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: How scooters have Atlanta falling hard to regulate ’em
 For the past six months, the city of Atlanta has witnessed a libertarian free-for-all in the field of micro-transportation: The onslaught of electric scooters. In May, Bird scooters popped up on Intown sidewalks much like mushrooms in a cow field after a rain. A month later, that company’s hated competitor, Lime, rolled out hundreds...

Posted: 2 days ago

For the past six months, the city of Atlanta has witnessed a libertarian free-for-all in the field of micro-transportation: The onslaught of electric scooters. In May, Bird scooters popped up on Intown sidewalks much like mushrooms in a cow field after a rain. A month later, that company’s hated competitor, Lime, rolled out hundreds...
What you need to know about Monday’s Atlanta United victory parade
 They say everyone loves a parade, and barely a week removed from the city’s annual Christmas parade, Santa Claus is returning in the form of the Atlanta United. Yes, the soccer team that was barely a gleam in Arthur Blank’s eye two years ago will take to downtown’s streets Monday at 10 a.m in celebration of winning its first...

Posted: 4 days ago

They say everyone loves a parade, and barely a week removed from the city’s annual Christmas parade, Santa Claus is returning in the form of the Atlanta United. Yes, the soccer team that was barely a gleam in Arthur Blank’s eye two years ago will take to downtown’s streets Monday at 10 a.m in celebration of winning its first...
Torpy at Large: More homeless in ATL? Stats say no, eyes say otherwise
 Through the gloaming and the cold, blustery winds, I drove around downtown Atlanta on Wednesday with Kem Jackson, a homeless man who pointed out the “cat holes” where his contemporaries dig in for the night. There were tent cities under highway ramps near I-20, there were a growing number of men setting up under the viaduct near...

Posted: 7 days ago

Through the gloaming and the cold, blustery winds, I drove around downtown Atlanta on Wednesday with Kem Jackson, a homeless man who pointed out the “cat holes” where his contemporaries dig in for the night. There were tent cities under highway ramps near I-20, there were a growing number of men setting up under the viaduct near...
Torpy at Large: He sang at the White House but still died homeless
 For the past couple of years in downtown Atlanta, people walking to the Fulton County Courthouse, or to Mass at the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, encountered a man with a crooked smile and a guitar staking out a street corner. His name was Richard Harold Bradfield, although most people called him Ricky — if they called...

Posted: 9 days ago

For the past couple of years in downtown Atlanta, people walking to the Fulton County Courthouse, or to Mass at the Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, encountered a man with a crooked smile and a guitar staking out a street corner. His name was Richard Harold Bradfield, although most people called him Ricky — if they called...
Torpy at Large: Atlanta garbage crews sick of being treated like trash
 The man in the gray work uniform with reflective orange stripes was a welcome respite at a recent Atlanta City Council meeting. After hours of droning public debate over the Gulch Tax Giveaway project, Stober Davis walked to the mic and in a deep voice grabbed the crowd’s attention: “I’m gonna say rats. I’m gonna...

Posted: 28 days ago

The man in the gray work uniform with reflective orange stripes was a welcome respite at a recent Atlanta City Council meeting. After hours of droning public debate over the Gulch Tax Giveaway project, Stober Davis walked to the mic and in a deep voice grabbed the crowd’s attention: “I’m gonna say rats. I’m gonna...
Torpy at Large: Lawmakers in crosswalk may be dimmer than they appear
 Drivers in downtown Atlanta are being forced to take a bothersome detour. The Georgia Legislature is back in town for a special session. Mitchell Street, which runs on the south side of the state Capitol, has been closed. A Capitol police squad car, lights a-flashing, blocked the road Tuesday as Georgia Department of Transportation crews...

11:00 AM Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018

Drivers in downtown Atlanta are being forced to take a bothersome detour. The Georgia Legislature is back in town for a special session. Mitchell Street, which runs on the south side of the state Capitol, has been closed. A Capitol police squad car, lights a-flashing, blocked the road Tuesday as Georgia Department of Transportation crews...
Torpy at Large: Glad that voters clipped the Eagle wannabe-city’s wings
 Sometimes, the voters really get one right. On Tuesday, some in Henry County killed a nasty little piece of legislation that would have created the city of Eagle’s Landing and made no Georgia city safe. A “yes” vote in favor of forming the new city would have pulled some 9,000 residents out of the existing city of Stockbridge...

11:00 AM Friday, Nov. 09, 2018

Sometimes, the voters really get one right. On Tuesday, some in Henry County killed a nasty little piece of legislation that would have created the city of Eagle’s Landing and made no Georgia city safe. A “yes” vote in favor of forming the new city would have pulled some 9,000 residents out of the existing city of Stockbridge...
Torpy at Large: How the 10-hour slog to a Gulch win leaves us spent
 In the end, Big Money won out. I thought Atlanta City Council members opposed to the Outrageous Gulch Giveaway might make a heroic last stand. But they never had a chance. You remember how it worked out for Custer. The $1.9 billion taxpayer subsidy to build a gleaming mini-city in the weedy railroad gulch where Falcon fans tailgate was narrowly ...

11:00 AM Thursday, Nov. 08, 2018

In the end, Big Money won out. I thought Atlanta City Council members opposed to the Outrageous Gulch Giveaway might make a heroic last stand. But they never had a chance. You remember how it worked out for Custer. The $1.9 billion taxpayer subsidy to build a gleaming mini-city in the weedy railroad gulch where Falcon fans tailgate was narrowly ...
Torpy at Large: If you get the vapors, GA governor’s race isn’t for you
 Last year, after progressive activists shouted down Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Evans at a convention, I wrote about the left eating its own and had one thought: Hello, Governor Cagle. Tells you what I know. My point at the time was that left-wing activists denigrating centrist candidates and party members was short-sighted...

11:00 AM Monday, Nov. 05, 2018

Last year, after progressive activists shouted down Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Evans at a convention, I wrote about the left eating its own and had one thought: Hello, Governor Cagle. Tells you what I know. My point at the time was that left-wing activists denigrating centrist candidates and party members was short-sighted...
Torpy at Large: Who says MARTA West End doesn’t need Abernathy name?
 It seemed like a fine idea, an effort by MARTA officials to honor Juanita Abernathy, wife of a civil rights leader and a civic treasure herself. It also sounds like a mouthful: The Juanita Jones and Ralph David Abernathy at West End Station. In January, MARTA’s board voted unanimously — and quietly — to honor Mrs. Abernathy...

10:00 AM Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018

It seemed like a fine idea, an effort by MARTA officials to honor Juanita Abernathy, wife of a civil rights leader and a civic treasure herself. It also sounds like a mouthful: The Juanita Jones and Ralph David Abernathy at West End Station. In January, MARTA’s board voted unanimously — and quietly — to honor Mrs. Abernathy...
Torpy at Large: The Atlanta Gulch question as a lesson in stressin’
 There’s an old saying: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” I’ve been thinking about that since Tuesday, when opponents of the Big Tax Giveaway in the Gulch stood on the steps of Atlanta City Hall and trotted out the opinions of four learned professors who all thought badly of the deal. The plan...

10:00 AM Friday, Oct. 26, 2018

There’s an old saying: “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” I’ve been thinking about that since Tuesday, when opponents of the Big Tax Giveaway in the Gulch stood on the steps of Atlanta City Hall and trotted out the opinions of four learned professors who all thought badly of the deal. The plan...