Latest Reports

Atlanta’s Center for Civil and Human Rights ‘just a step’ along the way

By Maria Saporta

As she formally opened the new Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta, former Mayor Shirley Franklin called it “just a step” along the city’s way towards justice and freedom.

“We believe we are just starting,” Franklin told the crowd of hundreds of dignitaries and well-wishers who braved the stifling heat to be part of the historic opening. “Some people see this as an end. We the people who love freedom, as did Nelson Mandela, understand that this is just a step along the way.”

The step, however, was shared by a host of civil rights legends and supporters of Atlanta’s newest destination. Continue reading

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Business community steps up to support the Atlanta Public Schools

By Maria Saporta

When it comes to the Atlanta Public Schools, the Atlanta business community is staying engaged both with financial and leadership support.

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta announced Thursday that Atlanta’s corporate donors have committed $200,000 so far to support the transitional phase of incoming Atlanta Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Meria Carstarphen.

When that is combined with $147,000 that has been previously raised to support the Atlanta Public Schools’ strategic leadership initiatives, nearly $350,000 has been committed to the APS Improvement Fund.
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Judge approves sale of Morris Brown land to City of Atlanta, Friendship

By Maria Saporta

U.S Bankruptcy Judge Barbara Ellis-Monro Wednesday afternoon approved the $14.6 million sale of Morris Brown College’s property to the City of Atlanta and Friendship Baptist Church.

She also over-ruled the objections filed by Clark-Atlanta University, which had argued that Morris Brown College did not have the right to sell most of the property.

The ruling is a major step that will take Morris Brown College out of bankruptcy, and one that could pave the way for the redevelopment of more than 30 acres of land along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive that is a few blocks west of the new Atlanta Falcons football stadium.
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Delta Flight Museum reopens – reaffirming airline’s home in Atlanta

By Maria Saporta

Nearly 1,000 people were drawn to the historic hangars of Delta Air Lines Tuesday morning for the grand re-opening of an improved and expanded Delta Flight Museum.

Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Deal gave their official proclamations and awards in Delta’s honor, which was celebrating its 85th anniversary of offering passenger service. Its first passenger flight was from Dallas to Jackson, Miss. on June 17, 1929.
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Points of Light meeting in Atlanta with Chelsea Clinton and Neil Bush

By Maria Saporta

Atlanta gave the Points of Lights National Conference and its 5,000 attendees a special welcome on Monday.

“I’m so grateful y’all decided to return to the City of Atlanta after seven years,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed told attendees at the plenary session at the Georgia World Congress Center Monday afternoon. “I know I’m a little biased, but I like to call Atlanta the capital city of service.”

Points of Light —  formed by a merger of the Points of Light Foundation and the Atlanta-based Hands On Network — calls Atlanta home.
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The Coca-Cola Co. unveils its new IT division offices in downtown Atlanta

By Maria Saporta

A transformed open and airy office environment has welcomed nearly 2,000 Coca-Cola employees to SunTrust Plaza’s “Garden Offices” in the heart of downtown.

The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) invited members of the board of Central Atlanta Progress to visit the company’s new home for its information technology division. The move came as Coca-Cola consolidated seven offices into five, The move of about 2,000 workers to downtown is viewed as a major boost to downtown.
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Robert Ramsay to be new president of Georgia Conservancy starting July 1

By Maria Saporta

After conducting a national search for a new leader, the board of the Georgia Conservancy has selected one of its own to be its new president.

Robert Ramsay, currently the Georgia Conservancy’s vice president of development, has been tapped to succeed former Georgia Lt. Gov. Pierre Howard as the president of the statewide environmental organization on July 1. Howard, who had announced his retirement earlier this year, has been the Conservancy’s president since 2009.

“Robert is a proven leader who has played a vital role in the Georgia Conservancy’s success over the last several years,” said George Mori, chair of the Georgia Conservancy’s board, in a statement.
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Morris Brown land sale still faces hurdle of Clark Atlanta’s rights

By Maria Saporta

The $14. 6 million offer from Invest Atlanta and Friendship Baptist Church to buy most of the Morris Brown College property is being held up by an objection from Clark Atlanta University.

During nearly a three-hour hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Barbara Ellis Monro Thursday, the arguments circled around whether Morris Brown actually had the right to sell the property it has been using over the decades.

The judge said she will issue her ruling on whether the sale can go through at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 18. If she gives the deal a green light, the Invest Atlanta board would vote the next morning and the sale would be scheduled to close on June 23.
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Aaron’s annual meeting has former rivals showing a spirit of togetherness

By Maria Saporta

At Aaron’s annual meeting Tuesday morning, one shareholder observed: “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

The newest director elected to the board was Brian Kahn, 40, investment manager of Vintage Capital Management, who tried unsuccessfully to buy the lease-to-own retailer earlier this year with an unsolicited $2.3 billion offer.

Vintage is the second largest shareholder of Aaron’s, owning 10 percent of the company. The largest shareholder is Boston-based FMR LLC, which owns 15.75 percent of the company.
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Sarah Kirsch appointed as interim executive director of ULI Atlanta

By Maria Saporta

ULI Atlanta has named Sarah Kirsch as its interim executive director following Jeff DuFresne’s decision to go return to the real estate consulting business.

David Allman, chairman of ULI Atlanta, sent an email early Monday afternoon to members of the Atlanta district of the Urban Land Institute to announce the appointment of Kirsch to the interim role.

“Sarah brings an intimate knowledge of ULI to this position,” Allman wrote. “She has been a member of ULI for the past 15 years and has been active on the ULI Atlanta Advisory board since 2006.”
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