Author: John Ruch

Sandy Springs will pay auto shop to move from roundabouts, park site

The city of Sandy Springs will pay an auto shop’s $73,600 cost to move from the Johnson Ferry Road/Mount Vernon Highway triangle to make way for roundabouts and a new park. Meanwhile, the city is in the midst of a legal effort to take the triangle land by condemnation. The relocation “settlement” with Magic Mike’s Automotive—which maintains the city’s police car fleet, among other work—was approved by the City Council Dec. 20 following a discussion in executive session. Magic Mike’s is the successor to the former Eddie’s Automotive, which first opened in the 260 Mount Vernon Highway spot in...

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Sandy Springs didn’t know about plan to name its bridge for senator

The recently announced naming of a Sandy Springs bridge for U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson was a surprise to the city—a decision made by Cobb County without first checking the ownership, officials said at a Dec. 20 City Council meeting. The council voted to approve the tribute, but only after some pointed jokes about Cobb commuter traffic—and some dissent about whether it’s proper to name a bridge for someone still in political office. Cobb had already arranged the naming of the Johnson Ferry Road bridge over the Chattahoochee River and planned an already announced Dec. 22 dedication ceremony, Mayor Rusty...

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Civil Rights leader to join Sandy Springs’ MLK Day celebration

Atlanta Civil Rights leader Xernona Clayton will be the keynote speaker for Sandy Springs’ annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on Jan. 16. The MLK Day event at City Hall is where the city will present its annual Humanitarian Award, whose 2017 winner has not yet been announced. Clayton worked with King and other Civil Rights leaders in the 1960s. She coordinated a successful effort to desegregate all hospitals in Atlanta. She later became a pioneering television host and an executive at Turner Broadcasting. She is now president and CEO at the Trumpet Awards Foundation, which honors African...

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Sandy Springs Republican joins Congressional race

Donnie Bolena, a one-time Sandy Springs mayoral candidate, has announced a run for Tom Price’s potentially open Congressional seat. A Trump-inspired conservative Christian Republican, Bolena joins an ever-growing field of candidates for the Sixth Congressional District seat, which includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. “I’m the outsider,” Bolena, 51, said in a phone interview. “I’m one of the people. I’m one of them. I’m not an elitist.” He cites a better, more competitive national health insurance market as a domestic priority, and fighting terrorism as the top global issue. Describing himself as a “deplorable”—Hillary Clinton’s infamous insult...

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Police: Sandy Springs, Cobb County killings are related; suspect in custody

Two killings in Sandy Springs and Cobb County this weekend are related and a suspect is in custody, according to the Sandy Springs Police Department. Justin Hess, 31, was arrested by a SWAT team Dec. 18 at the scene of a fatal shooting in Marietta, according to Reporter Newspapers broadcast partner CBS46. He is being held on charges of felony murder and aggravated assault, and was denied bond at a Dec. 19 court hearing in Cobb County. Hess is accused of killing his mother, Carol Hess, at the Marietta townhouse on Dec. 17, then killing William E. Haynes, 53, at...

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