Meris Lutz

Local government reporter

Meris Lutz covers Cobb County politics and community news for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Before joining the AJC, she worked at the Marietta Daily Journal, and previously covered the Middle East for the Los Angeles Times and others. She graduated from Emory University.

Latest from Meris Lutz

Hope and trepidation in Marietta as Congress seeks to open up Dobbins 
 Marietta’s Dobbins Air Reserve Base could be getting more air traffic due to a provision tucked into Congress’ new defense policy bill. Language added to the bill by Georgia lawmakers would remove a 28-year-old provision that’s limited usage of the base’s runway and air control tower to the Defense Department and Lockheed...

Posted: 8 days ago

Marietta’s Dobbins Air Reserve Base could be getting more air traffic due to a provision tucked into Congress’ new defense policy bill. Language added to the bill by Georgia lawmakers would remove a 28-year-old provision that’s limited usage of the base’s runway and air control tower to the Defense Department and Lockheed...
Cobb approves new and increased fees for senior centers, parks and businesses
 Cobb seniors who wish to use one of the county’s six senior centers will have to pay a $60 annual membership fee starting next year. The fee was one of dozens approved by the Board of Commissioners at its regular meeting Tuesday, affecting senior services, parks, libraries, zoning and businesses. Some cost hikes, such as that for library...

Posted: 10 days ago

Cobb seniors who wish to use one of the county’s six senior centers will have to pay a $60 annual membership fee starting next year. The fee was one of dozens approved by the Board of Commissioners at its regular meeting Tuesday, affecting senior services, parks, libraries, zoning and businesses. Some cost hikes, such as that for library...
Former Cobb wrestling coach pleads guilty to child sex crimes
 Ron Gorman, a former Life University wrestling coach, pleaded guilty Friday to child sex abuse in a Pennsylvania court. Gorman’s guilty plea was confirmed by prosecuting attorney Julieane Fry. Gorman, who previously volunteered at the Pope High School junior wrestling program, was arrested in Cobb County  in March based on...

Posted: 21 days ago

Ron Gorman, a former Life University wrestling coach, pleaded guilty Friday to child sex abuse in a Pennsylvania court. Gorman’s guilty plea was confirmed by prosecuting attorney Julieane Fry. Gorman, who previously volunteered at the Pope High School junior wrestling program, was arrested in Cobb County in March based on...
Georgia Supreme Court rules against Marietta over Landowner’s Bill of Rights
 In a ruling that will have implications for how local governments seize private property, the Georgia Supreme Court on Monday affirmed the 2006 Landowner’s Bill of Rights as a set of mandatory rules for condemning authorities.  The court sided with property owner Ray Summerour against the city of Marietta, which had argued...

Posted: 25 days ago

In a ruling that will have implications for how local governments seize private property, the Georgia Supreme Court on Monday affirmed the 2006 Landowner’s Bill of Rights as a set of mandatory rules for condemning authorities.  The court sided with property owner Ray Summerour against the city of Marietta, which had argued...
Georgia Supreme Court: Marietta violated Landowner’s Bill of Rights
 Local governments seeking to take property through eminent domain must follow a 2006 law known as the Landowner’s Bill of Rights, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday.  The case, City of Marietta v. Summerour, marked the first time the high court has addressed the law since it was passed more than a decade ago.  The ruling...

Posted: 25 days ago

Local governments seeking to take property through eminent domain must follow a 2006 law known as the Landowner’s Bill of Rights, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled Monday.  The case, City of Marietta v. Summerour, marked the first time the high court has addressed the law since it was passed more than a decade ago.  The ruling...
Plaudits and protests to support KSU cheerleaders at Olens ceremony
 Amid a national controversy and a pending review by the state Board of Regents, Sam Olens was officially installed Thursday as Kennesaw State University’s president, in a deflated celebration punctuated by student protests. Olens did not address campus tensions during his 10-minute speech to a half-empty auditorium in the school&rsquo...

10:09 PM Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

Amid a national controversy and a pending review by the state Board of Regents, Sam Olens was officially installed Thursday as Kennesaw State University’s president, in a deflated celebration punctuated by student protests. Olens did not address campus tensions during his 10-minute speech to a half-empty auditorium in the school&rsquo...
Olens installed as KSU president as protests continue
 University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley stepped to the lectern Thursday to officially install Sam Olens as Kennesaw State University’s president. But the board he heads will soon look into the way KSU, under Olens, handled a protest by some cheerleaders that many feel has stifled the students’ rights to free speech...

7:30 PM Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley stepped to the lectern Thursday to officially install Sam Olens as Kennesaw State University’s president. But the board he heads will soon look into the way KSU, under Olens, handled a protest by some cheerleaders that many feel has stifled the students’ rights to free speech...
Students kneel during national anthem as Olens takes president’s office
 As Sam Olens was being installed as president of Kennesaw State University, students took a knee during the national anthem to protest how the school handled cheerleaders who knelt at a football game. Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Eric Stirgus, on the KSU campus, reports that about a dozen students knelt at their seats  during Olens&rsquo...

3:15 PM Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

As Sam Olens was being installed as president of Kennesaw State University, students took a knee during the national anthem to protest how the school handled cheerleaders who knelt at a football game. Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Eric Stirgus, on the KSU campus, reports that about a dozen students knelt at their seats during Olens&rsquo...
Kennesaw State prepares to celebrate Olens amid planned protests to support cheerleaders
 Kennesaw State University officials are scheduled to have reception on its Campus Green Thursday  after a ceremony officially installing Sam Olens as its president, but he may be greeted by some students and others planning a sit-in at the same spot. The sit-in is intended to show support primarily for five cheerleaders who took a knee when...

11:47 AM Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

Kennesaw State University officials are scheduled to have reception on its Campus Green Thursday after a ceremony officially installing Sam Olens as its president, but he may be greeted by some students and others planning a sit-in at the same spot. The sit-in is intended to show support primarily for five cheerleaders who took a knee when...
KSU cheerleaders ‘disheartened’ by sheriff-lawmaker texts
 The Kennesaw State University cheerleaders known as the Kennesaw Five issued a group statement Wednesday in response to a report by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution documenting political pressure to keep them off the field during the anthem at football games: The statement comes a day after the AJC published text messages exchanged between...

3:20 PM Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017

The Kennesaw State University cheerleaders known as the Kennesaw Five issued a group statement Wednesday in response to a report by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution documenting political pressure to keep them off the field during the anthem at football games: The statement comes a day after the AJC published text messages exchanged between...
Texts show Cobb sheriff, lawmaker pushed KSU president on cheerleaders
 Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren and state Rep. Earl Ehrhart boasted in a series of text messages about pressuring the president of Kennesaw State University into keeping the school’s cheerleaders off the field during the national anthem in response to several kneeling in protest. The text messages, which The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...

11:16 PM Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017

Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren and state Rep. Earl Ehrhart boasted in a series of text messages about pressuring the president of Kennesaw State University into keeping the school’s cheerleaders off the field during the national anthem in response to several kneeling in protest. The text messages, which The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...