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04/22 Mike Luckovich: Stiff competition.



If Reed never takes off Masters green jacket, who’d really blame him?

If Reed never takes off Masters green jacket, who’d really blame him?

It has been less than two weeks since Patrick Reed won the Masters, and already all the other sport coats in his closet are green with jealousy. Just not green enough. In case you didn’t know it, Reed outlasted Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth at Augusta National. It was in all the papers. But need further proof? Just check out Reed about any time he leaves the house. Chances are he’ll...
Remember when Falcons’ Dimitroff was in trouble? Yeah, not anymore

Remember when Falcons’ Dimitroff was in trouble? Yeah, not anymore

Before allowing visitors into his Chamber of Secrets, Thomas Dimitroff walked in, closed the door behind him, digitally whitewashed the walls of his office of all depth charts and player rankings, cleaned his desk, turned off his computer screen and flipped the two big screens to a Falcons’ screensaver and, I think, the Food Network. It’s draft week. NFL general managers and coaches are...
Atlanta Concert Tickets on sale this week: Hanson, Vince Gill, Lauryn Hill

Atlanta Concert Tickets on sale this week: Hanson, Vince Gill, Lauryn Hill

Hanson will celebrate an anniversary at Atlanta Symphony Hall. BY LEA HOLLAND/AJC Editorial Assistant If you find a mistake in Hot Tickets, please let us know. Contact Lea Holland at lea.holland@ajc.com. Events are subject to change, so it’s a good idea to call the venue before driving a long distance. Follow us on  Twitter. ON SALE APRIL 20 John Pizzarelli Duo....
Atlanta Concerts this week: Little Big Town, Pink

Atlanta Concerts this week: Little Big Town, Pink

Little Big Town will bring their big show to Infinite Energy Arena on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene FRIDAY Bon Jovi Slightly more than a year after packing the same venue, the durable soon-to-be-Rock-and-Roll-Hall-of-Famers return with their arsenal of melodic pop-rock anthems. Although the band re-released its current album, “This House Is Not...
Prince’s doctor fined for drug violations in singer’s death

Prince’s doctor fined for drug violations in singer’s death

A message to Prince on the Riley Creek underpass in front of Paisley Park. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene Minnesota doctor Dr. Michael T. Schulenberg has been fined $30,000 for violating the Controlled Substances Act for knowingly prescribing painkillers for Prince’s drummer, which he knew were for Prince himself. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports...
Teacher to colleagues: Celebrate teens rather than denigrate them

Teacher to colleagues: Celebrate teens rather than denigrate them

Tyler Moon teaches at a small rural high school in Georgia. He is a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice at the University of Georgia. In this essay, Moon challenges critiques of teenagers as self-absorbed and unfamiliar with the real world and real struggles. Such comments have intensified as critics seek to malign the teens of Parkland leading the movement for new...
Watch Prince’s rehearsal footage for the original version of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’

Watch Prince’s rehearsal footage for the original version of ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’

Photo: Nancy Bundt/The Prince Estate BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene The original version of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” is now available for fan consumption. The song, which Sinéad O’Connor brought to the top of the charts in 1990, was recorded by Prince in 1984 at the Flying Cloud Drive “Warehouse” in Eden Prairie, Minn., with his long-time...
CBS bringing back Atlanta-produced ‘MacGyver’ for third season

CBS bringing back Atlanta-produced ‘MacGyver’ for third season

“Skyscraper – Power” — Mac and Jack attempt to rescue a billionaire’s son after he is kidnapped by a former Navy SEAL who uses an EMP weapon to cut off power and communication lines to the Shanghai skyscraper where the boy lives, on MACGYVER, Friday, April 13 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Ed Asner and Piper Laurie guest...
Hawks, Budenholzer both could be making mistakes if they split

Hawks, Budenholzer both could be making mistakes if they split

The Hawks have basically told one of the best coaches in franchise history, “If you want to go, go. We’ll even open the door for you.” Mike Budenholzer, who has two years and a reported $13 million remaining on his contract, has basically told the Hawks, “I think I can do better.” In so many ways, this makes no sense. Welcome to the world of sports, egos and, most of...
Kempner: Ignore call from boss? Georgia shifts on distracted driving

Kempner: Ignore call from boss? Georgia shifts on distracted driving

Georgia’s new distracted driving rules are confusing and watered down, but they give Georgians a legal excuse not to work in their cars and to ignore calls from bosses and customers. Some workaholics won’t take the hint. Not when they spend all that time brewing in Atlanta’s traffic. Not when plenty of employees and business owners have learned that the virtual office is everywhere...
When hate strikes in North Fulton, a community comes bearing gifts

When hate strikes in North Fulton, a community comes bearing gifts

Last Friday, not far from the place where six teens allegedly scrawled anti-Semitic drawings on Hilary Karp’s driveway, Erik Schefstad, his wife, Carson, and one of their two children came hoping to communicate a decidedly different message, and it blew Karp away. Actually, they came bearing many messages, about two dozen total that, taken together, simply said, “We love you.” &ldquo...
Festival preview: Tedeschi Trucks Band ready for its SweetWater 420 Fest closeup

Festival preview: Tedeschi Trucks Band ready for its SweetWater 420 Fest closeup

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene The Tedeschi Trucks Band is renowned for its commitment to meaty, visceral concerts. Last summer, the 12-piece musical crew led by Susan Tedeschi and her husband, Derek Trucks, rolled into the Fox Theatre for a memorable night on its annual “Wheels of Soul” tour. It was also Trucks and Tedeschi’s  return to Atlanta...
Concert preview: Bon Jovi returns to Atlanta fresh from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction

Concert preview: Bon Jovi returns to Atlanta fresh from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene Bon Jovi stole the show, as usual. At least that was the consensus following last weekend’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, at which the enduring New Jersey rockers were finally granted entry into the Cleveland shrine. Between an expectedly uproarious introductory speech by longtime band friend Howard Stern and the fan-satiating...
Remembering Barbara Bush’s controversial commencement speech

Remembering Barbara Bush’s controversial commencement speech

In 1990, the AJC sent me to Wellesley College in Massachusetts to cover then First Lady Barbara Bush’s commencement appearance, which had sparked a lot of controversy.  Seniors at the prestigious women’s college had voted for “Color Purple” author and Georgia native Alice Walker as their first choice of commencement speaker. Alice Walker declined, and Barbara Bush, the...
The Braves sign Jose Bautista to a minor-league deal - to play 3B!

The Braves sign Jose Bautista to a minor-league deal - to play 3B!

This is fascinating. The Atlanta Braves have signed Jose Bautista, one of the best power hitters of the past decade, to a minor-league contract. But that’s not the fascinating part. This is.  Per the Braves’ release: “He has reported to Atlanta’s extended spring training complex in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. He will play third base.”  Bautista, known as Joey Bats...
Fitness instructors on the image issues depicted in “I Feel Pretty”

Fitness instructors on the image issues depicted in “I Feel Pretty”

Don’t come into Desiree Nathanson’s fitness class seeking a “No pain, no gain” experience. “Start small,” advised Nathanson, co-owner of Interfusion Fitness in Brookhaven. “People make a huge mistake with trying to jump in the deep end. Instead of saying, ‘I’m going to the gym every day this week!,&rsquo...
“I Feel Pretty” star Amy Schumer recalls losing her confidence. At 10.

“I Feel Pretty” star Amy Schumer recalls losing her confidence. At 10.

The guy really got into Amy Schumer’s head. Here she was full of confidence and spunk, and he had to make a deflating remark. “I was 10 years old, which is kind of late. That’s kind of lucky, to hang onto your confidence until you’re 10,” she said during a recent interview with the AJC. “It was a guy I was friends with. He said, &lsquo...
In this draft, the Falcons’ biggest need is on offense

In this draft, the Falcons’ biggest need is on offense

Credit where it’s due: Through the ongoing influx of young talent, the Falcons have brought their defense, which not so long ago was a swinging gate, up from oblivion. The 2017 Falcons were ninth among NFL teams in yards against. It marked only the second time since 2007 – and the first since 2012 – this club had cracked the top 10 in total defense.  Two problems here. First...
Oh, what an unflappable Foltynewicz could mean to Braves

Oh, what an unflappable Foltynewicz could mean to Braves

It wasn’t Folty’s fault. He started Tuesday night’s extra-inning loss to Philadelphia, could have gone deeper into the game but threw too many pitches in vain and was long gone by the time Jose Ramirez was the drum major to a parade of Phillies runs in the 10th. If you have closely watched Mike Foltynewicz pitch for the Braves for much of these past three seasons, you know this was...
Furry, fabulous fun at Atlanta Humane Society’s Bow Wow Brunch

Furry, fabulous fun at Atlanta Humane Society’s Bow Wow Brunch

A crowd of two and four-legged party goers packed the Flourish event venue Sunday afternoon for the third annual Bow Wow Brunch, benefiting the Atlanta Humane Society. Local real estate mogul Jenny Pruitt was honored with the 2018 Anne Cox Chambers Humane Heroine Award. Chambers, a longtime supporter of the Atlanta Humane Society, and for whom the organization&rsquo...
‘Archer’ preview for season 9 with exec producer Matt Thompson

‘Archer’ preview for season 9 with exec producer Matt Thompson

ARCHER — “Season 9, Episode 1 — Pictured (l-r): Reynaud (voice of Adam Reed), Malory Archer (voice of Jessica Walter), Pam Poovey (voice of Amber Nash), Sterling Archer (voice of H. Jon Benjamin). CR: FXX Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog I’m out of the country through April 18. I&rsquo...
Torpy at Large: Hey, Gov. Deal, don’t allow cities to cannibalize

Torpy at Large: Hey, Gov. Deal, don’t allow cities to cannibalize

Gov. Nathan Deal has not been afraid to use his veto when the Legislature, in all its wisdom, passes a bill that needs to be strangled and quickly buried. Two years ago, he shot down a “religious liberty” bill to avoid a business-sapping controversy. He also stopped the campus carry gun law (although a year later he allowed a watered-down version to become law). Both were big-time...
When Barbara Bush met Matt Ryan

When Barbara Bush met Matt Ryan

The 2017 Super Bowl featured the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots, with Lady Gaga performing at halftime. But Barbara and George H.W. Bush were stars of the pregame show. The former president and his wife were conveyed onto the field where Bush 41 performed the coin toss. As part of the festivities, Barbara Bush exchanged greetings with Falcons QB Matt Ryan. Bush...
Dansby Swanson hid frustration in 2017, now has come back strong

Dansby Swanson hid frustration in 2017, now has come back strong

At no point last season did Dansby Swanson fling his helmet across the dugout in disgust, or scream something at the first person who asked, “What’s wrong?” or make an obnoxious technicolor mess of the post-game buffet, even though he, like most mortals, probably had a “little Dansby” on his shoulder saying, “Do it!” Because that just wouldn’t be...
Lauryn Hill will celebrate anniversary of ‘Miseducation’ with summer tour coming to Atlanta

Lauryn Hill will celebrate anniversary of ‘Miseducation’ with summer tour coming to Atlanta

Lauryn Hill will celebrate her landmark album this summer. Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro for American-Statesman BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene Lauryn Hill will remind fans of the potency of “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” with a 20 th anniversary tour this summer. Hill will perform the songs from her classic album, which arrived in August 1998 and has sold more than eight...
Georgia public colleges will not raise tuition for 2018-2019

Georgia public colleges will not raise tuition for 2018-2019

As a parent of students at the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech, I am happy to hear this today. Statement from the Board of Regents: University System of Georgia students will pay the same tuition for the 2018-2019 academic year as the current 2017-2018 academic year, after the Board of Regents set annual tuition rates today for all 26 colleges and universities at a zero percent increase. ...
Strong legacy but fading numbers, Atlanta Boys High gathers a last time

Strong legacy but fading numbers, Atlanta Boys High gathers a last time

When I received notice of the final all-class reunion for historic Atlanta Boys High, I went to our AJC archives to learn more about this legendary high school. The first few hundred references to the school were all in obituaries of notable graduates.  And therein lies the problem.  Fewer and fewer graduates remain from the all boys high school that produced some of Georgia’s most...
The Braves’ Teheran has been better lately, but this still isn’t Peak Julio

The Braves’ Teheran has been better lately, but this still isn’t Peak Julio

If you’re keeping score – and this being baseball, somebody’s always keeping score – that makes two strong starts in succession for Julio Teheran, whose first two turns of 2018 were rather less strong. He has cut his ERA nearly in half, from 10.13 to 5.40. He struck out five in his first eight innings this season; he has struck out 16 in the 12 innings since.  It would...
This Life with Gracie: How you can help this campaign to feed the hungry

This Life with Gracie: How you can help this campaign to feed the hungry

The fifth annual nationwide “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign has been up and running for two weeks now, but there’s still time to get in on the action. You can either make a donation during checkout at any Walmart store, participate through social media or log onto walmart.com/fighthunger and give that way. If you’re lucky enough to not have to worry about where...
Concert review and photos: Christopher Cross brings hits and unassuming presence to Atlanta

Concert review and photos: Christopher Cross brings hits and unassuming presence to Atlanta

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene Christopher Cross could be sitting next to you right now on an airplane and you would probably have no idea. The voice (and pen) behind such early-‘80s classics as triple Grammy winner “Sailing,” the pump-up-for-a-bike-race favorite “Ride Like the Wind” and the tender eulogy, “Think of Laura” is such an unassuming...
‘American Idol’ top 14 named

‘American Idol’ top 14 named

AMERICAN IDOL – “112 (Top 24 Celebrity Duets)” – As the pool has been narrowed to the top 24 contestants, 12 of the top 24 finalists perform duets with celebrity partners at Academy LA in Hollywood during this week in the competition, as the search for America’s next superstar continues on its new home on America’s network, The ABC...
Some Braves won’t keep hitting like this. Ozzie Albies just might

Some Braves won’t keep hitting like this. Ozzie Albies just might

Fourteen games in, the Braves have been pretty good overall and very good when wielding the warclub. (Old-time sports writing for “swinging the bat.”) They entered Monday’s game against the Phillies second among National League teams in runs, batting average and slugging percentage; they were first in on-base percentage and OPS. Given that they ranked in the top 10 in two of those...
Theater preview: ‘Something Rotten!’ tweaks Shakespeare in fresh musical

Theater preview: ‘Something Rotten!’ tweaks Shakespeare in fresh musical

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene For decades, Wayne Kirkpatrick’s name has been a familiar sight on song credits. From Amy Grant to Garth Brooks, Eric Clapton to Little Big Town, Kirkpatrick has long been regarded as a reliable creator of hooks and melodies. About 15 years ago, he and his screenplay writer brother Karey, known for his work on the cinematic versions of “James...
Prince’s music to be celebrated by ASO in new show produced by Questlove

Prince’s music to be celebrated by ASO in new show produced by Questlove

A celebration of Prince’s music will come this fall. Photo: Getty Images. BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene With the second anniversary of Prince’s death pending on April 21, what better timing to unveil “4U: A Symphonic Celebration of Prince.” The show – the first and only estate-approved Prince celebration – is curated, produced and directed by...
‘Scandal’ taking over Jimmy Kimmel’s show on Thursday

‘Scandal’ taking over Jimmy Kimmel’s show on Thursday

SCANDAL – “Over A Cliff” – The highly anticipated series finale of the groundbreaking series, “Scandal,” receives a momentous send-off, beginning with an exclusive sneak peek at the final episode on “Good Morning America,” THURSDAY, APRIL 19 (7:00-9:00 a.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (ABC/Eric McCandless) ...
What longterm impact will the controversial Starbucks arrests have?

What longterm impact will the controversial Starbucks arrests have?

Starbucks stock opened at $59.13 Monday morning, not long after the company’s CEO went on live with “Good Morning America” host Robin Roberts to discuss the widely disparaged arrests of two black men in a Philadelphia store. Image: NASDAQ Widespread outrage, a local protest at the store involved and broader calls for a boycott persisted throughout the day...
Vince Gill will headline the Fox Theatre for first time in 25 years this fall

Vince Gill will headline the Fox Theatre for first time in 25 years this fall

Vince Gill visits the Fox this fall. BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene Vince Gill will make his solo return to the Fox Theatre on Nov. 3, more than 25 years since he last headlined the venue. Gill, who has performed Christmas shows at the Fox with wife Amy Grant and has recently been touring the country as a surrogate guitarist/singer...
If Budenholzer bolts, what should Hawks get in return?

If Budenholzer bolts, what should Hawks get in return?

As a coach, Mike Budenholzer is top notch. Smart and demanding, even if he is prone to raise his voice at the kids every now and then. Give the man a whiteboard and he will draw up the sharpest inbounds play you’ve ever seen. A work of art, really.  Now that he is also an asset, coveted perhaps by one of the few teams worse than his own Hawks this season, it does no one any good to find...
A guess: Budenholzer has coached his last Hawks game

A guess: Budenholzer has coached his last Hawks game

If I had to guess – and I don’t, but for the purposes of this exercise I will – I’d say Mike Budenholzer has coached his last game for the Atlanta Hawks. Once you’ve made the decision to interview for another job and that interview becomes public, it’s very difficult to return to the one you have. And I’m reasonably sure Budenholzer no longer cares much for...
Georgia 2018: Evans revisits scene of her mother’s abuse in latest TV ad

Georgia 2018: Evans revisits scene of her mother’s abuse in latest TV ad

Stacey Evans’ latest TV ad begins with an image of a small house in Ringgold, and an explanation from the Democratic candidate for governor on why the place is so heart-wrenching to her.   “This is one of the 16 homes I grew up in that I’d rather not remember. It’s where I called the police when a man my mom lived with was beating her,” she said, choking...
The Jolt: An AJC poll shows why Democrats no longer defer to the NRA

The Jolt: An AJC poll shows why Democrats no longer defer to the NRA

Georgia Democrats once tiptoed around the National Rifle Association. The latest Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll shows why they don’t any more: -- Eight in 10 likely Democratic primary voters disapprove of the NRA and roughly 90 percent want stricter regulations for the sale of firearms. -- Overall, NRA disapproval is consistent along gender lines. Enmity lessens...
A high noon showdown? GOP contender challenges rival to shoot-out 

A high noon showdown? GOP contender challenges rival to shoot-out 

Republican David Shafer won the NRA’s endorsement last week. One of his top rivals for Georgia’s No. 2 job wants him to prove he has the sharpshooting skills to back it up.  Former state Sen. Rick Jeffares challenged Shafer to a high-stakes shootout on Friday: The winner of the clay shoot stays in the race, while the loser must bow out. (A third GOP contender for lieutenant governor...
FAQ about the AJC’s 2018 Democratic primary poll

FAQ about the AJC’s 2018 Democratic primary poll

Who conducted the poll? The poll was conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News by the School of Public and International Affairs Survey Research Center at the University of Georgia. Students made the calls, under the direction of M.V. “Trey” Hood III, the director of the center and a professor of political science. Who selected the questions? The AJC created...
AJC poll: Most Democrats haven’t decided on governor’s race

AJC poll: Most Democrats haven’t decided on governor’s race

More than half of likely Georgia Democratic voters still haven’t decided who will get their vote in next month’s primary election for governor, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News poll released Thursday. The survey underscored the unpredictable nature of the May 22 vote pitting former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams against ex-state Rep. Stacey Evans...
Capitol Recap: In New York, the talk was probably about Eagles Landing

Capitol Recap: In New York, the talk was probably about Eagles Landing

Gov. Nathan Deal spent some time this week in New York City. And while those around him tried to score tickets to “The Lion King” or headed for Yankee Stadium, he did something he enjoys much more: talking about Georgia’s AAA bond rating. The city of Stockbridge and potential city Eagles Landing most likely popped up on the agenda as he sat down for sessions with the Big Three &mdash...
Georgia teachers calm amid demands elsewhere for pay, funding

Georgia teachers calm amid demands elsewhere for pay, funding

Teachers have been agitating for more pay in several states, demonstrating and even walking off the job, but Georgia will likely avoid their wrath. Politicians in this state risked a teacher backlash by giving more money to private schools during this year’s legislative session and by increasing the funding for state charter schools, but they balanced that with an increase in the overall public...
Sonny Perdue names ex-Senate colleague to an agriculture post in Rome

Sonny Perdue names ex-Senate colleague to an agriculture post in Rome

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Thursday that he has appointed a former Georgia Senate colleague to an overseas post. Former Senate president pro tem Tommie Williams, a Republican from Lyons, will serve as minister-counselor for agriculture in the U.S. Mission to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in Rome. Rome, Italy. Not Rome, Ga. Not bad for a fellow who started as...
Reparations on group’s '2022' agenda; Abrams steers clear of issue

Reparations on group’s '2022' agenda; Abrams steers clear of issue

The flyer touting an event with Stacey Abrams in Atlanta earlier this week read like a left-leaning activist’s fantasy: It’s 2022 and “we’re celebrating Medicare for All and Free College, and next on the agenda is Reparations.”  It invited progressives to hop in a time machine and imagine they are hearing from Abrams, a former Georgia House Democratic leader running...
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter won’t attend Barbara Bush’s funeral

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter won’t attend Barbara Bush’s funeral

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter will not be at Barbara Bush’s funeral Saturday. “President and Mrs. Carter regret that they are unable to attend,” the Carter Center in Atlanta said in a statement Thursday morning. “President Carter will be on a private trip overseas, and although she is recovering, Mrs. Carter is not yet able to travel following her recent intestinal surgery...
Voter registration deadline is Tuesday for Georgia primary election

Voter registration deadline is Tuesday for Georgia primary election

The deadline to register to vote in Georgia’s primary election is Tuesday. The May 22 primary election will feature Republican and Democratic races for Congress, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, the General Assembly and more. Georgia citizens can sign up to vote online at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov or through the GA SOS app for Apple and Android cellphones...
The Jolt: Nathan Deal, Georgia Power, and a clout-heavy game of musical chairs

The Jolt: Nathan Deal, Georgia Power, and a clout-heavy game of musical chairs

If you’ve been stricken with doubts about Georgia Power’s continued influence in the state, let a press release sent out Wednesday by Gov. Nathan Deal put your mind at ease.  The governor announced he had tapped the utility’s chief executive, Paul Bowers, for a coveted spot on the governing board of the Georgia Ports Authority. That required Bowers to give up another influential...
Human Rights Campaign: Pence ‘one of the greatest threats to equality’

Human Rights Campaign: Pence ‘one of the greatest threats to equality’

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign on Thursday called Vice President Mike Pence “one of the greatest threats to equality in the history of our movement,” highlighting his record on issues important to the LGBTQ community. The gay rights organization argues Pence has taken advantage of the chaos of the Trump administration to amass “enormous power” ...
Tippins targets ‘strip club’ Cagle and ‘Benedict’ Hill 

Tippins targets ‘strip club’ Cagle and ‘Benedict’ Hill 

The bumbling Casey Cagle lookalike is back. And this time he’s joined by a furtive Hunter Hill impersonator. Republican Clay Tippins debuted a new TV ad Thursday for the homestretch of the GOP primary race that’s backed by $500,000 in spending. And the Navy SEAL takes square aim at the two candidates considered to be at the top of the heap in the GOP primary. It opens with the faux-Cagle...
Atlanta City Hall bribery probe: Feds eye mayor’s deputy chief of staff

Atlanta City Hall bribery probe: Feds eye mayor’s deputy chief of staff

Nearly six years ago a man who had defrauded elderly investors out of more than $1 million convinced the City of Atlanta that he could turn restaurant grease into fuel and prevent it from being illegally dumped. Now federal investigators want to know how his scheme slid past the City Council and the nature of his relationship to the mayor’s deputy chief of staff: Katrina Taylor Parks. Two subpoenas...
Cagle promotes ‘great session’ in official letters to superintendents

Cagle promotes ‘great session’ in official letters to superintendents

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is leveraging his public office in the final weeks before the GOP primary by sending letters to local superintendents touting his record on education.  The Republican front-runner for governor sent the dispatches on his office letterhead to each school superintendent earlier this month with estimates of how much their district will receive from an extra infusion cash. Gov...
Primary election will lead to turnover in Georgia Legislature

Primary election will lead to turnover in Georgia Legislature

Next month’s primary elections feature races for 20 open seats in the Georgia General Assembly along with challenges to several vulnerable incumbents, potentially shaking up the state’s balance of power. All but one of the 20 seats without an incumbent are currently held by Republicans, creating an opportunity for Democrats to make inroads in the Georgia House and Senate. Five of those...
Deal appoints two Georgia Power execs to state boards

Deal appoints two Georgia Power execs to state boards

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal announced Wednesday that he’s appointed two Georgia Power executives to two of the state’s most influential boards. Paul Bowers, who had been on the Georgia Board of Regents, was appointed to the Georgia Ports Authority. Deal appointed Chris Cummiskey to fill the vacancy on the Board of Regents. Bowers is the chairman, president and CEO of Georgia Power, the...
Melania Trump, Clintons, Obamas attending Barbara Bush’s funeral

Melania Trump, Clintons, Obamas attending Barbara Bush’s funeral

An awe-inspiring array of first ladies and presidents will pay their respects to one of their own on Saturday. First Lady Melania Trump will attend Barbara Bush’s funeral in Houston, her spokesperson confirmed Wednesday. Joining Mrs. Trump at the private service for Bush will be Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack and Michelle Obama, their offices confirmed.  On Thursday morning, Jimmy...
Barbara Bush: Where to donate, post tributes in her honor

Barbara Bush: Where to donate, post tributes in her honor

Barbara Bush was much more than a presidential spouse and mother. She was a force for good in her own right, especially when it came to championing literacy. Bush, who died in Houston on Tuesday at the age of 92, first adopted literacy as a cause in the 1980s when her husband, George H.W. Bush, was vice president. She eventually established the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Ultimately...
Operator of S. Georgia immigration detention center hit with lawsuit

Operator of S. Georgia immigration detention center hit with lawsuit

Three men who have been held in a South Georgia immigration detention center filed a federal class-action lawsuit this week against the private company that operates the facility, alleging the company is forcing detainees to cook and clean there for as little as $1 a day as part of a profit-making scheme. Filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Columbus, the lawsuit accuses Nashville-based...
Georgia 2018: Abrams wins LGBT advocacy group’s endorsement 

Georgia 2018: Abrams wins LGBT advocacy group’s endorsement 

The state’s most prominent gay rights advocacy group endorsed Stacey Abrams, the latest left-leaning organization to support the Democrat’s campaign for governor ahead of May 22 primary.  Georgia Equality said it backed the former Georgia House minority leader over her rival, ex-state Rep. Stacey Evans, after an extensive process that included surveys and interviews. Both have championed...
When the opioid crisis touched Johnny Isakson’s family

When the opioid crisis touched Johnny Isakson’s family

In December 2016, the obituary for 25-year-old Charles Daniel “Charley” Joyner, grandson of U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, listed the young man’s love for wrestling and his 3.95 GPA in math at Georgia Southern, where he had been about to receive his diploma. What wasn’t mentioned was the cause of death. In Washington, The Hill newspaper is attempting to show the ubiquitous nature...
Hannity’s rising role in Trump’s world: ‘He basically has a desk in the place’

Hannity’s rising role in Trump’s world: ‘He basically has a desk in the place’

The phone calls between President Donald Trump and Sean Hannity come early in the morning or late at night, after the Fox News host goes off the air. They discuss ideas for Hannity's show, Trump's frustration with the ongoing special counsel probe and even, at times, what the president should tweet, according to people familiar with the conversations. When he's off the phone, Trump is known to cite...
Comey urges his successor in FBI to ‘stay the course’ 

Comey urges his successor in FBI to ‘stay the course’ 

FBI Director Chris Wray is facing the threat of impeachment over his handling of documents related to an investigation into President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. His predecessor, Jim Comey, had some advice for the Atlanta attorney.  “Just be you, just stay the course, do the right thing,” Comey told Channel 2 political reporter Richard Elliot. “In the long...
Barbara Bush’s heartfelt link to Georgia went back 73 years

Barbara Bush’s heartfelt link to Georgia went back 73 years

As the wife of one president and the mother of another, Barbara Bush, who died Tuesday at the age of 92, spent time in Georgia both on and off the campaign trail. But it was an affair of the heart that first brought her here 73 years ago, when she married the dashing young Navy pilot  George H.W. Bush when he was home on leave from World War II. The wedding took place on Jan. 6, 1945 in the 19-year-old...
Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter mourn passing of Barbara Bush

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter mourn passing of Barbara Bush

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter on Tuesday night mourned the death of former first lady Barbara Bush, calling attention to her generous spirit, gregarious nature and devotion to family. “Rosalynn and I are saddened by the death of Barbara Bush,” the couple said In a statement released by the Carter Center not long after the news of the 92-year-old Bush’s passing in Houston “She touched...
Atlanta corruption probe seeks former Mayor Kasim Reed’s records

Atlanta corruption probe seeks former Mayor Kasim Reed’s records

The sprawling federal investigation into Atlanta City Hall corruption has now reached the office of former Mayor Kasim Reed. An April 6 subpoena from a federal grand jury demands information about charges made to Reed’s city-issued credit card, along with information about Reed’s brother, Tracy; political consultant Rev. Mitzi Bickers, who was indicted on bribery charges last week; and...
As an apostle of Donald Trump’s impeachment makes his case, remember Newt Gingrich

As an apostle of Donald Trump’s impeachment makes his case, remember Newt Gingrich

To impeach or not to impeach. That’s not the question. The dilemma for Democrats is whether to broach the topic at all. California billionaire Tom Steyer, he of the non-stop “Need to Impeach” ads on cable TV news, clearly thinks they should. My advice? I say, “Remember Newt Gingrich.” But that can wait. Steyer, who was in Atlanta on Monday, has spent enough money on his...
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont have a ‘handshake deal’

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont have a ‘handshake deal’

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and Piedmont Healthcare have struck a deal to renew their contract, Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday. The governor in a tweet called it a “handshake deal.” “The handshake deal means that we have full agreement on the major issues of the contract, and what remains is for us to put that all on paper and sign it,” said Matt Gove, a spokesman for...
Neo-Nazis – and about 400 cops – will be in Newnan on Saturday

Neo-Nazis – and about 400 cops – will be in Newnan on Saturday

The city of Newnan, mindful of the violence last year in Charlottesville, is going into full defense mode for a neo-Nazi rally planned there on Saturday. The National Socialist Movement, a far-right hate group, has a city permit for a rally at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Greenville Street Park, a few blocks from Newnan’s court square. The group’s application anticipated between 50 and 100 people...

PolitiFact: Women’s pay-lag figure can be misapplied

On April 10, “Equal Pay Day,” Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., tweeted out her support for an end to differential pay for men and women. But there’s a problem with her tweet: The statistics showing that women earn 80 percent of what men earn are overall comparisons and do not specifically compare men and women in the same jobs. After we reached out to Smith’s office, she sent a new...
Early voting for the May 22 Georgia primary

Early voting for the May 22 Georgia primary

On May 22, voters across metro Atlanta and Georgia will cast  ballots in the Republican and Democratic primaries, nonpartisan and special elections.  Voters who want to beat the crowd on Election Day can vote early beginning on April 30. The most prominent election on May 22 will be for governor. The Democrats and Republicans have contested primaries to choose nominees to replace Gov...
In Georgia, calls for Trump impeachment met with caution, zeal, scorn

In Georgia, calls for Trump impeachment met with caution, zeal, scorn

To some Democrats, billionaire Tom Steyer is a heaven-sent financier with a powerful message built around impeaching Donald Trump. To others, he’s a rogue who could threaten the party’s midterm election hopes at a time when Democrats can ill afford a distraction. The California philanthropist this week brought his national movement — dubbed Need to Impeach — to Atlanta, where...
At small business forum, Georgia gov candidates sharpen economic message 

At small business forum, Georgia gov candidates sharpen economic message 

The leading candidates for Georgia governor honed their economic policies Tuesday at a forum hosted by the Georgia chapter of National Federation of Independent Business.  The event, moderated by the AJC’s Jim Galloway, featured Democrats Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans along with Republicans Casey Cagle, Hunter Hill and Clay Tippins. Brian Kemp appeared on video and Michael Williams, a...
Dem candidates steer clear of Trump impeachment debate

Dem candidates steer clear of Trump impeachment debate

Many of the Democrats challenging GOP incumbents in the north Atlanta suburbs say it’s too soon for their party to push for impeaching President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill.  Few if any of the Democrats seeking to unseat U.S. Reps. Karen Handel and Rob Woodall in Georgia’s 6th and 7th congressional districts are publicly embracing the campaign from some prominent liberals, including...
How to hack elections on Georgia’s electronic voting machines

How to hack elections on Georgia’s electronic voting machines

A rapt audience watched as professor Alex Halderman, an expert on electronic voting machines, changed votes in a hypothetical election before their eyes. At a Georgia Tech demonstration this week, Halderman showed how to rig an election by infecting voting machines with malware that guaranteed a chosen candidate would always win. Four people from the audience voted on the same kind of touch-screen...
Comey: Trump's call to put him in jail isn't 'normal'

Comey: Trump's call to put him in jail isn't 'normal'

Former FBI Director James Comey says it's "not OK" or "not normal" for the president to call for the jailing of private citizens. President Donald Trump suggested earlier this week that Comey should be jailed and accused him of leaking classified information and lying to Congress. Comey said during a live interview Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that Trump is...
The Jolt: Nathan Deal’s pick for PSC gets GOP foe with tea party, solar backing

The Jolt: Nathan Deal’s pick for PSC gets GOP foe with tea party, solar backing

So it turns out that, this spring, tea partyer Debbie Dooley won’t be camping out in north Georgia in an attempt to unseat House Speaker David Ralston – as she has in the past. Instead, Dooley is focused on giving Nathan Deal a bit of heartburn, championing a Republican solar advocate against Tricia Pridemore, the governor’s handpicked choice for state Public Service Commissioner...
In Atlanta, a sober push to impeach Trump aims to take root

In Atlanta, a sober push to impeach Trump aims to take root

Almost as soon as he took the stage Monday in Atlanta, California billionaire Tom Steyer spoke gravely about the national movement to impeach President Donald Trump.  It’s a serious issue to openly broach, he said, but our “democracy is under attack.” “We don’t view this as a partisan issue,” added Steyer. “We view this as a question of patriotism.&rdquo...
Planned Parenthood endorses Abrams, making waves in Democratic race  

Planned Parenthood endorses Abrams, making waves in Democratic race  

Planned Parenthood endorsed Stacey Abrams in the race for governor Monday, giving the former House Democratic leader a powerful new ally while dashing her rival’s hopes that the abortion rights group would stay neutral in the contest.  Staci Fox, the president of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said Abrams was an “unwavering champion for reproductive health and rights” and said...
Ga. lawmakers stockpile cash in anticipation of tough midterm climate

Ga. lawmakers stockpile cash in anticipation of tough midterm climate

Some of Georgia’s GOP members of Congress stepped up their campaign fundraising during the first three months of the year, stockpiling cash as party leaders warn about a tough political climate in the upcoming midterm elections.  U.S. Rep. Karen Handel, R-Roswell, who won the most expensive House race of all time last year, raised $375,000 between Jan. 1 and the end of March, according...
Podcast: Where do Georgia’s 2018 candidates stand on immigration?

Podcast: Where do Georgia’s 2018 candidates stand on immigration?

Immigration is an issue to watch in Georgia’s major 2018 races. The AJC’s Jeremy Redmon and Greg Bluestein reported last month that Georgia’s GOP candidates for governor “put a bull’s-eye on illegal immigration.” Redmon also reported that a Georgia congressional candidate took aim at Trump over DACA in a new ad and many first-and second-generation...
Clarke County sheriff limiting cooperation with ICE amid crackdown

Clarke County sheriff limiting cooperation with ICE amid crackdown

The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office in Athens has announced it is joining a growing number of Georgia law enforcement agencies that are limiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities in their jails. The move by Clarke Sheriff Ira Edwards Jr. comes amid threats from the Trump administration to cut off federal funding to so-called “sanctuary cities” across the nation...
Georgia 2018: Abrams debuts TV, online ads in race for governor

Georgia 2018: Abrams debuts TV, online ads in race for governor

Black women may be the key demographic in next month’s Democratic primary. But Stacey Abrams, running to be the nation’s first black female governor, went after a different bloc of voters with her first ads. The 30-second digital spot unveiled over the weekend features a trio of men praising the former state legislative leader’s economic policy. “She’s fighting against...
Gingrich parts ways with mega-law firm

Gingrich parts ways with mega-law firm

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Dentons mega-giant law firm are parting ways.  The firm said Monday in a statement that it ended a three-year relationship with the ex-Georgia politician.  The Daily Report has more:  Gingrich represented a northwest Atlanta district in the U.S. House for about 20 years and led the chamber for four years.  He launched a campaign for...
The Jolt: Clarke County sheriff says he won’t detain ICE targets without warrant

The Jolt: Clarke County sheriff says he won’t detain ICE targets without warrant

As the weekend broke, Blake Aued of Flagpole magazine in Athens dropped this bit of news: The decision reverses a policy that Sheriff Ira Edwards had instituted in July, which had drawn criticism when it was made public in July. More: You can expect to hear a good deal more about this. Athens is home to Secretary of State Brian Kemp, a Republican candidate for governor who has made illegal...
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