Monday musings

June 26 — A late afternoon thunderstorm brought high winds, lightning, and a burst of heavy rain to the metro area yesterday. A falling tree killed 55-year-old Atlanta realtor George Heery Jr. 

🌞 Mostly sunny with a high of 90° today. The forecast calls for highs near 100° on Friday.

🚫 Antisemitic rallies and propaganda across Georgia this weekend – including Macon, East Cobb, and Sandy Springs – were roundly condemned by state and local officials.

🚨 Atlanta Police have charged two teenagers with the shooting death of 16-year-old Bre’Asia Powell outside Mays High School last month. More suspects are being sought.

⚖️ DeKalb County DA Sherry Boston announced Friday that due to “fundamental differences” in prosecution philosophy, her office would not prosecute “Cop City” demonstrators charged with domestic terrorism. 

💰 Sandy Springs City Council has adopted a $141 million budget for fiscal year 2024.

🏅 The International Olympic Committee honored journalist Ed Hula with the Pierre de Coubertin Medal for his longtime coverage of the Olympic Games, including in Atlanta in 1996. 

🕖 Today’s newsletter is 5 stories.

• Camelot Jewelers in trouble
• Artist Rial Rye
• Georgia election updates
• Global Headlines
• Look & Listen

Have a good day,
Collin, Sammie, & Madison

🍑 The AJC Peachtree Road Race is not possible without its volunteers. As the world’s largest 10K, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer, where you’ll get a commemorative T-shirt and pin, Chick-fil-A voucher, discounts on Atlanta Track Club merchandise, and more! Sign up for the AJC Peachtree Road Race today! 

1. Camelot Jewelers customers furious about closure, want their jewelry back

💎 The abrupt closure of a Dunwoody mainstay, Camelot Jewelers, on June 16 has created a firestorm of finger-pointing and threats as former customers scramble to find the items they had entrusted the establishment to repair or repurpose.

The business, which had been in operation for 46 years and had a devoted following, referred customers to Jewelry Artisans for future purchases and repairs.

Jewelry Artisans confirmed to Rough Draft that it is in possession of some of the missing jewelry and is trying to match the pieces with owners. The jewelry arrived untagged, so staff is trying to figure out who each piece belongs to. 

💍 Read more about customers’ complaints here.

Georgia’s largest 4th of July parade

🇺🇸 Don’t miss the state’s largest Independence Day parade as the Dunwoody Homeowners Association and Rough Draft Atlanta present the Dunwoody 4th of July Parade on Tues., July 4 at 9 a.m. 

This year’s event honors “50 years of Wildcat Pride” and celebrates Dunwoody High School’s past, present, and future with Grand Marshals Principal “Coach” Tom Bass and Steve Fortenberry.

🎆 The 2.7-mile parade begins at the intersection of Mount Vernon Highway and Jett Ferry Road and goes along Mt. Vernon to Dunwoody Village Parkway into Dunwoody Village.

Afterward, join the parade festival in Dunwoody Village for family fun and great food. The ceremonies begin at approximately 11:30 a.m.

🌭 Learn more here

Photo by Isadora Pennington.

2. Duality on Display: the artwork of Rial Rye

🎨 “A lot of my life has been ambiguous, from my race to where I’m from.” Rial Rye leaned forward in his seat, his arms resting on his knees. Behind him, a series of pieces straddle the line between 2D and 3D line the walls of his East Point studio. 

Rye is a multidisciplinary artist. He’s the creative who takes up a new medium on a whim and then teaches himself techniques until he has perfected them. This adaptability has served him well in his life. 

Inspired by great artists such as Matisse and Picasso, Rye considers himself to be a neo-expressionist. He is also greatly influenced by biracial artists including Wifredo Lam, whose cubist and surrealist works were informed by his Chinese, African, Spanish, and Native-Cuban ancestry. 

🖌️ Learn more about Rye and his art here

📧 This story first appeared in Sketchbook, our weekly newsletter about art. Subscribe for free at this link.

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

3. Georgia elections officials explain obstacles to updating systems before 2024

🗳️ Georgia election officials said Wednesday that they would need six to nine months to install new software and hardware to update the state’s voting system to protect against security flaws, pushing back against calls to update the system before the 2024 election cycle.

“It’s really not an upgrade,” state Deputy Elections Director Michael Barnes said of the work needed on 30,000 voting machines. “This really would require us to fully rebuild the system.”

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said the state must wait until 2025, but critics continue to pile on, with Lt. Gov. Burt Jones and the state Republican Party joining the chorus in recent days. They say waiting until after next year’s presidential election would leave the voting equipment open to attack.

➡️ Read more from WABE here.

4. An almost-coup in Russia; Canada Day

On Mondays, we get an update on global news through our partnership with the World Affairs Council of Atlanta.

🇷🇺 A dramatic series of events unfolded on Saturday in Russia as forces led by Yevgeny Prigozhin began a march towards Moscow and talk of a coup consumed the country. Then, almost as quickly as it seemed to begin, it was over, with Prigozhin taking safe harbor in neighboring Belarus.

But, Russia watchers and U.S. officials say that the unprecedented challenge to the Kremlin exposed weaknesses in President Vladimir Putin’s rule. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” that “We’ve seen more cracks emerge in the Russian facade. It is too soon to tell exactly where they go, and when they get there. But certainly, we have all sorts of new questions that Putin is going to have to address in the weeks and months ahead.”

On ABC’s “This Week” he added, “I don’t think we’ve seen the final act.” 

🇵🇰 In Pakistan, families of shipwreck victims are angry that their loved ones did not receive the same multi-million dollar rescue effort as the billionaires who died in the Titanic submersible implosion. At least 350 Pakistani citizens were aboard the vessel that sank June 14 off the coast of Greece.

🇹🇷 Amidst a government crackdown on gay and transgender communities in Turkey, Istanbul police arrested 50 people taking part in Sunday’s Pride Parade  

🇬🇹 Presidential candidates in Guatemala are headed to a runoff next month after Sunday’s election. Corruption, violence, and poverty in Latin America’s largest country lead more than a million Guatemalans a year to migrate to the U.S.

🇨🇦 Sat. July 1 is Canada Day. Last week, the Consulate General of Canada marked the 50th anniversary of its presence in Atlanta last week. Gabriel Sterling (above) represented the Office of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and praised the relationship between Georgia and Canada, although he lamented Atlanta’s loss of two NHL teams to our northern neighbors.

🇧🇪 Artists and families descend this week on a beach in Belgium for the annual “Fairy Tales in the Sand” sand sculpture festival. 

👇 Join the World Affairs Council and attend this member-exclusive opportunity to engage with fellow Council Members in dialogue on global affairs impacting Atlanta. Food and drinks will be served.

🩰 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution unveils the compelling story of Gerard Alexander, a professional dancer whose promising life unraveled into drug addiction and homelessness. During his unlikely rise, Alexander was described as a “Black Baryshnikov.” Last spring, he was found shot dead beside one of Atlanta’s busiest roads. Read “The Dancer.”

5. Pods about running

It’s your last full week to prepare for the Peachtree Road Race, the world’s largest 10K. While my idea of running always has errands involved, here are a few crowd-sourced suggestions from my runner friends on social media (follow me on Twitter and Instagram).  

🎧 Atlanta City Council President Doug Shipman, who just ran a marathon PR and qualified for the Boston Marathon, loves “More Than Miles.” Physical therapists Dr. Kate Mihevc Edwards and Dr. Kacy Seynders talk to dieticians, marathon runners, and running enthusiasts about getting the most out of the sport. 

🎙️ Locally owned running specialty store, Big Peach Running Co., has its own podcast, “The RUNATL.” It’s hosted by founder Mike Cosentino and director of marketing, Dave “D2” Martinez. 

🎧 Fight the Malarkey tweeted me: “John Richards at KEXP does one called ‘The Runcast’. I’ll listen to any fave podcast when running, not just run-specific ones.”

🎙️ Martha Schoch Smith suggested “Ali on the Run” via Instagram. Ali talks with inspiring people from the fastest runners in the world to the runners who make up the middle and back of the pack. She has a huge following and over 600 episodes. “

🎧 “Nobody Asked Us” with Des & Kara explores the high-stakes world of competitive running in a compelling podcast hosted by former rivals and Olympic teammates Des Linden and Kara Goucher.

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.

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.

Madison Auchincloss is an editorial intern for Rough Draft Atlanta and a student at the University of Michigan.