Category: Top Stories

Dunwoody man’s news photos captured Sandy Springs blast, other moments in Olympic bomber’s terror campaign

Around these parts, Alan Mothner is best known as the longtime executive director of the Dunwoody Nature Center, which programs a beloved local park. But in the 1990s, he had a very different career as a news photographer on the story of a terrorist’s bombings of the Olympics and other metro Atlanta sites. In 1997, he was within 30 feet of a bomb when it exploded outside a Sandy Springs abortion clinic, and took dramatic photos that were published around the nation. “It was one of those fight-or-flight moments… I decided to do what a good journalist does, which...

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Sandy Springs says new shop is an illegal ‘adult bookstore’

The newly opened Sandy Springs location of a controversial sex shop chain is an illegal “adult bookstore” and has been cited for a code violation, according to the city. The Tokyo Valentino store’s property at 6074 Roswell Road is not zoned for an adult bookstore, city spokesperson Sharon Kraun said, and the shop has until Dec. 20 to reduce its sex-related merchandise displays to meet the code. Owner Michael Morrison did not immediately respond to a comment request. Tokyo Valentino is an Atlanta-based chain of self-described “erotiques” or “erotic boutiques,” which sells adult costumes, sex toys and videos. The...

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Developer of Sandy Springs hotel withdraws tax break request

The developer for a large hotel planned for Sandy Springs has withdrawn a request for the city to approve a $900,000 tax incentive during the construction. At the beginning of a Dec. 3 meeting, the City Council removed the agenda item because of the withdrawal. “The owner has withdrawn that request, so we can take that off the agenda,” Mayor Rusty Paul said at the meeting. The developer, Glenridge Green Partners, LLC, did not respond to a comment request about why the request was withdrawn. The council was slated to vote to waive nearly $906,000 in fees and taxes...

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Sandy Springs City Council awards $300K contract for North End shopping center designs

The Sandy Springs City Council awarded a $307,260 contract to architect firm TSW for the designs of four shopping centers in the North End at a Dec. 3 meeting. Mayor Rusty Paul made it a point to clarify that the designs will not be set in stone and the four projected sites are not necessarily the ones to be developed. “These are illustrations,” Paul said at the meeting. “We are not designing specifically what we want to see on these specific sites.” A work session was also slated at the meeting for city staff to present a proposed “zone”...

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Buckhead executive named new U.S. senator for Georgia, replacing Isakson

Buckhead business executive Kelly Loeffler will be the new U.S. senator for Georgia, replacing incumbent Johnny Isakson, who is stepping down mid-term at year’s end for health reasons. Loeffler, a Republican, was appointed to the Senate seat Dec. 4 by Gov. Brian Kemp. If she seeks to stay in the seat beyond the vacancy appointment, she will have to defend it in a 2020 special election. The seat will be on the ballot yet again in 2022, when Isakson’s original term expires. In a social media post, Kemp praised Loeffler as political conservative: “Kelly is a patriot who believes...

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Memories of a terrorist’s bombing spree at Olympics and Sandy Springs

The 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing is back in the news, as a new book and an upcoming Clint Eastwood movie give their takes on the story of Richard Jewell, a heroic security guard who saved people from the bomb only to become falsely suspected as the criminal who planted it. The real perpetrator was right-wing terrorist Eric Rudolph. After the Olympics, Rudolph went on to bomb an LGBTQ nightclub in Atlanta and two medical clinics that performed abortions, one in Alabama and one in Sandy Springs. The Sandy Springs bombing on Jan. 16, 1997, at an office building at...

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Buckhead’s NPU-A united against Tuxedo Park subdivision proposal

A proposed subdivision of an estate in Buckhead’s Tuxedo Park drew a crowd of opponents to the Neighborhood Planning Unit A meeting Dec. 3. An attorney and an architect hired by residents of the historic neighborhood said the plan to split the lot at 3460 Tuxedo Road violates the zoning code and could mean a new house built out of character with the community. “It’s very, very clear,” said the architect, Bill Harrison of Harrison Design. “There’s no ambiguity here… This is a gross violation of creating a lot.” Representatives for the applicant, who is listed in city records...

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Sandy Springs names new city manager

Sandy Springs has named Andrea Surratt as its new city manager. The appointment was recommended by Mayor Rusty Paul and approved by the City Council at a Dec. 3 meeting. Surratt’s annual salary will be $222,000, according to a city document. Surratt will begin the position on Jan. 6, 2020, Paul said at the meeting. “Cities are strengthened by meaningful community discussions about growth, neighborhood preservation, revitalization, and inclusive community identity,” Surratt said in a city of Sandy Springs press release. “I look forward to working with the Sandy Springs City Council, citizens and staff to shape this young...

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Controversial sex shop chain opens location in Sandy Springs

A new location for a controversial chain of sexually oriented shops has opened in Sandy Springs despite the owner previously saying it would be a dancer’s clothing store. The storefront at 6074 Roswell Road has new signs for “Tokyo Valentino,” the name of the Atlanta-based sex shop chain of self-described “erotiques” or “erotic boutiques,” which sells adult costumes, sex toys and videos. On a Dec. 3 visit to the 6074 Roswell Road store, an associate said the shop opened “sometime this week.” Work on the storefront sparked confusion whether it would be another sex shop, coming just after a...

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Brookhaven to vote on LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance in January

Brookhaven could soon join the movement of metro Atlanta cities passing nondiscrimination ordinances that include protections for people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. Councilmember Linley Jones said at a Dec. 2 community meeting that a nondiscrimination ordinance banning businesses from discriminating against minority groups including LGBTQ people is being written now and would be introduced at the Dec. 10 council meeting. A vote on the ordinance would then follow in January after District 3 Councilmember-elect Madeleine Simmons is sworn into office, she said. “We’re all going to want to spread the message to be here Dec....

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New city manager, hotel tax break, North End design on Sandy Springs Council agenda

The Sandy Springs City Council is slated to make some big decisions at its Dec. 3 meeting, including possibly naming a new city manager, choosing a firm for the North End shopping center designs, and giving a $900,000 incentive to a proposed hotel development. New city manager According to the Dec. 3 meeting agenda, the council will vote on the appointment of a new city manager. No documents are listed on the city’s website and the city did not immediately respond to a request for comment about who the recommended city manager is. In July, Peggy Merriss was appointed...

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Brookhaven’s Peachtree Creek Greenway grand opening set for Dec. 12

The grand opening of the first mile of the Brookhaven’s portion of the Peachtree Creek Greenway is set for Dec. 12 at 11 a.m. at 1801 Corporate Square. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to news@brookhavenga.gov to get information on parking and shuttle information. The “model mile” of the Greenway is between North Druid Hills Road and Briarwood Road. The first phase includes a paved multiuse trail and a pedestrian bridge crossing the north fork of Peachtree Creek. A trailhead is located off North Druid Hills Road next to the Salvation Army’s regional headquarters entrance. Another trailhead...

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