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

Lawsuit: Cobb jail guard kept job despite pattern of inmate abuse
 In jailhouse footage, the guard is seen pushing the inmate to the ground, where he lies, screaming in pain, his hip broken, as staff drift in and out, attempting to pull him to his feet and at one point taunting him.  Denis Quinette of Marietta, then 60 years old, had been charged with misdemeanor shoplifting. He remained on the floor...

Posted: 5 days ago

In jailhouse footage, the guard is seen pushing the inmate to the ground, where he lies, screaming in pain, his hip broken, as staff drift in and out, attempting to pull him to his feet and at one point taunting him.  Denis Quinette of Marietta, then 60 years old, had been charged with misdemeanor shoplifting. He remained on the floor...
Cobb church to move into abandoned shopping center
 An abandoned shopping center on Powder Springs Road in South Cobb is set to be taken over by a local church that hopes to move in by the end of the year.  The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to allow a house of worship on a site formerly designated for commercial use. Critics of the project had opposed the change, saying...

Posted: 8 days ago

An abandoned shopping center on Powder Springs Road in South Cobb is set to be taken over by a local church that hopes to move in by the end of the year.  The Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to allow a house of worship on a site formerly designated for commercial use. Critics of the project had opposed the change, saying...
Saving Main Street: Powder Springs latest town seeking reinvention
 Once a Victorian resort town known for its restorative waters, Powder Springs is struggling.  A bookstore, consignment shop and florist anchor the downtown, while many of the red brick storefronts stand empty. New restaurants come and go. The Country Store of Seven Springs, housed in a white clapboard building believed to date back to...

Posted: 10 days ago

Once a Victorian resort town known for its restorative waters, Powder Springs is struggling.  A bookstore, consignment shop and florist anchor the downtown, while many of the red brick storefronts stand empty. New restaurants come and go. The Country Store of Seven Springs, housed in a white clapboard building believed to date back to...
Man, his dog killed in Lawrenceville fire
 A 74-year-old Lawrenceville man and his dog were killed in a house fire Sunday, according to Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services. A neighbor called 911 Sunday morning to report what sounded like an explosion followed by flames and smoke pouring from the house on the 80 block of Bleeker Street. Eventually, firefighters located...

Posted: 10 days ago

A 74-year-old Lawrenceville man and his dog were killed in a house fire Sunday, according to Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services. A neighbor called 911 Sunday morning to report what sounded like an explosion followed by flames and smoke pouring from the house on the 80 block of Bleeker Street. Eventually, firefighters located...
Teen accused of faking emergency to rob Cobb family arrested
 A 19-year-old woman accused of faking an emergency to carry out a violent invasion of a Cobb family’s home has been arrested, according to Channel 2 Action News.  Cobb police told Channel 2’s Chris Jose that Amanda Tanks was one of three people caught on camera breaking into the Vinings Estates house on March 26...

Posted: 10 days ago

A 19-year-old woman accused of faking an emergency to carry out a violent invasion of a Cobb family’s home has been arrested, according to Channel 2 Action News.  Cobb police told Channel 2’s Chris Jose that Amanda Tanks was one of three people caught on camera breaking into the Vinings Estates house on March 26...
Downpours hit metro Atlanta ahead of temperature drop
 Today: Rain and storms. High: 66 Tonight: Clearing and cooler. Low: 39 Tomorrow: Breezy and cool. High: 56 Heavy rain has moved into metro Atlanta on Sunday morning in the wake of destructive storm system that moved across the South this weekend. “Fortunately, the storms have weakened as they moved into North Georgia...

Posted: 11 days ago

Today: Rain and storms. High: 66 Tonight: Clearing and cooler. Low: 39 Tomorrow: Breezy and cool. High: 56 Heavy rain has moved into metro Atlanta on Sunday morning in the wake of destructive storm system that moved across the South this weekend. “Fortunately, the storms have weakened as they moved into North Georgia...
Braves set to sell Battery apartments a year after opening
 The Atlanta Braves are looking to sell the trio of apartment buildings that sit yards away from its new ballpark. The communities — named Residences, Parkside and Flats —  are known collectively as “Home at The Battery Atlanta.” The team said in a statement that it listed the more than 530 residences for...

Posted: 13 days ago

The Atlanta Braves are looking to sell the trio of apartment buildings that sit yards away from its new ballpark. The communities — named Residences, Parkside and Flats —  are known collectively as “Home at The Battery Atlanta.” The team said in a statement that it listed the more than 530 residences for...
Cobb faces tricky negotiation over MARTA
 Will all or part of Cobb join MARTA, and who gets to decide?  That will depend on whether county commissioners and lawmakers can agree on a map for a proposed special service district, a major sticking point in the negotiations over the regional transit bill currently awaiting Governor Nathan Deal’s signature. The version...

Posted: 19 days ago

Will all or part of Cobb join MARTA, and who gets to decide?  That will depend on whether county commissioners and lawmakers can agree on a map for a proposed special service district, a major sticking point in the negotiations over the regional transit bill currently awaiting Governor Nathan Deal’s signature. The version...
Why was a Cobb nurse serving a life sentence for sexual assault freed?
 A male nurse convicted in 2011 of sexually assaulting sedated female patients, including children, was released from prison earlier this year under murky circumstances. Paul Serdula turned himself in to authorities Wednesday afternoon. But his release raised questions about how the Georgia Department of Corrections allowed him to walk free...

Posted: 21 days ago

A male nurse convicted in 2011 of sexually assaulting sedated female patients, including children, was released from prison earlier this year under murky circumstances. Paul Serdula turned himself in to authorities Wednesday afternoon. But his release raised questions about how the Georgia Department of Corrections allowed him to walk free...
Formerly convicted Cobb nurse turns self in after accidental release
 UPDATE: Serdula turned himself in to the Cobb County jail at 4 p.m. Wednesday. ORIGINAL: A male nurse convicted of sexually assaulting and taking video of sedated female patients, including children, was released from prison earlier this year under murky circumstances.  Paul Serdula was sentenced in 2011 to life plus 25 years by...

Posted: 21 days ago

UPDATE: Serdula turned himself in to the Cobb County jail at 4 p.m. Wednesday. ORIGINAL: A male nurse convicted of sexually assaulting and taking video of sedated female patients, including children, was released from prison earlier this year under murky circumstances.  Paul Serdula was sentenced in 2011 to life plus 25 years by...
Cobb: How to vote by mail in May 22 election
 Any Cobb voter who wishes to cast his or her ballot in the May 22 election by mail can download an application from the Cobb Board of Elections website. Registered voters do no need to give a reason to vote by mail using an absentee ballot, according to a statement from the county.  Election officials are urging those who wish to vote...

Posted: 22 days ago

Any Cobb voter who wishes to cast his or her ballot in the May 22 election by mail can download an application from the Cobb Board of Elections website. Registered voters do no need to give a reason to vote by mail using an absentee ballot, according to a statement from the county.  Election officials are urging those who wish to vote...