Bill Torpy

Columnist

Bill Torpy, who writes about metro Atlanta for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, joined the newspaper in 1990. He has covered politics, government and countless stories about police, courts and the justice system. The Chicago native graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., and previously worked for the Daily Southtown in Chicago

Latest from Bill Torpy

Torpy at Large: What’s really at fault in the assault on Atlanta trees
 Once again, Atlanta, which likes to call itself the “City in a Forest,” is going to see a bit more city and a little less forest. The latest flash point in that ongoing drive toward deforestation is a block-long stretch along DeKalb Avenue where a small private school once operated. It’s a 3-acre property shaded by perhaps...

Posted: an hour ago

Once again, Atlanta, which likes to call itself the “City in a Forest,” is going to see a bit more city and a little less forest. The latest flash point in that ongoing drive toward deforestation is a block-long stretch along DeKalb Avenue where a small private school once operated. It’s a 3-acre property shaded by perhaps...
Torpy at Large: Trump wannabes Cagle and Kemp head to Crazytown
 Gov. Lite Casey Cagle has gotten himself into a pickle in his race for governor. He did it by not patting down the losing candidate who came to talk with him … and by telling the truth. In a secretly recorded tape, Cagle told voters that politics has become professional wrestling. And that ‘rasslin is fake! Last week, Cagle&rsquo...

Posted: 2 days ago

Gov. Lite Casey Cagle has gotten himself into a pickle in his race for governor. He did it by not patting down the losing candidate who came to talk with him … and by telling the truth. In a secretly recorded tape, Cagle told voters that politics has become professional wrestling. And that ‘rasslin is fake! Last week, Cagle&rsquo...
Torpy at Large: 2 metro Atlanta ZIPs in America’s widening wealth gap
 Times are swell, right? Unemployment’s down. Stocks are up. Construction cranes are swinging. Head to Suwanee in Gwinnett County and you’ll see that: Stately homes, manicured lawns and a sense that business is booming. Storefronts are occupied, fine cars queue up at traffic lights, and everything is just so brand spanking new...

Posted: 4 days ago

Times are swell, right? Unemployment’s down. Stocks are up. Construction cranes are swinging. Head to Suwanee in Gwinnett County and you’ll see that: Stately homes, manicured lawns and a sense that business is booming. Storefronts are occupied, fine cars queue up at traffic lights, and everything is just so brand spanking new...
Torpy at Large: Something stinks in Brunswick, and it ain’t paper mills
 I must admit, I got snowed by District Attorney Jackie Johnson in Brunswick. And it was a masterful obfuscation by an office that seems to master the art. Johnson is the prosecutor who helped a couple of trigger-happy Glynn County cops avoid prosecution in the sickening 2010 shooting death of Caroline Small, an unarmed mother trapped...

Posted: 9 days ago

I must admit, I got snowed by District Attorney Jackie Johnson in Brunswick. And it was a masterful obfuscation by an office that seems to master the art. Johnson is the prosecutor who helped a couple of trigger-happy Glynn County cops avoid prosecution in the sickening 2010 shooting death of Caroline Small, an unarmed mother trapped...
Torpy at Large: Any excuse given for littering is garbage
 The other day, I watched a driver in front of me toss a fast-food cup out the window. I started to try to catch up to and scold this fool. But I remembered half of Georgia is packing, so I bit my tongue and eased off the accelerator. That some lazy, inconsiderate boob is using our public space as a garbage can is not necessarily unusual....

Posted: 14 days ago

The other day, I watched a driver in front of me toss a fast-food cup out the window. I started to try to catch up to and scold this fool. But I remembered half of Georgia is packing, so I bit my tongue and eased off the accelerator. That some lazy, inconsiderate boob is using our public space as a garbage can is not necessarily unusual....
Torpy at Large: When a murderous cop has law-and-order enablers
 I tried for a couple of days this week to get a hold of District Attorney Jackie Johnson in Brunswick to ask her some questions. The most pressing: How can you look at yourself in the mirror? The bodies are piling up in Glynn County in southeast Georgia. And a good part of that blame falls in Johnson’s office. Johnson is the prosecutor...

Posted: 15 days ago

I tried for a couple of days this week to get a hold of District Attorney Jackie Johnson in Brunswick to ask her some questions. The most pressing: How can you look at yourself in the mirror? The bodies are piling up in Glynn County in southeast Georgia. And a good part of that blame falls in Johnson’s office. Johnson is the prosecutor...
Torpy at Large: Bitter sting as Atlanta officials sour on Sweet Auburn
 Once again, it appears Sweet Auburn is getting shunted aside. The city of Atlanta has been quietly trying to pull the switcheroo on this historic area by killing off a tax scheme meant to help redevelopment. City officials have been arguing that a Tax Allocation District (TAD) set up for the area east of downtown has already served its...

Posted: 18 days ago

Once again, it appears Sweet Auburn is getting shunted aside. The city of Atlanta has been quietly trying to pull the switcheroo on this historic area by killing off a tax scheme meant to help redevelopment. City officials have been arguing that a Tax Allocation District (TAD) set up for the area east of downtown has already served its...
Torpy at Large: Georgia political turbulence? Grab Atlanta’s airport
 Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has had his fun beating up on the People’s Republic of Decatur for political sport, calling the liberal bastion a sanctuary city for unauthorized immigrants and MS-13 desperadoes. But that was just the appetizer. Now for the main course: Atlanta. Earlier this year, state Sen. Burt Jones, a Republican who was...

Posted: 23 days ago

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has had his fun beating up on the People’s Republic of Decatur for political sport, calling the liberal bastion a sanctuary city for unauthorized immigrants and MS-13 desperadoes. But that was just the appetizer. Now for the main course: Atlanta. Earlier this year, state Sen. Burt Jones, a Republican who was...
Torpy at Large: Why Clay ‘The Mole’ Tippins went commando against Cagle
 Clay Tippins, the vanquished gubernatorial candidate, smiled awkwardly during an interview last week and brought up the question everyone is asking. “Is Clay a sneaky SOB or a Boy Scout?” he asked. Tippins — a businessman, Stanford University swimming star and former Navy Seal — looks like the latter. But a good number...

Posted: 28 days ago

Clay Tippins, the vanquished gubernatorial candidate, smiled awkwardly during an interview last week and brought up the question everyone is asking. “Is Clay a sneaky SOB or a Boy Scout?” he asked. Tippins — a businessman, Stanford University swimming star and former Navy Seal — looks like the latter. But a good number...
Torpy at Large: ‘Homes from the $500s!’ So, where do regular folks go?
 Robert Kee knew his intown Atlanta neighborhood had inordinately changed when he saw a jogger dragging some weights on wheels. “You could see the turn right there because no one would try that crap five years ago,” said the computer programmer who lives in Reynoldstown, a gentrifying neighborhood 3 miles east of downtown. Kee...

Posted: 29 days ago

Robert Kee knew his intown Atlanta neighborhood had inordinately changed when he saw a jogger dragging some weights on wheels. “You could see the turn right there because no one would try that crap five years ago,” said the computer programmer who lives in Reynoldstown, a gentrifying neighborhood 3 miles east of downtown. Kee...
Torpy at Large: The Tin Man meets The Spirit in the Sky
 I spent a couple of decades around boxing gyms, but David Jayne is probably the toughest guy I ever met. But after 30 years of fighting ALS, David decided last week to pull the plug. I read on Facebook it was happening, contacted him, and then raced an hour south to his home in Senoia. He held off on the procedure until I arrived, despite...

10:00 AM Monday, Jun. 18, 2018

I spent a couple of decades around boxing gyms, but David Jayne is probably the toughest guy I ever met. But after 30 years of fighting ALS, David decided last week to pull the plug. I read on Facebook it was happening, contacted him, and then raced an hour south to his home in Senoia. He held off on the procedure until I arrived, despite...