Axios Atlanta

Picture of the Atlanta skyline.

🀸 Hey there, Friday. Try a dynamic hamstring stretch. You'll be glad you did.

🌀 Today's weather: Mostly sunny with a high near 55. Watch out for a gust or two of wind.

Situational awareness: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation identified the protester killed Wednesday near the future site of Atlanta's controversial public safety training complex: 26-year-old Manuel Esteban Paez Teran.

Today's newsletter is 942 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Morris Brown's comeback

Jon Ossoff listens to Morris Brown College pres. Kevin James

Sen. Jon Ossoff and AME Bishop Reginald Jackson (right) listen to Morris Brown College president Kevin James at a Monday press conference announcing nearly $3 million for the school. Photo: Emma Hurt/Axios

Morris Brown College β€” known as the only college in Georgia created solely by African Americans β€” has quietly been pursuing a renaissance after years on the brink of closure.

Driving the news: After losing its accreditation for financial mismanagement, bankruptcy and even having the water cut off, the Vine City-based historically Black college received its largest grant in decades this week: nearly $3 million from the federal government.

Why it matters: Morris Brown is the only Black college to come back from losing its accreditation, the school's president Kevin James told Axios.

  • When he started in 2019 the school had 20 students. They're hoping to have more than 400 this fall.

What they're saying: "No one thought that this was possible," James told reporters at a press conference announcing the grant. "The fact that we're here today, even just open, is a miracle in itself."

Between the lines: Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) said he made a campaign promise to support the college's resurgence.

  • Ossoff has already pushed for the restoration of eligibility for student veterans to attend the school and crucially, for students to qualify again for federal financial aid.
Fountain Hall
Fountain Hall. Photo: Courtesy of Morris Brown College

Catch up quick: Morris Brown was founded in 1881 by formerly enslaved leaders in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Its list of alumni include the late Rev. Hosea Williams and Alberta Williams King, the mother of Martin Luther King Jr. W.E.B. Du Bois was on the faculty.

Zoom in: James said the school is making unique academic investments. Through a partnership with Hilton and an investment group the school is building a hotel and hospitality management training complex on campus β€” the first hospitality major at an HBCU in Georgia.

  • The college is also the only school in Georgia with a degree in esports performance, he said.

What we're watching: About half a million of the federal funds will go towards restoration of the school's iconic Fountain Hall, which is a National Historic Landmark. Additional fundraising remains underway.

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2. πŸš— Atlanta traffic's costing us time and money

Data: INRIX; Chart: Alice Feng/Axios

Metro Atlanta drivers spent more than three days sitting in traffic last year.

Driving the news: For the second year in a row, the metro ranked 10th in the country for traffic congestion, according to the 2022 INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard report released this month.

  • Globally, Atlanta ranked 28th.

Details: Drivers on average lost 74 hours due to congestion in metro Atlanta last year β€” still down 10% compared to pre-pandemic figures, but up slightly from 2021.

Why it matters: Bottlenecks cost drivers about $1,257 in lost time.

  • Metrowide, the gridlock added up to more than $3 billion in lost time.

What they're saying: "I hate to say traffic congestion is welcome," Bob Pishue, a transportation analyst at INRIX, told the Washington Post. "But it does signify a little bit that 'return to normal' that most of us were used to."

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3. Why you should visit Warm Springs

FDR waves to a crowd in a car

President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, leaves the Warm Springs railroad station in Nov. 1932, as he arrived for the Thanksgiving holiday with his wife Eleanor Roosevelt and daughter Anna Roosevelt Dall. Photo: AP

πŸ‘‹πŸΌ Emma here. After five years in Atlanta, this World War II-era history major finally made the pilgrimage to Warm Springs β€” a place about 75 minutes south of Downtown that's closely tied to former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Why it matters: Warm Springs was more than just a place with mineral springs that helped FDR’s polio. It was also where Roosevelt (a child of wealth from Hyde Park, New York) was first exposed to rural Southern poverty on his drives around the area.

  • That exposure, historians say, helped inspire his landmark New Deal programs.

Zoom in: I was fascinated to learn that it was the water's warmth and buoyancy from its high mineral content that allowed FDR and other polio victims relief. He said in 1924, the year he first visited, that the swims had allowed him to move his right leg for the first time in years.

What to do: Warm Springs is a very doable day trip from Atlanta. You can easily spend a few hours at Roosevelt's Little White House and learn a lot in the museum about our nation's longest-serving president.

Yes, and: Downtown Warm Springs is well worth a visit on your way in or out. There are some charming shops to explore, and I personally loved Lightnin' Bugs Cafe & Bakery.

What we're watching: Sadly, the historic Warm Springs pools are closed and in disrepair. But a fundraising campaign and full restoration to re-open them are in the works.

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4. 🧧 ATL events: Lunar New Year, Braves Fest

Illustration of a rabbit peeking out from a red paper lantern.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The weekend is short, so don't waste it by sitting around at home. Get outside and check out these events.

  • The Chinese New Year (also called Lunar New Year) starts Sunday. Celebrate with a free festival at Atlantic Station.
  • Stone Mountain Park will also host a festival marking the Lunar New Year this weekend and next.
  • Harry Potter fans can check out an exhibit dedicated to the series at the 200 Peachtree Building in Downtown. Tickets.
  • If you can't wait for baseball, Braves Fest at Truist Park and The Battery Atlanta on Saturday should give you a temporary fix. Admission is free.
  • The 62nd Atlanta Model Train Show is Saturday at the Gas South Convention Center in Duluth.

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New jobs to check out

πŸ’Ό See who's hiring around the city.

  1. Financial Systems Administrator, Workday at Atlanta Braves.
  2. HR Project Coordinator at Equifax.
  3. Experiential Marketing Manager at Microsoft.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. Five-ish Points: Cobb County brawl

Illustration of a neon sign on a metal tower reading 5ish Points.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  • A bitter fight over Cobb County Commission electoral maps has devolved into infighting and one state lawmaker likening two white commissioners to Rosa Parks. (AJC)
  • Federal funding will help an ambitious plan to cap I-75/85 and link Midtown to Georgia Tech with a park finish an important design phase. (Urbanize)
  • Anton Walkes, a former Atlanta United defender who joined Charlotte FC in late 2021, died yesterday morning in a boating accident in Florida. He was 25. (Axios Charlotte)
  • The founder of the APEX Museum says Auburn Avenue's revival needs to include Black legacy businesses. (Capital B)

🚦 Emma is still thinking about this Mike Jordan tweet.

🐢 Kristal is celebrating one month since Hannah came into her life from the Atlanta Humane Society.

🎸 Thomas is heading to Memphis for the weekend with his girlfriend to visit the Stax Museum and giggle at some famous ducks.

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This newsletter was edited by Jen Ashley and copy edited by Bryan McBournie.