Tuesday tidbits

Aug. 15 — After months of speculation, a Fulton County grand jury indicted former President Donald J. Trump and 18 others, including lawyers, spokespeople, and former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, accusing them of a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 presidential election. 

In a 98-page, 41-count indictment, District Attorney Fani Willis laid out a detailed case built on Georgia’s racketeering laws that also includes other felony charges like perjury and forgery. Trump’s campaign released a statement calling the charges “bogus” and said that Willis is a “rabid partisan.”  

At a late-night press conference, Willis said the defendants have until Fri., Aug. 25 at noon to surrender.

🌞 Sunny and slightly cooler at 89° today. 

🚨 Atlanta Police are looking for a person of interest in last week’s fatal shooting in Kirkwood and the suspects who shot two men in Midtown during an attempted robbery. 

🏡 Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. has selected a development team for a mixed-use affordable housing project in Buckhead. 

⚖️ An Atlanta man has been indicted on federal charges of money laundering and wire fraud in connection with funds allegedly obtained fraudulently through a COVID-19 relief program. 

🌮 Nonprofit We Love Buford Highway is gearing up for a colorful fundraising gala on Aug. 24 called FEAST, which will feature food, art, and more.  

🏈 Georgia will be ranked No. 1 as they begin their attempt to win a third straight college football championship. Michigan is No. 2 and Ohio State is No. 3 in the AP preseason Top 25 which was released yesterday. 

🇪🇸 A goal in the 89th minute gave Spain a 2-1 win over Sweden in the first semifinal match at the Women’s World Cup. Spain advances to the finals where they will face either Australia or England. 

🕖 Today’s newsletter is  stories.

• ‘Stop Cop City’ nears goal
• Civic Center’s future
• Backpack Buddies
• Volunteer Opportunities 

Have a good day,
Collin & Sammie 

📍 Don’t miss Peachtree Battle Estate Sales’ incredible five-day Network Prop/Wardrobe Sale from a major television series Wed., Aug. 16-Sun. Aug. 20 at 2175 East Park Dr. NE in Conyers. Featuring designer furniture, rugs, wardrobe, jewelry, medical equipment, building materials, office, decorative accessories, and more. Click here for photos.


1. Court denies appeal to quash ‘Stop Cop City’ petition as it nears 80K signatures

🛑 Opponents of Atlanta’s planned public safety training center scored another victory today when a federal judge denied the City of Atlanta’s appeal to try to halt the “Stop Cop City” referendum petition drive.

The ruling comes as organizers of the Vote to Stop Cop City coalition say they have collected nearly 80,000 signatures — more than the 70,000 goal announced at the start of the campaign in June.

US District Court Judge Mark H. Cohen denied the City’s appeal of his ruling last month to allow those living outside Atlanta to collect signatures as part of the referendum petition campaign. His ruling on the preliminary injunction also extended the amount of time to collect signatures.

➡️ Read Dyana Bagby’s full report.

Get your Atlanta Food & Wine Festival tickets today! 

🔮Don’t miss your opportunity to get tickets for the all-inclusive tasting tents at the upcoming Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, Sept. 22-24 at Historic Old Fourth Ward Park.  Act now to lock in your tickets for unlimited food from 40+ top chefs from Atlanta and beyond, cocktails, live entertainment, and more!

😋 From walk-around tastings to gourmet gatherings led by the most prolific chefs and live cooking demonstrations, every aspect is artfully curated to ignite your senses and leave you with lasting memories. AFWF is the perfect opportunity to expand your palate and savor the best of the South and beyond!

🎟️ Get your tickets today!

2. Future of the Atlanta Civic Center’s iconic auditorium remains unclear

⏳ In its heyday, the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center hosted Broadway musicals, operas, concerts, speeches from Georgia governors, senators, and a president — and even a Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions.

But as Atlanta Housing (AH) moves forward with plans to redevelop the Civic Center property, the fate of the iconic auditorium at the heart of the site remains unclear. 

The housing authority just executed a master development agreement for most of the nearly 20-acre property with the joint venture of Republic Properties, the Michaels Organization, and Sophy Capital — but a plan for restoring the auditorium wasn’t part of the deal. However, AH said it would preserve the auditorium when it chose the development team last summer.

➡️ Read Sean Keenan’s full update on the Civic Center.

3. Backpack Buddies expands reach with new facility

🎒 Dunwoody-based Backpack Buddies of Metro Atlanta is growing in every way.

The program, which launched in 2017 and became a nonprofit in 2022, has grown from serving 800 food-insecure children a week with weekend meals to more than 1,600 a week.

And the organization isn’t resting after doubling its distribution numbers, according to Jesse Adams, the chief operating officer of Backpack Buddies. The goal for the end of 2025 is to serve 2,500 children in need each week.

The organization, located in the Williamsburg at Dunwoody Shopping Center, is expanding into an additional 4,000-square-foot space, which will allow it to triple its storage capacity. 

➡️ Find out more about the organization in Cathy Cobbs’ story.

4. Volunteer Opportunities

🥗 Food Pantry Distribution: Help Saint Vincent de Paul Georgia restock, prepare food bags, and other tasks at its Chamblee food pantry on Aug. 16 from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (pictured). 

🌳 Piedmont Park CleanupHelp Piedmont Park Conservancy clean up the Midtown greenspace on Aug. 17 from 9-11 a.m.

🩺 Health FairVolunteers are needed to support medical staff at the Latin American Association Health Fair on Aug. 19 from 8:15 a.m.-3 p.m. on Buford Highway.

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.