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Reporter’s Notebook: Honoring Sept. 11 first responders at the Atlanta History Center

Atlanta's horizon is just one thing that makes this city great. (Photo by Greg Keelen, Unsplash)

Even though the Atlanta heat is bound to hang around for another month, the start of September brings joy into the hearts of fall lovers and spooky season enthusiasts. The folks at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens are already creating their autumn paradise. Every year, community members and local organizations can submit a scarecrow to display around the garden. If you want your creation to be in the mix, register by Sept. 17. 

Spooky and silly scarecrows alike are displayed around the Atlanta Botanical Gardens every fall. (Photo by Hannah E. Jones)

On to other local news:

Honoring Sept. 11 first responders at the Atlanta History Center

The new exhibit “Responding Heroes” is opening at the Atlanta History Center to mark the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. 

The exhibit highlights the experiences of all the first responders who selflessly risked their lives to save others. It will include original artwork, the timeline of events and reflection space. 

“​​I spent many hours riding with an Engine Company in the 18th Battalion in the Bronx early in my career. When the attacks occurred, like many responders, my first call was to my Disaster Medical Response team: ‘When do we leave?’” Richard Clinchy, president of The National EMS Museum, wrote in a press release. “Through this partnership [with the History Center], we are able to fulfill our promise to NEVER FORGET and continue to tell the story of heroism and selfless devotion of those who responded on September 11th.”

The exhibit is open from Sept. 10 to Oct. 17, with free admission for first responders from Sept. 10 to 12.  

– Hannah E. Jones

Fountain Hall

W.E.B DuBois wrote “The Souls of Black Folks” inside of Fountain Hall. (Photo by Kelly Jordan)

National Park Service awards grant to restore historic Morris Brown building

Morris Brown College has announced that a $500,000 grant from the National Park Service (NPS) HBCU Grant Program will be used to start work on iconic windows in the historic Fountain Hall. There are two stained glass windows honoring the founder of Atlanta University, E. A. Ware, and his wife, Jane Twichwell Ware. 

The author of the grant, R. Candy Tate, said in a statement that the stained glass windows will be in the Viola J. Hill Chapel inside Fountain Hall and will host chapel services, film viewings and host lectures for the community and students to enjoy. 

Additionally, Tate said that “we will continue our goal of fully restoring Fountain Hall” by launching the strong tower campaign next week, which matches the NPS grant. 

The campaign will run through the end of February 2022. If you want to donate or have any questions regarding the restoration project, please email Tate at [email protected] and visit the Fountain Hall restoration website to contribute.  

Fountain, once known as Stone, Hall is the third-oldest building in the Atlanta University Center, and was built in 1882.

The building housed the office of Atlanta University sociology professor and civil rights activist, W.E.B. DuBois, and is where he wrote the book “The Souls of Black Folks.” 

– Allison Joyner

Georgia Power intends to expand its existing public network of charging stations for
electric vehicles. (Image courtesy of georgiapower.com)

Georgia Power announces commitment to charging electric vehicles

Georgia Power is raising awareness of its efforts to provide facilities to charge electric vehicles. The state now has about 30,000 EVs and 930 public charging stations, according to a statement.

“At Georgia Power, we know that the ‘future is electric’ in our state and that future is now,” Nicole Faulk, senior vice president of customer strategy and solutions, said in a statement. “We are committed to working with state officials to support the growth of the local EV industry for consumers and manufacturers alike.”

Georgia Power said it has installed 51 fast chargers around the state, and intends to invest nearly $6 million in additional fast chargers in 2022.

The company’s announcement comes as the Biden administration on Wednesday reaffirmed its target of 50 percent electric vehicle sales share in 2030. In remarks prepared for delivery at the White House, Biden thanked labor unions for their work and noted that labor unions at the Big Three automakers support the decision to build more EVs.

– David Pendered

Grab your power tools for the last year of Decatur’s Soapbox Derby

It’s time to burn some rubber! It’s the 10th and final year of the Madison Avenue Soapbox Derby hosted in the City of Decatur.

The community fundraising event was organized by a group of neighbors in 2011 and grew into a nonprofit that raised over $200,000 for local children’s charities. 

This year, the proceeds will go to the Decatur Student Center, a new addition to the Decatur High School created in memory of Joe Bodine, a 2015 graduate who lost his life to addiction.

Consider registering if you’re looking for a fun way to spend a Saturday and want to support a good cause. If that’s not your thing, you can donate or watch the race on Oct. 16.

– Hannah E. Jones

Tyler Holley of the Atlanta Braves Foundation unloading food for pick-up at Truist Park. (Photo courtesy of the Cobb Community Foundation)

Cobb Community Food Fleet gives out 3.7 million meals over 16 months

After distributing 4.4 million pounds of fresh food, the Cobb Community Food Fleet has reached the end of its journey. 

The Food Fleet began in May 2020 to create a centralized delivery and distribution point for food donations coming from the USDA’s Farmers to Families program. This step was imperative for the Cobb community to receive the goods.

Truist Park, the Galleria, the Cobb Energy Centre and Sweetwater Mission served as distribution centers.

The coalition of 14 organizations collected and distributed food to 50 other fleet members, mainly churches and other nonprofits, in Cobb County.

While the Farmers to Families program has come to an end, the need for fresh food is still there.

The Cobb County Board of Commissioners has allocated $1.5 million from the American Rescue Plan to support nonprofit food providers in the purchasing and distribution of the goods. 

The Noonday Association of Churches, the Atlanta Community Food Bank and Cobb Community Foundation are planning a presentation on food insecurity for local nonprofit food providers to consider other opportunities to get fresh food to the plates of Cobb residents. 

– Hannah E. Jones

Matthew Macklin

Men Stopping Violence names interim director

Men Stopping Violence has named Mathew Macklin as interim executive director during the search for a fulltime ED to oversee efforts to end male violence against women. Former Congressman John Lewis was the first president of MSV’s board.

Macklin is a lawyer with experience in the health care sector and nursing home management. Macklin currently serves as a senior consultant with the Valtas Group, an executive search firm that is seeking a permanent ED for MSV, according to a statement.

“We look forward to working with Matthew and Valtas as we transition into a time of growth for the organization,” Michael Freed, MSV’s board chair, said in the statement. “The team continues to do the necessary work of creating better allies in men in the fight to end gender-based violence.”

Macklin said in the statement: “I’m excited to work with such a dedicated and mission-driven group. I’m thrilled to partner with this team as we modernize our operations, expand our reach and carve out what our work will look like as the world continues to grapple with the effects of the pandemic,” 

– David Pendered

Forty is generally the cut-off age for candidates, but after one missed year due to the pandemic, applicants who are 41 are welcome to apply. (Photo courtesy of Sadie Krawczyk, Monroe’s Economic Development Director. The 2019 class was hosted by Monroe/Walton County.)

Applications open for the Young Gamechangers Program

GeorgiaFoward is seeking 50 professionals, between ages 25 and 41, to join their 2022 Young Gamechangers Program

The program combines traditional leadership training with hands-on experience to make a positive impact on the community of focus. This year, the host and area of focus is Dalton-Whitfield County.

The young professionals will work together to answer four challenge questions, crafted by Dalton-Whitfield and GeorgiaForward leadership, that address a need or opportunity in the county. By the end of the program, participants will present their ideas to the community.

Any civic-oriented, young professionals in Georgia can apply. GeorgiaForward is part of the Georgia Municipal Association.

– Hannah E. Jones

Hannah E. Jones

Hannah Jones is an Atlanta native who recently graduated from Georgia State University, with a major in journalism and minor in public policy. She began studying journalism in high school and has since served as a reporter and editor for two newspapers. Hannah managed the Arts and Living section of The Signal, Georgia State’s independent award-winning newspaper. She has a passion for environmental issues, urban life and telling a good story. Hannah is excited about the opportunity to serve the City of Atlanta and its people. Hannah can be reached at [email protected]


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