Axios Atlanta

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Friday already? Wow.

🌞 Today's weather: Sunny. High near 66. West wind 15 to 20 mph. Gusts as high as 35 mph.

πŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Atlanta member Irum Zaidi! And happy early birthday to member April Lipscomb!

Situational awareness: Mayor Andre Dickens yesterday said he wants new MARTA stations to be constructed near Krog Street, Armour Yards and Joseph E. Boone Boulevard.

Today's newsletter is 925 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Burt Jones investigation starts

Burt Jones will be investigated for his alleged role in attempts to overturn Georgia's 2020 presidential election results. Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It's been delayed for two years, but the investigation into whether Georgia's sitting lieutenant governor broke the law in the 2020 presidential election is moving forward, again.

Why it matters: Pete Skandalakis, executive director of the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia, said yesterday he will investigate Burt Jones' role in attempts to overturn the state's results in 2020.

  • Skandalakis' decision comes nearly two years after a Fulton County superior court judge approved Jones' petition to block District Attorney Fani Willis from investigating Jones' alleged role in the case.

Between the lines: Skandalakis' announcement comes amid Jones being touted as a potential successor to Brian Kemp in the 2026 race for governor.

What they're saying: Skandalakis, a former district attorney, declined to make additional comments on the decision to oversee the investigation himself. Jones said in a statement, "I'm happy to see this process move forward and look forward to the opportunity to get this charade behind me."

Catch up quick: Jones was a state senator in 2020 when he served on the slate of Republican electors who falsely "certified" a Trump victory in December 2020 and was a leading proponent of a special legislative session after the election.

  • According to the AJC, Jones traveled to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5, 2021, to give a letter to then-Vice President Mike Pence, asking him to delay certifying the Electoral College results.
  • He has been named β€” along with all other electors β€” as a possible target of Willis's investigation into Trump's efforts to overturn Georgia's election results.

Context: Since 2022, the state's Prosecuting Attorneys' Council has been trying to find a new prosecutor to investigate Jones.

  • Skandalakis said in 2022 that since no criminal indictment had been issued, "it may be premature to appoint a criminal prosecutor at this time."

What's next: Skandalakis will determine if Jones should face charges in the case.

  • In the separate case against Trump, the former president appealed last month's ruling that Willis can remain on the 2020 election interference case if the special prosecutor she hired resigned.

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2. Atlanta is a graduate magnet

Students walk on Spelman College's campus. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Metro Atlanta is the top destination in the South for recent U.S. college graduates, according to a study of 2023 graduates from the real estate firm JLL.

Why it matters: Cities are desperate to attract recent graduates, as building a higher density of educated workers attracts new businesses and keeps existing ones from moving.

By the numbers: The number of recent grads moving to Atlanta has grown over the past decade β€” more than 69,000 bachelor's degree recipients from the class of 2023 resided in the Atlanta area last year, according to JLL.

Zoom in: Metro Atlanta ranked 8th among U.S. metro areas with the most recent graduates, but was tops in the region, just ahead of Dallas-Fort Worth.

The big picture: Our population grew by 66,730 new residents from April 1, 2022 to April 1 this year, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission's 11-county population estimates.

Zoom out: The metros that attracted the most graduates were: New York (272,000), Los Angeles (132,000) and San Francisco Bay Area (122,000).

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3. Date night at Southern National

Tandoori cauliflower at Southern National. Credit: Thomas Wheatley/Axios

πŸ‘‹ Greetings and salutations. Thomas here.

Wednesday night, my girlfriend and I ate at Southern National before attending Write Club, the monthly "combative philanthropic literary bloodsport" at Dad's Garage.

The big picture: If you haven't visited chef Duane Nutter (formerly of One Flew South) and restaurateur Reggie Washington's Summerhill restaurant, which opened last summer, make plans to do so.

Zoom in: The menu's New Southern. My girlfriend ordered the herb-buttered broiled redfish. I ate the tandoori cauliflower atop cashew creamed couscous, mushrooms, spinach and cucumber tomato relish.

  • For appetizers, we opted for the superbly roasted harissa carrots and golden beets, and the stop-me-before-I-order-another-serving of jalapeΓ±o johnny cakes.

The vibe: Floor-to-ceiling curtains help break up the space punctuated with a wraparound, underlit bar.

  • The service was excellent; our server was accommodating when we requested to substitute the side of smothered turkey green beans for a vegetarian option (in this case, the kung pao vegetables).

Of note: I entrusted the bartender to mix a nonalcoholic drink based on simple ingredients: lemon, carbonation and something spicy. They succeeded.

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4. Atlanta's March Madness bracket winners

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

There's a 1 in 9.2 quintillion chance of picking a perfect March Madness bracket, but that didn't stop y'all from trying.

State of play: Dozens of you signed up for our men's and women's bracket challenges, and three of y'all came out on top.

Congrats to Trevor Bowden and Austin Jensen who had the best men's brackets, each correctly selecting UConn as the national champs despite only getting two of the Final Four teams right.

Fun fact: Bowden predicted the combined score from the championship game would be 137 points; it was 135. So close.

The other side: Kelechi Iwuaba took the crown on the women's side, nailing South Carolina beating Iowa in the national title game, despite, yet again, only getting two of the Final Four teams.

The bottom line: We hope you had fun! Thanks for playing.

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5. Five-ish Points: Atlanta's major land deal

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

πŸ—£οΈ Two Fulton County commissioners verbally fought at a public meeting this week over animal control services and $5.7 million in county water bills owed to Atlanta. (AJC)

πŸ₯ͺ Inflation is driving up food costs nationwide, but that's not happening at the Augusta National Golf Club. (AP)

πŸ—οΈ The Integral Group has finally consummated land deals with Atlanta Housing after eight years of protracted legal battles. (SaportaReport)

⚽️ Atlanta United plans to start construction this summer on a $23 million expansion of its Marietta training facility. (Atlanta United)

😎 Kristal plans to take Hannah to the dog park and relax this weekend.

πŸ™ Thomas is watching "The Octopus Murders" on Netflix.

πŸ“° Wil is participating in an AABJ panel tomorrow.

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