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What Is Georgia-Style Barbecue? – Eater Atlanta

In the U.S., barbecue is generally associated with states that sit farther south. Much like distinctive regional music, fashion, and colloquialisms spoken in Southern accents, barbecue is a method of communication, letting locals tell visitors and new neighbors what’s possible around here, and how folks like it done.

However, if the South is so good at low-and-slow meat cooking, shouldn’t a state as southern as Georgia have a recognizable style of barbecue to call its own and parameters to define it?

It appears most people agree that Georgia barbecue exists. But like an old, trusty sauce mop, the answer is a little messy — and like other regional barbecue traditions, Georgia’s style varies depending on the person describing it. Perhaps Georgia barbecue is most identifiable by the heart, soul, and history blended into its preparation. These modifiers may be less immediately distinctive than twangy vinegars or a thickened tomato base, but the importance of these ingredients in recognizing the flavors of Georgia’s barbecue runs no less deep.

“I think there is a claim to what Georgia barbecue is,” says Texas native Jonathan Fox. Fox and his twin brother, Justin, own Atlanta’s popular barbecue restaurant Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q in the city’s Candler Park neighborhood. But to find what could be considered true Georgia barbecue, Fox says, people need to venture outside of Atlanta.

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q [Official Photo]

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q [Official Photo]

A pulled pork sandwich on brioche with a side of coleslaw. Barbecue sauce drizzles dramatically out of a squirt bottle above the sandwich on a table

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q [Official Photo]

“Atlanta’s a tough city. It’s a transplant city. The further you get out of the city, you see more of what I would call ‘Georgia barbecue.’ You kind of lose that true sense of what barbecue is in larger metropolitan areas,” Fox explains. “I don’t think, unfortunately, Georgia would rank up there with your Carolinas, or your Memphis, your Texas.”

Fox’s statement may seem obvious to those who have marked the absence of ingredients most associated with Georgia, like peaches, pecans, or even Vidalia onions, as a statewide barbecue throughline.

Harrison Sapp, co-owner and pitmaster at renowned coastal Georgia restaurant Southern Soul Barbecue on St. Simons Island, agrees with Fox. He believes Georgia barbecue is more about what locals want, rather than strict standards for smoking and sauce-making. But Sapp does think pork is at the top of the Georgia barbecue food pyramid.

For Sapp, who only started cooking brisket 10 years ago, it’s all about pork butts at picnics, since that was his experience with Georgia barbecue growing up.

“My version of it would be a cross between Augusta and Waynesboro [Georgia,] what we have around here,” says Sapp. “I grew up here, and my dad’s from Waynesboro. To be honest with you, the flavors I have [at Southern Soul] were all to make a 7-year-old like it. If the kids like it, the parents will go.”

Judd Foster of South of Heaven BBQ in Carrollton says he discovered the existence of Georgia barbecue through his customers. “You have your staples. We serve brisket, I do pork belly, chopped chicken… a wide variety of things. But my wife Kate and I learned quickly that if someone comes up and says, ‘I want a plate of barbecue,’ they want pulled pork.”

The Fosters catered barbecue together in Atlanta for three years before opening their restaurant in Carrollton, 50 miles west of the city. The rent is more reasonable there, and the small-town vibe gave them space to experiment with their take on barbecue.

A native of upstate New York, Foster learned outdoor cooking as a kid, making maple syrup with his grandfather. Foster says he had his own smoker by the time he was 10 years old. The children, he says, are the future of barbecue. He believes each dish should be as impactful to them as the dishes that remind people of what they ate growing up with family. Kate Foster, who hails from Atlanta, agrees. “We strive to be the place where people say, ‘Oh my God, I remember going to this place when I was younger.’”

However, the Fosters did put a taste of ATL on their barbecue menu, with a little help from Atlanta-based hip-hop duo OutKast. There’s a brisket, chopped pork, and smoked sausage sandwich called Big Boi on the menu, and Foster’s homemade beer cheese is incorporated into the restaurant’s cheesesteak, dubbed Steakonia.

Southern Soul Barbecue [Official Photo]

Matt Coggin, managing partner at D.B.A. Barbecue in Atlanta’s Virginia-Highland neighborhood, thinks Georgia barbecue is like a melting pot, but he’s noticed that the sweeter the sauce, the more people eat it up here in Georgia, especially in cooking battles with public tastings around the state.

Raised in Dunwoody, just north of Atlanta, Coggin believes Georgians also tend to have a pretty high threshold for smoke on their barbecue. Through early customer feedback, he learned that when D.B.A. first opened, a decade ago, people thought his barbecue wasn’t smoky enough. Coggin chalks it up to how barbecue is traditionally prepared in smaller smokehouses.

“They’re feeding a smoker all night, so you’re definitely getting a lot of smoke on [the meat]. Southern Pride, Ole Hickory smokers… you put wood on, an hour later you put more wood on, and an hour later, and an hour later, but after that you can go home. You don’t have to keep loading wood all the time.”

For Coggin, the willingness to adapt to his customers and their need for sweeter, smokier flavors in D.B.A.’s barbecue is similar to how Anna Phelps approaches her barbecue. Phelps is from Kirkwood, the east Atlanta neighborhood where her eponymous barbecue restaurant Anna’s BBQ resides. As its owner and pitmaster, Phelps believes there’s a general flavor profile found in Georgia barbecue, particularly in the dry rubs applied to slabs of pork ribs. “We use a simple rub,” she says, referencing not only her restaurant’s recipe but those of other area restaurants. “Garlic salt, seasoning salt, a little sugar, some people use a little cinnamon. It’s a Southern style, with Southern flavor.”

Anna’s BBQ

Like Coggin, Phelps thinks smokier meats are Georgia’s calling card. Her father’s side of the family hails from Greensboro — a small town located between Augusta and Atlanta. She feels the increased levels of smoke found in Georgia barbecue are due to the tried-and-true tradition of backyard charcoal cooking. That, she believes, is a connecting point that shows up in barbecue across the state.

“Everywhere I go there’s smoke,” Phelps laughs. “Everybody’s got a little bit of a different taste, but I don’t think it’s that different when you get outside Atlanta.”

Kate Foster feels there’s one other factor to consider when evaluating what makes barbecue recognizable to Georgians: the sides.

She says it’s all about potato salad and coleslaw for patrons of South of Heaven BBQ in Carrollton. But Coggin says those sides don’t sell as well at his restaurant in Atlanta. The star of the sides at D.B.A. is the mac and cheese, which better be close to that of a Southern grandmother’s mac and cheese to pass as acceptable.

Judd Foster thinks Georgia’s love for family meals and Sunday suppers make mac and cheese, cornbread, and collard greens mandatory add-ons for barbecue menus around the state. He also feels there are dishes that cross state lines, and whose origins become harder to discern. One of his favorite barbecue sides is chicken mull — a cream-based chicken stew often associated with the Carolinas. “You don’t see it that much, but when I see it, I get excited because it’s so good.”

South of Heaven BBQ [Official Photo]

Phelps says mac and cheese, smoked ham-infused collard greens, and baked beans are the biggest sellers at her Kirkwood barbecue restaurant. For patrons of Southern Soul, it’s all about the Hoppin’ John (a savory combination of black-eyed peas, rice, and fatty pork like bacon) due to St. Simon’s sea island locality along the Georgia coast. He reserves his highest praise for collards as a side. “Those are definitely Georgia. You can’t swing a dead cat without seeing ’em.”

For those expecting a mention of a certain super-meaty tomato stew named for the town of Brunswick, there’s wide agreement that it’s a Georgia dish, although it’s now commonly accepted that the stew’s origin story is a bit fuzzy. An inscription found on an old 25-gallon iron pot in Brunswick claims the stew was first made in it on St. Simon’s Island in 1898, 12 miles northeast of the town. A similar claim has been made in Brunswick County, Virginia, where its origins can supposedly be traced back to 1828 and the chef of a state legislator who created the stew for a hunting expedition.

Georgia barbecue could be seen as amalgamation, taking some of the best of what Southern barbecue has to offer and putting it all on one plate. Georgia touches the borders of four states known for barbecue: Tennessee and the baby-back ribs of Memphis slathered in thick, sweet sauces; South Carolina’s tangy mustard blends; the peppery vinegar sauces of North Carolina; and the zesty mayo-based white sauces of Alabama barbecue.

Whether Georgia has its own distinct style of barbecue is still rightly up for debate, but one could loosely characterize it as super-smoky, pork-driven plates paired with homey Southern sides of mac and cheese, cornbread, and smoked ham-infused collards.

Mike Jordan is an Atlanta-based journalist who covers food and beverage for Eater Atlanta, Atlanta magazine, Good Beer Hunting, and Thrillist, where he was the founding Atlanta editor. Jordan is currently the editor-in-chief for online Atlanta culture publication Butter ATL. His work has also been published in the Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone magazine, and Playboy.

22 Essential Atlanta Barbecue Restaurants to Know [EATL]

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Donald Glover Gave An Update On Season 3 Of Atlanta

“Some of the best television ever made.”

Donald Glover’s Atlanta is one of the best shows on television — and fans have been eagerly awaiting news on the show’s third season.

Guy D’Alema / FX / Everett Collection

Atlanta‘s second season aired in 2018.

Glover recently took to Twitter to offer an update on the status of the third — and fourth — season.

Guy D’Alema / FX / courtesy of Everett Collection

Comparing the show’s next two seasons to the classic TV show The Sopranos, Glover claimed that the new episodes will be “some of the best television ever made.”

while im here: ‘atlanta’ s3+s4 are going to be some of the best television ever made. sopranos only ones who can touch us.

@donaldglover / Twitter / Via Twitter: @donaldglover

Of course, we still have to wait a bit for Atlanta to come back. Last month, the third season’s premiere was pushed back to “the first half of 2021” with no concrete date set.

Guy D’Alema / FX / courtesy of Everett Collection

But the pandemic-related delays in production also allowed for the show’s writers to complete the next two seasons — so when it does come back, get ready for a whole lotta Atlanta.

Guy D’Alema / FX / courtesy Everett Collection

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Around Atlanta, Many White Suburbanites Are Sticking With Trump

Democrats could still chip away at Mr. Trump’s margins with such voters, Mr. Thurmond argued, in part by dispelling the notion that supporting racial justice and opposing “rioting and looting” are somehow at odds.

“You don’t have to choose,” he said. “But Republicans know that you can sell fear at a very low price. And they’ve taken the defund-the-police message to mean we don’t want any police, which is ridiculous.”

At the same time, Mr. Thurmond said, “we haven’t done a very good job in defining what it does mean.”

Mr. Thurmond pointed to Ms. McBath as someone trying to wrest the issue back from Republicans. She once more faces Ms. Handel in her re-election bid in Georgia’s Sixth District, among the best-educated congressional districts in the country, and has repeatedly emphasized that she does not want to defund the police. “That has never come out of my mouth,” she told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week.

That Mr. Biden’s own insistence against defunding the police hasn’t resonated as deeply with white degree-holders in Georgia is in part a function of resources. With multiple true battleground states up for grabs, from Florida to Pennsylvania, Democratic strategists acknowledged that there’s only a moderate incentive to divert cash and time to places like Georgia and Texas, tight as the polling may be. Ultimately, Mr. Biden has a number of paths to 270 electorate votes should he lose Georgia; Mr. Trump, however, has a much narrower path.

Mr. Trump has visited the state multiple times since taking office, including a rally on Friday in Macon. September alone saw campaign swings from Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump. On Sept. 25, the president appeared in Atlanta as part of his Black Voices for Trump initiative, which he launched in the state last fall. During the Republican National Convention, the campaign featured Vernon Jones, a Black Democratic state representative supporting Mr. Trump. Following the convention, Mr. Jones called on his party to “condemn Black Lives Matter and then Antifa.”

Brian Robinson, a Republican strategist in Georgia, is hopeful that the new Supreme Court vacancy will allow Mr. Trump to solidify any incremental gains he has made through his law-and-order message.

“You’re hearing people now saying that they don’t like Trump, but that the Supreme Court opening has reminded them why it’s important to have a Republican in the White House,” he said. “It’s another example of people who were wavering before, but are now back firmly with Trump.”

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Actress Drew Sidora Is Joining ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta’ 

Securing her peach! The Real Housewives of Atlanta franchise is adding Drew Sidora to its cast, Us Weekly confirms.

Sidora, 35, who has been talked about as a possible Housewife in the past, is officially coming on board for season 13. Us can also confirm that Canadian YouTuber LaToya Ali, a.k.a. LaToya Forever, will also appear on the upcoming season.

LaToya Ali Courtesy of LaToya Ali/Instagram

Sidora is an actress known for her roles on That’s So Raven, The Game, Hindsight and more. She also appeared in Step Up and played the late rapper T-Boz in VH1’s 2013 biopic CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story.

The Chicago-born star would be the second actress to appear on the series after Kim Fields, who joined the Bravo spinoff in season 7. The Facts of Life alum, 51, ultimately left RHOA after one season to prioritize her acting and directing endeavors.

“It was for the experience, it was to be able to do a genre that I’d been asked to do before and finding a way to do it that makes sense for my team and my family,” Fields said on The Rickey Smiley Morning Show in 2016, adding that it “was a really great experience.”

Drew Sidora Is Joining Real Housewives of Atlanta 2
Drew Sidora Courtesy of Drew Sidora/Instagram

News of Sidora and Ali’s RHOA castings comes after Eva Marcille announced her exit from the franchise in June. The America’s Next Top Model alum starred on the Bravo series for three seasons.

“I appreciate the bond of friendship that I have made with several of my castmates and the strong personal relationships I have with numerous executives and producers at the Bravo and Truly Entertainment companies,” the 35-year-old model said in a statement to Us. “I am thankful for the opportunity I was provided.”

Marcille continued, “After speaking with my family and representatives, I believe that what I hope to accomplish for the culture and community will be better served by focusing on other opportunities. I look forward to serving my community on The Rickey Smiley Morning Show and finding ways to be a voice during this transformational time in our country for people of color.”

There continues to be speculation about NeNe Leakes’ exit from the Bravo hit. In June, the 52-year-old denied suggestions that she had been fired from the show.

Leakes’ manager, Steven Grossman, confirmed to Us that the rumors were “absolutely not true.” Grossman also noted that they “are having ongoing bigger-picture conversations with NBCUniversal and have not made any decisions regarding next season specifically.”

Love B. Scott was the first to report on Sidora and Ali’s casting.

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Breaking New

Rayshard Brooks: Third day Atlanta police officers don’t show up for work

The Atlanta Police Department denied officers weren’t showing up for their shifts, but a police union director backed the accounts by CNN sources. In some instances, officers were refusing to leave their precincts unless a fellow officer required backup.

This is the third straight day some officers have stayed out. As a result of the low staffing, the department is now putting officers normally assigned to major crime units on the street, in uniform, to answer 911 calls, the sources said.

Atlanta Interim Police Chief Rodney Bryant told officers in an email obtained by CNN Friday that he understands their anger and frustration.

“I’m not here to try to convince you that your anger and fear are not real,” he wrote. “What I am here to tell is that that we — all of us who wear a badge – are in this together and we support you.”

Bryant wrote “these last three weeks have been some of the most difficult we’ve ever experienced in policing.”

“None of us like what we saw in Minneapolis. Those actions do not represent the best of us,” Bryant wrote. “Nonetheless, as it relates to what is happening here in Atlanta, with our own officers, all we can tell you is that these matters brought by the Fulton County District Attorney must now be allowed to play out in the justice system.”

District Attorney Paul Howard criticized

Defense attorney Noah H. Pines, who represents Rolfe, said Friday the law justified his client’s actions.

“When Mr. Brooks chose to attack two officers, to disarm one of them, and to point and fire a deadly weapon at Officer Rolfe, he took their lives, and his own, into his hands. He took the risk that their justified response might be a deadly one,” Pines said Friday referring to the scuffle prior to Rolfe shooting Brooks.

“Although we can all understand the grief of Mr. Brooks’ family, Officer Rolfe’s actions were justified by the law.”

Pines also said there is no legal basis in Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard’s decision to charge Rolfe.

Officers feel abandoned while protesters demand sweeping police reform

“Never in my career have I seen a District Attorney act so unethically without regard for his professional obligations in pursuit of reelection,” Pines said. “Twice in the past few weeks Paul Howard has put his own ambitions ahead of the good of his constituents as he seeks to capitalize on a series of national tragedies.”

US Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, a Republican, called for state Attorney General Chris Carr to appoint an independent district attorney in the case, he said in a statement Friday.

“Charging an Atlanta police officer with felony murder before the completion of the GBI’s investigation was a political decision, not a legal one,” Collins’ statement read, adding that Georgians need to be ensured “this case is devoid of any and all political influence.”

“If a special prosecutor was warranted in the Ahmaud Arbery case, then it certainly warrants the appointment of one here,” Collins said.

Similarly, the Georgia Sheriff’s Association was also not in favor of the district attorney’s actions.

“Howard has trampled on the rights of Officer Garrett Rolfe and Officer Devin Brosnan and has further allowed this tragic incident to be more about his re-election than justice for the officers involved, the Atlanta Police Department and the citizens of our state,” said Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard, who is the GSA president.

“The Sheriffs, through the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, condemn these actions of District Attorney Paul Howard and urge the public to allow time for justice to be served through close examination of the facts of this tragic incident,” Jarrard’s statement read. “Only then can confidence in the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and our system of justice be restored.”

CNN has tried to contact Howard for comment.

Officer moved from a jail over security concerns

Rolfe was moved from the Fulton County Jail to another facility in metro Atlanta for security reasons hours before he was scheduled to appear in court Friday, three law enforcement sources told CNN. He turned himself in Thursday and is being held without bond.
Police unions stand in the way of lasting reform

Rolfe waived his right to a first appearance in court Friday.

His attorneys did not appear in the courtroom, either.

One of them, Bill Thomas, told CNN in a statement, “The appearance has been waived and there will not be a need for any of his defense team to appear.”

Officer says he has faith in the justice system

Both officers had gone to the fast-food restaurant to respond to a complaint that Brooks, 27, was parked and asleep in the drive-through lane. He failed a sobriety test, and when they tried to arrest him, he scuffled with them and grabbed Brosnan’s Taser, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.

A video of the incident shows Brooks running as he appears to point the Taser in the direction of Rolfe, who shoots him twice in the back.

Attorneys for both men issued forceful statements defending their clients’ actions that night. In an interview with MSNBC, Brosnan said he has “full faith” in the criminal justice system.

He watched Rayshard Brooks' shooting from his SUV. The officer's bullet hit his vehicle, DA says

“I think this is a tragic event and it’s … a total tragedy that a man had to lose his life that night,” he said. “My initial encounter with him, I felt he was friendly. He was respectful … He seemed like someone who potentially needed my help. I was really just there to see what I could do for him, make sure he was safe.”

Brosnan’s attorneys criticized the rush to charge their client, saying he briefly put his foot on Brooks’ arm to make sure he did not access a weapon. They said he also performed CPR, put anticoagulant in Brooks’ wounds and applied compression bandages.

He has cooperated with all investigators and plans to meet with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation next week. But his lawyer Don Samuel said Brosnan is not going to answer the district attorney’s questions while they bring false charges against him.

In an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon on Thursday night, the district attorney reiterated that he expects Brosnan to cooperate with prosecutors.

“I realize that this young man is … getting a lot of pressure from a lot of groups and some of his colleagues,” Howard, the district attorney, said. “My expectation is when we move to the next level, I would expect him to follow through with what he has already promised.”

Brosnan also faces two counts of violation of oath of office. He was released on a signature bond after turning himself in Thursday.
Former officer Devin Brosnan walks out of the Fulton County Jail on bail after his release Thursday.

Prosecutors will not seek death penalty

If convicted of felony murder, Rolfe could face death. But Howard said he will not seek capital punishment.

He also faces five counts of aggravated assault, four counts of violating his oath of office and one count of criminal damage to property.

Prosecutors have said he kicked Brooks as he lay on the ground fighting for his life. But his attorneys have demanded to see a video of him doing that — not just the still photo released by Howard.

“If there was a video of my client kicking Mr. Brooks, you would have seen it,” attorney Lance LoRusso told Fox News. “(Howard) shows a still, and one leg is planted and the other one’s bent. He could be leaning down to try to give him first aid. It could have been when he was trying to evaluate whether he needed handcuffs.”

Rolfe reacted after he thought he “heard a gunshot and saw a flash in front of him,” and feared for his safety and that of the civilians around him, his attorneys said.

Brooks’ family applauded the charges against the officers as a good first step, but said they don’t guarantee a conviction.

“This is not the finish line. This is the starting point. Yes, we appreciate and we commend the DA’s office for charging these officers appropriately, but that’s just step one,” attorney Justin Miller said. “As you know, that doesn’t always result in convictions.”

CNN’s Devon M. Sayers and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

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Breaking New

Atlanta Police officer charged in tasing of college students was named in prior excessive force lawsuit

Details of the 2016 incident are spelled out in two separate and related federal complaints, the first a civil rights lawsuit filed by the victim’s mother and a second from the Fulton County District Attorney seeking documents related to the raid.

According to the DA complaint, on August 5, 2016, Jamarion Rashad Robinson was killed after a federal task force went to serve an arrest warrant at Parkside Camp Creek apartments in Atlanta. That complaint says the task force was made up of 14 law enforcement officers from eight Atlanta-area police departments, and at least one U.S. marshal.

Robinson was shot at least 59 times, according to the complaint, which adds, “the officers fired over 90 rounds into or inside the apartment,” with 9 mm and .40 mm submachine guns and .40 mm Glock pistols.

“At the conclusion of the shooting, a firearm was located, which the officers claimed that Mr. Robinson fired at them three times. However, when the firearm was recovered, it was damaged and inoperable.” The complaint does not name the officers who fired, reading “one or more defendants began ‘spraying’ bullets.”

In January 2018, Robinson’s mother filed a civil rights lawsuit against several officers, the City of Atlanta, and surrounding municipalities for excessive force, wrongful death, battery, and violating Robinson’s rights under the Fourth Amendment, among other charges.

The suit also alleges Robinson was diagnosed as schizophrenic and that the officers involved in the shooting were not trained to execute arrest warrants for people with psychiatric conditions.

The court eventually ordered the City of Atlanta, the City of East Point, and Fulton and Clayton counties to be dismissed as defendants. In September 2019, the judge in the case ordered limited discovery to determine which officers named as defendants discharged weapons. Discovery is still underway.

One of the officers named as a defendant in the complaint filed by Robinson’s mother is Atlanta Police Officer William Sauls.

Both lawsuits are ongoing. The Fulton County DA’s investigation into the incident remains open. The U.S. Department of Justice, representing Sauls in the civil suit, declined to comment on the case.

Sauls charged in tasing case

Sauls was charged with aggravated assault and property damage resulting from an incident in late May involving the tasing of a Morehouse student and a Spelman student.

Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young were in downtown Atlanta on May 30 picking up food when they got caught in traffic caused by the protests over the killing of George Floyd. Bodycam video from that night shows Atlanta Police officers yanking a woman out of the car and tasing a man. The two victims were later identified as Pilgrim and Young. Sauls is one of six officers who have been charged.

Vince Champion, the southeast regional director of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers who is representing Sauls in the Pilgrim and Young case, told CNN while he understands there may be questions about Officer Sauls’ performance in past cases that might indicate some kind of pattern, “it’s two totally different incidents.”

“You can’t compare those now, today, because we haven’t had investigation on the second one to even know if they’re related in any way,” Champion said.

Of the six officers charged in the incident, four have been terminated: Ivory Streeter, Mark Gardner, Armon Jones and Sgt. Lonnie Hood, according to police.

Streeter and Gardner have filed a civil lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields demanding their jobs back.

CNN’s Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.

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Breaking New

Blue Angels and Thunderbirds will fly over Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Atlanta

The US Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds are honoring first responders by conducting formation flights over those cities on Saturday, May 2.
Blue Angels and Thunderbirds will fly over New York and other cities to salute first responders
The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds are the US military’s flight demonstration squadrons, and this is the second joint flyover mission being conducted to salute the healthcare workers, first responders, military and other essential workers risking their lives during this pandemic.
The first joint flight was conducted on Tuesday, April 28, across New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The joint operation is part of a series of multi-city flyovers being conducted over the next two weeks.

The flyovers in Baltimore will begin at 11:30 a.m. ET are expected to last about 15 minutes.

Washington DC and its surrounding communities are up next starting at 11:45 a.m. ET. Those flyovers will last about 20 minutes.

The flyover mission will finish off in Atlanta starting at 1:35 p.m. ET and last about 25 minutes.

“America Strong is a way for both teams to show appreciation to the thousands of doctors, nurses, first responders and essential workers out there serving on the frontline day-in and day-out,” said Navy Blue Angels commanding officer Brian Kesselring in a news release. “This is an extraordinary and unprecedented time but we will get through this. We are all in this together.”

The Navy recommends that people watch safely from their homes and avoid traveling to any landmarks or gathering in large groups in order to practice safe social distancing guidelines.

The Thunderbirds flew over Las Vegas and Colorado in April to honor healthcare and essential workers.

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Breaking New

Atlanta mayor: Racist text will not stop her from speaking up for residents

In a Wednesday night tweet, the mayor said she received a text addressing her by the n-word and demanding, “just shut up and RE-OPEN ATLANTA!”

Her son received the same text, she later told the city council. When Bottoms opened the text on her phone, she said, her daughter was looking over her shoulder as she read it.

Bottoms included in her tweet, “I pray for you. ‘Conscientious stupidity or sincere ignorance'” — a nod to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assertion that nothing is more dangerous than these two human characteristics.

Following Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp’s controversial decision to start reopening parts of the state economy, Bottoms pushed back, saying she would consider legal options to keep Atlanta largely shut down because the city is “not out of the woods yet.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp faces resistance over move to reopen economy
“I have searched my head and my heart on this and I am at a loss as to what the governor is basing this decision on,” Bottoms said earlier this week. “You have to live to fight another day, and you have to be able to be amongst the living to be able to recover.”

Disagreement over courses of action have been a theme during the pandemic, with residents in some states staging protests over the decision to shut down parts of their economies, while local leaders, governors and the federal government bicker over the best way forward.

When a city council member asked Bottoms on Thursday how she was handling the racist abuse, she said her family was fine but that it was disturbing that her son received the same message.

“That was more concerning to me than anything,” she said.

She had a “very long conversation” with civil rights activist and former ambassador Andrew Young Thursday morning, and he reminded her that “white supremacy is a sickness.”

Bottoms will not stop speaking up for and defending Atlantans, she told the city council.

“We are not cowards. Cowards don’t run for office,” she said.

The number from which the text originated is not a real phone number. It contains only nine digits.

The number has been used in phishing scams, according to online reports, and it was included in a federal cyberstalking case out of Washington D.C. in which the defendant was accused of using technology that enables anonymity to send harassing messages to an ex-girlfriend.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated who told the mayor that “white supremacy is a sickness.” It was Andrew Young who said it to the mayor.

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Breaking New

Church pays off $10,000 in layaway accounts for Atlanta families in need

ATLANTA – Christmas is a time of joy and giving. But for families struggling to make ends meet, it can be a time of stress trying to figure out how to pay for everything. 

A metro Atlanta church wanted to take away the stress and answer prayers for dozens of families.

Cascade United Methodist Church surprised families on the final night of layaway at a local Walmart by paying for their items Monday night. 

For Suwanda McCreary, it was the extra Christmas spirit she needed going into the holidays.

McCreary told Channel 2’s Alyssa Hyman her 28-year-old son Justin was killed in April and this would be the first Christmas without him.  

“I used to take him shopping every year for his children for Christmas. He left three kids behind,” she said.


McCreary had to do the shopping alone this year, which was hard emotionally and financially.

When she showed up at the Walmart on Cascade Road, she didn’t expect to have her entire layaway order paid off.

“It’s a tremendous help because I really wasn’t able to do it. Sometime I would borrow money, To get this phone call, it meant a whole lot to me,” she said.

The church paid nearly $10,000 worth of layaways off for 23 families in need.

“It means everything to us to see the smiles on these people faces,” said Dr. Kevin Murriel. “You just can’t beat that we have been blessed again to be a blessing and it means the world to us to do that.”

It’s a generous gift that helped so many like McCreary and Laurel Sessions, who can now take home Christmas presents for their grandchildren.

“It help me to be able to pay a bill that I didn’t have the money. I needed this bill paid and it just came right at the right time,” Sessions said. 

Dr. Murriel told everyone that he hopes these families will be inspired to pay it forward one day. 

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Breaking New

Woman says her dog was killed at Atlanta dog boarding facility | News

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) — A woman is warning other pet owners to be vigilant when it comes to boarding facilities after her dog was attacked and killed.

Aprille Greis told CBS46 she is devastated after dropping off her dog Lexi at The Pet Set.

“I specifically mentioned that she is a six-pound Yorkie, that I didn’t want her around big dogs because she’s afraid of them,” Greis said.

Greis said she left Lexi on a Saturday morning for a temperament test, which is required before you can board.

Several hours later, she said she received a voicemail to call the facility.

“He told me that she had been attacked,” Greis said. “He never actually told me what happened, he just said ‘I’m sorry’.”

According to Greis, Lexi was attacked by a bigger dog.

She said she called animal control and now wants to warn others to do thorough research before boarding anywhere.

“I couldn’t believe that it’s a place where dogs stay all the time and they can’t see the signs of when a dog is going to be aggressive,” Greis said.

The owner of Pet Set told CBS46 they did nothing wrong.

Robert Fawcett said Lexi was with three other small dogs and an attendant.

He continued to say that the attendant was holding Lexi, but when she put her down, a petite English Bulldog attacked her.

According to Fawcett, the two had been together for hours.

He said Lexi was dead within seconds after the 18-pound English Bulldog, a longtime client, attacked.

Fawcett said the Bulldog had never been aggressive before but is now banned.

The facility is looking at creating an area for tiny dogs, like Lexi, and looking over all their procedures.


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