Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms unveiled a $15.6 million plan this morning to increase the base pay for Atlanta Fire Rescue Department (AFRD) personnel over the next three and a half years. With the $15.6 million investment and 3.1 percent raises included in the administration’s last two budgets, the actions represent a 25 percent increase in base pay for Atlanta’s firefighters—all without raising taxes. The plan calls for the raises to reflect in AFRD paychecks by January 31, 2020, with the increases backdated to January 1, 2020. “As first responders, Atlanta’s firefighters are on the front lines of danger each and every day. When an independent study confirmed they were underpaid, it was this Administration’s duty to respond in the urgent and meaningful manner they deserve,” said Mayor Bottoms. “With this significant investment, our compensation will be competitive to support and enhance AFRD’s recruitment and retention rates.”

Atlanta Police investigators have identified the youth abandoned at Grady Hospital on the evening of Dec. 4 as Sheldon Linen, 14. His mother, Diana Elliott, 37, was captured on surveillance entering a vehicle and leaving Sheldon at Grady Hospital. Following information received from the public, investigators were able to locate Elliot staying at a hotel in DeKalb County with three other children. Elliot indicated that she was overwhelmed caring for her son in addition to the other three juveniles and decided to leave him at the hospital. She was charged with Cruelty to Children in the 1st Degree and transported to Fulton County Jail.

Ted Turner at the dedication of the Techwood Campus to Ted Turner.

The former Turner Broadcasting Techwood campus in Midtown was dedicated to its  founder, Ted Turner, at a ceremony on Dec. 6. The name Turner Broadcasting ceased to exist after the company was purchased by AT&T and the building is now home to its subsidiary WarnerMedia.  In addition to the campus dedication, WarnerMedia unveiled a commissioned mural portrait of Ted Turner by famed artist JEKS, and announced a $550,000 gift to the University of Georgia, establishing Ted Turner Exhibition Hall & Gallery at UGA’s Library, the Ted Turner Scholarship Fund to students at UGA’s Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication and WarnerMedia’s Ted Turner Maverick Internship, in partnership UGA’s Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.