Axios Atlanta

Picture of the Atlanta skyline.

Happy Tuesday.

🌞 Today's weather: Sunny skies and a high of 53.

Situational awareness: The GBI says the agency confirmed that the activist who was shot and killed by authorities during an effort to clear the so-called "Cop City" legally purchased the gun used to shoot and wound a state trooper.

Today's newsletter is 928 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Fulton's Trump investigation

Illustration of a pattern of gavels.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Today a judge will hear arguments about whether the investigative report into efforts by former President Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election should be made public.

Why it matters: It's one step closer to Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ decision about indicting Trump after she began investigating the matter two years ago.

Catch up quick: Willis called for a "special purpose grand jury" to look into the matter last year. The jurors finished eight months of work earlier this month and voted to publish the report, according to Fulton County Superior Court Judge McBurney.

What we know: In a legal brief, national and local media outlets have argued for the full release of the report, because the public interest "is extraordinary." They argue the crimes at issue are of "enormous public interest not just to Georgians, but also to citizens throughout the United States."

  • A spokesman for Willis declined to comment on what the district attorney will argue.

What's happening: Because this investigative grand jury does not have the power to indict, only the ability to recommend indictment, its release could complicate any pending indictment the district attorney may be working on.

The other side: In a statement, lawyers for Trump said he has not been a part of the process, has never been subpoenaed nor has been asked to speak to the DA voluntarily.

  • "Therefore, we can assume that the grand jury did their job and looked at the facts and the law, as we have, and concluded there were no violations of the law by President Trump," they said.

The intrigue: Norm Eisen, former U.S. ambassador and counsel in the first Trump impeachment trial believes the special purpose grand jury has enough evidence to indict Trump and others.

  • But, he qualified in a press conference: "You just never know. While the great likelihood is that we're going to see a recommendation of charges here, you just never know."

What they're saying: In a press conference alongside Eisen last week, J. Tom Morgan, former DeKalb County, Ga. district attorney and law professor at Western Carolina University said the release of the report could put Willis "in a quandary."

  • "If the report says there have been certain crimes and certain persons should be prosecuted and she doesn't prosecute them, it’s going to come back to hurt her — and vice versa," he said.

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2. 🌯 Get your plant-based fix at La Semilla

A photo of a plant-based burrito-like dish called the Cubarrito

Say what's up to the Cubarrito. Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios

A husband-and-wife team are cooking up some of the freshest and most creative Latin plant-based dishes in Atlanta. Make a reservation ASAP for a great night out.

What's happening: After opening earlier this month, La Semilla in Modera Reynoldstown has become a tough-to-grab reservation thanks to smart vegan takes on empanadas, carne asada tacos and the most supreme of crunch wraps.

Catch up quick: La Semilla (Spanish for "seed") grew from husband-and-wife duo Sophia Marchese and Reid Trapani's Happy Seed pop-up at A Mano.

  • Sophia discovered a passion for vegan food and cooking while serving as a personal chef for a cancer patient, according to the AJC. She’d bring leftovers home to Reid, who immersed himself in the cuisine.

Of note: This isn't a restaurant serving plate after plate of lab meat with fixings. The restaurant sources ingredients from local farms and trusted growers.

  • The decor is light, airy and subdued and centers on a portrait of Sophia's great-great-grandmother, who inspired some of the Cuban-Mexican recipes.

💭 Thomas' thought bubble: On a recent visit with friends we ordered delicious queso blanco, mantequilla beans, roasted cauliflower with mole sauce and Cubarritos, among other dishes.

  • I knew from the first taste of the queso that we'd be making a return visit.

Yes, and: The cocktail menu — also Latin-inspired — is dotted with non-alcoholic drink options, plus kombucha from Atlanta-based Kea.

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3. 🥊 Music venue battle update

Credit: Axios Visuals
Credit: Axios Visuals

529 and The Masquerade are out (just barely), Star Bar stays alive, and The Eastern is a powerhouse.

  • The first round of Atlanta's best music venues is over. Now on to round two.

Of note: Every vote matters in the battle of the venues. Encourage your friends and neighbors to jump in.

  • We’ll announce the winners on Friday.

Let your voice be heard.

4. Quote du jour: Remembering Monterey Park

Two people kneel before a memorial

Inez Arakaki and her son Zachary offer prayers at a makeshift memorial site in front of the Star Dance Studio where 10 people were shot dead late on January 21, 2023. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The names of the 11 victims of the Monterey Park, Ca. shooting on the eve of the Lunar New Year celebration over the weekend have started to be released.

Driving the news: Those who died in the shooting in the majority Asian-American city ranged from ages in their 50s and 70s.

What's happening: Democratic members of Georgia's first AAPI caucus released a statement mourning the deaths — and calling for gun control legislation.

"What should have been a joyous night celebrating new beginnings with family and friends has become yet another tragedy in the ever growing list of mass shootings in the United States, a uniquely American phenomenon that we have failed as a society to address."
— Democratic members of Georgia's AAPI caucus

New jobs to check out

⚽️ Get the ball rolling. Check out these openings from our Job Board.

  1. Experiential Marketing Manager at Microsoft.
  2. Human Capital Consulting Director at Visa.
  3. Communications and Employer Brand Specialist at Mercedes Benz Stadium.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. Five-ish Points: Southside Trail loading...

Illustration of concrete wall with a sign reading "5-ish," with six points after it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

💔 The shooting death of a 13-year-old boy outside Cascade Family Skating rink is a 'public health issue,' the leader of a mentoring program said. (WSB-TV)

A review is underway to determine whether Christmas gifts given by the Atlanta Police Foundation to public safety training center advisory committee were lawful. (Saporta Report)

🚧 Atlanta Beltline Southside Trail construction is expected to start in March. (Urbanize)

🤔 Decatur officials will consider changing the city charter to allow the mayor to be elected. Mayors are currently chosen by City Commissioners. (Decaturish)

🧑‍🏫 The teacher turnover rate in Gwinnett County, the largest school district in Georgia, exceeds the state and national averages. (AJC)

🤢 Thomas hopes people who regularly fly between Memphis and Atlanta don't deal with the rollercoaster of turbulence he and his girlfriend encountered.

🥺 Kristal just ordered another apoballis acuminatissima lavallaei and hopes she doesn't kill this one (like she did the two previous ones).

🚙 Emma wants to know about your favorite car emissions test site.

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This newsletter was edited by Jen Ashley and copy edited by Alex Perry.