Our hazy '08 memories 

January: Earwax Records near downtown unceremoniously closes after an attempt to move to Peters Street fails.

Feb. 22: Home-grown indie-horror film The Signal gets its long-awaited national release.

March 10: Nafiza "Soulja Girl" Ziyad freestyles and harasses an elderly MARTA rider to the tune of Atlanta rapper Soulja Boy's hit "Crank That," becoming a YouTube sensation in the process. Two months later, she's arrested. A DeKalb County judge later drops the charges and requires that she continue her counseling for mental illness.

March 14: A mother of a twister touches down in the heart of Atlanta, injuring 27, killing one, shattering glass all over downtown and ripping the roof off Cabbagetown's Fulton Cotton Mill Lofts.

March 27: T.I. pleads guilty to illegal possession of a machine gun – and cuts a sweet deal that allows him to serve less than a year in federal prison in exchange for preaching nonviolence to kids.

April 10: Rare restaurant on Piedmont Avenue burns down, leaving Atlanta deprived of soul food tapas.

April 14: Holeman and Finch opens in south Buckhead, delivering startlingly delicious bar food (if you're fond of pig's ears, that is) and launching a gastropub trend we have yet to see the end of.

April 14: Delta announces its $3.1 billion purchase of Northwest, creating the world's largest airline.

April 15: Musician Sean Costello, a blues prodigy on the cusp of national success, is found dead in a hotel room at the Cheshire Motor Inn the night before his 29th birthday. His death is later ruled the result of an accidental drug overdose.

May 13: Gov. Sonny Perdue signs a bill allowing guns to be carried in city parks, in restaurants and on MARTA trains.

May 29: The 14th Street bridge over the Downtown Connector closes, causing a traffic nightmare in Midtown. The bridge will reopen in winter '09.

June 3: Indie-music venue 11:11 Teahouse shuts down after owner Penney Balmes is charged with operating without a license.

July 23: Two Clayton County men claim to have discovered the body of Sasquatch, creating a national Bigfoot craze. Less than a month later, the discovery is found to be a hoax.

Aug. 28: Clayton County's beleaguered school system loses accreditation, putting funding and students' college hopes in jeopardy.

Sept. 12: WNBA's Atlanta Dream finishes its first season with a league-worst 4-30 record.

Mid-September: Gas prices in Atlanta peak for the year at more than $4 per gallon.

Late September: Hurricane Ike shuts down Texas oil refineries, leading to mile-long lines at metro Atlanta gas pumps – and historically overcrowded GRTA Xpress buses.

Sept. 29: Creative Loafing Inc. files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an attempt to reorganize after falling behind on a $30 million loan. The money was used to buy the Chicago Reader and Washington City Paper in 2007.

Oct. 2: The Writers Guild of America files a complaint against Tyler Perry's production company alleging that several writers were retaliated against for union activity. Two days later, Perry's Atlanta film studio opens, drawing celebrities including Oprah Winfrey and Sidney Poitier. Two months later, the dispute is settled.

Oct. 6: Buford Highway's Havana Sandwich Shop burns down, leaving sad Atlantans missing their Cuban sandwiches.

Oct. 24: For the third time in 15 months, Georgia death row inmate Troy Davis receives a last-minute stay of execution so that an appeals court can consider evidence of his innocence.

November: The long-running Atlanta Jazz Festival is eliminated, along with 222 city jobs and "various arts programming," in an effort to reel in Atlanta's budget shortfall.

November: The Atlanta music scene loses four players in the space of a month: Def Jam Records exec Shakir Stewart reportedly commits suicide at his Marietta home; underground MC Christopher "Jax" Thurston dies while performing at Lenny's Bar; Flint, Mich., native and longtime Atlanta rapper MC Breed succumbs to kidney failure; and Johnny Ether, a member of Atlanta's underground scene since the mid-'80s, dies from a head injury after falling down in his home.

Dec. 2: After giving the GOP a brief scare, Democrats Jim Martin and Jim Powell lose the runoffs for the U.S. Senate and Public Service Commission, respectively.

Dec. 3: Atlanta City Hall announces its latest layoffs, bringing the total loss of city employees in '08 to 900.

Dec. 12: Atlanta's home-grown CGI fantasy film, Delgo, gets its long-awaited national release. It also sets the record for worst-ever opening weekend for a film on more than 2,000 screens. Oops.

Dec. 13: Convicted courthouse killer Brian Nichols' life is spared after a jury reaches a 9-3 deadlock in favor of the death penalty. He receives a sentence of life without parole instead.


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