Gov. Brian Kemp has signed an executive order barring local governments from mandating COVID-19 restrictions for businesses including requiring proof of vaccination, indoor capacity limits, and mask mandates. Private businesses can still set their own rules, but cannot be forced to do so by a government body. The order comes after Atlanta doctors and nurses pleaded with the the public to get the COVID-19 vaccine as ICUs and emergency rooms fill with unvaccinated patients. The City of Atlanta recently reinstated a mask mandate that includes private businesses. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms tweeted news of the governor’s move with the message “The gift that keeps on giving.”

Alex Wan resigned at the chairman of the Fulton County Board of Elections and qualified to run for his old District 6 seat on the Atlanta City Council. Councilmember Jennifer Ide announced earlier this week that she would not seek reelection. Wan held the seat for two terms beginning in 2009 before a failed run at city council president, which he lost to Felicia Moore.  He was the first Asian American and first openly gay man to serve on Atlanta City Council. He’s live in the Morningside neighborhood for 27 years.

As Atlanta continues to grapple with crime, city officials look to hire the first-ever “Director of Violence Reduction.” “This unique opportunity will give the successful candidate a chance to positively change neighborhoods and individuals for the better,” according to a job posting. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in July had announced a $70 million plan to combat crime. One of her recommendations was to create a Mayor’s Office of Violence Reduction. Now, the city is hiring a director to establish that office with the goal of addressing gun violence. So far this year (through Aug. 14), there have been 95 homicides in the city of Atlanta, up 58% from the same period of time in 2019, according to the latest data from the Atlanta Police Department. Read more at Reporter Newspapers.

Collin Kelley

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.