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Following a bipartisan U.S. House vote late Friday, the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill is headed to President Joe Biden’s desk. 13 Republicans voted yes with Democrats, and six Democrats voted no with Republicans for a final tally of 228-206. The Georgia delegation was split strictly along party lines. 

Democrats celebrated the House passage of the bill that includes money for improving roads, bridges, and public transit. Congressman David Scott, a Democrat from Atlanta, said in a statement, “For too long, Congress has failed to act boldly when it comes to our infrastructure, leaving our country with congested roads, failing sewer systems, lead in our pipes, unsafe bridges, unreliable broadband and slow-moving trains.”  

The Biden administration’s vaccine requirement for businesses with 100 or more workers was temporarily halted by a federal appeals court this week. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency stay of the requirement by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration that those workers be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or face mask requirements and weekly tests.

A CDC panel unanimously voted to recommend that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine be authorized for children as young as 5.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Georgia continues to fall sharply while new infections held steady over the past week. The number of Georgians hospitalized for COVID- 19 dropped to 1,053 on Friday, down from more than 6,000 in early September.

While the trend line is encouraging, Georgia also hit a grim milestone on Thursday, reaching 25,000 COVID-19 deaths. 

Many retirees are opting to put off claiming Social Security benefits, an exclusive Washington Post analysis shows. By delaying their benefits, these retirees can expect to collect higher monthly checks in the future. The number of workers applying for Social Security benefits in the 12 months ending in September fell 5% from the same period a year earlier, the biggest drop in almost two decades, according to the Social Security Administration. 

The surprising surge in older Americans delaying Social Security upon retirement is another example of a number of unusual trends roiling the American labor market. Most notably, workers of all ages are quitting jobs in record numbers, in what has been dubbed the “Great Resignation.” 

City Council President Felicia Moore and Councilman Andre Dickens bested former Mayor Kasim Reed and are headed into a Nov. 30 runoff for Mayor of Atlanta. Reed was often the target of repeated attacks and hurled several of his own at the competition. Many say Atlanta voters can expect a very different race than what they witnessed over the last few months. Reed officially ended his bid for a third term days after the election, conceding that he finished third. According to unofficial results, Moore finished in first place with 41% of the votes. Dickens finished roughly 600 votes ahead of Reed to take the second-place spot, a 0.6% margin. Recounts are allowed by state law if the vote difference is within 0.5%.

More than 72% of the voters casting ballots in the Cobb Education SPLOST VI voted yes (35,427), while 29 percent said no (13,713). With the passage of the SPLOST, Starting in Jan. 2024, a one-percent sales tax for construction, maintenance and technology projects in the Cobb County School District and Marietta City Schools will be collected for another six years, ending in Dec. 2029. The SPLOST extension is expected to generate $894 million in revenues for Cobb schools and $71.5 million for Marietta schools

Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley is away from the team indefinitely as he works on his mental well-being. Ridley will miss at least the next three games. Ridley was placed on the non-football injury list by the team on Friday. Ridley tweeted a statement that read in part, “These past few weeks have been very challenging, and as much as I’d like to be on the field competing with my teammates, I need to step away from football at this time and focus on my mental wellbeing. This will help me be the best version of myself now and in the future.” 

The son of famed singer Glady Knight, Shanga Hankerson, is headed to federal prison. Hankerson, 45, is the former owner of Gladys Knight Chicken & Waffles restaurant in Atlanta has been sentenced to federal prison for failure to remit payroll taxes, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Friday. Hankerson was sentenced to serve two years in prison, one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $1,039,310.65. Hankerson pleaded guilty on July 21 to willfully disregarding his tax obligations for many years. In 1997, Hankerson opened his first restaurant, Gladys Knight’s Chicken & Waffles, in Atlanta and then expanded to other locations. As the employer, Hankerson’s companies were required to withhold federal taxes from employees, according to prosecutors. From at least 2012 to 2016, Hankerson failed to fully remit more than $1 million in payroll taxes due, according to the U.S. Attorney. Knight also sued Hankerson, who was ordered to remove her name and likeness from his businesses. Have a wonderful week…


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