Axios Atlanta

Picture of the Atlanta skyline.

Its Monday. Take a deep breath. And another.

👀 Todays weather: Chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. High of 86.

Situational awareness: This is the last week of early voting before the May 24 primary. More than 331,000 Georgians have already cast their ballots.

  • Procrastinators, we hope this 101 guide to early voting helps get you jump-started.

Todays newsletter is 814 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: 🏘️ Not exactly a buyer’s market

House with arrow pointing up through roof
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Mortgage rates have surpassed 5% — the highest they've been in years, according to data shared by Freddie Mac, writes Axios' Brianna Crane.

Why it matters: Low mortgage rates made buying in a seller's market more affordable.

  • In March 2022, median home sale values in Atlanta were up 21.4% year over year, and now borrowing money is more expensive, too.
Data: Freddie Mac, Redfin; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios
Data: Freddie Mac, Redfin; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

State of play: A year ago, mortgage rates were at 2.97%. In late April 2022, mortgage rates were at 5.11%.

If you were to take out a $300,000 30-year mortgage loan in April 2021, your monthly principal and interest would be around $1,260, according to numbers shared by Freddie Mac.

  • Your monthly payment on a $300,000 30-year loan in April 2022 (at 5.11%) would be $1,631.
  • That’s $371 more per month; $4,452 a year; and $133,560 more over the life of your loan.

Whats next: Mortgage rates are expected to rise throughout the year, averaging 4.6% for 2022 and 5% for 2023, according to Freddie Mac's trend forecast.

2. The Beltline’s final choices

Rendering of a trail below a interstate
Rendering of the planned Northwest Trail beneath I-75. Photo: Courtesy of Atlanta Beltline

The Atlanta Beltline took a major step toward completing its most complicated portion late last week: choosing the route of most of the Northwest Trail.

Why it matters: This is the last undecided portion of the 33-mile loop around the city.

Details: After a yearlong study, the Beltline, with the PATH Foundation, selected a nearly 3-mile segment from the Westside Trail at Huff Road and Marietta Boulevard.

  • It will run past the Hemphill Water Treatment Plant, cross over Howell Mill Road, continue northwest under I-75 and eventually meet the southern end of the Northside Trail in Ardmore and Tanyard Creek parks.

Zoom in: Read the full report and view the route here.

The big picture: While much of the Beltline has been created using abandoned rail lines, this section of the city requires cutting through neighborhoods.

Yes, but: The agency says it needs a few more months to decide on one final 0.7 mile-long portion of the trail, which runs through south Buckhead to connect to the Northeast portion of the trail.

The intrigue: As reported by the AJC, some Buckhead residents have protested proposed routes near their homes.

Whats next: The Beltline is expected to be complete by the end of 2030.

Go deeper: How planners are working to complete the Beltline.

New jobs to check out

😴 Don’t sleep on these new roles on our Local Job Board.

  1. General Manager at Beat the Bomb.
  2. Senior Customer Experience Professional at Xceleration.
  3. Marketing Operations & Analytics Manager at Vonage.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

3. Teaching students about the importance of bees

bee hive
Teacher Meghan McCloskey opens the hive of bees she relocated from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Photo: Kristal Dixon/Axios

An educator is using last month’s tragic death of millions of honeybees at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to teach students about how critical they are to our food chain.

What's the buzz? Meghan McCloskey, a teacher at Springdale Park Elementary School in Atlanta, was among several beekeepers who rescued thousands of bees trapped in hot containers on a tarmac.

  • McCloskey added fewer than 5,000 rescued bees to a hive at the school’s rooftop garden and another 10,000 to a hive at her home.
  • On Friday, McCloskey said the bees created a new queen cell that she expects to hatch in about two weeks.

What they’re saying: McCloskey began beekeeping with her daughter about five years ago.

  • “People realize this is something that’s disappearing, and (that) we need to protect,” she said of the bees. “It’s more than just honey production, and it's more than just having some berries. I think people realize it is more about society in general and what it would do, if bees collapsed, to our whole food chain.”

Context: Scientists are monitoring the decline of honeybee populations, and some experts are sounding the alarm on what it could mean for food production if these pollinators are wiped out.

McCloskey tells Axios that the students have been enthralled with the story about the bees and watching them transition to their new home. Some students have started gardens and beekeeping at home.

  • "For me, having the bees here is about setting up […] how these kids will treat bees in the future,” she said.

See more photos.

4. 🎓Advice to the class of 2022

Pinky Cole
Pinky Cole. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Graduation season is upon us.

Here are some wise words excerpted from two of the weekend’s commencement ceremonies.

"When they won’t give you a seat at the table, build your own damn table."
— Pinky Cole, founder and owner of the popular Slutty Vegan restaurants, Saturday to Clark Atlanta University graduates.

Of note: Cole told graduates she will provide them with LLCs so they can start their own businesses.

"Don’t let today mark the end of your learning and the beginning of your doing. Life is a learning journey."
— Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian on Saturday to University of Georgia graduates.

5. Five Points: 🎣 Now, that's a big fish

Illustration of five-ish points animating to form the letters ATL.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🍼 Amid shortages, Georgia groups seek baby formula donations for low-income families. (WABE)

👩🏻‍🍳 From pop-ups to eventual wholesale, Atlanta chef ramps up tortilleria and masa business. (Eater)

🛫 Hartsfield-Jackson's international terminal turns 10 with turbulence. (AJC)

🎣 Georgia fisherman catches a possible world-record redbreast on the Satilla. (Georgia Outdoor News)

🏛 Two members of the metro Atlanta-based family that starred in "Chrisley Knows Best" go on trial for tax evasion (WSB-TV/Associated Press)

🏆 Emma congratulates Sanaa, Alexa and W.T. for nailing the mystery picture last week! It was the Piedmont Park dog park, seen from the bridge.

🥰 Kristal really enjoyed catching up with some friends during the weekend.