Category: Brookhaven Reporter

DeKalb offers $125K in pandemic relief grants through Dunwoody’s Spruill Center for the Arts

DeKalb County arts professionals and nonprofit organizations can apply for up to $20,000 in pandemic emergency relief grants offered through Dunwoody’s Spruill Center for the Arts. The $125,000 grant program is accepting applications through Oct. 30. Among other requirements, applicants must live or be based in DeKalb and individuals must be 18 or older. According to the Spruill Center, the grants are intended to “cover documented costs associated with overdue rent, mortgage assistance, utility assistance, food, virtual learning assistance or other unforeseen financial/emergency needs.​​​​​​​” The program’s money was allocated by County Commissioner Larry Johnson from federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief,...

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City of Brookhaven pays off all overdue Georgia Power bills for residents, businesses

The city of Brookhaven says it has paid off overdue electric bills of more than 2,500 residents and businesses with over $777,000 in federal pandemic relief funds. The credit was already applied to bills of all Georgia Power customers within the city that were more than 30 days overdue and dated between March and Oct. 16. The 2,446 residential accounts and 110 business accounts were identified without an application process or verification that they were unpaid due to the pandemic’s economic impacts, according to city spokesperson Burke Brennan. To settle the overdue bills, the city spent $777,616 of its...

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Brookhaven Police receive $108K in state road safety grants

The Brookhaven Police Department has received a total of $108,000 in state grants to improve road safety and reduce car crashes. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety awarded BPD a $47,000 Pedestrian Safety grant and a $59,000 High Visibility Enforcement grant, according to a BPD press release. “The Brookhaven Police Department is proud of our efforts to work collaboratively with our community and to use innovative tools and techniques to ensure that pedestrian and vehicular traffic moves safely through our city,” Police Chief Gary Yandura said in the release. The pedestrian safety grant aims to reduce pedestrian-related crashes in...

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Breaking down Georgia’s health coverage plan after Medicaid waiver is granted

Federal health officials gave formal approval Oct. 15 to Gov. Brian Kemp’s request for a waiver to expand health coverage options for low-income Georgians. States have to seek federal permission for changes in certain healthcare programs, and Gov. Kemp submitted two proposals for federal waivers several months ago. The plan under the newly granted Medicaid waiver is called Pathways, and it would increase eligibility for uninsured single adults with incomes up to 100% of poverty, about $12,000 annually. There are strict eligibility rules, called  “qualifying activities,’’ where an individual must fulfill at least one. These include working at least...

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Letter: Five organizations say to vote ‘yes’ on DeKalb Board of Ethics ballot question

DeKalb voters are once again voting on revisions to an Ethics Act passed in 2015 by 92% of voters. This time, leaders of several DeKalb citizens’ groups are encouraging you to vote yes.  Here are the reasons why: The Board of Ethics remains independent; no one under the purview of the Board of Ethics is making appointments to the board. Unlike the 2019 bill, this bill does not provide for the CEO to make a Board of Ethics appointment and does not call for the board to submit its policies and procedures to review by the CEO and confirmation...

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Gov. Kemp extends state COVID-19 restrictions through Halloween

Gov. Brian Kemp has extended COVID-19 restrictions for the State of Georgia through Oct. 31. The extension of his executive order makes no significant changes to previous orders, which requires social distancing; bans gatherings of more than 50 people unless there is six feet between each person; specific rules for restaurants, salons and other businesses; and requires sheltering in place for those in long-term care facilities and the medically fragile.  The public health emergency remains in place until Nov. 9. The governor’s executive orders are available to be...

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Brookhaven starts distribution of CARES Act funds

The Brookhaven City Council approved technology purchases and partnership contracts Oct. 13 as its first move since receiving federal COVID-19 relief funds. The city received $6.3 million in COVID-19 Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds from DeKalb County. A dispute about the city’s tax abatement and annexation policies caused some delays in getting those funds. The city created a plan for the funds at a Sept. 22 council meeting and had contracts ready for council two weeks later. Mayor John Ernst thanked the staff for the quick turnaround and said he’s excited to see the money going...

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Brookhaven Council approves ‘vulnerable road user’ ordinance to protect pedestrians and cyclists

The Brookhaven City Council on Oct. 13 unanimously passed a “vulnerable road user” ordinance that aims to help pedestrian and cyclist safety, though Councilmember Joe Gebbia worried the penalties for drivers are too stiff. The ordinance outlines safe practices for drivers and pedestrians and increases penalties for drivers who cause an injury to “a vulnerable road user,” which is anyone using the roads who are not in cars, such as walkers, cyclists and skateboarders. It is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2021. In November 2019, Dunwoody became the first municipality in the state to enact a VRU law,...

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Brookhaven to install historical markers for oldest Black neighborhood in the county

For longtime residents of Lynwood Park, considered the oldest historically Black neighborhood in DeKalb County, the Oct. 13 Brookhaven City Council meeting was a pivotal moment for their community. The council passed an ordinance recognizing the history of the neighborhood, promising monuments and plaques in that community and supporting events that celebrate its past. “Lynwood Park is known for its unity, strength and independence even in the era of legal racial segregation,” said Lynwood Park Foundation Chair Kathy Wells at the meeting. “This ordinance speaks clearly to the strong moral values of the original residents of Lynwood Park.” Black...

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Robin’s Nest: Answers to life’s (food) questions

I’ve been married for 25 years and I’ve raised four kids, but I still call my mother with food questions. On this particular evening, however, I started out very confident in my culinary abilities. The sky was storm-cloud gray outside and the wind was blowing the patio furniture from one side of the deck to the other, but the ominous weather didn’t deter me. I had a bag of frozen seafood, and I was going to whip up a week-night defying dinner of linguine with sautéed scallops. I had stocked up frozen seafood for my daughter’s return from college....

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In 6th Congressional District debate, candidates blast each other as liars, extremists

The race for the 6th Congressional District seat turned nasty in an Oct. 13 virtual debate, with the candidates blasting each other as liars, extremists and rubber stamps for their party leaders. Democratic incumbent Lucy McBath is facing a challenge from Republican Karen Handel on the Nov. 3 ballot. It’s a rematch of the 2018 election where McBath booted Handel out of the office in a narrow victory as part of a Democratic “blue wave.” The district — which includes parts of Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs — is now politically purple, leading the candidates to bash each other’s...

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Brookhaven woman died due to hotel’s negligence, daughter claims in lawsuit

The 2018 death of a Brookhaven woman found with a maggot-infested wound in a local hotel was due to the staff’s negligence, her daughter claims in a recently filed wrongful-death lawsuit. Natalie Burson filed the lawsuit Oct. 1 in the state court of DeKalb County against Residence Inn by Marriott, the temporary housing company ALE Solutions, and hotel management company Aimbridge Hospitality. Residence Inn and Aimbridge Hospitality did not respond to requests for comment. Burson alleges that the hotel staff at the Residence Inn Atlanta at 2220 Lake Boulevard, near the Buckhead border in Lenox Park, neglected to check...

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