1. A group of men launched a senseless attack on a 20-year-old gay man outside a convenience store in Atlanta's Pittsburgh neighborhood — and which was caught on videotape.
2. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has also taken a interest in the attack, which has garnered national headlines. If you have information, call the Atlanta Police.
3. In addition, Pittsburgh residents have apologized to Brandon White, the 20-year-old man who was attacked, and asked for the city and county to shut down the convenience store.
4. Doesn't "Ashford" sound like the name of a cigarette brand more than a new North DeKalb city?
Today's weird. It's unusually warm. The skies are a strange gray. And a person apparently pulled a 180 on I-75 near North Avenue. Avoid the chaos and review the week that was here on Fresh Loaf, the very tan uncle who refuses to drink any beverage without a koozie.
2. Bishop Eddie Long is now a king. The megachurch pastor has apparently decided 2012 is just gonna be the year where he says, "yeah, whatever, let's do it."
3. On that note, King Eddie should check out the credentials of Rabbi Ralph Messer, the man who crowned him king in front of hundreds of parishioners, before he changes his business cards.
4. Tim Franzen, one of Occupy Atlanta's most visible members, claims he's being targeted by law enforcement officials.
5. Editor chomping on huge cigar: "Hey, kid, get me some critics for that AJC story you're writing, quicklike! Preferably one based in the north metro counties!"
We woke up nice and early this morning to watch soccer in downtown Atlanta so you didn't have to. The least you can do is revisit this week's most popular posts on Fresh Loaf, which insists you please go first.
1. So, let's talk about Blake's and the use of the word "princess."
2. Atlanta puts the rest of Georgia to shame when it comes to biking and walking safety.
3. While we're on the topic of Blake's, let's discuss arguably attractive people who got arrested at Blake's.
4. One thing we learned this week: Be prepared if you write a tongue-in-cheek post about the Georgia Archives. (Seriously, folks, we're big fans of historic documents.)
5. Ladies and gentleman, meet the Georgia resident who will not rest until President Barack Obama proves his U.S. citizenship.
Take a break from marveling at the raindrops and flash floods and revisit this week's most popular posts on Fresh Loaf, which has often wondered why we don't see more Revolutionary War reenactments.
1. Internet, stop trying to portray Atlanta as one massive decadent Roman bathhouse crowded with disease-ridden heathens. It just ain't so.
2. What's really sad about the mom-allows-10-year-old-child-to-get-tattoo story is that we'll most likely hear another one next year.
4. Many congressmen and women who supported SOPA and PIPA, two pieces of legislation aimed at curbing online sharing of copyrighted materials, have backed off since a massive online protest. Were Georgia's elected officials were among them?
5. Victor Hill, the former Clayton County sheriff whose quizzical leadership style sparked controversy and headlines, was indicted by a county grand jury on 37 counts last week.
Scott, Thomas, Gwynedd, and Wyatt are still out doing charity work this morning. Meanwhile, Joeff is shooting MLK Day events for a photo gallery. We'll have some blog posts later. If you're still looking for a way to give back today, be sure to check here.
UPDATE: If you wanna follow their exploits, be sure to follow them on Twitter at @ScottTheHenry, @thomaswheatley, @gwynnstu, and @wyatt_williams. And be sure to follow me at @EricCeleste, but only because I'm a follower whore.
DOUBLE UPDATE: If you want to see an ongoing stream of what Atlanta is saying on MLK Day, check out our Storify page.
We're spending this entire chilly weekend in our mud huts, chopping up our furniture to use as firewood, and eating insects. This is the new normal. Look away from us and the horrible goblins we've become and revisit this week's most popular posts on Fresh Loaf, now available in Technicolor.
1. You have to wonder if the Gwinnett County teacher who wrote the math test using slavery as an example stepped back once he or she was finished writing questions and said, "Now this is a great idea."
2. Early Wednesday morning, Capitol Police nudged along an estimated 35 people who'd been sleeping on a ledge for months within full view of City Hall, the Gold Dome, and the Fulton County Courthouse. Keep your eyes on this story.
3. Gov. Nathan Deal has earmarked $15 million in next year's budget to purchase land near the Georgia World Congress Center for additional parking, an expansion, or... a new open-air stadium which would make Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank ohhh so happy.
4. The Advocate's annual list of America's gayest cities is out and Atlanta, which last year took top honors, has fallen to no. 9. Behind Salt Lake City. And with a blurb about "gay clubs [going] off in Mechanicsville." Who writes these things?
5. MARTA, did McDonald's give you the OK to use the Hamburglar in that cutesy public service announcement?
Actually, I have no idea. My first one. I hope something like this, but only because I want to be Grady Tripp before I die. But I digress.
The point here is that I'm told there will be some sort of literary showdown between our own Thomas Wheatley and Gwynedd Stuart. They are to read an original 7-minute work in some sort of MC battle/8 Mile lunch truck scene. Right now, they're not really all about Fresh Loaf, is what I'm saying. They seem to be quite engaged in typing. Flop sweat is apparent.
What I'm trying to say is: Can't wait to see everyone! Bring friends!
While I am convinced this second issue will eventually be considered a footnote in the APS testing scandal, it wound up snatching most of the headlines and public attention this year, including the city-wide "Step up or step down" campaign designed to pressure APS board member Khaatim Sherrer El into relinquishing the chairman's seat he had snatched in an arguably illegal board vote in fall 2010.
Granted, the issue of board leadership wasn't a complete red herring, but it was a crisis largely manufactured by Mark Elgart, the Alpharetta-based CEO of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the private firm charged with accrediting public schools across much of the Southeast. You'll remember that Elgart, who has close ties to many of the same business leaders who had backed the APS board's previous leadership, placed the system on probation in January via a preposterous report that scarcely acknowledged the cheating scandal.
Ah, 2011. We had the long-awaited lifting of the ban on Sunday alcohol sales. The laborious process to determine which road and transit projects would receive funding from a 1-cent transportation tax metro Atlanta voters will decide in July. Georgia's new immigration law (which my dear colleague Gwynedd has already covered). And oh, sweet Jesus, we had the hilarious social and political experiment known as the "Herman Cain presidential campaign." And Snowpocalypse! People were skiing in Piedmont Park, ice skating down Peachtree, and actually walking to destinations! Madness!
All these were big, important stories, and they deserve their spot on any year-end list. But personally, they weren't the stories that resonated with me on a personal level.
What stuck out to me while reporting in Atlanta over the last year: Some parts of the city prosper and other areas crumble. Or, at best, they stay the same. It's part of the old "tale of two Atlantas." Granted, this isn't some new phenomenon. But this year, as I went into neighborhoods, covered events, and spoke with community members, it felt more pronounced. And in the years ahead, especially as the city tries to adapt to its post-Great Recession landscape, I think addressing blight will be a vital (if unsexy) issue to watch.
Let's start with the good neighborhood- and city-building news — much of which occurred along the Atlanta Beltline — and then touch on the bad.
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