Axios Atlanta

Newsletter branding image

It's Tuesday. We're glad you're here.

🌤️ Today's weather: Mostly sunny. High around 86.

Situational awareness: The Atlanta City Council yesterday approved a $3.8 million settlement with the family of Johnny Hollman Sr., who died last year after he was tased by a former officer.

🚀 Become a member today and help fuel our mission of getting readers smarter, faster on the news that matters here.

Today's newsletter is 920 words — a 3.5 minute read.

1 big thing: Kroger under fire for store conditions

Partially eaten fruit and raw biscuit dough were found when residents toured Kroger on Metropolitan Parkway on Sunday. Photos: Zach Adriaenssens

Kroger says it will make improvements to its southwest Atlanta store amid concerns from residents who want the company to make changes before they support its request for a new alcohol license.

Why it matters: Residents said the store at 2685 Metropolitan Parkway for years has been plagued with fruit flies, dirty bathrooms, and trash strewn in the parking lot and inside the building.

The latest: Kroger Atlanta Division President Victor Smith last week sent a letter to community members, saying the store will address "many areas of concern," including more frequent cleanings and ensuring produce and products are fresh.

  • The store's interior will soon be repainted, and the bathrooms will be updated, Smith said.

The other side: After receiving Kroger's letter, a group of residents asked to tour the store with Kroger leadership but were told "they would not meet with us," said resident Zach Adriaenssens, who has been pushing for Kroger to improve the store. So, they decided to tour the store themselves.

What they found: Photos taken during the tour on Sunday and shared with Axios show several items out of place, dried liquid underneath where fresh meats are put on display, and an empty pint of ice cream where packaged donuts are sold.

Catch up quick: Several residents spoke in opposition of Kroger's application at the License Review Board's April 23 meeting, citing the store's condition.

  • The application was initially deferred to May 21, but a spokesperson for Kroger told Axios the meeting date was changed to tonight due to "scheduling conflicts."
  • A new license is needed because Kroger underwent a change of agent.

What's next: The License Review Board meets at 5pm today in Committee Room 1 at Atlanta City Hall.

Share this story

2. Kendrick Lamar says Drake exploits Atlanta’s culture

Drake (left) and Kendrick Lamar. Photos: Prince Williams/Wireimage and Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Turner

In the ongoing rap war between Kendrick Lamar and Drake, there's one clear winner: Atlanta.

Why it matters: The duel between the superstars has been the talk of the internet for more than a week, but its roots go back years. And, like anything in modern hip-hop, they trace back to Atlanta.

The latest: The artists dropped dueling diss tracks throughout the weekend, in which they each made serious allegations against one another.

Zoom in: Lamar makes several references to Atlanta and its rappers in "Not Like Us," wherein Lamar accuses Drake, who is biracial, of interacting with Atlanta to profit from Black people.

Case in point: Lamar says "Atlanta was the Mecca, building railroads and trains," in reference to slavery. He says Drake has "the same agenda," adding that "you run to Atlanta when you need a check balance."

Here's a list of Lamar's other references to ATL and its rappers.

  • "You called Future when you didn't see the club"
  • "Lil Baby help you get your lingo up"
  • "21 gave you false street cred" refers to rapper 21 Savage.
  • "Thug made you feel like you a slime in your head" refers to Young Thug, who is on trial for racketeering allegations.
  • "Quavo said you can be from Northside" refers to ​​Quavo from the group Migos, who affectionately call Gwinnett County "nawf" Atlanta.
  • "2Chainz say you good, but he lied"

What we're watching: As the battles continue, we're eager to see how Atlanta gets pulled into the mix.

Share this story

3. Emory students cast "no confidence" ballots on university president

Pro-Palestinian students demonstrate at Emory University on April 25. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

Emory students have until 3pm today to cast a vote of "no confidence" regarding university president Gregory Fenves, spurred by his response to the campus protests over the war in Gaza.

Why it matters: The referendum on Fenves' leadership stems from his handling of the protest on April 25 where police blocked activists from building an encampment. Twenty-eight people were arrested.

State of play: On Monday, Fenves said Emory's graduation ceremony will take place indoors at the Gas South District in Duluth over "concerns about security and safety."

Reality check: The formal rebukes of Fenves are nonbinding. Whether Fenves stays in his job or not is up to the Emory Board of Trustees.

The other side: Emory said in a statement that the school takes campus community members' concerns seriously and "there are a wide range of perspectives being shared."

Yes, but: "No confidence" votes can build alumni and public support to pressure leadership, Matthew Boedy, a University of West Georgia professor and Georgia representative for the American Association of University Professors, told Axios.

  • "Even if they don't accomplish their goal, they do force administrators to at least now pay a bit more attention to the people they need to run a successful college."

Share this story

4. Where's Phoenix 3000?

Photo: Kristal Dixon/Axios

Phoenix 3000 recently accompanied Kristal and Hannah for a drive around the city. As usual, he wanted Kristal to take his photo.

Can you guess where they were?

5. Five-ish Points: Kemp signs bill regulating kratom

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Rep. Mike Collins issued a statement denouncing racism after he was criticized for his comments when he shared a video of a white male student making monkey sounds at a Black woman during a pro-Palestinian protest at Ole Miss. (AJC)

Former Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan, a Republican, has endorsed President Biden's bid for a second term. (Axios)

⚖️ Nathan Wade, the former special prosecutor who resigned from Georgia's election interference case, opens up about the personal relationship he had with District Attorney Fani Willis. (ABC News)

✍️ Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation that would put limits on the production and sale of kratom. (AP)

🪴 Atlantis Hydroponics, an Atlanta plant store that opened in 1998, plans to relocate to space on Howell Mill Road in Berkeley Park. (What Now Atlanta)

A 15-year-old student died on Monday after a medical emergency at Dunwoody High School. (WSB-TV)

😭 Kristal is wishing a happy heavenly birthday to her mother. She still can't believe she's gone.

📭 Thomas is opening his inbox for any and all opinions on Netflix's "A Man in Full." We are two episodes in and...

🫠 Wil is just trying to chill.

This newsletter was edited by Jen Ashley and copy edited by Natasha Danielle Smith and Anjelica Tan.