorporate the city of Lost Mountain. The county they call home is changing around them, and as conservative political power wanes in the growing Atlanta suburb, many feel helpless to protect their neighborhoods from encroaching development.(Hyosub Shin / [email protected])","source":"system":"AJC Freelancer","name":"AJC Freelancer","edit_url":"","source_type":"wires","source_id":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/042422 LOST MOUNTAIN HS02.jpg","additional_properties":"editor":"photo center","taxonomy":"associated_tasks":["625f055a9f7d1866005d6286"],"seo_keywords":["AJC Freelancer"],"type":"image","distributor":"mode":"custom","name":"AJC Freelancer","category":"wires","version":"0.10.3","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/YDL7RKSTN2KJ6Y5HECSHCYGO44.jpg","licensable":false,"credits":"by":["name":"HYOSUB SHIN / AJC","type":"author"],"subtype":"Wires","subtitle":"Misinformation, fears of development propel Lost Mountain cityhood push","width":5280,"_id":"YDL7RKSTN2KJ6Y5HECSHCYGO44","additional_properties":"fullSizeResizeUrl":"/resizer/0F-5jGkMXuNKUzLKt0gY5UZzf54=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/YDL7RKSTN2KJ6Y5HECSHCYGO44.jpg","iptc_source":"AJC","comments":[],"iptc_job_identifier":"625f055a9f7d1866005d6286","keywords":["development","AJC Freelancer","Lost Mountain","West Cobb"],"proxyUrl":"/resizer/0F-5jGkMXuNKUzLKt0gY5UZzf54=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/YDL7RKSTN2KJ6Y5HECSHCYGO44.jpg","takenOn":"2022-04-20T16:30:08Z","originalUrl":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/YDL7RKSTN2KJ6Y5HECSHCYGO44.jpg","published":true,"resizeUrl":"/resizer/0F-5jGkMXuNKUzLKt0gY5UZzf54=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/YDL7RKSTN2KJ6Y5HECSHCYGO44.jpg","thumbnailResizeUrl":"/resizer/UWRtP4MBHvRDfKAxpRb48NsmDwQ=/300x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/YDL7RKSTN2KJ6Y5HECSHCYGO44.jpg","version":2,"originalName":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/042422 LOST MOUNTAIN HS02.jpg","mime_type":"image/jpeg","restricted":false,"galleries":[],"_id":"2D64J3UOOFBDZJUGPTNN5EVGGQ","iptc_title":"staff","created_date":"2022-04-20T21:31:25Z","last_updated_date":"2022-04-21T23:29:54Z","slug":"AAJC 042422 LNX LOST MOUNTAIN ZONING","height":3524,"_id":"O3ZR45NKW5F4ZDUEYXVJNE6WEQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650495734386,"type":"text","content":"The unfounded claim that Cupid wants industrial development in West Cobb quotes an editorial she wrote as a candidate for a South Cobb district seat in 2012. But in it, she never called for industrial activity in West Cobb. She instead reflected on the tension it creates when industry is located too close to neighborhoods like her own.","_id":"TLWS2J2NYFD5VJNSX5YI7TICIA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539365,"type":"text","content":"In March, Cupid did make comments at her state of the county address aimed directly at cityhood advocates that oppose affordable housing.","_id":"6MLIQLS2Y5CHVLWOMDE2NCLUTA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539366,"type":"text","content":"“The concern is I am bringing affordable housing next door to you,” Cupid said. “I can tell you that if you want grocery stores next door to you, if you want schools next door to you ... affordable housing has to go somewhere.”","_id":"CA5XEC7VSRBQ7JQA67XKELR5YY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539370,"type":"text","content":"That somewhere is unlikely to be West Cobb.","_id":"ZRA6TWXPZBA6BNGGLF5UNM6BLE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650032007813,"type":"text","content":"Subsidized housing would be prohibitively expensive under the land use plan, which contemplates spacious lots, with fewer than 2 homes per acre. Federal and local affordable housing guidelines also prioritize proximity to jobs and transit — neither of which West Cobb has in abundance.","_id":"MHN5DTGIGVBOLPYNPA53BTW63I","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650293777861,"type":"text","content":"Even the most ambitious transit proposals put forth by Cobb transportation planners envision little to no coverage in West Cobb due to its lack of density.","_id":"BFQLOZZPINGEBJMVVDYWUDYPGI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650032007814,"type":"text","content":"The county zoning code prohibits industrial and high density residential development within the proposed Lost Mountain city limits, and only allows commercial development at a handful of key intersections, like the corner of Brookstone Drive and Mars Hill Road, the site of the disputed former fire station.","_id":"3YRHRW4GYBADPP5NOCCNGGY5GM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539369,"type":"text","content":"When zoning changes are made, commissioners are supposed to follow the county’s future land use plan, which guides development through 2040.","_id":"4JRIL5NI2BEBFG34VZBLZWB7BU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650378263440,"type":"text","content":"An AJC analysis found that the document envisions 97% of Lost Mountain’s 28,000 parcels being rural, low or very low density residential, with no multi-family housing at all, with the exception of senior living.",{"_id":"E62Z6HGH3ZE2DG4USPDA6JEPIE","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"CV2J25P4BFDRFA4B57NTXPIFOU","type":"raw_html","content":""},"_id":"VMGSGHW6OZDJPOKWJHY5VZSY3Q","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650375335960,"type":"text","content":"The reason for that isn’t just political. Much of West Cobb lacks sewer lines and other infrastructure needed to support higher density development due to the area’s difficult terrain.","_id":"HSW5J475HBGQVBKJS34NJMYKYY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650375335961,"type":"text","content":"“I am confident not much will change in West Cobb pertaining to infrastructure — because it cannot,” Gambrill wrote in an email to constituents earlier this month. Publicly, Gambrill and the commission as a whole have taken a neutral position on cityhood.","owner":"id":"ajc","copyright":"2022 Atlanta Journal Constitution","address":"region":"Georgia","caption":"Bill Hill plays tennis at Lost Mountain Park in Cobb County on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. (Arvin Temkar / [email protected])","source":"system":"AJC Freelancer","name":"AJC Freelancer","edit_url":"","source_type":"wires","source_id":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/AAJC 042022 MASK MANDATE at74.jpg","additional_properties":"editor":"photo center","taxonomy":"associated_tasks":["625f0e749f7d1866005d66ea"],"seo_keywords":["AJC Freelancer"],"type":"image","distributor":"mode":"custom","name":"AJC Freelancer","category":"wires","version":"0.10.3","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/TUYH74JFD3S2KHB2QHBEZJ266M.jpg","licensable":false,"credits":"affiliation":["name":"[email protected]","type":"author"],"by":["name":"Arvin Temkar","type":"author"],"subtype":"Wires","subtitle":"Misinformation, fears of development propel Lost Mountain cityhood push","width":3300,"_id":"TUYH74JFD3S2KHB2QHBEZJ266M","additional_properties":"fullSizeResizeUrl":"/resizer/49fe6RjumL8JcPIVSDo6n_0uZbM=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/TUYH74JFD3S2KHB2QHBEZJ266M.jpg","comments":[],"iptc_job_identifier":"625f0e749f7d1866005d66ea","keywords":["lost mountain","AJC Freelancer"],"proxyUrl":"/resizer/49fe6RjumL8JcPIVSDo6n_0uZbM=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/TUYH74JFD3S2KHB2QHBEZJ266M.jpg","takenOn":"2022-04-20T14:13:29Z","originalUrl":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/TUYH74JFD3S2KHB2QHBEZJ266M.jpg","published":true,"resizeUrl":"/resizer/49fe6RjumL8JcPIVSDo6n_0uZbM=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/TUYH74JFD3S2KHB2QHBEZJ266M.jpg","thumbnailResizeUrl":"/resizer/9vCpYJl6-aTp6fbC0IKHp7uldFo=/300x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/TUYH74JFD3S2KHB2QHBEZJ266M.jpg","version":2,"originalName":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/AAJC 042022 MASK MANDATE at74.jpg","mime_type":"image/jpeg","restricted":false,"galleries":[],"_id":"3IFA6K27Y5D5PFF5AUQHOGYG2U","iptc_title":"Visual Journalist","created_date":"2022-04-20T23:25:03Z","last_updated_date":"2022-04-21T23:29:54Z","slug":"AAJC 042422 LNX LOST MOUNTAIN ZONING","height":2200,"level":1,"_id":"H6PB6X777NF77EWGLEZVXGIA6Y","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650495734398,"type":"header","content":"A misleading sales pitch","_id":"WE6CU2OQWVFQ5MVO7WHC2Q73NU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650298078765,"type":"text","content":"Gambrill, who is running for a second term this year, has earned a reputation among cityhood supporters and opponents alike as a defender of the West Cobb way of life. A former community advocate with People Looking After Neighborhoods, she routinely introduces developers to neighbors so disputes can be resolved before the commission is asked to vote.","_id":"CCYAWJSSEZB4DDAF2OKGTJQXMI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650029477553,"type":"text","content":"Her voting record suggests her tactics are effective. She says she has allowed development that deviates from the future land use plan just once, and it was to approve a development for seniors that had the support of its neighbors.","_id":"CCYAWJSSEZB4DDAF2OKGTJQXMI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650029477553,"type":"text","content":"The AJC review found only a handful of the 39 zoning cases in her district from January 2021 through March 2022 involved housing, and none featured apartments. Just two were of moderate density: the senior housing near Kennesaw, and townhomes near Marietta.","_id":"DDYND3NWT5FOTPWGDDAX4LRW7I","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650470105866,"type":"text","content":"But cityhood opponents say that’s not the impression voters receive when they hear the Lost Mountain sales pitch.","_id":"YORIC4Y7TRHERMPXDXGJQLF74A","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650029477554,"type":"text","content":"“They’re being lied to,” Locklear said. “I don’t like that they’re being lied to and led to believe that an additional layer of government is necessary to prevent re-zoning.”","owner":"id":"ajc","copyright":"2022 Atlanta Journal-Constitution","address":"locality":"Powder Springs","region":"GA","caption":"April 20, 2022 Powder Springs - Aerial photograph shows proposed area of the city of Lost Mountain in West Cobb on Wednesday, April 20, 2022. Tennis courts at Lost Mountain Park are shown in foreground. The story plays on a fear shared by many West Cobb residents as they decide whether to incorporate the city of Lost Mountain. The county they call home is changing around them, and as conservative political power wanes in the growing Atlanta suburb, many feel helpless to protect their neighborhoods from encroaching development.(Hyosub Shin / [email protected])","source":"system":"AJC Freelancer","name":"AJC Freelancer","edit_url":"","source_type":"wires","source_id":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/042422 LOST MOUNTAIN HS14.jpg","additional_properties":"editor":"photo center","taxonomy":"associated_tasks":["625f055a9f7d1866005d6286"],"seo_keywords":["AJC Freelancer"],"type":"image","distributor":"mode":"custom","name":"AJC Freelancer","category":"wires","version":"0.10.3","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/LIV63NH72NQEWWRN6W7HWY22NE.jpg","licensable":false,"credits":"by":["name":"HYOSUB SHIN / AJC","type":"author"],"subtype":"Wires","subtitle":"Misinformation, fears of development propel Lost Mountain cityhood push","width":5099,"_id":"LIV63NH72NQEWWRN6W7HWY22NE","additional_properties":"fullSizeResizeUrl":"/resizer/FGYKT-RtSUZVR5TRRMCp6F_AnXc=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/LIV63NH72NQEWWRN6W7HWY22NE.jpg","iptc_source":"AJC","comments":[],"iptc_job_identifier":"625f055a9f7d1866005d6286","keywords":["development","AJC Freelancer","Lost Mountain","West Cobb"],"proxyUrl":"/resizer/FGYKT-RtSUZVR5TRRMCp6F_AnXc=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/LIV63NH72NQEWWRN6W7HWY22NE.jpg","takenOn":"2022-04-20T16:18:07Z","originalUrl":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/LIV63NH72NQEWWRN6W7HWY22NE.jpg","published":true,"resizeUrl":"/resizer/FGYKT-RtSUZVR5TRRMCp6F_AnXc=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/LIV63NH72NQEWWRN6W7HWY22NE.jpg","thumbnailResizeUrl":"/resizer/DWDILnItkJ9-i46K1l9CizQzlVA=/300x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/LIV63NH72NQEWWRN6W7HWY22NE.jpg","version":2,"originalName":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/042422 LOST MOUNTAIN HS14.jpg","mime_type":"image/jpeg","restricted":false,"galleries":[],"_id":"ZYS4X227O5COXAOYCHFZNBW2P4","iptc_title":"staff","created_date":"2022-04-20T21:30:38Z","last_updated_date":"2022-04-21T23:29:55Z","slug":"AAJC 042422 LNX LOST MOUNTAIN ZONING","height":3819,"_id":"3LC6KG5FXNFGTEGNAEJE6ETASU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650495734405,"type":"text","content":"While praising Gambrill’s leadership on one hand, cityhood proponents also depict her as unable to protect West Cobb from development due to the Democratic majority. When asked about comments made to voters, Ehrhart told the AJC: “We never once said that she was outvoted. We said that there has been a concerted effort to push back on her.”","_id":"WX36EZNAYZCLVF6625EK22AI4E","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649948539396,"type":"text","content":"A recording available on YouTube shows otherwise.","_id":"SRGBZY3N4FDWLL2R2B55YS73MU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650293777870,"type":"text","content":"At a Feb. 17 virtual meeting, Ehrhart told the crowd: “The only person that is standing up to try to put the brakes on high density development in West Cobb is your single commissioner, and she’s outnumbered 4-1. She’s outvoted frequently.”","_id":"LKL72GH2BJEY7MZE4Q5JKSQADY","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"RYHJRAVY6FETDGSSA3WISLJDAE","type":"divider","_id":"RTUZ6NSNJVBYHIDB552UYGACGQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650470105872,"type":"text","content":"Cobb’s cityhood movements:","_id":"BWS73AD2AFHNLC5TADDANIZCL4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650470105873,"type":"text","content":"Voters in unincorporated Cobb will be asked if they want to incorporate as many as four new city governments this year. Three referendums will be decided during the May 24 primary election: the proposed cities of Lost Mountain, Vinings and East Cobb. If any is approved, voters would elect their first city officials during the Nov. 8 general election. A referendum to form the city of Mableton in South Cobb is also planned for Nov. 8.","_id":"VLJHBXEVXNASVLENCFE5KDZ5SM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650470105874,"type":"text","content":"Only those who live within the proposed city limits can vote on each referendum.","_id":"VLJHBXEVXNASVLENCFE5KDZ5SM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650470105875,"type":"text","content":"The AJC will have additional coverage educating voters on what’s at stake with each referendum as Election Day approaches. 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Early voting starts May 2, and election day is May 24.","_id":"RQM7CQKVRZERVDAABH5ADTEFPY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650644415489,"type":"text","content":"As proposed, a city of East Cobb would provide the most extensive public services of the three, including police and fire, zoning, code enforcement and road maintenance. But like the other city charters, it dictates which services the city will and won’t provide.","_id":"WH2V43FVZBGXDNWYTDLMH7BCKY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650644415490,"type":"text","content":"Under the Georgia constitution, local governments are given 14 “supplemental powers,” which includes the ability to provide certain public services if they choose and levy taxes. The lawsuit argues that these can’t be regulated by the legislature through what’s known as a “local law,” or legislation that applies to only one entity, rather than to all local governments generally.","_id":"DE7VNA5UGRHD7DCTO44HX7EJFM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650644415491,"type":"text","content":"East Cobb’s charter requires the city to provide certain services, like public safety, while prohibiting the government from offering others without seeking voter approval through a public referendum. It also limits the city property tax rate to a maximum of 1 mill.","_id":"KZI4E5I7E5EZDPKXCM64N7MX3A","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650644415492,"type":"text","content":"Colin Brady, a retired businessman who is challenging the referendum, told the AJC he worries residents may vote for a city of East Cobb thinking it will provide limited services, when that won’t necessarily be the case. If a court strikes down the disputed provisions, future city leaders could expand the city’s scope without asking for the public’s permission.","_id":"ZJZV3JU7NZAMFMLWZRO5X2EJ5E","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650644415493,"type":"text","content":"“We’re voting on one thing, and I think we’re getting another,” said Brady, who has lived in East Cobb since 1985. “And the potential of what we’re getting is scary. The potential for the new city to do things that we don’t understand is scary.”","_id":"5REZODPOZJFD7J7XK23BOCZGZE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650650174108,"type":"text","content":"The suit is filed against Cobb County and its elections office. The county attorney’s office in a statement said Cobb would not defend the lawsuit because it has no legal authority to represent the private interests of cityhood supporters. However, the statement said it’s the county’s opinion that the suits should be dismissed, because unless one of the disputed charters takes effect, the court lacks the jurisdiction to weigh in.","_id":"CNMZ3UNRFRHZDD6T3XWCDNQI4M","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650650174109,"type":"text","content":"Before the East Cobb suit was filed, state Rep. Ginny Ehrhart, (R-Powder Springs), filed a motion this week to intervene in the other two cases on behalf of the cityhood movements and consolidate them into one case.","_id":"564WOR6F2FA33LLBWUNWWSWVXY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650644415495,"type":"text","content":"“The right to vote is a sacred Constitutional right that should be respected by all citizens and elected officials,” her motion says. “Unfortunately, petitioners are actively seeking to deny this fundamental right to vote without any basis in law or fact.”","_id":"XQ6DZQM2UVHNBGF3JY3T3KJ2BM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650650174111,"type":"text","content":"In a joint statement to the AJC, the three cityhood campaigns said they expect Ehrhart and other interveners to file for the lawsuits to be dismissed, citing the county attorney’s opinion."],"display_date":"2022-04-22T16:22:40.675Z","headlines":"basic":"Third cityhood lawsuit targets East Cobb","first_publish_date":"2022-04-22T16:22:40.675Z","taxonomy":{"sections":["path":"/news/atlanta-news","parent":"default":"/news","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"/news","name":"Local News","description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","additional_properties":"original":"parent":"AmpNav":"/news","default":"/news","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":null,"SectionMap":"https://www.ajc.com/","MainMenuRedesign2021":"/news","TopNav":null,"ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","site":"section_comments_enabled":"Yes","site_description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","site_title":"Atlanta Local News","navigation":"nav_title":"Local News","inactive":false,"node_type":"section","_website":"ajc","name":"Local News","Sponsor":"sponsor_url_open_new_tab":"true","sponsor_desktop_banner":"","sponsor_mobile_banner":"","sponsor_url":"","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","ancestors":"TopNavRedesign":[],"SectionMap":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"MainMenuRedesign2021":["https://www.ajc.com/","/news"],"TopNav":[],"order":"AmpNav":2004,"default":2004,"SectionMap":1075,"MainMenuRedesign2021":2004,"ComposerNav":1081,"_website_section_id":"ajc./news/atlanta-news","type":"section","version":"0.6.0","path":"/news","parent":"default":"https://www.ajc.com/","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"https://www.ajc.com/","name":"News","description":"Atlanta Georgia News main page: Breaking News, Atlanta Weather Forecast, Crime, Politics, GA Schools, Local Articles - Atlanta Journal-Constitution","_id":"/news","additional_properties":"original":"parent":"AmpNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","default":"https://www.ajc.com/","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":null,"SectionMap":"https://www.ajc.com/","LoggedOutMenu":null,"MainMenuRedesign2021":"https://www.ajc.com/","TopNav":null,"TopicsBar":null,"ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","site":"site_url":"/news/","section_comments_enabled":"Yes","site_description":"Atlanta Georgia News main page: Breaking News, Atlanta Weather Forecast, Crime, Politics, GA Schools, Local Articles - Atlanta Journal-Constitution","site_title":"Atlanta GA News ,"navigation":"nav_title":"News","inactive":false,"node_type":"section","_website":"ajc","name":"News","Sponsor":"sponsor_url_open_new_tab":"true","sponsor_desktop_banner":"","sponsor_mobile_banner":"","sponsor_url":"","_id":"/news","ancestors":"AmpNav":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"default":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"BottomNav":[],"TopNavRedesign":[],"SectionMap":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"LoggedOutMenu":[],"MainMenuRedesign2021":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"TopicsBar":[],"order":"AmpNav":1001,"default":1001,"SectionMap":1019,"MainMenuRedesign2021":1002,"ComposerNav":1135,"_website_section_id":"ajc./news","type":"section","version":"0.6.0","path":"/neighborhoods/cobb","parent":"default":"/neighborhoods","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"/neighborhoods","name":"Cobb County","description":"Local news for Cobb County Ga. neighborhoods, including breaking news, Cobb County schools, high school sports, crime, events, development and land use. 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Many of those buildings are owned by investors who, officials say, have sat on them for years without proper maintenance.","_id":"DLWW4FU2NZEGFJDZH4M5MPR4LI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650567962633,"type":"text","content":"In other cases, though, some property owners said they’ve struggled to protect their properties from demolition, saying city officials haven’t properly communicated with them. That disconnect has sometimes occurred when properties switched hands in the midst of the long code enforcement process.","_id":"DASCSDQXZND3XNKPMJN3N2KEMM","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"E4G5UCSA3REP5G474VAWZLVCFU","type":"interstitial_link","content":"IN DEPTH: Should Atlanta slow down or speed up demolitions of vacant homes?","url":"https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/should-atlanta-slow-down-or-speed-up-demolitions-of-vacant-homes/H3NYP6BQAVEZ5LI6AAKF7PELFU/","_id":"P6CZZFF5MFFNXFKAMWXXRW4GBA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650567962635,"type":"text","content":"At a City Council work session Thursday, deputy code enforcement director Daphne Talley said the city has torn down about 200 properties since July 2019. About 50 of those were in the last 10 months.","_id":"HUDPS3KV4ZBJJFQJ7D2HJCOOB4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650567962636,"type":"text","content":"Approximately 600 additional code enforcement cases are in the pipeline, she said.","_id":"Q2IVMXKGI5EUJBM5C62AC44Y3Q","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650567962637,"type":"text","content":"The city contracts out the demolitions to a private company, with the five-figure cost passed on to the homeowner. It can take years after an initial code enforcement complaint for demolition action to occur. Even after a demolition order is issued, it can take over six months for the house to be torn down.","owner":"id":"ajc","address":"locality":"Atlanta","caption":"Swapan Kumar stands in front of of home he owns in southwest Atlanta home that the city has marked for demolition Friday, March 25, 2022. 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She said a team of two handles the housing demolition cases, with 13 additional employees working as code inspectors.","_id":"KCFVFYKORVFOTDW3PL7WCAEMOM","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"4YKO5F2OKBEQRHZHI5TEW7YXAY","type":"interstitial_link","content":"More Atlanta City Hall coverage from the AJC","url":"https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-mayors-race-2021/","_id":"XBANZ336OZFJBAEJQGLOXWKCXE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650567962644,"type":"text","content":"Code enforcement officials said they give ample time for owners to bring their properties into compliance, but some say that information never reaches them. Boone said she is “concerned about those that may fall through the cracks,” especially properties that are passed down to heirs who may not live in Atlanta but want to keep their family’s house.","_id":"Q2IVMXKGI5EUJBM5C62AC44Y3Q","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650567962645,"type":"text","content":"Councilmembers tossed around a number of potential solutions, including:","list_type":"unordered","_id":"I6NIDA6SD5HYZOFHCT2QFAITZI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"type":"list","items":["_id":"FJ6IDKRDPBHETG4M5JIEYUQK3Y","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"block_properties":,"type":"text","content":"Instituting term limits or changing the appointment structure of the In Rem Review Board, which votes on whether properties should be demolished. The five board members were all appointed by previous mayors to three-year terms that automatically renew; most have served for more than a decade.","_id":"ERORMIDWOVF4VIYX4TD57CHLYI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"block_properties":,"type":"text","content":"Adding additional protections for older residents or other unique cases.","_id":"IWJPHHMJNNFG5PRDO53OX7DZNM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"block_properties":,"type":"text","content":"Partnering with nonprofits to provide additional funds for low-income homeowners to fix up their homes."],"_id":"PUJ2U3BPKZESHEUS42OXRYZ5DQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650567962647,"type":"text","content":"Some of the ideas discussed could be formally proposed as legislative sessions in the coming weeks.","_id":"PUJ2U3BPKZESHEUS42OXRYZ5DQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650567962648,"type":"text","content":"“We need to do something,” Amos said, “because the process is working for the process, but it’s not working for the people.”"],"display_date":"2022-04-21T19:11:48.163Z","headlines":"basic":"‘The system is broken’: Officials search for fixes to city demolition process","first_publish_date":"2022-04-21T19:11:48.163Z","taxonomy":{"sections":["path":"/news/atlanta-news","parent":"default":"/news","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"/news","name":"Local News","description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","additional_properties":"original":"parent":"AmpNav":"/news","default":"/news","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":null,"SectionMap":"https://www.ajc.com/","MainMenuRedesign2021":"/news","TopNav":null,"ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","site":"section_comments_enabled":"Yes","site_description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","site_title":"Atlanta Local News","navigation":"nav_title":"Local News","inactive":false,"node_type":"section","_website":"ajc","name":"Local News","Sponsor":"sponsor_url_open_new_tab":"true","sponsor_desktop_banner":"","sponsor_mobile_banner":"","sponsor_url":"","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","ancestors":"TopNavRedesign":[],"SectionMap":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"MainMenuRedesign2021":["https://www.ajc.com/","/news"],"TopNav":[],"order":"AmpNav":2004,"default":2004,"SectionMap":1075,"MainMenuRedesign2021":2004,"ComposerNav":1081,"_website_section_id":"ajc./news/atlanta-news","type":"section","version":"0.6.0","path":"/news","parent":"default":"https://www.ajc.com/","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"https://www.ajc.com/","name":"News","description":"Atlanta Georgia News main page: Breaking News, Atlanta Weather Forecast, Crime, Politics, GA Schools, Local Articles - Atlanta Journal-Constitution","_id":"/news","additional_properties":"original":"parent":"AmpNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","default":"https://www.ajc.com/","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":null,"SectionMap":"https://www.ajc.com/","LoggedOutMenu":null,"MainMenuRedesign2021":"https://www.ajc.com/","TopNav":null,"TopicsBar":null,"ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","site": Top News Page","navigation":"nav_title":"News","inactive":false,"node_type":"section","_website":"ajc","name":"News","Sponsor":"sponsor_url_open_new_tab":"true","sponsor_desktop_banner":"","sponsor_mobile_banner":"","sponsor_url":"","_id":"/news","ancestors":"AmpNav":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"default":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"BottomNav":[],"TopNavRedesign":[],"SectionMap":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"LoggedOutMenu":[],"MainMenuRedesign2021":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"TopicsBar":[],"order":"AmpNav":1001,"default":1001,"SectionMap":1019,"MainMenuRedesign2021":1002,"ComposerNav":1135,"_website_section_id":"ajc./news","type":"section","version":"0.6.0","path":"/neighborhoods","parent":"default":"https://www.ajc.com/","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"https://www.ajc.com/","name":"Local","description":"County by County Atlanta: Local news for metro Atlanta, including Gwinnett County news , Cobb, DeKalb, Roswelll and North Fulton, Clayton and the city of Atlanta. 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Progress continues at Campbellton Creek Nature Park! Looking forward to the April 23rd event!

Posted by Campbellton Creek Nature Park on Friday, April 15, 2022

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","_id":"L7LSIFAX3RGDDEOBOKD74XTD6A","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649788690880,"type":"text","content":"The demolition order stems from an October 2020 inspection that took place before Kemery leased the property. Neither she nor the property owners said they heard anything from the city for over a year, until the specialist showed up.","_id":"EH3TUR6SFJDTVELCQBWMBVEADE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649788690893,"type":"text","content":"Hers is one of dozens of properties tied up in the city of Atlanta’s complex demolition process, in which the city can legally tear down properties deemed uninhabitable and unsalvageable.","_id":"IWTWPCPABFBO3CC3THOBISPXFQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650400345950,"type":"text","content":"Some property owners have spoken out in recent weeks against the tactics of the city’s code enforcement division, saying officials are threatening to demolish their properties despite their attempts to rehab them. But many government officials want the city to speed up demolitions, saying residents are eager to see blight torn down.","_id":"FERGKRR74ZE6DNSQQGBGTMYMVQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650046441001,"type":"text","content":"That tension is likely to be on display Thursday at a City Council work session focused on the city’s “In Rem” process — Latin for “against a thing.”","_id":"REJ4PSPPHRBCFD5NN3E57H73GE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650392344242,"type":"text","content":"The city can bring properties that have been subject to code complaints before a five-member board, which votes on whether they should be demolished. After getting a number of clearances, the structure can be torn down through a contractor, with the cost passed on to the owner.","_id":"RWYOFERRSNBNXJNOZC4YEPC7CM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649356399296,"type":"text","content":"During any given monthly meeting, there can be over a dozen properties the board considers for demolition. It can then take months, if not years, for the demolition to occur.","owner":"id":"ajc","address":"locality":"Atlanta","caption":"The exterior of the open-air patio at The Junction, which Cafexito uses for outdoor seating. Kemery cleaned up and repainted the building. 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Our process will continue,” Lyles wrote in response. “You may want to remove all the benches and tables.”","_id":"FRYFXCOG3BHXLIBWVJXFWKPM4I","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650400345958,"type":"text","content":"Kemery later said the engineering report showed no major issues.",{"_id":"VSIIELDE45HHRCK47DCYHHGKHM","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"CF232L2IHVAHDJM35G7Y7IDIKU","type":"raw_html","content":"rn"},"_id":"GS4ELQXCDNABNIHI3W727XBYDM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649356399297,"type":"text","content":"Since last July, nearly 60 structures across the city have been slated for demolition and are awaiting contracts, according to documents obtained by the AJC.","_id":"4DWYJE7FVNBP7JP4XWYU4UA6KY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650389058419,"type":"text","content":"Councilman Dustin Hillis, who chairs the council’s public safety committee, has been pushing for code enforcement to streamline the demolition process for years. Open and vacant properties can be hotspots for crime or fire, he said, with some owned by investors trying to hold on to run-down properties until they can flip or sell them for a quick buck.","_id":"NLU5UK7HL5C6JHAFZJMSMWJE2M","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650389058420,"type":"text","content":"“Many of these properties have been on code enforcement’s radar for four or five-plus years,” Hillis said.","_id":"ZCITBWF7LZFY3FCLN5FXV6UG3Q","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650389058421,"type":"text","content":"He acknowledged there can be a disconnect in some cases, and he wants to ensure due process is still afforded to owners.","content_elements":["_id":"DZ5KX73YXJBSNOCDFFD7YQYWJU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"type":"text","content":"“It’s such a Kafkaesque, dystopian situation.”"],"citation":"type":"text","content":"Swapan Kumar, owner of a home in southwest Atlanta with a demolition order","subtype":"blockquote","_id":"2KEFMEA6JZFCJGHQBD6X6KEELY","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"FQQMOGPR7NDKDGGQZ6UHCIVSRM","type":"quote","_id":"K663JG3SXJF7FH2J34IWSHUEFM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650046441011,"type":"text","content":"At a City Council meeting last month, a handful of owners said code enforcement officials, who work under the umbrella of the police department, haven’t properly communicated with them.","_id":"CP6CW4KF75AANLMNRXHY5QBYNE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649857531015,"type":"text","content":"“It’s like they’re not willing to listen,” said Swapan Kumar, who has filed a complaint in Fulton County Superior Court seeking to stop the demolition of a house he owns in southeast Atlanta. “It’s such a Kafkaesque, dystopian situation.”","_id":"QI6Q6M3L2JFFDBFLGI5IMHOYEQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650389058424,"type":"text","content":"Freshman City Councilman Antonio Lewis introduced legislation last month requesting an audit of the demolition process, and officials may consider adding additional safeguards.","_id":"CMFQDWGVVNBOZPL7EV34VGHEOA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649356399292,"type":"text","content":"“It’s one thing to deal with a derelict and irresponsible land owner,” Councilman Michael Julian Bond said. “It’s something else to browbeat, harass or … be indifferent toward citizens and their plight as they try to hang on to their properties.”","_id":"XCHKBZ6TLVFGLBAU77CLHVI7BI","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"K6W73UDSNZHSFPS57R7VSDKHCE","type":"interstitial_link","content":"More Atlanta City Hall coverage from the AJC","url":"https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-mayors-race-2021/","_id":"VSWTNOP7TBCVVOR2M5GEE5EN2I","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1648137500460,"type":"text","content":"At a public safety committee meeting in mid-March, Lyles said her division follows a detailed and legal process.","_id":"3XAF4IBQABGJLMLTUYQU6YSW7I","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650389058428,"type":"text","content":"“There’s been ample time provided for the owners to bring (their) property into compliance,” even after the demolition order is issued, Lyles said.","_id":"X5NZJXPQCZA5DPTJTDLECCSURY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649857530998,"type":"text","content":"But Kumar said information about his options never reached him. He bought a house on Browns Mill Road from the Metro Atlanta Land Bank in 2020 with plans to renovate it and rent it out at a subsidized rate. City officials were aware of Kumar’s intent to renovate the home before they sought a demolition order, records show.","owner":"id":"ajc","address":"locality":"Atlanta","caption":"The house Kumar owns now has a red X spray-painted on it. 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He wanted to apply for building permits, but was unable to do so because of the demolition order, on top of what he described as a general lack of communication from the city.","_id":"O7K4MYCBFBF5FB56ZBZBBVP3EE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650389058440,"type":"text","content":"Police department officials did not respond to requests for comment.","_id":"TIYDJZTBJZGU3FD42EJZF5ALKI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649788690922,"type":"text","content":"The new City Council hopes to start ironing out the issue during this week’s work session.","_id":"VWXZ2ULMVNFZBPRAXZNVBPIEKQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650046441038,"type":"text","content":"“We’ve got some blighted properties around the city of Atlanta … I’ve got constituents that want those properties gone because they’ve sat vacant for so long,” said Councilman Jason Winston, who represents a southeast Atlanta district. 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She said the Governing Board’s attorney delivered the check to the Ethics Division on April 5, and the check was deposited into the city’s General Fund account.","_id":"OD4V7CXXHZAWZIFBBQF2TFROUA","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"3SWYPN4I45EKZM2UEWWQCF6ZGI","type":"interstitial_link","content":"Atlanta investigating two employees over alleged ties to bribery case","url":"https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/atlanta-investigating-two-employees-over-alleged-ties-to-bribery-case/GJSRYJVIHREM7NF44QTS7DMXFU/","_id":"DRNF47SFKFFG7KFT57MVU45MEQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650394935638,"type":"text","content":"“We do not anticipate collecting the remaining $18,485 in sanctions and the Beard matter is hereby now closed,” Sengova said via email.","_id":"UXKUBE4Y7FDR5BHDU5HETCFLFI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650394935640,"type":"text","content":"The Atlanta Ethics Division filed its complaint after the AJC and Channel 2 Action News reported in 2018 that Beard, Reed and members of Reed’s cabinet racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in questionable charges on airfare, luxury hotels and high-end restaurants across the globe.","_id":"E5ZW2VTZK5F4LF5JEYXMEUBAVU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650394935641,"type":"text","content":"Federal investigators have also scrutinized travel and other spending records at City Hall as part of a multi-year corruption investigation. 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Beard","type":"image","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/FXIIRVDMVBXO6KPQYTO4LOLZEY.jpg","height":563,"canonical_url":"/news/atlanta-news/city-receives-84000-from-insurance-company-for-ex-cfos-improper-spending/APSM5E67ZFC2BAWSOPS4NZTTEU/","_id":"APSM5E67ZFC2BAWSOPS4NZTTEU"},{"content_elements":["_id":"ZSCXICDGUJDAVOBQKOJ3YBMAEI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1638910390407,"type":"text","content":"The Atlanta Braves’ development arm is looking to build an office tower with Cobb taxpayer help, nearly a decade after the team’s management promised it would not seek any incentives for the mixed-use development surrounding its stadium — which was built with $300 million in public subsidies.","_id":"LFF65MJLW5AEVDHN7ZOLEPQ7UM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650398876028,"type":"text","content":"In a presentation to the Development Authority of Cobb County on Tuesday, representatives for the Braves and Truist Financial said they would seek a 10-year property tax break to help finance the cost of a $200 million, 250,000-square-foot office tower overlooking Truist Park.","_id":"46QMLLGQIFG7DLNMCAVTH5MTVQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650398876029,"type":"text","content":"Some board members said the request appeared to renege on promises made when Cobb County agreed to contribute $300 million to the stadium’s construction in 2013.","_id":"I5RVNCLO2FDFDEK57UW665MUJ4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650398876030,"type":"text","content":"“One of the things that I recall when the Battery and the park were built was the promise that the Braves … would not come back and ask for additional abatements beyond what was already being provided to the ballpark,” said board member Karen Hallacy. “How does that fit into this coming in and the Braves basically asking for tax abatements on the 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Truist will lease space in it.","_id":"OHLHK5RDKBEWXBRADOWT2RRM7A","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650398876033,"type":"text","content":"Truist earlier this month announced plans to relocate its securities division headquarters from Buckhead in north Atlanta to the office tower, which company officials say would be “300 feet from home plate.”","_id":"W5TUEY624NB7JJQEIER6ZQVDLI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650398876034,"type":"text","content":"The Charlotte-based bank plans to bring at least 1,000 workers to the office, but many of them would not be new jobs for the Atlanta area. About 500 to 600 people work in the Buckhead office today, company representatives said Tuesday, and many would move to the new office.","_id":"SNAD3ZNUBFB5TJOPD747AUHHOQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650401973816,"type":"text","content":"A company spokesman previously told the AJC that the Buckhead office had 1,000 employees — all of whom would move to the Cobb office tower.","_id":"OETCWNE3DZAZPP24MVFIMT5COU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650398876035,"type":"text","content":"The Braves own the land, which is located on Battery Avenue, and would lease the building to Truist for 15 years, the company said previously.","_id":"S53W2NTRWVECROTIQBGJEG6LRI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650398876036,"type":"text","content":"The promise dates back to at least 2015, when Plant in a presentation said “We do not ask, nor do we intend to ask, for any incentives for the mixed-use part,” the AJC reported.","_id":"SHDX6ITOLNE4LDCQWFXWVCFZQM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650398876037,"type":"text","content":"While Plant says the incentives are for its tenant, DACC Chair Clark Hungerford offered another reason the team didn’t break its promise: He said the office tower would technically be outside the 2 million square-foot mixed-use development known as The Battery.","_id":"YNOU2KLVKFHMVDM6Q2GZSTXNFU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650398876038,"type":"text","content":"“The commitment, if I’m not mistaken was for The Battery,” Hungerford said. “And this piece of property that we’re talking about, even though it’s close, it’s not the same piece of property.”","_id":"UXURIHF55ZBGXJISAP2NJABHPA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650402996582,"type":"text","content":"In an April 6 news release announcing the project, the Braves themselves said otherwise. The headline of the announcement proclaimed: “Truist and the Braves Development Company announce new national headquarters for Truist Securities inside The Battery Atlanta.”","_id":"BTQWWAVCERFR7PG2KH3DSHDI3U","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650398876039,"type":"text","content":"On Tuesday, its board voted 5-2 to continue discussions with the two companies regarding the project, which calls for $140 million in construction work and $60 million in office furnishings and equipment. Hallacy and JC Bradbury voted against the resolutions.","_id":"BTQWWAVCERFR7PG2KH3DSHDI3U","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650398876039,"type":"text","content":"It’s not yet clear how much the tax abatements would be worth. The DACC plans to complete a fiscal impact study to determine the costs and estimated benefits of a property tax break.","_id":"RYU4WQMLKJAFVIYRVPOM4LRNTY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"type":"text","content":"Another Battery-area office tower, built by TK Elevator, received about $15 million worth of tax abatements from the development authority on a $200 million project. Perfume manufacturer Arylessence this year is seeking a $1.4 million abatement on a $27 million expansion of its Northeast Cobb facility.","_id":"YLFJXIQPWNDN3BHTF7GZIZ3RDM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"type":"text","content":"It’s also not clear how the tax abatements would affect Truist’s planned expansion.","_id":"2H5RA7YLLVEIFLWSEQAJMI3E2M","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650401038213,"type":"text","content":"Truist has already announced the relocation, and when asked by the board how the company would respond if the tax abatements were denied, a company official said it was only “one factor” that would determine the scope of the office project."],"display_date":"2022-04-19T20:29:06.764Z","headlines":"basic":"Braves, Truist seek tax breaks for Cobb office tower","first_publish_date":"2022-04-19T20:29:06.764Z","taxonomy":{"sections":["path":"/news/atlanta-news","parent":"default":"/news","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"/news","name":"Local News","description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","additional_properties":"original":"parent":"AmpNav":"/news","default":"/news","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":null,"SectionMap":"https://www.ajc.com/","MainMenuRedesign2021":"/news","TopNav":null,"ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","site":"section_comments_enabled":"Yes","site_description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","site_title":"Atlanta Local News","navigation":"nav_title":"Local News","inactive":false,"node_type":"section","_website":"ajc","name":"Local News","Sponsor":"sponsor_url_open_new_tab":"true","sponsor_desktop_banner":"","sponsor_mobile_banner":"","sponsor_url":"","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","ancestors":"TopNavRedesign":[],"SectionMap":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"MainMenuRedesign2021":["https://www.ajc.com/","/news"],"TopNav":[],"order":"AmpNav":2004,"default":2004,"SectionMap":1075,"MainMenuRedesign2021":2004,"ComposerNav":1081,"_website_section_id":"ajc./news/atlanta-news","type":"section","version":"0.6.0","path":"/news","parent":"default":"https://www.ajc.com/","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"https://www.ajc.com/","name":"News","description":"Atlanta Georgia News main page: Breaking News, Atlanta Weather Forecast, Crime, Politics, GA Schools, Local Articles - Atlanta Journal-Constitution","_id":"/news","additional_properties":"original":"parent":"AmpNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","default":"https://www.ajc.com/","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":null,"SectionMap":"https://www.ajc.com/","LoggedOutMenu":null,"MainMenuRedesign2021":"https://www.ajc.com/","TopNav":null,"TopicsBar":null,"ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","site":"site_url":"/news/","section_comments_enabled":"Yes","site_description":"Atlanta Georgia News main page: Breaking News, Atlanta Weather Forecast, Crime, Politics, GA Schools, Local Articles - Atlanta Journal-Constitution","site_title":"Atlanta GA News ,"navigation":"nav_title":"News","inactive":false,"node_type":"section","_website":"ajc","name":"News","Sponsor":"sponsor_url_open_new_tab":"true","sponsor_desktop_banner":"","sponsor_mobile_banner":"","sponsor_url":"","_id":"/news","ancestors":"AmpNav":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"default":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"BottomNav":[],"TopNavRedesign":[],"SectionMap":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"LoggedOutMenu":[],"MainMenuRedesign2021":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"TopicsBar":[],"order":"AmpNav":1001,"default":1001,"SectionMap":1019,"MainMenuRedesign2021":1002,"ComposerNav":1135,"_website_section_id":"ajc./news","type":"section","version":"0.6.0","path":"/neighborhoods/cobb","parent":"default":"/neighborhoods","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"/neighborhoods","name":"Cobb County","description":"Local news for Cobb County Ga. neighborhoods, including breaking news, Cobb County schools, high school sports, crime, events, development and land use. 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Councilmembers have not said whether they want to tweak the rules, but officials have proposed creating a commission to hash out the issue.","_id":"KQVAUNEQIFEEDLEYUHKTI3G2RA","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"PMHPIPFSBZCUJHNSLLI6MSOP3M","type":"raw_html","content":"","_id":"PHI5IPDDUZDFBHW2UTHDACUM5E","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650326750650,"type":"text","content":"The regulations were passed last year in an effort to collect additional tax revenue, maintain a set of rules for the industry and crack down on unruly “party houses” that sparked nuisance complaints from neighbors.","_id":"R4XEEYWFINAZTFL3P33EBXFNYM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650326750651,"type":"text","content":"Some residents continued to speak out against the short-term rental model Monday, saying the city should do more to sanction the industry, citing noise, public safety and affordability concerns. 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Leased through a state-run system, they suffered and some even died on the job from abuse and a lack of care.","_id":"HZE7JEEDHZAG7JJPSHOUBT4ZTI","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"XXQTKPUK5ZHWLBPHWF3IJP637U","type":"interstitial_link","content":"City looks to buy historic Chattahoochee Brick land, site that used convict leasing","url":"https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/city-looks-to-buy-historic-chattahoochee-brick-land-site-that-used-convict-leasing/KZLUY6UZJRBVJI2OK2ADITBFTA/","_id":"YOSA26PFTFD4XCBJ74OBXSWIEM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650326502793,"type":"text","content":"The land is currently owned by Lincoln Energy Solutions, a South Carolina-based company had planned to lease the land to rail giant Norfolk Southern to build the fuel terminal.","_id":"NM2TEDT34VBRTGRTZFEYSM243M","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650326502794,"type":"text","content":"Residents, with support from Councilman Dustin Hillis and former Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, opposed those plans. Last February, Norfolk Southern announced it was abandoning its plans after Bottoms’ administration took legal action to stop them from developing the land.","_id":"HSOXUBIKURCMFEIL2IXEBUFIMI","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"2BUAMGJFPZE5TDXGFBV3O7XKJI","type":"raw_html","content":"","_id":"EOJAEOSULVAOLBI3YTL4GYACKE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650326502796,"type":"text","content":"The city is working with The Conservation Fund on the $27 million purchase. That includes $1 million for closing costs and $4 million coming from the Kendeda Fund. The Conservation Fund is a national nonprofit that helps governments purchase and preserve land as public greenspace.","_id":"3OSAMEBLJZFAXA7SH3EEOITEKA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650326502797,"type":"text","content":"About $10 million will come from the Department of Watershed Management. The legislation directs the city’s Chief Financial Officer to identify funding for the additional $12 million the city is committing.","_id":"GWFUX4TW6BGBVD6O5HN2RE7NVU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650326502798,"type":"text","content":"The city hasn’t provided a timeline for when the park could be open, but said it will work with community members on specific plans. It also plans to construct a memorial honoring the victims of convict leasing.","owner":"id":"ajc","copyright":"2022 Atlanta Journal-Constitution","address":"locality":"Atlanta","region":"GA","caption":"April 19, 2022 Atlanta - Aerial photograph shows Chattahoochee Brick Company on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. A year and a half ago, a massive swath of land near the banks of the Chattahoochee River was on track to becoming a fuel terminal to move ethanol, oil and other commodities from train cars. 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The report is available on the city’s website.","_id":"PPLD77E6BVBH3A5D6UR5C3RAGE","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"I5EGEFT6DZF3PF32R273VLWTJY","type":"interstitial_link","content":"Inside City Hall: Atlanta begins a search for a new police chief","url":"https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/inside-city-hall-atlanta-begins-a-search-for-a-new-police-chief/D2JB7VZSSNFPPBRFECWJXTWXN4/","_id":"SCTT5MQOAJHAZIH6IICRUJPENM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650310812307,"type":"text","content":"Ohio River South CEO Howard Franklin, the team’s co-chair and Dickens’ top campaign strategist, said the committee gathered feedback from nearly 300 residents for nearly 11,000 hours. The 40-member team formed in January.","_id":"BYZ2CYWENZADJAGES3MZWX37JA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650310812308,"type":"text","content":"Franklin said he was pleasantly surprised to see their report align so well with Dickens’ priorities because the team worked separately from the mayor’s office over the last 100 days.","_id":"OK5EDA6HTRHIVL6S5NAYQK6KZA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650310812309,"type":"text","content":"“I’m glad to see so much is already happening. We were kind of on parallel tracks,” Franklin said.","_id":"SCTT5MQOAJHAZIH6IICRUJPENM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650310812310,"type":"text","content":"One proposal is for the city to create a “fast-track procurement program” within the city’s Department of Procurement to expedite the use of public safety initiatives within the first two years of Dickens’ first term. 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","streams":["provider":"mediaconvert","width":960,"stream_type":"ts","bitrate":1500,"filesize":213158160,"url":"https://d189dz6wvushk1.cloudfront.net/wp-ajc/20220411/62547fd46c2e897f7425f729/t_e611f352cd2c4bf6bba72d6d363e37ca_name_Mayor100Days/master.m3u8","height":540],"canonical_url":"/news/video/atlanta-mayor-talks-first-100-days-in-office/faa62d70-42f3-42f4-9822-799a88a5c11f/","promo_items":"basic":"credits":,"width":1920,"caption":"Atlanta, Thursday April 7, 2022 - Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens talks with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporters about his first 100 days in office. (Tyson A. 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The report lays out several opportunities for the city to enhance or create partnerships with existing programs designed to support young people.","_id":"U6BXE5N4SZDD3B7RN67VV7L2FU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650310812313,"type":"text","content":"One proposal aimed at corruption would restrict campaign contributions from existing and prospective city contractors after businesses submitted a bid for work on contracts with the city or Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The rule would also apply to contractors for a period of time after the city contract is executed.","_id":"5XJK2EWADRCBZO3YWPLJJZ2UW4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650310812314,"type":"text","content":"According to the report, the team listened to several members of the Atlanta business community and policy advocates who expressed “concerns that donations to political campaigns are perceived to be a prerequisite to future success in city procurement or airport contracting processes.”","_id":"MDWR6MGHB5CIND7ZTKCS5BXIHQ","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"EOQMCHFLIRDQJLNW6BT4OEGNPE","type":"interstitial_link","content":"Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant to retire in June","url":"https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/breaking-atlanta-police-chief-rodney-bryant-to-retire-in-june/AYBIIXMAKNFY7MK2G5UFDPAJUU/","_id":"V22QXK56GJC33C22YSZKNZKICA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650310812315,"type":"text","content":"The pay-to-play recommendation also comes amid the federal investigation into the Atlanta City Hall bribery scheme. Although the probe and the prosecutions date back to officials in then-Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration, Dickens recently put two employees on leave after the women were name-checked in Mitzi Bickers’ March bribery trial.","_id":"VSTQ4Y5MVVBXTPRPRC3WKVUBOE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650312872578,"type":"text","content":"Former Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms formed a 38-person transition team in her first term in 2018. But her team never released a report.","_id":"TMEPIHR3OFFUNGDHAYANNBLMYA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650313835833,"type":"text","content":"Another proposal is the creation of an Office of Neighborhoods. It would be a central hub for the city to coordinate with community groups designed to ensure residents are being heard.","_id":"L7HKMCPHAVBCVD3N33SI22QTAA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650313835834,"type":"text","content":"English Avenue Neighborhood Association President Nicholas Stewart said the proposal’s details closely mirror the intent of the city’s existing neighborhood planning units.","_id":"EPDFLAEI75BLNFPIH6EACU7GIA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650313835835,"type":"text","content":"But Stewart said he supports the addition of more neighborhood engagement staffing if Dickens can fund those positions. He said residents in his area often feel like they’re ignored, such as when the city recently approved a restaurant’s liquor license despite the NPU-L’s vote against the alcohol permit.","_id":"QUCXPCFDPRFY3EIDUCFJLSCQK4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650313835836,"type":"text","content":"“The voices of the neighborhood sometimes get overturned when the particular item gets down to the city,” Stewart said.","_id":"7YZTPG6JABBA5I6SFE27KXQJ2Y","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650310812317,"type":"text","content":"Dickens lauded his transition team for helping him by obtaining feedback from people “to forge one Atlanta where everyone thrives.”","_id":"HXUNUU4MMNCMTBYTXRVSCHZGJM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650312872580,"type":"text","content":"Team co-chair Sharon Gay, a former Managing Partner of Dentons and a former mayoral candidate, said in a statement that residents will continue to get opportunities to let their voices be heard.","_id":"ZWDEQLBGUZEWLHYNI22FQRH67Y","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650310812318,"type":"text","content":"“These recommendations are only the beginning,” she said.","_id":"EKRZWFBJJJAR3ET6SVIYZ5Q2YI","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"E74XROYGTFAP3LLRVRCUVYIP2Y","type":"divider","_id":"FKNEMRZM6FDKHKZUF6WH24EVVY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650314810207,"type":"text","content":"Highlights from the report:","_id":"FWYL5O4CTVBP5F7YXT7WBDZP6Y","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650314810208,"type":"text","content":"* Develop place-based crime prevention strategies for hotspots.","_id":"XGRUDHPBM5B6VDZLELRZ7N6OFQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650314810209,"type":"text","content":"* Develop fast-track procurement for public safety initiatives.","_id":"XV6TJ4YZ7RFXTH4QA4AN4VFYOA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650314810210,"type":"text","content":"* Create an Office of Neighborhoods.","_id":"RGEKTTQYYRFSLO7LRGCMI6IHI4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650314810211,"type":"text","content":"* Limit campaign contributions from contractors.","_id":"HZCSFBUD2ZALHG7STDCAY6VTAU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650314810212,"type":"text","content":"* Support the independence of the city’s Office of Inspector General and Ethics Office.","_id":"X72YGQ226NEH3ONTURVCTOG7JU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":["pos":0,"comment":"* Perform"],"comments":[],"_id":1650314810213,"type":"text","content":""],"display_date":"2022-04-18T19:48:23.893Z","headlines":"basic":"Atlanta mayor’s transition team recommends policies in public safety, ethics","first_publish_date":"2022-04-18T19:48:23.893Z","taxonomy":{"sections":["path":"/news/atlanta-news","parent":"default":"/news","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"/news","name":"Local News","description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","additional_properties":"original":"parent":"AmpNav":"/news","default":"/news","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":null,"SectionMap":"https://www.ajc.com/","MainMenuRedesign2021":"/news","TopNav":null,"ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","site":"section_comments_enabled":"Yes","site_description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","site_title":"Atlanta Local News","navigation":"nav_title":"Local News","inactive":false,"node_type":"section","_website":"ajc","name":"Local News","Sponsor":"sponsor_url_open_new_tab":"true","sponsor_desktop_banner":"","sponsor_mobile_banner":"","sponsor_url":"","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","ancestors":"TopNavRedesign":[],"SectionMap":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"MainMenuRedesign2021":["https://www.ajc.com/","/news"],"TopNav":[],"order":"AmpNav":2004,"default":2004,"SectionMap":1075,"MainMenuRedesign2021":2004,"ComposerNav":1080,"_website_section_id":"ajc./news/atlanta-news","type":"section","version":"0.6.0","path":"/news","parent":"default":"https://www.ajc.com/","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"https://www.ajc.com/","name":"News","description":"Atlanta Georgia News main page: Breaking News, Atlanta Weather Forecast, Crime, Politics, GA Schools, Local Articles - 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As the mayor launches a national search, we expect officials and stakeholders to begin lobbying for their preferred picks over the next few weeks, especially internal candidates.","_id":"MJVROJMYIFEAPMIEWH4AR5AAEQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650285960804,"type":"text","content":"“I’m confident our next chief is already here amongst our current APD executive staff,” tweeted City Councilman Dustin Hillis, who chairs the council’s public safety committee. We’ll note that the last two chiefs before Bryant — Erika Shields and George Turner — were also internal hires.","_id":"IWTNUBFDYRHFDFA2B6XW6ESTEI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650285960805,"type":"text","content":"Mayor Andre Dickens told reporters last week that he and Bryant came to the same conclusion over the chief’s future. Bryant came out of retirement to lead the department in 2020 after Shields stepped down, and he’s served in APD for over three decades.","owner":"id":"ajc","copyright":"2022 Atlanta Journal-Constitution","address":"locality":"Atlanta","region":"GA","caption":"Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant and Mayor Andre Dickens leave after announcing the chief’s retirement at the Atlanta Police Department Zone 4 headquarters on Friday, April 15, 2022. Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant will retire in June after serving the city for over three decades, the mayor’s office announced Friday morning. 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Dickens has enlisted the help of several companies and business leaders in the vetting process of the candidates. Here’s what he told us last week about the status of those searches:","content_elements":["_id":"MU4IC3ZCHRA4RGRDGPMV3W6JCQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"type":"text","content":"“Those searches are in the middle phases. The individuals are now beginning to send me finalists, like (the) top five I just received for Parks and Rec. I’m doing my own interviews with them, some virtual, some in person, and I’ll be doing that across those departments. Once we’re ready, we’ll make an announcement and get those people presented to the public.”"],"citation":"type":"text","content":"Mayor Andre Dickens on hiring new department leaders","subtype":"blockquote","_id":"375EWH7H7VC5JER27NY4632IJM","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"XCOXCRVHORBUTGK5K3U2CUXWJY","type":"quote","_id":"OVVKKPRF3FDJLGNCYOWIGGCEBM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650285960810,"type":"text","content":"---","_id":"SZ6KVHLMH5FRBJVMR7EKEM2EMU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650285960811,"type":"text","content":"Speaking to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Editorial Board last Thursday, Dickens gave us the gist of his plans for the city going forward. 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He described it as opportunity for citizens to watch trials virtually, or in person at the court, in order to understand how judges are making their decisions in cases of public interest.","_id":"I5UUWF7SHJBZBB6K7Z234CKU5A","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650285960815,"type":"text","content":"- Dickens also told the AJC that his forthcoming budget proposal will likely be the largest budget in the city’s history. Dickens, a former city councilman, respectfully declined to give us a full overview before the City Council gets it, but he said it’s almost ready.","_id":"J4OE54DO4ZC3PH6NQUCHUU3DII","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650285960816,"type":"text","content":"“Various departments have some deficits or some challenges that we need to kind of support and shore up,” Dickens said. “We’re looking at some things related to staff, making sure that we know that there has been a pandemic and there’s been a lot of competitiveness in the marketplace with quality staffs. We’re trying to do our best job there to make our staff across the board feel appreciated.”","_id":"MGDRNESYDVFSDD3YNLLTKVOHJQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650285960818,"type":"text","content":"---","syndication":"search":true,"description":"basic":"Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens down with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to talk about his first 100 days in office. 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WILBORN NOBLES III

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Wilborn P. Nobles III covers the Atlanta mayor's policies for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wil (not "Willie" or "William") previously covered Baltimore County government at The Baltimore Sun, but he never finished "The Wire." He also covered education for the Times-Picayune in his hometown of New Orleans, so he tries to avoid discussions about football. Wil used to play tuba for his high school marching band, but he eventually put down his horn to intern at The Washington Post. The Louisiana State University graduate enjoys gardening, comedy, and music.

[email protected]

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J.D. CAPELOUTO

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J.D. Capelouto is a local news reporter covering City Hall and all things intown Atlanta for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His work focuses the City Council, neighborhood issues, public safety, housing and transportation. J.D. was born and raised in Atlanta and has lived in the city all his life, except for four years at Boston University, where he studied journalism and learned how to dress for cold weather. He’s been with the AJC since 2018, and has previously written for The Boston Globe and the Thomson Reuters Foundation. When he’s not reporting or scrolling through Twitter, J.D. enjoys pop culture podcasts, “Survivor” and visiting various pools around Atlanta.

[email protected]

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But the highest prices paid by Atlanta drivers came in the spring of 2008, about $5.38 in current dollars.","_id":"NR5C64GAFBETNPQPTTIWHQMN6Y","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364617,"type":"text","content":"Whether the current decrease continues depends most on global oil prices, which are the largest factor in the price at the pump, said De Haan.","_id":"J2USMKPNQBCOHOS6Y6HD4XJ62U","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650044506991,"type":"text","content":"“We are still subject to the whims of the market,” he said. “It’s about Russia and Ukraine and COVID and China and demand, which goes up and down.”","_id":"F6N63HAONZGJTP5SLYXU6HL5PQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650044506992,"type":"text","content":"Oil prices are set daily by traders watching geopolitics along with the day-to-day interplay of supply and demand. In the early months of the pandemic, when tens of millions of consumers stayed home, the system was awash in extra gasoline. Prices plummeted and oil companies slashed production. As drivers returned to the road, demand outpaced supply and prices rose.","_id":"27ZQULTZKZHJJLMYZNDIGKNMDU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364619,"type":"text","content":"A year ago, metro Atlanta gas averaged just $2.68 a gallon.","_id":"S7PJ4D3M55EFNLERQJOFQ2NOBU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364620,"type":"text","content":"Oil began this year selling for about $76 a barrel, but when Russia invaded Ukraine, fears of a worldwide disruption in supply sent prices to nearly $130 a barrel. And while those prices dropped after a few weeks, they’ve been creeping upwards again.","_id":"LBGCGNHASJBRJJ4ETX43CXAQBA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364621,"type":"text","content":"Late this week, the price of a barrel of oil was hovering around $106.","owner":"id":"ajc","copyright":"Atlanta Journal-Constitution","address":"locality":"Norcross","region":"GA","caption":"041522 Norcross: Gas prices are shown at a QT gas station along Jimmy Carter Blvd on Friday, April 15, 2022, in Norcross, Ga. Atlanta gas prices are down but still expensive. (Jason Getz / [email protected])","source":"system":"AJC Freelancer","name":"AJC Freelancer","edit_url":"","source_type":"wires","source_id":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/041622 GAS 01.JPG","additional_properties":"editor":"photo center","taxonomy":"associated_tasks":["625962287c2a1d7fe42b4164"],"seo_keywords":["AJC Freelancer"],"type":"image","distributor":"mode":"custom","name":"AJC Freelancer","category":"wires","version":"0.10.3","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/RXBWPEE2XZ7XT3SB2TOGCFCRNU.JPG","licensable":false,"credits":"affiliation":["name":"Jason Getz / [email protected]","type":"author"],"by":["name":"Jason Getz / [email protected]","type":"author"],"subtype":"Wires","subtitle":"Atlanta Gas prices down","width":6916,"_id":"RXBWPEE2XZ7XT3SB2TOGCFCRNU","additional_properties":"fullSizeResizeUrl":"/resizer/VVY3FFVc2SdBz4mZJR71K--OOK0=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/RXBWPEE2XZ7XT3SB2TOGCFCRNU.JPG","iptc_source":"Atlanta Journal-Constitution","comments":[],"iptc_job_identifier":"625962287c2a1d7fe42b4164","keywords":["AJC Freelancer","Atlanta Gas prices down"],"proxyUrl":"/resizer/VVY3FFVc2SdBz4mZJR71K--OOK0=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/RXBWPEE2XZ7XT3SB2TOGCFCRNU.JPG","takenOn":"2022-04-15T15:37:13Z","originalUrl":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/RXBWPEE2XZ7XT3SB2TOGCFCRNU.JPG","published":true,"resizeUrl":"/resizer/VVY3FFVc2SdBz4mZJR71K--OOK0=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/RXBWPEE2XZ7XT3SB2TOGCFCRNU.JPG","thumbnailResizeUrl":"/resizer/lUOVBK7y5PN2S38BcGf4ouZVwxE=/300x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/RXBWPEE2XZ7XT3SB2TOGCFCRNU.JPG","version":2,"originalName":"s3://ajc-arc-photo-integration/Freelancer/041622 GAS 01.JPG","mime_type":"image/jpeg","restricted":false,"galleries":[],"_id":"BCTI2IIDIJBYHPQQWGPLE7WVOM","iptc_title":"multimedia journalist","created_date":"2022-04-15T16:20:34Z","last_updated_date":"2022-04-15T18:35:10Z","slug":"041622 GAS","height":4613,"_id":"X7TIGWLTPNDVPD3F3LC5VMUYTE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364622,"type":"text","content":"Hikes in energy prices are a threat to household finances, as well as to economic growth. Most of the recessions since World War II began after a sharp rise in energy prices, although there were often other factors as well.","_id":"RCNUWGDMNJFRZIZRV3HVQHEY6A","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364623,"type":"text","content":"To blunt high prices by adding to the supply of gasoline, President Joe Biden has ordered releases from the nation’s strategic oil reserve. At the state level, the Georgia General Assembly unanimously suspended the state’s 29.1 cent-per-gallon gas tax through May 31, a measure signed by Gov. Brian Kemp.","_id":"CMXN5YVNU5F4FIJVTMI4KBTK4A","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364624,"type":"text","content":"At $3.80 a gallon, a 15-gallon fill-up costs $57. If retailers pass along the full cut in Georgia’s tax, drivers would save $4.37 for every 15 gallons.","_id":"BGRFYRECU5GCBIIF63SI2JAB2A","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364625,"type":"text","content":"Thus far, there has been little suggestion that Americans drive less, carpool, choose more efficient vehicles or take public transit — the kinds of solutions offered in some past crises. Yet when prices rise, demand is always half the story, said De Haan.","_id":"PXQUIK7HFJHNRKTNVDKC6CA2QE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364626,"type":"text","content":"Government action to cut prices encourages more driving, which gives reason for retailers to raise prices in return, he said.","_id":"N2CC3FYWBJGIJIPW7WLCLXFOIM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650044507002,"type":"text","content":"“I am not a huge fan of suspending the gas tax,” he said.","_id":"5LRFPV3N3ZELDLYFQENHVUXPBI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364627,"type":"text","content":"Because every retailer replenishes stocks on its own schedule, the fluctuations in wholesale gas hits each at different moments so the timing of changes at the pump vary too. And because the companies do not release their business information, there’s no way to know if they are passing along all the savings they can.","_id":"6KGQT33ZHVCEHAEQ2EPNSUJP7Y","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364628,"type":"text","content":"That goes for the suspension of the sales tax, too.","_id":"S7EI7C4XP5AGTHDKU5NZTLNALQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364629,"type":"text","content":"Still, the suspensions have coincided with drops in pump prices for Georgia, and the other two states that suspended the gas tax — Maryland and Connecticut. Maryland, which has a gas tax of 36.1 cents per gallon, has seen prices drop 61 cents from its peak, according to GasBuddy. Connecticut, which has a 25 cent-a-gallon gas tax, has seen prices fall 63 cents a gallon.","_id":"VPRCD762BNE2BBNI4J3K2YLTH4","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"5XXXGW445ZDATLGMHHEWQXJOXI","type":"divider","level":3,"_id":"BJN24ZINAFCVDMM646SFDV3WHE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364631,"type":"header","content":"Metro Atlanta gas prices*","_id":"PL6ESBKEONFIHH4CPBRNNXSUGI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364632,"type":"text","content":"Friday morning: $3.76","_id":"I4AHNWU2GZG2ZE4Q4LSEBH33AY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364633,"type":"text","content":"Week ago: $3.84","_id":"CWPIK6WGKNCIJLCVKQPZFXFQIE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364634,"type":"text","content":"Month ago: $4.31","_id":"MYFIVYJUYBEHLFT5GHSRVKVGTM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364635,"type":"text","content":"Year ago: $2.68","_id":"CPCA4JRSVVEJ7JNBUXAEHBLDVI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364636,"type":"text","content":"Ten years ago: $3.78","level":3,"_id":"XTYF6NMPOZCUBL263BEFEF4HBM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364637,"type":"header","content":"Metro Atlanta, peak gas prices","_id":"ZTBT3KSE6ZC3BKF6U2GLKOCIKI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364638,"type":"text","content":"Recent: $4.33 (March, 2022)","_id":"B3GVMXH7LZDJNBWSWDOYRBI55U","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364639,"type":"text","content":"Pre-pandemic: $4.11 (Sept., 2005)","level":3,"_id":"XVTJW7BWZRDVPFPYF5AC53EB7U","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364640,"type":"header","content":"Gas prices, in 2022 dollars","_id":"4HN3O5FT3JDCFGY3JG6PLQNVKY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364641,"type":"text","content":"Current: $3.76","_id":"CXOQ7FREEVEXDCRI2JTRF5FIX4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364642,"type":"text","content":"Ten years ago: $4.75 (April 2012)","_id":"HOFJVVOPSRGUNCRVDOFM4JAHHU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364643,"type":"text","content":"All-time high: $5.38 (June 2008)","level":3,"_id":"MHHOKIVKOFE3JOHBFSJNZCA2IY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364644,"type":"header","content":"Oil prices, per barrel**","_id":"EVN4UWTNQNAOPBUSU4ZWPCVGRI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364645,"type":"text","content":"Late Friday morning: $107","_id":"HNETW6WFBNCV3PR3MZC3RSLUWY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364646,"type":"text","content":"Peak this year: $124 (March 8, 2022)","_id":"RBSBMHQWMNHRLOM5MRQVIP7J2U","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364647,"type":"text","content":"Ten years ago: $105 (April 2012)","_id":"XVFPJMQ3UFAMVA5O3MSYIFCF6E","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364648,"type":"text","content":"All-time peak: $140 (June 2008)","_id":"X4SI7HN2RFGSTOLBGZ2I4NIMRM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364649,"type":"text","content":"Post-war low: $11 (Nov., 1998)","_id":"GFKKXZBOKVDUXJX2P7667D2KEU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364650,"type":"text","content":"_____________________","_id":"DJFZEN7325GHTL6RKTDNRLO2PU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364651,"type":"text","content":"*Using average for one gallon of regular blend","_id":"JSNUGJF3BJDYDKRKWGDG42JNMU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364652,"type":"text","content":"**West Texas Intermediate","_id":"BX6DWMEJM5DK5O6IL37BECGOHQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364653,"type":"text","content":"Sources: GasBuddy, St. Louis Federal Reserve, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Energy Information Administration, MacroTrends","_id":"4Z2Z25NY55HVPGKFNBTT7QTMYY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":["pos":0,"comment":"_________________________"],"comments":[],"_id":1650040364654,"type":"text","content":""],"display_date":"2022-04-15T18:35:10.327Z","headlines":"basic":"Atlanta gas prices dip below $4 a gallon, but still near historic high","first_publish_date":"2022-04-15T18:35:10.327Z","taxonomy":{"sections":["path":"/news/atlanta-news","parent":"default":"/news","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"/news","name":"Local News","description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","additional_properties":"original":"parent":"AmpNav":"/news","default":"/news","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":null,"SectionMap":"https://www.ajc.com/","MainMenuRedesign2021":"/news","TopNav":null,"ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","site":"section_comments_enabled":"Yes","site_description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as 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Atlanta gas prices are down but still expensive. (Jason Getz / [email protected])","type":"image","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/FG3VGWNTYJ73VWPKE6E3TNW2DU.JPG","height":5253,"canonical_url":"/news/atlanta-news/atlanta-gas-prices-dip-below-4-a-gallon-but-still-near-historic-high/2FFQWKURSFBXZL3AQT7WHUU2VA/","_id":"2FFQWKURSFBXZL3AQT7WHUU2VA"},{"content_elements":["_id":"B5H27BYDDZBP5LSM67XU75DB7M","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040839695,"type":"text","content":"The YMCA of Metro Atlanta is bringing competitive video gaming — known as esports — to its programming for children and teens.","_id":"FUKFFAFN2JDXBGJGRDCYVFKXGA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040839696,"type":"text","content":"The YMCA is teaming up with Skillshot Media and Atlanta-based professional esports team Ghost Gaming to put on youth and teen tournaments in Rocket League beginning this month and in May. The program is available to members and nonmembers ages 8 through 18.","_id":"FOK64WZC5VF75FSG5XDNEK6CCM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040839697,"type":"text","content":"Rocket League was chosen to begin the program “because the content is appropriate for all ages, it’s free, accessible across multiple hardware platforms and includes elements of teamwork and cooperation in gameplay,” according to YMCA officials.","_id":"33W67R2IVNGWHMKWUGN4HB2VMA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040839698,"type":"text","content":"“We’re excited to augment our traditional youth offerings with esports,” said Jill Moore, group vice president of the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, in a news release.","_id":"3FFDHXJJ55GGJGSG3ZGW3AMNSI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040839699,"type":"text","content":"“We identified Skillshot Media and Ghost Gaming as perfect partners based on their esports experience and their vision of esports for skill development, fun, friendly competition and physical fitness. Play begins this spring with a virtual program, and we plan to expand to in-person play by fall.”","_id":"UJK4UCQY3REQBJ52YKYNXSDP6Q","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040839700,"type":"text","content":"Skillshot will assist with parent education sessions about the benefits of competitive gaming. Skillshot is a part of the Atlanta Esports Alliance, a division of the Atlanta Sports Council (ASC), the group responsible for securing bids for large-scale sporting events like the Olympics, Super Bowl and FIFA World Cup.","_id":"2HBL4ZYKVNB7XNZP6VHP5JQEZE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040839701,"type":"text","content":"Ghost Gaming has a top professional Rocket League team which includes a general manager and coach, according to the release.","_id":"RZLR27PTCRBEHK5RSCDBEIO2KA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040839702,"type":"text","content":"“The Y is such a trusted brand in child development,” said Todd Harris, CEO of Skillshot Media, in the release. “We’re thrilled they are embracing esports and are humbled to partner with them to deliver competitive gaming in a way that nurtures the potential of children and teens while delivering confidence and connection.”","_id":"3AOLCEYMDJGS3MZMKV74UQKMF4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040839703,"type":"text","content":"Parents interested in learning more about esports and the YMCA of Metro Atlanta spring tournaments, can attend parent information meetings on April 19 at 7 p.m. and May 10 at 7 p.m. via Zoom sessions. 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Reporter Newspapers publishes free, community newspapers in Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody, and Sandy Springs. 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Police recruitment, meanwhile, has seen a large uptick compared to this time last year.","_id":"WE2MT2CZPRBDVJQLZNN4VWSLPQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650034550949,"type":"text","content":"Dickens told the AJC last week that the homicide rate is “too high for me. 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And not just (saying), ‘This is the way we’ve always done it, so this is the way we’re going to do it.’”","_id":"MKYQXTP5MRFNPIHVELECHGYAHE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650038092311,"type":"text","content":"A large-scale national search could take months, though promoting an internal candidate could be a swifter process.","_id":"RTWA4XQUYBEVFHF7WSP3FRJ4JY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650038092312,"type":"text","content":"”We have a very talented pool at the top of APD already if (Dickens) wants to choose someone from there to be our full-time chief,” Hillis said.","_id":"ZONVVPXHYBCWJA2GGVIU3WB2BQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650044254958,"type":"text","content":"When asked what’s next for him, Bryant said: “It’s time for a true vacation.”","_id":"NEBJRSB3FFDSJGTB5NAOUHEISQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650034550952,"type":"text","content":"— Staff reporter Shaddi Abusaid contributed to this report.","_id":"QCXGISFQF5FYPCZ3QEVUFOM5YI","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"AMJWJJXDGNAUFI6DMPUXH7C2VU","type":"divider","_id":"W3XQPUGBNNGWRDNXOWXMOKDZAI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040120867,"type":"text","content":"Why it matters:","_id":"Q22TWUL44RB2PPYRXTBJGBB2EM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1650040120868,"type":"text","content":"The leadership of Atlanta’s police department — the largest in the state — has major regional implications, as the chief often collaborates with officials across the metro and state on law enforcement strategy. 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While some recognized the holiday before the federal government and state of Georgia got on board in 2021, the item has become a lightning rod in cities like Marietta and Tucker, which also discussed and rejected the holiday.","_id":"XFJIBGZVIBDGPLVK7OJV7OUPA4","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"QHMWSQCY6ZC5TJZL2E7TBOYQGQ","type":"interstitial_link","content":"Juneteenth is now a paid state holiday for Georgia employees","url":"https://www.ajc.com/politics/juneteenth-is-now-a-paid-state-holiday-for-georgia-employees/IUKLZYH5ENGPTGSDXQW6GGOJKE/","_id":"PUGGXOFPORCD7DMZMJV24IORYY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649966674642,"type":"text","content":"Marietta’s holiday discussion quickly became a debate on why Juneteenth should be added to the city’s holiday calendar when it omits Veterans Day. Longtime Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin said that was the primary reason he vetoed the item.","_id":"5TP4VEO46JEHFNU56EWSORSCHM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649966674643,"type":"text","content":"“I’d hate to do one and not the other,” Tumlin said during the City Council meeting, emphasizing the city’s connection to military locations including Dobbins Air Reserve Base and Lockheed Martin. “Veterans Day is awfully important.”","_id":"OIMTRXUDKNGBBDCKCTA7ZP7CQQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649966674644,"type":"text","content":"The veto, which happened more than three hours into Wednesday’s meeting, prompted several residents and activists to voice their disappointment.","_id":"XOLIRSBOWBBIFIBKAMDQDLOKCQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649956009979,"type":"text","content":"“I’ve been quite proud of the city that I lived in, but I must say with great disdain that I’m highly disappointed that this is even a conversation that we had to have,” Jeriene Bonner Grimes, president of the Cobb County NAACP, said during the meeting.","level":3,"_id":"2GZHBKRAX5EVXCLAAQNCM7DIK4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649966674646,"type":"header","content":"The cost of adding a holiday","_id":"CBC66LQ64NFJHMTG4NJSQTO3B4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649966674647,"type":"text","content":"Wednesday wasn’t the first time Juneteenth was discussed in Marietta.","_id":"FCIIHZFMQJEFVJWOYP4DRCUMNY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649956010004,"type":"text","content":"The NAACP has held an annual Juneteenth festival on Marietta Square for more than 15 years, and Cobb County voted last year to make it a county holiday. It’s been a topic of discussion in city meetings and committees as well.","_id":"EGR65PRCRRBAFDKGKT5D52NLOE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649966674649,"type":"text","content":"Richardson attempted to bring the item to the city’s personnel and insurance committee, which she chairs, but the proposal did not pass due to opposition from Councilmembers Griffin Chalfant and Johnny Walker, the Marietta Daily Journal reported. However, Richardson was able to add the item to Wednesday’s regular meeting agenda, prompting Juneteenth’s comparison to Veterans Day.","_id":"ZBCY37FHE5FUHHAXCNANQYOZAA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649966674650,"type":"text","content":"Richardson, who said she’s the only veteran on the City Council, added that she would be open to making both Juneteenth and Veterans’ Day city holidays, but she said that wasn’t what they were discussing Wednesday.","_id":"OP5I34YALFAZTH7NIUQP32QE7Q","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649966674651,"type":"text","content":"“I think that’s a separate vote,” she said. “As you (Tumlin) said, (Veterans Day) has been around since 1918... and it’s not been brought up as a holiday before now. And I think to put them on together is to say that the only way one will be supported is if both happen.”","_id":"JRYNN5U3LRE65G3OTWMJOTQCLQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649966674652,"type":"text","content":"The city currently has 10 paid holidays for employees and can add more, but each one reportedly costs about $50,000 to $55,000, according to City Manager Bill Bruton.","_id":"DGNA6K64RREZ5C7LPTWKKBJBHE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649966674653,"type":"text","content":"The vote passed 4-3, with Joseph Goldstein, M. Carlyle Kent and Andre Sims joining Richardson by voting yes. Chalfant, Walker and Andy Morris all voted against the holiday. After the mayor’s veto, the vote to override the veto fell along the same voting lines and failed because the override needed five votes.","_id":"WNPVI5FOV5HQ7ECYBOLF46RZ2A","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649966674654,"type":"text","content":"Tumlin, who said he was in favor of looking at both Juneteenth and Veterans Day more closely, did not immediately respond to the AJC’s request for comment about his veto. But he told the Marietta Daily Journal after the vote that Veterans Day is “multiple times more inclusive” because “everybody has veterans in their family.”","_id":"DPNM7HOSV5DJJJFRNIQ6ANDPGQ","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"ABLP3J35MRGAHKF6W7C7ZVUNGI","type":"interstitial_link","content":"Prominent losses in mayoral races have Dems rethinking suburb strategy","url":"https://www.ajc.com/neighborhoods/dekalb/incumbent-metro-atlanta-mayors-fend-off-progressive-challengers/Z74E54KOARETBDJEHYI47RK6YI/","_id":"AVOWZ27L5NBHHLCC74XZNPW4NA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649966674655,"type":"text","content":"In addition to the county’s NAACP president, four other community members spoke at the end of the meeting to chastise the mayor’s decision.","_id":"LYEOUM4CJNDHNLIUGNXLQHMPAY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649956009999,"type":"text","content":"“I am the grandson of a World War II veteran,” Gerald Griggs, a Cobb resident and attorney, said. “I am the son of a Vietnam veteran who worked in the city of Marietta as a postal clerk. 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He says L.E.A.D. couldn’t afford to pick up all the kids anymore and parents couldn’t afford to get them there.","_id":"BG3EHLMBEFARRCORMVT256SC4Y","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649887252784,"type":"text","content":"“They are very frustrated, but you can’t have fun without funding,” Stewart said.","_id":"M7DTAGCAZZF27KZVUSFTPEJBOI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649887252785,"type":"text","content":"Friday night, when the Braves hit the field against the San Diego Padres, every player will be wearing Robinson’s number 42. 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Stewart became a star at Atlanta’s Westlake High School and was drafted by the Cubs in 1994. He instead went to college and was drafted again by the Cubs in 1996.","_id":"I7LG2BPAKFGSNF4I4D4VQG3AQQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649887252794,"type":"text","content":"He lasted two years in pro ball, before quitting to coach and mentor.","_id":"3VMLZ35RPNATFAS7I2HZAZHWDM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649887252795,"type":"text","content":"“If you are a Black boy and don’t want to submit to white culture, the last thing you wanna do is play baseball. 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The Braves also have launched fellowships to boost diversity off the playing field.","_id":"TIWPSQ6QRZFPBIALSNNS2IRBJY","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649887252796,"type":"text","content":"Edwin Jackson, a former Braves pitcher who played for a major league-record 14 teams, said Black kids often are not afforded opportunities to play and struggle to find role models who look like them.","_id":"C4WGEGKV5NCI5FKYYAQHL7HN4A","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"WKFHMEWP7BHPFOBQQNFG6KKN4I","type":"interstitial_link","content":"New PBS documentary reveals complex life of Georgia-born baseball legend Jackie Robinson","url":"https://www.ajc.com/blog/talk-town/new-pbs-documentary-reveals-complex-life-georgia-born-baseball-legend-jackie-robinson/GbSQUb4lJJiBzfslbg5QIK/","owner":"sponsored":false,"id":"ajc","address":,"syndication":,"caption":"Former Major League pitcher Edwin Jackson tutors kids in the L.E.A.D. program. 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You can’t be who you don’t see.”","_id":"ZZUBHGMKXBG63HHO6XF5YTTBCM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649890369435,"type":"text","content":"This week, the Players’ Alliance, an organization of current and former ballplayers who are Black and co-founded by Jackson, donated $150,000 to L.E.A.D. It will fund 42 players — in honor of Robinson — for L.E.A.D.’s summer programs here in Atlanta.","_id":"PRS3AZA5MRGWDBTI3HRSLOMJ4U","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649887252799,"type":"text","content":"“This is the most vital age group, where we can either lose them or pull them in,” Jackson said. “The only way to make a change is for us to do it personally. If we don’t go out and enlighten these kids, who else will?”","_id":"ZSFBA3S62FB5JCCX6IHIHAE2GE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649887252800,"type":"text","content":"Stewart was surprised by the donation and rendered to tears. Proving that there is crying in baseball.","_id":"RRXQZJN2VNARZISLXOR2TL5JQA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649887252801,"type":"text","content":"“This solves so many problems that we have,” Stewart said. “We now have a solution to make sure that we can actually protect boys from the idle time that can lead to crime, that can lead to death. We will be able to provide.”","owner":"sponsored":false,"id":"ajc","address":,"syndication":,"caption":"Jahliel Callahan (kneeling), in 2020 at his first game in the L.E.A.D. Baseball program. "He was very proud that day," said his mother, Lashandra Clark Callahan. 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Callahan is already planning to have him in the summer program.","_id":"W4WP3N5O2JAFXFJ2R4J2WSKAEU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649897785529,"type":"text","content":"“He never got into sports. 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The move comes just as widely used home test kits have made it harder to follow rising cases and questions have been raised about the best way to track the spread of new variants.","_id":"ACNXCCNHNRBL5HUM4PYANSRASI","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617834,"type":"text","content":"Some public health officials say moving away from the regular reporting of new cases could leave Georgia in the dark about emerging outbreaks. A new subvariant of omicron, BA.2, is picking up steam in many states.","owner":"id":"ajc","address":,"imageId":null,"caption":"BA.2 omicron subvariant is now the dominant COVID strain in the US","source":"system":"photo center","edit_url":"","additional_properties":"editor":"photo center","type":"image","version":"0.10.3","url":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/6PJGIWHTCVFARJZBYJUJ5GNKYE.jpeg","usage_instructions":null,"licensable":false,"subtitle":"BA.2 omicron subvariant is now the dominant COVID strain in the US","ingestImageToAnglerfish":true,"width":1920,"photographer":null,"_id":"6PJGIWHTCVFARJZBYJUJ5GNKYE","additional_properties":"fullSizeResizeUrl":"/resizer/2WTl21L5OzkHIOtWbAekjk0JPlE=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/6PJGIWHTCVFARJZBYJUJ5GNKYE.jpeg","comments":[],"keywords":[],"proxyUrl":"/resizer/2WTl21L5OzkHIOtWbAekjk0JPlE=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/6PJGIWHTCVFARJZBYJUJ5GNKYE.jpeg","originalUrl":"https://cloudfront-us-east-1.images.arcpublishing.com/ajc/6PJGIWHTCVFARJZBYJUJ5GNKYE.jpeg","published":true,"resizeUrl":"/resizer/2WTl21L5OzkHIOtWbAekjk0JPlE=/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/6PJGIWHTCVFARJZBYJUJ5GNKYE.jpeg","thumbnailResizeUrl":"/resizer/-BFPcV3OONdfmyRd6l4H-29hnB0=/300x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-ajc/public/6PJGIWHTCVFARJZBYJUJ5GNKYE.jpeg","version":0,"originalName":"t_c35bf0587dae425e80f69b37d201aa53_name_ba8359e28660474ca02895777f0121d5.jpeg","mime_type":"image/jpeg","restricted":false,"galleries":[],"_id":"KWGCX6TPDBE4PMO2JFECM7V5XY","created_date":"2022-03-30T12:30:00Z","last_updated_date":"2022-03-30T12:30:00Z","slug":"BA.2 omicron subvariant is now the dominant COVID strain in the US","height":1080,"_id":"N3DLVMU7JVDI5GYGBXMRVE73DU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617835,"type":"text","content":"“My own feeling is that this is the very worst time to stop counting,” said Dr. Richard Rothenberg, Regents’ Professor in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. “We are in a grace period at the moment, with a general decline around the country but a few places are seeing an increase from BA.2, and there’s a sense that that may signal another surge.”","_id":"V2FDN2S4CZAS5CZBEBXCXW6HKU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617836,"type":"text","content":"The Georgia Department of Public Health announced late Wednesday it will only update daily case counts for the public once a week. An agency spokeswoman said the agency will continue to collect daily case counts. The change is they will only be updated once a week rather than five days a week and displayed on the public dashboard at dph.ga.gov. The last daily update will be posted Friday and new weekly updates will begin Wednesday.","_id":"36HO5CXOC5BV3GIAWZWOFRMRWE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617837,"type":"text","content":"DPH said given the rise of at-home COVID tests, which do not get reported to the state, there is a greater focus on monitoring the virus through hospital admissions, hospital occupancy, and overall vaccination rates.","_id":"I6OEXXVABRF5BJRBDBKAFMFS4I","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617838,"type":"text","content":"Georgia will become one of 20 states reporting cases on a weekly basis, according to the latest tracking by Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Georgia moved from reporting seven days a week to five days last July. Only six states are still posting daily case counts.","owner":"id":"ajc","copyright":"Ben Gray","address":,"caption":"In this file photo, Dr. Kathleen Toomey gives an update about COVID at State Capitol as Gov. Brian Kemp listens. 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Toomey, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health in a statement. “DPH epidemiologists and the data team have worked tirelessly for more than two years to provide this information to the public. We are extremely grateful for their work and dedication.”","_id":"HQDUUWCHUZGSPKM6L65RXRFBPE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617840,"type":"text","content":"Georgia will continue to track and report COVID hospitalizations on a daily basis. As far as changes to the reporting of that, a spokesperson said, “not at this time.”","_id":"SXTEN26CUZB5LK6FNYMI3PYFHU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649966716833,"type":"text","content":"So far, the sharp rise of BA.2 is not leading to an uptick in severe cases in Georgia. The number of Georgians admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 has fallen to the lowest point since the earliest days of the pandemic. The number stood at 359 Thursday.","_id":"NTF4IU2XPREITKBHV445NK5VVA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617841,"type":"text","content":"Not surprised by Georgia DPH’s decision to reduce its reporting of COVID data, Josh Michaud, associate director for Global Health Policy for Kaiser Family Foundation, said case counts have become a less reliable source for providing an up-to-date picture of the spread of the virus.","_id":"45KJSC5GVBHPPNMCQZVBSRNI4A","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617842,"type":"text","content":"“It gives you a skewed view, only a small proportion of the population,” he said.","_id":"JMKEX54OMRBFNLGDV5E2TOUHRE","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617843,"type":"text","content":"“But it’s not completely useless and if you move to once-a-week reporting your timing might be slower than it would be otherwise,” he said.","_id":"IAS4VQPZZJETVPEC247SDD23Z4","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"26MJA3NDUZFGFDLVVGE2IUBSJU","type":"interstitial_link","content":"Complete coverage of COVID-19 in Georgia","url":"https://www.ajc.com/news/coronavirus/","_id":"LMYHTZJ7W5BJXI72GRWM52LLT4","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617844,"type":"text","content":"Michaud also believes that, back in February, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unveiled a new strategy on masking which focuses more on tracking hospitalizations “that gave the green light to states to adopt a monitoring framework that doesn’t rely on cases as much as it used to. It was a turning point.”","_id":"2FBY6Z2BXJDABMOHCOP4WNHGUQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617845,"type":"text","content":"The change from the CDC came at a time when omicron case counts were shattering all previous records. While hospitalizations have become a key metric, they are lagging indicators and may not capture the true toll of the virus.","_id":"RBICTK6VKJBOFOEJBYJEJXRVKM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617846,"type":"text","content":"Another tool gaining traction is wastewater surveillance. People with coronavirus infections shed the virus in their stool and monitoring the levels of the virus in wastewater can help gauge how widespread it is in a community, including people who have not been tested or have no symptoms. The CDC added wastewater data to its public coronavirus data tracker on Feb. 4.","_id":"SKSCFNCSWBGNJKZFRDIJ4IYFPA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649965424044,"type":"text","content":"Hundreds of sites in the U.S. are already participating in the CDC’s sewage analysis program, testing their water multiple times each week. But only two places in Georgia — DeKalb County and Augusta — are currently providing wastewater samples. DPH said starting this week, five additional sites in three counties will become pilot sites, but they declined to identify the site locations.","_id":"U4ZHUBKPJVHVZIPJPNLKWJ3Z5Y","additional_properties":"comments":[],"_id":"CSLGEYDWLRFKHKOXZF6BRWUG4M","type":"interstitial_link","content":"The AJC's COVID-19 dashboard","url":"https://www.ajc.com/news/coronavirus-georgia-covid-dashboard/jvoLBozRtBSVSNQDDAuZxH/","_id":"5BH7YPCHIBG5NHML4JCXEIIGKA","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617847,"type":"text","content":"Dr. Michael Eriksen, founding dean of Georgia State University’s School of Public Health, said given all the reinfections and breakthrough cases, as well as home testing, the number of daily cases is less informative than it once was. Monitoring hospitalizations, serious disease and deaths, he said, “is a more informative and efficient way to go.”","_id":"7AL6ZNJM4VAW7FDKCSOLEORKFQ","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617848,"type":"text","content":"“At a personal level, it’s still important to know if you are infected so you can act accordingly (such as masking and isolation) so as not to spread the virus, but at a population level, we’re more interested in the morbid outcomes caused by the virus and not simply the number of positive cases,” he said.","_id":"6MWT5WBA35HPPK5L2562NISXKU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617849,"type":"text","content":"Even so, Dr. Felipe Lobelo, an epidemiologist at Kaiser Permanente of Georgia said, “it’s odd and makes no sense from an (epidemiological) perspective to not report daily if the data is still collected daily. Especially not good as we ride the BA.2 surge.”","_id":"N3DLVMU7JVDI5GYGBXMRVE73DU","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617850,"type":"text","content":"Rothenberg agrees. And count him as someone who would like to track the data — every day.","_id":"MRMRTLOQE5FPJP2TN7XU2AS7HM","additional_properties":"inline_comments":[],"comments":[],"_id":1649961617851,"type":"text","content":"“My sense of this is that people fervently wish for COVID to be over, so let’s ignore it and see what happens.”"],"display_date":"2022-04-15T10:00:00Z","headlines":"basic":"Georgia scales back on reporting of COVID-19 data","first_publish_date":"2022-04-15T10:00:01.008Z","taxonomy":{"sections":["path":"/news/atlanta-news","parent":"default":"/news","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"/news","name":"Local News","description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","additional_properties":"original":"parent":"AmpNav":"/news","default":"/news","BottomNav":null,"TopNavRedesign":null,"SectionMap":"https://www.ajc.com/","MainMenuRedesign2021":"/news","TopNav":null,"ComposerNav":"https://www.ajc.com/","site":"section_comments_enabled":"Yes","site_description":"Atlanta Georgia city and county news, as well as Georgia state and regional news at ajc.com","site_title":"Atlanta Local News","navigation":"nav_title":"Local News","inactive":false,"node_type":"section","_website":"ajc","name":"Local News","Sponsor":"sponsor_url_open_new_tab":"true","sponsor_desktop_banner":"","sponsor_mobile_banner":"","sponsor_url":"","_id":"/news/atlanta-news","ancestors":"TopNavRedesign":[],"SectionMap":["https://www.ajc.com/"],"MainMenuRedesign2021":["https://www.ajc.com/","/news"],"TopNav":[],"order":"AmpNav":2004,"default":2004,"SectionMap":1075,"MainMenuRedesign2021":2004,"ComposerNav":1080,"_website_section_id":"ajc./news/atlanta-news","type":"section","version":"0.6.0","path":"/news/coronavirus","parent":"default":"/news","_website":"ajc","parent_id":"/news","name":"COVID-19","description":"Coronavirus outbreak news and updates from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 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