Category: Top Stories

Dunwoody’s ‘Everything Will Be OK’ yard-sign fundraiser expands nationwide

The program to support artists through the pandemic shutdowns by selling yard signs of Dunwoody’s iconic “Everything Will Be OK” mural is expanding nationwide and already has sales from as far away as Michigan and Arizona, according to organizers. The effort has raised $40,000 since its March 22 launch, according to Lorna Sherwinter, president of the public-art nonprofit CREATE Dunwoody. Her group is organizing the effort along with the Spruill Center for the Arts and Custom Signs Today. “Create Dunwoody is excited to grow this campaign nationwide and continue to care for the artists who so enrich our lives...

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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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Atlanta mayor, United Way launch ‘#ATLSTRONG Fund’ donation drive for pandemic-affected residents, businesses

An “#ATLSTRONG Fund” donation campaign to support Atlanta residents and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic has been launched by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the United Way of Greater Atlanta. “Families across Atlanta are facing uncertainty and seemingly insurmountable challenges due to this pandemic,” said Bottoms in a press release. “As a community, we must provide relief to those most in need. Thank you to the United Way of Greater Atlanta for their assistance in meeting these critical needs.” The fund’s priorities are listed generally as: Food security for Atlanta’s children and seniors; Support for individuals experiencing homelessness;...

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Atlanta mayor says stay-at-home order likely to be extended; parks, BeltLine staying open

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says her stay-at-home order for the coronavirus pandemic would likely be extended beyond its original April 6 deadline. Meanwhile, she is keeping city parks and the Atlanta BeltLine open, despite some complaints of crowding there. She made the comment March 31 during a conference call with the Atlanta City Council to provide an update on the city’s coronavirus response. As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country, President Trump has already extended social distancing guidelines until the end of April. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Georgia jumped to...

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Jewish HomeLife copes with more COVID-19 cases in senior residences

Jewish HomeLife is coping with more cases of COVID-19 in two of its senior residences, including six staff members at Dunwoody’s Berman Commons and an already isolated resident at Buckhead’s Jewish Tower. The Buckhead-based nonprofit is also seeking donations for more protective supplies for staff and residents. Spokesperson Shari Bayer said that Jewish HomeLife is likely not the only senior living operator in the area that faces COVID-19 cases, but is being especially transparent about it by immediately issuing letters to residents and families that circulate widely. The nonprofit is taking various precautions, including testing of staff and residents...

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Dunwoody council ratifies mayor’s shelter-in-place order

The Dunwoody City Council has ratified Mayor Lynn Deutsch’s shelter-in-place order, ordering residents to stay home through April 15 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The order has been in effect since midnight on March 28. The decision was made at a March 30 virtual council meeting. The order follows similar but varied orders from Gov. Brian Kemp; DeKalb County; and the cities of Atlanta and Brookhaven. “I want to thank our residents for really doing a tremendous job of trying to socially distance I know this is really hard stuff,” Deutsch said at the meeting. “We get back...

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DeKalb Board of Education District 1 candidates discuss priorities in virtual forum

With the DeKalb County Board of Education District 1 seat election around the corner, one candidate is focused on accountability and another is focused on interpersonal relationships with other board members in the district. The Dunwoody Homeowners Association on March 29 held a virtual forum for the District 1 election, which is scheduled for May 19. The District 1 seat includes voters from Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Chamblee and Doraville. Adrienne Duncan, president of the association, moderated the forum with the two candidates, Andrew Ziffer and Anna Hill. The full forum can be viewed on the association’s website, here. “I have...

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