Axios Atlanta

Picture of the Atlanta skyline.

Welcome to your Wednesday, Atlanta.

💙 Today's weather: Another one of these glorious days. Soak it in. High of 83.

☀️ Situational awareness: After months of back and forth, the city of Tucker will close City Hall in observance of Juneteenth.

Today's newsletter is 822 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Young Thug's legal troubles

Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis addresses reporters with Sheriff Patrick Labat and Police Chief Rodney Bryant
Fulton District Attorney FanI Willis addresses reporters yesterday. Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios

A day after arresting rapper Young Thug on gang and racketeering charges, Fulton County's top prosecutor said the musician and the alleged gang he's accused of co-founding wreaked "havoc" in Atlanta, with crimes involving violence, theft and drugs.

Driving the news: On Monday afternoon, law enforcement raided a Buckhead home and arrested Thug, whose real name is Jeffery Williams, on racketeering and gang charges.

  • Nearly 30 other people, including rapper Gunna, whose real name is Sergio Kitchens, were charged in the 88-page indictment that cited song lyrics and social media posts as evidence.

Williams' lawyer, Brian Steel, told WSB on Monday night that his client “committed no crime whatsoever, and we will fight to my last drop of blood to clear him.”

What's next: Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told reporters yesterday that she'll request the maximum penalty for the defendants, some of whom were already in custody. Others remain at large as of press time.

Read the full story.

2. 🏫 Students, parents keep pressure on DeKalb school board

Illustration of an apple looking like an angry face emoji
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Parents and community members continue to hold the DeKalb County Board of Education's feet to the fire over how it's responded to serious infrastructure issues at its oldest school.

The latest round of criticism was heard Monday when the board voted to approve its five-year Local Facilities Plan without including Druid Hills High School.

Hans Williams, director of planning and education SPLOST programming, said the board could vote to add a resolution to update and repair Druid Hills and other schools at a later date.

  • That didn't seem to satisfy some audience members, several of whom pressed the board on why the school was not included in the plan.

Catch up quick: News about the conditions at Druid Hills circulated rapidly after students produced a video showing some of the building's problems.

  • Despite protests and pleas from students, DeKalb board members voted to focus on the most serious issues at all schools instead of adopting a resolution to modernize Druid Hills.

What they're saying: Susanna MacKenna, a junior at Druid Hills, said board members were endangering the community and “throwing money away” by not moving forward.

  • “By preventing the necessary repairs and modernization for Druid Hills, you put people I see every day at risk, and you hurt everyone around us,” she said.

Read the full story.

3. 🏛️ Lisa Cook, your newest Fed board member

Lisa Cook speaks in microphone
Cook at a February confirmation hearing. Photo: Ken Cedeno/Reuters/Bloomberg via Getty

Lisa Cook, a Milledgeville native and Spelman graduate, has been confirmed to the board of the Federal Reserve Bank.

  • The Michigan State economist is the first Black woman in American history to join the country's central bank.

Why it matters: You know those interest rates everyone's talking about? The Fed controls them.

Go deeper: Axios' Neil Irwin takes a deep dive into how the Fed really works.

Catch up quick: Axios' Hans Nichols broke the news of Cook's consideration. He reported that her research implies she is less concerned about inflation and more focused on improving labor market conditions.

  • This appointment, Nichols reported, also reveals President Biden's preferences for monetary policy and how he may reconstitute the Fed.

Details: Cook served on an Obama administration advisory council and on Biden's transition team.

  • She has also taught at Harvard and had visiting appointments at four regional Federal Reserve Banks and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The intrigue: Cook's appointment saw pushback from Republicans who criticized past her social media activity. The original confirmation vote failed when several Democrats were absent with COVID-19.

Fresh job openings around town

🍃 Turn over a new leaf with our Job Board.

  1. General Manager at Beat The Bomb.
  2. Senior Customer Experience Professional at Xceleration.
  3. Institutional Operations Associate at Coinbase.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

4. 💰 Cost of buying vs. renting in Atlanta

Data: Zillow; Note: "Typical" costs use the Zillow Home Value Index and Zillow Observed Rent Index; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios
Data: Zillow; Note: "Typical" costs use the Zillow Home Value Index and Zillow Observed Rent Index; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Another study says that the city is becoming less affordable to own a home.

Driving the news: Zillow's March Market report, which was released April 20 and is the latest available, shows the average home in metro Atlanta is worth $360,679, which is 30% higher than in 2021.

  • It also shows Atlanta's average is about $23,000 higher than the national average.

Why it matters: As we reported in March, the number of affordable housing units in metro Atlanta dropped in the five years before the COVID-19 pandemic. This can make it harder for lower-wage workers to live closer to their jobs.

Of note: Zillow also says the average monthly payment on a home in Atlanta with a 30-year mortgage and 20% down payment is $1,406, nearly 49% higher than the previous year.

Renting in metro Atlanta isn't cheaper either. The typical monthly rent payment in the metro area was $1,886, which is about 20% higher than in 2021.

  • Atlanta's average monthly rent payment is about $18 less than the national average.

😩 Kristal's thought bubble: Guess I'm going to be an apartment dweller forever.

5. Five Points: 🚫 No more standalone apartments

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

😡 A Georgia sheriff is accused of groping a former judge. (WSB-TV)

😶 OANN walked back previous false claims it made on air about voter fraud in Georgia as part of a defamation settlement. (WSJ)

🗨️ Buckhead neighbors disagree about the location of the new Atlanta BeltLine trails. (AJC)

💰 Black-owned digital banking platform founded by Atlanta's Killer Mike acquires The Gathering Spot. (Business Wire)

🚫 Standalone apartments are no longer allowed in Roswell. (11 Alive)

🤔 Kristal wonders if social media has made high school reunions a thing of the past.

Emma hasn't been to the Illuminarium yet. Has anyone else? Should she go?

🏕 Thomas is on his way to the Suwannee River to enjoy some long overdue canoe camping.