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Thomas Wheatley
14 hours ago - News

Another shot at justice for Atlanta's Missing and Murdered Children

Rows of photographs of young Black children who were some of the victims in the Missing and Murdered Children cases in Atlanta
Some of the victims in Atlanta's Missing and Murdered Children case, a series of killings that gripped the city from 1979 to 1981. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

This week, Atlanta Police investigators will hand-deliver DNA samples of some victims of the Missing and Murdered Children cases to a private laboratory for further analysis.

  • The move comes nearly 40 years after police and prosecutors closed more than 25 murder cases of missing Black children and teens in Atlanta after Wayne Williams was convicted in 1982 of murdering two of the victims. 
Emma Hurt
14 hours ago - Politics

Scoop: Georgia's Raffensperger calls for bipartisan election reform

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
Photo: Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Georgia's Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told Axios that it's time for a bipartisan commission on federal election reform, like the one co-chaired by former Democratic President Jimmy Carter and former Republican Secretary of State James Baker in 2005.

Why it matters: Raffensperger refused former President Donald Trump’s request last year to "find" the votes to overturn Georgia’s election results and defended the state's 2020 vote count from members of his own party.

Kristal Dixon
Oct 19, 2021 - News

Judge denies relief for Cobb parents suing over mask-optional policy

Parents protesting mask-optional policy of the Cobb County School District
Pro-mask demonstrators hold signs and chant during a rally over Cobb School District’s optional mask policy. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage for Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal court judge has rejected parents’ request for a temporary injunction in their lawsuit against the Cobb County School District over its mask-optional policy.

Why it matters: Approval of the request would have required the district to follow CDC guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools, including universal masking while indoors.

Kristal Dixon
Oct 19, 2021 - News

New proposal would help Atlanta residents fight evictions

Illustration of eviction notice being shredded.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Eviction notices loom for thousands of Atlanta residents, but a proposal would allow the city to help these tenants keep their homes.

Under the proposal, the Office of the Public Defender would provide eviction defense services to people classified as indigent. The office’s staff would also assist clients with administrative hearings stemming from eviction notices.

Why it matters: Helping Atlanta residents stay in their homes should be one of the city’s priorities since the federal eviction moratorium imposed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was blocked in August by the U.S. Supreme Court, said City Councilman Michael Julian Bond, who introduced the legislation.

Thomas Wheatley
Oct 19, 2021 - News

The city jail's next chapter becomes more clear

A city jail employee walks in the empty open-plan floor with individual cells along the side of the room.
Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios

Atlanta’s nearly empty Detention Center could become a place where people living with substance abuse, mental health or homelessness issues can find help and avoid jail under a proposal from Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Why it matters: The year before the pandemic and protests over police killings and systemic racism, Bottoms announced the city would close the Atlanta City Detention Center.

Kristal Dixon
Oct 18, 2021 - News

Critics bash Cobb resolution on anti-Semitism, racism

Illustration of standardized test filled out as ≠ with an F grade.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

A month after swastikas were found drawn on bathroom walls at two of its high schools, the Cobb County Board of Education approved a resolution condemning anti-Semitism and racism.

Flashback: Bathrooms at Pope and Lassiter high schools were vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti in September, an act the school district said stemmed from a social media prank, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Thomas Wheatley
Oct 18, 2021 - News

What to expect from MARTA's bus rapid transit line

A rendering of MARTA's bus rapid transit line
Rendering courtesy of MARTA

Late next year, MARTA will break ground on one of the most important projects the transportation agency will build in the coming decades: a $61.5 million bus rapid transit line connecting South Downtown to the southern arc of the Beltline, and all the neighborhoods, restaurants, and shops in between.

Why it matters: The so-called Summerhill BRT is metro Atlanta's first foray into bus rapid transit, MARTA says. Think of them as extra special buses that run in dedicated lanes and free of car traffic.

Thomas Wheatley
Oct 15, 2021 - News

What the Gulch incentives deal got for Atlanta

A rendering showing people biking and walking in the early at a proposed mixed-use development near State Farm Arena
Rendering courtesy of CIM Group

When Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms struck a nearly $2 billion incentives package with a Los Angeles-based developer to develop a mixed-use mini-city in Downtown’s “Gulch” called Centennial Yards, the company promised tens of millions of dollars in return to combat inequity.

  • Yesterday, that developer literally handed Bottoms a $33.5 million check — and the Mayor knows how she wants to spend it.