Category: Buckhead Reporter

2021 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival will be virtual and live

The 2021 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) will present its lineup virtually and live with a three-night drive-in experience at the Home Depot Backyard adjacent to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Downtown. Set to take place Feb. 17-28, this year’s festival will screen 38 feature and 16 short films, including world and U.S. premieres. The film selection covers a range of genres, including documentaries “Howie Mandel: But, Enough About Me” and “On Broadway” comedies like “Shiva Baby,” the LGBTQ+ feature “Kiss Me Kosher,” and the drama “Asia.”   It’s a big adaptation for a festival that, in the pre-pandemic years, drew more than 40,000...

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State Farm Arena manager talks reopening for basketball, concerts and more

On the eve of State Farm Arena easing into a reopening event — an Atlanta Hawks basketball game — the venue’s general manager discussed safety protocols and the post-COVID future at a Jan. 25 virtual meeting of the Buckhead Rotary Club. For the past four years, sports industry veteran Brett Stefansson has been the executive vice-president and general manager of the arena, home of the Hawks and a venue for concerts and other shows. He spoke to the Rotary Club via Zoom the same day the Hawks announced they would play their first game at the arena since the...

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Government transparency legislation the topic of Jan. 28 panel discussion

Government transparency proposals under consideration in the General Assembly will be the focus of a Georgia First Amendment Foundation virtual panel discussion Jan. 28 that includes a local lawmaker. The virtual “Legislative Breakfast” panelists will include: state Rep. Josh McLaurin (D-Sandy Springs); Lisa Cupid, chair of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners; James Salzer, a government reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution; and Sarah Brewerton-Palmer, an attorney at the Atlanta firm Caplan Cobb LLP specializing in issues related to the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantee of a free press. Among the issues on the agenda, according to a press release:...

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Man shot to death while driving on Buckhead’s Piedmont Road

A man was shot to death while driving on Buckhead’s Piedmont Road in the early morning hours of Jan. 24, according to the Atlanta Police Department. According to APD, the killing happened around 2:42 a.m. in the area of 2525 Piedmont Road. Another vehicle pulled alongside the victim’s vehicle and someone opened fire, hitting the victim several times. The victim crashed into a tree. A passenger in the victim’s vehicle was not struck by the gunfire, but was treated for injuries from the crash, according to APD. Rising gun violence has been a concern for Buckhead community leaders for...

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Atlanta Police tout hundreds of felony arrests in joint FBI program

Atlanta Police Department Interim Chief Rodney Bryant touted the city’s progress in fighting violent crime with its joint FBI initiative, Operation Phoenix, during a Jan. 21 press conference with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Bryant said since Operation Phoenix began last summer, 14 violent offenders and 385 other felons were apprehended and 678 guns removed from the streets. Bryant said he planned to submit a new homicide reduction plan to Bottoms this week after a 2020 spike of 157 murders in the city — the most in more than 20 years. “We will continue to be vigilant in keeping our...

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Fulton chairman: Atlanta Detention Center should become merged county jail and social services center

In the debate over whether the Atlanta City Detention Center should remain a jail demanded by tough-on-crime advocates or turned into a social services center proposed by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, the chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners says he has a solution: do both in the same building. “They’re not mutually exclusive, as far as I’m concerned,” said Chairman Robb Pitts in a phone interview. “I’ve been interested in it — still am,” said Pitts. “I still think that Fulton County needs to pursue acquiring or purchasing the city jail.” Pitts spoke the day after the...

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Cityhood for Atlanta’s Buckhead? Not so fast, says Morgan County’s Buckhead

A mysterious nonprofit’s proposal of cityhood for Atlanta’s neighborhood of Buckhead has raised the hackles of some powerful opponents, including the mayor, major business organizations and several elected officials. But its biggest obstacle may stand 60 miles east down I-20: the existing Morgan County city called Buckhead. “Tell ’em to back off. We got the charter,” was the cheerful reply of Morgan County Commissioner Bill Kurtz, whose district includes the city, when told of the Atlanta group’s aspirations. Chartered in 1908, the town of Buckhead, as it’s called locally, is a dot on the map with a population around...

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Transform 285/400 traffic changes through Jan. 29

The Georgia Department of Transportation has announced the latest round of lane and ramp closures and other traffic changes for Transform 285/400, its massive project to reconstruct the I-285/Ga. 400 interchange. Schedules may change based on the work and the weather. Abernathy Road closures Jan. 25-29, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., westbound between Peachtree-Dunwoody Road and Ga. 400 closed. Ga. 400 ramp closures Jan. 22-25, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., northbound ramp to I-285 westbound closed. Jan. 28-29, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., southbound ramp to Hammond Drive closed. Ga. 400 lane closures Jan. 22-25, 9 p.m. to 5...

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Gov. Kemp says hospitals can’t handle another COVID-19 surge; more vaccine doses coming

Gov. Brian Kemp said during a Jan. 21 press conference that Georgia’s hospitals cannot handle another surge in COVID-19 patients. The sobering assessment comes as the state awaits an increase in the allocation of vaccine doses from the federal government. “The virus could kill you or put you in the hospital before you can get the vaccine,” Kemp warned, and encouraged residents to wash their hands, social distance, and wear a mask. Kemp said hospitals are using emergency capacity and a 60-bed field hospital reopened at the Georgia World Congress Center in Downtown is almost at capacity. Georgia Department...

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New DNA testing in Atlanta Child Murders to begin within 60 days, police say

New DNA testing of evidence from the notorious Atlanta Child Murders cases, an effort announced by authorities in 2019, will begin within 60 days, according to the Atlanta Police Department. “Atlanta Child Murders” is the collective term for at least 25 African-American children and adults found dead in 1979 through 1981 around metro Atlanta, including in the areas of Brookhaven and Buckhead. Wayne Bertram Williams is serving a life sentence in state prison for two of the killings and was suspected by authorities of committing most of the others. But he has maintained his innocence, while some police officers,...

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Group promoting Buckhead cityhood seeks money for polling to see if the public agrees

The mysterious nonprofit group proposing that Buckhead leave Atlanta for cityhood or annexation answered many questions — except about the identity of its own leaders — in a Jan. 20 virtual town hall where it asked for $10,000 to $15,000 in donations to conduct opinion polls. Three members of the Buckhead Exploratory Committee, who did not appear on camera and identified themselves by first name only, provided no few new details about their proposal, instead joining commenters in reviewing the crime, tax, zoning and infrastructure concerns that sparked their urge to study various forms of separatism. Not mentioned was...

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Tax increase proposed for businesses, apartment complexes to complete Atlanta BeltLine

A 2-mill tax increase for businesses and apartment complexes along the Atlanta BeltLine corridor has been proposed to help fund the completion of the entire 22-mile loop. Legislation to create a Special Service District (SSD) within the Atlanta BeltLine Planning Area was introduced at the Atlanta City Council meeting on Jan. 19. Without additional funding, BeltLine officials contend, the trail corridor would not be completed before a tax allocation district (TAD) expires in 2030. The TAD — which freezes property valuations for tax purposes and allows increased tax revenue to pay off redevelopment costs — will generate at least...

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