Braves spokeswoman Beth Marshall confirmed to CL that a spectator had fallen during the rain-delayed Atlanta Braves-Philadelphia Phillies game. According to Atlanta Police, the man plummeted nearly 65 feet from an upper-level platform to the player's parking area outside the stadium around 9 p.m.
The victim, 30-year-old Conyers resident Ronald Homer, was later transported to Atlanta Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
"At this time there is no indication of foul play and the fall appears accidental," APD spokesman John Chafee tells CL.
Last night's accident wasn't the first of its kind. Back in 2008, 25-year-old Cummings resident Justin Hayes died after falling 150 feet from Turner's upper deck.
UPDATE, 10:04 a.m.: The Associated Press this morning talked to Connie Homer, the victim's mother, who said her son was a lifelong Braves fan, Rockdale High School graduate, and currently a landscape worker. She added:
"He said 'I love you mom, and I said 'I love you too' and that was it," his mother said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday morning.
"He was big hearted, just a great guy, very respectful," she said. "It didn't matter if they were winning, losing or what - he's been a Braves fan forever."
Brian Maloof, Manuel's current owner announced his death today in a lengthy Facebook post. He described his uncle as the "the caring, softer side" of the pub where Democrats and journalists for years have gathered. In addition, he also credits Robert with handling the restaurant's daily operations as his late brother, Manuel, pursued a political career in DeKalb County.
"There would be no Manuel's Tavern if there was no Robert," Brian Maloof writes. "Manuel, my father, asked Robert to work with him at Manuel's in 1957. Manuel and Robert were the odd couple of business owners ... During my father's political career Robert ran Manuel's full time, keeping the business going while giving Manuel the opportunity to become the public servant he wanted to be."
It's worth checking out Brian Maloof's full letter about his uncle's death, which we've posted after the jump:
I heard the news last night when Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis paid tribute to the bird during the band's concert at the arts center, saying, "This next one goes out to Kingsley the turkey who died today."
Then the band played "2 Trees" (I'm pretty sure).
Rest in peace Kingsley.
UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.: Sources (my husband) say Foals played "Milk & Black Spiders" in Kingsley's honor.
The Congressman has spent the past several days mourning his wife's passing and was understandably absent during a particularly busy week in Washington D.C., one marked by both a contentious vote on the fiscal cliff bill and a new Congress taking office.
Brenda Jones, Rep. Lewis' communications director, offered funeral details in an email this morning, saying that:
The services for Mrs. Lillian Miles Lewis, wife of U.S. Rep. John Lewis, will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday January 7, 2013, in Ebenezer Baptist Church, 407 Auburn Avenue in Atlanta 30312.
Rep. Lewis and his wife were married there 44 years ago.
Condolences may be expressed in any form an individual may desire.
Some condolence suggestions include flowers, which may be sent to the Willie A. Watkins Funeral Home or directly to the Ebenezer Baptist Church after Sunday. Donations to the American Kidney Fund can be made on behalf of Mrs. Lewis, while written condolences may be sent to Rep. John Lewis and his son John Miles Lewis at 2015 Wallace Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30331.
Lillian Miles Lewis, the "devoted wife" of Congressman John Lewis, D-Atlanta, has died, the civil rights icon's office said today in a statement.
According to a 2003 Atlanta Magazine profile, Lewis and the Los Angeles native, a librarian at Atlanta University, were introduced by a friend at a New Year's Eve party in 1967. Less than one year later, the two married and settled into a home in southwest Atlanta.
In 1986, she told the Atlanta Journal that she never imagined her husband would one day be heading to Washington, D.C.
"When I married John, my best friend said, `You are so dumb going into this marriage that you don't even know how much money he earns,'" Lewis told the paper. "The U.S. Congress? No, capital N-O, exclamation point, so forth and so forth."
The AJC's Daniel Malloy points to a poignant paragraph from Lewis' memoir "Walking With the Wind" about the role his wife played in convincing him to run an unsuccessful congressional bid in the late 1970s.
"She had always been very involved in politics, much more than I. She had been a delegate (supporting Shirley Chisholm) to the Democratic National Convention in '72, and she was constantly active in a variety of local circles and organizations. She was outgoing, involved, intelligent and great in front of an audience - she could make a speech. She also knew how to organize, how to chair a meeting, the nitty-gritty stuff. When she finally said, 'Let's do it. Let's go for it,' that was enough. We were in," Lewis wrote.
Lewis later directed Atlanta University's Institute for International Affairs and Development and served as the manager of external affairs after the school merged with Clark College, becoming Clark Atlanta University.
Information regarding funeral arrangements will be released as they become available, a spokeswoman said in a statement. As condolences come in, we'll add them after the jump.
Atlanta lost one of its most distinguished leaders today as Jesse Hill Jr., an African-American civil rights activist and esteemed businessman, passed away at age 86.
Throughout his life, Hill helped consult and finance civil rights efforts in Atlanta. That included serving as a confidant to both Martin Luther King Jr. and Mayor Maynard Jackson. His push for racial equality spanned across projects ranging from MARTA's initial development to the integration of Atlanta Public Schools.
Hill, a St. Louis native, moved to Atlanta in 1949. He started working at Atlanta Life Insurance Company as an assistant actuary, rising up the organization's ranks to eventually become CEO. His efforts turned the company into the largest American black-owned life insurance company. Later in his life, he became the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce's first black president.
The list of accomplishments goes on, including a State Board of Regents appointment from then-Gov. Jimmy Carter. The AJC has posted an extensive timeline that chronicles Hill's life. Details about both his death and funeral arrangements are not yet available, but we'll post an update once we hear more.
Georgia journalism lost one of its best and brightest last night. Dick Pettys, the prolific, soft-spoken newsman who spent more than three decades covering the Gold Dome for the Associated Press and later Insider Advantage, died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 66. Pettys was considered the "dean" of the Capitol Press Corps and considered by fellow journalists and the lawmakers he covered as fair, accurate, and extremely smart. Reports the Associated Press:
Pettys died Monday evening after having a massive heart attack at the home where he had retired in Clarksville, North Georgia, said Matt Towery, CEO of InsideAdvantage Georgia, where Pettys worked after retiring from the AP in 2005.
Towery said he received the news from Pettys' son, Richard Pettys Jr.
"I'm heartbroken," Towery said. "He was a fabulous guy. There was only one Dick Pettys."
It's not a far stretch to say that Pettys was, to fellow reporters, a kind and humble legend. (When the state House of Representatives recognized Pettys at the dais with an honorary resolution the year before he retired, his colleagues in the press box stood and applauded.) His articles were spot on, clear, and fair. And were written, I might add, very quickly. He seemed to know everything that was happening and everyone.
Former and current state politicos and observers commented on Jim Galloway's Monday evening post that helped spread the news of Pettys' passing. Mike Hassinger has penned a nice write-up as well. If you know of others, leave 'em in the comments.
Andy Griffith arrived on the big screen in 1957 with expectations for a legendary career. His performance in Elia Kazan's A Face In the Crowd invited comparisons to Marlon Brando and James Dean. The studio pitchmen, with a hint of hyperbole, called his debut performance, "One of the best characterizations ever put on the screen, in the whole history of motion pictures."
Griffith's enduring legacy was not that of a movie star. Whereas Dean's light shone brilliantly for a short time before it was extinguished, and Brando blazed a path with such reckless abandon that excess ultimately engulfed his brilliance, Griffith directed his energy into a slow, steady, controlled burn. After a few post Face follow-up films, Andy found his way to television, where his acting talents perfectly melded with the still-emerging form, and where he crafted one of the most enduring careers the medium has ever known.
His legend was formed on the small screen from 1960-1969 as mild-mannered Sheriff Andy Taylor in "The Andy Griffith Show" show and "Mayberry R.F.D" - tell me you don't you hear the whistle of the theme song in your head. Griffith's other great success came two decades later as the titular country lawyer Ben Matlock on T.V.s "Matlock" from 1986-1995. In between these benchmarks, Griffith appeared in dozens of TV movies, guest spots on series, and cameos in films.
That nothing in the career that follows compares with the effervescent brilliance of Face begs the question:
The tiny, unnamed white whale who was born at Georgia Aquarium on Friday, passed away this morning after spending several days in critical condition. A necropsy, which may or may not reveal the cause of the infant whale's death, has already been performed, but the fact of the matter is baby beluga whales have a high mortality rate and first time pregnancies are often unsuccessful.
Basically, there was a good chance the whale would die and it did. Which doesn't make it less sad. Or less interesting to talk about.
On Monday, I put up a pretty benign/flippant post - filled with Raffi references, no less - that sparked a little conversation about the merit of keeping marine life in captivity. Or, rather, the absence of merit. Readers especially "disliked" a comment left by Lori Marino, an Emory lecturer and Ph.D. holder who's studied cetaceans for two decades. She wrote:
Although beluga infants do have a high mortality rate in the wild, to subject Maris to such a heartbreak is cruel and unjustifiable by any standard. The Georgia Aquarium knew the chances of this baby surviving were small and yet they continue their program of breeding so that they can sell more tickets. Shame on them!
Commenter RogerWaters was critical of this perspective (not to mention the overall content and tone of the post):
Answer me this, how many boat trips would it take, and how much of the environment would be compromised to take all of the people who go to Georgia Aquarium each year to see a whale shark or beluga whale in the wild?
So, let me say, I'm torn. I've never been to the Georgia Aquarium (mostly because it's expensive), but I think if I visited, I'd probably really like it. I love zoos. I love having the chance to be close to an animal I wouldn't otherwise get to be close to. That said, if the zoo didn't exist, would I "compromise the environment" by jetting to Africa, then travel in a gas-guzzling all-terrain vehicle to see one on the savannah? No. I wouldn't.
I called Marino to see if she had anything else to say about the little beluga's untimely death (like it or not, "dislikers," she's an expert). Besides agreeing that it was sad - and that there was a good chance the same thing would have happened in the wild - she reiterated the concern that the benefits education and entertainment don't outweigh the harm done to marine mammals kept in captivity. "Kids love dinosaurs. They're fascinated by them, yet they've never pet one or seen one. We don't need to see anything. And if [the whales] are not going back into the wild, they're not contributiong to conservation efforts."
The aquarium's beluga exhibit is currently closed, but should reopen in a few days.
The interview's introduction describes King as "heartfelt and eloquent," but also "gravely serious." And really, really busy: "So heavy ... were his commitments when we called him last summer for an interview, that two months elapsed before he was able to accept our request for an appointment. We kept it—only to spend a week in Atlanta waiting vainly for him to find a moment for more than an apology and a hurried handshake. A bit less pressed when we returned for a second visit, King was finally able to sandwich in a series of hour and half-hour conversations with us among the other demands of a grueling week."
Much of the interviewer's questioning focuses on King's actions in places like St. Augustine, Fla. and Birmingham, but Atlanta also figures prominently, particularly in anecdotes about his first recollection of becoming aware of racial inequality and having to explain segregation to his oldest daughter Yolanda (who passed away in '07) ...
About the latter, King said ...
The family often used to ride with me to the Atlanta airport, and on our way, we always passed Funtown, a sort of miniature Disneyland with mechanical rides and that sort of thing. Yolanda would inevitably say, “I want to go to Funtown,” and I would always evade a direct reply. I really didn’t know how to explain to her why she couldn’t go. Then one day at home, she ran downstairs exclaiming that a TV commercial was urging people to come to Funtown. Then my wife and I had to sit down with her between us and try to explain it. I have won some applause as a speaker, but my tongue twisted and my speech stammered seeking to explain to my six-year-old daughter why the public invitation on television didn’t include her, and others like her.
Pleasantly, word came to me later that Funtown had quietly desegregated, so I took Yolanda. A number of white persons there asked, “Aren’t you Dr. King, and isn’t this your daughter?” I said we were, and she heard them say how glad they were to see us there.
He also addressed the necessity to come to terms with the threat of assassination ...
If I were constantly worried about death, I couldn’t function. After a while, if your life is more or less constantly in peril, you come to a point where you accept the possibility philosophically. I must face the fact, as all others in positions of leadership must do, that America today is an extremely sick nation, and that something could well happen to me at any time. I feel, though, that my cause is so right, so moral, that if I should lose my life, in some way it would aid the cause.
And the future plans he'd never have a chance to realize ...
Well, at one time I dreamed of pastoring for a few years, and then of going to a university to teach theology. But I gave that up when I became deeply involved in the civil rights struggle. Perhaps, in five years or so, if the demands on me have lightened, I will have the chance to make that dream come true.
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