Category: Top Stories

Dunwoody Nature Center replaces annual Monarchs & Margaritas with online fundraiser

Dunwoody Nature Center has canceled its biggest yearly fundraiser because of COVID-19 safety concerns and will instead do an online fundraiser challenge. Monarchs & Margaritas, which is an upscale casual party usually held at the nature center at 5343 Roberts Drive, helps fund the center’s programming and operations. “After considering multiple options including virtual or live stream events, there is too much uncertainty and financial risk to plan a top notch event,” a nature center press release reads. CRH, a building materials company headquartered in Dunwoody, was going to sponsor the event but instead gave a general donation to...

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New Coalition president to give first ‘State of Buckhead’ address July 16

The annual “State of Buckhead” address will be given by Jim Durrett for the first time in his new role as Buckhead Coalition president on July 16. Former Atlanta mayor Sam Massell gave the address to the Buckhead Business Association for many years. Massell retired last month and Durrett took over July 1 in a major shakeup of local business and civic organizations. Durrett also remains executive director of the Buckhead Community Improvement District and the two groups’ staffs are merging. In addition, both groups will share offices with the BBA and the nonprofit Livable Buckhead. The Buckhead Coalition...

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Atlanta Public Schools moves opening day to Aug. 24 with all virtual classes

Atlanta Public Schools has moved opening day to Aug. 24 and all classes will be held virtually for at least the first nine weeks, according to a report released on July 10. New APS Superintendent Lisa Herring will formally present the plan to the Atlanta Board of Education on Monday, July 13, at 5 p.m. Herring held a series of online forums in June to present three opening scenarios: in-person classes, virtual classes, or a hybrid of the two. With a surge in COVID-19 cases, the decision to continue online learning until at least mid-October was always in the...

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Mayor orders Atlanta back to pandemic ‘phase one’ reopening; governor calls it ‘unenforceable’

With COVID-19 cases hitting record highs, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has ordered her city back into a stay-at-home phase that Gov. Brian Kemp calls “unenforceable,” setting up a political and possibly legal showdown. “Georgia reopened in a reckless manner and the people of our city and state are suffering the consequences,” Bottoms said in a July 10 press release announcing the move. Bottoms has the city government on a phased reopening plan that she says is moving back to phase one. It includes a directive that residents stay at home except for “essential” trips; that restaurants and retail...

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MARTA plans to make mask-wearing mandatory under code of conduct

MARTA plans to make mask-wearing mandatory for riders under its code of conduct, the transit agency said, reversing course from an earlier statement. “As cities in our service area begin to adopt ordinances requiring masks, MARTA anticipates establishing such a policy next week,” said Stephany Fisher, the transit agency’s spokesperson, in an email. MARTA, its police department and the operators’ union “plan to incorporate mask-wearing into our current Ride With Respect policy,” said Fisher. “…Customers will have every opportunity to comply, but violators could be suspended from riding MARTA.” The code of conduct already imposes such rules as a...

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July 10 Atlanta/Sandy Springs COVID-19 report: 484 more diagnoses; 14-day trend is up

The cities of Atlanta and Sandy Springs together saw 484 net new COVID-19 diagnoses between July 8 and July 10 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 was up by at least 123% in both cities and rose in all but one of the ZIP codes. As of July 10, the part of Atlanta within Fulton County had 4,750 COVID-19 diagnoses, up from 4,338 on July 8. Sandy Springs had 938 diagnoses, up from 866. The July 8 report had listed...

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Sandy Springs may require face masks, keep arts center shuttered into 2021; water dispute delayed

Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul says the city may require face masks for everyone in public and that the Performing Arts Center may remain closed until 2021. Speaking in a pandemic-dominated “State of the City” address July 9, Paul said COVID-19 also affected the city’s long-running dispute with the city of Atlanta over water rates, which is heading into binding arbitration now delayed to September at the earliest. “It looks like, given the spike in the virus, that we probably are just going to wipe out the rest of 2020,” Paul said of the event schedule at the PAC...

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July 8 Atlanta/Sandy Springs COVID-19 report: 269 more diagnoses; 14-day trend is up

The cities of Atlanta and Sandy Springs together saw 269 new COVID-19 diagnoses between July 6 and July 8 update reports from the Fulton County Board of Health. The 14-day trend was up by at least 110% in both cities and rose in all but one of the main local ZIP codes. As of July 8, the part of Atlanta within Fulton County had 4,338 COVID-19 diagnoses, up from 4,159 on July 6. Sandy Springs had 914 diagnoses, up from 824. Atlanta remains the number one city in the county for COVID-19 diagnoses at 46.3% of the total, and...

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Brookhaven mayor signs executive order requiring face masks in commercial establishments

Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst signed an executive order on July 9 requiring face masks for anyone entering or working in commercial establishments, such as stores, salons and pharmacies. The requirement is effective 8 a.m. on Friday, July 10, according to the executive order. Brookhaven follows the lead of some other Georgia cities to require face masks in public places in defiance of Gov. Brian Kemp’s executive order that strongly encourages their use. Kemp’s June 29 executive order encourages face masks rather than requires them, and Kemp has prohibited cities and counties from enacting contradicting orders that would lessen or...

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Dunwoody City Council to consider resolution encouraging face masks in public

The Dunwoody mayor and council will discuss a resolution at the Monday, July 13 meeting to “strongly encourage” residents to wear face masks in public spaces, according to its agenda. The resolution comes as cities across the state are opting to require residents to wear face masks indoors in defiance of a state mandate from the Governor’s Office. Gov. Brian Kemp’s June 29 executive order also “strongly encourages” residents and visitors to wear face masks in public spaces except while eating, drinking or exercising outside, but it does not require face masks or coverings. Kemp prohibited cities or counties...

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Brookhaven may start commission, community dinners for race relations dialogue

After Mayor John Ernst said the city was “actively listening” to residents during the nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice, city officials are coming up with ideas to continue the conversation on race, including a commission on race relations and virtual Civic Dinners community meetings. Ernst and council have not worked on details on what those could look like, but they want the commission to be able to “make meaningful recommendations and effectuate change,” said City Councilmember Madeleine Simmons. Civic Dinners is a company that helps clients plan and format dinners and conversations about varying social topics....

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Brookhaven considers veterans memorial near new public safety headquarters

The city of Brookhaven may install a veterans memorial near or in the new public safety headquarters on the Peachtree Creek Greenway, which is set to finish construction by summer 2021. A resident asked whether the city was planning a veterans memorial during a June 29 town hall held by District 3 City Councilmember Madeleine Simmons. City Manager Christian Sigman replied that it has been discussed for a few years. “Just like you can’t be a university without a football team and a med school, well, you can’t be a real city without a veterans memorial,” Sigman said. Once...

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