Category: News

Democrat Harrell appears to oust Millar in local Senate race; other results

Democrat Sally Harrell appeared to pull off a major upset by defeating state Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) for the state Senate District 40 race, according to unofficial results. Harrell picked up 54 percent of the vote in the once Republican stronghold district that includes Dunwoody and portions of Sandy Springs and Brookhaven. Harrell ran on a progressive campaign that included support of expanding Medicaid and opposition to “religious liberty” bills. Millar was first elected to the state legislature in 1999 by winning the House District 79 seat that includes all of Dunwoody. He then went on to win the...

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Sunday-morning alcohol sales appear OK’d by voters

The so-called Brunch Bill allowing Sunday-morning alcohol sales appeared headed for approval by voters Nov. 6 in all four cities in Reporter Newspapers communities: Atlanta, Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs. In unofficial tallies from a majority of precincts in all four cities, approval of the Brunch Bill ballot question was leading by large margins. The law would authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages in restaurants on Sundays starting at 11 a.m. rather than the current 12:30 p.m. The Brunch Bill legislation was sponsored by state Rep. Meagan Hanson (R-Brookhaven/Sandy...

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Anonymous funders of Brookhaven parks bond opposition draw criticism

Anonymous funders providing yard signs, mailers and a website opposing Brookhaven’s parks bond ballot question may be violating campaign finance laws, bond supporters allege. Some of the public opponents say that no laws are being broken and that others are remaining anonymous out of fear of retribution. Parks bond supports say the secrecy being utilized by the “vote no” effort goes against the grain of the opponents’ key criticism that the city has not been transparent about the entire parks bond process. Those publicly speaking out against the parks bond say there is no organized effort by those funding...

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Dunwoody Nature Center ‘eco-classroom’ construction approved

B.E. Guthrie Construction Co. was awarded a $95,150 contract to build an “eco-classroom” for the Dunwoody Nature Center during the City Council’s Oct. 22 meeting. The eco-classroom is so-called because it will be made from two reused shipping containers. It is replacing an aging cabin at the park. The eco-classroom will provide a place for meetings and activities for students and others visiting Dunwoody Park, where the Nature Center is located. The city this year awarded the DNC an $82,000 Facilities Improvement Partnership Program grant to pay for the eco-classroom. The Nature Center will reimburse the city the amount...

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DeKalb Entertainment Commission expo set for Nov. 3

The DeKalb Entertainment Commission is providing a behind the scenes look the state’s entertainment industry with its second Entertainment Expo on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at ROAM Innovative Workplace at Perimeter Center, 1151 Hammond Drive NE, #240. The expo will feature panel sessions, hands-on workshops, pitch opportunities, individual meetings with  professionals in the film, TV, music and digital entertainment industry as well as opportunities to visit with industry-related vendors, according to a press release. Resources and information for DeKalb companies, professionals and residents seeking to build a presence in the entertainment industry will also...

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Buckhead’s Massell, actor Robert De Niro join Phipps Plaza groundbreaking

  Simon broke ground on the major Phipps Plaza expansion Oct. 18, joined by actor Robert DeNiro and Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell. DeNiro is a co-owner of Nobu, the restaurant and hotel chain that is part of the expansion. The plans also include an office tower, fitness center, outdoor event venue and public green space. Executives at Simon, which owns Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square malls, and District 7 City Councilmember Howard Shook were also present at the groundbreaking, according to a press release. The officials used sledgehammers to smash a wall at the ceremony. The expansion is...

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18-house development proposed for Sandy Springs’ Dalrymple Road

A developer is seeking a rezoning to build single-family houses on 18 lots along Dalrymple Road in an area that is currently heavily wooded. A preliminary community meeting on the rezoning is set for Oct. 29 at 6:15 p.m. in Lost Corner Preserve, 7300 Brandon Mill Road. The proposal seeks to rezone the properties, which include 0, 309, 314 and 354 Dalrymple Road, from RE-1 to RD-18, lowering the minimum lot size from one acre to 18,000 square feet, less than half an acre, according to proposal documents. All lots fronting Dalrymple would be at least one acre, however, to be similar to other...

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Robin’s Nest: Taking a spin on the Wheel of Worry

I have a Wheel of Worry. It came into existence with the birth of my first child, and it started small. It spun to topics such as HIGH FEVER, WHY WON’T HE STOP CRYING? and STRANGE RASH ON BABY’S CHEST. I had more children, and the wheel grew. It got bigger as the children did, and its topics became more varied, ranging from to WHAT DID SHE JUST SWALLOW? and THEY’RE TOO QUIET UP THERE to CROSSING THE STREET and WILL THEY MAKE FRIENDS? By the time the last two children hit adolescence, the wheel was pretty substantial. It...

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Voters Guide: Betsy Holland

Betsy Holland Occupation: Director, Culture & Engagement for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Previous elected offices held: None Other community service experience: Nonprofit board service: Communities in Schools, Atlanta Community ToolBank (board chair), ToolBank USA, Fugees Family (board chair). Civic engagement: Board of Governors, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Choose ATL Committee, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Community involvement: Volunteer at Garden Hills Elementary School, member of the Garden Hills Garden Club, Member of Morningside Presbyterian Church. What is motivating you to run for this office? For years, I’ve found myself frustrated by the imbalance at the state legislature that allows bills to come to a vote that damage Georgia’s reputation and make it harder to do business. The current Republican majority has worked to pass religious freedom referendums and anti-LGBT adoption bills, and expanded concealed carry laws that reflect poorly on our state and can have negative consequences for our citizens. When asked to run, I stepped up so we can bring some balance to the state legislature and bring elected officials together to collaborate on finding real solutions for the people of Georgia. What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it? We must put the safety and security of our children before the interest of the gun lobby. The Georgia legislature has worked to make it easier for people to obtain firearms,...

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Voters Guide: Scott Holcomb

Scott Holcomb  Occupation: Attorney, Holcomb + Ward, LLP Previous elected offices held: I have been a state representative since being elected in 2010. Other community service experience: Since leaving active duty in 2004, I have represented veterans and their family members on a pro bono basis. I have also served on the State Bar of Georgia Military Legal Assistance Program Committee since 2008 and the Suicide Prevention and Awareness Committee since 2013. I previously served as an advisor to the Northlake Community Alliance and as a trustee on several boards including the Georgia Perimeter College Foundation and HOPE Atlanta, a nonprofit that works to end homelessness. What is motivating you to run for this office? I have a strong commitment to public service that precedes my time in politics. I like to help people and solve problems, and I find public-sector problems to be the most challenging that we face. Specifically, I’m interested in improving Georgia’s performance on several issues, including healthcare, education, infrastructure and transportation/transit. I also want to continue working on issues of sexual and domestic violence. I’ve been the driving force on major legislation over the last few years to help end the backlog of untested sexual assault kits and to provide greater protections to victims of domestic violence. What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it? I’ve spent...

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Voters Guide: Ellen Diehl

Ellen Diehl Occupation: iDiehl Solutions LLC. After more than two decades as a life and health insurance professional, I formed my own company in 2016, and own my independent life and health insurance brokerage. Previous elected offices held: 2nd Vice Chair, DeKalb GOP Other community service experience: I am active at Mount Paran Church, where I drove an E-350 14-person passenger shuttle for two-and-a-half years. I have served breakfast at Rescue Atlanta Homeless shelter, taught Sunday School to 3-year olds at North Point Community Church, conducted worship services for inmates at the Lee Arrendale Women’s prison in Alto, Georgia, and supported foster families through Promise 686. Also I have served on short term mission trips to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; San Juan de Lurigancho, Peru; and New Orleans, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. What is motivating you to run for this office? As a 44-year resident of DeKalb County, and a product of our public schools, I was saddened to see elementary schools with a failing score in our district. We can do better for the future of our children. In 1996, I started selling health insurance to small businesses and have seen the devastating impact of increase after increase. Now the cost of individual insurance is also unsustainable and I am ready to lend my 20-plus years of real experience in the field to implementing solutions. My parents modeled servanthood...

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Voters Guide: Matthew Wilson

Matthew Wilson Occupation: Attorney, Akin & Tate Previous elected offices held: None Other community service experience: The Georgia Trial Lawyers Association (member for four years; editorial board member for the Verdict magazine); Stonewall Bar Association (member for four years; currently serving as Secretary); Red Clay Democrats (member for eight years; Board of Governors member for two years); Georgia Watch (board member for two years); All Saints’ Episcopal Church (member). What is motivating you to run for this office? I’m running because I’ve seen firsthand how our state legislators haven’t been working for the people who elected them, but instead for the special interests and corporate PACs filling their campaign war chests. For many people, the 2016 presidential election was a wake-up call that signaled we all need to do more. For me, that meant stepping up to run for this seat so we can have better representation in north Atlanta. What is the biggest issue facing the district and how will you address it? It’s hard to pick one challenge when we need to be expecting more from our representatives on so many issues. I’m a former public school teacher, so education is important to me––but I will say that we need to act now to increase access to quality, affordable healthcare. Medicaid expansion would be a huge shot in the arm for our state. The legislature’s refusal...

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