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Sunday, September 9, 2012

First Slice 9/9/12: Otis Brumby, Marietta newspaperman who helped shape Cobb County, has died

Otis Brumby, the influential owner and Marietta Daily Journal publisher who helped mold Cobb County with the newspaper's coverage and his own civic leadership over the last 40 years, died yesterday after a two-year battle with prostate cancer. He was 72. Known as a fierce First Amendment advocate (and by his employees as a very tough boss), Brumby was a political force. The paper he led has the most comprehensive look at his life, including comments from political and community leaders. Also worth reading: "Citizen Brumby," former CL-er Michael Wall's 2001 profile of the newspaper publisher. [Full disclosure: I grew up with and was a high school classmate and friend of Brumby's son, and worked at one of the MDJ's suburban weeklies in 2005.]

Brian Leary, the Atlanta Beltline chief who was ousted after an uproar about the inappropriate use of taxpayer dollars on such items as a parking ticket, dry cleaning, and a wedding gift, was cut a nearly $100,000 severance check, equivalent to about six months of his former salary.

Speaking of the Beltline, we hear last night's Lantern Parade along the project's Eastside Trail was a resounding success. That so?

The death of a husband and wife who were struck crossing Memorial Drive might have been related to drag racing, Atlanta Police say.

Yesterday morning I moderated a very, very interesting panel discussion aimed at restarting the dialogue over how metro Atlanta should solve its transportation crisis. Hosted by the Partnership for Southern Equity, a nonprofit think tank promiting equity in the region, the event included such heavy hitters as MARTA General Manager and CEO Bev Scott. (We're hoping we find a video online of the discussion, which we'll post.)

The $1 billion 9/11 museum's opening might be delayed thanks to a dispute between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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