Latest Reports

The Home Depot piloting the ‘Do-It-Yourself’ automotive business

By Maria Saporta

From homes to cars.

Atlanta-based Home Depot is eagerly testing a new business opportunity – the “Do-It-Yourself” automotive segment.

Carol Tomé, chief financial officer for the Home Depot since 2001, disclosed the company’s interest during a talk to the Rotary Club of Atlanta Monday.

In response to a question about what was the next area of opportunity for the company, Tomé said the company currently had “Do-It-Yourself Automotive” in pilot “right now” in some of its stores.
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Mayor Kasim Reed pledges to do all he can to keep Hawks in Atlanta

By Maria Saporta

Mayor Kasim Reed is going to do all he can to keep the Atlanta Hawks in town within the city limits, he pledged during a press conference Tuesday in his office Tuesday.

Less than a year ago, the mayor held a press conference in the same room reacting to the news that the Atlanta Braves would be leaving Turner Field to build a new stadium in Cobb County.

The Braves announcement had caught the city off-guard. And it was readily apparent on Tuesday that Mayor Reed wasn’t going to let another professional sports team leave the city under his watch – if he could help it. (Atlanta’s professional hockey team – the Thrashers – were sold and moved to Winnipeg in 2011).
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Community concerns about Fort Mac-Tyler Perry deal draws large turnout

By Maria Saporta

More than 100 community members filled the meeting at Fort McPherson Tuesday evening – mainly to complain about how they had been left out the process of deciding the future of the 488 acres strategically located between downtown Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

It was a regular board meeting of the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority (MILRA), a body that has been meeting for about seven years on various plans and ideas for what would be the best use of the site once the base had closed.
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Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice becomes sixth (and first woman) president of the Morehouse School of Medicine

By Maria Saporta

What a week it has been for Valerie Montgomery Rice.

She was inaugurated as the sixth president of the Morehouse School of Medicine (and its first woman president) during a multi-day series of events that would be exhausting for an ordinary person.

After the investiture ceremony on Thursday, President Rice participated in six community service projects Friday morning to highlight the six different president of the Morehouse School of Medicine.
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As Fort Mac-Tyler Perry negotiations proceed, questions refuse to go away

By Maria Saporta

Just as a local authority is negotiating the sale of 325 acres of Fort McPherson to movie mogul Tyler Perry, the Salon.com news site has published an article declaring an end to the Atlanta actor/director’s reign.

The article – “The reign of Tyler Perry is over: Finally, black thrillers come to the big screen” – could cause some to want to put their foot on the brakes of the rapidly-moving effort to try to seal the Perry deal by mid-October.
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Paul Allen Family Foundation makes $9 million gift to CDC Foundation to fight Ebola epidemic in West Africa

By Maria Saporta

The Atlanta-based CDC Foundation has received a $9 million donation from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to help combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The funding will support CDC’s efforts to establish emergency operations centers for the countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa currently has 3,700 suspected cases and 1,850 deaths.
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Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s Sally Bethea to be saluted at 20th anniversary gala on Oct. 14

By Maria Saporta

A pillar of Atlanta’s environmental leadership will be getting her send-off in style.

Sally Bethea, who founded the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper 20 years ago, will be retiring as its executive director, and a new leadership team will be taking over at the beginning of 2015.

Bethea’s leadership of the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) and the transition to a new team will be celebrated at an elegant gala on Oct. 14 at the InterContinental Buckhead.
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More calls for Hawks GM Danny Ferry to step down as focus turns to treatment of star Dominique Wilkins

By Maria Saporta

Racial tension has permeated the Atlanta Hawks organization during the leadership of Danny Ferry, according to Tommy Dortch, a leading African-American businessman in Atlanta.

Dortch said that tension has been evident in the way the team has treated its all-time star player – Dominique Wilkins.

For two years, Dortch has been trying to get approval from the Atlanta Hawks to construct a 15-foot tall statue of Wilkins that is to be placed in front of Philips Arena’s ticket window.

Wilkins is the most celebrated Atlanta Hawks player in the history of the franchise and deserving of this recognition, Dortch said in an interview Tuesday. Continue reading

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Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade now a magical new tradition for our city

By Maria Saporta

Updated with new info and photo.

The best evidence of the growing popularity of the Atlanta BeltLine takes place as the sun goes down on the first Saturday after Labor Day.

That’s when thousands of people light up the sky and our imagination with the annual Lantern Parade.

The Lantern Parade came on the scene in 2010, but I think it must have been one of Atlanta’s best kept secrets for its first couple of years of life.

Matthew Garbett (this week’s guest columnist), sent me an email early Tuesday morning saying that Chantelle Rytter deserves credit for starting the parade and should get “some recognition for this amazing gift she has given the city.”
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A historic building saved – Lost-n-Found to renovate Midtown mansion

By Maria Saporta

Dozens of people gathered Friday night in front of what had been one of Midtown’s most endangered historic buildings.

The striking Victorian-looking home along Juniper Street between Fifth and Fourth streets had been one of three homes that Saint Mark United Methodist Church had wanted to demolish several years ago so it could have convenient parking for its parishioners.

But the Midtown Neighbors’ Association strongly fought the demolition, and the City of Atlanta would not approve the demolition.
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