Latest Reports

A $10 million gift by Lloyd and Mary Ann Whitaker led to Cyclorama moving to Atlanta History Center

By Maria Saporta

Lloyd and Mary Ann Whitaker were reading the Sunday paper on Jan. 27, 2013 before going to church when they read a story about the deteriorating condition of the panoramic painting depicting the Battle of Atlanta housed at the Cyclorama.

By that night, they had decided they wanted to help spark an effort to restore the Cyclorama painting.
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Georgia’s kids are faring slightly better, according to KIDS COUNT

By Maria Saporta

It may not seem like much, but Georgia advocates for children were celebrating the state moving up a notch in the 2014 KIDS COUNT Data Book, published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

In the 25th anniversary edition of KIDS COUNT, which was released today, Georgia’s national rank went from 43rd in 2013 to 42nd in measuring the well-being of the state’s children.
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Atlanta now a nicer shade of pale, says Gary Brooker of Procol Harum

By Maria Saporta

It’s always helpful to see Atlanta from the eyes of outsiders.

Gary Brooker, the anchor musician, pianist and songwriter behind the symphonic British rock group Procol Harum, provided his perspective on Sunday night during a concert at Atlanta Symphony Hall.

Atlanta has developed into a beautiful city, a 21st Century city, Brooker told the not-sold-out, yet enthusiastic audience in the concert hall. Brooker went on to say that he remembered coming to Atlanta when it was a dump, and how impressed he was with the way it had evolved.
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COO Mike Geisler: Goal of Mayor Kasim Reed administration’s second term is ‘to get something done’

By Maria Saporta

One thing that was keeping Mike Geisler up at night was the word “interim” in front of his title.

Geisler had been serving as interim chief operating officer for the City of Atlanta since early February, succeeding Duriya Farooqui who had left to join the Bain Consulting firm. So a couple of weeks ago, Geisler went in to see his boss, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
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Lawsuit challenges Tyler Perry’s plans for Fort McPherson as an insider deal

By Maria Saporta, Dave Williams and Doug Sams

An Atlanta entertainment company planning a movie studio and entertainment area at Fort McPherson filed a federal lawsuit Thursday challenging Tyler Perry’s proposal for a similar project.

Lawyers for Ubiquitous Entertainment Studios LLC (UES) claim the firm wasn’t given a fair chance to redevelop the site halfway between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and downtown Atlanta.
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Metro Atlanta’s top regional leader – ARC’s Harry West – passes away

By Maria Saporta

Atlanta’s “Mr. Region” has passed away.

Harry West, who probably did more than any other person in metro Atlanta to create a regional mindset, passed away Monday morning at Emory University Hospital from a serious lung infection. West, 72, had had a lung transplant last fall.

West was executive director of the Atlanta Regional Commission from 1973 to 2000 – a position that he used as a launching pad to create a host of regional programs to promote closer ties among leaders and citizens in the Greater Atlanta area.
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Incoming UPS CEO Dave Abney strongly backs new free trade agreements

By Maria Saporta

Global trade is becoming more essential to the economic viability to the United States and its companies, which is why UPS is strongly supporting two pending free trade agreements, the incoming CEO of UPS, Dave Abney, told the Rotary Club of Atlanta Monday.

“One of our growing concerns is the protectionism that is surfacing throughout the world,” Abney said. “More and more of the economic activity is going to be occurring somewhere else (outside the United States). We should really be spreading that message. We understand that trade is a vital economic engine.”
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MARTA’s executives – then and now – see their roles as transit ‘relay race’

By Maria Saporta

A rare glimpse into MARTA’s evolution was visible Sunday night when the five living former and current general managers of the transit agency gathered to reflect on the past and strategize about the future.

The occasion was the 43rd National Meeting & Training Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) meeting in Atlanta this week.
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Struggles remain as we celebrate 50 years after passing Civil Rights Act

By Maria Saporta

Fifty years after President Lyndon Baines Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964, Atlanta leaders of today and yesterday spoke of the journey that lies ahead.

The leaders spoke at a half-day symposium on Friday that was held at the King Center titled: “The Civil Rights Act @ 50: Looking Back; Moving Forward 1964 – 2014.”
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Movie Review: Humanity in the ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

By David Luse

The new “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” movie, which debuts in theaters on July 11th, starts the same way it ends; with a close-up shot of an ape so close it can be mistaken for human.

This is the real question that tugs throughout this movie, one that vegetarians probably struggle with constantly: if given intelligence, would animals be the same as us? Well our hairy brethren who share most of our DNA are CGI (computer-generated images), and for the first 10 or 15 minutes, I was disappointed and fearful that this movie would become wrought with the lure of showing off clever computer animation, and less about story.
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