Category: Public Safety

Gov. Kemp says no new COVID-19 restrictions despite surge warning, talks vaccine distribution

Even as the White House Coronavirus Task Force warned that Georgia is “in the early stages of full resurgence” of the virus, Gov. Brian Kemp said in a Nov. 24 press conference that he has no plans to impose any additional restrictions on the state. “I don’t see any reason to take any additional steps right now,” Kemp said at the State Capitol, noting that Georgia has enough hospital capacity and personal protective equipment. “We’re not seeing a spike in cases here right now, so that’s why we’re urging people to follow the guidelines during the Thanksgiving holiday,” Kemp...

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GDOT suspends construction closures for Thanksgiving holiday

The Georgia Department of Transportation will suspend construction-related lane closures on interstate highways and state routes for the Thanksgiving holiday to reduce the traffic crunch. The suspension of closures will start Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 6 a.m., and continue until Monday, Nov. 30 at 5 a.m. Some long-term closures will remain in place and construction activity may happen along...

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GDOT plans to open two new Ga. 400, I-285 ramps Nov. 23

Two new ramps on Ga. 400 and I-285 in the Perimeter Center area are scheduled to open Nov. 23, and officials are asking drivers to be aware of the new traffic flows. On Ga. 400 southbound in Sandy Springs, a new off-ramp to Abernathy Road will open. The ramp will begin just south of the North Springs MARTA Station, requiring drivers to merge about 1 mile away. Also scheduled to open is a new ramp from Ashford-Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody to I-285 westbound. The ramps are part of Transform 285/400, a massive, ongoing project to rebuild the Ga. 400/I-285...

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Nov. 20 Atlanta/Sandy Springs COVID-19 report: 289 more diagnoses; 14-day trend rises

The cities of Atlanta and Sandy Springs together saw 289 new COVID-19 diagnoses between Nov. 17 and Nov. 20 update reports from the Fulton County Board of Health. The number of cases increased in all of the main local ZIP codes. The 14-day trend rose significantly in both cities and in all of the ZIP codes. As of Nov. 20, the part of Atlanta within Fulton County had 15,556 COVID-19 diagnoses, up from 15,312 on Nov. 17. Sandy Springs had 3,328 diagnoses, up from 3,283. Atlanta remained the number one city in the county for COVID-19 diagnoses at 44.9%...

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Transform 285/400 traffic changes through Nov. 24

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 Nov. 20, 9 p.m., through Nov. 23, 5 a.m., closed between Peachtree-Dunwoody Road and Ga. 400. Ashford-Dunwoody Road ramp closures Nov. 20, 9 p.m., through Nov. 23, 5 a.m., ramp to I-285 westbound closed. Ashford-Dunwoody Road lane closures Nov. 20, 9 p.m., through Nov. 23, 5 a.m., northbound and southbound between Lake Hearn Drive and...

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Person shot, wounded in Buckhead’s Lenox Square in latest gun violence

A male victim was shot and wounded in Buckhead’s Lenox Square mall on Nov. 20, according to the Atlanta Police Department. The victim, whose age was not known, was shot in the rear around 3 p.m. during a “verbal dispute” with a group of male suspects inside the Apple Store at the mall at 3393 Peachtree Road, according to APD. The victim was “alert, conscious and breathing” when transported to a hospital, according to APD. APD said that one suspect was detained and being questioned, while others left in a vehicle described as a blue Chrysler Pacifica with Georgia...

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Atlanta Police arrest two suspects accused of blocking street-racing response in Buckhead

Two of four suspects accused of blocking officers from responding to a major street-race gathering in Buckhead last month have been arrested and charged, according to the Atlanta Police Department. The Oct. 18 street-racing incident happened on Northside Drive near I-75, where officers responded to reports of vehicles and pedestrians blocking the street. APD said that several vehicles and people blocked a patrol car, and one suspect is accused of throwing fireworks at the officers. Adolfo Robledo, 21, was arrested in Ellenwood, Ga., on charges of felony obstruction and prohibited use of fireworks, and Kristopher Repka was arrested in...

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Atlanta mayor announces ‘top-to-bottom’ review of police department; discusses crime, COVID-19

The Atlanta Police Department will undergo an 18-month, “top-to-bottom” review for possible reforms, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced in a Nov. 18 press conference, where she also discussed crime, Thanksgiving COVID-19 safety and other issues. In some other hot topics, Bottoms partly blamed shootings in the city on Gov. Brian Kemp’s pandemic business reopening policies, and indicated she is open to considering a position in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration but has not received an offer. The review of APD’s policies, procedures and training will be conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum, an advisory organization based in Washington, D.C.,...

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Nov. 17 Atlanta/Sandy Springs COVID-19 report: 702 more diagnoses; 14-day trend rises

The cities of Atlanta and Sandy Springs together saw 702 new COVID-19 diagnoses between Nov. 13 and Nov. 17 update reports from the Fulton County Board of Health. The number of cases increased in all of the main local ZIP codes. The 14-day trend rose significantly in both cities and in all of the ZIP codes. As of Nov. 17, the part of Atlanta within Fulton County had 15,312 COVID-19 diagnoses, up from 14,774 on Nov. 13. Sandy Springs had 3,283 diagnoses, up from 3,119. Atlanta remained the number one city in the county for COVID-19 diagnoses at 44.2%...

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Reward boosted to $5K in Buckhead sexual assault case

Crime Stoppers of Greater Atlanta has boosted the reward offered for information about a suspect in a Nov. 6 Buckhead sexual assault to $5,000. The female victim was sexually assaulted around 7 p.m. while walking from the Lenox Square mall on Peachtree Road to the MARTA station at 955 East Paces Ferry Road, according to the Atlanta Police Department. The suspect approached the victim just outside the MARTA station, Avery said. The suspect is described as a Black man, mid-30s, around 5-feet-9-inches tall, slim to medium build, with short hair. He was wearing a black jacket and light-colored blue...

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Atlanta City Council asks lawmakers to OK seizure of street-racing vehicles

The Atlanta City Council is urging state lawmakers to legalize the seizure or forfeiture of vehicles used in street racing. The councilmembers are essentially asking the General Assembly to legalize an ordinance they passed earlier this year despite knowing a car-impounding provision was unlawful and unenforceable. In a resolution approved Nov. 16, the council asks lawmakers to empower city governments to temporarily seize vehicles of accused street-racers, and to legalize permanent forfeiture of vehicles in cases where the driver has a prior conviction “for certain serious offenses such as reckless driving.” Street racing and stunt driving have plagued cities...

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Atlanta Police review street racing efforts as council to urge tougher state law

Authorities recapped efforts to battle street racing and other crimes in back-to-back virtual meetings Nov. 12 of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods and the Atlanta Police Department. “It’s an issue where the Atlanta Police Department is always going to be outnumbered,” said Maj. Andrew Senzer, commander of Buckhead’s Zone 2 APD precinct, about street racing. Senzer said APD is getting some assistance from a law the Atlanta City Council passed earlier this year to crack down on “non-driver participants” who help to organize street races. But, he said, it is not a silver bullet. The new law has been...

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