Tuesday tales

July 25 — Atlanta soccer fans get a personal taste of Messi Madness tonight as Atlanta United faces Inter Miami in a Leagues Cup match at 7:30 p.m. (TV: Apple TV+).

🌞 Mostly sunny with a high of 93° today. 

🚨 Brookhaven Police are investigating a shootout that damaged businesses along Buford Highway.

🔌 The power, including air conditioning, has been fully restored at the Fulton County Jail. The Rice Street facility lost power on Friday during the recent storms. 

💸 Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has issued an investor alert warning consumers to watch out for a cryptocurrency scam known as “pig-butchering.”

📦 Negotiators for Sandy Springs-based UPS and the Teamsters union head back to the bargaining table today, less than a week before their current contract expires. The Teamsters have already authorized a strike, and retailers are bracing for the impact of work stoppage. 

🤝🏾 The Gathering Spot and Greenwood announced they have settled their business dispute and will resume operations. “We are ready to finish what we started, in the same spirit that we began with and continue to build and grow our community,” said Ryan Wilson, CEO of TGS. 

🍻 The Little 5 Points Business Association is hosting summer “patio parties” through Sept. 10. 

🎒 More than 51,000 Atlanta Public Schools students head back to class on Aug. 1 – exactly one week from today.


🇮🇱 In a significant victory for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing governing coalition, lawmakers passed a divisive judicial reform bill that critics say imperils the basis of Israel’s democracy. 

➡ For more context on the situation in Israel, tune into the Atlanta Jewish Federation’s webinar today at noon (free, but registration required).

🔍 Carlee Russell, the Alabama woman who claimed she was kidnapped after stopping to help a toddler she saw on the side of the road, said that the whole story was fabricated. Russell’s attorney told police that, “There was no kidnapping…My client did not see a baby on the side of the road.” 

🕖 Today’s newsletter is 5️⃣ stories.

• $25M for BeltLine
• Mental Health line one year in
• Rough Draft’s new socials
• Chattahoochee Riverkeeper executive director
• Volunteer Opportunities

Have a good day,
Collin, Sammie, and Madison

🌿 Passionate about nature? Check out the Friends of Conservation and Sustainability in Georgia online giving circle. Learn about the nonprofits that treat every day like Earth Day as they make a difference for the outdoors in Georgia. Learn more here.

On hand for a giant $25 million federal Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) check presentation ceremony on a future segment of the Northeast Trail on July 24 are, from left, Christopher Coes, U.S. Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation; U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams; U.S. Sen Jon Ossoff; Atlanta City Councilmember Alex Wan, Clyde Higgs, president and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine. Inc.; and Solomon Caviness, commissioner of the Atlanta Department of Transportation. (Dyana Bagby)

1. $25M grant could speed up BeltLine completion

💰 A $25 million federal grant to fund a portion of the Atlanta BeltLine’s Northeast Trail could be a significant step in helping complete the massive urban revitalization project ahead of its 2030 deadline.

That’s the news Atlanta BeltLine Inc. President and CEO Clyde Higgs delivered during a July 24 press conference to celebrate the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant to the City of Atlanta and ABI. It is the BeltLine’s largest federal grant.

“Because of this historic gift, 80% of the Atlanta BeltLine will be completed within the next two years, or [will be] under construction,” Higgs said. “That is a drop-the-mic moment.” 

➡️ Read Dyana Bagby’s full report on the grant.

You say tomato, I say tomato

🍅 Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival (#AKTF) returns to Westside Provisions District on Sun., July 30 from 1-4 p.m. for an annual celebration of the juiciest fruit in Georgia: tomatoes. 

Passes include tastings and beverages featuring tomatoes in all the ways from Georgia restaurants, bars, and other tomato-serving establishments. 

This annual fundraiser benefits Georgia Organics, the oldest statewide non-profit providing direct support to local and organic farmers, and celebrates the delicious Farmer Champion partnership between Georgia’s organic farmers and the culinary teams who make local ingredients shine. 

🎟️ Tickets include tastings and beverages from local chefs and bartenders. 

➡ Get your tickets today.

Two people arrive at the home of someone who called a mental health crisis line. Credit: Georgia DBHDD

2. The 988 mental health crisis line turns one

🆘 When faced with an emergency, people grab their phones and call 911. They enter the same three-digit number whether their kitchen catches fire or there is a medical emergency.

We all know 911 can save a life in an emergency, but now, so can 988: the easy-to-remember number for the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. 

Anyone, anywhere in the United States experiencing a mental health crisis can call 988 and talk to a trained counselor.

But, a workforce shortage made officials worried about promoting the service.

🚑 You can read more from GPBs Ellen Eldridge here.

3. Rough Draft consolidates its socials 

📸 After some behind-the-scenes hair-pulling, teeth-gnashing, and business jujitsu, Rough Draft has finally managed to consolidate our social media presence under one consistent name: @RoughDraftATL.

That means you can follow us at that handle on InstagramFacebookTwitter (or is it X now?), Threads, and Blue Sky. 

💡 Be sure to follow us for breaking news, links to our feature stories, photo galleries, and much more.

Riverkeeper Jason Ulseth will add executive director to his responsibilities with Cohen’s departure. (CRK)

4. Chattahoochee Riverkeeper expands Ulseth’s duties to executive director

🏞️ The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) Board of Directors announced that Riverkeeper Jason Ulseth will be appointed executive director with expanded responsibilities beginning Aug. 7.

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s current Executive Director Juliet Cohen has announced she will step down to work with Cox Enterprises.

Over her 15 years of service to Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, six as general counsel, and eight as executive director, Cohen oversaw the growth of more than 50 percent of its membership, budget, and staff. The reach and breadth of programs like Trash-Free Chattahoochee and Neighborhood Water Watch have grown by more than 100 percent.

➡️ Learn more about Ulseth here.

🌿 Passionate about nature? Check out the Friends of Conservation and Sustainability in Georgia online giving circle. Learn about the nonprofits that treat every day like Earth Day as they make a difference for the outdoors in Georgia. Learn more here.

Via Hands On Atlanta.

5. Volunteer Opportunities

💊 SVdP Pharmacy Delivery Driver: The Saint Vincent de Paul Georgia Community Pharmacy needs help delivering prescription medications to clients with limited access to transportation from 1:30-5:30 p.m. on Wed., July 26. 

🛠️ Tool Painting: Help the Atlanta Community ToolBank paint and brand tools from 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Thurs., July. 27 (pictured).

🎒 Let’s Move! Dekalb: Volunteers are needed to help with the 13th annual back-to-school food pantry and school supply distribution event on Sat., July  29 from 12-4 p.m.

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.