The week in local news.

From Sept. 7 to 10, Stone Mountain’s annual Yellow Daisy Festival is back for its 55th year. The festival will include 400 artists showcasing their crafts, including jewelry, pottery, metalwork, wood crafts and more. There will also be the Vintage Village, live music and a beer garden. 

On to other local news:

‘Cop City’ to feature in Dragon Con panel discussions

The “Cop City” controversy is coming to Dragon Con.

The enormous annual pop culture convention, returning Downtown today through Sept. 4, includes panel discussions on a wide range of topics. One programming track is the Electronic Frontiers Forum (EFF), which focuses on how new technologies impact civil liberties. 

“Understanding Atlanta’s ‘Cop City’ Training Center Controversy” is a Sept. 2 EFF discussion. “Atlanta’s new Public Safety Training Center has been dubbed ‘Cop City’ by opponents who see the Center as a threat to the environment and a road to increased police militarization,” reads the event description on the Dragon Con app. “What are the benefits and risks of such a center, and are the police truly accountable to the community?”

Also under scrutiny is the Atlanta Police Foundation, the secretive nonprofit that is planning the training center. “Examining the Role of Police Foundations” is a Sept. 1 EFF discussion. “Police foundations provide a mechanism for private funding of public safety resources,” says the event description. “While this reduces costs for the taxpayer, critics cite problems such as lack of accountability, preferential treatment for donating organizations, and conflicts of interest. What are the main concerns?”

Remaining to be seen is if anyone will attend dressed as an Ewok, the forest-dwelling Empire-fighters of “Star Wars” lore, who have become a nickname for some “Cop City” protesters.

— John Ruch

The exhibit is scheduled for Feb. 25 to July 28, 2024. (Courtesy of Clark Atlanta University.)

CAU artwork featured in MET exhibit

Last week, the Clark Atlanta Art Museum announced one of their pieces would be featured in the upcoming “Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in New York City. 

“Woman in Blue” by William H. Johnson was selected to be featured in the exhibit, which will establish the Harlem Renaissance as the first African-American-led movement of international modern art and situates Black artists and their new portrayals of the modern Black subject as central to our understanding of international modern art and life.

“The colors are striking,” said Danille K. Taylor, director of the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, in a New York Times article announcing the exhibition. “It’s the angle that she looks at you. The colors and texture give it a three-dimensional quality.”

The exhibit is scheduled for Feb. 25 to July 28. 

— Allison Joyner

The house is dedicated in honor of Chaplain Susan Bishop, who served more than 40 years as a Chaplain in the Georgia Department of Corrections. (Photo courtesy of City of Refuge.)

Welcome Home House opens for formerly incarcerated women

Formerly incarcerated people are almost ten times more likely to become unhoused than the general public, according to a 2018 report from the Prison Policy Initiative, and formerly incarcerated women are more than 70 percent more likely to experience homelessness than men. To help support women re-entering society in metro Atlanta, the City of Refuge (COR) and Peachtree Road United Methodist Church (PRUMC) are opening the Welcome Home House.

PRUMC is a caring faith community in Buckhead, and COR offers essential services like housing, youth development and career guidance in the Westside.

The four-bedroom, two-bathroom is located on Atlanta’s Westside and was built by Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. Residents will also have access to COR’s services, including trauma counseling, job training and family reunification efforts.

“At the COR Reentry Hub, we focus on providing key programs and services to help people thrive in their lives outside of prison,” Greg Washington, COR’s reentry and family reunification executive director, wrote in a press release. “Stable housing is foundational in that effort, so it’s special to expand on our more than 20-year partnership with PRUMC to build transitional housing for women. Their continued contributions make a lasting impact on the lives of the people we serve.” 

— Hannah E. Jones

The limited-edition Discover More card. (Courtesy of the DeKalb County Public Library.)

DeKalb County invites everyone to get library card

If you live in DeKalb County and don’t have a library card, your local librarians invite you to sign up. Public library cards are free and, to sweeten the deal, the library is offering a limited-edition Discover More card, a bookmark with vinyl stickers and car magnets.

Library cards offer access to more than just books; they include eBooks, audiobooks, newspapers and streaming media. Cardholders can also use their study rooms, computers and printers. Additionally, the DeKalb County system hosts over 200 free programs for holidays, cultural programming, community engagement and personal growth.

Click here to get your library card today.

— Hannah E. Jones

CHRIS 180 offers free suicide prevention workshops for the public

For National Suicide Prevention Month in September, CHRIS 180 is hosting a series of workshops that are free and open to the public. In a state where suicide was the third leading cause of death for children ages 5-17 in 2021, this is a critical service for those facing mental health challenges.

The workshops will follow a nationally recognized training program to help those contemplating suicide by teaching people to Question, Persuade and Refer. The team will also host special sessions for specific audiences, including teachers, social service employees, spiritual leaders, parents, the LGBTQ community and workplace leaders. 

The sessions will be facilitated by the CHRIS 180 Training Institute and are available throughout September. CHRIS 180 is an Atlanta-based nonprofit that provides trauma-informed behavioral health services and wraparound support to children, adults and families.

For additional information and to register for a session, click here.

— Hannah E. Jones

A rendering of the new visitor center. (Courtesy of Oakland Cemetery.)

Oakland Cemetery visitor center groundbreaking scheduled for Sept. 5

A groundbreaking for Oakland Cemetery’s new visitor center is scheduled for Sept. 5.

The ceremony, featuring Mayor Andre Dickens, is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the visitor center site at 374 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, just outside the historic cemetery’s main gate. 

The 10,000-square-foot Center is intended in part to provide more gathering space, offices and a store for the Historic Oakland Foundation, which operates the cemetery. Among the construction materials, according to the Foundation, will be tiles salvaged in an Atlanta Preservation Center-led effort from a historic former Nabisco factory in Southwest Atlanta that is the location of a controversial development.

Construction is expected to take 18 to 24 months. 

The project is part of the Foundation’s $14 million Living History Capital Campaign. Other recent projects funded by the campaign include the restoration of the 1908 Women’s Comfort Station (2019), the construction of a new East Gate (2020), the restoration of 6 acres of the Cemetery’s East Hill (2019-2023), and the rehabilitation of the 1899 Oakland Bell Tower (2022).

— John Ruch 

Georgia United kicks off annual food drive

In an effort to fight local food insecurity, Georgia United Foundation — the giving arm of Georgia United Credit Union — has launched its 12th annual Can Hunger drive.

Since its inception, the food drive has collected over 477,000 food items, but this year, the Foundation is seeking monetary donations to support local food banks. 

This approach will allow food banks to fulfill specific needs.

The Foundation is partnering with 11 local food pantries, including Atlanta Community Food Bank, Food Bank of NE Georgia, Good Neighbors Homeless Shelter, CarePointe Ministries, Rockdale Emergency Relief, Sharing and Caring Food Bank, The Place at Forsyth, Dalton Greater Works, Laurens Baptist Association Food Bank, Helping in His Name Ministries and NETWorks Tucker. Last year’s drive provided over 28,000 meals for residents in need.

Can Hunger will run until Oct. 3, with a goal of $5,000. Donations can be made online or in person at any Georgia United branch location.

“Giving as little as $10 can provide up to 40 meals for people that are struggling to fill their plates with nutritional options,” Georgia United’s Director of Community Development Kim Wall wrote in a release. “Combating food insecurity is part of Georgia United Foundation’s commitment to improving the quality of life for children and families in the communities we serve. 

Donations to Can Hunger will make a difference for a senior who is facing a difficult decision whether to pay for medication or healthy food or for hardworking parents who might choose to skip a meal to make sure their children are fed.”

— Hannah E. Jones

The new bobbleheads. (Courtesy of the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum.)

Morehouse, Clark Atlanta gets official bobbleheads

Last week, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled its latest series representing Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This year, Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College are among 13 schools represented this year. 

The bobbleheads are images of the school’s mascot and feature the school’s nickname and school colors. Each figurine is individually numbered for the limited amount made available. 

“We hope the alumni, students, faculty, staff, and the entire Morehouse and Clark Atlanta communities will enjoy these new bobbleheads,” said Phil Sklar, National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO. “Bobbleheads are often passed down from generation to generation, and we think the bobbleheads in this new HBCU Series will certainly become cherished keepsakes.”

Click to purchase a bobblehead for Morehouse and Clark Atlanta before they run out. 

— Allison Joyner

Chamblee PD accepting applications for citizen police academy

The Chamblee police department announced that they are now accepting applications for their Citizens Police Academy. From Oct. 4 to Nov. 8, Chamblee residents can get an exclusive look into the police department. 

“Participants get to know the inner workings of the department and the individuals behind the badge,” said Lt. Guy Antinozzi.

The course will cover patrol, chain of command, co-responder/mental health, criminal investigations and more. 

You must be a Chamblee resident, 18 years or older, and pass a background check. 

For more information, click here

— Allison Joyner

Hannah Jones is a Georgia State University graduate, 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...

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