Category: Sandy Springs Reporter

Gov. Kemp to issue statewide shelter-in-place order, close schools through current year

Gov. Brian Kemp will issue a statewide shelter-in-place order and order public schools to remain closed through the end of the school year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, he announced April 1 in a televised press conference. The shelter-in-place order will run April 3 through 13, Kemp said. He said details are in the works and will be announced April 2. Kemp had been under political pressure to issue such an order, including from some local cities. Controversy arose when his chief of staff recently blasted such orders as an “overreach.” Kemp previously ordered schools to remain closed...

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Sandy Springs orders installation of Verizon 5G poles to halt indefinitely, citing pandemic

Sandy Springs has ordered the controversial installation of Verizon 5G poles in a neighborhood to halt indefinitely, citing the coronavirus pandemic. “Upon hearing that subcontractors were approaching homeowners during this time of a national pandemic crisis, the city has issued a Stop Work Order on all installation in [residential] neighborhoods until the end of [the] pandemic crisis,” city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said. The installation of poles had already been controversial, with the city and residents critiquing them, but the city has failed to be able to block the installation locally due to state law. Residents of Derby Hills, a...

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Atlanta Police report four members with COVID-19; other local departments report none

The Atlanta Police Department reported four officers or staff members diagnosed with the COVID-19 coronavirus disease as of March 27. Meanwhile, other local police departments report no cases on their forces so far. APD’s first known COVID-19 case was an officer who worked at police headquarters downtown. APD is declining to say where the other affected employees worked, citing privacy. APD’s ability to police the city is not affected, the department says. The Brookhaven and Dunwoody police departments have not had any officers tested for or diagnosed with COVID-19, according to spokespeople. Sandy Springs Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Salvador...

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Fulton County issues stay-at-home order, threatens $1,000 fines and jail time

Fulton County has issued an immediate stay-at-home order to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and threatened $1,000 fines and/or 12 months in jail for those who don’t obey. The order, which continues until further notice, came during an April 1 Board of Commissioners Meeting and was issued by the county’s Interim District Health Director Dr. S. Elizabeth Ford. “The order commands all county residents to stay at their place of residence; only allowing them to leave to provide, receive, or engage in essential services or activities,” a media statement said. “The order also permits those who work for...

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Local police departments field complaints about pandemic emergency order violations

Local police departments have begun fielding complaints about violations of pandemic emergency orders. Most say they have not issued citations yet. People gathering in parks in violation of social-distancing orders have been a common concern in Brookhaven, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs, say police officials. Maj. Andrew Senzer, the commander of Buckhead’s Zone 2 Atlanta Police Department precinct, did not respond to questions about citations, but circulated an email March 25 about the issue in parks. “As I drove around today, I observed that many of the parks and recreational facilities had fairly robust crowds, including individuals playing tennis,” Senzer...

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‘Overreach’ or ‘action’?: The politics of local shelter-in-place orders

The shelter-in-place and business closure orders issued by local cities in response to the coronavirus pandemic are increasingly politicized along familiar Georgia lines: rural/urban, Democratic/Republican and state/local. Some local cities and Democratic state legislators have been pushing Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to issue a statewide shelter-in-place order. Kemp has issued some broad orders — including a statewide shuttering of bars and nightclubs — but otherwise declined, saying it should be up to local control. But his chief of staff ignited controversy by blasting such orders on social media as “overreacting” by governments with “judgment clouded by power” — comments...

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Letter: What one family has learned from the pandemic isolation

Our refrigerator died during the first week of the COVID-19 quarantine. You know, the refrigerator holding our double amount of groceries for our family of six. We have a small extra refrigerator in our garage which we transferred items to, but, true story, my daughter and son, being ever so helpful at the ages of 9 and 7, bumped into each other while transferring frozen blueberries and a glass jar of Frank’s RedHot Sauce. Glass shattered, the hot sauce made the scene more horrific than it actually was (thankfully no one was injured and certainly no blood to be...

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New Sandy Springs city clerk, other officials are named

Raquel Gonzalez was named the new Sandy Springs city clerk at a March 3 City Council meeting.   Gonzalez was previously the city clerk of the city of Doraville, where she has held the position since 2018. Gonzalez replaces Coty Thigpen, who resigned in January to assume the role of assistant city manager in Woodstock.  As city clerk, Gonzalez is the official record keeper for the city, charged with recording minutes of City Council meetings and maintaining contracts, ordinances, resolutions and agreements. The city clerk’s office also oversees all open records requests.  Before joining Doraville, Gonzalez served as the executive...

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What your local ‘stay at home’ orders say

All Reporter Newspapers communities are under some form of “stay at home” or “shelter in place” order due to the coronavirus pandemic, and most are under at least two with differing details. Click your areas below for details about the orders that apply to you. Meanwhile, the gist is likely more important than details: Only go out if you need to, and stay at least 6 feet away from anyone else when you do. And if you’re sick, don’t go out until you’re well. State of Georgia (soon to to be much broader, according to Gov. Brian Kemp) DeKalb...

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Los Niños Primero names exemplary youth volunteers

Sandy Springs nonprofit Los Niños Primero has named Ari Slomka and Emily Demps as two exemplary youth volunteers for 2019. Ari Slomka is a senior at The Weber School in the Daniel Zalik Academy of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Design. This year, Slomka partnered with the teachers and administration of Los Niños Primero’s Early Literacy Program. Slomka has worked alongside both teachers and students to design, prototype, customize and manufacture hands-on activities and educational kits to introduce students at Los Niños Primero to the elements of STEM. Emily Demps is a junior at North Atlanta High School. Demps has...

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An editor’s note on our pandemic coverage

Dear Reporter readers, Like many of you, we at the Reporter are forced by this pandemic to work from home. Unlike some of you, we are at least still working. The shutdowns required to restrain the spread of the coronavirus are having a brutal impact on the local economy. We’re feeling your pain, too. The Reporter is a small, local business. We advertise other businesses. Our staff lives in the communities we cover, shopping locally and keeping money in the local economy. So we are all in this together. If you have a business to advertise, we’d appreciate your...

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Transform 285/400 traffic changes through April 4

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. Ga. 400 ramp closures March 27 and April 1-4, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., southbound ramp to I-285 westbound closed. March 27, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., southbound ramp to Hammond Drive closed. April 1-3, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., northbound ramp to Abernathy Road eastbound closed. April 2-4, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., northbound ramp to I-285...

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