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

Cobb State House race could be bellwether for purple Georgia
 The race to represent parts of Vinings, Smyrna and Mableton in the state House of Representatives will test long-term demographic and political trends in Cobb County amid a surge in interest in this year’s midterm elections. Both District 40 candidates, Republican Matt Bentley and Democrat Erick Allen, say they are focusing on local...

Posted: 2 days ago

The race to represent parts of Vinings, Smyrna and Mableton in the state House of Representatives will test long-term demographic and political trends in Cobb County amid a surge in interest in this year’s midterm elections. Both District 40 candidates, Republican Matt Bentley and Democrat Erick Allen, say they are focusing on local...
Chattahoochee master plan aims to recreate Beltline magic on river
 Advocates of an ambitious plan to develop a network of linear parks and trails along a vast stretch of the Chattahoochee River say it holds the promise to transform the metro region in the way the Beltline changed Atlanta.  The Chattahoochee River Greenway Study, administered by the Atlanta Regional Commission in conjunction with local...

Posted: 10 days ago

Advocates of an ambitious plan to develop a network of linear parks and trails along a vast stretch of the Chattahoochee River say it holds the promise to transform the metro region in the way the Beltline changed Atlanta.  The Chattahoochee River Greenway Study, administered by the Atlanta Regional Commission in conjunction with local...
Cobb approves settlement with Braves over stadium fees
 The Atlanta Braves will pay Cobb County more than a million dollars to cover water and sewer at the team’s new, publicly-financed stadium, according to a settlement approved by commissioners Tuesday.  Cobb Chairman Mike Boyce hailed the agreement as a win for the county, although the amount Cobb will collect is less than the...

Posted: 13 days ago

The Atlanta Braves will pay Cobb County more than a million dollars to cover water and sewer at the team’s new, publicly-financed stadium, according to a settlement approved by commissioners Tuesday.  Cobb Chairman Mike Boyce hailed the agreement as a win for the county, although the amount Cobb will collect is less than the...
Cobb to vote on settlement with Braves over stadium costs
 Cobb County Commissioners are expected to vote Tuesday on a settlement with the Atlanta Braves over millions in disputed stadium costs.  The Braves have agreed to pay $1.5 million for water and sewer infrastructure, as well as $380,000 for signage, according to a statement from the county.  Cobb in turn will refund the Braves a ...

Posted: 13 days ago

Cobb County Commissioners are expected to vote Tuesday on a settlement with the Atlanta Braves over millions in disputed stadium costs.  The Braves have agreed to pay $1.5 million for water and sewer infrastructure, as well as $380,000 for signage, according to a statement from the county.  Cobb in turn will refund the Braves a ...
New CSX lease addresses passenger rail, Silver Comet
 Georgia’s State Properties Commission announced on Friday the signing of a new, 50-year lease agreement with CSX for the company’s continued use of the state-owned Western and Atlantic railroad. The contract preserves CSX’s exclusive control over freight access but also reserves Georgia’s right to install passenger...

Posted: 16 days ago

Georgia’s State Properties Commission announced on Friday the signing of a new, 50-year lease agreement with CSX for the company’s continued use of the state-owned Western and Atlantic railroad. The contract preserves CSX’s exclusive control over freight access but also reserves Georgia’s right to install passenger...
Braves, Cobb in legal dispute over millions in stadium costs
 Cobb County and the Atlanta Braves are in a legal dispute over millions of dollars in costs associated with SunTrust Park. Taxpayers’ obligation on the publicly-subsidized ballpark already tops $400 million. But now the Braves are seeking more than $4.6 million they say the county owes them. The issue began back in May when the county...

Posted: 17 days ago

Cobb County and the Atlanta Braves are in a legal dispute over millions of dollars in costs associated with SunTrust Park. Taxpayers’ obligation on the publicly-subsidized ballpark already tops $400 million. But now the Braves are seeking more than $4.6 million they say the county owes them. The issue began back in May when the county...
Expanding transit in Cobb faces uphill struggle without champion
 As transit initiatives gain momentum in other metro Atlanta counties, many Cobb officials appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach. County Commission Chairman Mike Boyce said his board doesn’t want to be saddled with sole responsibility for facilitating a public discussion on whether more transit options are needed in the county&mdash...

Posted: 30 days ago

As transit initiatives gain momentum in other metro Atlanta counties, many Cobb officials appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach. County Commission Chairman Mike Boyce said his board doesn’t want to be saddled with sole responsibility for facilitating a public discussion on whether more transit options are needed in the county&mdash...
Cobb population grows with metro Atlanta
 Cobb County’s population is rising with the rest of metro Atlanta as the region continues to attract new residents, according to a study from the Atlanta Regional Commission. Cobb welcomed 12,800 people between April 2016 and the same month in 2017, bringing its total population to about 758,000, the study said.  The entire...

7:08 PM Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018

Cobb County’s population is rising with the rest of metro Atlanta as the region continues to attract new residents, according to a study from the Atlanta Regional Commission. Cobb welcomed 12,800 people between April 2016 and the same month in 2017, bringing its total population to about 758,000, the study said.  The entire...
Cobb approves mixed-use project for ailing ‘Restaurant Row’
 Cobb Commissioners have approved an estimated $100 million mixed-use development along a struggling section of Powers Ferry Road in East Cobb known as “restaurant row.” The project by the developer Greystar will put a total of about 450 luxury apartments around the popular Rose & Crown Tavern, which is slated for expansion. More...

6:16 PM Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018

Cobb Commissioners have approved an estimated $100 million mixed-use development along a struggling section of Powers Ferry Road in East Cobb known as “restaurant row.” The project by the developer Greystar will put a total of about 450 luxury apartments around the popular Rose & Crown Tavern, which is slated for expansion. More...
Elections: Georgia counties respond to hacking, security threats
 As Georgians prepare to cast their ballots in a nationally watched gubernatorial race, the security and reliability of the state’s election system remains a point of concern for many voters and security experts. Polls show that a large percentage of Americans believe there’s a concerted effort underway by foreign entities to undermine...

9:22 PM Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018

As Georgians prepare to cast their ballots in a nationally watched gubernatorial race, the security and reliability of the state’s election system remains a point of concern for many voters and security experts. Polls show that a large percentage of Americans believe there’s a concerted effort underway by foreign entities to undermine...
Cobb to start restoring Sunday library hours
 Cobb will start restoring Sunday library hours at some branches for the first time since the recession starting September 9. The Switzer Library in Marietta is scheduled to open from 1 to 5 p.m. the Sunday after Labor Day.  Plans are also underway to restore hours at three regional branches: Mountain View, South Cobb and West Cobb, according...

6:58 PM Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018

Cobb will start restoring Sunday library hours at some branches for the first time since the recession starting September 9. The Switzer Library in Marietta is scheduled to open from 1 to 5 p.m. the Sunday after Labor Day.  Plans are also underway to restore hours at three regional branches: Mountain View, South Cobb and West Cobb, according...